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Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here's some tunes to kick-off your mini-vacation and hopefully opening that pool!

1.) "School’s Out" – Alice Cooper

How can you not love Alice Cooper? Look at that face.

2.) "Rockaway Beach" – The Ramones

Punk rock meets surf rock. Perf.

3.) "Doin’ Time" – Sublime

Summertimeeeeee, and the livin's easy.

4.) "Jammin'" – Bob Marley

Nothing says relaxing like a little reggae.

5.) "Summer Love" – Justin Timberlake

Just pretend you're drinking a margarita with JT alone on a private beach...

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What U2 Song Are You?

May 19, 2015

U2 just launched their epic 2015 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, and it's getting rave reviews. Find out here which U2 song most closely aligns with your rockin' personality.

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Comedy Central's Amy Schumer has gone viral in her most recent sketch as she pokes fun at late night talk show interviews with vapid celebrities, targeting Gossip Girl star, Blake Lively, specifically. With shimmering golden legs and giggles for days, Schumer harnesses the spirit of hollow Hollywood and satirizes the "cool girl" that every guy fawns over.

Starting next week, Amy Schumer is bringing her comedy to cities across the U.S. on her Back Door tour. In fact, this season is packed with laughter as big-name comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Kevin Hart, Lewis Black, and more embark on epic tours of their own. Check out the schedules for these talented entertainers who all have shows going on sale this week:

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Is the NL Central Race Already Over?

May 8, 2015

The St. Louis Cardinals received awful news weeks back when ace Adam Wainwright suffered an Achilles injury. The injury will sideline the Cardinals hurler for the remainder of the season. There's no way around it: the Cardinals simply can't replace Wainwright, who is a perennial Cy Young candidate. Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney have both taken turns in St. Louis' rotation, and neither looks to be an answer.

Luckily for St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak, he doesn't need an answer right now, since the Cardinals are off to the best start in franchise history at 21-7.

The Cardinals begin a road trip on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Many predicted St. Louis to win the NL Central this season, but the Pirates were the consensus No. 2, and were widely seen as a legitimate challenger for the NL Central crown.

So far this season, the Pirates haven't shown up. Pittsburgh has gotten off to a 13-15 start and find themselves 8 games behind St. Louis in the division. Last weekend, the Cardinals swept the Pirates, winning each game in an extra inning walk-off. Pittsburgh very well could have won those three games, but they didn't -- and now they find themselves needing to take at least two-of-three this weekend at PNC.

Yes, it's early. But if the Pirates find themselves 9 or 11 games out on Sunday night, it'll be a season-long struggle for Pittsburgh to overtake the Cardinals atop the NL Central.

No, St. Louis isn't going to play .750 ball all season long. The Redbirds will cool off. The hot start, however, has afforded the Cardinals a major luxury -- they can wait for the trade market to materialize before making a trade for another starting pitcher. Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto are obvious targets, but Cueto is unlikely to be dealt within the division. While Hamels isn't quite as good as Wainwright, he can pitch at the top of a playoff rotation -- and St. Louis will need a pitcher like Hamels to win the World Series.

St. Louis' season could easily have taken a turn for the worse after Wainwright's injury. For a brief moment, it looked like the wheels were going to fall off the wagon -- the day after Waino suffered his injury, Lance Lynn lost to the Milwaukee Brewers (who currently sit 12.5 games out of first). The very next day, the Cardinals opened their homestand with a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies -- the second-worst team in the NL.

Since then, the Cardinals rattled off 8 straight victories, and have won 9 of their last 10 games.

It's early, and it's a long season. Teams have given up gigantic leads in the span of one month, let alone five. But right now, it looks like the NL Central will once again belong to the Cardinals -- and it could be a runaway this time.

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"Soldier, soldier, we signed our lives away
Complete surrender, the only weapon we know
Soldier, soldier, we knew the world would never be the same
Soldier, this is where you can reach me now"

U2's penultimate track from Songs of Innocence, "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now," begins in an unfamiliar fashion -- with a tribal drum beat and seagulls, before yielding way to piano and an acoustic guitar. The odd introduction has Danger Mouse's fingerprints all over it, which is a very good thing. When it's all said and done "Reach Me Now" is one of the best songs on Innocence.

"Reach Me Now" begins with both Bono and the Edge singing the song's excellent chorus, with Bono and The Edge chanting out "Soldier, soldier." Once the chorus ends, a Halloween-esque synthesizer that tips its cap back to both The Doors and Broken Bells begins, and a driving bassline takes over the song. Bono wisely utilizes his lower register during the song's verses, and the song is much better off for it -- it's something that the frontman doesn't use often, but when he uses it, he uses it wisely, and "Reach Me Now" is better for it.

