Thursday, December 29, 2016

VINTAGE CLIP: David Bowie on 'Jools Holland' in 1995

As we look back on the tragic year of so many musicians leaving us, this VINTAGE CLIP is one of David Bowie performing "The Man Who Sold the World" on Later... with Jools Holland. 

Read Our January Story: Remembering David Bowie 

Live Pix: Rock N Soul 2016 Holiday Party

On Wednesday the legendary DJ shop, Rock N Soul hosted their annual holiday party with a slew of DJs that included Fat Fingaz (Above), Rob Swift, Tony Touch, Red Alert and more.

Our own RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture some of the action. Take a look!

Grand Wizard Theodore

 Red Alert
Mell Star 

Tony Touch 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

VINTAGE CLIP: Prince on 'Ellen' in 2003

As we look back on the tragic year of so many musicians leaving us, this VINTAGE CLIP is one of Prince performing on The Ellen Show during her first season in 2003.

Read Our April Story: Remembering The Purple One

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Another Look at 2016


2016 was an odd year for music and like many creative things across the board, it is selective. 

In keeping with tradition, our correspondents Le-La Cloutier and RICH D SMOOV have unleashed their favorite albums of the year. 

Le-La's picks:

1.Glass Animals: How to be a Human Being
2. Beyonce: Lemonade
3. The Weeknd: Starboy
4. Childish Gambino: Awaken, My Love!
5.The Avett Brothers: True Sadness
6. Miike Snow: iii
7. Saint Motel: saintmotelevision
8. Kings of Leon: Walls
9. The Shelters: The Shelters
10.  Flume: Skin

RICH D SMOOV's list as broken down by his two favorite genres--  metal and hip-hop. 

1. Inquisition: Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith.
2. Oranssi Pazuzu: Varahtelija
3. Wormrot: Voices
4. Anaal Nathrakh: The Whole Of The Law
5. Nails: You Will Never Be One Of Us
6. Sex Prisoner: Tannhauser Gate
7. Asphyx: Incoming Death
8. Destroyer666: Wildfire
9. Deafeated Sanity: Dharmata
10. The Dillinger Escape Plan: Dissociation

Honorable Mention: Vermin Womb: Decline

Top 5 Hip Hop Albums Of The Year In No Particular Order:

A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
 Czarface: A Fistful Of Peril
Apathy: Handshakes With Snakes
Masta Ace: The Falling Season
Run The Jewels : RTJ3

Honorable Mention: Craig G: I Rap And Go Home

Remembering George Michael

The news on Christmas that George Michael had passed surprised every dinner table from London to L.A. to Sydney.

The "Faith" singer's sudden death at 53 of an apparent heart attack saw the generation that grew with him realizing "this could have been me." It saw the generation younger than him that grew up with him realize that everyone is mortal. After all, this is 2016, the year that stole Prince and Bowie, among others, this is the year that we all realized none of us are going to survive and the creative energy we leave behind is just as important as the time and love we share here.

Michael, who transformed pop music in the 1980s with Wham! and battled to make himself a solo artist in the 90s, was haunted by his demons. Whether it was drugs or forcing to hide his sexuality, the man born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou fought to be George Michael.

In 1998, after being busted by police in Beverly Hills for a "lewd act" he came out as a gay man to CNN. In June 1998, he poked fun at his arrest in the video for "Outside," in 2008 he also poked fun at himself in a episode of Extras. Being gay in the 90s was taboo and he knew his career was on the line but Michael needed to be the man he needed to be and rightfully so.

If 2016 has taught us anything, it has taught us we only get one shot at this interesting thing called life and we must utilize our time wisely.

Michael's death, along with Prince, Bowie, Ali, Phife Dawg, Carrie Fisher, and the others who left us this year were not only important to the cannon of pop culture but to each of us that were fans. They showed us how to be ourselves. They showed us a part of ourselves we may not have recognized.

We, like George Michael, are all flawed. It is only recognizing those flaws that make us who we are. 

Let the freak flag fly, we only get one chance to wave it proudly.

Quick News


Following the release of their new EP, Not the Actual Events, Trent Reznor spoke to Zane Lowe on Beats 1 about the future of Nine Inch Nails where he said to look for "two new major" works from the band next year.

Lupe Fiasco, who quit music earlier this month, took to Twitter on Christmas Eve to announce that his new album, DROGAS Light, will be out in February. 

Stevie Wonder was honored with a street named after him in Detroit Monday. Stevie Wonder Avenue was unveiled along Milwaukee Avenue, just two blocks from the site of Wonder's first home in the city.

