There's little to add by way of introduction to Outsideleft's Top 50 at the mid year, except maybe, to say, Alex V. Cook writes, you read. Anyway. Here's your chance to catch up with some of our most popular stories you may have missed... Drive By Truckers, Mountain Goats, Joe Dolan, Kathleen Hasgard, Velvet Revolver and Winston Chruchill are just a few amongst an entire cavalcade of stars names.
- Drive-By Truckers: Poetry Flies on Chicken Wings and Rides a Mechanical Bull by Alex V. Cook
Did I mention that Drive-By Truckers is my favorite band? I did? Well let me tell you why...
- These Mountain Goats Make a Worthy Sacrifice by Alex V. Cook
John Darinelle crafts his finest yet tribute to recognizing the perverse glory that is the self on Heretic Pride.
- Joe Dolan: He Sent Them Home Sweating by Joe Ambrose
Irish showband man, Joe Dolan, remembered well...
- Ariel Pink, Walk With Me by Alex V. Cook
Somehow in the wreckage of car trouble and the culture jamming of Ariel Pink, something pure and beautiful emerged.
- Up on the F*cking Block with Xiu Xiu by Alex V. Cook
Jamie Stewart's Xiu Xiu is like what would happen if Henry Miller and OMD were blown up and reassembled as one horny beast.
- And You Don't Stop...But Where to Go? - Sole and Lupe Fiasco by Alex V. Cook
The ultimate outsider and the ultimate insider offer different rocky roads ahead for hip-hop.
- The Velvet Jackhammer of Einstürzende Neubauten by Alex V. Cook
Blixa Bargeld and his band of provocateurs show the softer side of destroying civilization on their latest release Alles Wieder Offen
- Snorkel Channels by Paul Hawkins
Paul Hawkins moves through 'The Glass Darkly' and hears a lot
- Cut It Up by Paul Hawkins
Paul Hawkins meets Joe Ambrose, Islamic Digger and says, "Cut It Up and Start Again, Joe..."
- At the All-Star Break: Waiting for t'Pau by LamontPaul
Comets, stars and superstars its all in an nba day
- The Hissing of Herbie Hancock by Alex V. Cook
How the Grammys managed to pick such a rich and complex album as River: the Joni Letters for 2007's Album of the Year is anyone's guess. I do know that Tina Turner can still kick all y'alls ass.
- Mother Earth is Pregnant for the Fourth Time by Alex V. Cook
Your wretched soul has one last chance for funkification, courtesy of Ms. Erykah Badu
- The Future of the Left is Better than the
Now of Everything Else by Alex V. Cook
Wales' Future of the Left is the raging phoenix rising out of the sonic ashes of McLusky and Jarcrew, and might be our last hope for awesomeness in rock.
- Take Me Home Again, Kathleen by Peter Williams
An American living in London, Kathleen Haskard, offers a reminder that straying far from our roots is a beautiful but bittersweet thing
- AdMITT it, You'll Miss Him by LamontPaul
I can't get Roy Orbison operatic singing out of my head this morning... It's Over
- Menstruation is racist... period by Chris Connolly
keeping up our elections coverage chris connolly noticed some changes on the campaign trail...
- The Magnetic Fields and The Disturbance in the Force by Alex V. Cook
Stephen Merritt's parade of song makes a pitstop at the pawn shop and picks up some amps on The Magnetic Fields' aptly named Distortion
- 300 Words From London: Verdi Grief by Lake
The signs are up at the opera house. Anna Netrebko will not be performing. She is suffering from bronchitis.
- Kissing Cousins Are Gonna Make It... Alright by LamontPaul
The Echo Park / Silverlake nexus is a hilly rich, rich vein of creative talent. A hive, a giant ant farm, teeming. The Kissing Cousins? Well they're right on the top of it all, The Queens of the Hill
- Everyone Knows Crowes Blows by LamontPaul
Maxim Magazine which has been a self-parody since year 2 has caught some flack for guess what? Publishing a review of a record they hadn't heard. So what...
- Run London Run: From Hitler to the Smurfs by Henderson Downing
Paramilitary Smurfs enact Nazi ritual on the streets of London in bid to get the city running
- Bang On with Your Fangs On: Vampire Weekend and Panther by Alex V. Cook
Vampire Weekend and Panther both sink their teeth into their favorite records for short-lived but palpable thrills
- That's Correcto! by Shane O'Reilly
Take one member of Franz Ferdinand, one member of The Royal We and two clever new boys on the scene, mix them all together and what do you get? Correcto!
