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Noisey Reads: Catch Up on Some of Our Favorite Stories of 2016

All the stories you might've missed this year.

by Noisey Staff
Nov 24 2016, 3:19pm

This year, more than ever, we here at Noisey understand how desperate you are to escape the nightmare that is holiday dinner with your family. So as you're carefully navigating conversational landmines, avoiding any topics that could somehow lead to politics, at the dinner table, feel free to politely excuse yourself for a 30 to 90-minute trip to the restroom. While you're enjoying the privacy that only a locked bathroom door can provide this holiday season, feel free to kill time and learn something from Noisey's favorite longreads of 2016.


25 Years Ago, Morrissey Ruined Bill Cosby's Appearance on 'The Tonight Show'

In 1991, Morrissey did his first solo tour of the United States and wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting country, especially The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, where Moz appeared alongside none other than Bill Cosby. His fans flooded the studio and mayhem ensued.

The Devil's Right Hand

Religious fanatics in Russia want to strong-arm metal bands into silence. We found out who they are, what they want, and how they've already won.

I Saw the Light

Every year, over 50,000 Christians attend Creation, the largest Christian music festival in the country. This is a story about Christian music, belief, growing up, and Jesus Christ. A documentary about the week will be released soon.

The Man Who Discovered Prince

Weeks before Prince's tragic, untimely death, we talked to the man who found and nurtured the Minneapolis teen's talents and helped launch him upon an unsuspecting world.

Danny Brown Has No Competition

In the past four years, Danny Brown has walked the line of being the life of the party and a spiraling drug addict. Now, at 35, he has a clearer understanding of his limits and is continuing his push for greatness.

Kill Cops: Leftöver Crack's Scott Sturgeon and the 11-Year Itch

In a year where the bloody conflicts between citizens and the police made national news, we spent a summer with a guy who's been screaming "kill cops!" for the last 20 years: Scott Sturgeon (or as he's known to punk fans, Stza Crack, the controversial and divisive frontman of Choking Victim, Leftöver Crack, and Star Fucking Hipsters).

Rolling on Stealth Mode: Meet the Crafty Motherfuckers Bootlegging Music Festivals

From Coachella to Glastonbury, a sprawling subculture remains devoted to the trading and archiving of unauthorized recordings of your favorite sets. We spoke with some major players in the game to find out just how, and why, they keep at it, despite the growing risks.

Sampha's Perfect Song

Sampha has become widely known for his work with artists like Drake, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and Solange. But his upcoming debut album is great precisely because he's not interested in big-name celebrity and musical fame. We spent some time learning the story of one of music's most focused new figures.

Thank the Good Lord for Japandroids


A Long Drive with Car Seat Headrest

At 23, Will Toledo already had 11 self-released albums under his belt. Ahead of his studio debut on Matador, we took him on a ride across LA to talk art, mental illness, and how he made one of the best albums of the year.

Drake Is King Millennial: We Crowned Him and There's No One to Blame But Ourselves

The Summer Sixteen tour stopped in New York City and Drake proved he's moved from rapper to full-on pop star, sitting on that throne alongside Taylor Swift. Is this a good thing? Well…

From Iran to Guatemala: How Women Are Driving Music's Political Revolution

Whether it's navigating a warzone, or becoming a public figure in a violent patriarchal society, these artists are using their music to become important voices of the times we live in.

Dabs for Votes: Does Using Hip-Hop Culture Help Candidates Win Elections

In 1992, Bill Clinton used a statement made by hip-hop figure Sister Souljah to demonize her and to sway undecided voters. It has since been deemed a Sister Souljah Moment and is now regularly used in political campaigns. We looked into how hip-hop has been used in politics since then.

Around the World in 12 Years with Bloc Party

We first interviewed Bloc Party on a wet winter evening in 2004. Twelve years later, we joined them on a beach in Bali and things got pretty awkward, but beautifully revealing, too.

From National Star to Enemy of the State: Iranian Rock Pioneer Kourosh Yaghmaei Fights On

After 27 years of censorship, the 70s guitar great has released the album he was forbidden from making. In a rare interview, we spoke with Yaghmaei, and some of the Iranian musicians he influenced, about his legacy and what it means to love your country, even when it turns against you.

