LxL’s 20 Best Songs of 2015

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We may be running a bit behind already in 2016, but better late than never. Here is what we at LxL agreed were the top tracks of 2015:

20. Alabama Shakes – “Don’t Wanna Fight”
From the moment Brittany Howards screeching intro to beers into your ears, you can feel in your bones that this track is going to be great. It does not let down one bit throughout either.

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The Best Live Acts of 2015

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When it comes to end of year lists, you tend to just see half of the music world covered: recorded music. But many more people are interested in live music, and in turn want to know who are the acts I should be spending my hard-earned dollars to go see. That’s what we try to accomplish each year with our favorite live acts list. While certainly not comprehensive, these are the 10 acts we saw that we would say are definitely worth it.
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The 10 Best Music Videos (according to LxL)

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Looking back at our first four years of LxL, we were truly shocked we never did this list. We have talked about it a number of times, but for whatever reason, we never got the guts or time to go through and figure out the best music videos ever. In many ways, music videos feel like a thing of the past, hitting their high period during the 80’s when MTV launched and in the late 90’s with Carson Daly and TRL. But the last five years haven’t exactly been terrible for music videos either, with YouTube being a primary listening tool for people, music videos have gained more relevance again. So with the recent release of music video master Grimes and Bowie’s new music film Darkstar, we give you our 10 favorite music videos ever.
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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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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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Weak List Wednesday: Five Songs From Upcoming Albums

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Last week we talked a bit about our favorite albums of 2014 so far. With only half of the year under our belt, we still have a lot of new music to look forward to. Below are a few new tracks that have recently been released from artists with albums that are due out fairly soon. Listed in no particular order, here are five great new tracks from some highly anticipated upcoming albums set to be released this year.
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Top Ten Thursday: Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

Most anticipated music of 2014
Now that we are almost a month deep into 2014, and the dust has begun to settle on all the 2013 talk, we are ready to take a quick preview of things to come. All of these artists below are set to release albums in the upcoming year, and below are our most anticipated. As with all things in life, sometimes musical expectations just don’t meet reality. For instance, last year the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s were at #1 on the list. Then they also ended up #1 on our “Most Disappointing Albums of 2013” list as well. So as always, forgive us our blunders as they arise, and please feel free to let us know what you are excited about in 2014 as well. Onto the list:

10. Joanna Newsom
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In 2014 Joanna will release her first album in 4 years. Now that she is married to Andy Samberg, I only hope to expect a mix of Joanna’s uniquely classical sounds blended with the nonsensical, over-produced gaudiness of The Lonely Island. Just kidding. Hopefully it is just classic, lovely Joanna.
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