I wrote last summer about my five favorite music podcasts, which is a surprisingly thin category for podcasts, though there are still no doubt some great ones. 2014 brought about the debut of Song Exploder, the latest great podcast from Jessie Thorn’s family of Maximum Fun.
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As Austin noted in our introduction to our favorite songs of 2013 list yesterday, it is much more difficult to list a years worth of favorites than one might think. 2013 was quite an interesting year in music. Many big names (or at least big expectations) left a disappointing taste in fans’ mouths (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Strokes, Jay-Z, etc.). This left the door wide open for smaller, and sometimes even unheard artists to really pave the way to a brighter future, and in some cases, all-out overnight stardom (Lorde, Savages, CHVRCHES, etc). This also left a lot of room for controversy. Who is worth the listen, and who is just going through the motions while filling our ear buds with noise? Well the controversy was not absent in making this list. With all three of us at LxL listing out our top 20 albums separately and then combining them into a normalized list, there was bound to be some peoples favorites left off. Mean things were said, blood was spilled, and opinions hotly thwarted. Nonetheless, the list must go on. Here is what we considered to be our favorite albums of 2013:
20. AlunaGeorge – Body Music
Last year, Alunageorge’s “Your Drums, Your Love” ranked in at #20 on our favorite songs of 2012. This year, the soulful pop R&B duo returned with a full LP to support the single, as well as a grip of other ripe-for-the-shaggin’ type of tunes. The duo now garnered another #20 slot, but this time on our albums list with Body Music.
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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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St. Louis, MO
October 22, 2013
It had been far too long since I had seen a legitimate show, so I was more than a little excited to see Baths at one of my favorite St. Louis venues. In general, The Firebird usually is kind of like seeing a show in your parents’ basement. The ceilings are low, the lights are lower, and there are a couple of stray pinball machines. This glorious basement effect was only heightened for the Baths show because only about 100 people showed up. I usually prefer a more crowded atmosphere, but each and every person attending was fully invested in what Baths had to offer, which added to the intensity of the Baths experience Will Wiesenfeld brings to the stage.
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We have reached the halfway point of our 2013, so it’s time to bring out our mid-term lists for the season. With so many great options to choose from already in 2013 it was hard to narrow this list down. Acts like Foxygen, JT, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs may have all gotten snubbed, but here is what made our top 5:
5. Savages – “She Will”
Continue reading “Weak List Wednesday: Best Songs of 2013 So Far”
As a last minute road trip from Chicago to PA happened upon a friend and I yesterday, it gave me ample time for some good listening this week. What was also fun was playing some tracks for my friend, and hearing her reaction and preferences to them. Here were some of my and her favorites from a pool of some recent releases that also helped fit the mood of a rainy day on the road.
Baths – “Miasma Sky”
Baths’ bright tunes and dark lyrical undertones were the perfect combination for a rainy, but fun 6+ hour drive.
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Baths’ new album Obsidian has a lot to write home about. From the spastic, haunting album opener “Worsening” to the gentle, yet still chilling album closer “Inter”, the album is ripe with fresh new digital chill-wave tracks that seem light and fun on the outside, but are quite deep and dark at their core. The reasons I am choosing to only write about “No Eyes” are two-fold. First: It’s my favorite song on the album. Second: It seems to be an unmistakably homage to another classic favorite of mine, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails.
Continue reading “Baths Song Review: “No Eyes” (aka: The New “Closer”)”