Top Ten Thursday: Best Nine Inch Nails Songs

Nine Inch Nails, best songs, new tour, reunion

After a hiatus of nearly 4 years, (Has it really already been four years?!) Trent Reznor announced this week that he and a new lineup of all stars will be bringing Nine Inch Nails back to life for a 2013-2014 world tour. (Pause for applause.) If there is one thing we love here at LxL it is our NIN, so we were quite excited to hear this news. Reznor has proven to still show value to the music community in his time off from Nine Inch Nails, especially in the cinema soundtrack world – Reznor teamed up with Atticus Ross to create the scores for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network, which earned him a Golden Globe. However, we are glad to have him back in full-on NIN form. So to celebrate, we have listed our top ten favorite Nine Inch Nails tracks. This was a difficult one to order, especially because after you have seen some of these songs live, you literally aren’t the same person anymore. And unfortunately nothing from The Slip, slipped it’s way into the list. Which it took a lot to leave tracks like “1,000,000” and “Echoplex” off. Nonetheless, we pushed through the disagreements and landed on a list we are quite happy with. We hope you feel the same, but if not, let us know.
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How to Destroy Angels Review: An Omen EP

How to Destroy Angels

An Omen EP

how to destroy angels, an omen ep, album, cover, art

It is still not completely clear where Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Mariqueen Maandig (Reznor’s wife) are taking their How to Destroy Angels project.  In 2010 when they first released their first self-titled EP, and it was very average, I thought maybe Reznor was just throwing his wife a bone by producing some music for her admittedly nice vocals.  Then, when realizing that the 2010 EP was basically average-ish NIN songs with a female vocalist, I thought Reznor may be looking for a new twist on his production style with a female vocalist.

A full album from HtDA still hasn’t come out, and the timing, new information, and what Reznor/Ross did in between EP’s has just created more questions.  Reznor is apparently working on new NIN material, set to release a HtDA LP in 2013, and produced two exceptional film scores with Ross (The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).  The man is working his ass off, so if some of his work is average I completely understand.  That being said, An Omen EP is interesting enough to get me excited about future releases.
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Top Ten Thursday: 90’s Knockouts

kurt cobain from the band nirvana, 90's band
Ohh, the nineties. How we all miss the “whatever, who cares” attitude you bestowed upon our generation. Baggy shirts, and even even baggier pants. The rebirth of “chucks” and a noisy, dirty, fuzzy new breadth of music that will never be forgotten. Not to mention other rarities in music that can never be replicated, and will always be legendary. Alanis Morissette may not have made the list, but her new release this week was the inspiration for it. Our criteria for the list was simple: nineties tunnel vision. This means that we had to block out any knowledge of anything that happened outside of 1990-1999. For example, the Beastie Boys were prevalent in the nineties, but how did their nineties material stack up against the rest? This list is for the bands that we felt left their strongest marks on the decade with no regard. As per usual, let us know if you agree.
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LxL Fest: 3 Days, 33 Acts, 1 Stage

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The Antlers Review: Undersea

The Antlers

Undersea

The Antlers, Undersea, album, cover, art

The Antlers have been a pet favorite of mine ever since the release of the exceptional Hospice in 2009.  The release of Burst Apart last year further affirmed my believe The Antlers are one of the most exciting bands to be following in the world of music right now.  Where The Antlers have thrived and found their success on Hospice and Burst Apart lies in the almost compulsive production.  Peter Silberman, the band’s main creative force, has made a mark on The Antler’s two proper albums by delving into the most minute details of the band’s sound.

That being said, the release of last year’s EP, Together, left a lot to be desired.  The execution of Together made me a little nervous about how their newest EP, Undersea, would turn out.  Together is a completely different animal compared to Undersea though.  Together was a collection of alternate versions of songs from Burst Apart, along with one unreleased track from those sessions and a completely unnecessary cover of “VCR” by The xx.  Together just didn’t bring a lot new or interesting to the table, other than maybe the addition of Nicole Atkins vocals on the Burst Apart track “Hounds”.  Undersea, on the other hand, is a cohesive collection of four new tracks in a nice little package.
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El-P Review: El-P’s Newest LP

El-P
Cancer 4 Cure

el-p lp's newest album cancer 4 cure album cover industrial jazz rock

If there is one known constant in the world of music, it is the high quality of music put out by the Mississippi record label Fat Possum. They helped jump start a blues revival in the early 90’s and have been pumping out our some of music’s best modern artists ever since. One of Fat Possum’s newest releases is the third full LP released by Brooklyn based hip hop artist El-P. The album is Cancer 4 Cure, and after hearing it yesterday, and I am seriously questioning why I’ve never listened to his solo albums before … apparently because I’m an idiot, that’s why.
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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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