"Do you remember when the guitar was a wild, unpredictable instrument? (...) Well, Daniel Champagne still plays the guitar in that bold, unconstrained way" - Ted Gioia recommends the Australian guitarist (now living in Nashville). "You feel as if he just invented the instrument yesterday and was discovering its possibilities afresh. And I haven’t even started telling you about his singing and songwriting—but go find out for yourself."

Sabine Salamé

"Rap has become one of the most important tools to resist, criticise, and protest against oppression, dictatorship and corruption" - Gal-Dem points out in the introduction of their recent selection of the key players from the progressive rap scenes in Syria and Lebanon. Standing out in this part of the Arab peninsula are Bu Nasser Touffar, Amir Almurrai, Bu Kolthoum, El-Rass, Sabine Salamé, and Ebaa.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Greenday
April 19, 2023

The 50 best stoner albums

4/20 - the international counterculture holiday based on the celebration and consumption of cannabis - is coming, so Consequence marijuana lovers have put together "an essential list of the 50 Best Stoner Albums from the worlds of pop, hip-hop, electronic, rock, and heavy metal". The list starts with Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality', and finishes with Tame Impala's 'Lonerism'.

Madison McFerrin

"This is all about music discovery—and I’m excited to tell you about a few favorite artists you might not encounter elsewhere" - music writer Ted Gioia announces his list of 30 most intriguing new musicians. "It’s a cranky and deeply personal list", Gioia warns. Some of chosen ones are Hania Rani, singer-songwriter from Gdansk; Madison McFerrin, a pianist from a family of musicians; Sam Gendel - a versatile multi-instrumentalist.


100% renewable power, veggie food, upcycling workshop, outlawed single-use plastics, organic food, wooden stages, recycling stations, biodegradable crockery, electric fleets, low-impact solar-powered lighting, chemical-free compost loos, water-saving vacuum toilets, mobile solar-power stations, waste-separation points, and many more eco-friendly schemes are featured in sustainable festivals in the EU and the UK. Guardian selects 10 prominent ones, Pohoda, Isle of Wight, and Terraforma among others.

Shredding ladies
March 22, 2023

The new generation of Black female guitarists

Lava La Rue

the beginnings of rock'n'roll. Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a Black queer gospel singer and guitarist from Arkansas who emerged in the 1930s, daring to mix gospel with secular music, laying the foundations for rock and roll. Memphis Minnie was a blues musician from the 1930s with a master finger-picking guitar style. Barbara Lynn was the R&B guitarist and singer who came to prominence in the 60s. Beverly Watkins was one of the first women to be recognised as a lead blues guitarist. A few of the representatives of the new generation are: Stephanie Phillips, guitarist and singer of Black feminist punk band Big Joanie; artist Lava La Rue who came to play guitar through a government scheme to support music tuition for lower-income families; vocalist/guitarist Amy Love is one half of English rock duo Nova Twins, together with bassist Georgia South.

It's definitely not a definitive list, but rather an interesting perspective by the rock journalism institution on the history of heavy metal (which they believe started with 'Black Sabbath' by, ahem, Blach Sabbath). The list starts with Venom's 'Wellcome to Hell' at No. 100, and reaches the high-point with, well, guess which song!?! A great lead of the article by the way - "Thousands of years after the Bronze and Iron Ages, the true Metal Age dawned half a century ago"!

The time is now
March 16, 2023

The best UK metal bands right now

"The scene Def Leppard and Judas Priest helped consolidate 40-plus years ago has never had this much talent, or represented as many disaffected voices, as it does today" - Guardian argues in its piece about the current British heavy metal scene. Some of the important names the G is picking out are Bristol post-hardcore collective Svalbard, black metal trio Dawn Ray’d, masked prog-metal Londoners Sleep Token, noise-punk duo Nova Twins, anti-fascist metalcore fivesome Ithaca...

Everything everywhere all at Dans
March 14, 2023

Five best music videos by the Oscar winners The DANIELS

Directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, the team behind 'Everything Everywhere All At Once', won three Oscars in a single evening - Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. At 35 years old, they’re two of the youngest Best Director winners in history, and also the first Best Director winners ever to come from the world of music videos. Stereogum had a tough time selecting only five of their videos as the best ones.

