Posts Tagged ‘rolling stone’

Rolling Stone and Spin announce their top albums of 2008

December 15, 2008

TV on the Radio’s “Dear Science” tops both lists. See both lists below.

Rolling Stone Top 50 Albums of 2008

Read the reasons behind each of Rolling Stone’s selections here

50 No Age – Nouns
49 Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
48 Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It
47 Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
46 The Academy Is… – Fast Times at Barrington High
45 Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward
44 The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely
43 Nas – Untitled
42 David Byrne and Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
41 AC/DC – Black Ice
40 Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer
39 Taylor Swift – Fearless
38 Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line
37 Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
36 The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
35 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
34 Stephen Malkmus – Real Emotional Trash
33 Ne-Yo – Year Of The Gentleman
32 Jamey Johnson – The Lonesome Song
31 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
30 Duffy – Rockferry
29 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
28 The Knux – Remind Me in Three Days…
27 Brian Wilson – That Lucky Old Sun
26 Mudcrutch – Mudcrutch
25 The Magnetic Fields – Distortion
24 Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
23 Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
22 Jackson Browne – Time the Conquerer
21 Kaiser Chiefs – Off With Their Heads
20 Kings of Leon – Only By The Night
19 Erykah Badu – New Amerykah, Part 1 (4th World War)
18 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
17 B.B. King – One Kind Favor
16 Randy Newman – Harps and Angels
15 The Black Keys – Attack & Release
14 Ryan Adams And The Cardinals – Cardinology
13 Blitzen Trapper – Furr
12 Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
11 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
10 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
09 Metallica – Death Magnetic
08 Beck – Modern Guilt
07 Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
06 Santogold – Santogold
05 John Mellencamp – Life, Death, Love and Freedom
04 My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
03 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
02 Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs:The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
01 TV on the Radio – Dear Science

Spin Magazine’s Top 40 Albums of 2008

Read the reasons behind each of Spin’s selections here.

40 Chairlift – Does You Inspire You
39 Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
38 Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul
37 Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer
36 Lykke Li – Youth Novels
35 The Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely
34 Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
33 El Guincho – Alegranza
32 The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia
31 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
30 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
29 Nas & DJ Green Lantern – The Nigger Tape
28 Metallica – Death Magnetic
27 The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed
26 R.E.M. – Accelerate
25 Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs
24 Duffy – Rockferry
23 Kate Nash – Made Of Bricks
22 Black Kids – Partie Traumatic
21 Kings Of Leon – Only By The Night
20 Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple
19 Okkervil River – The Stand Ins
18 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
17 The Roots – Rising Down
16 My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
15 Beck – Modern Guilt
14 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
13 No Age – Nouns
12 Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Pt. 1: 4th World War
11 Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
10 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
09 Coldplay – Viva La Vida
08 Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
07 Deerhunter – Microcastle
06 Santogold – Santogold
05 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
04 Fucked Up – The Chemistry Of Common Life
03 Portishead – Third
02 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
01 TV On The Radio – Dear Science

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Batman: The Dark Knight reviewed by Peter Traverse of Rolling Stone

June 26, 2008


The Dark Knight : Review : Rolling Stone

Heads up: a thunderbolt is about to rip into the blanket of bland we call summer movies. The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan’s absolute stunner of a follow-up to 2005’s Batman Begins, is a potent provocation decked out as a comic-book movie. Feverish action? Check. Dazzling spectacle? Check. Devilish fun? Check. But Nolan is just warming up. There’s something raw and elemental at work in this artfully imagined universe. Striking out from his Batman origin story, Nolan cuts through to a deeper dimension. Huh? Wha? How can a conflicted guy in a bat suit and a villain with a cracked, painted-on clown smile speak to the essentials of the human condition? Just hang on for a shock to the system. The Dark Knight creates a place where good and evil — expected to do battle — decide instead to get it on and dance. “I don’t want to kill you,” Heath Ledger’s psycho Joker tells Christian Bale’s stalwart Batman. “You complete me.” Don’t buy the tease. He means it.

The trouble is that Batman, a.k.a. playboy Bruce Wayne, has had it up to here with being the white knight. He’s pissed that the public sees him as a vigilante. He’ll leave the hero stuff to district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and stop the DA from moving in on Rachel Dawes (feisty Maggie Gyllenhaal, in for sweetie Katie Holmes), the lady love who is Batman’s only hope for a normal life.

Everything gleams like sin in Gotham City (cinematographer Wally Pfister shot on location in Chicago, bringing a gritty reality to a cartoon fantasy). And the bad guys seem jazzed by their evildoing. Take the Joker, who treats a stunningly staged bank robbery like his private video game with accomplices in Joker masks, blood spurting and only one winner. Nolan shot this sequence, and three others, for the IMAX screen and with a finesse for choreographing action that rivals Michael Mann’s Heat. But it’s what’s going on inside the Bathead that pulls us in. Bale is electrifying as a fallibly human crusader at war with his own conscience.

