Father John Misty “Bored In The USA” Review

Father John Misty "Bored In The USA" review

Satire is easy to find in visual mediums like art galleries and movie theaters, but it’s difficult to find in music. Generally we want music to be emotionally honest and expressive, and satire can certainly throw that off, but not in the case of Father John Misty. Joshua Tillman aka Father John Misty grew up in a religious, conservative family and even played in a Christian-leaning post-rock band in Saxon Shore before making a clear and defiant departure from his religious upbringing. You can hear more about Father John’s background and artistic vision on his WTF podcast appearance, but Father John certainly has something to say about the ugly underbelly of American culture.
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Damien Jurado Review: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Damien Jurado

Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Damien Jurado Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son album cover art

Seattle journeyman Damien Jurado has managed to stay almost completely out of the limelight since 1997, when he came up with some of the other spare and haunting songwriters like Elliott Smith and Mark Kozelek. I had been largely unfamiliar with Jurado’s music up until 2010’s Saint Bartlett hit, an album produced by fellow behind-the-scenes singer/songwriter Richard Swift, who pushed Jurado towards a bigger sound and vision, bringing Jurado’s music to a whole new level. Swift added strings, a gospel choir, and a reverb wall of sound that allowed his normally sobering songs to soar. On 2012’s Maraqopa, Jurado continued his roll of graceful songs produced by the lo-fi Phil Spector, Richard Swift. Now on his latest, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, Jurado brings his newfound sound into its full realization with an 11-song musical journey about a man searching for purpose, and like Jurado himself, it seems the central character has truly found where he belongs.
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Weak List Wednesday: Best Bonnaroo 2013 Moments

Greatest Moments of Bonnaroo 2013

Following in our week of Bonnaroo coverage which started yesterday with a full artist-by-artist recap, today we give you our five favorite moments of Bonnaroo this year. Every year Bonnaroo comes around, the Tennessee Festival brings a smattering a great moments, especially lots of moments with artist collaboration. I would say Bonnaroo has more of a collaborative culture than any other festival I have been to, so every year I go in not just excited about seeing my favorite artists, but excited to see what surprises might come about. And this year was a new record in terms of surprises. So here are our five favorite moments of Bonnaroo 2013.
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Seven Under The Radar Shows To Not Miss At Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Under the Radar Acts

With Bonnaroo starting up in less than 48 hours, we decided it’s time to begin our coverage for this years festival. Bonnaroo is always home to plenty of acts that everyone knows are must-sees, and this year is no exception. Wu-Tang, Animal Collective’s late night show, Paul McCartney, etc. Well in case anyone out there is looking for some mid-day/early evening recommendations that you may or may not have heard of yet, here is a short list of artists that just may be worth your time in checking out. The fact that I have dubbed these “under the radar” were all based on the surprising low attendees votes on the Bonnaroo website. Granted, I have never personally seen any of these myself, but I have my hunches that they won’t disappoint. Hopefully I will catch you at one of these shows:

Charli XCX
charli xcx, hot, bonnaroo, live
When: Thursday, 2:15 PM
Where: The Other Tent
Biggest Competition: Local Natives

Call me hopeful, but I expect good things out of this 19-year old British bombshell. Her album was fun, honest, and raw and I hear her live shows follow suit. My guess is that Local Natives will focus mostly on their snoozy second album material which never makes for a good afternoon show on Friday anyways. The good news is that she begins a good 15 minutes before Local Natives, so if her show is going south, you can always abandon ship with and hit up your back-up plan.
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Sasquatch 2013 Recap: Finding the Mythical Creature

Sasquatch 2013 Lineup Poster

Something magical happened to me this weekend. I found Sasquatch (or as we like to call it in the Midwest, Bigfoot). However, I am not talking about the mythical (or extremely real and terrifying) creature. I am talking about this glorious stage located on the beautiful gorge in George, Washington.

The Gorge, Sasquatch 2013
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LxL’s Best Albums of 2012

Top 20 Best Albums of 2012 including El-P, Jack White, and Fiona Apple

2012 turned out to be a pretty great year in music.  I think all three of us would agree the offerings in 2012 were deep in really good albums, without many albums rising to the level of true greatness.  That being said, I think I would rather have a pool of 60-80 really good albums come out in a year than 9-10 great albums.  Around here, we like variety, and we certainly got it this year.  There was a surprisingly surge of good hip-hop released in the second half of the year (Killer Mike, Nas, Meek Mill).  There was the long-awaited return of all-timer female singer songwriter types (Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor).  And there were also several much-anticipated sophomore wide releases (Sleigh Bells, Tame Impala, Beach House, Twin Shadow).  All in all, there may not have been a lot of perfect albums this year, but it was still a great year in music.  Enjoy the top 20.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best New Artists of 2012

Carly Rae Jespen, hot, new artist
‘Cmon, we all know she should be #1

Last year, EMA, Cults, Yuck, and A$AP Rocky headlined our list of best new artists.  For the most part, the break out artists of 2011 toured to support their 2011 material in 2012, hitting the festival circuit particularly hard.  And by the stipulations we determined this year, a couple of the artists wouldn’t have even been eligible (The Weeknd & A$AP).  For this year’s list we explicitly only allowed artists who released their first proper studio album within the calendar year, unfortunately disqualifying artists such as Grimes, Ab-soul, and Schoolboy Q.  In addition, previous mixtapes do not prohibit an artists eligibility, allowing Frank Ocean and Meek Mill to be eligible despite extensive previous exposure.  These guidelines were not decided on lightly and may be changed for future lists, but we wanted to define this category as narrowly as possible.

Its debatable whether this year’s crop is as strong, but there have been plenty of new artists to break onto the scene.  Several artists of note also missed the list, but you’ll just have to hit the jump to see who.  Enjoy, and as always, let us know who we omitted, forgot, or shouldn’t have included.
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