Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stuff I Listened To Last Week – 26 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. We've been out of town for the last couple of weekends, so this is really three abbreviated weeks' worth.

Cabaret VoltaireThe Crackdown
Some interesting ideas here, but man, those 80s drum machines sound so dated. Even after the nostalgic revival we were treated to just a few years ago they still leave an unmistakeable mark wherever they're used.

Cheap Trick

John ColtraneGiant Steps

Coltrane, Jaspar, Sulieman, YoungInterplay For 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors

Bob DylanBlonde On Blonde

Brian EnoAmbient 1: Music For Airports, Before and After Science
Eno struggled for over a year to complete Science, and considered it a major disappointment. He was refuted by the critics, who generally lauded it as yet another triumph for Eno. I think I side with Eno on this one; nothing particularly memorable here.

The Flaming LipsClouds Taste Metallic
The Flaming Lips considered this one something of a disappointment as well. Frontman Wayne Coyne in particular felt his lyrics were too whimsical. Here I disagree. The lyrics are... fine, the drumming, guitar sounds and vocal meodies terrific.


Mercury RevDeserter's Songs
When it's time to feed our daughters one last time and get ready to put them to bed, the wife always insists that we dim the lights and put on quieter music to get them in a bedtime mood. Usually this means an awful CD of synthesized xylophones programmed to ruin Pixies songs, which the wife likes and assures me that the girls enjoy as well. This is because she's quite convinced that the girls' tastes in music match hers exactly, and that most of Daddy's music is too loud and/or annoying. In an effort to avoid having to once more suffer through the ritual castration of "Debaser" by digital glockenspiels, I'm constantly trying to come up with quiet music from the Shelf that we all might enjoy together. Deserter's has been a (quietly) roaring success on this front.

Great Moments With Charles Mingus
The collectors' desire for things like original pressings has always eluded me. I have no problem with cheapo reissues, as long as I get the music. This has been a spot of good luck as far as my fanhood of Mingus goes, as I have managed to gather no less than three dubious double-LP compilations which consist of little more than two whole albums repackaged as one under a new title, cheaply priced to bilk the unenlightened. Thus I now own the seminal Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and Mingusx5 albums in one convenient package with a 7.99 price tag still affixed to the cover. An original press of either of this albums alone can rarely be found for less than triple that price, but who wants a shitty reissue version? This guy, that's who.

Pink FloydA Nice Pair
See above. First two Floyd albums in one convenient package, and with tasteless cover art to boot. Not quite as great a bargain at 19.99, but still cheaper than both albums individually.

Sounds significantly better with loud guitars and screamed vocals, since you asked.

The Residents Present the Third Reich 'n Roll

The Rolling StonesAftermath

Phil ManzaneraDiamond Head
Seemingly out of alphabetical order because he's getting filed with the Roxy Music LPs. Sorry Phil, but you'll always be the dude from Roxy. Not like Eno.


Sigur RosAgætis Byrjun, ()
More ammo in the war against digital xylophones.

SpiritualizedLazer Guided Melodies
Why yes, the Ladies and Gentlemen show on Friday was fantastic.

St. EtienneOnly Love Can Break Your Heart 12"

Steely DanCan't Buy a Thrill

SuperchunkNo Pocky For Kitty

T. RexThe Slider

Talking HeadsFear Of Music

U2War, Under a Blood Red Sky

Neil Young & Crazy HorseZuma, Live At the Fillmore East
It kind of pisses me off how Young's constantly extolling the virtues of analogue recording and vynil LPs, then turns around and charges $32 for single albums. Screw you, Neil. Thankfully I picked up Fillmore on sale, so it was still expensive but at least within the realm of reasonable. $20, maybe? It was a good sale.

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