Top Ten Live Acts of 2013

Paul McCartney - best live act of 2013

This is one of my favorite things to write every year, as we get to look back at all the great shows we attended this year. While we no doubt love listening to music in our cars, at work, or with friends, undoubtedly the preferred method remains live music, as it is something that will never go away. One last quick disclaimer: we are only able to see so many shows between the three of us, and not all three of us went to each of these shows, so of course this list is a bit flawed. But with that note aside, our ten favorite live acts.
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Atoms For Peace Show Review

Atoms For Peace
UIC Pavilion
Chicago, IL
October 2, 2013

Atoms for Peace, UIC Pavilion

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of witnessing a live Atoms For Peace performance for the second time in my life. The first time I had the pleasure of seeing this rare supergroup perform was at Coachella in 2010. Fellow LxL’er Wes and I were lucky enough to land spots right next to Jay and B (seriously) near the sound stage and were gifted a performance of a lifetime. One that I thought I would never have the opportunity to see again. Luckily, that would not be the case, and after haggling my way into a cheap general admission floor seat, I was gifted that opportunity once again.
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Atoms for Peace Review: Amok

Atoms for Peace

Amok

Atoms for Peace Amok album cover art

Atoms for Peace started very differently than many supergroups: on tour. The project started when Thom Yorke, frontman of Radiohead, released a sparse electronic solo album called The Eraser all the way back in 2006. In 2009, Yorke got the idea to tour the album he created mostly with his laptop with a live, organic band to bring it fully to life. Thom Yorke assembled a heavily percussive band in Flea (bass) of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joey Waronker (drums) of Beck and numerous other alt-rock projects, Mauro Refosco (percussionist) of Forro In The Dark, and legendary Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (programming, producer) to make this mostly synthesized, glitchy album full-bodied and warm-blooded. The nameless band debuted The Eraser and some fresh material live at the EchoPlex in L.A. in October 2009, and something really sparked with this all-star lineup. A full-blown U.S. tour would follow in 2010, as well as deciding on a name for the band in Atoms for Peace, coming from the Eraser song of the same name. Now, four years since its conception, the band releases their debut album in Amok, which many will call a followup to Thom Yorke’s The Eraser, but is a sound entirely new bringing the strengths of each member to bear.
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Top Ten Thursday: Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

anticipation

Of the artists we most anticipated new albums from in 2012, two of them failed to release a new album (Outkast and Kanye).  We decided to be a bit less lofty with our prognostications this year, and are relatively comfortable that all the artists on this year’s list will end up dropping a new full-length (except my “just missed”, which is the same as last year, and a complete shot in the dark).  As always, some artists will surprise us with great new releases, but we can only base our list now on who has given strong vibes something new is coming in 2013.  Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on who you are personally anticipating or where we messed up.  Enjoy!

 

10. Justin TimberlakeThe 20/20 Experience

j_timberlake1_300_400

Has Justin Timberlake ever faltered since he began his solo career?  No, no he hasn’t.  Making as smooth a transition from boy-band front man, to Michael Jackson-esque solo debut, to hyper-aggressive sophomore album Prince sound has seemed all too easy for ole’ JT.  Let’s hope The 20/20 Experience is no different.


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LxListening: Lean Mean 2013

Anticipated 2013 Singles and Albums

Now that 2012 is in the rearview mirror and we have properly summed up all the best stuff from last year, it’s time to push ahead to what awaits us this year. Here are five songs from five upcoming albums we can’t wait for.
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Ear to the Ground: Listening for the Newest Tracks of 2013

ear to the ground, guy with ear by near ground

The past 24 hours have been quite the wellspring of music news. From leaky twitter accounts, to legitimate releases, some of the bigger names in music seem to have tracks just dropping from the sky quicker than the snow that is currently falling outside my window. Yesterday, Thom Yorke’s collaborative group Atoms for Peace (consisting of Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco, and of course, Thom) released my favorite track of 2013 thus far. Seeing as how it is only the eighth day of the year this may not seem tough, but give it a listen for yourself and see if you think differently.
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Finally, Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace Album Details

Atoms for Peace album details

After about three years of speculation, Atoms for Peace, Thom Yorke’s other band not named Radiohead, released album details yesterday, and 2/3rds of LxL couldn’t be more excited about it. I say 2/3rds because Austin is luke-warm on Radiohead and Thom Yorke, but Todd and I both saw Atoms for Peace a few years ago alongside Jay-Z and Beyonce (another story for another time) and were blown away. For the uninitiated, Atoms for Peace consists of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, renowned producer Nigel Godrich, Beck drummer Joey Waronker, and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco. Not a bad group of musicians to say the least.
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