Spring Fever: The 10 Best Spring Albums

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spring

For any Midwesterners out there, spring is almost certain to be one of your favorite seasons.  The summer is sweltering hot and humid.  Winter (not this year fortunately) can be cold, wet, and depressing.  Fall is probably my favorite season, because more often than not the past ten years it means I get to watch post-season Cardinals baseball.  But spring means the birds are starting another long season, and the anticipation is at a fever pitch.
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Sigur Rós Show Review

Sigur Rós

Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL

September 30th, 2013

Sigur Ros Live Show Review in Chicago

There are plenty of acts that are great live, but only a few that are transcendent. Sigur Rós is one of the few bands that fit in the latter, being one of the only bands I have seen several people come away from their show crying tears of joy and calling it a religious experience. And for what it’s worth, that’s not that outrageous: the Icelandic post-rock band are arguably the most one-of-a-kind band of this generation; that, and their live act will leave you believing in the art of live music once more. This was my fourth go at Sigur Rós (fifth of you include their frontman Jonsi solo), and the show was very different from what I have seen from the band before, but no less life-altering.
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Sigur Rós Review: Kveikur

Sigur Rós

Kveikur

Sigur Rós Kveikur album cover art and review

Let the heavens shake and the earth tremble…Sigur Rós has released a new album! And while the Icelandic post-rockers released a much more ambient album just last year in Valtariand lead man and spirit animal of the band Jón “Jónsi” Þór Birgisson released an album three years ago (the springing Go Do), their latest feels like the first true Sigur Rós album since 2008’s Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust and their finest since the 2005 masterpiece Takk. What makes their latest, Kveikur, such a magnificent return to form, is while since Takk they have released plenty of pretty and majestic music, Kveikur marks the return of the thunder and lightning, the darkness that hovers around their music and lends such stark contrast to the band’s most angelic sound. The storm that brews around Kveikur keeps you entranced with the music throughout.
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Lollapalooza Sunday Recap

Lollapalooza Day Three Recap

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.
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Top Ten Thursday: Spring Fever

spring into spring, spring, picture, image

For any Midwesterners out there, spring is almost certain to be one of your favorite seasons.  The summer is sweltering hot and humid.  Winter (not this year fortunately) can be cold, wet, and depressing.  Fall is probably my favorite season, because more often than not the past ten years it means I get to watch post-season Cardinals baseball.  But spring means the birds are starting another long season, and the anticipation is at a fever pitch.

It was a little bit hard for us decide which albums really fit in with the tone of spring, but we kind of decided on more upbeat, hopeful and lighter fare all around.  Not a lot of options in those regards from some of my favorite artists like Neil Young, Nine Inch Nails, or Something Corporate (I kid, I kid).  But there is still some amazing music in this vein, and here is what we have decided is some of the best of the best.  As always, let us know what we missed, neglected, or stupidly included in the comments.  Enjoy.

10. The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow

the shins, chutes too narrow, album, cover, art

Oh, Inverted World put The Shins on the map, but Chutes Too Narrow condensed their sound even more to tiny, poppy bit-sized pieces.  Songs like “Turn a Square” and “Pink Bullets” are the songs that any good spring is made of.

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Sigur Rós Review: Inni

Sigur Rós
Inni

Sigur Ros Inni, Live Album

Six years ago, Todd and I skipped class to head to Chicago to catch U2 and Sigur Rós, two spiritually-charged bands, on back-to-back nights. Sitting behind us at the Sigur Rós show was a group of eight twenty-something’s that had traveled fifteen hours from Denver just for the show. After a truly awe-inspiring performance from the Icelandic quartet, I turned around to find these weary travelers embracing with tears of joy rolling down each and every one of their faces. Following any other show, I would find this extremely weird, but following a show with as much emotional pulp as Sigur Rós provides, it somehow felt appropriate.

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