Entries tagged with: Pitchfork
photos by Fred Pessaro // BBG
The 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival kicked off in Union Park on Friday (7/13) afternoon after heavy rain slightly delayed the opening of the gates. Rain continued to be a theme of the day, but it couldn't stop the fun. Local garage rock greats Outer Minds played the first set, and the first great set of the day, followed by Jana Hunter's Lower Dens across the park which was the first set streamed live. The webcast continues today, Sunday, with Ty Segall, Real Estate, Chavez, Vampire Weekend and more.
More recaps from the weekend coming. For now, here are the pictures from Friday. One set is on BV Chicago. Another is here on BrooklynVegan, and they continue below...
On the roof at 47 Wooster St. for Pitchfork-presented Ryan McGinley opening.
There may be a surprise. (Ryan Schreiber)
Atlas Sound performing 'Te Amo' on the roof at 47 Wooster St, NYC
for Pitchfork-presented Ryan McGinley open (Ryan Schreiber)
Atlas Sound plays acoustic set in gallery after NYC cops
force performance indoors due to noise complaints (Ryan Schreiber)
"An exhibition of new work from the photographer Ryan McGinley opens this Wednesday at Team Gallery in SoHo. Technically, it's two exhibitions, because the gallery has two spaces, one at 83 Grand Street and one around the corner at 47 Wooster -- and McGinley's pictures will be at both. The Grand Street location is showing "Animals," studio-made photos of various creatures interacting with naked humans in sometimes cute and sometimes provocative ways. Wooster Street, meanwhile, has "Grids," photos taken at music festivals all over the world, including pictures from Bonnaroo that we commissioned for our Look pages last year." [NY Times]Atlas Sound is also DJing Glasslands this Saturday (5/5), after playing a set at BAM as part of the three day Crossing Brooklyn Ferry which begins TONIGHT (5/3).
In related news, Lotus Plaza just announced a tour. All Atlas Sound dates, including another Pitchfork event, are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
Hot Chip have signed to Domino Records who will put out the band's fifth album, In Our Heads, which will be out June 12 in all the popular formats. It will be the band's first since 2010's One Life Stand.
Hot Chip's only American show scheduled at this point is the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago on July 13, but a NYC show before or after seems likely. No music yet (or album art) at this early juncture, but the tracklisting is at the bottom of this post.
2012 is a busy year for Hot Chip, in and out of the group. Joe Goddard is one half of The 2 Bears whose debut album, Be Strong, came out back in January and is one of the more fun, danceable albums of the year so far. (You can stream it on Spotify.) Felix Martin and Al Doyle are two-thirds of New Build whose debut (very Roxy Music) is out April 3 via the band's own Lunark Recordings. New Build will be at SXSW and play Mercury Lounge March 13 and 14.
Tour dates and audio streams for New Build are below, plus 2 Bears videos and the In Our Heads tracklist...
by Andrew Sacher
Last week, Pitchfork posted their much anticipated top 50 albums of 2011 and their top 100 tracks of 2011. It's no huge surprise that Bon Iver took best album and that M83 took best track with "Midnight City," but some other choices were a little less expected.
PJ Harvey, who was basically unanimously the UK's choice for album of the year (says NME, Uncut, Mojo, The Guardian, and the Mercury Prize, among others) came in at #4, making it her first album of the new millennium to end up on a Pitchfork year-end list. Odd Future's Frank Ocean's Nostaliga, Ultra came in at #35, while the crew's ringleader Tyler, the Creator's Goblin was nowhere to be found (though "Yonkers" was named the 16th best track). The King of Limbs was the first Radiohead album released during Pitchfork's existence that didn't make the year-end list. Wild Flag and SBTRKT both released albums that initially surprised us by not getting "Best New Music" but have both ended up in the top 50. Liturgy's Aesthetica, which didn't end up on Pitchfork's best metal albums, though it was given an honorable mention, where Brandon Stosuy wrote, "In many ways it was the album of the year," came in at #41 on the top 50, the only metal album on the list.
