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Wow, has it really been 20 years? Yes, it has.
20 years since Nirvana's MTV unplugged performance.
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Would you do it? This little boy from Brazil ran into traffic to rescue a dog that had been hit by a car.
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Oh, so that's what he was saying....
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Appropriate? Or no?
Long way from these guys...
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This Hipster list courtesy of Paste Magazine. Here's are a few out of the top ten. Check out all fifty albums on their site here!
10. Haim – Days Are Gone
Most of the talk about HAIM has little-to-nothing to do with Days Are Gone, the excellent collection of pop songs the three sisters put out this year. Instead, Este Haim’s SNL “bass face” and a slew of ill-conceived thinkpieces concerning their authenticity (they’re making their debut on a major label performing Wilson Phillips-style pop and yet they get accused of misrepresenting themselves and selling out…why? Because they look like they shop at Urban Outfitters?) dominate the conversation. But when you strip away all the blog chatter and just dig into Days Are Gone, the fact remains it’s an incredibly strong debut. “The Wire” is the obvious, undeniable hit with its Gary Glitter-esque drumbeat and Danielle Haim’s staccato vocals, but opener “Falling” and “Forever” form a potent 1-2 punch as well, and “Don’t Save Me” serves as an emotional centerpiece, as Haim pleads, “Take me back to the way that I was before, hungry for what was to come.” It’s a fitting lyric, considering all the undeserved backlash directed at these talented women. Can’t we all go back to the way we were before, just entranced by their earworm tunes?
9. El-P and Killer Mike – Run the Jewels
Coming off the high of last year’s respective Cancer 4 Cure and R.A.P. Music, El-P and Killer Mike’s inaugural collaborative album as Run the Jewels catches the new duo on the high-end of an upswing, with their project seeming like a clever play on what smart people do while others are watching the throne. And the others can have the throne; El-P and Killer Mike are having too much fun to be stagnant and watch anything. Yes, a lot of the album is clever self-aggrandizing rhetoric, meant for “ohhhhhhh” reactions or just flat-out laughter, and yes, the beats are not elegant, most of them happy to be filthy and cheap and something that will make you move; leave the fancy production for those self-proclaimed kings and queens. Rather, Run the Jewels is a summer album made from a crafty use of a keyboard, melody lines and 808 beats, perfect for listening with a friend. And the album’s heavy moment, closer “A Christmas Fucking Miracle,” hits heavier because of the album that preceded it. It’s powerful in both delivery and in effect, without being heavy-handed or sacrificing form. Both rappers take the opportunity to show their longtime supporters that they were right all these years, that they bet on the right horses. And to those bandwagoners jumping on just now, pretty sure you are welcome, too.—Philip Cosores
8. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe
If CHVRCHES are worshipping anywhere, it’s under the venerable Cardinal Gore and Archbishop Gahan. The softspoken swirls of chillwave aren’t really here at all, nor are the dancefloor theatrics of Daft Punk or other popular synthy masterminds. They draw inspiration from the great synthpop purveyors of yesteryear. This is music equal parts ethereality and definition. A further transcendence is suggested here, something synthesizer music has definitely had a knack for since the ‘80s in particular. But they’re also unafraid of letting every instrument bang like its percussion is its only meaning. It’s rhythm and blue-eyed wonder. No doubt everything here will have soaring synthesizers, decisive drumbeats and delicately stated vocals. But each song presents this trifecta in new variants, different tempos and plethoric dispositions. CHVRCHES’ main talent lies in making a record which makes the climb more worthwhile than the summit.—Mack Hayden
7. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
It’s been five years, three albums, an SNL appearance, countless festival performances and one lawsuit from an unwitting album-cover model since Vampire Weekend dropped its self-titled debut. Bucking several generations’ worth of received indie-rock wisdom, frontman Ezra Koenig had the temerity to borrow from Paul Simon circa Graceland instead of David Byrne circa Fear of Music, and the band soundtracked his songs with arrangements that were simultaneously inventive and fussy. On Modern Vampires of the City, Koenig not only appreciates Paul Simon’s naturalistic melodies, but understands that concrete details make the song. The songs benefit from the muscular backbone of bassist Chris Baio and drummer Chris Tomson, but this is Rostam Batmanglij’s album. The eccentric flourishes on a distressed pipe organ or a rambunctious piano give these songs their buoyancy and identity, making Vampire Weekend the weirdest and certainly the most idiosyncratic band to top the Billboard charts.—Stephen M. Deusner
6. Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Daze
When Kurt Vile sings his first line some 40 seconds into the first song on his new record, Wakin On A Pretty Daze, and when those lyrics are as clear and bright and crisp as the dawn that he describes, you know something is intrinsically different about this album. While his early releases were more a collage of loose ideas organized around a singular, murky sound, Daze presents 11 carefully composed tracks with beginnings, middles and ends. While he was always a contemplative songwriter, Vile’s lyrics are now more ponderous and worldly rather than navel-gazing. Themes of movement and escape are the bedrock of an album, providing a calming balance—lyrically, thematically, sonically. It closes exactly as it begins, with a long, winding, peaceful melody—one of the prettiest Vile has ever penned. “In the night when all hibernate, I stay awake, searching the deep, dark depths of my soul,” he says. He describes his process of finding that one moment, the “golden” tone. It’s a beautiful song about—what else—the nature of writing a beautiful song. Things are different now. His voice is in the foreground. He’s alert, aware. Awake.—John Hendrickson