Episode 14. Review – Animal Collective – Sung Tongs

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we review what would become the beginning of Animal Collective’s successful run of albums through the 2000’s. With two guitars, one drum, Beach Boys-inspired vocal harmonies, psychedelically-tinged nostalgia, and unrestrained production Avey Tare and Panda Bear remind us of the limitless possibilities that youth can bring. It will test our imagination, our sense of mischief, and in some cases our patience, too. Join us and brace yourself as we go leftfield from our regular pop-oriented direction.

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Episode 13. Discussion – Ambitious Projects in Popular Music, Part 1

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we briefly discuss what it means to have an ambitious project in popular music. Is Jeff right when he posits “the only difference between bravery and stupidity is the result?” Two examples will be observed in this episode to help us decide: The Flaming Lips’ 1997 four-CD experiment Zaireeka, and Guns N’ Roses’s Chinese Democracy from 2008.

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Episode 12. Review – Fleetwood Mac – Tusk

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we review Fleetwood Mac’s response to the massively popular Rumours with 1979’s Tusk. They had just skyrocketed to pop superstardom, selling millions of albums, playing to sold out crowds around the world, and had become more famous than they had ever imagined possible. Though their lives had become a rock and roll soap opera, drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, keyboardist Christine McVie, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and vocalist Stevie Nicks soldiered on with bruised hearts mired in cocaine binges. Soon, however, came the inevitable: the daunting task of recording a follow-up to one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Would Fleetwood Mac be able to continue channeling their internal drama with catchy hooks and mass appeal? Listen to our takes and share your thoughts with us!

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Episode 11. Review – Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we explore the eleventh album from the legendary English-American pop/rock group Fleetwood Mac. Rumours was conceived during a time of great personal turmoil and emotion mixed with the rampant drug culture of the 1970’s. It quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts and sold millions of copies within one year, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Join us as we analyze some of the magic behind this seductive album.

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Episode 10. Review – Yellow Magic Orchestra – Solid State Survivor

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we review Yellow Magic Orchestra’s seminal album Solid State Survivor. We are going to explore the themes and musicality of one of the most influential albums in electronic music. YMO have been credited for influencing the majority of early video game music composers, as well as countless hip hop and electronic acts. Come explore this landmark of synthpop with us!

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Episode 9. Discussion – Music Discovery

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we discuss the methods in which people discover music, and how that has changed since the advent of the music streaming service with millions of songs at your fingertips. Are we at the point where algorithms suggest albums to us more effectively than ourselves? Give us a listen and see what we think, and share your own opinions with us, too!

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Episode 8. Review – XTC – English Settlement

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we conclude this first phase of our XTC extravaganza by reviewing their 1982 double-album English Settlement. Lead songwriter Andy Partridge was growing increasingly tired of the constant pressure on the band and began rebelling against the system that earned them little time to relax and little in their pocket. Armed with a new acoustic guitar, he sought to craft a set of songs that would lead the band in a new “pastoral” direction, seeking to make them difficult to reproduce live, while lyrically tackling topics such as the negative effects of colonialism and the lack of empathy in modern society.

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Episode 7. Discussion – To Tour or Not to Tour

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we discuss a decision every artist has to make: whether to tour or not to tour. Amongst the myriad of ways artists make this decision, we specifically address different categories of answers: artists who never tour, bands who quit touring for good but continue writing and recording music, bands past their prime that continue to tour (or paying a price for nostalgia), with an added bonus of a discussion on the recent phenomenon of album-anniversary tours. There are plenty of examples to learn from, but don’t forget you can always discuss your own stories and examples with us!

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Episode 6. Review – XTC – Black Sea

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we continue our XTC extravaganza by reviewing the band’s fourth album, Black Sea. With the success of singles from 1979’s Drums and Wires, such as their hit “Making Plans for Nigel,” the band toured at a breakneck pace into 1980. Their label, Virgin Records, gave the band some time off from touring in the summer of that year to record their next album. The result is eleven tracks of rock excellence that noticeably veer away from the band’s New Wave roots. Black Sea would find XTC once again working with producer Steve Lillywhite and engineer Hugh Padgham to expand on the new adventures Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding were taking in their songwriting, while Dave Gregory’s guitar technicality and Terry Chambers’ explosive drums would continue to supply the force behind these powerful songs.

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Episode 5. Review – XTC – Drums and Wires

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we start our journey through the legendary albums of the underrated British rock/pop band XTC. By this point the group had been through a number of name changes since 1972, had released two albums in 1978 on Virgin Records that did modestly well, and were touring extensively to promote them. Within a couple of months keyboardist Barry Andrews would leave the group for other opportunities, setting the stage for Dave Gregory to enter as lead guitarist. The shift in dynamics leads to this powerful collection of songs with early classics written by both Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, features the bombastic drums of Terry Chambers, and is the result of the band’s first collaboration with producer Steve Lillywhite and engineer Hugh Padgham, who would go on to produce some of the biggest albums of the 1980s. Come join us as we discuss the music that would become the group’s first musical landmark.

Read More Episode 5. Review – XTC – Drums and Wires