Top Ten Acts of Bonnaroo 2014

LxL_TopTenThursdays_900x300bonnaroo 2014
Looking back at my experience at this year’s Bonnaroo, there was a lot more that I could have seen, and wish that I would have seen. Generally I do a lot of bouncing back in forth from stage to stage. This year, I found myself planting at stages for a few acts in a row, staying for a lot of the full length of sets. But when I would bounce, the abundance of scheduling conflicts only allowed me to really see a few songs by some of my more favorite acts. For instance, had I seen the entire Flaming Lips or Nick Cave shows, or ANY of Frank Ocean, CHVRCHES, The Orwells, or Diarrhea Planet in all their glory, I am sure that some of them could have easily made this list. Unfortunately though, there just isn’t enough hours in the day. So instead I decided to include only acts in which I saw the entire set, from opener to closer. So apologies to all the more deserving bands whom I did not see in their entirety, but here is a list my favorite full sets that I saw at Bonnaroo this year.

10. Elton John
elton_john bonnaroo 2014
After playing “Bennie and the Jets”, “Levon”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Rocket Man” all within the first 7 songs of his set, it’s hard to care too much about what else you get from the man. I had always heard great things about Elton live, and despite the extremely dated visual show he used on his backdrop, the man still knows how to perform.
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Bonnaroo 2014: The Recap

bonnaroo 2014 recap

Bonnaroo 2014 was my sixth Bonnaroo experience, and one of, if not the best one yet. Everything about Bonnaroo encompasses exactly what a music festival should be. From music, to food, to art, to the camping, and especially the length of set times, this is truly America’s greatest music fest. Traditionally in the past I do a general Bonnaroo Pre-cap, followed by a recap after the festival. Due to laziness, this year I failed to do the former so will attempt to combine it with the latter. Long story short, here is my recap to my favorite weekend of the year.
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Personal Best of 2013 Lists

Vampire Weekend best of 2013

We gave you are collective Top 30 songs and Top 20 albums of 2013 last week, but here are our separate lists. Because all our number #1 albums are Vampire Weekend’s wonderful third album, I have pictured each of our second favorite albums below.
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Best 20 Albums of 2013

greatest, favorite, best, albums of 2013

As Austin noted in our introduction to our favorite songs of 2013 list yesterday, it is much more difficult to list a years worth of favorites than one might think. 2013 was quite an interesting year in music. Many big names (or at least big expectations) left a disappointing taste in fans’ mouths (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Strokes, Jay-Z, etc.). This left the door wide open for smaller, and sometimes even unheard artists to really pave the way to a brighter future, and in some cases, all-out overnight stardom (Lorde, Savages, CHVRCHES, etc). This also left a lot of room for controversy. Who is worth the listen, and who is just going through the motions while filling our ear buds with noise? Well the controversy was not absent in making this list. With all three of us at LxL listing out our top 20 albums separately and then combining them into a normalized list, there was bound to be some peoples favorites left off. Mean things were said, blood was spilled, and opinions hotly thwarted. Nonetheless, the list must go on. Here is what we considered to be our favorite albums of 2013:

20. AlunaGeorge – Body Music
alunageorge body music album-cover art
Last year, Alunageorge’s “Your Drums, Your Love” ranked in at #20 on our favorite songs of 2012. This year, the soulful pop R&B duo returned with a full LP to support the single, as well as a grip of other ripe-for-the-shaggin’ type of tunes. The duo now garnered another #20 slot, but this time on our albums list with Body Music.
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Weak List Wednesday: Best Songs of 2013 So Far

Best Songs of 2013 So Far

We have reached the halfway point of our 2013, so it’s time to bring out our mid-term lists for the season. With so many great options to choose from already in 2013 it was hard to narrow this list down. Acts like Foxygen, JT, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs may have all gotten snubbed, but here is what made our top 5:

 

5. Savages – “She Will”

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Sasquatch 2013 Recap: Finding the Mythical Creature

Sasquatch 2013 Lineup Poster

Something magical happened to me this weekend. I found Sasquatch (or as we like to call it in the Midwest, Bigfoot). However, I am not talking about the mythical (or extremely real and terrifying) creature. I am talking about this glorious stage located on the beautiful gorge in George, Washington.

The Gorge, Sasquatch 2013
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Vampire Weekend Review Royale: Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City
Vampire Weekend, album cover art, Modern Vampires of the City

Three albums into their career, Vampire Weekend has only progressively gotten better at their craft. In 2008 they released their self-titled debut, which proved to be a cerebrally focused pop-punk album that was a half hour of smart, heavily influenced fun. In the 2010 release Contra, the lyrics only increasingly became more clever, and the music became more layered and complex. Now enter Modern Vampires of the City, where that tack-sharp wit has only seemed to have gotten sharper once again, and their music still remains fresh. The formula is still there. It’s still a concise forty minute album that is chock-full of iconic and modern pop references as well as heavy influences from the likes of not only the usual comparisons of Paul Simon and The Clash, but even some Dick Dale and Buddy Holly. Bundle all this up with Vampire Weekend’s own unique form of jangly baroque-pop music with a bit of a punk-ass attitude and you have Modern Vampires of the City. They truly have become a unique staple to modern music, and one of the more intelligent bands of recent years.
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