Entries tagged with: Best of
by Andrew Sacher
The Beach Boys are unquestionably one of America's biggest legacy bands, but music nerds of a certain variety know they're also way more than that. They weren't just a fun-in-the-sun band that churned out hits in the early '60s and lived off of them for the rest of their career; they were a challenging pop band who broke boundaries and released music that still sounds vital today. Forget Beatles vs Stones; when it comes to all-time groundbreaking pop, it's Beatles vs Beach Boys.
Pet Sounds is their obvious classic, and it turns 50 this May. The band's mastermind Brian Wilson is playing the album in full on a tour this year that hits Red Bank in NJ, Levitation fest in Austin, Primavera Sound in Spain, and many more spots.
The great and storied (and eventually released) Smile was supposed to follow that, but was aborted after Mike Love's objection to it and the label's demand for a deadline. Brian's mental health also got in the way.
Their power was in more than just those two albums though. There are hardly any Beach Boys albums that don't have at least one worthy song, and as far as this list is concerned, they've got 28 albums. (We're counting Smile and not counting Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, as it's just re-recordings of older songs. No compilations, live albums or strictly-covers albums either.)
Even by The Beatles' breakup, The Beach Boys had released more, and they've currently put out more than The Rolling Stones. They were an unfuckwithable force in pop music into the early '70s, and a few moments of greatness even existed after that. With this list, we attempt to rank the discography of one of pop's greatest bands from worst to best. Let us know how you agree or disagree in the comments, and read on...
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Grimes at M for Montreal 2015 (more by Bruno Destombes)
OutKast - StankoniaIn some ways, you could say Art Angels sounds like a mix of those five albums, right? She discusses each one too, and you can read everything she has to say here.
Tool - Aenima
Beyoncé - Beyoncé
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
OutKast, Tool, Beyonce, and Animal Collective all also appear on her song list.
by Andrew Sacher
Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can check out the full list below...
It's not just you: Over the last five years, there's been a seismic shift in the way we engage with music. We tweet, tumbl, stream, and share our favorite songs; we scour dead links and navigate obtrusive pop-ups for the newest mixtapes; we watch our music videos on Youtube and Vevo. We watched the explosion of EDM, the birth of drill, the rise and fall of chillwave. We debated how to pronounce FKA twigs, whether the album was dead, and where Bobby Shmurda's hat went. We met Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Grimes, Jessie Ware, Disclosure, Miguel, and Charli XCX. We saw LCD Soundsystem break up, Neutral Milk Hotel reunite, and My Bloody Valentine release a new album--a shooting star if there ever was one. [Pitchfork]By the end of this year it will be halfway through the current decade, and to mark that, Pitchfork is posting lists of the best tracks, albums, and videos of the decade so far, this week. Today, they put out their list of the top 200 tracks. Like most of Pitchfork's 'top tracks' lists, it ranges from big names to underdogs in indie, electronic, hip hop and more, plus a few huge radio-pop songs sprinkled in. Can you guess what made #1?
Check out the full list HERE and browse the top 20, below...
Presented without comment:
Chelsea Light Moving at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Thurston Moore, the guitar visionary of Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving and many other collaborations (he just wrapped up a residency at The Stone with various collaborators), is set to receive The Fly's Living Legend Award in London this February, and ahead of that The Fly asked him to list his Favorite Songs of All Time.
That list includes songs by Patti Smith, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, T. Rex, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Lou Reed, Beach Boys, David Bowie, Minor Threat, Black Flag and more. Check out his full list below...
by Andrew Sacher
Grimes at ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Whether it's to criticize her or praise her, it's hard to deny that people like talking about Grimes' musical opinions. Her top 10 albums of 2012 list included the most pop (Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber) AND the least pop (Swans), and she totally meant it too. She's defended Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and pop music in general, and denied accusations of trolling when her Boiler Room set included Taylor Swift, Maria Carey, Ramones, Skrillex, and others.
Grimes has now published a list to her tumblr of her favorite songs of all time. It continues her trend of pulling from pop and experimental music with songs from Burial, Mariah Carey, Joanna Newsom, Beyonce, Mazzy Star, Skrillex, Animal Collective, Butthole Surfers, Paramore and more. It's not only newer stuff though, she's also got Patsy Cline, Prince, and Enya, among others.
Check out her whole list (subject to change), via Exclaim, below...
Stereogum listed the "40 Best New Bands of 2010". They have a lot more detail, but you can also check out their list, alphabetically, below...
NPR and Stereogum both posted results of listener/reader polls. At Stereogum the contest is known as the Gummy Awards (an annual event). NPR titles it, "All Songs Considered Listeners Pick The Best Music Of 2009". Both lists rank "Best Album of 2009". Both ended up with Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective in the top two spots, but AC took #1 at Stereogum while GB triumphed at NPR. Both lists below...
photos by Lori Baily
Here's a second set of pictures from night one of Sonic Youth at Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 24th (part of their three recent NYC shows). Unlike the first set though, this post also has shots of that night's opener Talk Normal (including some impromptu behind-the-scene portraits with the headliner). Talk Normal play NYC next on Saturday, December 5th at Secret Project Robot with Air Waves, US Girls and Total Slackers.
SY member Lee Ranaldo sat down with WFNX (the broadcast cousin of The Boston Phoenix) before their show there to discuss his favorite albums, SY and otherwise, of the decade...
WFNX: But you, Lee, what's the album from Sonic Youth you think is pivotal to this decade?Lee goes on to name his top three of the decade, listed chronologically as Bob Dylan - Love and Theft (released 9/11), Cat Power - You Are Free (I can get behind these choices) and Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle (one of my favorites of 2009 too). The full video interview and more pictures and tour dates, below...
