The 10 Spookiest Songs

LxL_TopTenThursdays_02_900x300Halloween Concert, halloween songs

 

With All Hallows Eve on the horizon, we thought it fitting to list out our favorite tracks that best celebrate the holiday. Many, many songs were optioned for this list and the race was so tight we decided to eliminate all soundtracks or scores. It is a separate list for a different day because there are just too many good ones. Additionally almost every Odd Future or Tyler, the Creator track was discussed to the point we decided to just list him here as his own entity. Everything that man touches sounds like a nightmare, but one in which I frequently enjoy. So without further ado, I give you are favorite tracks for any Halloween or Werewolf Bar Mitzvah alike:

Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2012, but is really good for any Halloween.

Continue reading “The 10 Spookiest Songs”

Advertisements

TV On The Radio Show Review

TV On The Radio

The Metro, Chicago, IL

March 23rd, 2015

TV on the Radio Live Chicago

It’s no secret we love TV On The Radio. Whether it’s on record or on stage, the noisy Brooklyn indie rockers deliver time and time again. However, until late last year, there was a long period of time (nearly four years) we didn’t hear from TV On The Radio , partially due to other projects like production efforts for David Sitek but primarily the break was related to the loss of their bassist Gerard Smith, who died of lung cancer shortly after the release of Nine Types of Light in early 2011. I saw the band that summer in support of the album, and they understandably lacked the drive and energy I had seen from them in the past. Fast forward to now, it seems the hiatus has done the band well, as not only do they sound revitalized on their solid new record Seeds, but they seemed alive again on stage at the Metro in Chicago, a venue way too small for a band of their stature but one they are fond of and played at frequently in their early days.
Continue reading “TV On The Radio Show Review”

10 Best TV On the Radio Songs

LxL_TopTenThursdays_02_900x300

TV-On-The-Radio, best songs

TV On the Radio is one of our most beloved bands here at LxL, and they just released their fifth studio album which we reviewed here yesterday. With that, comes “the list treatment”. TVOTR has been a staple of independent music for over a decade now. In that time they have released arguably two of the greatest rock albums of all time (Return to Cookie Mountain, Dear Science). A song from each album (and an EP) aside from 9 Types of Light (which I personally love, but is not loved by many) has made it onto this list. Which really shows the strength of their entire catalog in our eyes. After the sad and early departure of their former bassist Gerard Smith (pictured above smiling brightly in the middle), they have found themselves transforming and adapting into new territories, but never sacrificing quality. Wes wrote more on their new album yesterday which you can find here, and if you are into a bit more reading on the band, NPR wrote another magnificent perspective on them and their new album which you can find here. And if you are still interested in reading more, here is our list:
Continue reading “10 Best TV On the Radio Songs”

TV On The Radio Review: Seeds

TV On The Radio

Seeds

TV On The Radio album cover art

As this NPR piece so brilliantly states, artists often find themselves at a crossroads midcareer, either endlessly repeating what they have been successful doing or they go scrambling for a new sound with very little success. TV On The Radio, collectively one of LxL’s favorite bands, found themselves in mid-career land on their fourth album Nine Types of Light, an album that angled for a more straightforward rock radio-friendly sounds, but ultimately was their first disappointing release. They traded in some of the weirdness and layers of sound that might them so fun to keep turning to time and time again for a more instant but more shallow sound. Seeds, the New York rockers fifth album, finds the band going for that more immediate pop sound as well, but it’s hooks are stronger, songs are tighter, and layers are more interesting than Nine Types of Light, even if it doesn’t reach the height of their two masterpieces, Return to Cookie Mountain and Dear Science.

TV On The Radio come out of the gate swinging on Seeds, with four of the album’s best songs opening up the record. “Quartz” has Tunde Adebimpe trying to get beyond a broken relationship, but like the singer himself, you can’t help but get caught up in the waves of love (and sound). “Careful You” has to be the most TV On The Radio-sounding TV On The Radio song ever, with it’s cloud of apocalyptic noise that hangs over the song, and a constant feeling that something is amiss under Tunde’s soulful vocal. It’s what fans have grown to love about the band distilled into five minutes. “Could You” follows, which may be an extremely similar title to “Careful You”, but its as different as it gets from its predecessor, serving as more of an anti-thesis to the TVOTR sound. “Could You” is essentially the bright, jangly folk of the Byrds as interpreted by the strange, husky sound of TV On The Radio, making it the best and most surprising song on Seeds. “Happy Idiot”, the current single for Seeds, is another pleasant change of pace for the band, a post-punk inspired pop tune that sort of serves as whip-smart critical counterpart to Pharrell’s smash hit “Happy”. Look, even Peewee Herman agrees!