Big Sean announced that his new album, I Decided, will arrive in February. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Megadeath on 'Meyers'

Nothing says Christmas like Megadeath, right?! The iconic metal band performed "Dystopia" and "Tornado of Souls" on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Take a look!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Quick News

In March, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn will release his third solo album, We All Want the Same Things. Take a look at the cover, above.

In a magazine clip posted to their Facebook page, Andy Bell spoke about Ride's upcoming album which will be due in the summer. He said the record will sound: "At times, it's quite trash and poppy and other times it's quite ambient psychedelic. It's equal parts Motörhead and William Basinski. Aggressive ambience!" He added that the band linked up earlier this year following their 2015 reunion gigs to see if they could work together on music again for the first time in 20 years. He said: "We made it out in the country. We recorded it in 17 days, in a studio called The Vale. We went to hang out there when we announced the reunion, in 2014 We hadn't picked up instruments together for 20 years so our way of celebrating the fact that we were going to get back together was to go down to this studio miles from anywhere, plug in and see if it works."

Beck's new album, which was supposed to arrive this summer then was pushed to November and never arrived will come out in 2017. In an interview with KROQ he said "we just finished it" and it is "forthcoming... very soon."

Yoko Ono has been cast in Wes Anderson's forthcoming animated film  Isle of Dogs, which is slated to arrive next year.

Royal Blood posted on Twitter that fans should be on the lookout for something from the British duo next year, everyone hopes it is a new record. 

Stream Chance the Rapper / Jeremiah's Christmas Mixtape

Chance the Rapper and Jeremiah teamed up for the surprise Christmas mixtape Merry Christmas Lil Mama, take a listen!

Billie Joe Armstrong on 'Conan'

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong performed a rare solo set on Conan. Watch him play "Ordinary World" off the band's latest, Revolution Radio.

Run The Jewels Share New Album Trailer

In a few weeks, Run the Jewels will release their much anticipated RTJ3. The dynamic duo have now released a brief teaser for the album. Take a look!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Paul McCartney, Roots, Jimmy Fallon & Others Sing 'Wonderful Christmas Time'

Jimmy Fallon and The Roots were joined by Paul McCartney, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Seth MacFarlane, and Tori Kelly to sing Macca's holiday classic "Wonderful Christmastime" on The Tonight Show.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

20 Best Gigs of 2016


As 2016 winds down, we look back at the year in live performances and the best we attended in the last 12 months. 

From large stadiums to indoor arenas to the intimate venues were the future of music flexed serious muscle -- here are our picks for the 20 best gigs of 2016.

Quick News


Speaking to Guitar World, St. Vincent said that her new album will arrive in the spring and will be "a real sea change." She said: "I’ve been able to step back and reflect and not just be in the tour, record, tour, record cycle that I’ve been in for about 10 years. I think it’ll be the deepest, boldest work I’ve ever done. I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded—especially now that we have such high stakes from a political and geo-political standpoint. The personal is political and therefore the political can’t help but influence the art. And only music that has something pretty real to say is gonna cut the mustard.”

Haim spoke to Entertainment Weekly and said that their sophomore album should arrive in the summer. "We decided we were going to do what we’ve always done,” said guitarist Danielle Haim. “We wanted to get back to our so-called roots. We needed just it be the three of us in the beginning. We just wanted to get back in the zone.”

Kendrick Lamar praised President Obama in the latest issue of XXL and said: "We would probably never get inside that house ever again. Think about it like that. Rick Ross, Cole, Nicki Minaj, he really went for us to come experience it." He also added: "You look at him as such a high figure in the world, but for him to embrace you and have a connection with you further than just being the President and make you feel like an actual friend,” was “one of his best characteristics.”

The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees have been announced. The new class will feature Pearl Jam, Yes, Journey, Joan Baez, Tupac, and ELO. The ceremony will take place in April at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

Former Odd Future member Syd, took to Twitter to announce that her solo debut is finished. No word as to when it will arrive.

Great Soundtracks: 'American Graffiti'

In 1973, George Lucas directed a film that would defy the generation before him -- American Graffiti. The film, which captured the greaser and Americana-era of the 1950s was a nostalgia trip even in the early 70s. Long before he directed Star Wars, Lucas was making his mark on American film and pop culture. As much as the film played a role for the careers of Ron Howard and Harrison Ford, it also was centered around the music of the bygone era.

