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Music

The 20 Best Album Re-Issues of 2009

Step back 10 years when we presented our 20 best re-issues of 2009, highlighted by the long overdue remastering of the Beatles oeuvre, a number of '80s and '90s classics, and one of the most storied catalogues in electronic music.

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Music

Counterbalance: Beastie Boys' 'Ill Communication'

I've got the brand new doo-doo, guaranteed like Yoo-Hoo, I'm on like Dr. John, yeah Mr. Zu Zu. I'm a newlywed, not a divorcee, and everything I do is funky like Lee Dorsey. Beastie Boys’ 1994 landmark is this week’s Counterbalance. Phone is ringing. Oh my God.

Music

Goldieblox vs. the Beastie Boys: A Parable on Permissions

When a song becomes forever connected with a product, particularly with the use of a parody lyric, it's deemed “baked” or “overused”.

Monica Corton
Music

Counterbalance No. 119: Beastie Boys' 'Paul’s Boutique'

The 119th Most Acclaimed Album of All time always goes out dapper like the Harry S Truman, and it’s madder than Mad's Alfred E. Neuman. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are the subject of this week’s Counterbalance.

Film

Watch Adam Yauch's "Fight For Your Right Revisited"

MCA's 2011 Sundance short is a celebrity-packed homage to everything the Beastie Boys were about.

Music

The Top 10 Most Notable Career Suicide Albums

Career suicide albums fall into two camps: Those that were released ahead of their time, and those that set new standards in awful. The best thing that could be said about the later category is that these albums are oftentimes just as fascinating as an artist’s best work.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “B-Boy Bouillabaisse”

“B-Boy Bouillabaisse” is one of the great denouements in the history of pop music, a 12-minute suite that gives us a definitive, multifarious view of urban life in the late 1980s.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Shadrach”

The boys employ religious allusions on “Shadrach” in a similar manner as they have used the references to movies, kids’ cartoons, and cereal boxes. They’re simply trying to come at their subject from multifarious angles and provide variety and interest for the listener.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “What Comes Around”

“What Comes Around” is an ebullient three-minute track that highlights the Beastie Boys’ and Dust Brothers’ incomparable ability to create pleasant irony through perfectly-placed samples and humorous turns-of-phrase.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Car Thief”

Although the lyrical content feels a bit repetitive from previous songs on Paul's Boutique, the chill, soulful groove makes “Car Thief” memorable.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “5-Piece..."/"Looking Down the Barrel..."

The Beastie Boys give us “5-Piece Chicken Dinner”, a brief, bright roll in the hay, only to juxtapose it with “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”, one of the darkest, dirtiest tracks on Paul’s Boutique--and also one of the best.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Hey Ladies”

On “Hey Ladies”, the Beastie Boys prove that their hip-hop collage approach to making tunes is applicable to the four-minute single format, resulting in a track that is both technically accomplished and danceable.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “3-Minute Rule”

Coming after the aggressive intensity of the end of “The Sounds of Science”, “3-Minute Rule” seems slight, like the Beasties went on a mini-vacation.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys - “High Plains Drifter”

Despite the more solemn subject matter, on “High Plains Drifter” the Beasties still give us the chance to play that old game “spot the pop-culture allusion”, with references to Clint Eastwood, Hunter Thompson, The Andy Griffith Show, and more.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Egg Man”

As if to prove that an accomplished work of art can be inspired by anything, no matter how trivial or adolescent, on “Egg Man” the Beasties turn their shell-cracking exploits into a mock-heroic epic full of faux pathos and legitimate laughs

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Johnny Ryall”

With “Johnny Ryall”, the Beastie Boys manage to challenge the audience’s ideas of what it has come to expect from hip-hop. The Beasties were no longer just rappers--they were crafters of one of the 1980s’ great short stories.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys - “To All the Girls” and more

The first Between the Grooves series of 2012 focuses on the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Beastie Boys’ postmodern, sample-heavy masterpiece Paul’s Boutique (1989). First, Jacob Adams explores how “To All the Girls” establishes a deceptively mellow vibe only to have “Shake Your Rump” groove the listener into a funky reality.

Music

The Best Hip-Hop of 2011

Newcomers, giants, throwbacks, and collaborators -- 2011 was the year of diversity, in which rap fans were faced with enough variety to find whatever flavor of hip-hop they wanted.

David Amidon, Dave Heaton, Quentin B. Huff, Mike Madden, and Dean Van Nguyen
Music

All That Glitters: Led Zeppelin - "When the Levee Breaks"

At the end of Led Zeppelin's masterpiece lies a doomy, bottom-heavy monster that connects the dots between the blues and heavy metal--and provided dozens of hip-hop artists with the perfect drum track to sample.

Music

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or Shame?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently announced its 15 nominees for its 2012 induction class. Once again, that means the blogosphere is abuzz with complaints about the Hall's irrelevancy. Are they legitimate?

Music

And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Are...

When the list of nominated artists for the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was released this morning, there were a few surprises.

Internet

MCA's Heavy News

This is more about the surprise I felt when an hour after my heart ached for my own mother it ached again in a similar way for someone whom I have never actually met. So I’ve spent probably months listening to the Beastie Boys. So what? This gives me the right? The short answer is “Yes. Yes, it does."

Music

Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty

If Hello Nasty seems less unusual than it did on its appearance in 1998, its inventiveness should not be overlooked.

Books

Rick Rubin: In the Studio, by Jake Brown

Part of my antagonism toward this book stems from my feeling that it’s not so much as “written” as it is “researched”.

Music

Beastie Boys: Check Your Head

At first the Beastie Boys were brats, then they were bratty; with their third album Check Your Head they dropped an ebullient bomb that is both heartfelt and soulful.

Music

Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique (20th Anniversary Edition)

Aside from a sharpened sonic feel, the 20th Anniversary Edition of this '80s classic is lacking in extras.

Music

Rebels Wit Attitude: Beastie Boys

In this excerpt of PopMatters' new book Rebels Wit Attitude, Ellis discusses how Beastie Boys were not afraid to play the enemy within, often mocking the macho strutting of harder rappers.

Music

E.S.L.: Eye Contact

A band that consists of piano, cello, violin, and drums. An all-female group unafraid to cover Neil Young and the Beastie Boys. A song that compares a lover to Secretariat. E.S.L. is all of these things.

Music

It Ain't No Joke

Hip-hop, like most other arts, intentionally pays humor less mind because, hey, it's not supposed to be taken seriously! But seriously.

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