Toronto in 2014 Credit: Geoff Robbins

A look back on the early-aughts rave ban that rattled Toronto’s dance-music scene
At the end of the 90s, Toronto’s booming rave scene took a huge hit after high-profile drug-related deaths and increased media attention snowballed into a wide-reaching “rave ban.” Thump looks back on how the city dealt with—and protested—the crackdown on its club culture. [Thump]

An unborn child caught throwing devil horns in an ultrasound image gets a lifetime pass to Riot Fest
Please ignore the fact the Trib keeps calling them “rock ‘n’ roll horns.” [Chicago Tribune]

Bet you didn’t know Mexico had a huge surf-music scene in the 90s and 00s
But it totally did! Always insightful “sound studies” blog Sounding Out! wrote about the phenomenon—which has since dwindled but not died—and how it helped shape Mexico’s musical underground around the turn of the century. [Sounding Out!]

The New York Times just published another list of “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going”
For the second year running, the paper of record has bestowed upon us this kinda arbitrary but definitely intriguing list, which includes blurbs on the choices by some of its best culture critics. They’re all worth a read, but my favorites include the riffs on “Mask Off” (Future), “Seigfried” (Frank Ocean), and “Remain Calm” (Mica Levi & Oliver Coates). And I’ve gotta show some love for the essay about Shirley Caesar’s gospel tune “Hold My Mule,” whose line about “beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes” helped it get meme-ified last year in the #UNameItChallenge. [The New York Times]

Indie rocker Juliana Hatfield wrote about the new Lorde song
You may remember Juliana Hatfield as the singer who cofounded the Blake Babies in 1986 or as the solo artist who released Whatever, My Love with the Juliana Hatfield Three in 2015. Either way, you might care to know that she’s a fan of Lorde’s new “Green Light”—and she’s got a lot to say about it. [The Talkhouse]

Chicago rapper Femdot is putting in the work and seeing the results
Femdot, one of the newest phenoms in Chicago hip-hop, just dropped the EP (U)no. Shortly before its release, he sat down with These Days to talk about writing, doing due diligence as a music maker, and the perennial young artist’s struggle to balance school and rap. [These Days]