With tunes from Del Shannon, Bill Haley & the Comets, Buddy Holly, The Tempos,  The Beach Boys, The Big Bopper and a slew of others -- the soundtrack featured 41 tracks of early American rock and roll. After it was reissued in 1993 and then again in 1998, the soundtrack would go on to become triple platinum and one of the best selling and most beloved movie soundtracks in history.

Recommended Reading: 'Small Town Talk'

When people think of Woodstock, they immediately think of the 1969 music festival and the summer of yesteryear where artists gathered together for three days of peace, love and music. However, the Woodstock festival didn't take place in the town. Instead, it took place 60 miles away in Bethel Woods, New York. However, life inside Woodstock during the 60s and 70s was filled with music anyway and Barney Hoskyns 2016 book, Small Town Talk captured that.

From Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, these were the people who frequented the tiny city in the Catskills. Hoskyns gets first hand interviews and accounts from the locals, band members and day trippers who would live within a few square miles of rock royalty. For anyone who lived that era or anyone who loves these artists, this book is a must. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Quick News


Nile Rodgers has confirmed that their will be a new Chic album in 2017. The album will be called It's About Time, and will mark their first album since 1992 and coincides with the band's 40th anniversary.

Kevin Drew spoke on the Strombo Show recently and said that Broken Social Scene could be releasing a new album in the summer. He didn't elaborate on details but they have been working on a record that needs to get done.

Tegan and Sara have started an organization for the LGBTQ community called The Tegan and Sara Foundation. The foundation will promote and provide economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ women. In a statement they said: "Through the Tegan and Sara Foundation, we can be proactive with our support rather than wait to react to discrimination as it occurs. We will support the work of other organizations who have been fighting for LGBTQ and women's rights by raising funds and awareness for their initiatives. We will fight against the repressive legislation of the incoming Trump administration. We will fight against regressive homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic legislation. We will fight for economic, racial and gender justice. We started the Foundation to dismantle the systems of inequity that prevent LGBTQ girls and women from reaching their full potential. Together, we can make a difference."

Nate Dogg's son, Lil Nate Dogg, is planning on following in his late dad's footsteps and wants to release an album in tribute to his pops. The album called Son of a G will be released in March.

Schoolboy Q took to Instagram on Sunday to tease fans that he wants to release a record next year.
A photo posted by ScHoolboy Q (@groovyq) on

VINTAGE CLIP: Red Hot Chili Peppers on 'Thicke of the Night'

As the world memorializes the passing of Alan Thicke, before he went on to steal America's heart in Growing Pains, he hosted a syndicated late night show called Thicke of the Night. Watch this VINTAGE CLIP of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing on TV for the very first time in 1984 on his show.

Warpaint on 'Fallon'

Watch Warpaint perform "New Song" on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Listen to Justice's 2-Hour BBC Radio Set

Justice delivered a banging two-hour set for BBC Radio on their Essential Mix series. Take a listen!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Live Review: Bouncing Souls at Irving Plaza

The annual "Home of the Holidays" series of concerts of New Jersey's Bouncing Souls switched from the Garden State to the Big Apple for the first time as the band had a string of packed dates inside Irving Plaza.

Read Our July Interview with The Bouncing Souls

On Friday night, the second of the three-night run, the punk legends came to craft a warm atmosphere for fans who braved the brutal cold to enjoy their favorite band. The band took their current Simplicity tour to New York and renamed it "Simplicity in the City" for the special run, even allowing fans to pick the setlists for the three nights. For night two, it was classics, new material and deep cuts that had all souls inside bouncing off the walls.

As the crowd chanted: "Ole! Ole! Ole!," the band arrived on stage around 10 p.m., and it was as if a whip cracked and pure pandemonium erupted as circle pits including one with a Santa Claus, crowd surfers and cups of beer were hurled across the venue.  The Jersey DIY punks were greeted with a heroes welcome as the rambunctious audience was ready to shake off the cold, the work week and welcome the weekend.

As the band sounded tight, the mix for singer Greg Attonito's vocals were very low, making it hard to hear him sing, however, the crowd made up for it as they screamed the words back. The band's cult-like fan base were getting an early Christmas gift as they lapped up every second of what the Souls were giving. Songs like "Ghosts on the Boardwalk," "The Ballad of Johnny X," "Lean on Sheena," "Hopeless Romantic," "Anchors Aweigh," "Gone," turned Irving Plaza into CBGB's. The closing song, "True Believers," saw Attonito jump into the crowd and hardly sing as the room became so loud with the crowd chanting the words back in unison.

