Where Do We Go Now? Navigating The Crowded Field Of Music Festivals In 2018 And Beyond

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Coachella 2018Calling the state of the music festival market anything but saturated in 2018 would be either dishonest or disconnected. The optimistic would say the festival market is thriving and profitable enough to attract new entrepreneurs each year. The pessimist would call the festival scene a bloated, hyper-competitive wasteland. The truth is somewhere in between. More »

Pharrell’s 18 Biggest Hits From Worst To Best

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Pharrell Williams 1998Twenty years ago this past weekend — on July 8, 1998 — something very predictable happened on the Billboard Hot 100: Mase’s “Lookin’ At Me” became the third consecutive single from his Grammy-nominated, multi-Platinum album Harlem World to break into the chart’s top 10. Label boss Puff Daddy was in his opulent, shiny-suited prime, and … More »

Death Grips Is IRL: Privacy, Community, & The Shadow Of Deltron 3030 Hang Over Year Of The Snitch

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Death GripsYear Of The Snitch will be remembered as one of Death Grips’ better records. It’s no Disc 1 of The Powers That B, but it’s pretty damn good. It has an energy that could get me to bet my savings account on one round of poker. I will instead place a hypothetical bet on this … More »

U2 Bring The Moving, Bombastic Spectacle Of Experience To MSG

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U2-Experience-Innocence-TourThree years ago, U2 began to tell a story. It was the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, an eight-night residency at Manhattan’s legendary Madison Square Garden. The band was touring behind their then-latest album Songs Of Innocence, but onstage they were really after a bigger goal, looking back to their youth in Ireland to try … More »

Red Baraat’s Sound The People Is A Boisterous Love Letter To Cultural Harmony

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Red BaraatI couldn’t wrap my head around all the Royal Wedding hoopla that took place last month. I mean, beyond my inherent wariness of celebrating a colonialist institution and the usual skepticism that comes with excessive interest in the lives of people notable for hardly any reason beyond wealth, I just can’t understand getting that excited … More »

Food & The Flexi-Disc: A Deliciously Aural & Equally Ephemeral Timeline

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McDonald's Flexi DiscThere is something deeply satisfying about out-nerding a record nerd. And that’s just what I did after I was able to track down the owner of just about the rarest flexi-disc in the world — one in 80 million — on assignment for KCRW’s Lost Notes. More »

Our Attempt To Edit Kanye’s Wyoming Albums Into Cruel Summer 2

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Kanye-West-Lil-Kim-Teyana-Taylor-ReleaseFridays may be a little less frenzied now. With the release of Teyana Taylor’s new K.T.S.E. last week, a wild monthlong parade of albums produced by Kanye West has concluded at last. Taylor’s project marked the fifth and theoretically final LP out of Kanye’s orbit in as many weeks. More »

Volume Dealers: The Return Of My Bloody Valentine & A Brief History Of Our Addiction To Loudness

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My Bloody Valentine - Live With AmpsVolume is a drug. More »

The Tangled Legacy Of XXXTentacion

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XXXTentacionIt’s an annual tradition: XXL collects a mixed-bag gaggle of young rappers, all of whom think they’re already too big for this rigamarole. Together, they all pose for the magazine cover and submit to goofy public-relations stunting, all of which are engineered to boost both their own social media profiles and that of the aging … More »

A Decade Of Katy Perry: The Rise And Fall Of A Candy-Coated Pop Star In An Increasingly Sour World

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Katy Perry wiggles into a skirt shaped like a multi-tier cake, surrounded by sequin-sewing costume designers. It’s the opening scene of the 2012 documentary Katy Perry: Part Of Me, and Perry’s team is preparing for her California Dreams tour, scrambling around a pink Project Runway-style workroom. As if wielding a magic wand, she tries on … More »