Ryan Leas

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Desert Daze 2018 Was An Oasis Among American Festivals

For years now, Desert Daze has arrived in October like a mirage in the landscape to which it owes its name. It's a sudden oasis,…
Ryan Leas | October 15, 2018 - 2:49 pm

Westerman – “Albatross” Video

Earlier this year, we named the London-based singer-songwriter Westerman an Artist To Watch based on his stunning single "Confirmation." Since then, he's continued to release…
Ryan Leas | October 10, 2018 - 1:55 pm

Premiere

Keegan Powell – “The Door”

Up until now, Keegan Powell's work could mostly be heard within the context of the Captured Tracks band Chastity, for whom he serves as guitarist…
Ryan Leas | September 27, 2018 - 10:00 am

Premiere

Annika Zee – “Lydia”

Originally from Toronto, Annika Zee is a New York-based musician who takes a holistic approach to her work: songwriting, production, concepts and visuals, all of…
Ryan Leas | September 25, 2018 - 11:01 am

The Anniversary

Dear Science Turns 10

By 2008, TV On The Radio were already revered. Having emerged from New York's early '00s rock renaissance, the band immediately set themselves apart from…
Ryan Leas | September 24, 2018 - 12:49 pm

Interview

Ryley Walker On His Unlikely Dave Matthews Band Covers Album

Back in May, Ryley Walker released his fourth album Deafman Glance. It marked the most significant transformation in an already shape-shifting career, finding Walker miles…
Ryan Leas | September 24, 2018 - 9:51 am

Cover Story

Diarrhea Planet Is Dead, Long Live Diarrhea Planet

Here is an epitaph: They did everything wrong.
Ryan Leas | September 19, 2018 - 1:23 pm

Sounding Board

Music From Beyond: Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden At 30

In pop history, there have been all sorts of shocking transformations. Bands who began in a logical place relative to their time and scene and…
Ryan Leas | September 17, 2018 - 12:01 pm

Interview

Auf Der Maur, Off The Grid

Back in the '90s, Melissa Auf der Maur rose to prominence as the bassist of Hole. But even then, the mechanisms and visibility of being…
Ryan Leas | September 12, 2018 - 2:25 pm

Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Low Double Negative

These days, there is a constant and seemingly endless supply of new music at our fingertips. If you work as music journalist, you get thousands…
Ryan Leas | September 11, 2018 - 11:46 am

Line & Circle – “Full Disclosure”

Almost three years ago, the LA-by-way-of-Ohio band Line & Circle released their debut album Split Figure. For fans of '80s college rock, it was a…
Ryan Leas | September 7, 2018 - 3:31 pm

Cover Story

One More Voyage With Spiritualized

Have you ever really stopped and thought about what it must be like to go to space? We've spent our entire existence as a species…
Ryan Leas | September 5, 2018 - 2:34 pm

Kitten – “Secrets” & “Mercury”

Kitten have existed for a while, mostly in rather different iterations. So their 2018 return has been exciting, a band reemerging with a new sense…
Ryan Leas | August 31, 2018 - 12:32 pm

Premiere

Viagra Boys – “Just Like You,” “Up All Night,” & “Special Helmet”

Though they've been kicking around for a couple years, the ridiculously-named Swedish post-punk outfit Viagra Boys really started generating some buzz earlier this summer, upon…
Ryan Leas | August 30, 2018 - 9:14 am

Desert Daze 2018 Adds Slowdive, Wooden Shjips, Idles, & More

Whether you're looking for an antidote to the sameness of many major American festivals or whether you're looking for the opportunity to watch a bunch…
Ryan Leas | August 28, 2018 - 1:04 pm