Throughout the night, almost all members of the Souls thanked the audience for coming out and supporting them through the years. However, the most poignant moment came with Attonito preached for love, kindness, and respect in the time of Trump. The band, who famously sold "Not My President Shirts" during George W. Bush's reign, seem to be back questioning and peacefully protesting the hate rhetoric of the upcoming government.

Read Our 2010 Interview with the Bouncing Souls as They Discuss Their 20th Anniversary

For nearly 90 minutes, the band plowed through 26 songs and gave the fans what they wanted -- energy, passion, and a chance to sing along forever.

Quick News

Nine Inch Nails have announced that they will release a new EP next week called Not The Actual Events. The record was made solely by Trent Reznor and his musical partner Atticus Ross, who is now a full-time NIN member. In a press release, Reznor said: "It’s an unfriendly, fairly impenetrable record that we needed to make. It’s an EP because that ended up being the proper length to tell that story.” Take a look at the cover, above.

New York indie rockers Chairlift are calling it quits. The band will play their final gigs in spring 2017.

Earlier in the year, Lord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghn stated that David Bowie auditioned for the role of Gandolf in the triology but turned it down. Now, casting director Amy Hubbard told Huffington Post: "He was unavailable. We approached him. I’m pretty sure it was Peter Jackson’s idea in the first few weeks that we got going. It was one that he’d always wondered about, and we rang Chris [Andrews, Bowie’s agent], and [Bowie] was far too busy.”

After remaining dormant for a few years, Australian drum and bass monsters Pendulum took to Facebook Friday to tease that something is brewing for next year. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Pretenders on 'Conan'

Watch The Pretenders perform "Alone" on Conan.

Solange on 'Fallon'

Watch Solange perform "Rise" and "Weary" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Michael Stipe, Stephen Colbert, James Franco Say Goodbye to 2016

Michael Stipe and James Franco joined Stephen Colbert on The Late Show as they said goodbye to this shit year by reworking the R.E.M. classic "It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)," to "It's the End of the Year As We Know It."

Listen To Our Essential R.E.M. Playlist on Spotify!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Metallica on 'Kimmel'

Watch Metallica perform "Atlas, Rise," and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! 

Listen to Our Essential Metallica Playlist on Spotify!

Also, watch the band take on a superfan as they duke it out as to who knows more about the heavy metal giants.

Childish Gambino on 'Fallon'

Watch Childish Gambino perform "Redbone" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

P.O.S. Announced 1st Album in 5 Years

Minneapolis rapper P.O.S. will release his first album in five years next month called, Chill, Dummy. 

The record will feature Bon Iver, Kathleen Hanna, Allan Kingdom, and Lizzo

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below, and watch the album trailer.

01 Born a Snake
02 Wearing a Bear
03 Bully
04 Faded
05 Pieces/Ruins
06 Get Ate
07 Roddy Piper
08 Thieves/Kings
09 Infinite Scroll
10 Lanes
11 Gravedigger
12 sleepdrone/superposition

Quick News

Old 97's will release their new album, Graveyard Whistling, in February. Take a look at the album cover, above.

In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Q-Tip said that A Tribe Called Quest might not be done after their 2017 world tour which they are currently planning. He said: "Stay tuned for any other incarnation, ’cause we don’t intend on stopping because that was Phife’s M.O. was, like, ‘This time we gotta do it and keep going,’ and now he’s left us with the equation of how do we do it, but we are going to need it, and we’re going to continue.” The group said that their latest album, this year's best record, We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service will be their last.

Lupe Fiasco made a stunning announcement Tuesday on Twitter, he said he is done releasing music. The Chicago rapper set his account to private after tweeting: "Yo Lupe fans it's been fun and I hope you've had fun. I'm officially not releasing anymore music. Albums cancelled."

Sleaford Mods will release their new album, English Tapas, in March. Take a look at the tracklisting, below:
1. Army Nights
2. Just Like We Do
3. Moptop
4. Messy Anywhere
5. Time Sands
6. Snout
7. Drayton Manored
8. Carlton Touts
9. Cuddly
10. Dull
11. BHS
12. I Feel So Wrong

Exactly a year ago, Trent Reznor said that new Nine Inch Nails will be coming this year in a tweet to fans. Now, that their are two weeks left in 2016, he was asked by Rolling Stone about the possibility of a new record.  He said: "Just wait and see what happens," adding: "I don't want to spoil it. If I'm interested in a film, I prefer not to watch the trailer. We live in overstimulated times."

