Our Most Popular Stories of 2012
It was a great year for the L.A. Weekly music section and our West Coast Sound blog. On the print side, we offered well-reported profiles, news stories, and essays that helped our readers better understand the music they love. On the blog we wrote compulsively-readable pieces that started conversations and offered up alternative takes on the conventional wisdom. (Five times a day!) We sought to get away from the insider-y, boring critical dictums awash in cultural bias found in most music writing. We specialized in the music that folks in L.A. are actually listening to -- EDM, metal, hip-hop, Latin Alternative, K-pop -- rather than the listless indie shit the New York critics keep insisting on. Here, then, are our most widely-read pieces of the year.
Photo by W.B. Fontenot Elena Vladi from Demona Mortiss
Our most popular print stories
5. Everything You Wanted to Know About Metal but Were Afraid to Ask
By Jason Roche
Djent: Pronounced "junt," it describes a new wave of bands incorporating elements of progressive metal, thrash and death. The name djent comes from the sound of the genre's standard rhythm riff. Examples: Meshuggah, Periphery
4. The Making of The Chronic
Simone Green / Xenon Pictures Snoop Dogg
By Ben Westhoff
SNOOP DOGG: I think The Chronic was perfect, but a lot of songs could have been on it that would have destroyed the vibe. If they didn't come out, Dre did it for a reason. A lot of that shit was spontaneous. But I did [another] song 15 times before I got it right. Had a toothache at the time and couldn't spit it out. He was, "Do it the next time, I don't like how it sounds. Do it again, you had too much energy." I'm like, this motherfucker is a precisionist.
3. L.A. Woman Was the Doors' Bluesy Masterpiece
Photo by Paul Ferrara/copyright DMC The Doors
And Jim Morrison's Kiss-Off to L.A.
By Jeff Weiss
With Morrison out on bail pending appeal, the only legitimate option is to head into the studio to deliver the final record on their Elektra contract. After that, an indefinite hiatus is certain -- provided the band can capture something superior to "cocktail jazz," the slander with which their longtime producer Paul Rothchild leaves them before quitting during early L.A. Woman sessions. The Doors return to their rehearsal studio at a crossroads, attempting to invent a new, Western blooz and reimagine a dissolute swamp as the concrete Delta.
2. R.I.P. MCA
By Henry Rollins
I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to tour with the Beastie Boys and watched almost every set they played on all those dates. Why not? You do your set and then you get to see the Beasties play? Best deal in town.
1. Is Riff Raff Serious?
Photo by Marco Torres Riff Raff
One thing's for certain: This maddeningly inscrutable white rapper is more entertaining than you are
By Jeff Weiss
"What separates him is his sense of humor. He's like Biz Markie in his goofiness or Kool Keith in the way he puts words together," says his friend and collaborator Simon Rex, who raps as the sex-obsessed Dirt Nasty. "It might not make sense on paper, but it works because he commits so much to them. He also has an Eazy-E octave that really punches through beats. So much rap is middle of the road; not enough people are having fun. He's not afraid to be a clown, and he can actually rap and carry notes. Put a camera on him and you can't look away. When he wakes up in the morning to when he goes to bed at night, that's him."
Our most popular blog stories are below