As for the top 100 tracks, as usual, the higher rated tracks were pretty pop-dominated, with Nicki Minaj beating out the bulk of this year's indie rock. Some other odd ones made the list like Britney Spears, Kreayshawn, and Soulja Boy, but there were also some great tracks that went a little overlooked this year like Action Bronson's "Larry Csonka," Cities Aviv's "Coastin'" and Peaking Lights' "All The Sun That Shines" that made the list.
Both lists can be quickly viewed below...
Pitchfork offshoot Altered Zones has called it quits...
Dear friends,RIP Altered Zones.
Today, the road comes to an end. We are saying goodbye.
Altered Zones was launched in July 2010 with the mission of highlighting small-scale DIY music from all over the world, and we couldn't be more proud of the work we've done together during this past year and a half. We've helped new artists on the fringes of experimental music find likeminded fans, we've thrown a series of amazing events, and most importantly, we've built a community of devoted listeners seeking new and relatable voices outside the sphere of popular independent music.
This site began as a tight-knit collective of 14 music blogs with a common goal, but as many of our original contributors moved on from their blogs to start labels, run venues, create zines, and make music of their own, that original group has become increasingly splintered. We love what we've built, and the idea of it remaining as a sort of time capsule of this particular era of music feels right.
We don't view Altered Zones closing as an end in itself, but rather the end of one chapter and the opening of another. AZ editors Ric Leichtung and Emilie Friedlander will contribute to Pitchfork, and will launch a new project together called Ad Hoc in 2012. In the meantime, Altered Zones will be signing off tomorrow and Friday with our favorite quotes, songs you might've missed, and albums of 2011.
Thanks to everyone who counted themselves as a loyal reader of this site-- you are who we built this for. Thanks to everyone who contributed-- it could not have existed without you! And thanks to Pitchfork for creating and supporting this site since its inception, and for making it all possible in the first place. Happy 2012. We'll see you all again very soon...
Seven Sisters of Sleep at A389 2011 (more by BBG)
Seven Sisters of Sleep (mems Tafkata) are two for two with releases in 2011, dropping both their excellent debut and their similarly crushing split with Children of God this year. Get both at A389. Though no full East Coast trek has been planned, Seven Sisters of Sleep will join the great All Pigs Must Die, labelmates Low Places, and NYC's Grudges for an NYC date at Acheron on 1/20, just a few days after the always awesome A389 Anniversary show at Sonar in Baltimore with Eyehategod, Gehenna, and many others.
All Pigs Must Die was recently given an "honorable mention" in Pitchfork's top metal of 2011 list (though no shout out for Seven Sisters of Sleep). Check out the full list, along with some streaming APMD material and a few videos below...
Pitchfork Fest (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The online music magazine that runs the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago -- the influential outdoor showcase for indie bands -- has plans to start a new festival in New York City next February, teaming up with the one of city's largest music promoters, The Bowery Presents.
The new festival in New York will be called "Pitchfork Presents: Forms" and will include works by visual artists and game designers at galleries, museums and unconventional performance spaces around the city, along with four days of performances at clubs run by Bowery Presents, organizers said.
Christopher Kaskie, the president of Pitchfork, said his company had been seeking a way to do a festival in New York for several years, but did not think a large, outdoor event at a park, like the Chicago festival, would be successful in a city with such a crowded social calendar and so little public space.
"We never thought that kind of a model would really work that well in New York," he said. "We've been strategizing for a number of years on how we could come up and do a festival that was impactful and unique."
The decision was reached earlier this year to do most of the events inside at established clubs and to incorporate more visual artists and independent video-game designers into the mix, creating some multimedia events. "It's going to be more of an urban festival," he said.
