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The Anniversary

At the dawn of the last decade, Panda Bear was on top of the world. With his hugely influential 2007 solo breakthrough Person Pitch, Noah Lennox had perfected the art of sunny loop-based psychedelia, spawning legions of sampler-toting imitators and birthing an entire subgenre that ended up changing the face of popular indie music in the process. And as the man behind the biggest, most accessible songs on Animal Collective’s 2009 magnum opus and mainstream crossover moment Merriweather Post Pavilion, he had become pretty much the closest thing to a bona fide rock star that the indie world had to offer.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

The story of Guided By Voices feels like folklore. In the early 1990s, when lucrative albums were recorded in big-budget studios, Bob Pollard, a 36-year-old fourth-grade teacher, created Bee Thousand in his Dayton, Ohio, basement, spending only a few dollars on cassettes. The album became a sensation, sealing GBV’s place in the annals of music history. The kings of lo-fi had arrived.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

In the late ‘90s, something strange emerged from Kentucky. A young songwriter named Jim James, recently a member of a band called Mont Du Sundua, had a bunch of acoustic songs that didn’t work for his current group. He started a new project, with an oddball name: My Morning Jacket. He made an album, referencing his home state’s southern neighbor. Nobody knew what to do with this band exactly, even though those that found them were pulled in by these echoing, haunting songs. They were’t alt-country and probably had the same discomfort with being sidelined there as every other artist that was burdened by that pseudo-concocted genre. You could imagine My Morning Jacket just fading back into the ether from which it came. A couple of Southern rock weirdoes made this one dusty album that would live on as the subject of cult fascination — mostly, for whatever reason, in the Netherlands. But then, two years later, it happened again, and a would-be tangent completely to the side of anything going on in rock or indie as the ’90s gave way to a new millennium instead became the infamously reverb-drenched building blocks of one of the great rock bands of our time.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

“This record makes us wonder what has really happened in the last 100 years. And what will happen in the next 10.” It’s sobering to read this, from Drag City’s blurb promoting Bill Callahan’s Apocalypse, and to register that the album came out 10 years ago today, and to think back on what has transpired here over the past decade. “The soul of your country called and left you a message,” the blurb continues. “Seven messages.”

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

The song that eventually summed up Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was once an outlier. Three tracks into their debut album, it was called “What Ever Happened To My Rock ’N’ Roll (Punk Song).” While the parenthetical descriptor could maybe come across as a wink, the track itself was earnest — a snarling, charging track that teased out some personal me vs. you against the backdrop of being a true believer. As Peter Hayes sang in the chorus: “I fell in love with the sweet sensation/ I gave my heart to a simple chord/ I gave my soul to a new religion/ Whatever happened to you?/ Whatever happened to our rock’n’roll?”

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

It was a Trojan Horse in the shape of a blue ghost and dancing gorillas. Consider this premise: You are 10 years old and you have one of those friends who has older, cooler, brothers who turn them on to music when they’re young (and, maybe, other things too soon). Some recommendations trickle down and the two of you end up on a computer with dial-up internet trying to access the video for a song called “Clint Eastwood” before the age of YouTube. You just started watching some of those old Eastwood movies. It’s cool there’s a song called that, and it’s cool that the video features all these vibrant cartoons, and it’s cool that it’s a rap song that lurches and snaps and makes you think you like rap music when you live in a town where you’re far likelier to hear nu-metal and soft rock on any given radio station. That video, if you were a kid who was just barely starting to explore and figure out what you like, was revelatory.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

The Weeknd must have been genetically engineered by music bloggers. Not the current, chart-topping, Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show-performing version of the Weeknd, but the Weeknd of 2011, who sang like a siren beckoning listeners to smash into the rocky crags of depravity, whose identity was such a mystery that some journalists were still referring to the Abel Tesfaye solo project as a “group” the following year.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

The Strokes released Angles 10 years ago today. I always thought it was a frustrating, mediocre chapter in the band’s history. Is it time for a 180?

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

“It’s just me and those thoughts you have late at night when nobody is around,” Kurt Vile once explained. “It is more a feeling than a statement — a general wandering feeling. It’s kind of a wandering record.”

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

In the middle of the ’00s, something was happening in Baltimore. While the music press would soon focus on the rise of Brooklyn’s music scene as the center of an ascendant new generation of indie artists, not everything revolved around New York. In Maryland, a fertile scene was developing, one that’d give us a host of artists on their own wavelengths, moving in and out of the mainstream indie conversation at will. Early success stories included Beach House remaking shoegaze and dream-pop for a new era, and Animal Collective’s constant shape-shifting. Soon the shadowy krautrock tinges of Lower Dens, the earnest and anthemic synth-pop of Future Islands, the frantic and endearing noise-blasts of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, and the electronic voyages of Dan Deacon would all follow. Then there was Wye Oak, a young duo who would quietly (and sometimes not-so-quietly) become one of the great bands of their era.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)