Last year, we wrote extensively about the career of Titus Andronicus, an anthemic, progressive punk rock band from New Jersey that finds their roots in equal parts patriotic rock hero Bruce Springsteen and anti-establishment punk acts like Minor Threat and the Clash. The band delivered a brilliant concept album based around the Civil War that toed the line about as well as any album I can think of showcasing a conflicted relationship with your country, and followed that with the decent but still disappointing Local Business, which we listed as one of our biggest disappointments of last year. So going into Saturday’s show, I had tempered enthusiasm seeing a band whose last album I wasn’t crazy about, but a band I have seen whip a crowd into a frenzy a few years ago at the Pitchfork Music Festival. What Titus Andronicus delivered was far beyond what I expected, in one of the wildest shows I have been to in quite some time.
I am without a computer for the short term, and therefore am unable to download new music. So, from me, you will get retro reviews and other posts that don’t require me having the pulse on all the new releases. Hopefully, in the meantime, you can stick with me and enjoy what I have to offer. My first offering along these lines is Titus’ Andronicus’ 2010 masterstroke The Monitor, which I admittedly never came to fully appreciate until the release of their 2012 album, Local Business. In preparation for the release of Local Business, I decided I needed to dig back into The Monitor as research. What I found was at that particular point in my life, The Monitor struck a very different chord with me than it did in 2010. In short, with all the the great releases of 2012 and all the great pre-2012 music in my iTunes library, The Monitor easily my most listened to album of 2012. Continue reading “Retro Review: Titus Andronicus’ The Monitor”
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”
Titus Andronicus has emerged two years after The Monitor with something a little more accessible in Local Business. This comes at the expense of a very good thing Titus Andronicus had going though. The long-form Americana punk rock, Desaparecidos-era Conor Oberst style vocals, and most of the fuzz on the guitars is mostly gone. Insert more succinct song structure, vocals nearing on cartoonish, and cleaner instrumentation, and Local Business is a very different animal. Continue reading “Titus Andronicus Review: Local Business”