Top Ten Thursday: Masters Of Originality

Original

With the release of Nine Inch Nail’s new album, as well as the random tracks that artists like M.I.A. and TV On The Radio have been dropping lately, we thought the topic of original artists was a good thing to focus on this week. Artist in particular that unmistakably have their own sound. Vocally, musically, production-wise; upon the first moment you hear it, you know who it is. Something that didn’t exist prior to, and something that even if attempted to be replicated, it has not happened in the same fashion since. In this respect, artists such as The Beatles or Led Zeppelin (who were extremely original for their time but have been copied a billion times over) don’t exactly qualify. Naturally this lends itself to be a very current list, but we would love to hear any arguments as to what we missed. Now onto the list of what we find to be the most uniquely original artists in music:
10. Mystikal
Mystikal, rapper, artist
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Weak List Wednesday: This Week’s Five Best Tracks

new music, Big Sean, NIN, Trent, MIA, Matthew e white, cults
Bam! Just like that, artists began dropping tracks from the sky upon us all this past week. With the slight dry spell we have hit here in the late summer, it is nice and refreshing to have a breath of new music scattered upon us. It also is a pleasant reminder of some albums we have to look forward to this fall. So I decided to take advantage of these new single track releases by throwing out this list. There were in fact quite a few other songs dropped this past week as well, so you should dive into those as well, but these were my favorites. This was an impromptu list that I just constructed myself, so if something on the list does not sit well I am held solely responsible, and no blame should be put on the rest of the LxL team. Enjoy:

5. Nine Inch Nails – “Everything”

The most shocking song I’ve heard from NIN in … probably ever. Not due to any shocking lyrics or grossly aggressive industrial beats, but because of how poppy it is. That is right, welcome the poppiest, most new wave influenced song to ever exist in the Nine Inch Nails catalogue. I have to say I love it. The sound fits Reznor well, and although it may take a bit of getting used to from NIN, it’s a new trick for an old dog, and I love it.
 
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Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 Recap

Pitchfork Music Festival, 2013

On the surface level, I think it’s natural to have some preconceived notions of what a festival put on by Pitchfork may be like. Pretentious I would imagine is the first thing that would come to many people’s minds. An uppity crowd filled with music snobs and young folks more focused on style than substance. You’d probably also assume that following suit with any other festival/venue it would provide nothing but overpriced food and beverages that would be moderately annoying to wait in line to get as well. The lineup can also be a bit off-putting for some. Unsure of all the names on the lineup seems to be a problem for even dedicated music followers at times as Pitchfork likes to stick with very highly acclaimed (even if it is themselves in fact acclaiming them) list of acts. Not to mention the staggeringly small number of acts for a three day festival that pales in comparison to that of a Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, or Coachella.

After attending this festival for the second time, I have to say that I am continually amazed at how far off base all of these notions are. Every one of them. The crowd is amazingly genuine. It is smaller than most fests, but people there seem to be genuinely into music. I attribute this largely due to the fact that Pitchfork’s lineup is not conducive for the teenie-bopper types that are looking to attend a three day festival to simply see one show a day whether that be Monsters of Men or fun.. All of the fans at Pitchfork seem to genuinely be there to enjoy all music. As far as price goes, there is hardly a bar in Chicago where you can get craft beers for $5, let alone a spectacle venue. Food is also moderately priced, from local Chicago restaurants, and very delectable. The lineup, whether you know the artist or not, is wonderful. Every act you see there (or at least that I saw there) is someone I would pay a full priced ticket to see as headliners. And the fact that this number of acts on the list is smaller than most, only provides strong set times, and less conflict from overlapping acts. All-in-all it has to be the US festival with the most bang for your buck. Now let’s get down to brass tax shall we?

I attended this year on Saturday/Sunday only. Friday I was at a Pearl Jam concert at Wrigley Field that will be worthy of it’s own post at a later time. So below is my quick few-sentance recap of what was one of the more surprisingly great festivals/weekends of my 2013:
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M.I.A.’s New Track: “Bring The Noize”

M.I.A.
“Bring The Noize”
 
MIA, Bring The Noize

M.I.A.’s new album that was supposedly due out in April, has been shelved by the studio once again. Apparently the album she turned in was a bit too positive. (Too positive? Is that a thing?) So in an attempt to maintain M.I.A.’s controversial demeanor, the studio thinks it needs to be reworked to be able piss people off again. In the meantime however, she did drop this little gem last week. It’s a fast-paced, spastic freak out track that has me wishing she was just able to drop the album already. Here, listen for yourself:
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Santigold Review: NOT a Santogold Review

Santigold
Master of My Make Believe

santigold, album, album review, santogold, santi white, master of my make believe, hot

As a big fan of Santigold’s first album (back then, known as Santogold), I was eagerly awaiting this follow-up. Santi has a very unique way of crafting her music. “Unique?”, you may say, “doesn’t she just sound like M.I.A.?” Well on the surface, yes, this is an easy comparison to make. However, Santi’s second album helps demonstrate her drastic differences between M.I.A., and portrays why she deserves the praise she gets.
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Top Ten Thursday: Essential Easter Egg Tracks

 

^Tis the reason for the season ...
Easter is upon us! And what is everyone’s favorite part Easter?Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs of course! Full size, none of that bite size bull spit. A distant second is the Easter egg hunt. And just as that sneaky little bunny manages to hop into our lives once a year to hide those colored eggs around the house, the yard, or wherever he deems fit, artists and their producers have been finding clever (or sometimes not so clever) ways to hide tracks within their albums since the dawn of the LP. That was until recently when iTunes and record labels decided to bone us all by charging a dollar extra for hidden tracks and label the albums as “bonus track editions”. What used to be a fun, playful game turned into a ploy for an easy extra buck. Although, this kind of thing has in fact been happening with bonus tracks for quite some time, just in a different fashion. In fact, some songs on our list began as hidden tracks, but after a striking rise to popularity, labels began printing the albums with the tracks listed on the album. So here you go, whether still listed as hidden tracks or not, here are our favorite Easter egg tracks of all time:
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Madonna’s Halftime Show Review

It’s fair to say that there are plenty of overrated things in the entertainment industry. HBO’s Entourage, Michael Bay, the entire clan of Kardashians (not just Kim), and essentially everything in the vein of “Hollywood life” or “Los Angeles culture” all lead the pack in worthless assets to the industry that should make people cringe, and maybe even throw-up in their mouth a little bit. Close behind all of these resides a special spot for the worthlessness of the Super Bowl halftime show. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and the Super Bowl itself, and all the fun and hype that come along with it. But over the years, the halftime shows have just become a chore to watch. In fact there are really only two non-nudity involved halftime shows that have really ever stood out to me, and last nights performance was actually one of them.
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