Excited About Jack: A Pre-Review

We here at LxL all have a special affinity for Jack White. Let’s be honest, if you like music, you probably do too. He wears so many different hats that it would be hard not to please someone, somewhere down the line. Whether it is the grungy blues of what was The White Stripes, the poppy guitar-driven melodies of The Raconteurs, the hard-hitting force of The Dead Weather, or playing along for country legend Wanda Jackson, almost everyone can connect with Jack somewhere along the lines.

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Chairlift Review: Something



Chairlift Something Album Cover Art

I admittedly didn’t give Chairlift much of a fair shake upon their initial breakthrough from what’s becoming a more and more ordinary form of breaking out, being featured on a commercial. Not just any ordinary commercial, but the Colorado electro-pop duo’s “Bruises” was featured on the much envied Apple commercial, which has helped break open such bands as Feist, Jet, Grouplove, CSS, and more. I had heard Chairlift’s debut album, Does You Inspire You, once upon its release and admittedly brushed it off as standard cutesy girl-pop in the realm of Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor.
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LxListening: Scrappy Little Punk

Punk Rock Bulldog

If you know me, I don’t exactly exude the punk rock. I hate complaining, and think most people who rebel do it for no good reason. But I believe there is a time for almost every music genre so sometimes I even my pooh bear self gets angsty from time to time. As of late, there has been a bunch of minimalist, noisy punk bands that I really enjoy, so here is a five song playlist to showcase some of my favorites.
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Top Ten Thursday: The Sounds of Winter

Wes as a wee cub

We at LxL are men for all seasons, and winter is no exception.  Oh, wait, Todd lives in the concrete jungles of Cali where the weather rarely dips below 60.  That’s alright, he is still an Indianaananaan (not really sure how to write that, or say it for that matter) at heart.  Here are our top ten albums of winter. Enjoy.

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In Defense of: The Chronic 2001

chronic, 2001, dr., dre, cover, album, art

The amount of venom spit by Todd and Wes toward Dr. Dre’s late-millennium masterwork The Chronic 2001 had me all kinds of worked up last week.  In fact, there was a lot of hate aimed towards Dre that was simply baffling to me.  Despite the wide-ranging barbs directed at Dr. Dre, I would like to limit the scope of this post to The Chronic 2001, the main reason being that I think this album is the true culmination of all of Dre’s talents and far superior to The Chronic (1992 edition).  So instead of writing ten thousand words, and including arguments about how the careers of Ice Cube, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, etc. essentially sprouted from Dre’s fertile loins, I will try to stay on point.  Not that there would be any appreciation by Todd or Wes of Ice Cube.  Cube didn’t get killed by firearm like Biggy or Tupac, so white kids in the 90’s didn’t pay attention to him (note: blows Tupac out of the water).  But, I digress.  I’m also going to try to stay away from arguments about why Dr. Dre is still musically relevant.  I think the 2010 killer single, “I Need A Doctor”, speaks for itself. 

So what I’m going to do is start addressing particular comments, starting with the most fair, and advancing to the most absurd, trying to limit my comments as much as possible to The Chronic 2001 and ripping on Todd and Wes.

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Craig Finn Review: Clear Heart Full Eyes

Craig Finn

Clear Heart Full Eyes

Craig Finn's Clear Heart Full Eyes Album Cover

So you caught me. I’m actually reviewing this album because I love the title so much since the wife and I have been watching heavy doses of Friday Night Lights. Even though I really love a couple Hold Steady albums (the primary band that Craig Finn reigns from), their last couple albums didn’t exactly strike excitement out of me as Craig Finn’s sing-talk can wear on you over time. For those who don’t know, The Hold Steady are hailed by some as “The Best Bar Band in America”, as their brand of guitar-driven classic rock mixed with Tad Kubler, Craig Finn, and Franz Nicolay’s balls-to-the-wall playing style makes for a really fun live show. Finn in a very Springsteen-ian way, interweaves stories of troubled boys and girls in America (a la the album, Boys and Girls in America), with lines of great insight and some of great humor.  This makes for an odd but alluring mix of straight-forward rock mixed with complex and often poetic story-telling.
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Post Weekend Weeknd: An Overview Review of The Weeknd

I recently realized how much we at LxL almost entirely disregarded one of the coolest music acts of 2011, The Weeknd. We briefly discussed him in our Top Ten New Artist of 2011 list, but he otherwise went completely unmentioned on LxL, if I’m not mistaken. Not only is the sole member (Abel Tesfaye) an excellent producer, but the dude has the ambition and drive Muhammad Ali. In 2011 The Weeknd released not 1, not 2, but 3 full-length mixtapes. All of which were very well rounded and very highly praised. Incidentally, The Weeknd’s first album, House of Balloons did land at our 21st overall favorite album of 2011, but we only listed our top 20 on the website, so it didn’t receive adequate recognition.
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