I can only speak superlatives of Ledger, who is mad-crazy-blazing brilliant as the Joker. Miles from Jack Nicholson’s broadly funny take on the role in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, Ledger takes the role to the shadows, where even what’s comic is hardly a relief. No plastic mask for Ledger; his face is caked with moldy makeup that highlights the red scar of a grin, the grungy hair and the yellowing teeth of a hound fresh out of hell. To the clown prince of crime, a knife is preferable to a gun, the better to “savor the moment.”

The deft script, by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, taking note of Bob Kane’s original Batman and Frank Miller’s bleak rethink, refuses to explain the Joker with pop psychology. Forget Freudian hints about a dad who carved a smile into his son’s face with a razor. As the Joker says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.”

The Joker represents the last completed role for Ledger, who died in January at 28 before finishing work on Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. It’s typical of Ledger’s total commitment to films as diverse as Brokeback Mountain and I’m Not There that he does nothing out of vanity or the need to be liked. If there’s a movement to get him the first posthumous Oscar since Peter Finch won for 1976’s Network, sign me up. Ledger’s Joker has no gray areas — he’s all rampaging id. Watch him crash a party and circle Rachel, a woman torn between Bale’s Bruce (she knows he’s Batman) and Eckhart’s DA, another lover she has to share with his civic duty. “Hello, beautiful,” says the Joker, sniffing Rachel like a feral beast. He’s right when he compares himself to a dog chasing a car: The chase is all. The Joker’s sadism is limitless, and the masochistic delight he takes in being punched and bloodied to a pulp would shame the Marquis de Sade. “I choose chaos,” says the Joker, and those words sum up what’s at stake in The Dark Knight.

The Joker wants Batman to choose chaos as well. He knows humanity is what you lose while you’re busy making plans to gain power. Every actor brings his A game to show the lure of the dark side. Michael Caine purrs with sarcastic wit as Bruce’s butler, Alfred, who harbors a secret that could crush his boss’s spirit. Morgan Freeman radiates tough wisdom as Lucius Fox, the scientist who designs those wonderful toys — wait till you get a load of the Batpod — but who finds his own standards being compromised. Gary Oldman is so skilled that he makes virtue exciting as Jim Gordon, the ultimate good cop and as such a prime target for the Joker. As Harvey tells the Caped Crusader, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” Eckhart earns major props for scarily and movingly portraying the DA’s transformation into the dreaded Harvey Two-Face, an event sparked by the brutal murder of a major character.

No fair giving away the mysteries of The Dark Knight. It’s enough to marvel at the way Nolan — a world-class filmmaker, be it Memento, Insomnia or The Prestige — brings pop escapism whisper-close to enduring art. It’s enough to watch Bale chillingly render Batman as a lost warrior, evoking Al Pacino in The Godfather II in his delusion and desolation. It’s enough to see Ledger conjure up the anarchy of the Sex Pistols and A Clockwork Orange as he creates a Joker for the ages. Go ahead, bitch about the movie being too long, at two and a half hours, for short attention spans (it is), too somber for the Hulk crowd (it is), too smart for its own good (it isn’t). The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination. It’s full of surprises you don’t see coming. And just try to get it out of your dreams.

100 greatest guitar songs of all-time according to Rolling Stone magazine

June 13, 2008

Rolling Stone recently produced a list of the top 100 guitar songs of all time. Below, you can find a link to the story and an explanation of how songs were chosen for the list. The Rolling story also has a little blurb about each song, too. I’m sure this list will both please and annoy a lot of people if their favorite guitarist/band/song is left out. Ck. it out for yourself. I’m included a few video performances of some of my favorites on the list. (for some reason, I can’t figure out why those smiley faces appear…sorry)

Original Story

This is what makes a great rock & roll guitar sound: an irresistible riff; a solo or jam that takes you higher every time you hear it; the final power chord that pins you to the wall and makes you hit “play” again and again. Every song here has those thrills. But these are rock’s greatest guitar moments because of what’s inside the notes: hunger, fury, despair and joy, often all at once. You hear the blues, gospel and rockabilly that came before, transormed by the need to say something new and loud, right away. Rock & roll has been the sound of independence for half a century. The guitar is still its essential, liberating voice. These are the 100 reasons why.

