• SPIN's 40 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2013

    SPIN's 40 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2013

    Acid rappers, banana clippers, black unicorns, born sinners, step brothers, beautiful pimps, money magnets: We put numbers on the horde.

  • SPIN's 50 Best Albums of 2013

    SPIN's 50 Best Albums of 2013

    Here's what happens when Tomorrow's Harvest becomes yesterday's news. To complement our Top 50 Songs of 2013, it's time to count down the year's best albums, from the Pretty Dazes to the Night's Gambits, including a few budding Nashville stars, a Syrian wedding singer, some Atlanta trap minimalists, a pack of Norwegian meatball metallers, a pair of French robots, and Montreal's most famous disco band. It's just a reflector.Tech note: If you're using Google Chrome and the slideshow is giving you hassles, trying disabling AdBlock.

  • 'Til Infinity: The 50 Best Rap Albums From 1993, Hip-Hop's Other Greatest Year

    'Til Infinity: The 50 Best Rap Albums From 1993, Hip-Hop's Other Greatest Year

    Though most music critics on the "knows how to do the Ed Lover Dance" side of the Gen-X/Millenial divide concede that the wild (wild) west of 1988 made for hip-hop's greatest year, there's a slowly rising age group who prefer the advancements of the Golden Age's tail end — sorry, Marshall. 1993 was the first year to feel the full effects of Dr. Dre's The Chronic — lush, hook-soaked, played on live instruments, produced like a Hollywood movie, and probably the savviest response to the 1991 lawsuit that made sampling a prohibitively expensive luxury.

  • Read SPIN's ARTPOP Issue: Lady Gaga, M.I.A., Basquiat, Yoko Ono, DONDA, Tim Hecker, More

    Read SPIN's ARTPOP Issue: Lady Gaga, M.I.A., Basquiat, Yoko Ono, DONDA, Tim Hecker, More

    Our November iPad issue explores the current collision between music and contemporary art — Lady Gaga going over the moon for Koons, Jay Z rapping about Rothkos, DONDA turning album covers into sleekly designed objets d'art, and even Madonna crashing the performance-art party. Download the iPad app later this month for the full experience, but you read the entire package right now! Pop for Art's Sake Goes Varoom!From Lady Gaga to Jay Z and beyond, musicians are exploiting the art world to expand their brands, court controversy, flaunt their affluence, and in some cases, express something genuinely artistic.

  • The Locust

    Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013: 5 Must-See Acts

    The eighth annual Fun Fun Fun fest is set to take over Austin this weekend with six stages of bands, comedians, celebrity DJs, skateboarders catching air, and the one and only taco cannon. With more than 100 acts between three days — including Snoop Dogg, Slayer, M.I.A., and Patton Oswalt — we asked five SPIN editors to pick their one act you shouldn't miss. The jury is still out think on whether 60 percent of this list being aging punks is a reflection of the great curatorial abilities of the fest or just our particular staff...The Locust If someone's never seen the Locust live, the general reaction when the San Diego-birthed underground icons start to play their often minute-or-less spastic provocations is "HOLYFUCKINGSHITCORE!" This is immediately followed by either mass wincing or rictus grinning or random heckling or quadruple-rainbow-stoked bro-shrieking.

  • Five Great Rap Songs that Sample Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground

    Five Great Rap Songs that Sample Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground

    The death of Lou Reed leaves a void in indie rock, punk rock, experimental music, and general underground go-you-own-wayness that will never be filled. His legacy in hip-hop, however, isn't exactly as strong: a long-forgotten MTV-era dalliance in the form and a sorta-cover by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, for starters. Still, a handful of classic rap tracks were made by producers orbiting their satellites of love around Lou and his crew. Here's our favorite white light/white heat-rocks.

  • Inorganic at the Disco: 40 Rock Bands Who Beat Arcade Fire to the Dance Floor

    Inorganic at the Disco: 40 Rock Bands Who Beat Arcade Fire to the Dance Floor

    So Arcade Fire took a trip to Haiti, bought some ornate suits, hooked up with punk-funk producer/oracle James Murphy, and decided they wanted to make something real. The result, the Canadian arena-rockers' frequently quite excellent new Reflektor, is a somewhat awkward but grandiosely sincere dance-floor hijacking that joins a long, distinguished, only occasionally disastrous lineage. From the '70s (Eagles, Grateful Dead) to the '80s (Yes, the Boss) to the '90s (U2, White Zombie) to the unsettled present (Korn!), long-established but bored/intrigued/desperate rock bands have threatened to sell their guitars and buy, if not turntables, then synths, cowbells, Yaz records, and ridiculous outfits. True, they often didn't have enough cash left over to buy back their credibility, or a clue.

  • CMJ Band Name Gifs

    CMJ 2013: Six of the Most Ridiculous Band Names Turned Into Gifs

    Another CMJ Music Marathon is descending upon New York City this week, and with it comes another slew of band names so ridiculous they make "Fuck Buttons" look like "the Dave Clark Five." Here are six of the most head-scratching, turned into colorful gifs by Penelope Gazin                                                  ANOTHER DEAD CLOWN                                                         MAMMAL DAP                                                       SHARKMUFFIN  

  • Grizzly Bear at CBGB Festival, New York City, October 12, 2013 / Photo by Daniel Topete

    Grizzly Bear, James Murphy, My Morning Jacket Invade Times Square for CBGB Festival

  • A Perfect Circle / Photo by Tim Cadiente

    Hear A Perfect Circle's First New Song in Nine Years, 'By and Down'

    Alt-rock supergroup A Perfect Circle are releasing a 13-track (or 19 tracks deluxe) greatest hits comp, Three Sixty, on November 19. The final track, a studio version of "By and Down," is their first new song to appear in nearly a decade. The five-minute Zep-style journey was written during the band's live re-emergences around 2010 and 2011, and is naturally moody, featuring what sounds like a gaggle of orchestra chimes and a melody that sounds like Dirty Projectors gone metal raga.In addition, the band promptly sold out of all 2,500 copies of their A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo box set and being the swell guys they are, they've decided to release the entire 4CD/1DVD package digitally on November 26.

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