The Consumer Guide staff picks their favorite music for long nighttime drives. The Florida spring-break road trip is cliché these days, but it was the thing to do when my college friends and I hit the interstate back in 1984. The trip from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale is roughly 1400 miles, and our goal, alternating drivers, was to cover that distance in under 24 hours. As I recall, we arrived at our destination in about 27 hours, but made the return trip in under 24. What I remember most vividly from that drive were the vast expanses of highway that wove through regions of the United States in which there were no decent radio stations. This was the Eighties, so the only alternative to radio was cassette tapes. As I forgot to bring my own tapes, I was subjected to several hours of Genesis and Phil Collins—seemingly the only music college men listened to then. I considered this a punishment for crimes I had not committed. Music is easier to bring along these … [Read more...] about Road Trip: Best Albums for a Night Drive
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The A.V. Club’s list of 2018’s best albums was determined by eight critics, who each submitted a ranked ballot of their top 10 to 20 records of the year. Those ballots can be found below, some with annotations providing insight into their choices. Top 10 1. Beach House, 7Song For Alpha Hell-OnHunterKnock Knock6. Saba, Care For MeHoneySafe In The Hands Of Love9. Georgia Anne Muldrow, OverloadIn A Poem Unlimited The next 10 11. Earl Sweatshirt, Some Rap Songs12. Low, Double Negative13. Noname, Room 25Whack World15. Farao, Pure-ODirty Computer17. Julia Holter, AviaryFM!19. Helena Hauff, QualmNegro Swan Top 5 reissues 1. Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes, Paix (Mexican Summer)Our Garden Needs Its Flowers (Awesome Tapes)Devotion (Vinyl Me, Please)Treasure (4AD)Music And Poetry Of The Kesh (RVNG International) Top 5 EPs 1. Bbymutha, Bbyshoe2. Midori Tikada & Lafawndah, Le Renard Bleu3. Roísín Murphy, Plaything/Like4. Jenny Hval, The Long Sleep5. Kaitlyn … [Read more...] about The best albums of 2018: The ballots
AVQ&A Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences. As we wind down 2018, our best-of coverage continues with the following question: What was the best live show you saw this year? Erik Adams When David Byrne billed the American Utopia tour as “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense,” it came off a little hyperbolic. Six months after catching the tour’s Chicago stop, I think he might’ve been underselling it. Barefoot and clad in matching gray suits, Byrne and band worked through a set that ran from Talking Heads’ Fear Of Music all the way up to his 2018 solo release, a sometimes turgid recording whose songs found new degrees of energy and movement when played by a band whose members were all strapped to their … [Read more...] about What’s the best live show you saw in 2018?
Each new “best albums” list published seems to confirm: We couldn’t agree on much this year. And it’s extremely exciting. The music industry at large continued to decentralize, with our biggest stars and returning veterans sharing airtime with newcomers and indie upstarts. Really the only constant seemed to be in hip-hop—its domination of the charts, its relentless pace of releases, its public beefs. To that end, if you want to explore a wider scope of the year’s music by genre, we recommend checking out our top 10s in metal, punk/hardcore, film soundtracks, country, electronic, hip-hop, pop/R&B, and indie/rock. As for the top 20 overall below, even if our music critics’ ballots reflect very different means of getting there, our final list shows we were all looking for a similar experience. Overwhelmingly, we turned to artists seeking new horizons, deconstructed or genreless landscapes where we might find more honest connections and … [Read more...] about ’s 20 best albums of 2018
2018’s best film music is about reinvention. We may be doomed to an endless parade of reboots, remakes, and sequels, both spiritual and otherwise, on our theater screens—a problem that, to be fair, is not a new one for Hollywood—but thankfully we’ve got visionary composers and performers who can mold familiar themes into fresh new shapes. Some of these reinventions upend our expectations, as with Thom Yorke’s delicate, hypnotic response to Goblin’s bombastic score to the original Suspiria. Others are more interested in refinement, like the new textures John Carpenter added to his Halloween theme for David Gordon Green’s remake. And some present the expected in vivid new ways that spark the imagination, like the triumphant pop mastery of A Star Is Born and the Afrofuturist innovation of Kendrick Lamar’s hip-hop driven Black Panther soundtrack. Even self-reinvention is on the table, as in Jonny Greenwood and Jóhann … [Read more...] about The best film soundtracks of 2018