XL Recordings

TDoL Best of 2012: 15-11

Thursday, December 20th, 2012 | musiX | No Comments

11. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Alleluja! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)

12. Titus Andronicus - Local Business (XL Recordings)

13. Ty Segall & White Fence – Hair (Drag City)

14. Plankton Wat – Spirits (Thrill Jockey)

15. Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory (Carpark Records)

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Titus Andronicus: Baby, we were born to die

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | musiX | No Comments

A concept album loosely based on America’s bloodiest war? By a band named after Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy? Fucking count me in.

New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus brings us The Monitor (XL Recordings), a record that could have easily buried itself under all that angst and pretentiousness if it wasn’t so much fun. It works because the album perfectly skirts the very fine line between artiness and drunkenness (both of which bookend godliness). We get sloppy 2 a.m. singalongs, we get not-so-subtle references to the American Civil War and the Garden State’s favorite son (not this son), and we get heady lyrics delivered with melodramatic rancor (not this Rancor) by guitarist/vocalist/mastermind/beard devotee Patrick Stickles. It’s a punk rock record on which half of the songs clock in at over seven minutes (“The Battle of Hampton Roads” is an epic 14). Opener “A More Perfect Union” is the album’s defining momentif you don’t get goosebumps while listening, place your middle and index fingers in the hollow of your neck and feel for a pulse.

Of course, no one had to convince me. The band’s debut The Airing of Grievances made TDoL’s 2008 year-end list, and the performance I caught that same year was a sweaty heap of rock ‘n’ roll fun (though the multiple guitarists failed to do anything more than just make things louder).

Titus Andronicus is currently on—wait for it—The Monitour, and is even offering free admission in exchange for a floor to crash on. Five intoxicated, unbathed rockers in your living space into the wee hours—sounds like a bloody good time.

“A More Perfect Union”Titus Andronicus

Video for “A More Perfect Union”

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[Your name here] loves Vampire Weekend

Monday, October 5th, 2009 | musiX | 1 Comment

As I said when I put Vampire Weekend‘s debut on my 2008 year-end list, when I first heard “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” I became slightly annoyed and went on about my day. Then a friend and coworker “encouraged” me to listen to the entire record … and when I say encouraged I mean playing it non-stop in the office and burning me a disc that read “Mark Lore Loves Vampire Weekend!” I gave in.

That seems like ages ago. Now those handsome, Sperry Top-Sider sporting chaps are ready to release their second record Contra on Jan. 11, 2010. But the first single is here. “Horchata” is another light and airy Afro-pop ditty that sticks to the band’s formula. Not bad. But I definitely enjoy the beverage of which they sing more than the actual song. I’m going to call it the new record’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” I’m eager to hear the rest of it.

“Horchata”Vampire Weekend

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