Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments + Redesign FAQ

Stereogum launched a long overdue redesign last night and If You’re Reading This You Probably Have Questions. Our goals were to make the site faster, more flexible, easier to navigate and read (larger fonts), and more modern. There was also a big upgrade to our backend that will make our workflow more efficient. Our new install has none of the junky background plugins that had accumulated and slowed page load over the years. It’s our first redesign since 2010, so there was a lot we wanted to change…

HOMEPAGE
The most obvious change is to the homepage. Our old homepage was terrible, and we had to live with it for many years. Much of the old HP was programmed automatically, so we had little control over what displayed in even the most visible modules. We’ve kept an area (now a carousel) of editor-selected “top stories” at the very top. Below that is the blog standard reverse-chronological display of recent stories. Not all our stories, though! Just the best and most important ones. These days we publish well over 200 posts a week (and some can be as long as 10,000 words) and that’s overwhelming for anyone landing on the homepage. If you want to see all our posts in real time and not miss anything, you can do that via the “newsfeed” link to stereogum.com/news. (Although, newsfeed is not displaying everything at the moment; it’s a known bug and will be fixed shortly.) Speaking of which, we have other new top menus — in addition to newsfeed, you’ll see features, songs, videos, photos, and lists. All pretty self-explanatory. (Features includes all of our recurring columns and franchises like Counting Down, The Week In Pop, The Anniversary, Album Of The Week, The Black Market, Trackspotting, Straight To Video, etc along with all interviews and essays.) In the right rail, we’ve made the “Most Viewed” area more prominent and in Heavy Rotation we’re displaying the most recent four LPs instead of nine. Click on the words Heavy Rotation to go to the archive of all recommended LPs, which goes back to 2008!

THE ‘GUM MIX
Did you know that Stereogum used to be an “MP3 blog”? Did you know that MP3s were music files people listened to before Spotify? Personally I listen exclusively to MP3s, so we won’t stop hosting them when they’re available. But the industry’s shift from promotional, downloadable files has made programming our MP3 radio experience The ‘Gum Mix trickier over the years. The upgraded ‘Gum Mix player (which you can get here by clicking the link in the right rail) is now populated with streaming audio, so you’ll hear a playlist much more representative of our favorite new music.

COMMENTING
Commenting functionality will stay the same, but there are several bugs that are causing problems at the moment. Sorry about that! You can still log in to comment via your ‘Gum user profile or Facebook Connect, but Facebook Connect might be a little wonky. I also understand some avatars and the thumbs up/down are not rendering on certain browsers. We are working on it. User profile pages (with commenting histories) have not been deleted — they’ll be back up soon. And it appears images are not displaying in your comments. That’ll be fixed as well. Note: you can now comment and vote on mobile! Finally!

GALLERIES
Our popular countdowns were redesigned to be more user-friendly and require less clicking. Here’s Steely Dan Albums From Worst To Best, for example. A complication with our server migration caused comments from all our gallery and countdown posts to go missing. We’ll find them and put them back. There’s also some weirdness with commenting on galleries (they’re not being collected in a single thread) and that will be addressed ASAP.

ARTIST PAGES
Each tag page has a dynamic gallery at the top that lets you flip through our entire 10+ year database of photos of that topic. Here’s Grimes’ page. Here’s Bonnaroo’s. It’s limiting to 20 pics at the moment, but that will be adjusted. We’ll also be tweaking the display of metadata that appears with each photo, so you may have to ignore some bad captions and credits for now. You can find tag pages by looking at the tag list at the bottom of a post or just typing in stereogum.com/tag/artist-name.

VIDEOGUM
Videogum is not coming back, sorry monsters. Kelly’s at Gawker now and Gabe (R.I.P.) has retired from daily blogging. Of course we want to keep the archive alive for future generations googling “the worst movie of all time” so posts are being migrated to Stereogum, and videogum.com will soon redirect to the Videogum archive. Most individual post redirects now work, but again the comments got lost temporarily. We will fix. Also, as of yesterday, new Stereogum posts are showing up under Videogum’s RSS instead of Stereogum’s. That’s being fixed, too.

LOGO
Our logo is sleeker and less orange now. New overall site color palette, too.

