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.
There are few media punching bags bigger than Coldplay. Yes, you have your Nickelbacks, Justin Biebers, and Shia Lebeoufs, but no one is less deserving of all the ragging they get than Coldplay. Sure they aren’t exactly hip and have dipped since their first few albums, but I would argue their biggest crime is being too earnest and wearing their heart on their sleeves. Sure Chris Martin is a bit of a cheeseball, but he has written some great songs and released at least three worthwhile albums with the band. Their latest, Ghost Stories, is the UK band taking a break (for the most part) from their arena rock ways in favor of a quieter, more melancholic sound. At only nine tracks, Coldplay show a welcome amount of restraint, even if they only hit on half the tracks. Continue reading “Coldplay Review Royale: Ghost Stories”→
Wisconsin singer/songwriter Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame has kept busy for the past several years with not just Bon Iver but numerous other bands and collaborations. Of all the non-Bon Iver projects, the album that always stood out the most to me was Volcano Choir’s debut Unmap, an art-rock collective Vernon created with members of Wisconsin experimental rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees. The album was ambitious and more out-of-the-box then the Walden Pond/winter-cabin folk of Bon Iver, but was still centered in memorable pop hooks. The band’s followup, Repave, sees Volcano Choir reaching extraordinary heights, making atmospheric stadium rock that should be held up in the same regard as Vernon’s two dynamic Bon Iver records. Continue reading “Volcano Choir Review: Repave”→
Whether its Jim James, David Byrne, or Jack White, here at LxL we love musicians who dip their hands in many musical pots (or projects). Another artist who is having a banner year in diversifying himself is Justin Vernon, best known as the man behind Bon Iver, the cabin-in-the-woods indie folk act that became the Grammys’ Best New Artist just a couple years ago. He has already starred as the main hook singer on Kanye’s Yeezus, released a good-ole boys rock record with the Shouting Matches, and is set to release an album with his second best project (beside Bon Iver) in the experimental pop project Volcano Choir. So here are five choice cuts from his various projects (only 5 of his 10 projects) from the past few years. Continue reading “LxListening: Justin Time”→
It’s been five years since my last Lollapalooza, and this is not due to strength of lineup. Lollapalooza pretty consistently churns out jam-packed lineups and is also an amazing setting for a festival, standing in beautiful Grant Park sandwiched between Lake Michigan and the skyline in the heart of downtown. What has kept me away is primarily two things: moolah and the festival schedule. Money is pretty self-explanatory but Lollapalooza’s schedule is not. The festival jams so much music in a 10 hour span that it leads to shortened sets and tons of scheduling conflicts. Even in the headlining time slot, Lollapalooza packs four different acts instead of the usual one or two at other festivals. Continue reading “Lollapalooza Sunday Recap”→
To finalize our week de la Bonnaroo, we give you our final breakdown of the festival written by the third member of our 2012 Roo-Crew and very good friend Riley Johnson. This was Riley’s second year at Bonnaroo and is a great addition to the group, even if I did get him sick halfway through the weekend. So here you have it, our final installment and our most expansive breakdown yet, summarizing everything we saw. Enjoy:
Our Bonnaroo coverage continues, and Todd and I are still feeling the Bonnaroo hangover so to speak – longing to be dehydrated, sun-poisoned, and soaking in hours upon hours of excellent music. Since we can’t seem to get our minds off of Roo, without further ado, here are our ten favorite acts from Bonnaroo 2012. Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Bonnaroo’s Best Acts”→