The 10 Best Television Theme Songs for the Ages

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Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2011. With great TV theme songs coming out left in right like Patrick Carney’s Bojack Horseman theme, the auto-tuned Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt masterpiece or True Detective Season 2’s use of Leonard Cohen’s “Nevermind”, it’s really a golden era for TV theme songs.

It’s Fall, and Fall is somewhat synonymous with television. New series are starting up for the first time, old beloved series are picking right back up where they left off, and some series that have over-stayed their welcome are still sticking around to push us even further over the edge. In any case, every show has a theme song, and here are some of our all time faves:
Continue reading “The 10 Best Television Theme Songs for the Ages”

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LxListening: Music from Treme

treme wallpaper

To be honest with you, I wasn’t completely sold on the first season of Treme, David Simon’s follow-up creation to his smash hit The Wire.  The acting and shooting was pristine, but the pace moved at such a crawl it was hard to become engrossed in so many characters whose story-lines were going nowhere quickly.  The real star of the show was the city itself and the musical scene captured by Simon and his crew.  While watching an expose on the styles and history of the music of Louisiana is interesting in and of itself, it simply wasn’t cutting it as a compelling dramatic tent-pole on HBO.

So, when I finally got around to starting season two, I was not at all excited.  It was kind of like watching one of those Academy Award nominees that you know is going to be worth watching, but is a little hard to pump yourself up for.  Surprisingly, by the end of the first few episodes of season two, I found myself hopelessly caught up in the characters Simon set up throughout season one.  The musical backdrop is still there in full force, the stories of each character take center stage, giving the show a more human feel.  With all this drama, the music of the show snuck up on me and I am now simply obsessed with everything roots, blues, folk, jazz, and hip-hop that New Orleans and Louisiana have made a mark on.

I bring to you today five of my choice favorites I’ve discovered throughout season two of Treme.
Continue reading “LxListening: Music from Treme”

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.

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Lower Dens Review: Nootropics

Lower Dens

Nootropics

Lower Dens, Nootropics, album cover, cover art

Based on what I’ve seen from The Wire (and TV always equals truth), Baltimore isn’t a dream destination. But based on the sounds from two of the city’s most noteworthy bands, Lower Dens and Beach House (who are both releasing albums this month), you would think the city rests on a bed of billowy clouds. While we will tackle the new Beach House album in a couple weeks, let’s get down to brass tax and talk about Nootropics, the second album from female singer/songwriter Jana Hunter’s best project, Lower Dens.
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Top Ten Thursday: Television Theme Songs for the Ages

It’s Fall, and Fall is somewhat synonymous with television. New series are starting up for the first time, old beloved series are picking right back up where they left off, and some series that have over-stayed their welcome are still sticking around to push us even further over the edge. In any case, every show has a theme song, and here are some of our all time faves:
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Television Theme Songs for the Ages”