John Moore, a partner in The Bowery Presents, said the lineup of bands for the concert had not been determined, but he expects to book between 50 and 75 acts, all in the indie vein. Passes to the entire festival will be available, but people may also buy a ticket to a single night of performances one of the promoter's clubs - The Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Bowery Ballroom, the Mercury Lounge and Terminal 5. The prices for tickets have yet to be announced. Those tickets will be in the $15 to $30 range. Some of the multimedia events at galleries, museums and unconventional spaces during the day will be free, he said. [NY Times]
UMO @ the recent Vice party (more by Ryan Muir)
As just mentioned, both DOM & Unknown Mortal Orchestra will make appearances in the "SmartLounge" at Thompson Hotel in NYC during CMJ. Both artists also play a Pitchfork/Brooklyn Brewery-sponsored event at the Aloft hotel on Duffield Street in Brooklyn on Saturday, 10/22. Unknown Mortal Orchestra plays later that same night at Brooklyn Bowl with Givers, Free Energy and others.
In November DOM heads out on tour with Architecture in Helsinki.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra are still currently on your with Toro y Moi and will tour in Novmeber with Gauntlet Hair who are also coming for CMJ. All UMO dates below...
MIA at Brooklyn Bowl (more by Chris Gersbeck)
M.I.A. released ("leaked") a new mixtape at 7pm EST on New Year's Eve. It features b-sides and rarities and is called Vicki Leekx. The nineteen song mix (which is actually a single track) features production from M.I.A., Danja, Munchi, Diplo, Blaqstarr, Switch, Rusko, Sugu Arulpragasam and So Japan.. Download it for the price of an email address.
Vicki Leekx (rhymes with Wiki Leaks) is the follow-up to 2010's / \ / \ / \ Y / \, which was recently awarded 5th "Most Underrated Album" of 2010 in the Pitchfork Readers Poll. MGMT were #1 on that list. MGMT were also #14 on the list of "Most Overrated" artists, and they have a new release this week too. Daytrotter released a live session by them today.
You can probably guess who got #1 on the "Most Overrated" list. Both Pitchfork lists in full and the VICKYLEEKX track list, below...
And the winner is... (obviously) Kanye West. Pitchfork posted their annual much-talked-about list of the best albums of 2010. Much like Rolling Stone, SPIN and others, Kanye's new album topped the list. Pitchfork's recipient for best song of the year, Ariel Pink, landed the 9th best album. Wavves, who they dissed pretty hard in 2009, was given the #50 spot this year (Best Coast got #39). Metal was represented by Kylesa at #44 (BBG's #21). You can scan the whole list below...
To be clear, Kanye West is not Michael Jackson. As he told MTV last month, "I do have a goal in this lifetime to be the greatest artist of all time, [but] that's very difficult being that I can't dance or sing." He ended the thought with a laugh, but you get the impression he's not kidding. Unlike Michael, he's not interested in scrubbing away bits of himself-- his blackness, his candidness-- to appease the masses. And while Jackson's own twisted fantasies of paranoia and betrayal eventually consumed him whole, West is still aware of his illusions, though that mindfulness becomes increasingly unmoored with each newspaper-splashing controversy. The balance is tenuous, but right now it's working to his advantage. On Twisted Fantasy, Kanye is crazy enough to truly believe he's the greatest out there. And, about a decade into his career, the hardworking perfectionist has gained the talent on the mic and in the control room to make a startlingly strong case for just that.PREVIOUSLY: NY Times says Kanye West 'seems virtually incapable of making a bad album'
[Ryan Dombal, Pitchfork, Best New Music]
Matthew Dear @ MHOW in 2008 (more by Bao Nguyen)
As mentioned, Pitchfork will be hosting three days of shows at Brooklyn Bowl during, but-it-looks-like/probably completely unaffiliated with, CMJ this year (Thursday/Friday/Saturday CMJ week). "Brooklyn Bowl is located at 61 Wythe Avenue between N. 11th and N. 12th streets. The festival starts at 2 p.m. each day, with doors opening at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10, both in advance and day of the show." They're calling it the #OFFLINE Festival.
Based on the lineups and start time, it looks like each #OFFLINE day will be about a 12 hour show. No set times yet though, but the full lineups and ticket links are below...
