Jason Isbell Show Review

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

February 9, 2014

Plush

St. Louis, MO

Isbell and wife, Amanda Shires, performing "Mutineer"
Isbell and wife, Amanda Shires, performing “Mutineer”

This review is coming in a little late for my tastes, but no one ever said “Timeliness is next to Godliness”.  The good news is I capped off my beer consumption at 3-4, so my mind is sparkly clear even three weeks later.  So at long last, here is my written account of Jason Isbell live.
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Personal Best of 2013 Lists

Vampire Weekend best of 2013

We gave you are collective Top 30 songs and Top 20 albums of 2013 last week, but here are our separate lists. Because all our number #1 albums are Vampire Weekend’s wonderful third album, I have pictured each of our second favorite albums below.
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Best 20 Albums of 2013

greatest, favorite, best, albums of 2013

As Austin noted in our introduction to our favorite songs of 2013 list yesterday, it is much more difficult to list a years worth of favorites than one might think. 2013 was quite an interesting year in music. Many big names (or at least big expectations) left a disappointing taste in fans’ mouths (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Strokes, Jay-Z, etc.). This left the door wide open for smaller, and sometimes even unheard artists to really pave the way to a brighter future, and in some cases, all-out overnight stardom (Lorde, Savages, CHVRCHES, etc). This also left a lot of room for controversy. Who is worth the listen, and who is just going through the motions while filling our ear buds with noise? Well the controversy was not absent in making this list. With all three of us at LxL listing out our top 20 albums separately and then combining them into a normalized list, there was bound to be some peoples favorites left off. Mean things were said, blood was spilled, and opinions hotly thwarted. Nonetheless, the list must go on. Here is what we considered to be our favorite albums of 2013:

20. AlunaGeorge – Body Music
alunageorge body music album-cover art
Last year, Alunageorge’s “Your Drums, Your Love” ranked in at #20 on our favorite songs of 2012. This year, the soulful pop R&B duo returned with a full LP to support the single, as well as a grip of other ripe-for-the-shaggin’ type of tunes. The duo now garnered another #20 slot, but this time on our albums list with Body Music.
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Jason Isbell Review: Southeastern

Jason Isbell

Southeastern

jason isbell, southeastern, album, cover, art

Jason Isbell was in St. Louis a few weeks back and I was hoping to go to the show.  I told a lot of my friends about the show hoping to gain some interest.  Unfortunately, everyone I mentioned the show to had never heard of Isbell, only gaining some sense of familiarity if I told them he used to be in the Drive-By Truckers.  It was on the basis of this unfamiliarity that I thought it unnecessary to buy tickets before the show, which proved to be a huge mistake.  I showed up a half hour before the opener was supposed to go on, finding the show to be completely sold out.  Disappointing, but lesson learned.  People do know who Jason Isbell is and my faith is now restored that one of the great country/southern rock voices out there is not going completely ignored.
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LxListening: Country-ish

marlboro man

I don’t have quite enough time to give the new Jason Isbell album, Southeastern, proper thrift.  So instead I’m gonna just throw out a few country-ish songs I’ve been listening to a lot lately.  These range from rock/country hybrids to pretty pure country fare.  I have been listening to a lot of this stuff lately, and I can’t exactly tell you why.  Maybe its summer.  Maybe its my mood.  Or maybe there’s no reason at all.  Enjoy, and feel free to recommend some of your favorite country tunes.
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LxListening: Under the Covers

Woman, under covers

On “Codeine“, Jason Isbell sings “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, its this bar and this cover band”.  I’m not sure which he hates more; the bar or the cover band.  But in the right situation I love both of these things, and find reason to disagree with Mr. Isbell.  So, for today’s installment of LxListening I have decided to pick out 5 recent covers that deserve a little recognition.

What makes a good cover you ask me?  In my opinion, a good cover doesn’t try to reenact or mimic the original song, instead trying to take a new musical angle.  This can be anything from completely changing the arrangement, to changing the style of the music, to changing the pace.  Sometimes, a cover may be so ironic (as you’ll see below) because of who is singing it that it deserves a little attention.  Either way, check out a few of these gems below and decide for yourself whether you think there is any added value to these cover songs.  Enjoy.
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LxListening: The Inaugural

Norah Jones, Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi, Rome, Black, Spaghetti Western

Six weeks into LxL, things are still changing and adapting. Our little website is going through puberty if you will. Growing hair in strange  places, and waking up with a wet spot in its shortpants. Today, we would like to offer up the first installment of LxListening, where one of us will basically provide a quick snapshot of what we are currently listening to. This is really just an opportunity for us to talk half-assedly about a bunch of things, instead of focus on one thing like grown-ups.  Also, while things may change a little bit with this section, we will probably try to have 4 somewhat current picks (within the past year or so), and 1 older pick(several years old at least). Enjoy, and thank you for reading.

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