It’s October 1977, and the Rolling Stones are in a Paris recording studio. They’re under siege. Keith Richards’s legal troubles after his arrest for heroin possession threaten the band’s future, and the broad consensus among rock aficionados is that the band will never again reach the heights of Exile on Main Street. Learn More
1985. Dinosaur, still without the Jr. Not hardcore anymore, but not yet anything else either. First live shows: fearsomely loud. First record, a fearsome mess: a raw miscellany thrown together from small-town ennui, the apathy of the middle classes, and all the things teenage boys are obsessed with. Learn More
For a few decades now, They Might Be Giants’ album Flood has been a beacon (or at least a nightlight) for people who might rather read than rock out, who care more about science fiction than Slayer, who are more often called clever than cool. Neither the band’s hip origins in the Lower East Side scene nor Flood’s platinum certification can cover up the record's singular importance at the geek fringes of culture.
"It's Time To Party," the first track off of I Get Wet, opens with a rapid-fire guitar line — nothing fancy, just a couple crunchy power chords to acclimate the ears — repeated twice before a booming bass drum joins in to provide a quarter-note countdown. Learn More
Extravagantly opaque, willfully vaporous — Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II, released by the estimable British label Warp Records in 1994, rejuvenated ambient music for the Internet Age that was just dawning. Learn More
From a Los Angeles hospital bed, equipped with little more than a laptop and a stack of records, James “J Dilla” Yancey crafted a set of tracks that would forever change the way beatmakers viewed their artform. Learn More
Oasis’s incendiary 1994 debut album Definitely Maybe managed to summarize almost the entire history of post-fifties guitar music from Chuck Berry to My Bloody Valentine in a way that seemed effortless. Learn More