Matthew Dear is one of the biggest names on the list (he plays Saturday), and it will be one of three CMJ week shows for Matthew. His first is Friday night at Webster Hall with Jamaica and Dominique Young Unique. His third is later on Saturday at Public Assembly for the FIXED/Making Time Party with Matthew Dear, Crocodiles, Holy Ghost!, Javelin, Gold Panda, Jamaica, and Kisses.
The FIXED/Making Time party starts after the BrooklynVegan party which is also happening at Public Assembly that same day. Just to be clear:
SATURDAY OCTOBER 23RD
* BrooklynVegan @ Public Assembly 12-6pm (free - more details TBA)
* FIXED/Making Time @ Public Assembly 9pm-late (tickets)
* Pitchfork @ Brooklyn Bowl 2pm-late (tickets)
* BrooklynVegan metal @ Union Pool 7pm-late ($5.00 or CMJ badge at the door)
We (BrooklynVegan) will also be at Public Assembly all day on Friday, October 22nd (details TBA), and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on the Thursday night.
All Matthew Dear tour dates (many of which we previously posted including a November show at MHoW), and the Pitchfork #OFFLINE Fest info, below...
Marnie Stern @ the Rock Shop on 10/5 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Marnie Stern @ CMJ 2010
Oct 20 2010 6:00P - CMJ Terrorbird @ Cake Shop
Oct 20 2010 11:00P - CMJ Stereogum/PopGun @ Santos Party House
Oct 21 2010 10:30P - CMJ Kanine Records @ The Pyramids
Oct 22 2010 3:30P - CMJ Redeye/Village Voice @ Bowery Electric
Oct 22 2010 5:30P - CMJ Pitchfork @ Brooklyn Bowl
Oct 23 2010 12:00A - CMJ NME @ The Delancey
Oct 23 2010 ?:00P - CMJ Brooklyn Vegan @ PUBLIC ASSEMBLY
(Pitchfork will apparently be at Brooklyn Bowl for Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
(save the dates!)
photos by Benjamin Lozovsky
"This M.I.A. album is unforgivable. Y'all put her on the cover of your magazines before actually hearing this thing, right?" - Chris Weingarten
"every1 who came 2nite to PS1 TO REP the LP Release party THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU! !!!!!! i dint get to say it coz the cop turn my sound off!.." - _M_I_A_
M.I.A. @ The Creators Project in June
"The record is a shambling mess, devoid of the bangers that characterized Arular and Kala, two of the stronger pop albums of the past decade. It aims to capture a technological and cultural zeitgeist in its over-stimulated, digitally degraded sound, but the songs are too flimsy to carry her bold conceit. Without compelling tunes, the obnoxious public antics, dubious political messages, and thin voice that had grated on her naysayers have become impossible for even dedicated fans to ignore. It's as if everything that was great about M.I.A. has been stripped from this music, leaving behind only the most alienating aspects of her art and public persona." [Pitchfork (Matthew Perpetua) gave / \ / \ / \ Y / \ a 4.4]M.I.A.'s new album is streaming on MySpace.
M.I.A.'s next NYC show is on Governors Island.
M.I.A.'s last NYC show was at PS1 last night, Sunday, July 11th, sort of. As previously mentioned, she was only scheduled to play a very short set, and as you can see by her tweet above, that set was cut even shorter (by actors pretending to be cops. just kidding! well, you never know).
interview by Billy Jones, top photo by Ryan Muir
Dom, pictured above playing at a party inside Pitchfork's Brooklyn offices on Tuesday night, are in town to play two Northside Festival shows. The first happens tonight, Thursday, June 24th, at the Knitting Factory. Dom opens for Cloud Nothings and WAVVES. That show is sold out. After that it's Saturday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg aka the BrooklynVegan showcase with Zaza, Twin Sister, and Memory Tapes. That one still has tickets available. Both shows are also accessible with a Northside Festival badge (first come, first served, capacity permitting, etc).
