February 11th, 2014
Who knew Twitter was good for anything beside trolls and hashtags? As toxic as social media is sometimes, it paid off for me Tuesday when I won two free tickets to Man Man in a random Chicago suburb, Palatine, courtesy of Popstache (who I have written for in the past). Man Man is a Philadelphia foursome influenced by rock’s earliest experimenters:Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, and Frank Zappa, but crossed with a modern indie rock flair. The band is centered around eccentric lead man Honus Honus, who looks like Attila the Hun and sounds like Tom Waits. I went with fellow LxLer Todd and we were both blown away by Man Man’s live show: one of the most dynamic and versatile hour long sets I have seen in a while.
Ever wonder what Bruce Springsteen bottoming out looks like? Here it is ladies and gentleman. “High Hopes”, the lead single from Springsteen’s album of the same name, is an abomination for a number of reasons. But before taking The Boss to task, let me give you a little background on the upcoming album. High Hopes, the album, is essentially a b-sides collection of material re-recorded with various members of The E Street Band, along with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine fame taking the place of LxL favorite Steven Van Zandt on eight of the twelve tracks. Other artists have worked this formula fairly well, but if “High Hopes” is any indication, Springsteen is going to have far less success with a common formula.
With the release of Nine Inch Nail’s new album, as well as the random tracks that artists like M.I.A. and TV On The Radio have been dropping lately, we thought the topic of original artists was a good thing to focus on this week. Artist in particular that unmistakably have their own sound. Vocally, musically, production-wise; upon the first moment you hear it, you know who it is. Something that didn’t exist prior to, and something that even if attempted to be replicated, it has not happened in the same fashion since. In this respect, artists such as The Beatles or Led Zeppelin (who were extremely original for their time but have been copied a billion times over) don’t exactly qualify. Naturally this lends itself to be a very current list, but we would love to hear any arguments as to what we missed. Now onto the list of what we find to be the most uniquely original artists in music:
We all love us some Edgar Wright (and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for that matter), so with the opening of The World’s End this weekend, we thought it appropriate to dig up the top ten apocalyptic songs. A few words about The World’s End first though. I am endlessly excited to see this movie, but it just has the worst title ever. The title is not bad in and of itself. It is descriptive. It is succinct. But unfortunately it is too similar to another apocalyptic comedy from earlier this summer (This Is The End) as well as a Pirates of the Caribbean poopcicle (At World’s End). This obviously won’t effect the quality of the movie, but its a pet peeve of mine from a differentiation standpoint.
Now that all that is out of the way, enjoy these top ten tracks for the end of times.
10. Prince – “1999″
Remember in 1982 when 1999 was in the distant future and probably the end of the world? Me neither, I wasn’t born yet. Coming in as the most danceable song on this list, “1999″ is a classic depiction of a party for the end of the world.
This past weekend, my wife and I went to the 6th biennial Festival of Faith & Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and it proved to be one of the more interesting conference/festivals I’ve ever attended. Culture criticism often has an adversarial relationship with faith and faith often has an adversarial relationship with pop culture, so it was cool to be somewhere where the two were openly discussed together and how better each can be incorporated into each other. So here are five choice cuts relating to the Festival of Faith & Music.