Dan Weiss

  • Music

    January 1, 2014
  • Blogs

    December 14, 2012

    The First Listens of 2012: What We Got Right, What We Got Wrong

    As evinced bu my initial take on Tyler, the Creator's Goblin and my final opinion, a lot happens between one's first listen to an album and their final conclusion after taking it in several times. What I love about writing these features is that you get to read my pure, unvarnished thoughts about a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2012

    Big Boi's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors: A First Listen

    Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is the title. Why? Does Big Boi even have any enemies? Has anyone ever beefed with him...ever? Who is he referring to, disgruntled Idlewild ticket-buyers? Or is he increasingly in denial that Outkast -- his meal ticket artistically and commercially -- is over? It's ... More >>

  • News

    September 26, 2012
  • Blogs

    September 21, 2012

    Top 5 Reasons Why Kreayshawn's Somethin 'Bout Kreay Is Not the Worst Album of 2012

    It would be oh so fun to claim -- as Dan Weiss just did in a post for this very blog -- that Kreayshawn's long-awaited full-length debut is on track to be the worst record of 2012. And it wouldn't be hard: Somethin 'Bout Kreay, which came out this week, is basically an album of nonsensical brags mut ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2012

    Kreayshawn's Somethin 'Bout Kreay: A First Listen

    Kreayshawn's contribution to Western culture is one classic line: "One big room/ Full of bad bitches." It's still awaiting its hot song. Her success is somewhere between William Hung and Jesse Camp and the 8th Street Kidz. She's an eliminated contestant without a reality show. From her phenomenally ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2012

    G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer: A First Listen

    Kanye West has officially become the bad guy, people. He's rich, he's rude, he's entitled, he's a rock 'n' roll legend who's awaiting a legit artistic backlash any year now, and he's also a smart businessperson. After Taylor Swift-gate and record sales of his third Pazz & Jop-winning "masterpiece" f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 5, 2012

    Bob Dylan's Tempest: A First Listen

    Bob Dylan is 71. Always-strong critical showings from such septuagenarian contemporaries as Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, and Tom Zé still don't even come close to his towering impact. After all, they weren't presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He's probably the only musician in America ... More >>

  • News

    August 29, 2012
  • Blogs

    August 20, 2012

    Animal Collective's Centipede Hz: A First Listen

    I'm not an Animal Collective fan. I like Strawberry Jam a lot, and I cherish a few individual songs elsewhere, particularly "Summertime Clothes" (not least because it sounds just like the theme from Snoopy Come Home, which I loved as a kid). But their rhythms are so clumpy, melodies so soupy, and "i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2012

    Frank Ocean: The Only Band That Matters

    Frank Ocean. Even his name sounds like it was dreamed up, because it was. Ocean is 2012's Clash, its Radiohead, its -- if you insist -- Animal Collective. From his no-name-on-the-cover mystique to the 10-minute opus, pre-career record company troubles and a grassroots indie following, he's an altern ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2012

    The Top 10 Most Disappointing Albums of 2012 (So Far)

    It's a little past the halfway point of 2012, but mid-July still seems like a good time to round up the albums that came out this year and simply failed to meet our expectations. Some of those expectations were admittedly (and deservedly) sky-high -- leading to decent records that still felt like a ... More >>

  • News

    July 11, 2012
  • Blogs

    July 3, 2012

    Justin Bieber's Believe: A First Listen

    Like my colleague Andrew Stout, I have mostly managed to avoid Justin Bieber for what I'm pretty sure are good reasons. He's a typical "innocent" white male singer trying to represent universality to nonwhites and nonmales. Then there's his musical blandness: bits that crept through my defenses of " ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2012

    Usher's Looking 4 Myself: A First Listen

    For some reason, I've always managed to ignore or miss Usher. "You Make Me Wanna..." is a classic, of course, but I managed to resist the supposed charms of "Yeah!," "Burn," "Love in This Club," and "Lil Freak." This year the Diplo-produced "Climax" stopped me dead in my tracks. So I'm willing to be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2012

    Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel: A First Listen

    There are a lot of cool things riding on Fiona Apple. For one thing, she hasn't been chewed up and spit out by a desperate, dying industry. She's still on a major label despite not having posed for a racy photo or released anything capable of being a hit in years. In fact, despite not releasing anyt ... More >>

  • News

    June 6, 2012
  • Blogs

    May 4, 2012

    R.I.P. Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boys' Visual and Humanitarian Genius

    Adam Yauch, the musician and filmmaker best known as Beastie Boys member MCA, died today of the cancer he was diagnosed with in 2009. Yauch was 47.It's so easy to underrate the Beastie Boys, in part because nobody did what they did, and for so long. From fighting for their right to party to fighting ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2012

    A First Listen to The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, Feat. Ke$ha, Erykah Badu, Bon Iver and More

    I loved, loved the Flaming Lips' Embryonic, and find The Soft Bulletin to be a pretty magical cornucopia. Pretty big fan of 1995's Clouds Taste Metallic as well. Yet I've never considered for even a second if the Lips could be one of my Favorite Bands. They might've struck gold three-ish times, but ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2012

    Jack White's Solo Debut, Blunderbuss: A First Listen

    For some reason, like the Craig Finn solo album, I'm kind of dreading this. Jack White's one of my generation's greatest, which is partly the reason I'm always worried about when he'll Clapton out. Without his cro Meg-non secret weapon on drums (well, drum, singular -- as in one at a time), he came ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2012

    Madonna's MDNA: A First Listen

    ​Sure, I heard bad things about MDNA, but when's the last time critics actually jumped for Madonna? In the pre-"poptimist" era of 1999, with Ray of Light, I'm pretty sure. Music was a billion times better, and the oft-cited failure American Life is actually pretty strange and fun (vocoder and rapp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2012

    Odd Future's The OF Tape, Vol. 2: A First Listen

    ​Odd Future is here, get used to it. Posse albums usually failed in the past because the star rapper's cohorts are always such dickheads, but when being dickheads is your selling point.... This unambitious sampler might be where the Goblin-polarized legions get won back. And don't think they're no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2012

    Ani DiFranco on Rush Limbaugh, Protest Songs, and Being a Mom

    ​If you thought Ani DiFranco has mellowed out and gone away just because she got all jazzy, became a mom, and won a Grammy for Best Recording Package, then you haven't heard ¿Which Side Are You On?, her best and most politically-charged album in many a year. In conversation she's no less artfully ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2012

    The Shins' Port of Morrow: A First Listen

    ​Let's be real: bands don't change your life more than, oh ... once. So if we were lucky to get two excellent albums from James Mercer and whoever happens to be with him, it's no slouch that a third pretty-good album added three more perfect tunes to the canon: "Australia," "Phantom Limb," and "Gi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2012

    Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball: A First Listen

    ​Bruce Springsteen has done a lot in the last 20 years: toured for John Kerry, immortalized a horrific moment of police brutality in "American Skin (41 Shots)," and put his money where his mouth is as America's Poster Boy, with a big fat folk album enlisting a dozen sepia-toned authenticity arbite ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2012

    Van Halen's A Different Kind of Truth: A First Listen

    ​Van Halen is about one thing: revenge. Eddie brought in Sammy to get rid of Dave, flirted with Dave again to get rid of Sammy, brought in Gary Cherone to clear out the building, trained his own son to replace his most loyal member, and brought Dave back in for now. Don't be surprised if he cans h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2012

    Craig Finn's Clear Heart Full Eyes: A First Listen

    If I may make two predictions about Clear Heart Full Eyes, the solo debut from combustible, fan-friendly Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, they are that: 1. It's not going to save rock 'n' roll. 2. It's not going to be a meta-narrative about how it doesn't save rock and roll. If the last Hold Stea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 1, 2011

    The Black Keys' El Camino: A First Listen

    No matter what you've read, the Black Keys are as generic as Kings of Leon. The super-successful Brothers was a good record, but didn't escape its own sameyness by the time you're waiting for it to be over. And their success only speaks to the market's sore vain need for a famous rock band right no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2011

