The 10 Best Summer Albums

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Beach Boys Summer Fun

Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2012, but works for any hot day, regardless of year.

So here we are, deep into this relentlessly hot and sticky summer of 2012, and hopefully you are enjoying it as much as we are. It’s the time of the year for swimming pools and popsicles, baseball and biking, and sweating your ass off not matter what, no matter where. Thus we bring you our favorite albums to accompany such occasions. What makes a summer album you ask? In our opinion it is somewhat upbeat, but not overly so. Something that you can groove too whether you’re too hot to do so or not. Since I was a young lad, Austin was only knee high to a grasshopper, and Wes was just a Pooh-cub scrounging for honey, there have always been these certain songs, artist, and albums that have always left their impression on our young summers. So we decided to list out some of our favorites. Making a particularly strong appearance are some favorites from the nineties. We aren’t really sure why, but I suppose some nineties artist just really know how to set the tone for a particular summer mood. Please feel free to tell us what does it for you …
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The 10 Best Summer Albums

The 10 Best Winter Albums

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Wes as a wee cub

 

We at LxL are men for all seasons, and winter is no exception.  As three people grown up and still suffering through the Midwestern cold, we get the meaning of winter.  So we know you need a little musical help to get you through the harsh cold. Here are our top ten albums of winter. Enjoy.

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The 10 Best Winter Albums

Weak List Wednesday: 5 Best Live Shows of 2014

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I don’t think it was the most prolific year in music for any of us.  Wes bought a house.  Todd spent six weeks in Thailand Muay Thai fighting.  And I Rip Van Winkled myself, sleeping most the year.  Nevertheless, we all were able to catch some good live music.  Let us know what your favorite show was this year.
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Weak List Wednesday: 5 Best Live Shows of 2014

The 10 Best Acts at Pitchfork Music Festival 2014

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As fellow LxL’er Todd wrote Monday, regardless of what you think of Pitchfork, the hipster music mecca, their annual festival at Union Park in Chicago is bar none the best thing they do.  This year’s fest was largely dominated by shoegaze and hip hop acts, but the real theme that emerged is the female dominance of the fest, just as women are also dominating the larger landscape of what’s going right in music today. Five of our top six acts are female or female-led bands, and that’s from a blog run by three dudes. So here are our top ten acts from last week’s Pitchfork Music Festival.
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The 10 Best Acts at Pitchfork Music Festival 2014

Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 Recap

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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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Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 Recap

The 10 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

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This has been an odd year in music by all accounts. There have been nearly no big-time rap albums (except arguably Future’s Honest), it’s been a down year for electronic music (just months after I declared 2013 the year dance music became king), and rock music has made an unexpected comeback (with three albums on our list being unabashed guitar rock records). The albums on our list are also decidedly slower, and more relaxed, as I would say half the albums on this list are very melancholy albums (especially our top two). Without further ado, our top ten so far in this odd year of music.
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The 10 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

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

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