Parquet Courts Review: Light Up Gold

Parquet Courts

Light Up Gold

Parquet Courts Light Up Gold Review

If you are looking for a sloppy thrill ride this summer, look no further than the debut from former Texans (now Brooklynites) Parquet Courts. The band brings nothing particularly new to the scene but rather echoes punk and indie rockers from the past, drawing influence from the Modern Lovers, Pavement, The Ramones, Television, and Frank Zappa in the most glowing ways. On their rousing debut Light Up Gold, Parquet Courts packs 15 songs in just 34 minutes vying for the prize of most killer rock album of 2013.
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Top Ten Thursday: Album Three Peats

Top Ten Three Consecutive Great Albums

 

The great Chicago music podcast “Sound Opinions” had a really good baseball themed episode about music “Grand Slams”, where a band released four excellent albums in a row. While we won’t rip them off directly, since it’s the basketball playoffs, 2/3rds of LxL is in Chicago, and MJ won 2 three-peats, we thought we would give to you the best three-peats to start a career, or the top ten artists who started their career with three great-to-perfect albums. Not to mention Vampire Weekend just released their third and best album, making them a wonderful candidate for this three-peat list. So here we go.

 

10. TV On the Radio

The Albums: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, Return to Cookie Mountain, Dear Science
TV On the Radio, Album, cover art, dear science, cookie mountain, youth
In my opinion, the Brooklyn noise-rockers got severely underrated at 10. TV On The Radio released three of the best albums of the aughts, albums that howled, swooned, burned, and celebrated in front of their apocalyptic sound.
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Love Is A Mix Tape Review

Love Is A Mix Tape

Rob Sheffield

Love Is A Mixtape Book Review

I’m trying to make a point to read more in general, and specifically more music books since I think that helps me to really understand the thought and context around so much music. A few weeks ago I reviewed Elijah Wald’s classic reevaluation of rock history, How The Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll, and now I want to take on one of the more interesting rock memoirs with Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield’s Love Is A Mix Tape.
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My Bloody Valentine Review: mbv

My Bloody Valentine
mbv
My Bloody Valentine, mbv, m b v, album cover art

After 22 years, a decade-long breakup, a reunion, and a reunion tour, My Bloody Valentine has finally dropped the follow-up to their incredible 1991 sophomore release, Loveless. While titled simply mbv, the band’s third album is anything but simple. In fact, this album has more layers of grungy complexity than a freshly painted onion tossed around in the dirt. Oddly enough, I have not been biting my nails in anticipation for this album, unlike most other music junkies; especially the ones with a love for grungy, shoe-gazing noise-rock. In fact, I gave up on My Bloody Valentine many, many years ago. In fact, last Thursday I had to double-check that I even had there complete LP discography … all THREE albums. However, after revisiting their first two albums, and a couple EP’s, I admit, I was instantly disappointed in myself for not maintaining a certain amount of loyalty to the band; especially the part where I skipped out on the chance to see them on their reunion tour. My Bloody Valentine helped pioneer a sound for so many bands I loved and still love to this day, and I didn’t just put them on the back burner, I took them off the stove completely. I think my main issue was that they had such a small body of work compared to Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Pixies, etc., let alone their few predecessors. Thankfully, lead man Kevin Shields finally made good on his promise to “release an album or die”, and thus, my love for My Bloody Valentine has been not only been rejuvenated, but has increased tenfold.
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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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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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LxListening: As Lo As Fi Can Go

If you haven’t deduced by the title, I have been listening to a lot of shi**y sounding garage rock lately. Which incidentally, sounds far from shi**y, but rather incredibly pleasant to my ears. It began when the Screaming Females performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series. I keep going back to them, and it spun me right back into my frequent obsession with dirty, overly distorted, garage-rock-grunge-punk. The 5 songs I am going to list are actually fairly fun, poppy, upbeat songs for each artist. So let loose and enjoy …
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