Whoops! Apologies for the misleading headline, but I meant to type “App”. For some reason that just didn’t feel right when referring to a new release from Radiohead. However, as per usual, Radiohead broke new ground today with a new way to strike the fancy of their fans. PolyFauna. An app that was born from what the band decided the song “Bloom” would look like if it were a visual medium rather than a song. Here is what the ever-so wordy Thom Yorke posted on Dead Air Space, Radiohead’s website, this morning as the band’s announcement for the new app:
Continue reading “Radiohead Release New Album App: PolyFauna”
Sir Paul got lambasted last year on this blog for his dreadful valentine album, Kisses On The Bottom, landing as our biggest disappointment of 2012. But the most enduring singer rock history doesn’t rest on his laurels, but instead hit the road last year, with fellow LxLer Todd and I seeing a show of a lifetime this summer as MACCA headlined Bonnaroo. Now, the legendary Beatle releases New, an album giving new modern twists on McCartney’s tried and true musical strengths, my favorite album from Paul since the early 70’s (not that I was alive then, or have heard every album in between).
What makes New so fresh is a combination of Paul playing to his strengths and challenging himself with new sounds. With the help of Mark Ronson, title track “New” toys around with jaunty Beatles sounds from songs like “Penny Lane” and “We Can Work It Out” with a little more buzz and reverb to make this a fresh take on a nostalgic sound. “Queenie Eye” takes Paul’s famous sound of heavily punctuated piano pop and adds an air of mystery and a growing symphony of sound. On songs like “I Can Bet” and “Everybody Out There”, Sir Paul sounds 40 years younger, full of energy swinging along some folk-tinged pop with a funky edge. “Turned Out” is reminiscent of the best Traveling Wilbury’s tunes, except Paul doesn’t need three other legends: his charismatic presence fills the room plenty. “Get Me Out Of Here” is Paul doing his old playful lonely dog blues.
Giles Martin, longstanding Beatles producer George Martin’s son, produced the lion’s share of these songs, and it’s clear that he understands what it takes to Paul to step out of his shell but still get the most of what has made him the most enduring artist of all-time. Remove “On My To Work” and “Road” which are minor letdowns, this album his remarkably consistent and memorable for a 71 year old, or even a 31 year old for that matter. For a guy that has accomplished everything under the sun, it’s wonderful to see such a legend continue to push himself artistically.
Continue reading “Paul McCartney Review Royale: New”
The big release of the week, at least in our minds, was Nine Inch Nail’s Hesitation Marks. But this has been a pretty full week in music. One of Justin Vernon’s “non-Bon Iver” projects, Volcano Choir, released their sophomore effort to mostly positive marks. Neko Case (aka the next best thing to Jenny Lewis) released her first album in four years. The perpetually underrated Okkervil River released another solid effort. I was also introduced to a new artist (for me) called The Julie Ruin, which I was rather delighted with. And finally, wait for it, I give some love to an artist who released my most hated album of 2012. All in all, an overwhelming week in music, and since we won’t be able to give every one of these artists their full due, here is a little Friday snippet of each. Enjoy y’all.
The Julie Ruin – “Oh Come On”
This song is so damn fun. Kinda like a lower-fi Sleigh Bells and a little bit looser. “Oh Come On” is a quick two and a half minutes of blustery mayhem, and one of the ballsier additions to my iTunes library in 2013. Can’t wait to hear more.
Continue reading “LxListening: A Very Full Week in Music”