Daisy Jones & The Six

An amusing list in Rolling Stone - "It’s a strange but often hugely appealing musical subgenre, and this is our attempt to figure out which are the true best songs of the fake best songs". Plenty of interesting music among the 50 chosen ones, set between ‘Time To Change’ by The Brady Bunch from the 1972 movie 'The Brady Bunch', and ‘That Thing You Do!’ by The Wonders from 'That Thing You Do!' (1996).22

Taylored for records
February 24, 2023

Taylor Swift - 2022 Global Recording Artist Of The Year

Taylor Swift has been named the Global Recording Artist Chart for 2022 by the IFPI, the global recorded music trade body. This chart is the only global ranking to accurately measure consumption across all formats, including streaming formats, digital and physical album and singles sales and all countries. The IFPI’s Top 20 list reveals, in order, the artists who generated the most money last year globally across streaming, download, and physical record sales combined in 2022. Here it its:

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. BTS
  3. Drake
  4. Bad Bunny
  5. The Weeknd
  7. Stray Kids
  8. Harry Styles
  9. Jay Chou
  10. Ed Sheeran
  11. Eminem
  12. Kanye West
  13. YoungBoy Never Broke Again
  14. Kendrick Lamar
  15. Lil Baby
  16. Billie Eilish
  17. Post Malone
  18. Juice WRLD
  19. The Beatles
  20. Imagine Dragons

Rajin Sharafi / Azu Tiwaline / Youmna Saba

"Despite the challenges that the electronic music community in general—and women in particular—face, there remains a deep desire to create, build, rebuild and share music from behind the decks to dancefloors worldwide" - Bandcamp points out to the generation of female producers from South West Asia and North Africa redefining the sound of electronic music.

"True suckiness — like true greatness — is a subjective quality" - Rolling Stone goes presenting their selection of horrible albums by otherwise brilliant artists. Plenty of greats are there - Outkast, Bob Dylan, The Clash, R.E.M., The Who, David Bowie, John Lennon, Black Sabbath, Kanye West... "Did we rank them? We sure did. Beginning with least-worst and counting down to the most historic flop."

The day after
February 15, 2023

The 20 best breakup albums

"Feelings of loneliness, anger, and, perhaps most potently, loss seem like they’ll never end. The experience is utterly overwhelming, and it’s frankly not healthy to keep all of those emotions bottled up. The best way to get them out? The tried-and-true breakup album" - Consequence introduces their list of 20 best break-up albums. The interesting selection includes Adele, Bright Eyes, Converge, The Cure, and Taylor Swift, among others.

Despite the fact that the '20s were ruled by segregation and racist sentiments, the most popular music of the era in the US was heavily influenced by the work of black performers who created and defined ragtime, jazz, and blues - All Music introduces their selection of songs of 1923. The themes come out quite modern - 'Beside a Babbling Brook' is about a man who feels climbing the ladder of life "isn't worth the worry and strife" and he would rather spend his time "beside a babbling brook" in the midst of nature. Check out the full list here.

Kendrick Lamar's landmark 2015 album 'To Pimp a Butterfly' had overtaken the top spot on the popular community review site Rate Your Music, surpassing Radiohead’s 'OK Computer' as the highest-ranked album of all time. 'To Pimp a Butterfly' now has a 4.34 rating, the highest on the platform; 'OK Computer' is at 4.26. Rate Your Music uses a complex algorithm to calculate an album’s score, which considers factors including total number of reviews, each user’s activity level on the site, and more. Radiohead, however, have a total of three albums in the Top 10, Pink Floyd have two.

Happy being sad
January 29, 2023

The 20 best sad albums

Consequence has rounded up a list of "20 of the most bleak, grim, melancholic albums out there for the most efficient commiserating", because "sad songs are so cathartic". The interesting list starts with Greet Death’s 'New Hell', at No. 20, to reach the catharsis with Mount Eerie's 'A Crow Looked at Me' at No. 1. Check out the full list.

Belgian Tomorrowland has been voted world’s No. 1 festival in the DJ Mag Top 100 Festivals poll 2022, with over 100,000 verified votes counted. "Since launching in 2005, Belgium's Tomorrowland festival has pushed the boundaries of production, imagination and curation", DJ Mag argues, adding "the flagship event expanded from two to three weekends in July 2022 for 'The Reflection of Love', welcoming 600,000 visitors from 200 countries, and hosted its Winter edition in L'Alpe d'Huez in France".

The top 10 festivals on DJ Mag's list are:

  1. Tomorrowland, Belgium
  2. Ultra Music Festival, USA
  3. EDC Las Vegas, USA
  4. Creamfields North, UK
  5. Exit, Serbia
  6. Glastonbury, UK
  7. Awakenings, Netherlands
  8. Coachella, USA
  9. Untold, Romania
  10. Sunburn, India

Happy new list
January 24, 2023

25 artists to watch this year

Liv.e/Akai Solo

Pitchfork has chosen 25 artists they’re "keeping a keen eye on this year... from twisted R&B auteur Liv.e to club rap regenerator Bandmanrill to indie rock realists Wednesday". Some are quite new in music like Akai Solo, and Grace Ives, a few have been around for a while but this year just might be the one for them, like Yasmin Williams, and Soul Glo.

