Over here in the rose-tinted world of The FADER, the beginning of the year is less the time for a teary-eyed dusting of the stacks and more a moment of wild-eyed enthusiasm about what ’06 has in store for us: New music! In-store credit at Sisley! Trapped In The Closet parts 37-56! Etc. We’re not gonna lie to you: the NOW issue is our favorite issue of the year because we get the chance to really stretch out and uncover some hot new new hot hot and celebrate it unabashedly—this is the music that’s really close to our heart. Extra specifically, our cover stars Lupe Fiasco and Jenny Lewis. You first heard Lupe on Kanye’s “Touch The Sky” and his Chi-town skateboard anthem, “Kick, Push”. But after checking his new solo album, Food & Liquor, we were sold. Eric Ducker trailed Fiasco from Beverly Hills to his hometown to get the story on the heavily focused (with or without glasses) hip-hop whiz kid. Likewise, you know we’ve always been suckers for heartwarming heartbreak, and after the first spin of Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis’s breakout, standout solo album Rabbit Fur Coat, Miss Lonelyhearts had us for life. Nick Barat talked French dip sandwiches, hot pants and musical inspirations with the former child star-turned-countryfied siren.
And between the sheets, you’ll find a particularly heady sampling of the things we’ve been intrigued with/intoxicated by for the last coupla months: a survey on the state of New York City rap, some damn fine reporting on Bloomington, Indiana and why the indie kids have one of the most vibrant rock scenes around (hint: it involves trading blood for money). We also dug deep to bring you a Who’s Who on our favorite sweaty, gritty rock remixers, and a profile on the sleeping genius of Tropicalista legend Tom Ze.
When you look at that list, it may seem a little daunting, but ’tis the season of hibernation after all, and what better way to whyle away the winter blues than with a smoky blend of conscious thuggery, rawk and country? Sooner than you think, you’ll be seeing the dew-tipped buds of early spring—and we want you in fighting form for the knockout punches we have in store.