Metallica Are So Friggin' Good at Being Metallica

Their intimate Webster Hall performance was a 'tallica fan's wet dream, and showed why the thrash legends still matter.

Come On, Fhqwhgads: A Look Back at the Music of Homestar Runner

We tracked down the two brothers who created the Flash-based website that burninated the early internet.

Nice as Fuck Will Make You Get Off Your Ass and Do Something

Over the summer, we interviewed Jenny Lewis, Tennessee Thomas, and Erika Spring about making music born out of community, friendship, and activism. Trump won. But we can't stop fighting.

Men Explain Music to Me

"Are you buying this for your boyfriend?" and other tales from an exasperated music fan who also happens to be a woman.

Jackie Chain's Blaze of Glory, Once Again

Jackie Chain, the greatest half-Asian MC ever to come out of Huntsville, Alabama, could have been rap's crossover star into the world of EDM. Instead, he was fucked over more times than you can count. So what's he doing these days? Growing weed in LA, rapping, and having the time of his life.

John K. Samson Only Wanted to Be Interviewed via Postcard, so That's What We Did

Former Weakerthans' frontman John K. Samson is every bit the old-fashioned soul he portrays in his lyrics. So when we requested to talk to him about his new solo album, Winter Wheat, he said he'd only do it via postcard, naturally. So that's what we did.

Don't Just Sit Back and Hope Metal and Punk "Get Better" Under Trump

A call to arms and practical action strategies for after you wear out your Dead Kennedys and Nuclear Assault records.

Warpaint's Return

Warpaint low-key released one of the coolest record's this year, but they nearly split up in the making of it. Here's the story of how the veteran LA act wound up with a new perspective.

No Guts, No Glory: How Bolt Thrower's Jo Bench Inspired a Generation of Metal Musicians

Members of Noothgrush, Immortal Bird, Mortals, and more pay tribute to the woman behind those world-eating basslines.

Me, My Mom, and Paul McCartney: From the Iron Curtain to the California Desert

Fifty years after her mom discovered The Beatles at secret listening parties in Communist Hungary, Noisey's Andrea Domanick took her to her first music festival at Desert Trip.

One Year and One Million Words with Laura Jane Grace

A first-hand account of a long year spent helping the Against Me! frontwoman turn her private journals into a punk rock memoir.

What, Jeff Rosenstock Worry?

Before the election, when everything seemed much simpler, we tailed modern punk hero Jeff Rosenstock (formerly of Bomb the Music Industry!) to Tijuana, Mexico, a country that might have a big, dumb wall around it soon, for a record release show for his solo album WORRY., a timely album about everything being awful.

Sometimes, artists are kind enough to humor us and let us take them out on dates. It's usually a good time until they realize that we "forgot" our wallets at home. These are some of the people who were nice enough to pick up our checks this year.

I Went on a First Date with... Sean Paul

Shirley Manson Asked Me Out for Sushi for Some Reason

I Went on a Date with Rozwell Kid—All Four of Them—and They Took Me to Olive Garden

Sex, Love, and 'Lady Wood': A First Date with Tove Lo

Noisey Next

Noisey Next is a series that goes in deep with some up-and-coming acts. That way, you're in the know about emerging artists and in five years, you can be the snarky jerk who pushes their Warby Parker glasses up on their nose and says, "Uh... yeah, I really liked their first EP."

The Lemon Twigs Are Rock's New Old Young Dreamboats

Farther Out: California Dreaming with Anderson .Paak

Josef Salvat Is Talking Sex, and It's Time to Listen

The Instantly Timeless Pop of Empty Houses

Scene Reports

In Scene Reports, we cover music scenes from around the world and you can read about them without leaving the comfort of your toilet. What a world.

Speakers in the House: Can Washington, DC Be a New Capital for Rap?

Ithaca, New York's Eclectic, All-Ages DIY Scene Should Make the Rest of the Country Jealous

An Insider's Guide to Montreal's Vibrant Underground Metal Scene

El Paso's Scene Embraces the Border City's Layered Identities

Under the Woes: The New Toronto Underground Hardcore Scene