Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stuff I Listened To Last Week – 17 Oct 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.

The death of Kurt Cobain hit me pretty hard because it happened when I was still a teenager. But I think in hindsight the rock suicide that bums me out the most to this day is Richie Lee. I don't know anything about the guy, but it just seems so random.

Also, why isn't Mark Lightcap still making music? Most underrated guitarist ever that I can think of offhand right now.

Tim BuckleyHappy Sad

John ColtraneA Love Supreme
Can't beat those first few notes. As iconic an opening as "London Calling".

Bob DylanNashville Skyline

FailureFantastic Planet
I call bullshit on this one.

In a blog post on the Voice's website a few weeks ago, some writer listed ten alternative bands from the 90s that still haven't reunited, and included these guys. The name rang a bell, but I couldn't remember ever hearing their music. Apparently they were a space rock band.

So I looked up this album, reputed to be their masterpiece, and lo and behold, it was reissued on vinyl about six months ago. So I ordered it sight unseen.

A quick note in advance to any of this band's defenders who might be tempted to post a spirited flurry of you-don't-get-it-mans in the comment section: I did listen to it more than once. And it still stinks.

Who decided that this music is space rock? I've actually read that description in more than one place, and you have to be kidding me. There are a couple of points on the album when they just turn on all their guitar pedals for about a minute between songs, but otherwise this is just third-rate post-Nirvana also-ran grunge. Right down to the asinine non-sequiteur titles like "Sergeant Politeness" (so 90s, right?). And it blows. And they're from LA and sound like it.

I don't even think I would have liked this band when I was in college, and I fell for a lot of alt-rock crap back then. But even in those days I could tell that Dig stunk.

So fine, I got fooled by the hype. It happens. It's not gonna stop me from buying albums without hearing them first, that's just too much fun. I will not, however, be buying any further Failure LPs. And if anybody wants this one it's in like-new condition, only been played a few times.

Carole KingTapestry
The wife's stepmother was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually own a couple albums that she (a) has heard of and (b) likes.

Joanna NewsomHave One On Me
Still trying. I think I need to sit and listen to it start to finish with the lyric sheet.

She gave an interview to somebody a while back where she shit-talked a bunch of more mainstream acts. It was unexpected and pretty funny. She called Lady Gaga "Arty Spice", which I thought was a pretty good line.

Will OldhamJoya, Bonnie 'Prince' BillyI See a Darkness
I never realised how much I used to listen to it, but my copy of Darkness is worn out almost to the point of being unlistenable. I might need to get another copy for the sake of the title track alone.

Also, I file all of his albums under Oldham, despite the fact that I think Joya is the only one he's released under that name. Should they be under P? B? Separate? Definitely not separate.

Sigur Ròs()

SpiritualizedLet It Come Down
I may have mentioned this before, but I think this one is really J Spaceman's masterpiece. I know most people will say Ladies and Gentlemen, and certainly that's a fantastic album, but I think this one as has more assured songwriting and more confident arrangements. Really, there's not a low point anywhere on this record.

Neil YoungHarvest

Zola JesusThe Spoils, Valusia, LA Vampires Meets Zola Jesus
Yes, the new EP is in fact every bit as awesome as you thought I was going to say it is. She is just unstoppable right now. I think the next full-length blows up. Seriously.

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