The song's prechorus is a highlight of the album. "Old man knows that I never listen, so how could I have something to say? Old man knows how to cheat ambition, 'You don't lose, if you don't play," Bono wails, before the song launches into its infectious and rocking chorus.

Written about rejecting the notion of not chasing your dreams, "We're taking the path of most resistance, the only way for us to go, and being a soldier in a far off land, "Reach Me Now" works lyrically, musically and thematically on Innocence, and could very well be the song that U2 opens the iNNOCENCE+eXPERIENCE Tour with. In an alternate universe, U2 would've saved "Winter" from No Line on the Horizon and paired it with "Reach Me Now," as both songs share a military theme.

The band reportedly planned on opening the album with "Reach Me Now," and frankly should have. Nothing against Innocence's first single, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)," but "Reach Me Now" is a better song -- even if it's not a single. With the album literally given away to 500,000,000 people for free whether they wanted it or not, beginning Innocence with a song that takes over a minute to really know whether or not it's U2 would've seemed prudent. "Reach Me Now" is unmistakably U2, but you wouldn't know it until the song's verses come and go.

Ultimately, "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now" sounds like a song that U2 could've written for War, but with the craftsmanship that they've developed in the 21st century.

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May Team Picks

May 4, 2015
Team Picks

Happy May! It's time to start planning your month because May is packed with epic spring events. As usual, the TL team has their own recommendations to help you decide which tickets to buy this month:

NHL Playoffs

NHL Playoffs

"After a wild season, the hunt for the Stanley Cup is still on, and there's nothing in the world that compares to playoff hockey! Be there to see the most exciting sports action of the year because you never know what is going to happen during an NHL playoff game." -- Andres


Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters

"The Foos are embarking on a huge tour this summer supporting their latest album, Sonic Highways, and you can be there to hear their new hits live in concert for the first time ever. Dave Grohl and the gang always puts on a rockin’ show, so don’t miss out!" -- Brittany


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Music festival season is upon us, and there are literally hundreds to choose from. If, like me, you're struggling with making a decision about which one to attend, take this quiz to help make up your mind.

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What You Missed at the ACMs

April 21, 2015

Sunday night, April 19th, marked the 50th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, and it was nothing short of spectacular. Historically held in California (and later in Las Vegas), the ACM Awards relocated to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas this time around, hosted by the infamous country music duo, "Bluke." Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan took the stage of the record-breaking affair, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most attended live awards show ever, clocking in at 70,252 attendees. Not only was there an abundance of hit country performances by artists such as Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Kenny Chesney, but a number of guest appearances from other music realms as well. Christina Aguilera joined Rascal Flatts in singing their hit, "Riot," and Nick Jonas collaborated a mash-up of his popular songs "Jealous" and "Chains" along to "Nothin’ Like You" with country duo Dan + Shay. If you weren't able to see the awards show live on Sunday, here's is a recap of the 2015 winners:


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Sufjan Stevens

This past Sunday, I finally let myself spend some money on something other than groceries and bills and bought a Sufjan Stevens ticket. The show opened with Cold Specks, stage name for Ladan Hussein (also known as Al Spx), an up-and-coming Somali-Canadian singer with a full-bodied voice that resounded beautifully in Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. The name is a reference to James Joyce's Ulysses – "Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil, lights shining in the darkness" – which earned her some cool points, though at times she relied too heavily on her jazzy vibrato.

Cold Specks performed soulful hits from 2012’s I Predict a Graceful Expulsion and 2014’s Neuroplasticity, grooving in a manner not unlike St. Vincent before she got weird. After her backing band left the stage, Cold Specks ended the set with a reworking of her most successful song, "Holland" – an a cappella version called "We Are Many (Revisited)." This powerful reaction to the Ferguson shooting was chilling, and the final line, “Hands up. Don’t shoot. I can’t breathe,” rang out into silence. And then applause.

After a brief intermission, Sufjan sat down at the piano in his trademark trucker hat and a shirt that read HUSTLER and opened with "Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)." A combination of home movies and sea landscapes were projected behind him. Like all good hipsters, Sufjan sings of meadowlarks and marijuana, but unlike most, his songs have weight. The set list promoted his new album, Carrie & Lowell, which was written in response to his mother’s death, giving the audience a personal glimpse into his complicated grief.

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This past weekend marked the beginning of the music festival season. Jack White was the highlight performance of Coachella, but Alabama Shakes, Royal Blood, Vance Joy, and Circa Survive gave him a run for his money. Hipsters rejoiced in the quirky side attractions like silent discos and weird snacks, and now everyone is yearning for summer. Forget spring. Everything is still dead. Then again it always is in southern California (we're praying that the rain gods move Connecticut's precipitation your way, SoCal).

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