Comments from Ryan Leas

This occurred to me while writing about the Low album last week, too. And I almost brought that in here, but I probably could've written a whole other piece on top of this about all the ways in which you could hear echoes of these albums, and I gotta draw the line somewhere.
+6 |
September 17, 2018 on Music From Beyond: Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden At 30
FWIW, we did have a long conversation about how Hudson has changed, gentrification, and being conscientious of such things. This interview was just really long and there were parts that had to go, but just wanted to throw that out there. And when I told her I was from a similar area, Scranton was the place I was referring to lol
+7 |
September 12, 2018 on Auf Der Maur, Off The Grid
So years ago I did a goofy list of "I'm On Fire" covers here, and I've had to listen to wayyyy too many renditions. I agree those are all some of the best (the Electrelane was a nice surprise) but there was one I didn't know about then that's just recently become one of my favorites. Last year we did an Artist To Watch on this Finnish musician Mikko Joensuu. He released three solo albums at once, a lot of it kinda strung-out-gospel-ambient shit, sort of Spiritualized vibes at times. But he had this old space-rock band Joensuu 1685 (the other two members of which went on to form Siinai and play with Spencer Krug for some of the Moonface releases). They just got back together and I saw them play in Helsinki about two weeks ago, for Flow Festival. There was a warm-up gig the night before the fest, at a tiny club. And halfway through the set they locked into this 5 minute groove, then out of nowhere Mikko stepped up to the mic and started singing the opening lyrics to "I'm On Fire." In person, it was a total shocker, and sounded incredible - think like, if pre-Lost In The Dream War On Drugs had done a 10 minute, buzzing, uptempo "I'm On Fire" interpretation. Here's a live video from back in Joensuu 1685's initial run, in the late '00s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd2q7CajWkg Doesn't quite do it justice in terms of how hypnotic-then-cathartic it is to see them actually play it in person, and now Mikko kinda yelps/screams the lyrics more so the eventual payoff after the long intro is even more intense. But anyway, this is my roundabout way of saying this is a song I've heard a million times by a million people and finally heard it fresh again in Helsinki, out of nowhere. I think there's also an old recorded version of it floating around.
+5 |
August 22, 2018 on Soccer Mommy – “I’m On Fire” (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
When I was first getting into the Stones, I didn't get why that one had a lesser reputation, but then I didn't go back to it for years...funny yr all discussing this, since I recently started listening to Goats Head Soup again after continuously getting "Dancing With Mr. D" stuck in my head out of nowhere. "Coming Down Again" is gorgeous, "Can You Hear The Music" is a great warped summer song. I think it's just one of those albums that suffers by proximity; I like the burnt-out bleariness of it (and, I think, the real beginnings of '70s sleaze Stones), but it's hard to live up as the successor to what (on most days) I'd call the best album of all time.
+4 |
August 17, 2018 on The Number Ones: The Rolling Stones’ “Get Off Of My Cloud”
Is this a callback to a certain New Order Q&A from last year?
+7 |
June 8, 2018 on Dr. Martens Releases Joy Division & New Order Boots
The Technique ones are so lurid I kinda love them but if I actually bought one of these I'd have to go with PC&L...better design, better album.
+7 |
June 8, 2018 on Dr. Martens Releases Joy Division & New Order Boots
I mean, yeah, I hear you, I love that one too. "Your Silent Face" is just this whole other world though. Feel like I'm still discovering that song over and over all these years later. Also, if you open it up to the non-album tracks from that era you've got "Thieves Like Us" to contend with, too.
+5 |
June 8, 2018 on Dr. Martens Releases Joy Division & New Order Boots
I actually haven't had a chance to see them live yet, but I am tonight, on release day. Pretty psyched.
+6 |
June 8, 2018 on Stream Flasher’s Infectious Debut Album Constant Image
Personally, this week is Flasher Week for me and nothing else but...I did say "one of" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
+9 |
June 8, 2018 on Stream Flasher’s Infectious Debut Album Constant Image
https://twitter.com/pattymo/status/992521717795958785
+56 |
May 4, 2018 on Smash Mouth Mouth Smash
I think it's the main one that could rival it, personally. I swear I remember Scott referring to TMOF as their "second best album" at one of those shows and I was wondering which he'd consider #1 if that was the case ... feel like it could be Pedestrian Verse
+6 |
April 13, 2018 on The Midnight Organ Fight Turns 10
I've always loved "Raindrops + Sunshowers" and thought I was completely alone in this. My favorite of the MACHINA era, potentially. As for others you shouted out...those Mellon Collie cuts like "Fuck You," "Porcelina," "XYU," "Bodies"...they're indeed all songs people don't seem to shout out as much. When I first got this album at about 15 or 16, those were some of the highlights for me actually. "Porcelina" is still one of my favorites. Nice to see you and a few others mention "Sweet Sweet" as well. It's such a perfect, weird, beautiful little song.
+3 |
February 15, 2018 on The 10 Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs
I was *this close* to knocking off "Drown" for "Real Love" but that would've been a more idiosyncratic, totally personal 10 best.
+5 |
February 15, 2018 on The 10 Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs
Been meaning to — I actually heard mixed things about that one but I definitely want to check it out.
+5 |
February 8, 2018 on Is Microsoft’s Paul Allen The New Jimi Hendrix? An Investigation
I'm not totally sure where this came from but you're completely right on JJS. That book's incredible.
+3 |
February 8, 2018 on Is Microsoft’s Paul Allen The New Jimi Hendrix? An Investigation
You don't know how tempted I was to put that on the list. I saw them do that with the "All My Friends" tag in 2015, before they were doing it frequently, and hearing them unexpectedly play a mash-up of my two favorite songs just about knocked me out.
+8 |
February 5, 2018 on The 10 Best Hot Chip Songs
Yeah me either, but maybe you're right — it just sounds kinda bleak, thanks to the production and some of the songwriting, compared to a lot of their other records. But man, you're talking about an album that's got something as weird and beautiful as "Of The Girl" next to "Insignificance," or the pairing of "Light Years" and "Nothing As It Seems." It's always been more than a stretch to consider it their weakest, IMO.
+4 |
February 5, 2018 on Yield Turns 20
Thanks man! Had been waiting a long time to write about this one
+4 |
February 5, 2018 on Yield Turns 20
I like that they do the slowburn opener into a rocker, it's a great way to build dramatic tension ahead of a long show that's going to go in a lot of different directions. I think they used to do "Long Road" into "Hail Hail" a bit? Maybe that's just a dream setlist I'm doing in my head. Regardless, I'm in the camp that thinks "Low Light" is kind of an odd one with which to do so. It's just a pretty ballad, not a scene-setting, world-opening track like "Release" or "Long Road."
+4 |
February 5, 2018 on Yield Turns 20
I put "Light Years" on my (admittedly pretty idiosyncratic) 10 Best PJ songs list back in 2013 and half the comments were people losing their shit over a Binaural song being on there. There are certainly some overlooked gems on that one. That being said, I might ride for Riot Act as the most underrated/wrongfully-maligned album of theirs ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
+5 |
February 5, 2018 on Yield Turns 20
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