Red Sticker Collection
14 Iced Bears - In the Beginning, 2001
I’d never heard of this mid 80’s band until I listened to Youthlarge's CD. While they aren’t the best band I’ve ever heard, they do sound pretty good. Catchy and fun in a mid 80’s British pop kind of way. This compliation of their early singles, demos, live performances, and Peel Sessions is definitely worth hearing. Something about them reminds me of The Vaselines and there are at least a couple of songs that Unrest loved and clearly based a large part of their poppier side on.
Youthlarge Brought These Home
Joe Simon - Music in My Bones: The Best of Joe Simon, 1997
I had never heard of this guy before but I’m glad I’ve heard of him now. I read about him somewhere and knew that Youthlarge had a Rhino connection. So I asked her to request this CD. Sweet soul music. His early career from the mid 60’s is nice and what you would expect. But by the early 70’s, he had changed with the times. A velvety voice and sweet smoothness mixed with a little bit of funk. How many more Joe Simons are out there waiting to be discovered by me? I’m guessing - quite a few.
Sparrow - The Early Years, 2005
Jason Zumpano’s latest band is a pop explosion of melody. A great title for a debut album to boot. There are a few great songs here and a few kind of boring ones. Overall, a fun album. Everytime, I listen to it, I wonder how jealous Jason is of his former bandmate Carl Newman of the New Pornographers.
R.E.M. - Around the Sun, 2004
I had heard so many bad things about this album that I felt determined to like it. And when the first song “Leaving New York” came on, I thought, “This isn’t that bad.” The second song was about 50% worse than the first. And then the third song was upon me. Q Tip? What? Still, I could even forgive that. I mean, I forgave “Radio Song” back in the day, right? But then one boring ass song followed another and the only question I could muster was “Do they really think this is good?” Wow, this band is finished.
Bootsy Collins - The Bootsy Collins Anthology, 2001
While I was recently listening to this, Youthlarge commented “I can’t believe you are listening to this.” What? A listmaker can’t listen to a little funk now and again?
Gram Parsons - The Gram Parsons Anthology, 2001
Holy shit! I know I’m late to the Gram Parsons game, but this kicked me in the butt. I’ve heard bits and pieces of his stuff for awhile but this two CD best of is sublime. It collects stuff from the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and his solo stuff into one stellar package. I can’t stop thinking about how great this stuff is, in particular the Flying Burrito Bros. stuff. I’m in awe. It almost makes me want to sit through that Johnny Knoxville movie about him.
Sloan - A Sides Win: Singles 1992 -2005
I’ve always been overwhelmed by where to start with this band. I have two of their CD’s that I like a lot but there is some filler on each one. They aren’t the kind of band that inspires me to keep buying everything they put out. When Youthlarge came home with this best of, I was very excited. There are some damn good songs on here. However, some of the best songs are the ones on the two records I already have. And at the end of the day, I’m content with having this best of and the two CD’s I already own rather than seeking out more. This isn’t to say that I don’t really enjoy this CD though.
Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers, 2005
I’ve been known to enjoy myself a little David Berman but I just can’t get into his latest. Kind of shambling in a boring kind of way.
Wilco - Kicking Television, 2005
Jeff Tweedy, blah blah blabbity blah. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Wilco but I’m growing a little weary. This CD compiles the highlights of a few shows in Chicago from May. Nothing really blows me away in the way that they did just three short years ago. As Youthlarge pointed out while listening to Disc 1, “Where’s the weird sound manipulations that this band is supposed to be doing these days?” Other than a stellar version of “Via Chicago” (pandering to the hometown crowd?) this CD just doesn’t astound me. As I listened to it, it almost feels like Tweedy is saying, “Hey fuckers, I gave you all free copies of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot back in the day and I helped you NPR types get laid, help a brother out and buy this live CD!”
As a comparsion, I listened to a two CD bootleg of a 2002 Roseland show. And let me tell you, that show smokes! That is the show I’d be adding to my iPod if it didn’t have those annoying second long breaks in between each song.
I don't know, am I being too hard on Tweedy? Perhaps.
