Kanye West Review: The Life of Pablo

Kanye West

Life of Pablo

the-life-of-pablo-album-cover

“Name one genius that ain’t crazy.” So says rap’s Donald Drumpf, Kanye West on his new album and self-proclaimed “greatest ever album” The Life of Pablo. Kanye’s last month of public behavior have certainly put into serious question his current mental health, Kanye is at least self-conscious enough to realize he isn’t the first artist to have some mental instability. Pablo Picasso has been an often made comparison in terms of creativity and behavior, and while on the surface it seems completely crazy to compare Picasso and Kanye, to his credit, Kanye has influenced the last ten years in popular music more than any other artist and has tried his hand in several styles.
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Kanye West Review: The Life of Pablo

The 10 Spookiest Songs

LxL_TopTenThursdays_02_900x300Halloween Concert, halloween songs

 

With All Hallows Eve on the horizon, we thought it fitting to list out our favorite tracks that best celebrate the holiday. Many, many songs were optioned for this list and the race was so tight we decided to eliminate all soundtracks or scores. It is a separate list for a different day because there are just too many good ones. Additionally almost every Odd Future or Tyler, the Creator track was discussed to the point we decided to just list him here as his own entity. Everything that man touches sounds like a nightmare, but one in which I frequently enjoy. So without further ado, I give you are favorite tracks for any Halloween or Werewolf Bar Mitzvah alike:

Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2012, but is really good for any Halloween.

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The 10 Spookiest Songs

The 10 Best Jock Jams

dancing

With the first NFL game tonight, we thought we would kick things off with our top ten jock jams, our favorite songs for sporting events. While many music fans tend to be a bit mum on sports, not so with LxL. All three of us enjoy sportball on some level. So here are 10 of our favorite songs that get us amped up for the big game.
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The 10 Best Jock Jams

Spring Fever: The 10 Best Spring Albums

LxL_TopTenThursdays_02_900x300

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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Spring Fever: The 10 Best Spring Albums

The 10 Best SNL Musical Performances

LxL_TopTenThursdays_02_900x300SNL_season_40_title_card

This weekend, Saturday Night Live will celebrate its 40th season with a big 3-hour anniversary special (strange enough on Sunday), featuring legendary cast members like Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, and Will Ferrell in addition to famous hosts and musical acts like John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney and more. In its 40 years, Saturday Night Live has been the gold standard in comedy, but has also produced its fair share of legendary performances mirroring some of the most important moments in music history. From the birth of grunge to helping catapult Kanye into a megastar, Saturday Night Live has been home to some of the greatest live music performances. So here are our 10 favorite performances.
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The 10 Best SNL Musical Performances

LxL’s 10 Most Anticipated 2015 Albums

Kendrick Lamar Bonnaroo 2012

2015 is set to be a year we hear from a bunch of creative heavy-hitters. Last year was largely dominated by quiet contemplative records, this year I think will be full of big-time records. So here are our 10 most anticipated records of 2015.

10. Father John Misty

Father John Misty, live, bonnaroo, 2013

Father John Misty, aka Joshua Tillman, is a modern master of musical satire, a lost art these days. His debut of “Bored in the USA” on Letterman, which takes modern capitalist quasi-religious America to task, gets us super excited for his new album, I Love You Honeybear, out in February .
9. My Morning Jacket

my morning jacket

A longtime LxL favorite, My Morning Jacket is set to release their seventh studio album, and more importantly, it means a tour for one of the most electric live bands on the planet.
8. Radiohead

Radiohead

Thom Yorke and Radiohead has been creating afro-infused electronic music for the last few albums, but it seems like Yorke reinvents himself and the band every four or five years. We hope to hear an all-new Radiohead in 2015.
7. Grimes

