The Year in FLOOD: 25 Music News Stories That Defined 2019

From the return of Stereolab to the passing of David Berman, here's the music news that shaped our year.

As with any other year, we could never have predicted the extensive roster of artists who left us far too soon, or those who got their band back together, seemingly against all odds. It was as tough to accept loss in 2019 as it was thrilling to catch wind of reunions—be it in the form of festival spots, album anniversaries, or (just speculating) new records.

Yet this year was also sprinkled with head-scratching, double-take-worthy headlines proving a veritable Mad Lib of proper nouns listing weed strains, popular musicians, U.S. presidents, and flute solos. To help ring in 2020, we’ve compiled a brief list of twenty-five moments—happy, sad, and outright weird—to say goodbye to 2019.

1. January 9, 2019: Aphex Twin at Coachella 2019: It’s Really Happening

Mysterious posters around LA revealed the elusive electronic legend would play at Coachella 2019.

2. January 17, 2019: Lorna Doom of the Germs, Remembered

The music world said goodbye to the trailblazing punk rock bassist.

3. January 28, 2o19: Lizzo Is Coming For You

The rapper/singer revealed her new album and tour details—but who could have imagined the year she had in store.

photo by Daniel Cavazos / FLOOD

4. February 4, 2019: Big Boi Wins the Super Bowl

The still-rapping half of OutKast was the only redeeming entertainment of Super Bowl LIII.

5. February 11, 2019: The Grammys Actually Showed Some Progress This Year

The Grammys were not a complete shitshow this year.

6. February 12, 2019: Stereolab Announce 2019 Return

The art-rock giants returned after an eleven-year absence.

7. March 14, 2019: Dungeon Family Reunite for First Time in Over 25 Years at FLOODfest at SXSW

OutKast’s Big Boi led a rollicking set for our SXSW event with the original ATL crew, including Goodie Mob and Sleepy Brown.

8. April 24, 2019: FKA Twigs Returns with Stunning New Video for “Cellophane”

The striking visual was for the first new single from FKA Twigs in three years.

9. May 13, 2019: Jenny Lewis Wants to Sell You Some Weed

The LA singer-songwriter didn’t just make a great album this year; she also launched her very own line of pre-rolls.

photo by Daniel Cavazos / FLOOD

10. May 20, 2019: Kurt Cobain’s Sweater Sells for $75k

That’s only around $74, 990 more than he paid for it.

11. June 3, 2019: SZA Shuts Down Sephora with a Tweet

The makeup superstore faced a company-wide shutdown to address racial profiling.

12. June 5, 2019: Megan Thee Stallion Announces First Hottie Beach Clean Up

The breakout rapper rounded up her “hotties” to clean up Santa Monica beaches.

13. July 16, 2019: André 3000 and His Flute Spread Joy Across America

Lizzo was not the only celebrity flutist on the scene in 2019.

14. July 22, 2019: NASA Debuts New Video for David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”

The video was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

photo by Adrian Santos / FLOOD

15. July 25, 2019: Donald Trump Really Wants to Free A$AP Rocky

Yes, this actually happened.

16. August 7, 2019: David Berman of Silver Jews Has Passed Away

The songwriter left us days before his scheduled tour in support of his debut album as Purple Mountains.

photo by David Iskra / FLOOD

17. August 8. 2019: You Can Legally Buy Weed at Outside Lands

The Bay Area music fest got real with Grass Lands.

18. August 14, 2019: Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy Has Had a Heart Attack

Thankfully, he was back on the stage within weeks leading a reunited Bauhaus at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

19. August 27, 2019: Preservation Hall Jazz Band Team Up with Pell for Original Tracks Video

The jazz legends teamed up with the rising rapper for an inspiring new version of the band’s “Keep Your Head Up.”

20. September 6, 2019: Supergrass Reunion Is Officially Happening

The Brit-pop trio returned to celebrate I Should Coco turning twenty-five.

21. September 16, 2019: Ric Ocasek Kept It Going ‘Til the Sun Fell Down

The Cars frontman left us far too soon.

22. October 2, 2019: RIP Kim Shattuck of The Muffs

The queen of LA garage rock quietly battled ALS for two years before her passing, while still recording The Muffs’ final album, No Holiday.

23. October 27, 2019: Thom Yorke, Lily Allen, Massive Attack’s 3D, and Over 100 Artists Admit “Climate Hypocrisy”

Over a hundred artists joined forces in response to Extinction Rebellion.

by Rich Polk

photo by Rich Polk

24. December 11, 2019: Cyndi Lauper and Henry Rollins Perform Black Flag’s “Rise Above”

The surprising collab went down at Lauper’s annual benefit show in Los Angeles.

25. December 17, 2019: Jarvis Cocker Wants to Make “Cunts Are Still Running the World” the 2019 Christmas #1

In protest against the Conservative party winning the UK election, the Pulp frontman’s biting solo single reached #2 on the BBC charts, with efforts still underway to reach #1 in the new year. All proceeds benefit the UK-based homeless charity Shelter.

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