LxListening: Sweet 2016

carseat-headrest

It’s been a modest yet somewhat surprising first few months of music in 2016. We had a crazy sloppy album release from the former best rapper on the planet (Kanye West with Life of Pablo), and a quiet surprise release from the current best rapper on the planet (Kendrick Lamar with Untitled Unmastered). We’ve had a lot of old favorites come out with some solid releases (M. Ward, Mavis Staples, Santigold), and a few breakout artists catch me by surprise (Anna Meredith, TEEN, Anderson .Paak). Here are five of my favorite songs so far to come out in 2016.

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The 10 Worst Grammy Offenses – or How We Learned to Loathe the Grammys and Love Music Again

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Grammys are worthless

Editor’s Note: With the Grammys coming up Sunday, we thought it best to re-run our favorite list about the consistently terrible award show.

 

It’s no secret, or even a matter of opinion at this point. It’s just a cold hard fact. The Grammys suck. Everyone knows and understands this, yet somehow, they still exist. Not only do they exist, but they exist on a larger than life scale. Yet not once have I ever heard someone in real life or media claim that the Grammys have ever held any sort of relevance in the music world … Ok, I take that back … I DO remember hearing hipsters last year claiming that Arcade Fire was “breaking barriers” and “proving something for indie musicians” when they won that worthless hunk of fake gold for whatever bull-spit category they won it for. In contrast, I also remember hearing Nickelback fans rant and start a blogspot called “Who the F*$k is Arcade Fire”. I think it’s fair to say that neither of these stereotypes should represent music anyways. Anyone who cares about music realizes that Grammys hold as much value as my MC Hammers savings account. It’s quite literally a song and dance put on by the record companies to maximize profit in an industry that isn’t very good at making profits anymore. So they do what they can, and exploit what songs made money in television commercials that year, and pray that people still think their input is worth anything.
Continue reading “The 10 Worst Grammy Offenses – or How We Learned to Loathe the Grammys and Love Music Again”

Top Ten Thursday: Life is a Highway (Best Road Trip Songs)

road trippin'

Wes is on a pretty epic 12-day road trip out to Seattle, then up to Vancouver, and back to Chicago.  Along the way, him and Jackie (his wife for the uninitiated) are stopping at Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, and many other beautiful places along the way.  In honor of this trip, and in hopes of his safe return, we put our heads together to come up with the top ten road trip songs to keep Wes and Jackie alert, energized, and most importantly awake on this endeavor.

We tried to limit our choices for this list to songs actually about traveling to some degree.  There are many songs and albums that we more abstractly view as road trip songs, but that would have opened this list up to too many options.  We hope you enjoy these songs of the road, and as always feel free to bring more road trip songs of your preference to our attention.
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LxL Fest: 3 Days, 33 Acts, 1 Stage

lxl fest, little by listen festival, music festival, lineup
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Top Ten Thursday: No Hable Ingles (Best Non-English Speaking Acts)

foreign flags languages songs and music

In honor of another great feat (some of us would say anyways) from everyone’s favorite Icelandic act (unless you like the other act from Iceland more, Bjork), we thought we would list out our other favorite acts in which we cannot understand a single word from. Before we get to list, I must say that this was a tough one to tackle. Due to our unfamiliarity with non-english speaking foreign acts, we had to do our homework. This entailed a lot of new listening, a lot of Rammstein jokes, some slight arguing, and overall much enjoyment. This list opened my eyes to some music I will now never let go of, and for that I am very happy. Hopefully you like it as much as we liked putting it together. Onto the list …
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Unknown Mortal Orchestra Review

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Yes, I may be almost a year late, but I’m glad I didn’t miss the bus completely. These new indie rockers who hail from Portlandia released a very under-appreciated album last year, and it’s about time we at LxL gave them some “cred”. Had I heard this album last year, it definitely would have been at least discussed to make one of the end of the year lists. However, since I am just recently discovering the band and album, a year after the fact, I feel compelled to talk it up.
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Top Ten Thursday: Worst Grammy Offenses – or How We Learned to Loathe the Grammys and Love Music Again

Grammys are worthless

It’s no secret, or even a matter of opinion at this point. It’s just a cold hard fact. The Grammys suck. Everyone knows and understands this, yet somehow, they still exist. Not only do they exist, but they exist on a larger than life scale. Yet not once have I ever heard someone in real life or media claim that the Grammys have ever held any sort of relevance in the music world … Ok, I take that back … I DO remember hearing hipsters last year claiming that Arcade Fire was “breaking barriers” and “proving something for indie musicians” when they won that worthless hunk of fake gold for whatever bull-spit category they won it for. In contrast, I also remember hearing Nickelback fans rant and start a blogspot called “Who the F*$k is Arcade Fire”. I think it’s fair to say that neither of these stereotypes should represent music anyways. Anyone who cares about music realizes that Grammys hold as much value as my MC Hammers savings account. It’s quite literally a song and dance put on by the record companies to maximize profit in an industry that isn’t very good at making profits anymore. So they do what they can, and exploit what songs made money in television commercials that year, and pray that people still think their input is worth anything.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Worst Grammy Offenses – or How We Learned to Loathe the Grammys and Love Music Again”