Grimes, new album 2014

Grimes postponed her 2014 album for a very surprising reason. On the verge of a huge pop breakthrough, Grimes must have reached down into herself and released these new radio-friendly songs weren’t what she wanted to make, and scrapped the album altogether. She is expected to return this year with an entirely new album, a bold move for such a young artist.
6. Twin Shadow

twin shadow, new album, 2014

Like Grimes, George Lewis Jr, aka Twin Shadow, was set to release the followup to his fantastic 2012 Confess last year, but his album and tour both were postponed for personal reasons. While we had to wait longer, we still can’t wait to hear what Twin shadow has next.
5. Sufjan Stevens

sufjan stevens

A week ago, Sufjan Stevens announced his first non-Christmas album in five years, since the inventive masterpiece Age of Adz. His latest, Carrie & Lowell, is named after his mom and stepdad, again has Sufjan covering a specific subject, but as usual, I’m sure the new album will speak to larger issues in profound ways.
4. Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson and Kevin Parker's "Daffodil"

“Uptown Funk” was one of our 20 favorite songs in 2014, and even had us pondering, what would it be like if Bruno Mars was given an entire album of good songs? With Stevie Wonder, Kevin Parker of Tame Impala and more on tab, Uptown Special is set up to be an album of nostalgic bliss.
3. Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

This may be the year Kendrick takes the throne as best rapper in the game. While Kanye is still at the top of the game, Kendrick’s gift of flow and profound  lyrics may make him the best in the game, especially if the rest of his new album is as good as “i” and the untitled track he debuted on The Colbert Report.
2. Kanye West

new slave

Kanye has been quietly hosting listening parties for his new album since late 2014, but we still don’t have the details yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a surprise release sometime in the first half of the year like Beyonce and D’Angelo’s last albums.
1. Modest Mouse

Modest+Mouse

It’s been eight long years since Modest Mouse’s last proper studio album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, and if “Lampshades of Fire” is an indicator, their new album Strangers to Ourselves, should be a return to the barking, vicious Modest Mouse of old.
Wes – Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean

Few debuts show as much pure promise and songwriting talent as  Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. I expect his follow up to reach the same or greater heights.
Todd – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown-Mortal-Orchestra

The psych-pop trio has released two great records already, Todd is expecting a third.
Austin – Run the Jewels

run the jewels, rtj, killer mike, el-p

Two years. two hip hop classics. Here’s to seeing if El-P and Killer Mike can cement themselves as one of the best super groups of all time.

LxL’s 10 Most Anticipated 2015 Albums

Public Service Announcement: Your Heckles Aren’t That Clever

Statler and Waldorf

We started a new series of public service announcements last week for do’s and don’ts in concert-going, and we opened up with our biggest concert-going sin: the crowd surf.

To continue in my curmudgeonly ways, I want to denounce the artist heckle today. Yes, I realize I’m speaking to a largely inebriated group of people here, but more and more, I’m finding people say dumber and dumber stuff at shows. I’ve even seen heckling create sort of a strange and hostile atmosphere, especially when hecklers interrupt the actual music. I saw St. Vincent at the Riviera Theater earlier this year, and while people heckled throughout the set, it hit a weird breaking point when she played the very quiet “The Party” in her encore, and the audience got ugly as a few idiots were drowning out the music with their “clever” heckles. You also see artists like the Avett Brothers completely unplug for truly acoustic encores, and these are often soiled by this lousy audience behavior.

I have heard some very odd and amusing heckles lately. I recently heard someone shout “Incredibly talented” which was really weird and sincere, and “very enjoyable” which was just flat-out hilarious. I’m not saying the occasional heckle isn’t just perfect, but these are so few and far between it’s not worth it.

(say what you want about Kanye, but this is how hecklers should be dealt with)

While heckling certainly is a way bigger issue in the comedy world, it undoubtedly leaks into live music since there are drunken idiots everywhere. So to you folks think you just thought up some clever nugget to shout at a show, just hold it in. Don’t pollute the show.

 

 

Public Service Announcement: Your Heckles Aren’t That Clever