Monday, July 5, 2010

Stuff I Listened To Last Week – 5 July 2010

Every time I listen to a record, I leave it next to the stereo. On Monday, before I go back to work, I re-file them all. Below are the contents of this week's pile.


Black Moth Super RainbowEating Us

OOIOOArmonico Heva

David BowieLow, Heroes

The ByrdsThe Notorious Byrd Brothers

Elvis CostelloTrust

Brian EnoAmbient 1: Music For Airports

David Byrne-Brian EnoMy Life In the Bush Of Ghosts

Method Man & RedmanBlackout!

Charles Mingus At the Bohemia

The PopgunsLandslide 12"

Psychic IllsCatoptric

QuasiThe Sword Of God

Talking HeadsRemain In Light

U2The Unforgettable Fire

The Velvet Underground

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stuff I Listened To Last Week – 28 June 2010

Every time I listen to a record, I leave it next to the stereo. On Monday, before I go back to work, I re-file them all. Below are the contents of this week's pile. By the way, last weekend I was out of town.

The Beatles, The Alternate Revolver
Apparently there's a whole series of these Alternate bootlegs made up of outtakes of each track from a particular album. None of these are particularly revelatory, but as a Beatles fan, they're kind of all you've got. I mean, they quit touring in '66, so it's not like there's a near-infinite number of live bootlegs out there like you've got with the Dead, the Stones, Springsteen, etc. As for these versions? They're... not as good as the album, but interesting.

BlurModern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife

EnoAnother Green World
Credited only to "Eno", not "Brian Eno". As was all of his work in the early 70s, even the credits on the first couple of Roxy albums. The first one credited to "Brian" was... I can't remember, and I just read it in that bio I've been reading.

Fripp & EnoNo Pussyfooting
He also always takes the second credit on duo collaborations. Not something I read, something I noticed.


NachtmystiumAssassins: Black Meddle, Part I
That pun in the title sucks.

The Pretty ThingsS.F. Sorrow
How did I miss this one? I was way into 60s psychedelia in college and I never heard this record. How is this still flying under the radar to this day? Great record, by the way.

The RefusedThe Shape Of Punk To Come
This might be one of the most accurate album titles of all time. It really does sound like nothing else that came out at the time, but sounds exactly like tons of hardcore bands ten years later. It's fucking uncanny, one of those albums that basically single-handedly invented an entire subgenre. So how does it hold up? The riffs still kick ass, but the electronica interludes sound dated and really kill the momentum. Overall grade: B.

Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure
The most surprsing thing about listening to the first two Roxy records today is that the coolest moments are the extended guitar and sax solos. Not Ferry's songwriting, not Eno's synth shit, just the old-fashioned arena rock.

Sigur Ros()
This is either the best or worst album title of all time, but it's nothing in between.

Sonic YouthDirty [box set]
This remains (a) the most underrated Sonic LP, and (b) the best sellout album of all time. It sounds like contemporary grunge rock, they got Butch Vig to produce, but there's still some pretty harsh, uncompromising elements (the opening seconds, for instance).

I think it's one flaw has always been that it's too long. Not that there's bad songs or a lot of filler, but some great ideas get repeated more times than necessary. The box set sequence, which restores some outtakes, only exacerbates this problem, good as those outtakes are. One of the earliest examples of the CD age producing albums that are about ten minutes too long. Forty-five minutes was just right.

U2Achtung, Bbay
It baffles me that U2 haters (and there are, understandably, many) could actually listen to this masterpiece and not compromise their stance. Still fresh, possibly even better now than it was twenty years ago. Actually nineteen years; expect a 20th anniversary deluxe reissue next year about this time.

The Velvet UndergroundThe Quine Tapes [box set]
Yes A—, you're right, it costs too much. But it's the fucking Velvets, and it's awesome, and it's worth every penny, because it's twelve sides of vinyl and five of those sides are entirely "Sister Ray".

The Wedding PresentBrassneck EP
This is the one with the Pavement cover. Also their first time working with Albini.

Wierd Compilation Volume II: Analogue Electronic Music 2008
Not as jaw-droppingly awesome as Volume I, but what could be?