I got into SO MANY records this year. I had much more of a drive than usual to search for new music. Maybe it was due to being at home much more and needing to feel connected to the outside world. Maybe it was due to an exceptionally good year for music. Whatever it was, I have a ridiculously big amount of music to talk about. I usually write way too much every year for this thing, and this year will be no different.

(Note: I stopped ranking these a while ago. It’s just a big list. Is Fiona my…

Is This Still Good? is a series in which I revisit records that I loved as a youngish person, and examine how well they have held up over the years for me.

How did I get into this record?

I’ll never understand how. My best guess is that 311 got on my radar just before I fully got into punk rock. I was turning 13 and was still mostly beholden to whatever cool rock’n’roll videos came on MTV. I liked them for about 18 months, and then was entirely done with them.

Is the music still good?

I never listened…

Is This Still Good? is a series in which I revisit records that I loved as a youngish person, and examine how well they have held up over the years for me.

How did I get into this record?

I don’t have much of a story with this one. I probably saw the video for “Santa Monica” on MTV, I’m guessing sometime in early ’96, but didn’t fully get into the record until late ’96, which was 7th grade for me. If one of my friends encouraged me to check it out and I don’t remember, I sincerely apologize.

Since…

  • Is This Still Good? is a series in which I revisit records that I loved as a youngish person, and examine how well they have held up over the years for me.

How did I get into this record?

In the spring of 2002, my friend Adam Horning traveled to Iowa City to see Taking Back Sunday play at Gabe’s Oasis. Tell All Your Friends had just come out but had not yet caught on with a big audience. Adam came back raving about this new band and how big they would be. …

*Is This Still Good? is a series in which I revisit records that I loved as a youngish person, and examine how well they have held up over the years for me.*

How did I get into this record?

The Sunday night before my first day of 7th grade in 1996, I was watching MTV’s 120 Minutes when the video for Sublime’s “What I Got” was premiered. Host Matt Pinfield explained that the singer had died of a drug overdose earlier that year, which added a tinge of sadness to the toe-tapping, affable folk-rock-punk song that followed. …

I live in Des Moines, Iowa, where if you want to root for a professional sports team, you get to pick literally anyone. Because my mom married my stepdad in the mid-90’s, at a time when his childhood Dallas Cowboys fandom was reinvigorated thanks to their big success, that’s the team I picked — America’s Team, the most profitable sports team in the country, the symbol of everything that’s wrong with the world.

For being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I deserve nothing but grief. I know this. But I feel like the very least I could ask for…

The last year of this decade was my least favorite, as far as music goes. I’m not quite sure why this was the case, but I think it might have to do with it being the busiest year of my life. It turns out having two children takes up a large portion of your life. So I don’t know, maybe I was just tired a lot or wasn’t able to sit down with a lot of records and give them my time. Whatever the case, I still found stuff that got the juices flowing, so here it is.

Fresh…

I’m writing about the newest Sleater-Kinney record because it is not in my list of favorite records that came out this year. It just can’t be. But I also have to talk about it and get my feelings out in some way, or I won’t feel like I’ve properly explained myself to one of my very favorite bands of my whole life. They need to know why I don’t like their new record.

It had been four years since Sleater-Kinney had emerged from a ten-year hiatus with No Cities to Love, a really great artistic statement that felt like a…

Hello! I wrote way, way too much for this, so I’m not going to say much. In fact, this is it for an introduction. I just hope you read at least some of it, that’s all. Thank you!

Rooftops — A Forest of Polarity (2010)

Maybe the most obscure record on my list, this came my way through a series of connections: I booked a show for my North Dakota friends In Ink Please, they brought a band called Snow Cuts Glass, one of the people in that band was a guy named Johnny, a few years later Johnny…

I have very little to say in this introduction. I’ll try to not write a ton this year, but you know me! I like music and I like blabbing about it almost as much!

Camp Cope — How to Socialise & Make Friends

I think this is my favorite record of the year. It’s certainly the one I thought about the most, both lyrically and musically.

Camp Cope is an Australian three-piece who plays indie-punk in a way that I don’t think I’ve ever heard. Part of this is bassist Kelly Hellmrich’s constant inventiveness, rarely ever just playing one…

Elliot Imes

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