Most Anticipated of 2015: #2 The Kendrick Lamar Takeover

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At the age of 27, Kendrick Lamar may be on the verge of becoming the most influential rapper in hip hop. Those are strong words, considering the fact that Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, Drake and others are all still at the top of their game. Nevertheless, 2015 could be the year that Lamar takes the throne.

We’re all awaiting with rapt attention for the follow up to 2012’s acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city, a masterful work of storytelling that articulated the struggle of a young kid growing up in Compton. That semi-autographical breakthrough album became an instant classic and now stands as one of the greatest hip hop releases of the past decade. Given the musical talent that Lamar possesses, his follow-up promises to be just as much of a gem.

Lamar flipped the script on everyone, though, with his late 2014 single “i” – a track that bares nearly no resemblance to his past work. Instead, the track fights for joy and hope, standing defiantly in contrast to past (and current) pain. The song was an immediate hit and could likely serve as a sign of what’s to come.

Lamar’s third studio album is allegedly complete and awaiting release sometime in 2015. According to the man himself, the only person to have a copy of the album is his 10-year-old brother. Lucky kid. The rest of us will have to wait – but hopefully not for much longer.

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Most Anticipated of 2015: #8 Riot Fest

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Riot Fest is becoming one of the greatest festivals in North America. Where Warped Tour caters to a younger crowd and acts as a proving ground for fledgling bands, Riot Fest is where the veterans come to play. Each year the lineups are massive draws that comb the best talent through multiple generations and genres. It’s one of the few arenas of punk rock where middle age and teenagers meet in mutual respect.

Though the festival attracts mostly modern punk bands, metalcore, dance and hip-hop have been frequent acts. On top of that, the festival also has a maddening ability to reunite bands we thought long gone (The Replacements, Saosin & Anthony Green). The worst part about the festival is that over its three day course, there’s hardly a moment to pause at any one stage because another epic moment is happening just around the corner.

The three day time frame can be overwhelming, as by the third consecutive day even the most conservative of festival goers will be worn out. It’s a daunting task to be in the mud and mosh for an entire weekend, but the lineups are just too damn attractive. For two years in a row I’ve told myself that I would only buy a one day pass, but was unable or unwilling to choose which day would be preferable over the others.

If the bands do start to wear thin, there is always the swarm of carnival rides to steal your attention. Haunted houses, tilt-a-whirls and wrestling rings dot the landscape between merch tables and an army of food stands.

The bands for 2015 haven’t been announced yet, but the presale holiday tickets for Chicago are already completely sold out. In it’s 11th year, Riot Fest has already proven itself capable of attracting the attention of people of all ages and returning with an over the top lineup each day. See you at Humboldt Park.

For any updates for this year’s festivals, check out Riot Fest’s website.

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and has lost two pairs of chucks in the icy mud of Rito Fest. He watched Weezer play the Blue Album from a tree last year and danced in NFG’s circle pit when he should have been journalisting.

Most Anticipated of 2015: #10 Vans Warped Tour

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Even from its beginnings, Warped Tour set out to be a bit controversial. The biggest traveling music festival in the United States started as a gathering ground for punk, ska and alt rock around the country. Over the years, the tour has opened its doors to the emo, hardcore, pop, electronic, hip hop and metalcore communities as well.

Whether this inclusive policy has brought you even more excitement or rubbed you the wrong way, there’s no denying tour founder Kevin Lyman’s vision and ability to construct a massively relevant event year after year. Even those who complain that the tour has lost its edge or strayed from its roots have to take notice of Warped Tour’s cultural impact and legacy.

Personally, I am a longtime attender and supporter of the tour. It’s true, the lineups aren’t as attractive to me as they were 10 years ago, but that’s because of my own growth and change. Each year, I arrive to see thousands of people excited to jump, sweat and sing-along to their favorite bands and meet new friends.

The lineup announcements for the 2015 trek have already begun and include the likes of blessthefall, Hands Like Houses, Alive Like Me, Neck Deep, The Wonder Years and Matchbook Romance. Yes, you read that last one right. After a seven-year absence, Matchbook Romance has returned from hiatus and will be heading out on Warped Tour. There’s surely more surprising announcements to come.

To check out the list of bands, see all of the dates and buy your tickets, you can visit the official Vans Warped Tour website.

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Most Anticipated Music of 2015

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Well, 2014 is officially over, leaving some truly great music in its wake. The year was full of fantastic albums, incredible festivals and much anticipated band revivals and album anniversaries. You can read (and listen to) our overviews of the best music of 2014 here, here and here.

With a new year comes new possibilities. If 2014 is any indication, the scene is alive and well and bursting at the seams with promise. In fact, we already know of an assortment of jaw-dropping band reunions, exciting tours and promising albums that are on their way in 2015. It’s fairly safe to say that there’s a lot to look forward to.

That’s why we’re excited to share with your our 10 most anticipated things of 2015 in the world of music. This isn’t a list of just albums – we’re sharing everything we’re awaiting in the coming year, including new music, upcoming events and possible moments that could shape the scene.

We’re so excited about the possibilities of the New Year that we’ve also decided not to knock this feature out in one quick blow. Instead, for the next two weeks, we’ll be revealing something new each day, counting down to our most anticipated thing of 2015.

Be sure to come back each day to read about something new, or drop in at your leisure and check out the links below. As always, feel free to tell us your most anticipated things of 2015 in the replies. Enjoy!

10. Vans Warped Tour

9. The Return of fun.

8. Riot Fest

7. All Time Low Returns to the Forefront

6. Saosin Reboot

5. The Early November Strike Again

4. Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho

3. Noel Gallagher’s Return to Guitar Rock

2. The Kendrick Lamar Takeover

1. The Wonder Years

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.