    Drake's Take Care: A First Listen

    ​ Funny thing about Drake: I'm forced to care. This goes beyond my duties as a music writer; rap now is in a state where someone like Drake or Rick Ross becomes the sun and everyone surrounding becomes an orbiting satellite. I'm a huge fan of co-Money Youngins Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, and I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2011

    Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto: A First Listen

    ​ The No. 1 album in the country this week is by the biggest band on Earth. All is right with the world? Well, hold that thought. Unlike textural forbears U2 and Radiohead, much less the Clash or Nirvana, most people even willing to concede that Coldplay is a relevant force do not think it has ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2011

    Lana Del Rey's Disappeared Full-Length Debut: A First Listen

    Lana Del Rey, aka Lizzy Grant​ Lana Del Rey, aka Lizzy Grant, might have had last year's then-obscure album as Lizzy Grant off the market after it floundered on iTunes for two months, but sure enough, it has resurfaced. And the record puts a lot more body under the myth and the controversy tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2011

    Björk's Biophilia: A First Listen

    Who doesn't have a strong opinion on Björk? Love me some Homogenic and Vespertine, hate me some Medulla, and I'm pretty sure the overrated Post and underrated Volta are about equal in quality. And for the stuff I haven't heard -- Telegram, Gling-Glo, various box sets and live crapanalia -- I fear t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2011

    First Listens: Blink-182's Neighborhoods

    ​ Any energy-based band returning to the fray after eight years -- especially one whose calling card was its immaturity -- will be a nervous prospect. Yet here is Blink-182, out today with Neighborhoods. Let's see how it goes. Stream the album on Blink-182's website here. Ghost on the Dance ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2011

    Wilco's The Whole Love: A First Listen

    ​ Wilco is a band that makes me hate indie rock fans. Not just because Jeff Tweedy wrote songs just fine before producer/sonic mastermind Jim O'Rourke came along, but because the fickle little bitches ran scurrying immediately after the band started guitar soloing -- sorry, "dad-rocking" -- ag ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2011

    R.I.P. R.E.M., Masters of a Beautiful, Eclectic Rock 'n' Roll

    Farewell, then.​ In case you still needed to know the difference between R.E.M. and U2, R.E.M. just broke up and U2 dies only when Bono is put in the ground. Whatever today's (honestly shocking) announcement means about R.E.M.'s 31-year-career, well, what did anything ever mean with this ban ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2011

    Girls' Father, Son, Holy Ghost -- A First Listen

    ​ I've been everywhere with the San Francisco band Girls: Love 'em, hate 'em, find them overhyped, find the detractors overly cynical. I think they like it that way. Girls' hugely-acclaimed 2009 Album blew me away for a week. Then I found myself having trouble rekindling that need to hear it a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2011

    Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne: A First Listen

    ​ Have we been waiting for this? Who knows -- even big fans of Jay-Z and Yeezy know they never shut up for too long. Big-budget collab albums we know aren't Jay-Z's strong suit (Unfinished Business? Collision Course?). And judging by the awful "H*A*M" (now a bonus cut) and the mesmerizing "Ot ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    R.I.P. Amy Winehouse, 1983-2011

    ​Beloved English singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse died in her London home on Saturday at the age of 27. Police have not yet determined the cause of death, but several outlets have reported that there were no signs of foul play. Winehouse enjoyed a brutally short legacy akin to that of several ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2011

    Here's Why People Really Hate the Black Eyed Peas -- and Why It's Unfair

    Black Eyed Peas: Hate 'em or love 'em?​ Yesterday, prominent critic Ann Powers broke down why people hate the Black Eyed Peas so much, without necessarily defending their music. Much of what she wrote makes sense, but there is a point where it feels overthought academically. She writes: In eve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2011

