Who watches commercials anymore? I certainly don’t. Unless it is a live sporting event, there is just no reason to subject yourself to them. Luckily though, when we are a captive audience, there is once in awhile a commercial worth watching. For the list this week, we decided to celebrate the return of Mad Men with a top ten list of pop songs used in commercials. So, let’s celebrate Harry Crane’s commercial magic and delve right in. As always, let us know what we missed. Enjoy!
10. Volkswagen: “Pink Moon” – Nick Drake
The vehicle in this commercial is the only thing remotely dated. Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon” is a lovely accompaniment for the midnight drive portrayed throughout the beautifully filmed ad.
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As you have probably heard by now, the Godfather of underground music, Lou Reed, passed on Sunday from delayed complications from a liver transplant. All three of us at LxL have always been fond of Reed and his independent spirit, having included him and his pioneering band the Velvet Underground on numerous lists including our recent best space songs list with the great “Satellite of Love.” We will be giving our entire list over to Lou Reed this Thursday, but for now, as a tribute, I thought I would grace you with “Perfect Day”, a song beside being known well for being used during Ewan McGregor’s drug trip in Trainspotting, well captures the equal parts grace and cynicism that was much of Reed’s music.
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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.
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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.
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After dropping our Review Royale of the new Justin Timberlake album this week, we thought it would be a good idea to tackle artists that have gone solo for our list this week. We already broke down the best albums released by an artist after going solo in honor of Jack White releasing his first solo record. So we thought, “Why not just look at solo artists career as a whole, after leaving their band/group.” Easy enough to find plenty to pick from, but exceedingly difficult to pick just ten for this particular list. We had to axe a couple that simply didn’t have enough solo material to justify putting them above more established solo musicians (Dan Auerbach and Jack White). We just can’t be sure which direction people with just one solo album will go. Back to the band or keep going on their own. Either way, there were some very tough cuts, but we think we came away with a list worthy of your attention. Enjoy, and let us know who we missed, left off, or shouldn’t have included at all.
10. Justin Timberlake
Following the “hiatus” of ‘N Sync in 2002, JT quickly released his solo debut Justified. I know of at least a few sophomores and juniors in high school who couldn’t resist the former boy-bander’s cool pop sound. Little did we all know, Justified would serve as merely a bridge to even more progressive and layered pop sounds. FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience have done more than show off JT’s love of the backslash, affirming Timberlake as pop icon.
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