She & Him on 'Corden'

Watch She & Him perform "Happy Holidays" on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Announce New Album

In February, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will return with their new album, The Tourist.

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below, and hear the new single, "Fireproof."

01 The Pilot
02 A Chance to Cure
03 Down (is where I want to be)
04 Unfolding Above Celibate Moon (Los Angeles Nursery Rhyme)
05 Better Off
06 Fireproof
07 The Vanity of Trying
08 Loose Ends
09 Ambulance Chaser
10 Visiting Hours

Arcade Fire Announce 'Reflektor Tapes' Live Album / Movie

Next month, Arcade Fire will release their 2015 tour documentary The Reflektor Tapes with a live album taken from a 2014 gig inside London's Earls Court. Take a look at the clip of the band performing the title track of their 2013 album, Reflektor, from the film above.

Quick News


Speaking to BBC 6 Radio, Noel Gallagher said a new album will be on the way from him next year. "I think we’re into the home straight now. I’ve been given the deadline which is to have everything finished – mastered, artwork, videos, the lot – done by the time I go to Glastonbury in June." He added: "All the songs that I was writing towards making a record have not been used because when we decided to make a record with David Holmes the way he works is that all the writing gets done in the studio. So I started this record at his house in Belfast. The process is the complete opposite to the way that I’ve always worked. With this, you have no idea what you’ve got until it’s there, and the end results are great because they’re constantly evolving.”

Also releasing a new album next year is Noel's buddy, Ryan Adams, who discussed the possibility of working the former Oasis man. Adams told NME: "I mean we have in the past, like a long time ago – we talked about riffs and different things, but there was never any concrete plans or anything. Recently when I played with him I think we were both sort of caught in the Mid-West in a couple of torrential impending thunderstorms and we were playing these outdoor places, so we were basically just trying to play the set before these like gloomy thunderstorms set in." He added: "His people that he works with, like his techs and his band, are so cool and he’s always so nice and happy to talk about like guitars. Our last conversation was about this really cool Rickenbacker 12 string I got last time that I was in London. It’s this really rare red that has this black binding on it, and he’s like ‘what the hell is that guitar? I haven’t seen that guitar?’ And I remember thinking like: ‘How the hell has he seen that because we sound checked earlier and he wasn’t around?’ So he must have been like looking from someplace to see what guitars I was playing and we were sort of both gee king out on the Jazzmaster I had.”

The long awaited supergroup Dead Cross has finally rounded out their line-up. The band will feature Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) on vocals, with founding members Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox, Head Wound City) and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer). The band plan to release their debut next year.

Speaking to The Breakfast Club, Ab-Soul dished that Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole are working together on that long-rumored joint album. Ab-Soul said: "You know they move like the mob, you never know with these guys but they got something in the works. They been working on that motherfucker for a while.”

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Live Review: Peter Murphy at City Winery

It was a night of rarities for fans of Peter Murphy. The Godfather of Punk played two back-to-back sets at City Winery in Manhattan's swanky SoHo district. When the Bauhaus singer was breaking in America over 30 years ago, that neighborhood was one for the artists, part of the counterculture and the trendy folk of the era -- the idea of a winery in SoHo was something Murphy nor the people that inhibited the area ever thought about.

Now, today, like most of New York City everything has changed and SoHo is a trendy mall with slivers of the place it once was. For fans of the icon, it was strange that he would perform in a place like City Winery, known mainly for folk singers and lighter artists but like most things Murphy does, he made it his own.

In the first of two shows, Murphy opened with "Cascade" and "Secret" and his intimidating tone, disposition and music took center staged. Backed by two other musicians and an audio track which played either percussion or synths, Murphy's "Stripped" tour was getting itself ready for a long night.

After his first few tunes, Murphy, who hardly speaks in concert, began to crack jokes, bash Donald Trump and show off a charm that is seldom seen.

"I left England a long time ago, so I had nothing to do with Brexit, but you fuckers voted for Trump?! Are you fucking crazy?! That is crazy," he said.

As a majority of the audience laughed, a handful of people raised their hands proudly to indicate they voted for the president-elect, Murphy of course, let them have it. Politics aside, the singer also performed songs from the band that made him an icon as well as his hero, David Bowie, whom he paid tribute to.

"To Iman, who lives somewhere in this city, our hearts are with you. To David, wherever you may be, we miss you," he said after playing Bowie's "The Bewley Brothers."