- NIN: Free Work's Alright If You Like Vibraphones by Alex V. Cook
When the aliens inspect the Earth's nuclear-ravaged landscape in the distant future, the only sign of our existence they'll find will be "NIN" spraypainted on a knockoff biker jacket, and Ghosts I-IV will still be playing.
- Tift Merritt, Country Singer of the World by Alex V. Cook
On her resplendent new record, Tift Merritt finds the country girl inside while holed up in Paris.
- Dead Ledger by Shane O'Reilly
The passing of Heath Ledger, a youngster commented to the New York Times, is akin to the demise of James Dean
- This is the Sound of a Young Galaxy by Shane O'Reilly
Canadians, Young Galaxy get the once over from Shane O'Reilly
- Bon Iver: Over the Breakup and Through the Woods by Alex V. Cook
Bon Iver's Justin Vernon opens his mouth and his heart to the ice storm of human love on For Emma, Forever Ago
- 300 Words From London: Anthony McCall - Remain In Light by Lake
Anthony McCall makes spectacular, immersive art from smoke and light.
- Brian Jonestown Massacre: Idiots, or Harbingers of the Boring Endtimes? by Alex V. Cook
BJM succeeds by caring less about success than any other band ever.
- Grant Me The Serenity to Accept the Black Keys I Cannot Change by Alex V. Cook
Black Keys, it's not you, it's me...
- Things To Do In Dover When You're Dead by Lake
Going underground, Lake is back on the trail of Winston Churchill.
- Matt & Sarah & Jimmy & Ben by Jaycentee
The Sarah Silverman/Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel/Ben Affleck videos have been so successful (and now so insanely pervasive on the web that even ABC.com has them), that our inside man on Riverside Dr. Jaycentee heads up you abroad-sters on what the locals know, on how it all came to be...
- Cocaine and Christmas Carols by Chris Connolly
Dublin's Chris Connolly returns with cautionary seasonal tale...
- It's a Vernal Cabaret! by Dan Breen
We don't usually preview events, but then again... Supporting Organic Farm Aid in New York, the Dan Breen way...
- LACMA Turns On by J. Charreaux
J.Ch. Made it out to the members only opening of the Renzo Piano designed Broad Museum of Contemporary Art at LACMA Opening.
- The Outside(r): State Farm by LamontPaul
A new series of comments and personal opinions on the events of the day
- This Year's Deluxe Models: Elvis, Ronnie and Ryan by Alex V. Cook
Proving that thunder only happens when it starts raining, we examine recent deluxe edition packages of Whiskeytown, Elvis Costello and Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Happy Shopper #20: Jordan Gaunce by LamontPaul
Happy Shopper #20, painter Jordan Gaunce, channels the great latin american kinetic artists a bit, with his imperfect man made machine art. We took to him shopping
- Romney Marshes by LamontPaul
Super Tuesday lights are going to find me, But I won't feel blue, Like I always do,'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you...
- Hostel New Hampshire by LamontPaul
Iowa so much to answer fa seemed to be the mantra of the party political bosses this past weekend. Good theatre.
- I Can't Believe I'm Writing about Gnarls Barkley by Alex V. Cook
Not because they aren't worthy of analysis, but because I didn't think they would last this long.
- R.E.M. - An Acronym for Themselves by Alex V. Cook
Once upon a time R.E.M. carried ancient burdens, young despite the years. Alex V. Cook offers his shared history with the band
- Yeah, Here Comes the Waterworks - Velvet Revolver R.I.P. by Alex V. Cook
The dissolution of Velvet Revolver has unforeseen repercussions on the OutsideLeft staff.
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall's Ex-Boyfriend's Wang by Seth Sherwood
Seth Sherwood is back in outsideleft and somehow got himself out to the movies just in time to see as he puts it, some rare cinematic cockery and Sarah Marshall
- 300 Words From London: SHAM - Jimmy Pursey Live by Lake
Lake remembers buying the Hersham Boys 12", from a record shop in Tenby, Wales when he was 13 with some money that his Grandma gave him. If he still had it he would have thrown it away after Friday night's fiasco.
- I Heart NY by Chris Connolly
if you always hate the one you love you also always hate the one you hate
- Everyday I Atrophy by Chris Connolly
Dublin's Chris Connolly brings the perfect New Year's Day Morning story
- Enter the Little Dragon by LamontPaul
The best Swedish story since that one about IKEA giving Danish names to their least glamorous products, subtle pop darlings Little Dragon swoop in from the Frozen North to melt the hearts and minds of LA-ers