Best Of 2015

The Best of 2015: Albums Through October 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | October 31, 2015

35 MPH Town – Toby Keith – The man who gave jingoism a bad name is pretty excellent when he keeps his flag in his pocket, this collection of country tracks stands head and shoulders above most keepers… even some of his betters.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through July 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | August 1, 2015

The Most Lamentable Tragedy Of – Titus Andronicus – Whatever doubts you may have about this 29 song rock opera song cycle detailing the ebb and flow of manic depression, if only for its sheer audacity you will hear nothing more important this year. Plus, cmon, what price “Dimed Out”? It dimes out and then some.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | July 3, 2015

Fatal Flaw – Titus Andronicus – As we get closer to the release of The Most Lamentable Tragedy, it becomes clear there is a whole lot of baggage to go along with Patrick Stickles epic disaster disaster, sort of “Inside Outside” for solipsistic egomaniacs. And with songs as great as this, a flat out masterpiece and one of his greatest Stickles’ songs of all time, I could care less.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 30, 2015

Live is where he comes into his own as a no nonsense UK rocker who has a better feel for harmolodics then you might imagine, everything here is about arranging a sound where nothing sticks out and nothing goes under, just like Be Here Now taught us, it is like a mountain that is all peak.

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 30, 2015

Unlike most months you can think of, June belonged to two songs, Dawes “All Your Favorite Bands” and Titus Andronicus’ “Fatal Flaw”. The former is easily their best song, a genius benediction to a former love and the latter was so good it made the brilliant “Dimed Out” sound like an also ran. If these don’t end up in the top five singles of the year, I assure they will be in the top ten.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 30, 2015

Before This World – James Taylor – A late career masterpiece by Sweet Baby James Uncle, songs as sweet and strong as memory and as strong and lasting as this exact moment, as though before this world there was this world and just this world was then and now.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 1, 2015

L$D – A$AP Rocky – As in love, sex and drugs, this is a hallucination of a mood song, though well tinged by weed as well, so everything drags behind the beat and the sex is wet and exciting but slow and druggy.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 1, 2015

Azealia Banks – May 11th – Irving Plaza – This is it folks, in the battle of the women rappers (not to mention men rappers) we have a winner. Banks does everything she said she would, dances, raps, boogies down, takes us on. Pump-parrrrump-pa-rrum-pump

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | May 31, 2015

There are at least four songs here that sound major to me, Jason Isbell and Titus Andronicus at the top of the list and A$AP Rocky and ZZ Ward not far behind, so if this doesn’t feel like big time pop moment month, it isn’t because of the best, it is because of everything else. Two of my favorite songs this year, by Daytripper and Charlie Funk, aint even out yet. For Daytripper, God knows when she’ll get around to it

The Best of 2015: Albums Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | May 31, 2015

California Nights – Best Coast – My favorite of their three albums is a collection of LA inky blue mood music which merges with Bethany’s weed inspired drowsiness and builds into symphonic OKness.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | May 1, 2015

Old Rock N Roll – Young Fathers – The Scottish Nigerian trio suggest here something that is just about self-evident, “I’m tired of playing the good black, I’m trying to have to hold back”. Which makes sense but not as much as Young Fathers equating racism with money and power. Which is where the real stuff is.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 30, 2015

Sufjan Stevens – Beacon Theatre – April 11th – With the album of the year under Sufjan’s belt, here he was performing it live on stage and you could have heard a pin drop, a magnificent performance of (mostly) an album that changes what the term “confessional” means

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 30, 2015

In which the songs catch up with the year, 63 songs, three from Brian Wilson alone, on an album that isn’t as good as its best moments and whose best moments are among the best of the year. And Young Fathers, who are as good as their best moments and who I still expect to crack the US in some form or the other.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 30, 2015

Carrie And Lowell – Sufjan Stevens – His mother left Sufjan when he was three maybe four, and again, and again, and then she died, and left Stevens to deal with it by writing the most equisitely beautiful album of this or many years.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through March 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 2, 2015

I Don’t Prefer No Blues – Leo “Bud” Welch – hard electric guitar blues by an unknown master who just celebrated his 83rd birthday and 50th year in Church and hear sounds like maybe you should be locking up your daughters. Man, is this guys mojo working.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through March, 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 2, 2015

Joan Of Arc – Madonna – An impossibly fragile madge, shows her heart is going up in flames as scumbugs like your truly put her through the ringer for being a middle aged diva well past her prime. Which she might well be, but you can’t tell from this song

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through March 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 1, 2015

Laura, Alisson, Madonna and Brandi all got two songs on this list, and that is while I was making a concerted effort not to get more than one song off an album. A very strong month for songs, although not for albums. I would love to see Alisson live again, but she doesn’t appear to be playing roud are way.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through March 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | March 31, 2015

Great Voices In Harlem, The Gloster Project – MIST Harlem – Sunday, March 9th, 2015 – Any afternoon, any time at all, you get to listen to such a great collection of musicians, especially in such an intimate space, is a great afternoon. Or evening. And in aid of such a wonderful project -did I mention Dr. Randy Weston was there?

The Best of 2015: rock nyc In Order And Reviewed Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | March 1, 2015

Up Above My Head – Rhiannon Giddens – Her achievement on this is not to iprove on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, neigh on impossible, but to sing it beautiful and to make make some of its heaven Rhiannon’s very own

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 28, 2015

On Friday, February 12th, 2012, I witnessed Aretha Franklin honor her recently deceased Goddaughter Whitney Houston at Radio City Music Hall, part pop manifesto, part revival meeting, the queen of soul sublimated her pain in song and worship. It was the best show I’ve seen this century. And D’Angelo at the Apollo was the second best show I’ve seen this century.

The Best Of 2015 – Albums Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 28, 2015

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake – Remix tape? I prefer it to his last album, though it has no “Hold On, We’re Going Home” or the single that won him a punk from Diddy and a Grammy. Any album with songs as good as “Legend” and “Jungle” needs no caveats at all.

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 28, 2015

February was a come down afre a terrific January, the difference between the two wasn’t quantity (even though the first two weeks of January were dead so really, January had a lot more good songs, but quality. I’m not certain where to put D’Angelo in the great scheme of things but even if “really Love” was released 2014, for me it is a February song. So not a great February…

Best Of 2015: Best Concerts Through January 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 3, 2015

I thought these indie rockers from Cincinatti were great at the time and I thought they were greater when I thought back on it. Essentially, they are a midwestern Shellshag who didn’t make it through the long run as a couple have lived to explain the pitfalls and disasters of romantic love and this night played em down to the ground.

Best of 2015: rock nyc In Order And Reviewed Through January 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 3, 2015

As a lyricist Pete wetnz is a child of his emo rock urges, the strange drawn out song titles that turn and move in ways you don’t expect. Except it never quite manages to pay off well enough. Except this on does, a masterpiece of lost love which uses Judy Jetson’s mobility as a future history of a disappeared love.

rock nyc’s Best Of 2015

By Iman Lababedi | January 2, 2015

If I have one wish for 2015 musically, it is that David Bronson’s excellent January release Questions finds the audience it deserves. This sublime art folk rock soul album should break him, must break him. It is what I want, it is what he deserves, I wanna say I knew him before he stopped taking my phone calls.

BBC's Long List Of Upcoming Musicians for 2015

By Iman Lababedi | December 1, 2014

This is BBC’s list of bands they predict big things for in 2015, and they’ve been known to get it right.. BBC asked 140 influential music industry experts, DJs, critics, broadcasters and bloggers and, shock, only found one Stateside artist out of the 15 being touted.