All-Time Best Band: Big Black All-Time Best Solo Artist: Miles Davis Best New Band: Chandeliers
Steve Albini is famous for his poker game, his scatological insults, and for dryly engineering the work of the finest bands of his generation — all of whom he’d prefer that you consider overrated. The only way he gets away with this shit is because of Big Black, his savagely obnoxious, and crudely brilliant, 2/3-human trio, which never met a musical convention it couldn’t eviscerate with saw-blade-whirring guitars and a thuggish drum-machine snare. | Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the same year as the Sex Pistols, Alton-born Miles Davis concocted a musical legacy that was twice as anarchic, blazing a sex- and drug-fueled trail that peaked in a firestorm of acid-damaged, avant-garde funk, flamed out with the accidental invention of space-rock, and ended during a foray into rap. Apparently, he was also a bit of a jazz musician. | Casually synthesizing several of underground-Chicago’s recent obsessions, Chandeliers channel an uncannily danceable brand of improvisational electronic music, veering, in the span of a few minutes, from dub abstraction to tightly wound Kraut-funk to blearily gorgeous electro.