Best of 2014 Music

Weird Al has been a well-known musician and parody songwriter for several decades, but it seemed like his last really big album was destined to be 1993’s ‘Bad Hair Day.’  Then something amazing happened.  He announced that he would release one last full-length album in connection with eight, yes eight music videos coming out a day apart from each other.

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Best of 2014 Podcasts

If you want to get a sense of why You Talkin’ U2 to Me is the best Podcast, please visit the iTunes reviews for the new U2 album, Songs of Innocence. There you’ll find such gems as high-quality rock and roll music and excellent album, C+. It’s these sorts of in-jokes that make You Talkin’ U2 to Me so entertaining. Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott (Scott and Scott) treat their discussion of all things U2 more like a hangout, where two bros rhapsodize about their favorite albums from yesteryear. 

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Music Review: Shooter Jennings Don’t Wait Up for George

The tribute album. It’s a great idea in theory, and a way to pay homage to a legendary artist, but usually the greatness stops there. The number of horrific tribute albums certainly outnumber the good ones, especially in the country genre, where the purveyors of pop country continue to commit atrocities against the songs of Nashville’s past. The latest EP from Shooter Jennings, Don’t Wait Up for George is not one of those albums. It’s a collection of two new Jennings-penned songs as well as three George Jones classics, and pays a loving tribute to The Legend.

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Music Review: Tom Freund Two Moons

Some artists refuse to let themselves be pigeon-holed by musical genres. Tom Freund is one of these artists. The former bassist for the Alt Country outfit The Silos keeps good company too—often collaborating with Ben Harper, who lends a guest vocal on the opening track “Angel Eyes”. “Angel Eyes” is a love song to life in L.A. It speaks of the city and her resilience. Despite reoccurring fires and earthquakes that plague the city there’s always a party somewhere. This track set the mood and a theme for the entire album.

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Music Review: Jack White Lazaretto

Often when an album is released after more than a year and a half of anticipation, the payoff is lackluster, but Lazaretto lives up to the hype. This is Jack White’s second solo release, the follow up to 2012’s Blunderbuss (which was named the top album of that year by Drunk Monkeys). Like with Blunderbuss, he continues to move farther away from the minimalist approach that defined his work with The White Stripes and The Dead Weather.

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Music Review: The Black Keys Turn Blue

Turn Blue, the latest release from the Akron, Ohio duo The Black Keys, might be their most sonically diverse album yet.  The band’s usual straight-forward blues-inspired rock takes a backseat to something more interesting. This collection of songs rises above the “verse-chorus-verse”, radio friendly tracks on their previous albums.

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Best of 2013: Music

There weren’t a lot of reasons to keep your radio turned on in 2013, until a 16-year-old New Zealander stormed the charts with a simple hook, ethereal backing vocals, and a giant middle finger to pop pomp and overproduction with her gorgeous single “Royals”.

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Best of 2013: Podcasts

A great man, trapped in the rigid confines of an ancient story structure, once said, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine”. That certainly held true for Dan Harmon in 2013. Fired from Community, a series he had dedicated his life and sanity to for three years, in 2012, Dan used his time off to take the podcast version of his weekly live showHarmontown to the people. 

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Heartbreakingly Lyrical by Lily Murphy

I was laid across the couch the other day, nursing an infection in my leg and high on anti biotic drugs and partly stoned from pain, I switched on the TV where Taylor Swift was on VH1 Storytellers. On any other normal day I would have quickly switched it off but in my predicament I left the program on and watched it.

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Year in Review The Best Music of 2012

2012 was the year of the viral single–from Gotye’s Peter Gabriel-esque “Somebody That I Used To Know” and Canadian import Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” to the world-conquering “Gangnam Style” from Korean singer Psy. These songs, and many of the big hits of this past year, mark just how interconnected we are, as they spread more through Facebook posts and memes than video rotation or radio airplay.

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Eastbound and Drunk: Alcohol and Country Music by Lily Murphy

I was sitting in my cozy watering hole in town, sipping my favourite poison of choice and reading the newspaper, when I nearly fell off my bar stool. The shock I had seen in the paper was news that Randy Travis had been arrested for driving under the influence. I had to read on to find out what exactly he had been driving under the influence of. Was it heroin? Was it jelly beans? Was it God?

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Comedy Review: Phil Keeling

If Conquistadork brings even a few hundred new fans Phil Keeling’s way, then it will be an album well worth the time and effort that clearly went into its conception and release. What makes Keeling’s style of comedy, and by extension this album, such an easy hour to kill over and over again (the album clocks in at just under an hour) is how it comes across in hysterical, well-timed bits like “I Have a Crush On Cyclops” or “Cheeseburgers and Porn.” 

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Music Review: Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple has been around for so long that it’s easy to forget just how young she was when she hit mainstream success. Apple was only 17-years-old when her debut album Tidal spawned the mega-hit singles “Shadowboxer” and “Criminal”, and not very far removed from the harrowing attacks of her childhood. On her latest album, the first in seven years (titled with a full-length poem, as is her fashion), Apple looks back on the headrush of early fame and concludes she stood “no chance of growing up”.

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Music Review: Smashing Pumpkins

It’s hard being Billy Corgan, as he is continually telling us. The Smashing Pumpkins frontman’s recent years have been defined by ever-more-bizarre public appearances and statements, as he formed a wrestling league, become deeply involved in new-age mysticism, and first made an appeal to his former bandmates and then told them, in no uncertain terms, to fuck off. This all seemed in some way a reaction to the Pumpkins’ declining reputation in the annals of rock history. 

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