Billy Jones (you may have read his recent interview with Dave Sitek) caught up with Dom (the person) via gchat on Wednesday. They talked about Dom (the group), the Pitchfork party, Cults, gingers (they both are), Total Slacker, salvia, Party Expo, merch and more...
Billy: sup man
Dom: nothing much. chillin.
Billy: i am ginger
Dom: sick! u kno we are less than 10 percent population
Billy: have you seen the M.I.A. video?
Dom: yes i have
Billy: how do you feel about mia? i am left handed and ginger. fucked.
Dom: i love mia. yeah i wasnt really moved one way or another by the vid. great concept, butttt, i could have done it better
The Very Best @ Santos Party House in November (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
The Very Best will be playing shows in North America leading up to SXSW, where the group has sets scheduled including the Pitchfork official showcase at The Scoot Inn on March 20th, and additional shows around Sasquatch in May (and the Roots Picnic in June). Those dates, the full Pitchfork party lineup, and videos are below...
Animal Collective @ ATP NY (more by Ryan Muir)
So how the hell did Merriweather Post Pavilion-- an album closer in spirit to the sub-aquatic psychedelia of 2005's Feels and Panda Bear's 2007 solo Person Pitch than its predecessor-- wind up in the Billboard Top 20 and outsell both the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand's most recent albums in North America? That mystery is ultimately the most wonderful thing about the album. Unlike so many indie-rock crossover artists before them, Animal Collective did not breach the mainstream by cleaning up their act, or adopting classic-rock conventions, or scoring a strategic soundtrack or iPod-commercial placement. And, above all, they did little to formalize their defining mercurial quality. [Pitchfork]Pitchfork posted their Top 50 Albums of 2009.
Animal Collective is DJing the Museum of Natural History in January.
DOWNLOAD: Big Boi f. Gucci Mane, "Shine Blockas" (MP3)
In theory, she was an artist you want to root for-- all these ideas about art and celebrity and a flair for the dramatic. But the first few singles made the Lady Gaga project feel so presumptuous, her artsy entitlement overwhelming her songs' occasional strengths. "Bad Romance" was the moment where the music didn't just live up to the (self-inflated) hype, but surpassed it. The track is epic in construction-- by the time she gets to the bridge, more than three minutes in, the realization that there are hooks yet to come is thrilling. It helps that RedOne's production matches the songwriting's torrential drama; the churning, earth-shifting low-frequency synths are a programmatic reflection of the singer's unsteady, perhaps unwise, infatuation. But it's Gaga's performance, the wholly unapologetic fools-rush-in carnal energy, that commitment to emotional bravery in a context of increasingly twee chart pop, that makes "Bad Romance" feel so necessary. --David Drake [39. Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"]Pitchfork posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2009. Lady Gaga took two spots.
Neon Indian is also on there twice, which is the the same amount of times they're playing Mercury Lounge (Tuesday and Wednesday night).
The video for the 21st best song, below...
Trend You Wish Would Go Away
- 90s revivalism (No Age, Japandroids, Cymbals Eat Guitars)
- Afropop indie (Dirty Projectors, Fool's Gold, Abe Vigoda)
- Animal Collective acolytes (Blind Man's Colour, Our Brother the Native, USF)
- Balearic (jj, John Talabot, Windsurf/Hatchback)
- Chillwave/glo-fi (Washed Out, Neon Indian, Nite Jewel)
- Dubstep and its offshoots (wonky, funky, bassline)
- Post-Lily Allen UK pop (La Roux, Little Boots, Florence and the Machine)
- Prim, buttoned-up indie (Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, St. Vincent)
- Shitgaze/lo-fi aesthetics (Times New Viking, Wavves, Vivian Girls)
DOWNLOAD: Girls - Lust for Life (MP3)
Happy Monday. I'm still wiped out from this past post-CMJ Halloween World Series weekend, but three notable indie rock tours hit town tonight (11/2) (the night the Yankees might win it all in Philadelphia). Luckily all three tours include at least two NYC-area chances to to see the bands, though some will be harder to get tickets for than others.
