The Anniversary

Live Through This Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / April 11, 2014
Courtney Love released her definitive artistic statement four days after her husband Kurt Cobain shot himself in the head, and she called the album Live Through This. In terms of morbidly cosmic coincidences, that's up there with Biggie Smalls naming his second album Life After Death and then dying before its release, or the Ultimate… More »


Smash Turns 20

By Brenden Riley / April 8, 2014
It's 20 years to the day since the Offspring released Smash -- so let's talk about how a California band used a Middle-Eastern guitar lick, some "la-la-las," and a bit of luck to rack up the best-selling independent record of all time. More »


Good News For People Who Love Bad News Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / April 4, 2014
"Float On" was such a mindfuck at the time. At this point, Modest Mouse is unquestioningly accepted as part of an easily digestible indie industrial complex, a band whose jagged edges have been shaved into smooth contours by time, money, and inertia. But those edges were plenty sharp when Modest Mouse began. In their… More »


Madvillainy Turns 10

By Sam Behrens / March 24, 2014
The underground has always been hip-hop's lifeblood. Born in unofficial dance parties spread only by word of mouth, hip-hop's beginnings are rooted away from the mainstream. The cutting edge of the genre has been found under rocks, in dark corners -- something that's never more true than when you speak of the woozy beats and lexical gymnastics of… More »


The Milk-Eyed Mender Turns 10

By John Everhart / March 21, 2014
If something portends future classic status for an album, it may well be contemporary artists covering songs from the record shortly after its release. This was certainly the case with Joanna Newsom's The Milk-Eyed Mender, which will be 10 years old on Sunday. The Decemberists covered "Bridges And Balloons" for years, including a baroque reading… More »


Seven Swans Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / March 17, 2014
For the first few years of the new millennium, indie-rock's ever-shifting center of gravity was always getting louder and more aggressive. Post-Radiohead morbidity, post-Pavement slackerdom, and various strains of expansively brainy post-rock all persisted, but they gradually ceded the spotlight to a garage rock craze headlined by the Strokes and the White Stripes, followed by… More »


The Downward Spiral Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / March 7, 2014
For all his charisma and sinew and theatrical flair, Trent Reznor was a deeply unlikely rock star -- more unlikely, even, than his mixed-up gaggle of early-'90s peers. Reznor was a keyboard nerd from Ohio with milk-paste Midwestern skin and an undying fascination with video games. Especially early on, he learned more musically from the… More »


Superunknown Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / March 7, 2014
This year is going to be a strange one for anniversaries. On one hand, we have a slew of British albums turning twenty -- Definitely Maybe, His 'N' Hers, Parklife -- that mark the rise of Britpop. While that movement was just starting up across the ocean, over here grunge was simultaneously huge but also… More »


Mellow Gold Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / February 28, 2014
Has "Loser" aged well? I honestly have no idea because I can't hear "Loser" as a song anymore. Years ago, "Loser" entered that "Smells Like Teen Spirit"/"Hey Ya" rarefied air, the territory of massively important songs so overplayed that they become a part of the air, that they become as familiar as the contours of… More »


The College Dropout Turns 10

By Ryan Leas / February 10, 2014
Before he was the nucleus. Before he said "George Bush doesn't care about black people" on a nationally-broadcast telethon. Before a 2006 Rolling Stone cover depicted him as Christ, crown of thorns and blood and all, and a 2013 album christened him as Yeezus. Before he stormed the stage and let Taylor… More »


Franz Ferdinand Turns 10

By Ryan Leas / February 7, 2014
Have you thought about Franz Ferdinand much lately? After the one two-punch of their self-titled debut in 2004 and You Could Have It So Much Better in 2005, the Scottish indie rockers slowed down a bit. It took four years for their third album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, to appear, and then another four for it… More »


Bows + Arrows Turns 10

By Ryan Leas / February 3, 2014
Back in December, I wrote a profile about the Walkmen that doubled as a maybe-eulogy for the band as they embarked on an indefinite hiatus and various solo projects. It was inevitable that the potential end of the Walkmen elicited, for many, memories of a bygone era of New York and its rock music,… More »


Dookie Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / January 31, 2014
In May 1994, the former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra walked into the DIY Berkeley punk venue 924 Gilman Street, and he didn't walk out again. While Biafra was watching whatever band he was watching, he got into an argument with a gang of miscreants. That argument ended in an all-out beatdown, five or six… More »


The Oral History Of Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

By Chris DeVille / January 16, 2014
Twenty years ago this Valentine's Day, one of the all-time classic indie rock albums was released into the world. Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was a landmark for the band and its genre. Gorgeous yet unkempt, accessible yet insular, graceful yet slipshod, the album played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of Pavement and… More »


Doggystyle Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / November 22, 2013
Snapshot one: It's winter, late 1994 or maybe early 1995, and I'm at my first punk show. The Loft is a freezing-cold abandoned-rowhouse squat in West Baltimore, with maybe three lightbulbs in the whole place, graffiti on all the walls, broken glass on the floor that could've been there for years for all I know. More »


The Black Album Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / November 14, 2013
How big of a deal was Jay-Z in 2003? Big enough that when he announced The Black Album would be his last, he rightfully drew comparisons to Michael Jordan, Jim Brown, and Barry Sanders, legendary athletes who stepped away from the game at the peak of their powers. Big enough that everyone from the hip-ho… More »


Midnight Marauders Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / November 11, 2013
In a way, it's cosmically appropriate that Wu-Tang Clan's debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) came out on the same day as a Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders. (R. Kelly's 12 Play also came out on that day, but I only have so many of these 20th-anniversary posts in me.) In retrospect, EnterMore »


Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / November 8, 2013
When you get into comic books as a kid, you don't start with the origin stories -- at least not if you're doing it right. Instead, you flip through the racks at Walgreen's or Rite-Aid or Barnes & Noble or maybe even an actual straight-up comic book store (which, nowadays, might actually be the onlyMore »


Pussy Whipped Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / October 28, 2013
It must be weird to be a cause celebre before you've put out your first album, but that's what happened with Bikini Kill. The band was, of course, at the center of riot grrrl, the ground-up feminist punk-rock movement that burned bright and fast, that applied feminist-studies ideas to the often-boneheaded hardcore scene and saw… More »


No Alternative Turns 20

By Michael Nelson / October 28, 2013
Every one of these Anniversary stories is celebrating a bygone moment, of course -- that's the nature of looking back on an album a decade or two after its release -- but few if any subjects seem so firmly, inextricably lodged in the past as the 1993 compilation No Alternative, which turned 20 years old… More »


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