As with any other online publication, most of our traffic comes to individual story pages, not our homepage, thanks to search and social media. An increasingly huge percentage of you are viewing us on mobile phone screens where our articles are stripped of the aforementioned bells and whistles and read in a social browser, RSS feed, or e-reader. So while I’m excited about all these changes, they’re secondary to us presenting the most informative and entertaining writing, reporting, and criticism possible. I recognize many of you hate change, but there are reasons for and testing behind all of our design choices. Sorry about the bugs — some could just not be predicted until the new templates were live. Our engineers are in the process of relaunching eight sites (our sister sites include Spin, Vibe, Idolator, and Death & Taxes) and when you wait 5+ years in between redesigns things get a little hairy.

We welcome your constructive criticism after you check out this week’s best and worst comments below. You can also direct any product issues to [email protected].

As always you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get music news first. We’re also on Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, G+, Spotify, and maybe other places I’m forgetting.

Also, check out our new podcast!

THIS WEEK’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10

Matthew Marvin Lingo | Feb 17th Score:27

Guys what the fuck. She’s not allowed to be uncomfortable with fame? Would you rather she not express yourself lest certain consequences of her music’s popularity trouble her? Should Jeff Mangum have just left In the Aeroplane in the vault to avoid the harsh glare of the spotlight? At least Sia is keeping things interesting. And she’s writing some killer jams. Stop whining.

Posted in: Sia’s Already Recorded A New Album Titled This Is Acting
#8 blochead | Feb 13th Score:27

Holy shit I’m so glad I’m going on vacation right now and will avoid my desire to post about 1,237 times on this thread….So this will be my last one…(please pardon my unmitigated gushing)

The final minute or so of “This Modern Love” where everything dissolves into that drum roll and then the frenetic guitars kick in is my single favorite moment in my life as a music fan. It’s so absolutely perfect. It astonishes me every single time I hear it. “Do you wanna come over and kill some time? Do you wanna come over and kill some time? Throw your arms around me?” I am actually welling up as I listen to this song and think about how this album affected, and continues, to affect me.

And I couldn’t agree with Chris more. Other albums from this era do carry more cultural weight. But this is the best album from the era. Period. Every song feels like a single. Everything feels perfect.

And now I can go on vacation with a smile on my face.

Thanks Chris. Thanks Stereogum.

Posted in: Silent Alarm Turns 10
#6 crania americana | Feb 17th Score:29

Crazy that those lyrics were the real deal. Who knows, maybe next we’ll find out that Mark Hoppus really did go to that party.

Posted in: Tom DeLonge Says He’s Had Contact With Aliens And He’s In Danger Because Of What He Knows
#5

Jason Miller | Feb 17th Score:29

You gotta hand it to those aliens for being so damn good at always abducting people with zero credibility.

Posted in: Tom DeLonge Says He’s Had Contact With Aliens And He’s In Danger Because Of What He Knows
#4 almost ninja-like | Feb 19th Score:29

I know, right? I’m all like “Mom, we should probably start working out again”, and she’s like ” Yeah, maybe next week”, and then I’m like ” You said that last month”, and she’s like “Whatever”.

And then I go have violent intercourse with your mother to relieve stress.

Posted in: Blur Announce New Album Magic Whip, Hear 1st Single “Go Out”
#3 Cerebus | Feb 15th Score:30

Pitchfork’s headline reads, “Jack White Writes Irate GuacamoleGate Letter”. That’s kind of sad, really.

Posted in: Jack White Posts Open Letter To Journalists In Response To Guacgate
#2

David Francisco Vidaurre | Feb 19th Score:41

Beyonce should be at #1

Posted in: Beck Albums From Worst To Best
#1

Justin Hill | Feb 18th Score:46

Good grief. This girl sings about California more than Anthony Kiedis.

