This time of year, everyone (including us at LxL) are terribly obsessed with creating “end of the year lists”. Not only is it a fun topic of conversation and heated debate, but I also think it is appropriate because it is a good way to categorize eras of music. However, part of me always has a problem with the rush of the “end of year lists”. With the amount of music that comes our way in a year these days, it is hard not to miss a few things here and there. This is why last year I posted a LxListening reflecting on the songs of the year prior. For this year I am going to stick with the concept, but switch to albums. These are all albums that are now staples of mine. They have made my “go to” list of albums that will forever be tagged in my library as favorites, yet last year at this time, I’d hardly even listened to them (or in some cases, had not listened to them at all). In no particular order:
Death Grips – The Money Store
The fact that this album was not even on my radar last year is almost depressing to me. Since really discovering The Money Store this past spring, it has been a staple for me in many moods and atmospheres … especially ones that involve extreme thrashing of any kind.
For some, jazz music is merely a cacophony of nonsensical noise. To others, it is heaven by way of music. Not that I have ever felt the former, but the more I listen to jazz and make it my own, the closer I get to aligning myself with the latter. Jazz is ambiguous and spontaneous. Jazz can be incredibly happy, or it can be devastatingly depressing. It has the ability to take so many different forms, and sometimes many forms in a single song. It doesn’t necessarily follow the usual structures or progressions. Sometimes it doesn’t follow any progressions. It doesn’t play by the rules in that sense. I especially love when jazz is fused into other genres of music, but for this list, I am going to stick with some of my favorites of the basics. One college spring break on a long, late night drive, Wes and I began a tradition of late night jazz sessions on road trips. As of recent, I’ve found myself doing it more and more often myself. Last Monday, I had a nice three-hour stretch of road in which I let some of my favorite jazz artists drive their airy, spastic, beautiful notes straight into my skull and enrich my soul. Here are some highlights from that jazz session.
For this weeks installment of LxListening, I decided to pay tribute to the recent passing of director Tony Scott. For one reason or another, Tony decided to take his own life by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge that connects Long Beach to San Pedro, a bridge I used to frequently cross while living in Long Beach. As an outsider or a loved one of the person, suicide is a hard thing to comprehend, and an even harder thing to cope with. I can’t imagine what his family is going through. Tony was younger brother to Ridley Scott, another great British/Hollywood icon. The two have both been renowned directors for many years now, and although they have had their downs, they have both had quite the ups as well. Although Tony never had any monster critically acclaimed successes, he was a very unique and stylized director. He was very technically good in many ways and every once in a while he would show up with some very interesting ways to use music in his films. Below our my five favorite highlights in which he used music. I’ve never claimed Tony as a favorite director of mine, but while going through is IMDb page I must say, he has made a few films that have had a larger impact on me than I truly realize. Dedicated to a good director whose name will always be remembered in film, here are some wonderful music moments directed by the late Tony Scott. And no, they aren’t all from the movie Top Gun … although they very well should be.
Sometimes our LxListening segment will have a certain theme or tone … this week I got nothing. Nothing but a cluster cuss of great tracks that is. Some have yet to be released, some have just been released, and some have been released for a long time. In any case, they are all fantastic, and have found their way into very heavy rotation in my playlist lately, and to be honest some of these tracks won’t be leaving that playlist for a good while. Listed in order of newest-to-oldest, here we go:
For the past few nights I have been crashing at the apartment of two truly great friends, Nate and Holly Pelz. Nate is the older brother of my long-time best friend Phil Pelz, and Holly is Nate’s wife. When Phil and I were younger, we always listened to Nate for advice on what was “cool” to do, or “cool” to wear, or most importantly, “cool” to listen to. Looking back now, I realize how terrible of a decision it was to ever listen to Nate, I mean look at this guy …