The Year In Music 2015: Jason’s Picks

popsBy Jason. While there was so much good music to choose from in 2015, three albums came out of nowhere to dominate my listening for the year. I enjoyed the hell out of this year’s releases from some familiar artists, like Josh Ritter’s Sermon On The Rocks, Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free, The Dead Weather’s Dodge And Burn, and Noah Gundersen’s Carry The Ghost. But I expected to. The three albums that really got to me, however, were from artists with which I had no prior connection. Continue reading

The Projects: The Essential 90s Albums, #5-1


By The S&N Staff. All things must end. And even though it took almost as long to count down our favorite albums of the 90s as it did to actually make it through the 90s, we’re finally ready to give you our top five. While it should come as no surprise that bands like Nirvana and Radiohead top out our list, you just may be surprised at which order they placed once the final votes were tallied. Continue reading

The Projects: The Essential 90s Albums, #10-6

flannel2By The S&N Staff. Over the past few months, S&N has been counting down our list of the essential 90s albums. So far, we’ve seen historic albums from Nine Inch Nails, Biggie, Green Day, Beastie Boys, Counting Crows, Rage Against The Machine, Oasis, and plenty of others. Today, we finally reach the top 10, and it should comes as no surprise that there’s hip-hop, nerd rock, and of course, plenty of grunge. We start with a band better known for their 80s output—and a 1992 masterpiece that may (or may not) be their best work. Continue reading

The Projects: The Essential 90s Albums, #25-21

By The S&N Staff. There may be some generational bias at play here, but the 90s just might’ve been the peak of the album experience. In that gap in time between the MTV and radio dominance of the 80s and the Napster and iTunes takeover of the 2000s came a wave of rock and hip-hop artists who saw music as more than just a collection of singles. Whether fueled by nostalgia for the classic rock era of the concept LP, or a reflexive cynicism of “selling out,” these artists had ambitions toward a higher level of creativity. Continue reading

The Year In Music 2014: Jason’s Picks

claptonBy Jason. When 2014 began, I had no idea who J.J. Cale was. But thanks to Clapton’s tribute album, his work became my favorite of 2014. Despite spending the year listening to a wide range of artists outside my usual listening habits, I kept coming back to this album. Cale’s “Tulsa Sound” is so smooth and effortless. Plus you have Willie Nelson and a more interesting Tom Petty than you get on Hypnotic Eye. After spending almost 20 years listening to more face-melting guitar than any person should, I’ve come to enjoy a well-honed rhythm and the perfectly placed lead. Continue reading

The Historian: The True Genius Behind Metallica’s Ride The Lightning

Metallica.Cliff Ross Halfin

By Jason. Thirty years ago, the battle for the best in thrash metal was just getting started. Megadeth recently formed; Anthrax released their debut album, Fistful Of Metal; and Slayer was only a few years from releasing Reign In Blood. But on July 27, 1984 — exactly thirty years ago this Sunday — four California metal heads effectively ended the competition as it was just getting started with the release of their band’s second studio album, Ride The Lightning. Metallica was on the path to becoming synonymous with metal music. And they would never look back.  Continue reading