Posted in: Best Coast Announce Major Label Debut Album California Nights

THIS WEEK’S 5 LOWEST RATED COMMENTS

#5 mr leather | Feb 17th Score:-12

same, it’s appalling isn’t it? how can adults actually think that music geared towards tweens is good? are adults that emotionally and intellectually stunted that Taylor Swift actually speaks to them? That’s tragic. Or thinking that Beyonce is as good as Beck…that’s such a fucking preposterous thing to think. Beyonce herself does very little. She’s an entertainer, not an artist, and she’s not as good an entertainer as Beck was at her age either. Before she started performing in her underwear nobody gave two shits about her, either. Poptimism is fucking retarded. I think that a lot of people profess a love for that shit as a way of showing that they’re not sexist, racist or homophobic. Little do they know that having bad taste is just as much a sin as those other qualities. People are supposed to grow out of empty assembly line pop, not grow into it.

Posted in: Tom DeLonge Says He’s Had Contact With Aliens And He’s In Danger Because Of What He Knows
#4 Cerebus | Feb 13th Score:-12

Then he should learn to write better.

Posted in: David Pajo Shares Thumbs Up From Hospital After Suicide Attempt
#3 Cerebus | Feb 13th Score:-13

Fuck any piece of shit who would be so callous as to give that statement a down vote. Y’all need to go follow Diplo’s twitter feed.

Posted in: David Pajo Shares Thumbs Up From Hospital After Suicide Attempt
#2 drummer729 | Feb 16th Score:-13

Conor Oberst’s accuser accused someone of rape before it was cool/trendy (insert Bill Cosby joke). Oh no, I made a rape joke. Daniel Tosh told rape jokes before it was cool/trendy.

Posted in: Hear Conor Oberst Discuss Rape Accusation With Marc Maron On WTF
#1

Kevin Broydrick | Feb 17th Score:-14

Shut up, Sia.

Posted in: Sia’s Already Recorded A New Album Titled This Is Acting

THIS WEEK’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S CHOICE

raptor jesus | Feb 14th Score:16

Dear d-tits,

I saw your question in the FJM AOTW thread a little late. Been a crazy week (I’ll explain below), but I will happily explain my “hatred” of fade outs now.

It all started in 2007 when my Aunt gave me a big spindle of burned CDs of various classic rock albums from her day and age. I popped in a greatest hits CD of The Police, and three songs in I was squish-facing the fact that every song had a fade out. I was doing research since I was going to Bonnaroo for the first (and last) time that year, so I was confused as to how they had all these famous songs with fade outs but would obviously have to give those songs proper endings live. Why not give me the proper ending on the album! I guess it seemed excessive to me to have every other song have a fade out, almost like a lazy, default ending.

To demonstrate my point, try this out the next time you’re listening to a song you like. Let’s say it’s a 5 minute song. 3 minutes into listening to it, take the volume on your Zune and turn it down little by little until it’s at 0. Feels like you’re cutting the song short? That’s how a lot of fade outs make me feel. I’m sitting there going, “Come on! Keep jamming for at least 1-2 more minute(s)!”

There are plenty of exceptions. mbv’s “only tomorrow” incorporates a fade out to end what I like to call “the infinite jam.” An infinite jam is when a song builds momentum until it reaches a melody that is so well earned and satisfying it could go on forever. Often times they will go on for quite a long time, until the fade out comes in to signify, to me, that the song is still going on somewhere in the world, forever. It’s a happy feeling, but you have to use the beginning of the song just right to be able to achieve that infinite jam. Then you have Women’s “Eyesore” that fades out, but if you listen closely, you can actually hear the song coming to a close. Fade outs at the end of albums are usually A-OK with me, since the fade out is being honored by preceding actual silence. It’s like you turned the volume down, shut down the system and closed the curtains. I could go on.

But it’s really crazy that you asked me about fade outs this week don don. It just so happens in the past two weeks I got to witness my dear grandma compose her own fade out. It started two weeks ago when we got her out of the hospital and back into her own bed. There she tried to speak with her family, though it was mostly unintelligible. A few days later it was less speaking and more sleeping. Soon after administering some morphine, it was just sleeping and breathing. This past Monday morning, the volume of her breathing went from 1 to 0, ending her life’s album. I’ve had loved ones just keel over and die, but never got to witness one transition so effortlessly, painlessly and peacefully from life to death. So I will say that a fade out can sometimes be very thoughtful by giving you an early heads up that something you love is about to end. It certainly makes the grieving process a little easier, as I feel my mimi achieved “infinite jam.”

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments