Grouplove Live Review

Grouplove

March 22nd, 2014

Murat Egyptian Room

Indianapolis, IN

Grouplove Live Show Review

For a band that gained its popularity through the clean, tidy world of Apple (an Apple commercial being a great way to break through in the past decade), Grouplove is refreshingly ragged.  While they may have a real bubble-gum pop sensibility, the L.A. band is rooted in early 90’s grunge and indie rock, not hiding their ove of Nirvana, Pixies, and Modest Mouse. The band cancels out that aggression with its fun-loving hippie spirit, making for a formula made for Millennials to love. I caught the band with my brother Alex in Indianapolis last weekend, and was pleasantly surprised with the band’s chemistry and energy.
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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: Sophomore Surges

In honor of starting our second year as a full-functioning blog, we decided to make a top ten list of the best sophomore albums, in hopes of a sign of things to come for us.  We already tackled sophomore slumps, and hope to avoid the same fate of the likes of Puff Daddy, Hot Hot Heat, and Weezer (Pinkerton…YUCK!).  Hopefully you enjoy the next year of reading our little slice of internets as much as we enjoy these next ten albums.  One quick note; although we titled the list “sophomore surges”, we simply looked at the best sophomore albums more than the “surge”.  In a few cases the second album may not even be as good as the first, but is still great in its own right.  Thanks for reading, and as always feel free to give your suggestions on what we overlooked, over-included, or why we just plain suck.
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LxL Fest: 3 Days, 33 Acts, 1 Stage

lxl fest, little by listen festival, music festival, lineup
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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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Pixies Sold Out! … Right?

Warning: The following is long, boring, and may not make a tremendous amount of sense. This is the nonsensical rantings of myself, a fellow music lover frustrated with people’s expectations and accusations of modern day musicians and how fans seem to think their bands “sell out”.

The death of musical integrity?

As a band, changing the style of your music can sometimes a double edged sword. In the eyes of your fans, or future fans, you either become a genius for innovating, and taking your music in a brilliant new direction, or you “sold out” and are no longer the same you once were. A lot of bands that begin as small independent acts and soon thereafter find themselves on billboard charts and headline marquees tend to loose there luster after the album that helped launch their newfound stardom. I mean this in terms of music quality sometimes, but mostly and in the numbers of their original fan base. Generally this is because said band decides to sign with a “bigger” label. From there, producers and executives that now essentially own that band step in and begin turning the bands music into a product to sell. Something that will be much more accessible and listener friendly to most of the public, and will help gain a much larger audience that they couldn’t possibly achieve on their own. Musicians either straight up want this, suck it up and do it for the money/fame, or don’t sign and stay on the lower tiers of labels as well as the lower tier of “popular” musicians.
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