Episode 16. Extra – Support Us, Death Grips, Billy Joel

On this episode of lo-fidelity, Jeff goes solo to introduce this new “Extra” format.
00:00 – In an effort to help us find a wider audience, these are a few ways you can support the show in a (hopefully) entertaining use of seven minutes.
8:48 – Jeff reviews Year of the Snitch, the latest from Sacramento-based experimental hip hop group Death Grips. Very, very mature themes contained here.
18:19 – Billy Joel’s 1989 monster hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is broken down. What could possibly be so interesting about it when Joel himself considers the melody “mosquito droning?”
Let us know what you think of this new format in the comments of both YouTube and Reddit, and don’t forget you can always send us an email at feedback@lofidelity.info.

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Episode 15. Discussion – The Early Works of Steve Reich

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we begin to explore the works of one of the most influential composers in modern music: Steve Reich. In order to do so we explore prominent works from Stravinsky, Schoenberg, and Stockhausen to set the stage for where classical music was heading toward in the early 20th century. We then sample Reich’s technique of “phasing” in four of his earliest pieces: “It’s Gonna Rain” (1965), “Come Out” (1966), “Piano Phase” (1967), and “Clapping Music” (1972). Come join us for our trip into the avant garde where atonality and tonality clash, and sampling finds its initial foothold in rhythmic construction.

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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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