Wilco Review: Star Wars

Wilco

Star Wars

Wilco Star Wars album cover art

Chicago’s hometown heroes Wilco surprised the city and the world at large this month with a surprise drop of a completely free album of new material out of nowhere late on a Thursday night. Not only was the drop surprising, but so was the album title and design: named Star Wars which was certainly the result of some goofy late night conversation the band had, and it boasts a furry white cat and some flowers on the cover (which certainly will help them avoid any lawsuits from Disney). The band surprised further by boldly playing straight through their new album to start their set the night after its release at Pitchfork Music Festival, a move that baffled the general audience but went straight to the heart of Wilco diehards like myself. If that’s not enough surprise talk, the real honest surprise comes in the music itself: a distorted, noise rock album that channels Sonic Youth, T. Rex, and Velvet Underground more than the pleasant alt-country sound they are best known for.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best Live Acts of 2012

St. Vincent Best Live Act of 2012

Our best of the year coverage continues with our favorite rockers of the road, highlighting the ten best live shows we saw this year. This year LxL was able to get out to Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and the Pitchfork music festival, which many shows on this list stem from. So without further ado, here are our ten favorite live acts of the year.
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Pitchfork’s Soundplay: The Lamest Thing On The Internet

pitchfork soundplay, games, internet

Chances are, if you happen to read this blog regularly you probably also check out other sources for music write-ups on the internet. If that is the case, then chances are even greater that you follow, or at least occasionally check out Pitchfork. Pitchfork has no doubt inspired us in many ways to do what we do on this blog, but in other ways it does the opposite and shows us what not to do. Aside from its stigma of hosting overly pretentious articles/reviews, it also has a few other outlets that have never really seemed to been able to get off the ground but are still shoved down our throats while on the site. Pitchfork.tv being one thing they seem to heavily promote, but don’t get much traction with. Most of the content on Pitchfork.tv isn’t even generated by them in anyway, they just repost videos under their link to maybe make it look as such. Well recently Pitchfork decided to step into the gaming world and release an “innovative” new line of online video games “inspired” by their favorite music. And what a stink bomb it has turned out to be.
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Pitchfork Music Festival – Day One Recap

Pitchfork Music Festival

Union Park, Chicago, IL

July 13th, 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival Friday Recap

Pitchfork Media, which once started as an ultra-snarky yet innovative independent music site by founder Ryan Schreiber in the late 90’s, has since bloomed into in many ways, the online flagship of indie music reviews and news coverage. Pitchfork has since toned down its ridiculously critical tone as it has risen into further prominence and the music world, and has turned into a full-fledge hipster sensation, with a site that remains on the front edge of music news, with extensive video coverage, worldwide journalism, and two music festivals to boot (with their Chicago festival now in its eighth year, and a Paris festival now in its second year). This past Friday, I had the chance to go to a day of Pitchfork Musical Festival in Chicago, the publication’s home base and where they started their festival in 2005 as the Intonation Festival. While I was only able to go the first of three days, I have attended the past two years and understand what the entire breadth of the festival is like. Here are three reasons why Pitchfork Music Festival is the best thing the indie media mogul does.
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Japandroids Review: Celebration Rock

Japandroids

Celebration Rock

review and album cover art for the Japandroids Celebration Rock

Celebration Rock opens up with a prelude of fireworks. Is it a commemoration of a new future for Japandroids, or a setup to 35 minutes of bombastic energy? Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
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Beach Boys Review Royale: The Smile Sessions

The Beach Boys

The SMiLE Sessions

Smile Sessions Box Set

It has been known as “The Holy Grail of Rock ‘n’ Roll” or the “Most famous album never released”. In 1966 and 1967, at the same time as The Beatles were concocting their  career staple Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beach Boys were constructing their own magnum opus known as SMiLE, meant as an ambitious follow up to their first masterpiece, Pet Sounds. But the project was rumored to be scrapped near the final stages due to dissension among the band about the project as well as Beach Boys front man and producer Brian Wilson dissolving due to heavy drug use and mental disorders.  Many tracks meant for SMiLE including staple Beach Boys songs “Good Vibrations”, “Heroes and Villains”, and “Surf’s Up” ended up landing on subsequent albums, but the album was never released as intended. Also, several of the missing tracks on SMiLE got released in the 1993 Good Vibrations box set but not released in album format or in complete.

The Beach Boys SMiLE
SMiLE, the mighty chalice of rock history

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