This time, I've put up a few songs for you to peruse if you so desire. Nothing that will find its way on Listmaker III or nothing but just a few here and there to better illuminate what the hell I'm talking about.
Youthlarge Brought These Home
The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes, 2006
Around 1994 or so, I was worried that when I became on old fart, the only music I'd want to listen to was my Pavement reissues and maybe a Superchunk jam if I needed to pump up for the afternoon's errands. Jeremy told me that he didn't think so, that anyone who could listen to Truman's Water and enjoy it would never end up only listening to the music of their youth.
This LP was a test of sorts for me. Could I still dig new sounds or was I stuck in an indie rock rut? I really wanted to like this. It is completely crazy. The male singer sounds like a woman at times and I still can't quite believe that it isn't a woman. Screaming vocals that might have made me happy back in '95 now sort of just leave me cold though. Not annoyed or nothing, it just doesn't do much for me. Or maybe this band just would have never been my thing? I don't know. But I do know that the next CD I'm going to listen to is that new reissue of Wowee Zowee. And the last time I listened to Truman's Water, I can't say that I particularly cared for it.
Listen to "Set Fire to the Face on Fire"
The Liars - Drum'S Not Dead, 2006
I find this band incredibly interesting even when I'm not completely enamored with every sound. Their first record was all "We're so Gang of Four, Williamsburg, woo fucking hoo!" Then they completely revamped the sound, became a duo, moved to Berlin, and alienated all their fans with a droned out drummed out record about witches hanging out in the woods.
This latest record is more like the 2nd than the 1st but not nearly as monotonous. Some yelps and shit. More craziness. And as the title of the record states, the drums ain't dead. Lots and lots of drums.
Apparently, a concept record about Mt. Heart Attack or something, who knows? I just know that this band doesn't sound like anything else I've heard and that is a good thing.
Listen to "Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack"
Love's A Real Thing: The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa, 2004
70's West African funk. As good as you'd think it would be.
The Thermals - The Body The Blood The Machine, 2006
The new Bad Religion? I don't say this in a bad way necessarily. They are in your face earnest and political. But they aren't as in love with showing off their 50 cent words as Bad Religion is.
The hooks are gorgeous but some of the lyrics drive me crazy. Lyrics like "We don't think we're special sir/ We know everybody is." are cringeworthy. But gosh darnit, Hutch Harris means it so much. I think I'm being too harsh on this record, I like it, honest I do. However, the first album was so frenetic and the lyrics were so buried that maybe I didn't notice how silly some of the lyrics were. This one, there's no mistaking that there is a message that our leaders have no shame - "power doesn't run on nothing" brotha. Not that I'm against political songs but some of the lyrics just don't work. Then again, his heart is in the right place so I'm just going to shut up.
Mojave 3 - Puzzles Like You, 2006
This must be Mojave 3's rawk album. Not that it rocks per se but this ain't no wispy endeavour. Some good songs here. If you like all things Neil Halstead, you'll like this album. If you don't, I doubt you even are reading this paragraph.
Mento Madness: Motta's Jamaican Mento, 1951-1956, 2004
It is this kind of brilliant compilation that I would probably never buy myself. But when it is delivered to my doorstep, who am I to dislike it? Jamaican music from the 50's, fuck yeah, you know. I knew nothing about Mento music. The booklet mentions that many of these bands were promoted as calypso bands because that was what was hot at the time. Jamaican Queen at work heard this CD playing in my room last spring and immediately ordered one for her dad for Father's Day. She said she knew all of the songs and they all reminded her of her childhood. I adore Jamaican Queen. I didn't need any more reason to love this CD but got it I did.
Shonen Knife - O Genki Shock!, 2006
Shonen Knife - Burning Farm, 1983
Everyone's favorite Japanese girl band who loves the Ramones. I've heard them here and there over the years. I know I played a number of their songs on my college radio show years ago. Somehow I made it to 2006 before really listening to a full LP. I listened to the newest one first and loved it. I was told that if I liked that one, I was in for a treat by listening to the old ones.
Luckily SHR brought home a bunch. I started with one from 1983. I was not misled. What a fucking treat. I look forward to listening to more. The new one definitely doesn't seem like it is about to fall apart at any moment like Burning Farm and I like it for that. There is a place for both. Another band I can think of who was putting out records in 1983 and hail from Georgia, USA might want to take a tip from these fine ladies on how to age gracefully without being boring as all fuck.
