I have been listening to a lot of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros lately, as well as other Alexander Ebert Projects (which include his other band, Ima Robot, and his solo work, Alexander). In all honesty, I am not sure there has been a busier man in music the past 3-4 years. In that span, he has released two Magnetic Zeros albums, two Alexander albums, and one Ima Robot album. Averaging over an album per year is a truly impressive feat, particularly when the end product has gotten consistently better (especially with his Edward Sharpe persona), culminating in the latest Magnetic Zeros album, Here. I’ve only been listening to it for a couple weeks, so I thought it a little late in the game to review (it came out months ago), but thought I could hit on a couple recent Alexander Ebert songs, as well as a couple older ones, in another edition of This NOT That.
NOTE: for those of you that are not familiar, This NOT That is a format where we take lackluster currently charting tracks, and replace them with more easily digestible alternatives. Check out our last two entries in the series here and here.
It’s been five years since my last Lollapalooza, and this is not due to strength of lineup. Lollapalooza pretty consistently churns out jam-packed lineups and is also an amazing setting for a festival, standing in beautiful Grant Park sandwiched between Lake Michigan and the skyline in the heart of downtown. What has kept me away is primarily two things: moolah and the festival schedule. Money is pretty self-explanatory but Lollapalooza’s schedule is not. The festival jams so much music in a 10 hour span that it leads to shortened sets and tons of scheduling conflicts. Even in the headlining time slot, Lollapalooza packs four different acts instead of the usual one or two at other festivals.
In a concerted effort to make it seem we do not take ourselves too seriously, perhaps out of a fear of taking ourselves too seriously sometimes, we like to mix up our more scholarly lists with those that make us out to be a handful of nerdy jackasses. This is one of those lists. There has been a lot of hysteria surrounding superhero movies this summer. I mean, damn, a Batman, Spiderman, and Avengers movies all in the same summer. We are all extremely partial to Batman, especially those of the Nolan/Burton persuasion, and decided to save this dopey collection for around the time The Dark Knight Rises was released. As comic-book/superhero movie fans, we thought we could fantasize a little bit about which musicians would make the best superheroes, and speculate a little bit about their key attributes. For awhile there, we considered doing a joint heroes/villains list, but ultimately decided to make two separate lists, with the heroes list today, and the villains list coming at you next Thursday. Enjoy.
It is a little over halfway through 2012 and a large breadth of music has been released in this time. This of course means that it is time to list what, in our opinion, are the best albums so far this year. We do this not to proselytize our readers into congratulating us on our superb music tastes, but instead to evaluate the current musical landscape. Today’s list will also provide some loose guidelines for when we do make our end of the year list – although it is merely a predictor and not definitive on how we will feel at the end of the year.