1. Friends—The Way

I’ve been really enchanted by the work of Dev Hynes/Blood Orange ever since the Solange/Sky Ferreira one-two punch crashed into dimly lit bars all over the Western Hemisphere. This track has the same candlelit, turn-of-the-90s sexuality as his previous offerings, but with an aching guitar riff that conjures a Swayze-film-like sensibility. If slowdancing could be brought back, “The Way” would be the song we’d all want to sway to.

2. Pink Floyd – On the Turning Away

Just read a legitimately charming news piece about Seattle police handing out bags of Doritos to stoners at Washington’s Hempfest in order to familiarize them with the specs of I-502, the state’s marijuana legalization initiative. One of the Do’s and Don’ts from the nacho-cheese-powdered rulebook: “Do listen to Dark Side of the Moon at a reasonable volume.” Pink Floyd is often pegged as a “suburban dad” band, alongside The Eagles or something, but their catalog is really incredible, especially when you hear the diversity among tracks like Meddle‘s “Fearless,” Dark Side of the Moon‘s “Any Colour You Like,” and this song.

3. The Spinanes—Noel, Jonah, and Me

The Spinanes fell right between The Breeders and My Bloody Valentine in the 1994 sweet-girl grunge library; dreamy, suburban, and worn in like a flannel. Should have been on the soundtrack to The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

4. Lee Michaels—Do You Know What I Mean

When I was a teenager—and actually, to this day—I had this vision of adult freedom that involved cooking eggs in an oversized men’s button-up shirt, cigarette dangling from my lips, blasting some quality rock ‘n’ roll out of a boom box on the kitchen counter of my sunlight-drenched apartment. This song would be ideal for that purpose.

5. Guided By Voices—The Best of Jill Hives

What can really be said? All hail GBV. Every time I think I’ve found my favorite song of theirs, I run across another one I like even more. (Previous faves include “My Valuable Hunting Knife,” “Game of Pricks,” and “Everywhere with Helicopter.”) Jill Hives, whoever you are, you’re lucky to have this one named after you.


Abridged versions of these interviews also appear in the May+June 2013 issue of VegNews.

Jake Bannon of Converge/Deathwish:


“In 2013, we exist in a very strange place—our hunter/gatherer instincts are still firing, but technology has given birth to “advanced” populations, so we’ve created factory farming and other unnatural ways of harvesting food.”

Artist Justin Bua:


“Pop [music] is overproduced—so are processed foods. Pop is like creamsicles mixed with fudge mixed with bacon flakes and genetically modified soy and corn. And it tastes amazing! I listen to pop music all the time, but is it good for me? No. What I’m going to get from a Run-DMC song is going to be amazing. They’re talking about about social inequalities. They’re talking about injustices. They’re singing with purity. It feels like Zeus singing when you hear DMC’s words. Same with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It’s poetry.”



“One of the reasons I’ve dedicated my life to making music is because I love the way that music affects me emotionally and the way that it affects other people emotionally, and different types of music have the capacity to elicit different emotional reactions in a listener. And I mean, listening to an old Black Flag single triggers a huge emotional reaction in me, but listening to Debussy or Kraftwerk or Donna Summer … Every type of music has the ability to create a really powerful emotional response.”


Foreward: What you are about to read is fact. I have listened to the Pixies every day for the last 13 years in order to bring you this highly valuable information. There can be no other “best Pixies songs”  This is it. It’s official. I’m getting it tattooed on my face. I’m carving it into the pyramids. I’m sealing it into a time capsule with a photo of my dog, some Hostess Sno-Balls, and a newspaper from last Tuesday. 

1. Letter to Memphis

Why it’s the best: It’s extremely romantic. The guitars wail like a crying baby in a way so much more lovely than an actual crying baby. Undeniably catchy chorus while maintaining signature Pixies discordance.

Best lyric: “Used to be that my head was haunted / And all these sirens they make me mad / And all this violence it brings me down / I feel strong, I feel lucky / Trying to get to you”

2. Tame

Why it’s the best: The Pixies pioneered the whole quiet/super loud/quiet format that Nirvana and a bunch of your other favorite stupid bands ripped off, and this band is some of their best implementation of it. The weird heavy breathing part, enough said. Plus, the chorus is as tough as nails—more like a werewolf in a bad mood armed with two nail guns. Watch fans absolutely losing their minds to it above.

Best lyric: “Fall on your face in those bad shoes / Lying there like you’re TAAAAAAAME”

3. Velouria

Why it’s the best: Probably the best lyrics of any Pixies song, for starters, and excellent usage of Kim Deal’s vocals.  Also, the soaring bridge and übertriumphant final chorus.

Best lyric: “Hold my head / we’ll trampoline / finally through the roof / on to somewhere near and far in time”

4. Monkey Gone to Heaven

Why it’s the best: Highly conceptual anthem about some sort of Satanic primate abduction; what’s not to like? I read somewhere that “This monkey’s gone to heaven” was just supposed to be a placeholder lyric until Frank thought of something better, but could you really imagine any other words in their place? I guess he couldn’t either. Also, the perfectly executed reverb/echo on the part “If GOD is seven, then GOD is seven.”

Best lyric: “Rock me, Joe!”