In the 75 minutes he was on stage, he made a venue like City Winery, which would have been obtuse for anyone of his genre to perform in, and made it feel right at home. It was a rare night to see Murphy in such a small room, but also a unique opportunity to experience a different side of someone so mysterious.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 The Albums: Top 10


As we close the chapter to what was a brutal year in so many ways, we look back at the music that was. 

In a year where we lost David Bowie, Prince, Phife Dawg, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, and so many others, 2016 will be marked like someone with a scarlet letter. It wasn't a particularly great year by any means and the music echoed that. 

It felt as if the year took a while to cook up great records by brilliant artists. Some of the heavy hitters like Beyonce, Rihanna, Radiohead, Frank Ocean, Richard Ashcroft, and Kanye West released albums that achieved much acclaim straight away but quickly faded off as the year trickled on. Everything seemed to be fly by night and as we close out 2016, we look back at our picks for the 10 Best Albums of the Year. 

These records not only made an impact to our ears but also have a welcomed longevity where we will be listening to them for years to come. 

Here are our picks for the 10 Best Albums of the Year: 

10. James Blake - The Colour in Anything
9. Slaves - Take Control
8. Czarface - A Fistful of Peril
7. Kendrick Lamar - Untitled. Unmastered.
5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
4. Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
3. Savages - Adore Life
2. Beach Slang - A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
1. A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service 

Now in Long Form, With Explanations:

10. James Blake - The Colour in Anything

In May, the digital generations “King of Pain” released his surprise third album. Sonically, it picks up where Overgrown left off, however, lyrically, it is Blake at his best. With a slew of guests including Bon Iver, Frank Ocean and help from Rick Rubin, Blake is maturing before our eyes and revealing more of his mysterious deck of cards with every release.

9. Slaves - Take Control

No other record in 2016 captured the social anger of Brexit and Trump's election win more than Slaves' Take Control. The UK punk duo  returned with help from Mike D. of Beastie Boys on deck as the producer for their sophomore album. The record is a loud bash of fuck you to the system and brings forth the attitude of the genre’s yesteryear.

8. Czarface - A Fistful of Peril

The indie hip-hop supergroup featuring Inspetah Deck, 7L and Esoteric returned with their third record and unlike their previous efforts, A Fistful of Peril, relies heavy on the lyricism of the crew rather than the samples, production and special guests. Each album furthers the adventures of the fictional comic book character and the latest shows that these guys are here to stay to see their superhero take over the game.

7. Kendrick Lamar - Untitled. Unmastered.

Nearly a year after releasing last year’s best album, the groundbreaking To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar gives fans the tracks that hit the cutting room floor with a collection of unmastered and untitled tunes. These songs, which hit the cutting room floor, showcase his thought process. It is a behind the scenes look into what and why Lamar is the future of the genre.


The best music from Canada usually comes from oddball collectives and BADBADNOTGOOD are no different. The acid jazz group has released a collection of fascinating and brilliant songs that transcend the genre into pop, rock, and of course, hip-hop.

5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

If Nick Cave stopped making music after the tragic death of his teenage son last year, the world would have understood. However, for Cave to take the darkest chapter in his life and turn it into his greatest album in decades is something else. This album plays like an Academy Award winning film that features such heavy subject matter it leaves you tattered, torn and in hysterics and the fact that he can do this without shedding a tear playing the songs is something else. A remarkable, heavy record that needs to be heard and experienced. 

4. Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression

In what might be the Godfather of Punk's swansong, Iggy Pop goes out with a bang with his best album in decades. Recruiting Josh Homme to play and produce the album as well as Matt Helders of Artic Monkeys on drums and members of Queens of the Stone Age, Pop assembled a band that is indebted to his career and makes them shine as they still make the star of the show a spectacle. It has been a long time since Pop has sounded this raw and uncharted without sounding frivolous. It also is the first time Pop has sounded this polished without being overproduced. If this is how the master wants to hang up his career, then he did it in all the right ways.

3. Savages - Adore Life

The London based post-punk band returns and defies the sophomore slump. Building on the critically acclaimed debut they unleashed to the world two years ago, they fired back with Adore Life. A record that mixes the hop of new wave, the despair of cold wave and the attitude of the 21st Century post-punk sound they are after. If Ian Curtis were alive today, this would no doubt be his favorite band. 

2. Beach Slang - A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings

Following their sublime 2015 debut, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, Philly’s Beach Slang return with a record so good, it defies the sophomore slump idea. A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is raw emotion over a punk rock score. This band is quickly turning out to be a modern version of The Replacements and we are more than fine with it. 

