Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stuff I Listened To Last Week – 6 Feb 2011

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.

Dinosaur Jr.Beyond

Dirty ThreeShe Has No Strings Apollo
I remembered this one being not so great, but I had never listened to it much, so I pulled it out. Yeah, not that great. The songs don't really go anywhere, and a lot of the performances just feel really uninspired.

Explosions In the SkyThe Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
The new one comes out in April, and I've got high hopes even though the last one was kinda weak. This one remains their masterpiece, the only one on which they found their own sound and mined it for all it was worth.

Guided By VoicesCrying Your Knife Away
Where the fuck is Mike Hummel?

Jimi HendrixThe Cry Of Love
The frustrating thing about Hendrix is that his best work was the stuff he really worked over in the studio, adding layer after layer of psychedelic effects. The outtakes just don't cut it because, after you've listened to Ladyland enough times (properly altered), everything else just sounds unfinished.

Iron MaidenPowerslave, Somewhere In Time
So the other night after the Super Bowl party B— and his new girlfriend Br— stuck around late after the game to rip a few more beers before hitting the road. At one point someone asked the time and I looked at my watch and it said 23:58 so I said, "Almost midnight. Two minutes to midnight, actually." Then I realised what I'd just said and was like, "Yo, do we need to listen to "Two Minutes To Midnight" by Maiden right now?" and Br— was like "Hell yeah." So I ran down and grabbed Somewhere, ran back up and realised it was the wrong record, then ran back down and grabbed Powerslave and we rocked out. The next day, since I'd already brought it up anyway, I listened to Somewhere while tidying the house.

Maiden rules.

Kool KeithMatthew
Keith must have been going through some really bad shit with his label when he made this one, because all the lyrics are really pissed-off rants about the music industry. But whereas the similar stuff on First Come is much funnier, here he just sounds angry. Decent record, but the attitude kinda wears you out as a listener.

KyussWelcome To Sky Valley
P— and I were talking about this record at work the other day, and we agreed that it transcends love of the band or even genre: every household really needs to have a copy of Sky Valley. It's just necessary.

Lightning BoltHypermagic Mountain
Probably the weakest Bolt record (although I've never heard the first one with the vocalist from Black Dice), and it's still pretty strong. Are these guys even capable of making a bad record?

Led Zeppelin[runes], aka IV
I went to see Green Hornet in 3D the other day. Yeah, yeah, I know. Is being a Gondry completist a valid excuse? Anyway, after the regular trailers the screen told me to put on my glasses and then they showed the 3D trailers. The first one was for some weird teenage-chicks-kicking-fantasy-monster-ass movie called Sucker Punch, and the trailer opened with "When the Levee Breaks". Then the next two were for Thor and something else I can't remember, and they both had an "original" score that was clearly written to sound like "Kashmir" without having to pay rights. Don't know what this means, really.

Some great songs on this album, but too much filler for it to really be their best.

Meat Puppets"Huevos", Monsters
I know the first couple Pups records are supposed to be the keepers, but I think these two are awesome. Monsters in particular is wildly underrated; so many great tracks on here.

Do you think the quotation marks in the title of "Huevos" are an intentional reference to Bowie's "Heroes"?

Charles MingusNew Tijuana Moods

Still haven't picked up the Big Boi record yet. Yet.

Pink FloydA Nice Pair
Cheapo repackaging of their first two records, complete with naughty cover art to complete the titular pun. I just got a copy of Clinton Heylin's book about Sgt. Pepper's in which he apparently argues that Piper is more historically important that Pepper's. Looking forward to reading it. I really like the contrarian revisionist streak Heylin's been mining recently. Check out Babylon's Burning to see what aspects of accepted punk history he thinks are bullshit. Long, but a good read.

SparksNo. 1 In Heaven
I went through a phase a few years ago where I was listening to this record obsessively, several times a day, back to back to back. Completely addictive record. I love that these guys didn't just a make a token disco record, they went through a several-album-long disco phase.

The Stone Roses

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