Best Movies of 2014

movies of 2014

I know what you may be thinking by the photo above, and yes, all of those movies did make our list. Now, as a brief disclaimer, there are quite a few movies this year that we have yet to see. Including the likes of Inherent Vice, Big Hero 6, 300: Rise of an Empire, etc, but the below is what we have seen from 2014, and what we feel was tops. Let us hear your qualms:
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Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 Recap

 pitchfork

In all of its infinite and pretentious wisdom, there is hardly any doubt that Pitchfork has become one of America’s leading sources for modern music recommendations and critiques. Love or hate their opinions, it is true. And regardless if they seem to leave a bitter taste in your mouth every once in a while, they do manage to do one thing very right: Pitchfork Music Festival. Three short-but-not-too-short days in the city of Chicago with a solid lineup of acts every year. Even with Death Grips canceling their performance this year, I  along with fellow LxL’er Wes and a few friends still showed up for the party, and a glorious three days it was. Here is the one sentence (or more) breakdown of what we encountered:

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Weak List Wednesday: Best Song of 2014 (So Far)

best songs of 2014 so far

We are now past that halfway point of 2014, and thus, it is time to look back at some of of favorite songs of the year so far. Please let us know your qualms, queries, and substitutions:

5. “Your Love Is Killing Me” – Sharon Van Etten

Sharon finds a perfect blend of raw, aggression, and passion in this fine track from her wonderful new album.
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Top Ten Acts of Bonnaroo 2014

LxL_TopTenThursdays_900x300bonnaroo 2014
Looking back at my experience at this year’s Bonnaroo, there was a lot more that I could have seen, and wish that I would have seen. Generally I do a lot of bouncing back in forth from stage to stage. This year, I found myself planting at stages for a few acts in a row, staying for a lot of the full length of sets. But when I would bounce, the abundance of scheduling conflicts only allowed me to really see a few songs by some of my more favorite acts. For instance, had I seen the entire Flaming Lips or Nick Cave shows, or ANY of Frank Ocean, CHVRCHES, The Orwells, or Diarrhea Planet in all their glory, I am sure that some of them could have easily made this list. Unfortunately though, there just isn’t enough hours in the day. So instead I decided to include only acts in which I saw the entire set, from opener to closer. So apologies to all the more deserving bands whom I did not see in their entirety, but here is a list my favorite full sets that I saw at Bonnaroo this year.

10. Elton John
elton_john bonnaroo 2014
After playing “Bennie and the Jets”, “Levon”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Rocket Man” all within the first 7 songs of his set, it’s hard to care too much about what else you get from the man. I had always heard great things about Elton live, and despite the extremely dated visual show he used on his backdrop, the man still knows how to perform.
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Bonnaroo 2014: The Recap

bonnaroo 2014 recap

Bonnaroo 2014 was my sixth Bonnaroo experience, and one of, if not the best one yet. Everything about Bonnaroo encompasses exactly what a music festival should be. From music, to food, to art, to the camping, and especially the length of set times, this is truly America’s greatest music fest. Traditionally in the past I do a general Bonnaroo Pre-cap, followed by a recap after the festival. Due to laziness, this year I failed to do the former so will attempt to combine it with the latter. Long story short, here is my recap to my favorite weekend of the year.
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The National Show Review

The National
Chicago Theatre
Chicago, IL
April 18, 2014

the national, Chicago theater, live

Last Friday, The National performed their fourth and final show of a four-night stand at the Chicago Theatre. What was intended to be a two night stop in Chicago quickly turned into four consecutive nights, after each show continually sold out at such a rapid rate and they added more dates. Lucky was I, to have fellow LxL’er Wes to snag me such a prized possession. Regretfully, he could not actually join, and was out of town that particularly night. Fortunately, that did not stop me from going, and what I expected to be a slightly boring, and very melancholic show, actually turned out to be a wonderful concert experience that surpassed most all expectation.
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St. Vincent Album Review

St. Vincent
St. Vincent

St_Vincent_album art

Two weeks ago, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) released her fourth studio album. I think it is worth noting as well, that this is her first solo album to be released after her collaboration album with David Byrne, Love This Giant. I say that it is worth mentioning because it is quite apparent that her work with David Byrne, and possibly the current friendship that they have taken up after the fact, has clearly had a large impact on her music. So what do you get when you take one of the better female singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists of the current generation, and slap on a nice new coat of influence from one of the better/quirkier musicians to ever grace the presence of popular music? You essentially get what was already a fully developed musician in untried territory. Stepping outside her own comfort zones, and becoming better in ways that weren’t exactly necessary, but incredibly enjoyable for her fans, old and new. You also get one of the best albums that St. Vincent has released to date.
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