1. A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

The first album from the mighty Tribe Called Quest in 18 years does not disappoint, in fact, it lets the legends go out on a high note. Following their on-again, off-again reunions since 2008, Tribe reconciled fully in 2015 to perform on The Tonight Show which sparked the idea of a new album. After a series of intense recordings and founding member Phife Dawg traveling back and forth from California to Jersey to work on the record, he unexpectedly passed in March. The record is a love letter to his life and legacy. The remaining members of Tribe finished the LP inside Q-Tip’s Ab-Soul Studio in New Jersey and released it to the world. It became their first No. 1 album in 18 years and above all, one of the greatest achievements. Using the jazz and rock samples that made them instant icons, they also push forward to a whole new generation. Getting help from Jack White, Elton John, Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes, Consequence, Andre 3000,  Talib Kweli and more, the Tribe has spoken and we are all at their feet saying “we are not worthy.”

Gary Clark, Jr. on 'Fallon'

Watch Gary Clark, Jr. perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

A Tribe Called Quest on 'Kimmel'

Watch A Tribe Called Quest perform "Dis Generation" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Lemon Twigs on 'Conan'

Watch our 2016 Best New Artist The Lemon Twigs perform "As Long As We Are Together" and "Little Saint Nick" on Conan.

Pharrell on 'Fallon'

Pharrell Williams was joined by Kim Burell on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as they performed their new song: "I See a Victory."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Jesus and Mary Chain Announce First Album in 19 Years!

For the first time in nearly 20 years, The Jesus and Mary Chain will release their new album, Damage and Joy, in March.

In a press release, Jim Reid said: "We started to – can you believe? – listen to each other a bit more. In the last couple of years, we’ve buried the hatchet to some degree, and thankfully not into each other. Most people who know us would say that we haven’t mellowed that much. I think it was to do with the fact, dare I say it, that wisdom comes with age. Let’s live and let live, and let’s take each other’s opinions into account.”

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below.

01 Amputation
02 War On Peace
03 All Things Pass
04 Always Sad
05 Song For A Secret
06 The Two Of Us
07 Los Feliz (Blues and Greens)
08 Mood Rider
09 Presidici (Et Chapaquiditch)
10 Get On Home
11 Facing Up To The Facts
12 Simian Split
13 Black And Blues
14 Can’t Stop The Rock


Quick News

Dave Hause will release his third solo album, Bury Me in Philly, in February.

At the Drive-In have confirmed they will release their first album in 17 years next year. The album will not feature guitarist Jim Ward who left the band earlier this year.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of ATD-I has linked up with Dale Crover and Buzz from the Melvins, Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes have joined forces to form the band Crystal Fairy. The band will release their debut next year.

The U.S. release of Peter Hook's New Order autobiography, Inside New Order, will come on January 31.

Ryan Adams took to Twitter to announce that his new album, Prisoner, will arrive in February. 

Elbow will release their new album, Little Fictions, in February.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CRX on 'Corden'

Watch CRX perform "Broken Bones" on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Dinosaur Jr. on 'Conan'

Watch Dinosaur Jr. perform "Goin Down" in Conan.

The band's latest, Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not, was picked as one of our 2016 Honorable Album Mentions. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Officially A Icon: Josh Homme

When we celebrated our 5th anniversary in 2011, we honored our first five years with an artist that made our time as a website worthwhile. Damon Albarn became the first recipient of this award and since then, we have picked like-minded workhorses that have influenced music and never settle for less than the best.

In the past we picked:

2011 - Damon Albarn
2012 - Questlove
2013 - Karen O. 
2014 - Danger Mouse
2015 - Ghostface Killah

Now, this year we award a rock and roller who could have come from the genres golden era but pushes music to beyond the limits of his imagination.

Whether he is fronting Queens of the Stone Age or drumming for Eagles of Death Metal, Josh Homme has spent his life making music. Starting almost 30 years ago with Kyuss, Homme has been making stoner rock for people who don't like stoner rock. From there it was the more successful Queens and Eagles of Death Metal that helped him become a household name. Also linking up with John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl for Them Crooked Vultures, Homme has become a favorite frontman. However, his work behind the decks has gained him even more acclaim.

Producing for artists like Arctic Monkeys, CRX and this year he crafted Iggy Pop's best record in decades with the fantastic Post Pop Depression. Performing, touring and producing Pop's latest, Homme solidified himself as someone who has mastered his craft. A buddy to the music community he has made guest appearances on songs from UNKLE, Death From Above 1979, Nine Inch Nails, Mondo Generator, Mastodon and others.