First up is Girls.
Owens and White first united as roommates in San Francisco, but their lives couldn't have started out more differently. While White was playing in punk bands in his parents' Santa Cruz garage and going to recording school, Owens was growing up as part of the Slovenian sect of the Children of God cult, where secular music was forbidden unless one of the cult's adults decided to indulge the younger members' desire to learn the occasional Beatles or 1960s folk tune. [SFBG]Touring behind their great new True Panther/Matador "album", Girls are now in demand. They probably could have added a 2nd NYC show to their itinerary, but instead they kept it modest. They'll play a single show at Maxwell's in Hoboken (tonight), and then one at Bowery Ballroom (11/6), both of which are with Real Estate and completely sold out.
For those counting, Pitchfork recently gave the Girls album a 9.1. Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors are the only two albums that got higher ratings from the website this year, and only three other "Best New" albums got as high as a 9.0 in 2009. Those are Grizzly Bear, the Flaming Lips, and the new... Fuck Buttons.
Fuck Buttons' "Tarot Sport" was released on October 20th via ATP Recordings. The band kicked off their tour in support of it last night (11/1) in Northampton, MA. Tonight, 11/2, the show is at Bowery Ballroom.
I think they're also back on November 27th to play Market Hotel though that show has disappeared from existence... maybe just temporarily because tickets are still available for tonight's Bowery show. Growing play on all dates, and These are Powers also open tonight. Updated dates below.
These Are Powers also play Glasslands with Soft Circle and three bands from China on November 6th (more about that later), and a Cinema 16 show at Galapagos on November 21st ("we will be performing a live, original score for PSAs from the 50s and 60s").
Finally, speaking of cinema, UK band Noah and the Whale screened a movie upstairs at Pianos last night. Today (11/2), they kick off a three night run at Mercury Lounge. Robert Francis opens all three shows, and each night has a different first-of-three opener. Tonight it's Alex and Janel. Tuesday is Essie Jain. Wednesday is Sharon Van Etten. Tickets are still available for all three shows. Video from a recent BBC Radio 1 live session, below...
photos by Leia Jospe
Though the Saturday night Pitchfork-curated Showpaper-benefit show at Market Hotel promised two special guest headliners, the addition of Cold Cave, who played before Cymbals Eat Guitars, was the only lineup change come Saturday (10/24).
The lineup, which also featured Delorean, Real Estate, the Smith Westerns, Javelin, Small Black, Bear in Heaven, Surfer Blood and Highlife, highlighted some of CMJ's busiest, most talked-about acts - especially nice since, unlike much of CMJ, Market Hotel is an all-ages venue. Aside from sound problems causing bands to cut out, it seems like it was a great night.
DJ's on the bill for the early-morning party afterwards included Lemonade, Neon Indian/Alan Palomo, Jaime from the xx and 20 Jazz Funk Greats (and Pitchfork also lists Deerhunter's Moses Archuleta as one of the people who spun).
I personally didn't make it over to the Brooklyn show, though I caught The Smith Westerns and a face-melting set by an under-the-weather-frontman-fronted Cymbals Eat Guitars earlier the same day at the BrooklynVegan/Bowery Presents show at Pianos. I also stuck around Pianos that night and saw an awesome danceable set by Spain's Delorean at the True Panther show at midnight (after their set at Market Hotel) - definitely one of the best new bands I caught at CMJ for the first time.
Leia, who also saw Cymbals Eat Guitars at Pianos, made it to Market Hotel in time to see Real Estate, Delorean, Cold Cave and Cymbals Eat Guitars (she then took off and went to the Above the Auto Parts). The rest of her pictures, below...
UPDATE 2: Domino just posted this to their website (thx Philip!)...
UPDATE 3: Domino's header can be updated by anyone?!? (thx J!)...
UPDATE: "Fall Be Kind" (if it exists) is not to be confused with the just-announced Campfire Songs re-release scheduled for January 2010. The press release for that one is below....
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.