Portastatic - Be Still Please, 2006
Sorry Hater Larry, but I really don't like Mac's latest efforts nearly as much as you but I am quite amused at how much you love them.
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Ballad of the Broken Seas, 2006
SHR pointed out that their voices really sound great together. But the songs just aren't that memorable. What a shame.
Serena Maneesh - Sereena Maneesh, 2006
Loud fucking band, man. I lent this CD to my boss. He liked it and namechecked a bunch of bands from the early to mid 90's that they sound like. But to be honest, all I really hear is My Bloody Valentine. Ok, maybe some Sonic Youth. And a whole hell of a lot more of My Bloody Valentine. It is kind of eerie. But fucking Kevin Shields himself can't carry the torch, somone has got to.
Brian Eno - Music For Airports, 1978
What is there to say? Pure brilliance.
The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth, 2006
Maybe Chris Larry was right. Maybe the Strokes do suck after all. No, I really liked their first record. And their second one wasn't too bad. But this one ain't so hot. Some of the songs are pretty good. But, for the most part, I'd rather just listen to their first record. And some of the "I'm asleep on stage" attitude seems to have completely seeped into the recording as well. Just because you boost the vocals a bit doesn't make the whole thing more exciting. The song "Fear of Sleep" might be the worst song I've heard all year by a band whose CD I listened to quite a bit. Plus the booklet suffers from major pretentiousness. Plus they have a song on here called "Ize of the World." Maybe I didn't like their second record at all. Maybe I don't like their first one. Do I?
Maybe Chris Larry was right.
Two other pieces of writing about the Strokes you should read.
Last Plane to Jakarta
My 2002 Music List, Skip to the Bottom
Actually Purchased by Me
Eric Bachmann - To the Races, 2006
Bachmann's first proper album under his own name. The whole feel is very 70's singer songwriter to me. The cover sets the tone - a picture of a bearded Bachmann in the woods. Archers of Loaf this sure is hell not. Even the Crooked Fingers albums had their very catchy kickass moments. To the Races is a departure even from that. Sparse and quiet this album. Just Bachmann, some piano, some cello, acoustic guitar, and wispy female backing vocals.
If the last Crooked Fingers album was a summer LP, this one is late autumn, the chill is coming type album. I wasn't that impressed when I saw him live in September at Bowery Ballroom. I do like the record quite a bit though. It is definitely not my favorite of his post Archers work, but I'm so enamored with all things Bachmann that I'll gladly take this. And there are some great moments on here. I think "Man 'O War is one of his best songs of recent years melodically even if it suffers from clunky lyrics at times.
Listen to "Man O'War"
The Kinks - Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneyground, Part One, 1970
One of the many concept records in a row that continued to confound audiences worldwide. Not that I have all of them but I have a few during this period. Some great songs on here and, of course, the big hit. I don't know why they weren't bigger during this time because the songs are so damn good. This probably should be in the Red Sticker Collection part of the writeup but I can't help it if SHR's copy was all scratched to hell so I bought it my own damn self.
Borrowed and Burned
The Beach Boys - Beach Boys' Party!, 1965
One of the silliest albums I've heard in awhile. Rushed to get a record out for Christmas, this is what the boyz produced. They went into the studio, got drunk and stoned, invited some girls over, and recorded some covers. In between each song, you can hear bottles rolling on the floor, giggling, arguing, and conversations. Then as soon as the songs start, it is all perfect harmonies and gloriousness. The cover of "The Times They Are A-Changin" gets me every time. Click on the link to listen. Thank you Alex J. for burning this for me.
Dinah Washington - What a Difference A Day Makes!, 1959
One of several CD's I took from my late grandfather's collection after he died. The rest were all Sinatra LP's. This album has some great songs on it from beginning to end. A perfect late night or early Sunday morning album. And the title track reminds me of Chungking Express so that makes me like it even more.
Frank Sinatra - Classic Sinatra: His Classic Performances: 1953 - 1960, 2000
They'll all here. The hits. The big ones. The songs in credit card commercials. And damn, if all of these songs don't smoke. One of a number of CD's from my grandfather's collection. He loved Sinatra. When I listen to Sinatra, I think of my grandfather.
Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm and Blues, 1945-1970, 2004
Jeremy gave this two CD collection for my birthday. There is some great stuff on here. Some classics like Arthur Alexander and Joe Tex and then a whole helluva lot that I've never heard before. I really can't get enough of this stuff. All of the stuff is either by a Nashville artist or was recorded in Nashville.
3 days ago