We applaud his work ethic and love of rock and roll which is why he became our 2016 Icon. 

The Hold Steady on 'Meyers'

Following their four-night sold-out run at Brooklyn Bowl, The Hold Steady performed "Most People Are DJs" on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Take a look!

John Legend on 'Corden'

Watch John Legend perform "Love Me Now" on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

VINTAGE CLIP: Big L & Jay Z Freestyle on Stretch & Bobbito Show

The documentary on influential New York City hip-hop DJs, Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito -- Radio That Changed Lives -- has finally landed on Netflix. In a documentary chock full of amazing and historical moments, one that stands out is the 1995 freestyle battle between Big L and Jay Z where HOV just gets destroyed by the Harlem rapper.

Take a listen and watch the film which also features our own RICH D SMOOV calling in.

Hamilton Mixtape Comes Alive on 'Fallon'

Watch Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz, and the The Roots’ Black Thought perform "My Shot" from the Hamilton Mixtape on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Quick News

In March, our favorite husband and wife duo, Tennis will release their fourth album, Yours Conditionally.

In an interview with The Fader, Dej Loaf confirmed that her debut album, Liberated, will be released next year. The album is "90 percent" finished.

M83 mastermind Antony Gonzalez has been tapped to be the composure and musical director of Cirque Du Soleil's new show Volta. In a press release, he said: "I was immediately excited about the idea of working with Cirque du Soleil. Not just because they are a company known throughout the world, but also because I was deeply attracted by the story of VOLTA, and the spirit that underpins the show. The story of VOLTA is ours. It is a tale of a generation who is calling for change and I was very keen to contribute to telling this story. I'm deeply honored to be part of the Cirque team and it’s a wonderful new challenge in unknown territory for me. Ultimately, it’s challenges like this that I find so inspiring and drive me to make the music that I do.”

Thievery Corporation will release their new album, The Temple of I & I, in February. The album is said to be heavily influenced with Jamaican styles and ideas. Take a look at the cover, below:

VINTAGE CLIP: David Bowie on 'Letterman' in '97

As we get ready to close 2016 and the sad year it has been, we look back at a VINTAGE CLIP of David Bowie performing on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1997.

We recently named Bowie's swansong, Blackstar, our League Of Their Own album pick for the year. We still miss you Starman.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

2016 The Albums: League of Their Own

This award started long before the site was even a thought, in one publication, radio show or another. Since 2000, I have handed out a "League of Their Own" Award to an album that is made by an artist who is the most forward thinking, open minded, revolutionary musician out there today. Their accomplishments in the past 12 months have either resurrected a sound, broke down walls and created new frontiers or have totally reinvented a genre all together. In the past winners have included: 

2000 - Radiohead - Kid A 
2001 - The Strokes - Is This It? 
2002 - NERD - In Search of... 
2003 - The White Stripes - Elephant 
2004 - The Killers - Hot Fuss 
2005 - The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute 
2006 - TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain 
2007 - Kanye West Graduation 
2008 - Santogold / Santigold
2009 - Mastodon - Crack the Skye 
2010 - Gorillaz - Plastic Beach 
2011 - Bjork - Biophilia 

2012 - Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes 
2013 -  Arcade Fire - Reflektor
2014 - Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2  
2015 - Kamasi Washington - The Epic 

See Our 2016 Honorable Album Mentions

...and now to add to that growing list is an artist that influenced nearly everyone who has won this award in the past as well as those who realized that being yourself is the greatest gift and power anyone could ever have. This artist doesn't really need a long introduction simply because he is the reason a League of Their Own exists because he spent his entire career there. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2016 League of Their Own winner is...

David Bowie - Blackstar

The Thin White Duke released his 25th album, his best in decades and one of his best ever days before succumbing to a secret and long battle with liver cancer. Davie Bowie is the definition of a true artist and as his producer and friend Tony Visconi said Blackstar was the singer's "parting gift to fans." It was a fitting way to send himself off into the great ether as the musical spaceman traveled from his soul and into our heart and memories forever. Blackstar was his full life's work and his farewell to everyone. This was the record he wanted to be remembered for and remind everyone what he gave us. As we continue to mourn the life and love of David Bowie, we know he is resting easy somewhere above us and around us. The circumstances surrounding Blackstar may have been not the most ideal to craft an album but he went out on his terms which was the same way he lived. 

Learn More About 2016's Best New Artist

Stay Tuned Next Week For Our Top 10 Albums of the Year!