The Go! TeamThunder, Lightning, Strike, 2005
I liked this a lot on the first few listens and now I’m a little tired of it. Still, this is a fun album. Imagine an indie rock cheerleading squad commandeering the Avalanches songbook and going to town.
My Morning Jacket - Z, 2005
For a band that has been accused of being overindulgent, how about this? A ten song record with a one word title. I feel like this album will continue to grow on me but I’ve got to admit that I’m slightly disappointed by it. Not that I wanted them to keep doing the same thing over and over again but It Still Moves is one of my favorite albums of the past few years. I don’t know, I just don’t know what I wanted from this album that I didn’t get. And that weird ending to one song sounds just like the Danielson Famile which creeps me out.
However, in the grand scheme of things, I feel like this album will fit nicely in their overall oeuvre when it is all said and done.
Actually Purchased by Youthlarge
Radio Pyongyang, 2005
This is fucked up! Culled from field recordings, Mass Game performances, TV, radio, and shortwave radio intercepts, this CD has it all! Cheesy and completey frightening all at the same time. And if that ain’t Mo Kin on the track titled “Start ‘Em Young”, I offer myself up for North Korean military service. Plus, the artwork on the CD reminds me of a fucked up Free to Be You and Me.
Superconductor - Hit Songs For Girls, 1993 & Bastardsong, 1996
In a fit of Carl Newman love, Youthlarge bought these two records. Zumpano and New Pornos, it is not. I don’t know what this is but I don’t like it. A sillier heavier Weezer? An even less remarkable Heatmiser? A waste of my time? Kind of like a lot of the bad indie trends of the mid 90’s transplanted into one band. To be fair, the second album is much better than the first but I can’t quite say that I like it.
The Dirtbombs - If You Don’t Already Have a Look, 2005
A two CD, 52 song collection of singles broken up into originals and covers is a whole hell of a lot of Mick Collins. That’s about all I have to say about this one.
Actually Purchased by Me
Oneida - The Wedding, 2005
I’ve heard about this band for years but never got around to hearing them until this summer when I saw them with The Double. As Youthlarge would say, they are a dude band. Music for dudes. From what I understand, a lot of their back catalog is heavy with Sabbath type riffs. On their latest release, there are only a couple of songs like that. The rest of the album is like a beautiful sampler of good stuff. There’s some strings. There’s some prettiness. There’s some Animal Collective type songs. There’s some psychedelia. The whole thing goes down quite smoothly. Although I’m not quite sure if the last track that channels Too Much Joy was really necessary.
Borrowed and Burned
Nathaniel Mayer - Village of Love, 1996
I can’t believe I hadn’t seeked this out before Alex J. lent it to me. Hot Tub Eric had put one of his songs, “I Want Love and Affection (Not the House of Corrections),” on a mix he made for me a few years ago. This guy is nuts in a Screaming Jay Hawkins under the surface kind of way. Alex told me about a recent show of Mayer’s in New York that made him and Anne quite uncomfortable to say the least. Something about giant pee stains and creepy leering at the ladies. No worries about the dirty old man he’s become because I’ve got this glorious CD of the dirty young man he once was.
Elizabeth Cotten - Shake Sugaree, 1965 -1966
Years ago, one of my favorite Firehose songs was “Elizabeth Cotten” but I had no idea who Elizabeth Cotten was. For a number of years, I have read about Cotten but hadn’t heard her. Last year, Smithsonian Folkways put out these amazing 1960’s recordings. She was in her early 70’s when these songs were recorded. This is the real deal. It it perfect music. These songs are timeless yet of their time, completely distinctive and completely amazing. Just her voice accompanied by her guitar or banjo playing. A must have for any music collection. Thank you Alex J.
Deerhoof - The Runners Four, 2005
This band continually confounds me. While their previous albums have been one big melodic screechfest of pop craziness, this one slows down to take a breath - sometimes. While they are up to their old tricks on some of the songs, they also flesh out the sound a little more. They slow it down to tear it up. This band seems like they could put something out once a year forever and never run out of craziness to share.
3 hours ago