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
Words like "inspiring," "expansive," and "moving" are regularly used to describe Sigur Rós's ( ), and yet the only words heard on the record itself are a handful of meaningless nonsense syllables. T Learn More
Chronicling Nick Kent’s up-close , personal, often harrowing adventures with the Rolling Stones, Lester Bangs, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols, and Chrissie Hynde, among scores of others, Apathy for the Devil is a picaresque memoir that bears witness to the beautiful and the damned of this turbulent decade.
Rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. Learn More
Dave Robinson was once a roadie to Jimi Hendrix. He also managed Brinsley Schwarz and was behind their ill-fated publicity stunt when he flew journalists to New York to see their gig at the Fillmore East.
Mike Doughty first came to prominence as the leader of the band Soul Coughing then did an abrupt sonic left turn, much to the surprise of his audience, transforming into a solo performer of stark, dusky, but strangely hopeful tunes.