Lee:I would say for this decade, it's The Eternal, the most recent one. Because in a way I think it really - it's so cool at the end of this decade when we've been playing together for so long to be really energized about the most recent music you've made. The aughts started for us with Murray Street, made in New York City in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and all that. Sonic Nurse we made with Jim O'Rourke, and then we made another record, Rather Ripped, on our own, and then we hooked up with Mark, Mark Ibold on bass, and made this one, and it bodes well for the future that we're having a lot of fun with this one.
Tinariwen @ Le Poisson Rouge (more by Tim Griffin)
Tinariwen are touring North America in the first quarter of 2010. Tickets recently went on sale for 2 NYC shows. It's a long journey for the band from Northern Mali (assuming they still live there), and it's a chance for us to again see the artists who made the "best world music album" of the decade (according to the Times Online)...
"The Tuaregs' debut, recorded in a Saharan radio station, is the sound of the sands, stones and emptiness, filtered through a woozy wall of guitars. Today they are genuine rock stars, but this, in all its ragged glory, is the one."Their whole list is below...
The December issue of Q Magazine is an 'Artists Of The Century' special edition, covering all of the acts that the fine staff of the good ship Q feel are the most important of the century so far. As befitting a special edition of the UK best selling music monthly requires a special cover was commissioned world renowned photographer John Wright has spent over a year shooting 34 artists to fit on triple fold out cover.What do you get when you throw Pitchfork's favorite albums in a blender with NME's? Q's favorite albums of 2009 are (questionable & very UK-centric and) listed below..
The issue is packed to the gills with pieces written by Russell Brand on Noel Gallagher, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis on Coldplay and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme on The Arctic Monkeys. In addition it also includes exclusive interviews and photos from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Dizzee Rascal, U2, Dave Grohl, Lily Allen, Rihanna, Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Brandon Flowers from The Killers, Elbow's Guy Garvey, Pink, Muse's Matt Bellamy, Murdoc from Gorillaz, The Kings Of Leon, Mark Ronson, Mika, Nick Cave, Robert Plant, Florence Welch, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol and Tom Chaplin of Keane.
He actually published this list in August, but in case you missed it...
Screaming Females @ The Yard - 8/29/09 (more by Sarahana)
Screaming Females just played a show with the So So Glos on Wednesday night at The Bell House. Did you go? How was it? Earlier in the month the NJ-based band's drummer Jarrett Dougherty posted a list of his favorite albums of 2009. Check out what he wrote, below...
Baroness @ Bowery Ballroom - 11/20/2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
BBG will publish his own list of the best metal albums of 2009, but in the meantime here's what Decibel Magazine had to say:
Daft Punk's first album had helped refresh house music in the mid 1990s; the second went further, rewriting electronic pop's pleasure principles to such a degree that when it came out a lot of people thought Discovery must be a put-on. They took the joy in the record for irony. Rather, the band had simply plunged into the raw popstuff of their 70s childhoods, from AOR to disco, Buggles to Manilow, rock to robotics. They wanted their listeners to get the rush of context-free delight they had hearing music as kids, and on "Aerodynamic" and "Digital Love" they succeeded wildly, dissolving a decade-plus of dance music good taste. And not all of Discovery looked back. The middle of the album is house music as string theory, with the duo finding dimensions of pleasure coiled within the tiniest loops: "Crescendolls" releases an awesome, gleeful energy by repeatedly triggering one five-second sample.Daft Punk grabbed the #3 spot on Pitchfork's list of the Top 200 albums of the 2000s (now fully announced) (yesterday they were only up to #21). The top 20 are also listed below...
Discovery was simply the decade's best good-times record, with Daft Punk as pyramid-toting party wizards and the chipmunk Kraftwerk of "Harder Better Faster Stronger" their anthem. But this most celebratory of records has a bittersweet streak, too: Daft Punk know that a rush always carries the risk of exhaustion. Perhaps the album's most underappreciated track is the sad but gorgeous "Short Circuit", a three-minute robot graveyard of crumbled transistors and dying LEDs. But from Romanthony's first blissful, vocoded shout of "one more time!" the dominant emotion on Discovery is joy. A joy that wasn't afraid to be sentimental and funny as well as hard and futuristic, and is all the better for that. When a generation looks back and tries to catch a fuzzy hold of the music that made them happy this decade, Daft Punk's will be top of the list. --Tom Ewing [Pitchfork]
The backstory has been repeated so often with such insistence that three years later it's become a mythic tall tale: Guy breaks up band in North Carolina, decamps to the wilds of Wisconsin, makes a record originally intended to be heard by almost nobody. But what happened next is much more interesting: After Justin Vernon made 500 copies and distributed them himself, the album is picked up by indie juggernaut Jagjaguwar, gets big props from Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, holds up to hundreds of repeat listens, and get thousands of festivalgoers singing along solemnly to "The Wolves". Quiet and folkily ambient, For Emma, Forever Ago is an impassioned cry too compelling not to become heard. From those opening strums to the "Flume" to the closing hums of "Re: Stacks", the album communicates acute loneliness and nurses a pain that has dulled but obviously not died-- which is perhaps our own romantic view of ourselves. It's easy to get caught up in the stories surrounding this out-of-nowhere album, but the music pulls you back to the real world. --Stephen M. DeusnerThat's Pitchfork's description of the 29th best album of the decade (part of the top 200), Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. They will announce the top 20 on Friday. What will they be? In Rainbows got #21. Vampire Weekend was #51. Outkast put out the best song.