The 10 Best Fall Songs

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Editors Note: This was originally posted in 2011.

One year ago, LxL brought you our top ten albums of autumn, which we posted again this morning because we still feel it is a very strong list.  Never ones to sit on our laurels though, we thought we could tackle the best songs of autumn, which is a much more convoluted conversation.  Do we insist the song make mention to falling leaves, postseason baseball, or pumpkin patches?  Do we go by feeling?  We did exactly what we always do, which is whatever the hell we want.

Fall brings about a lot of different emotions, memories, and feelings for everyone.  For Todd, Wes, and I, autumn is probably most closely tied to our rural Indiana upbringing, where hooded sweatshirts, Friday night football games, bonfires on the peninsula, and homecoming were the most important thing in our lives for years.  Luckily our horizons have expanded, but that in no way taints the memories of humble beginnings.  We are and will always be Midwesterners at heart, and these are a few of the songs that take us back to those glorious days.  Enjoy our top ten songs of autumn, and as always remind us what we missed or errantly included.
Continue reading “The 10 Best Fall Songs”

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Sun Kil Moon Review: Benji

Sun Kil Moon

Benji

Sun Kil Moon Benji album cover art

Last week I wrote about a seasoned folk singer and the release of probably his best album to date, and this week I take on another folk journeyman in Mark Kozelek who is grabbing the critical ear with Sun Kil Moon’s Benji. The Ohio-born songwriter first arrived on the scene in 1992 as the distinctive voice behind Red House Painters, a band that established Kozelek’s style of beautifully somber and contemplative songs all played sweetly and delicately on acoustic guitar.  Kozelek continued into the 21st century with a new outfit in Sun Kil Moon, keeping many of the characteristics of Red House Painter with a little darker tint. Kozelek has also released a string of solo records since 2000, including last year’s solid Mark Kozelek & Desertshore. Now comes Benji, arguably Kozelek’s most deeply personal and emotionally fragile record, describing in great detail the lives and deaths of numerous people, both near and far to Kozelek’s life.
Continue reading “Sun Kil Moon Review: Benji”

Top Ten Thursday: Feelin’ Kinda Autumn

One year ago, LxL brought you our top ten albums of autumn, which we posted again this morning because we still feel it is a very strong list.  Never ones to sit on our laurels though, we thought we could tackle the best songs of autumn, which is a much more convoluted conversation.  Do we insist the song make mention to falling leaves, postseason baseball, or pumpkin patches?  Do we go by feeling?  We did exactly what we always do, which is whatever the hell we want.

Fall brings about a lot of different emotions, memories, and feelings for everyone.  For Todd, Wes, and I, autumn is probably most closely tied to our rural Indiana upbringing, where hooded sweatshirts, Friday night football games, bonfires on the peninsula, and homecoming were the most important thing in our lives for years.  Luckily our horizons have expanded, but that in no way taints the memories of humble beginnings.  We are and will always be Midwesterners at heart, and these are a few of the songs that take us back to those glorious days.  Enjoy our top ten songs of autumn, and as always remind us what we missed or errantly included.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Feelin’ Kinda Autumn”

Top Ten Thursday: Best Covers Albums

cover album art for william hung inspiration

After the painful experience of reviewing Neil Young’s new cover album, Americana, we decided to go back to some of our old favorites, and create a list of the top ten cover albums.  It was surprisingly difficult to find a comprehensive list of cover albums that have even been released, so I am certain we are missing a couple of classics, but also was very happy with strength of the list we came up with.  Another couple items of note is that the album needed to be 75% covers to be considered and a lot of 1950’s and 60’s albums were not considered.  A lot of early Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. albums were comprised mostly of covers because that’s just the way the music business was run back then.  Somebody would have a minor hit, then ten artists would cover it to bandwagon and try to copy its success. 

So what makes a great cover album?  There are a lot of opinions on that, but we firmly believe it is not enough to simply mimic already great songs.  What we like to see is an artist keep the feeling of the original but substantially change the arrangement.  Also great is when an artist manages to rescue a song from obscurity and make it completely their own.  There is not absolute formula to a great cover song or album, but as with most of our list the following selections hit us the hardest.  On to the list.

10. David Bowie – Pin Ups

album cover art for david bowie pin ups

Bowie’s lat album with The Spiders from Mars was a tribute album to some of his favorite tracks from the 60’s.  Pin Ups contains classic songs from The Who, a lesser known track from Pink Floyd’s most underrated era, a Kinks track for the ages, and some lesser-known bands that I probably would have never been turned onto otherwise such as The Pretty Things and The Easy Beats.  All of these things fused with the Bowie twist means it is a sure-fire instant eargasm.

Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Covers Albums”