One of our biggest pet peeves at LxL is the mid-career self-titled reinvention album: the one last gasp at pretending to start over. Many times it is when a band joins a major label and hopes to start anew or when the band has been falling apart and hopes for a fresh start, but either way, the mid-career self-titled album usually spells trouble. MGMT this week joins the ranks of mid-career self-titled albums, and from early returns, it sounds like this album won’t necessarily be a return to form. So in order to get our minds off the ugly self-titled trend, we have decided to give you the 10 best self-titled (or eponymous) albums of all time. Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Self-Titled Albums”
Album covers are an interesting thing. Some artists choose to not put a lot of time into them and just throw any old picture of themselves on there (Bob Dylan). Others try and go for the shock factor by being wildly offensive (Death Grips), while others either hire an artist or come up with a concept themselves. Storm Thorgerson was a graphic design artist responsible for some of the most legendary album covers of all time, including ones for Led Zeppelin, The Muse, Mars Volta, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel and most all of Pink Floyd’s album covers (yes, including the infamous prism cover for Dark Side of the Moon) as well as many more. Sadly, Storm passed away last week, and in his honor we bring you the following list. And no, our #1 has nothing to do with the fact that Storm designed it, we just love it that much. This list was fun because there are so many album covers we loved and wanted to include, but also hard because there are many albums we left off but wanted to include. I guess we will just have to do a sequel to this one some day. Onto the list:
10. The Strokes – Is This It
One of the sexiest album covers of all time was actually banned in America soon after the albums release. Stupid American censorship laws really know how to put a damper on a good thing. Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Album Covers”
With the music trend increasingly shifting back to psychedelic rock lately, we decided to put our heads together to come up with our favorite psychedelic rock albums of ever. Surprisingly enough, every album on our list was released pre-1979 except Wes’ miss. I guess 60’s and 70’s were just a bit more focused on keeping their listeners really high … high on serotonin levels that is … because everyone of these albums will keep you happy as a clam. Many modern psychedelic albums were considered; Black Mountain, Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala. In fact, Flaming Lips and Kurt Vile’s new albums were actually the inspiration. Nonetheless, the below are the albums we think best satisfies those moments you really just need a nice hit of psychedelics: 10. Moby Grape – Moby Grape
Moby Grape’s debut album was an early forerunner to the groovy San Francisco vibes that we all came to know and love. Moby Grape is an often overlooked album, especially when considered how many folk psychedelic acts came to follow suite. Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Psychedelic Albums of All Time”
Foxygen We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
After a barrage of EP’s and one full length album (that was released less than a year ago mind you), Foxygen was seemingly just another good garage/indie band that for the most part, I thought would perpetually be flying under the radar. Well with their sophomore effort We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic that was just released last week, they quickly proved that they offer much more than the “under-the-rader” stigma I tagged them with. Uponst my ears hearing the first few sounds of this wistful album, my brain responded by telling me that I must be listening to a Rolling Stones or Beatles psychedelic era recording. The opening track, “In The Darkness” perfectly collides the two worlds of Beatles-esque harmonies and pop vibes with the gritty garage-rock sound of the early Stones. And strap yourself in, because this trip down memory lane certainly doesn’t end there.
I realize that LxL doesn’t ordinarily fashion itself as a book club, but extremely good books – and specifically extremely good music books – require our attention. Believe it or not, this isn’t our first book review, as Austin praised Songs of Ice and Fireseries about a year ago, the series that has spawned the hugely popular Game of Thrones on HBO. Well, enough of this justification, and on to the review. Continue reading “How The Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘N’ Roll Review”
So here we are, with our newest and shortest “End of 2012” list. A list of what we at LxL consider to be the biggest musical disappointments, let-downs, blunders, and missteps of 2012. With all the goodness that resided in the world of music in 2012 (which we will get to later, in the next few weeks), there was also a fair amount of disappointment. For this list we really pulled at what killed our expectations this past year. Yes, Lana Del Rey didn’t fully live up to what we expected, but she still had a few good tunes and looked amazing throughout the year.
Yes, the Divine Fits weren’t as good as either Spoon nor Wolf Parade, but then again, how rare is it that a supergroup live up to the expectation anyways? You see, for this list, we chose what really cut us deep. Those artists or albums that we really thought were going to help define the year in music, or dig an artist out of the trenches, but instead fell totally flat. That is what this “Weak List” is really made up of … weakness. If you’d like to get a bit of a more in-depth analysis these blunders, each “disappointment” is linked with our review or write-up explaining exactly why the artist, album, or show didn’t live up to our expectations. Now, onto the list: Continue reading “Weak List Wednesday: The Top 5 Biggest Disappointments of 2012”
We wanted to give one last shout out to The Man With the Iron Fists soundtrack before we shut up about it (at least until the end of the year lists), so thought we could dig into other movie soundtracks and come up with a list of our favorites. I’m sure to some of our reader’s dismay, we decided to implement a couple rules.
Rule #1: No musicals. Yes, there are a lot of great musicals put on film that maintain great soundtracks. It is a little difficult to distinguish composed musicals from pop music though. Don’t worry, musicals will get their own list one day, and Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and The Sound of Music will be honored. We just all need to see Book of Mormon first.
Rule #2: No film scores. Sorry John Williams and James Horner, but today is not your day. Once again, we wanted to parse this list down to something a bit more manageable (and believe me, it still wasn’t manageable). Film scores will also have their day.