Years from now, we'll remember 2015 as the year of the Paris attacks and the death of Scott Weiland. We'll wonder why we bought an Adele CD and subscribed to Apple Music. We might recall it as the year Madonna made out with Drake at Coachella, although Drake probably hopes we'll forget.
If we're lucky, we'll remember 2015 for other, better reasons. It was the year Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples and Earl Sweatshirt put L.A. back at the center of the hip-hop universe. It was the year Kamasi Washington made jazz cool again. It was the year L7 reunited. It was the year of Straight Outta Compton.
Those are just some of the most compelling stories we covered over the past 12 months. Below, we present a chronology of those and others. A few of these things feel as if they just happened yesterday (well, because they did); others already seem dipped in the sepia tones of nostalgia. The “Blurred Lines” trial — remember when that seemed like a really big deal? We were so innocent back then.
Coachella announces its lineup and people lose their shit because it includes Steely Dan.
Rock impresario and Runaways manager Kim Fowley dies. Like most media outlets, we write some nice things about him.
We also write a thing suggesting that CDs may actually be more high-fidelity than vinyl. It makes a lot of people very angry.
Beck wins the Album of the Year Grammy for Morning Phase.
Jazz saxophonist Zane Musa dies at 36.
Valley jazz club Upstairs at Vitello's becomes Sheila E's new venue, the E Spot Lounge.
After a change in format at his old station boots Art Laboe off the air, Dublab and others rally around the veteran radio personality.
Burger Records opens its first store in L.A.
The “Blurred Lines” verdict screws Robin Thicke — and possibly the entire music industry.
We honor the 20th anniversary of Eazy-E's death.
System of a Down play their first-ever show in Armenia — on the anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
Tyler, the Creator seemingly announces the disbanding of Odd Future, then denies it.
Ambient trip-hop pioneer Michael Kandel of Tranquility Bass dies at 47.
Vince Staples releases one of the year's best hip-hop albums, Summertime '06.
Art Laboe returns to the L.A. airwaves on his new home, KDAY.
Apple Music launches and in doing so screws up many people's music collections.
Jewel's Catch One closes, albeit temporarily.
Huffington Post publishes a story detailing how the late Kim Fowley drugged and raped former Runaways bassist Jackie Fuchs. Lots of publications who wrote nice things about Fowley at the time of his death (including us) are forced to rethink their assessment of his legacy.
Two teens die on the first day of HARD Summer, leading to a proposed ban on raves at county-operated venues, including the Pomona Fairplex, which hosted the event. Instead, HARD promoters cut a deal with the county forcing them to reduce capacity and raise the age limit to 21 at future events.
House of Blues Sunset Strip closes. Not everyone mourns its passing.
Despite years of delays and behind-the-scenes drama, N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton arrives in theaters and is an immediate critical and commercial success.
Frank Ocean cancels his FYF appearance. His replacement, Kanye West, reportedly causes a last-minute surge in ticket sales.
Macklemore opens the MTV VMAs with a live re-enactment of his “Downtown” video, filmed outside the Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A. As with most things Macklemore does, everyone either loves it or thinks it's the worst desecration of hip-hop ever perpetrated.
As a public service, we put Ty Dolla $ign on the cover of our music issue.
Jonesy's Jukebox returns to daytime radio on KLOS.
Adele releases 25 and single-handedly saves the music industry.
Speaking of 25 … that's how many years Downtown Rehearsal operated as one of the most popular band practice spaces in all of Los Angeles, before closing its doors at the end of November to make way for a Soho House.
Scott Weiland dies while on tour of an apparent drug overdose.
The Grammys, uncharacteristically capturing the cultural zeitgeist, honor Kendrick Lamar with 11 nominations, the most of any artist this year. He also tops our list of the year's best albums by L.A.-based artists.
And Mötley Crüe (finally) goes out with a bang. But to read that story, you'll just have to check back with us in two weeks.