Archive by Author

Ashley’s Top 15 Music Videos of 2013

24 Dec

Last year I made a list of my favorite music videos from the year and, to be honest, I kinda rushed through it.  This year, I decided that I would do my level best to follow music videos year-round and compile a list of my favorites, rather than doing it all in one night, based on other people’s lists of favorites.  The result of that journey was what you see below.  An excellent adventure that began with the return of a legend and ended this very evening with a hilarious bit of music video genius.  So here are my top 15 music videos of 2013, along with 2 honorable mentions that kinda don’t actually count, sorta…you’ll see. Continue reading

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2013 – The Year in Lists – 5 Worst Album Covers

17 Dec

Hey, not bad, I only left the blog to shrivel up and die for four months this time!  I’m proud.

Well, of course, it’s that time of year again.  Time for me to share my thoughts to the world on what music was like this year.

I had thought that this was going to be another slack-off year for me, as far as number of albums I heard was concerned, but when I look back, it was actually a great year.  I fell in love with a new kind of music, my friends and I have so-dubbed it “TumblrCore” after some horrible reviews written by Pitchfork, saw more concerts than I ever have in a single year before and, most importantly, was reunited with some of our favorite acts who decided that 2013 was just too good a year not to come out of the woodwork’s once more.

To start off a year of positives, then, of course, means that the first list I’ll be sharing with you is:  The 5 Worst Album Covers of 2013!!! Continue reading

Ashley’s Longer-than-necessary-review of Lollapalooza 2013 (Sunday at any rate):

5 Aug

To preface all of this, I did not sleep the night before Lolla this year. Not by choice, but by a series of unfortunate events that led to my inability to fall asleep until ten minutes before my alarm went off Sunday morning. The day had begun brilliantly.

Being the ultra-goth that I am, I decided to try highlighting my hair before I left. I have no idea what possessed me to do that, but it was an interesting clash with the all-black ensemble I decided to wear. There’s nothing like 70 degree weather in August to encourage one to play their part. I, of course, rocked the Threadless “Friday I’m in Love” Tee:

Anyways, enough about me. On to more about…well…me, and my impressions of Lolla:

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Lollapalooza 2013 – The Year without a Death Grips?

3 Aug

So, I just got back from Jessie Ware’s Lollapalooza aftershow.  What a treat.  What an artist.  Adorably drunk, sharing stories with her fans about her brother (an aspiring doctor who is unlucky in love, though there were a few other doctors in the crowd trying to give her their digits for him), leading sing-alongs, forgetting lyrics and apologizing mid-line.  It was a wonderful performance.

On the other side of town, Death Grips fans weren’t so lucky.

^This guy is great, btw. Major poster on the Lollapalooza message board, sad for him.

^Having trouble embedding that pic, but it’s good for a laugh, so I suggest clicking on the link.

A potentially dark turn is the background they used:

You can find more unrelenting anger via a quick Twitter Search

I’m probably going to keep updating this with Tweets I enjoy, so there’s a good reason to keep coming back ;).

Can’t wait to see if they show up to Lolla tomorrow!

Review/Running Diary – The National – Trouble Will Find Me

10 May

Well, here we are, album number 6.  It’s hard to believe they’re this far into their career now.  But, of course, I’m one of those people who hope they’ll be around for at least 60 more.  Especially if they’re of the same quality as the last three.  Does Trouble Will Find Me stack up?  Let’s find out!

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Movie Review – Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

24 Apr Big Star Barn

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled music reviews in order to bring you something…a little different…A movie review.

Over the next few days, I will be reviewing three of the films I saw at the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival.  As mentioned in this blog post, I had the opportunity to attended the CIMM Fest this year, in lieu of Record Store Day.  It was the first film festival I have ever attended and it was an absolutely wonderful experience.  I can’t wait until this October, because I will definitely be going to the Chicago International Film Festival.

The first of the three reviews will be for the Big Star documentary: Nothing Can Hurt Me.  The other two will cover Last Shop Standing and My Father and the Man in Black.

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is an incredibly misguided work of love, an ode to a band that has had more than their fair share of hard knocks.  If you are not familiar with the story of Big Star, in short, they were the band that never was.  Ask anyone who was there at the time, or who love them now and they’ll tell you: Big Star should have been in the pantheon of rock history’s greatest.  The legend, as it is, with The Velvet Underground was that only 1,000 people bought The Velvet Underground & Nico, but all 1,000 of them joined a band.  If that’s the case, than of the 10 copies of #1 Record that actually made distribution, all ten of those listeners not only started bands, but then the bands that heard them started bands and a net of great influence was born.  