The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time

1. “Johnny B. Goode,” Chuck Berry

2. “Purple Haze,” The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)

3. “Crossroads” Cream (1968)

4. “You Really Got Me” The Kinks (1964)

5. “Brown Sugar” The Rolling Stones (1971)

6. “Eruption” Van Halen (1978)

7. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” The Beatles (1968)

8. “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zepplin (1971)

9. “Statesboro Blues” The Allman Brothers Band (1971)

10. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana (1991)

11. “Whole Lotta Love” Led Zeppelin (1969)

12. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)

13. “Layla” Derek and the Dominos (1970)

14. “Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen (1975)

15. “My Generation” The Who (1965)

16. “Cowgirl in the Sand” Neil Young with Crazy Horse (1969)

17. “Black Sabbath” Black Sabbath (1970)

18. “Blitzkrieg Bop” Ramones (1976)

19. “Purple Rain” Prince and the Revolution (1984)

20. “People Get Ready” The Impressions (1965)

21. “Seven Nation Army” The White Stripes (2003)

22. “A Hard Day’s Night” The Beatles (1964)

23. “Over Under Sideways Down” The Yardbirds (1966)

24. “Killing In The Name Of” Rage Against The Machine (1992)

25. “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” The Rolling Stones (1971)

26. “How Blue Can you Get” B.B. King (1965)

27. “Look Over Yonders Wall” The Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1965)

28. “Where the Streets Have No Name” U2 (1987)

29. “Back in Black” AC/DC (1980)

30. “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” Bill Haley and His Comets (1954)

31. “Keep Yourself Alive” Queen (1973)

32. “Sultans of Swing” Dire Straits (1978)

33. “Master of Puppets” Metallica (1986)

34. “Walk This Way” Aerosmith (1975)

35. “1969” The Stooges (1969)

36. “Interstellar Overdrive” Pink Floyd (1967)

37. “That’s All Right” Elvis Presley (1954)

38. “Stay With Me” The Faces (1971)

39. “Black Magic Woman” Santana (1970)

40. “I Can See for Miles” The Who (1967)

41. “Marquee Moon” Television (1977)

42. “Hideaway” John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (1966)

43. “Holidays in the Sun” The Sex Pistols (1977)

44. “Dig Me Out” Sleater-Kinne (1997)

45. “I Saw Her Standing There” The Beatles (1963)

46. “Miserlou” Dick Dale and the Del-Tones (1962)

47. “Panama” Van Halen (1984)

48. “London Calling” The Clash (1980)

49. “Machine Gun” Jimi Hendrix (1970)

50. “Debaser” Pixies (1989)

51. “Crazy Train” Ozzy Osbourne (1981)

52. “My Iron Lung” Radiohead (1995)

53. “Born on the Bayou” Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)

54. “Little Wing” Stevie Ray Vaughan (1991)

55. “White Room” Cream (1968)

56. “Eight Miles High” The Byrds (1966)

57. “Dark Star” Grateful Dead (1969)

58. “Rumble” Link Wray (1958)

59. “Freeway Jam” Jeff Beck (1975)

60. “Maggot Brain” Funkadelic (1971)

61. “Soul Man” Sam and Dave (1967)

62. “Born Under a Bad Sign” Albert King (1967)

63. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” Guns n’ Roses (1987)

64. “Freebird” Lyrnyrd Skynyrd (1973)

65. “Message in a Bottle” The Police (1979)

66. “Texas Flood” Stevie Ray Vaughan (1983)

67. “Adam Raised a Cain” Bruce Springsteen (1978)

68. “The Thrill is Gone” B.B. King (1969)

69. “Money” Pink Floyd (1973)

70. “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

71. “Take It or Leave It” The Strokes (2001)

72. “Say It Ain’t So” Weezer (1994)

73. “Summertime Blues” Blue Cheer (1968)

74. “La Grange” ZZ Top (1973)

75. “Willie the Pimp” Frank Zappa (1969)

76. “American Girl” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976)

77. “Even Flow” Pearl Jam (1991)

78. “Stone Crazy” Buddy Guy (1970)

79. “Silver Rocket” Sonic Youth (1988)

80. “Kid Charlemagne” Steely Dan (1976)

81. “Beat It” Michael Jackson (1982)

82. “Walk — Don’t Run” The Ventures (1960)

83. “What I Got” Sublime (1996)

84. “Gravity” John Mayer (2006)

85. “You Enjoy Myself” Phish (1988)

86. “I Ain’t Superstitious” Jeff Beck (1968)

87. “Red” King Crimson (1974)

88. “Mona” Quicksilver Messenger Service (1969)

89. “I Love Rock N Roll” Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (1981)

90. “How Soon Is Now?” The Smiths (1985)

91. “Drunkship of Lanterns” The Mars Volta (2003)

92. “Memo from Turner” Mick Jagger (1970)

93. “Only Shallow” My Bloody Valentine (1991)

94. “Money for Nothing” Dire Straits (1984)

95. “Omaha” Moby Grape (1967)

96. “New Day Rising” Husker Du (1985)

97. “No One Knows” Queens of the Stone Age (2002)

98. “Under the Bridge” Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991)

99. “Run Thru” My Morning Jacket (2003)

100. “Vicarious” Tool (2006)