The spirit of 1993 is alive in a legendary rapper’s jazz album

It is still possible, in 2018, to come across people who insist that hip-hop is some sort of “lesser” form of music. I know this because honest-to-god adults have said it to my face, quite earnestly. It’s all samples, they’ll cry, with no one actually pressing fingers to frets, no one reading sheet music! Rapping is…

Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts CF, and more albums to know about this week

Melody’s Echo Chamber pushes its warped psych pop to new lands on Bon Voyage, while Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever debuts with the dreamy, mature Hope Downs, and Chromeo strikes the right balance on fifth LP Head Over Heels. These, plus Immersion and The English Beat in this week’s notable new releases.

Comedian Dave Hill's "band" Witch Taint finds the inherent humor in black metal

Comedian Dave Hill has one of those vaguely familiar faces to TV watchers; maybe you recognize his hangdog expression from his small but recurring role as the Creep in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, or from when he popped up as the Bookstore Man in the “Tale From The Crypt” episode of The Tick. Hill hides his face behind…

Gram Parsons, Betty Davis, and Neu! punctured the bloat of 1973

To commemorate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Off The Charts revisits each year since it was established to spotlight songs and artists that didn’t make the cut, yet still made a significant impact. Years are chosen randomly and—to make it even harder on ourselves—rules for inclusion are that neither the songs nor…

Lykke Li, Zeal & Ardor, and more albums to know about this week

Zeal & Ardor forges an exhilarating new sound on second LP Stranger Fruit; Lykke Li turns inward on the hit-or-miss So Sad So Sexy; and bedroom pop gets a hi-fi makeover on Snail Mail’s full-length debut, Lush. These, plus Angélique Kidjo and Lily Allen in this week’s notable new releases.

Father John Misty, LUMP, The Dreebs, and more albums to know about this week

Father John Misty reaches the apex of hopelessness on God’s Favorite Customer, while Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) embrace the surreal on LUMP, and New York no-wavers The Dreebs take pleasure in the claustrophobic on Forest Of A Crew. These, plus catching up with A$AP Rocky’s recent Testing in this week’s…

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Oneohtrix Point Never goes pop, then obliterates it on the excellent Age Of

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There are harpsichords all over Age Of, electronic composer Daniel Lopatin’s eighth studio album as Oneohtrix Point Never. It’s an instrument that Lopatin derides in press materials as a “perfectly dumb machine”—one that always reverberates the same, no matter how you strike the keys. That sound, reminiscent of…

Drake, Neko Case, and a deluge of Kanye: The 38 most-anticipated albums of June

Following May’s especially strong lineup of releases, June brings long-awaited returns from Neko Case, Nas, Lykke Li, and Gang Gang Dance, as well as anticipated efforts from Drake, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Zeal & Ardor and promising debuts from Snail Mail and Juliana Daugherty. In hip-hop, it is undoubtedly the…

The thrill and the tragedy of Jonathan Fire*Eater's Stewart Lupton

The very first photo in Lizzy Goodman’s recent oral history, Meet Me In The Bathroom, is of Stewart Lupton smoking a cigarette, framed by enormous angel wings. It’s a fitting image to begin Goodman’s story of New York’s rock rebirth in the early 2000s—a story that really began several years earlier, when the…

Pulp, Team Dresch, and Autechre were the true alternative in 1995

To commemorate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Off The Charts revisits each year since it was established to spotlight songs and artists that didn’t make the cut, yet still made a significant impact. Years are chosen randomly and—to make it even harder on ourselves—rules for inclusion are that neither the songs nor…

The bracing, brilliant Daytona is uncut Pusha T

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Pusha T came out of the gate fully evolved. He kicks off the intro to Clipse’s Lord Willin’, released in 2002, talking shit and pushing weight—“Playas we ain’t the same, I’m into ’caine and guns”—a statement of purpose from which he never wavered. He was 25. Over Clipse’s ensuing mixtapes and albums, he and brother…