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Wild Nothing – New Single and EP – Empty Estate!

23 Apr

My favorite band of the 2010’s is back! And with another EP to boot.  This is fantastic news, because Golden Haze was a pretty amazing little release.

The EP will be called Empty Estate and the tracklisting is as follows:

  1.  The Body in Rainfall
  2. Ocean Repeating (Big-eyed Girl)
  3. On Guyot
  4. Ride
  5. Data World
  6. A Dancing Shell
  7. Hachiko

Continue reading

Does “Just One Yesterday” by Fall Out Boy contain the worst lyrics of 2013?

21 Apr

I think this is a pretty fair question.

My evidence:

Exhibit A:

I thought of angels
Choking on their halos
Get them drunk on rose water
See how dirty I can get them
Pulling out their fragile teeth
And clip their tiny wings

Exhibit B:

The Britney Spears inspired lyric: Anything you say can and will be held against you/So only say my name/It will be held against you

Except Ms. Spears had the decency to not punch us in the face with what the lyric meant.

Exhibit C:

The Big Chorus! “If heaven’s grief brings hell’s rain/Then I’d trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday”

I…don’t understand the logic behind this one.  Someone please make this association make sense for me.

Exhibit D:

Should you sense the disconnect between the opening of murdering Angels and the lovesick notions of the remaining lyrics, the chorus gets all creepy again: “I want to teach you a lesson in the worst kind of way/Still I’d trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday”

I love you, but sometimes I just want to beat the shit out of you.

Exhibit E:

Letting people down is my thing baby
Find yourself a new gig

This town ain’t big enough for two of us

BUUURRNNNNNN!

Exhibit F:

If I spilled my guts
The world would never look at you the same way
I’m here to give you all of my love
So I can watch your face as I take it all away

Ok, so let’s get this all straight:  He let her down, but so did she, and apparently she was real horrible to him so his revenge will be to make her love him again before taking it away from her.  Fine, except for the part where it seems like you hope to do this in a horribly violent way, because let’s not forget:

I thought of angels
Choking on their halos
Get them drunk on rose water
See how dirty I can get them
Pulling out their fragile teeth
And clip their tiny wings

The Prosecution Rests

Please note: This is a brief excerpt from a larger case study delving into whether or not Save Rock And Roll is the worst album of 2013.

Record Store Day 2013 and the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival

21 Apr

I have quite a few posts I hope to make throughout the course of this coming week. Three dealing with the CIMM Festival and one nice little write-up about my Record Store Day 2013 purchases.

It’s been quite a weekend of fun in Chicago, and I can’t wait to share those experiences with you all.

CIMM Fest was a gamble that paid off. I had never heard of it before, but it was a rewarding experience, from Documentaries chronicling the History of Big Star, to fiction about the world’s most devoted Elvis impersonator. I had never attended a film festival before, but what an amazing start to what I hope is a long life of these experiences.

As for Record Store Day, unfortunately, I scheduled an event at work for the same time that the sales were to begin, but I thought it would work itself out, with midnight sales. That was when I discovered the Record Store Day pledge and the end to midnight releases. I can’t say I was angry about it, I’m so glad they’re trying to get rid of the inherent commercialism of what is meant to be rejuvenating day.  So, in the end, I attended when I was able, which was not until 12:00 PM.  Still, thanks to friends on the Internet and a little luck, we scored 3 RSD releases, and picked up two worthwhile additions to the collection as well.

So that this post isn’t a complete tease and nothing more, a run-down of everything that happened this past week:

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Review – Charli XCX – True Romance

12 Apr

I can’t believe I’m finally writing this review.

Let me back up.  Maybe I haven’t shared with you all my intense love for Charli XCX.  Maybe I’ve been too busy trying to spread the gospel of David Bowie, My Bloody Valentine and Wampire.

If that’s the case, I apologize, because it means that I spent less time sharing with the world the magic that is Charli XCX.

I suppose the reason that I have sort of hung back in making much mention of Charli XCX is that it’s just taken so long for her debut album to come out.  I’ve literally been waiting well over a year for this bad boy, after running into her music early into 2012 (may have even been late 2011).  I ran across “Nuclear Seasons” on, what I believe was, an NME list of bands to watch in 2012.  And watch I did.  I jumped on every single, followed on Twitter/Facebook/etc.  I had never gone this hard for an artist I’d only heard one song of in all my life. Continue reading