It’s good to witness the current flourishing of what we might call Green Pop – though others may prefer Eco-Pop, Eco-Rock, etc... - challenging the current state of our environment - PopMatters writes proudly about the new wave of music dealing with climate change, and nature protection. PM presents American folk musicians that preceded them - Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, Chris Webby, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Malvina Reynolds, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, and Don Maclean.

Let's jazz in
January 20, 2023

The 20 best jazz albums for beginners

"Sure jazz is a big body of music, but it is full of wonders. If you’ve always wanted to get interested in jazz, just jump in. Don’t approach it with fear or a sense that you don’t know enough about it. It’s just a smorgasbord of stuff to enjoy. Or not. Take your pick from the variety" - PopMatters dares you to give jazz a chance. There are two lists - "the historical canon for those who want to be students [Coltrane, Holiday, Davis, Ellington...], but first I’m giving you a list designed to draw you in [Billy Cobham, Louis Jordan, Cassandra Wilson, Aaron Parks...]. No lessons here. No crusty things that don’t groove or only appeal to the brain. But, yes, it’s JAZZ, with the improvising and the daring but without the scary stuff".

Strangers in the Alps
January 19, 2023

The best of Slovenian electronic music

Pouch Envy

The Quietus' dance music columnist Jaša Bužinel sheds light on the "small Slovenian electronic music scene and shares his favourite recent releases from the likes of Vid Vai, POUCH ENVY, dvidevat and Black Dot". "By including mainly names which you may never have heard of before," the writer says he hopes "to shed some light on all the talented Slovenian producers and artists who really deserve to be heard abroad".

Will be happy to say "told you so"
January 13, 2023

MixMag chooses 24 best new artists

"There’s an exciting energy in the air at the start of each year, knowing that a whole new wave of exciting music and dancefloors moments are soon to be experienced" - MixMag introduces the selection of 24 DJs, producers, and rappers to watch in 2023. Included are English rapper Clavish with "some of the most formidable wordplay in UK rap right now", Irish DJ Fio Fa - "expect to see him get dancefloors shaking in 2023", Chinese DJ Hao who "pulls dancers through pneumatic beats up to blinding trance-inflected climaxes with a sense of momentum that’s relentless and exhilarating", and LA DJ Introspekt because "any artist who can master the full stylistic range garage offers is immediately essential".

Alpha, beta, gama, metal
January 11, 2023

Heavy Blog is Heavy chooses the 50 best albums of 2022

The good people from Heavy Blog is Heavy have waited for the year 2022 to end, listened to all the albums coming out in December, and have served us now with a very good list of the 50 best (mostly) metal albums (and one interesting non-metal addition). Since HBIH considers music not to be a contest, they listed the 50 chosen ones from the "phenomenal year for music" in alphabetical order. A good one.

Wait & see
January 09, 2023

10 pop acts about to smash it in 2023

The Face chooses 10 pop acts they expect to "smash it" this year - Colombian-American producer/DJ Nick León, whose "tracks are powered by dembow rhythms, often fusing Latin genres like reggaeton and perreo with ambient, IDM, Miami bass and electro"; New York rapper Clip, distinct for her "nonchalant delivery and a love of scuzzy, leftfield rap production", Bar Italia who Mix "jagged art rock and grey-scale dream-pop"; and others.

"Deep, empathetic bond between artist and listener is the most elemental connection in music" - Rolling Stone introduces its list of the 200 best singers of all time, which, "encompasses 100 years of pop music as an ongoing global conversation". The ultimate criteria was "originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy". Here are the top 10:

10. Al Green

9. Otis Redding

8. Beyoncé

7. Stevie Wonder

6. Ray Charles

5. Mariah Carey

4. Billie Holiday

3. Sam Cooke

2. Whitney Houston

  1. Aretha Franklin

The former American president revealed his favorite songs of 2022. In includes SZA’s 'Shirt', Danger Mouse and Black Thought’s 'Belize' featuring MF DOOM, Lizzo’s 'About Damn Time', Rosalía’s 'SAOKO', Beyoncé’s 'Break My Soul', Bad Bunny’s 'Tití Me Preguntó', Kendrick Lamar’s non-album hype track 'The Heart Part 5', and others.

Music writer Ted Gioia made a list of his favorite online articles and essays from 2022 on music, arts, and culture - "if the article is good enough, I include it, no matter what the subject". Interesting pieces about heavy metal’s fascination with Roman emperors, the connection between Mozart na J Dilla, using music as torture, and many more.

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