35 Albums in 35 Years: 1980

In an ongoing attempt to bleed my opinions all over your computer screen, I’m selecting one album from every year that I’ve been alive that has some sort of significance to me…and then writing about it.  Welcome back to 35 Albums in 35 Years.

 

joydivisioncloser1980: Joy Division’s Closer

The Phenomenom of The 1975 & Concert Review @ The Rave, Milwaukee, WI

Preshow portal of The 1975 (photo: joe grez/sesame)

Preshow portal of The 1975 (photo: joe grez/sesame)

In Defense of Stone Temple Pilots

Any popular movement or genre (or sub-genre for that matter) of art or music is bound to spawn imitators.  And those imitators spawn imitators who spawn imitators and so on and so forth, until like a copy of a copy of a copy, the original model is so pale and so degraded that it’s impossible to see how awesome and majestic it once was.  Such was the case with the grunge music scene of the 1990’s whose initial monster acts gave way to wave after wave of cheap knock-off bands, polished turds of which many are still trolling the reunions circuits and bargain bins of Walmarts across the country.  Stone Temple Pilots surfaced during the heyday of the second wave, and while they sold millions of records, the band was critically derided and often criticized as aping a sound that did not belong to them.  While those comparisons and critiques were justified in the beginning (and at the end), the group grew organically over their subsequent releases, culminating in two excellent albums that stand out as some of the best music of the genre and the decade, rivaling much of the work of their predecessors.

Album Review: Polvo ‘Siberia’

Polvo_Siberia_LP_11183Of all the recently reunited 90s Alt Rock outfits, the lesser spotted Polvo stake a more valid claim than most to a second stab at existence, having not really been paid their dues the first time around. Unlike most reunions, Polvo’s wasn’t necessarily fuelled by a groundswell of born again devotees voting with their feet for reappraisal, and it might just be this lack of expectation that has them sounding like no time at all has passed between their demise in 1998 and their reformation a decade later. Despite some deceptively pedestrian Indie distortion slinging, the woozy cephalopodic tremolo and angle grinding of Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski’s intermingling riffs fray at the ends with non sequiturs that distort the space and time signatures of Brian Quast’s beats and Steve Popson’s humming undercurrent.

Why Coachella 2013 and YouTube got it Right

Coachella and YouTube team up to bring music to the world. (Courtesy of Coachella Music + Arts Festival)

Coachella and YouTube team up to bring music to the world. (Courtesy of Coachella Music + Arts Festival)

“Wow, just Wow.” I keep telling myself as I watch the French band Phoenix performing live at the Coachella Music Festival on a channel created specific to stream the entire weekend. As a matter of fact, Coachella worked with YouTube creating THREE channels! Streaming live performance of nearly 75 artist through 3 days. Such acts include the aforementioned Phoenix, Blur, Teagan and Sara, Ginderman, Spiritulaized, Vampire Weekend, Franz Ferdinand, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the first performance in some years of The Postal Service.

An Inspired Bird of Oakland Music: Elisabeth Johnson of Mynah Music: Joup Interviews

Always grinning, Elisabeth Johnson, co-founder of Mynah Music (courtesy of Mynah Music)

Always grinning, Elisabeth Johnson, co-founder of Mynah Music. (courtesy of Mynah Music)

Shawn’s Top 10 Albums of 2012

This is never easy. Despite what naysayers might have you believe about the quality of music and its supposed decline over the past twenty years I maintain (as I always have) that there is so much good, new music out there I could very easily go bankrupt buying it.

The emphasis there is on buying it in a post-pirate world.

Soooooo how hard is it for me to narrow my yearly musical endeavors down to a handful of records? Pretty f”ing hard. Nonetheless, I do it every year and this year is no different. What follows are my ten favorite albums from 2012.

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