    Lil B's I'm Gay: More Bashful Than Expected

    ​ I love the idea of Lil B -- a member of Berkeley one-hit wonders the Pack who wasn't gonna go out like that, and has since thrown anything and everything at the wall via Twitter and Mediafire to keep attention, fans and fame -- yet I've scarcely heard a note of his music. Loved his stint on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2011

    Limp Bizkit's Gold Cobra: A Catalog of Disaster

    ​ Why did I choose to subject myself to Limp Bizkit? Because with the myriad of styles coming back -- think LinnDrum R&B ballads featuring on Bon Iver and Frank Ocean releases; the meaty '90s alt of Yuck and Male Bonding; the retrospective thrash metal of Kylesa -- it seem just about every era ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2011

    Rethinking Tyler, the Creator's Goblin: Why It May Be One of the Year's Best

    ​I know. You're sick of reading about the little shit. So am I. What I couldn't have known during my miserable first run through Goblin is that I wouldn't be sick of listening to it as July approaches. Not by a long shot, not nearly as much as I thought I'd be when I slogged and blogged my way thr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2011

    Tyler, the Creator's Goblin: A First Listen

    ​ Last year, Tyler, the Creator's arresting album Bastard won the then 19-year-old rapper and his vast, motley Odd Future collective attention and praise from sources including Pitchfork andBillboard. His second solo album, Goblin drops next week, the first physical product anyone from this gr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2011

    R.I.P. Poly Styrene, X-Ray Spex Singer and Punk Pioneer

    Fabrizio RamoneR.I.P. Poly Styrene​ Legendary punk pioneer and X-Ray Spex frontwoman Poly Styrene, born Marianne Elliott Said, passed away last night from breast cancer at the age of 53. In an unfortunate coincidence with the passing last week of TV on the Radio's Gerard Smith, her new solo al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2011

    R.I.P. Gerard Smith, TV on the Radio Bassist and Keyboardist

    ​Gerard Smith, the 36-year-old bassist and keyboardist for critically beloved Brooklyn alt-rockers TV on the Radio, passed away this morning following a struggle with lung cancer -- only a month after the band made his diagnosis with the disease public. TV on the Radio released its fourth ful ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2010

    In Print: Menomena, Scissor Sisters, and the Reunion of Bay Area Metalheads Sleep

    ​Menomena: "Having long ago eschewed the glitchy breakbeats of its early albums, the Menomena of today is an immaculately spacious rock band," writes Andrew Stout in this week's print edition. "Something vital has changed. Arrangements are stripped to their essentials with nary a wasted note. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2010

    This Week: Ariel Pink's Rent Bill, Paul McCartney's Guitar Player, and Mob Figaz' Spiritual Side

    Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti​In the print section this week, Dan Weiss finds out why Ariel Pink is happy to discuss his personal finances but not his personal life, and discovers the dude has a penchant for saying too much. Meanwhile, David MacFadden-Elliott talks to longtime Paul McCartney Band ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2010

    Fireworks, Death Metal, Circus Bella, '70s Americana

    Finn Riggins plays El Rio on Saturday​Bust out the barbecue, hoist up the flag and turn up the Americana jams. Yes, Independence Day is here again. Celebrate the founding fathers (and mothers) this weekend without breaking the bank. Here's our list of cheap summer holiday events for less than thos ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2010

    Video of the Day: Washed Out's Aerobic 'Glo'

    Washed Out - Belong (Music Video) from Blake Salzman on Vimeo.Washed Out may be a bedroom producer, but there's nothing sleepy about his live show (especially if he has a full band backing him, as he did for the sauna he created in Austin). The dude otherwise known as Ernest Greene makes disco ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2010

    Last Night: The Monthly Rumpus w/ Daniel Handler, Tony DuShane, DJ Real, More

    DJ Real​The Monthly Rumpus w/ Daniel Handler, Tony DuShane, Robin Ekiss, Ethan Watters, Kevin Sampsell, DJ Real, the Yello Dress, & Richard Porter on hula hoopMonday, Feb. 8, 2009Make-Out RoomBetter than: Talking about the Super BowlWhere in San Francisco can you get a night of author readings ... More >>

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