Coming off that murderer’s row of songs, TV gives us a big hangover with easily the worst track of the album, the mundane comedown of “Test Pilot”. This might be my least favorite song the band has recorded, and I generally love their ballads like “Dreams”, “Stork & Owl”, and “Family Tree”. The melody sounds cheap, the harmonies are overly sentimental, and it just feels out of place in their catalog. Fortunately they recover quickly with the propulsive “Lovestained”, led by Kyp Malone’s freaky vocal, who is the real MVP of the band in my opinion. While Tunde beautifully sings the majority of TV’s songs, Dave Sitek adds the layers and production, and Jaleel Bunton adds the intricate and thunderous percussion, it’s Kyp’s shroud of guitar noise, haunting harmonies, and straight up weirdness that keeps TV On the Radio one of the most distinct rock bands out there. “Lazerray” also deserves a mention, as it’s maybe the most thrilling song on the album and a surefire live favorite, as it’s a Ramones-style pop punk nugget but with all the crunch and darkness that TV On The Radio has to bring.

I’m happy I sat with this album for a couple weeks, as my grade has probably went up a point and a half from repeated listens. TV On The Radio is a band built for repeated listening, as they add enough layers and surprises to unsurface with each listen. I didn’t expect this album to be the same because of the immediate catchiness of its melodies, but the second half especially with multi-chapter songs like “Lovestained” and “Ride” prove more exciting with each listen. Seeds is proof that when artists get long in the tooth, the best bands keep creating something fans know and love but in new and surprising ways.

LittlebyListen_Scores_85

Can’t Miss: “Could You”, “Happy Idiot”, “Lazerray”, “Lovestained”

Can’t Hit: “Test Pilot”

 

Top Ten Thursday: Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

Most anticipated music of 2014
Now that we are almost a month deep into 2014, and the dust has begun to settle on all the 2013 talk, we are ready to take a quick preview of things to come. All of these artists below are set to release albums in the upcoming year, and below are our most anticipated. As with all things in life, sometimes musical expectations just don’t meet reality. For instance, last year the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s were at #1 on the list. Then they also ended up #1 on our “Most Disappointing Albums of 2013” list as well. So as always, forgive us our blunders as they arise, and please feel free to let us know what you are excited about in 2014 as well. Onto the list:

10. Joanna Newsom
joanna newsom, new album, 2014
In 2014 Joanna will release her first album in 4 years. Now that she is married to Andy Samberg, I only hope to expect a mix of Joanna’s uniquely classical sounds blended with the nonsensical, over-produced gaudiness of The Lonely Island. Just kidding. Hopefully it is just classic, lovely Joanna.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Most Anticipated Albums of 2014”

Top Ten Thursday: Top Ten Songs for the Government Shutdown

government shutdown

With the Congress bringing the almighty U.S. government at a stand-still (you know, except for Congress receiving their own paychecks), we decided to craft a list of the top ten songs to accompany this government shutdown.  The last time the government took this route, there were actually some fitting tracks ruling the airwaves:  “Another Night” by Real McCoy, “Run-Around” by Blues Traveler, and “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio are just a couple where the title rings all too true.  Not to be outdone, 2013 gives us “Blurred Lines”, “We Can’t Stop”, and “Radioactive” to appropriately jam to.

Pop corollaries aside, we decided to make this list for those that are mighty frustrated, and want to rage against this inefficient mess.  Not much lighthearted fare on this list, just bombast after frustration, followed by some heavy indictments.  Whether this shutdown affects you or not, get your riot gear on and hit the streets (or at least your nearest dive bar).  Enjoy, and as always shoot us some favorites of yours that we missed.

10.  M.I.A. – “Born Free”

MIA

Contrary to the beliefs of the uninitiated, flipping off all of ‘Merica during her Super Bowl performance was just a mild dose of M.I.A.’s anachronistic career.  M.I.A. has always had strong views, but her big coming out party for her views may be her lead single for her third album Maya.  Accompanied by a shocking video, “Born Free” takes to task the ever more oppressive role of government.

Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Top Ten Songs for the Government Shutdown”

LxListening: Recent Obsessions

LxListening: run the jewels, tv on the radio, death grips, earl sweatshirt, pulp
It happens to us all. Generally there are always a few albums at a time that are on heavy rotation for me, but every now and then, my attention span can’t reach outside a few tracks that I am obsessing over at the time. This past week has certainly been one, that for whatever reason, a few select tracks have reigned paramount out of my library than all others. For some this has been the case for a while. Others are brand new. But no matter the case, this is what I have been recently obsessed with.

TV On The Radio – “Million Miles”

Continue reading “LxListening: Recent Obsessions”