So it has been a while since I've had much energy for this blog. Figured it's been about a year, so I should write an update that I continue to listen to music, old and new. I play in a band called Rapture Clause, which is fun. Build guitar pedals when I have time. Just finished a Tube Screamer clone and am almost done with three Klon Centaurs. Currently listening as of this moment: Guy Clark - Cold Dog Soup. Don't much feel like writing anymore, not just as a statement on the brevity of this blog post, but as an existential situation of how my life has changed. I don't read much these days, either, which is a shame. Just finished The Collected Stories of Bryce D'J Pancake, which was excellent and moving. I can think of a number of writers who are similar (Madison Smartt Bell leaps to mind), but I think Pancake's fiction came first. I have a large stack of books vying to be next. Maybe I'll drop back by before the year is out to update this again.
I do want to mention this series at the AV Club, which already, in its third installment, seems as bereft of ideas as I was at my nadir of my eight-year-long quest to listen to my entire music collection. There's no real wrestling with the music in this series, just a kind of perfunctory acceptance or rejection and reportage of same. My project was based on Noel Murray's similar run through his music collection in 2008, but Noel gave it an effort to listen and then decide. I also thought I should spend some time with each album before rating it or just deleting it, and I didn't even think much about the physical object of the CD or the record, but instead about the digital music. Modell's goal is different, but his decision-making process appears to be more reactionary than any sort of real consideration. The whole process is just a confirmation of his most conservative aesthetic tendencies, which is a conversation that would be deathly dull with even my most interesting friends, and Modell's tastes - which, to be clear, I often share - just aren't that interesting. Who knew that 40-something rock critic types love Belle & Sebastian and Bedhead? I mean, besides everyone.
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Thursday, June 25, 2015
I received an email from Don Harvey this morning with some links that you may very much enjoy. Per Dr. Harvey's instructions, download and disseminate widely and be sure to throw shame on anyone trying to charge for these.
Peter Laughner’s high school band, Mr. Charlie, was a real fun bunch of guys, and ahead of their time in many ways. Here’s a link to some high quality stereo recordings of five songs Mr. Charlie performed at Bayway, in Bay Village, Ohio, in August, 1969. Includes “Waiting for the Man” and “Ferryboat Bill”, and more. Feel free to download these files and enjoy. But please, don’t resell these in any form. More on Mr. Charlie can be found by googling “Those were different times” by Charlotte Pressler.
Part 1: http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/JbGuhwm9/file.html
Part 2: http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/IgifGPVA/file.html
The complete Ann Arbor Tapes are available for free download through the following link: http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/BI1A9TVM/file.html. It includes previously unreleased recording of "Fire Engine" and "Candy Say", in addition to Story of My Life, Blank Generation, Dead Letter Zone, Amphetamine, and Venus de Milo. Peter Laughner: guitar and vocals, Don Harvey: reed organ, bass and backup vocals on Candy Says. Enjoy, and spread the word to anyone you think would like them, just please don't sell them.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Teenage Fanclub - The King (1991). Uncharacteristically heavy-rockin' album from the indie pop maestros that was deleted on the same day it was released. It's actually really good, although it doesn't sound like Teenage Fanclub at all.
Thee Oh Sees - Dog Poison (2009), Singles Collection Vol. 1+2 (2008-11), Moon Sick EP (2013), Singles Collection Vol. 3 (2013), Drop (2014). These guys are so damn good. The last two of these are among the finest things they've done.
They Might Be Giants - Flood (1990) and Here Come The ABCs (2006). My wife and kids love TMBGs much more than I do.
Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak (1976) and Bad Reputation (1977). There's a certain critical consensus about the greatness of this band and these albums that led to me picking them up, but, y'know, while I like this music just fine, it's not a revelation to my ears or anything.
Richard and Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights (Rhino Homemade Edition) (1982). Because I cannot stop buying copies of this album for some odd reason.
Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats (1979). I'm have more interest in hearing the roots of electronica and industrial music than I have in actually listening to it.
Through The Sparks - Invisible Kids (2014). I've talking about how much I like this Birmingham, AL band before, but I think this is the best thing they've done, a slightly psychedelic take on 70s-era Laurel Canyon cocaine-rock.
Throwing Muses - Red Heaven (1992) and University (1995). I enjoyed these albums back in the day, but just recently got around to getting digital copies.
Tindersticks - Tindersticks (1993) and Tindersticks [II] (1995). I wish I had listened to these guys back in the day, but I didn't pick these up until recently. Just lovely chamber-pop that's absolutely besotted with Scott Walker's late-60s albums.
Toots and the Maytals - Toots In Memphis (1988). The reggae master mostly playing Memphis soul music.
Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die (1970), The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (1971), and Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory (1973). I liked these albums a lot when I was a teenager, so when my friend offered me copies, I said yes. And it was interesting hearing them again, especially in light of some of these musicians' later connection to the late-70s (read: lousy) Can albums. But I was overall kind of bored by them.
Sharon Van Etten - Are We There (2014). This was a great recommendation from a friend. I like this a ton.
Versus - The Stars Are Insane (1994) and Dead Leaves (1995). Versus was such a great band. I only saw them once, opening for Yo La Tengo, but they were on fire. Since some of their albums are out of print, I have a standing policy to pick up any used Versus albums I find.
Dean Wareham - Dean Wareham (2014). While Wareham has been sorta out from behind his bands with all of the Dean & Britta releases, this is the first time he doesn't even have his wife for a crutch, but he still rocks.
Doc Watson - Doc Watson (1964). Love these Doc Watson albums from the 60s.
The White Noise - An Electric Storm (1969). Experimental bands from the 60s may be great and may be terrible and sometimes are both on the same album, as this album proves.
Webb Wilder - Hybrid Vigor (1989) and Doo Dad (1991). Man, I had both of these on vinyl back in the 90s. Wonder what happened to those? Anyway, Wilder is a hoot, as always.
The Wondermints - The Wondermints (1996). These guys became Brian Wilson's backing band on the Pet Sounds and SMiLE reboots, and they sound like Wilson acolytes here.
Wooden Shjips - Back To Land (2013). Typically excellent release from these guys.
Wussy - Wussy (2009) and Attica (2014). Attica was my number one album for last year and Wussy, if I had owned it at the time, would have been my number one album for 2009, because I think it's even better. These guys are so fantastic, and I intend to keep building my collection of their work.
Dwight Yoakam - dwightyoakamacoustic.net (2000). Interesting all-acoustic re-recording of Yoakam's best songs. Makes a very strong argument for the strength of the man's work and legacy.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Continuing with the brevity in service of finishing this damn project for once and for all.
The Ramones - It's Alive (1979). Somehow playing the songs even faster gives them an extra edge of immediacy. One of the best live albums ever.
The Red Paintings - The Revolution Is Never Coming (2014). Very enjoyable album with the bombast of Titus Andronicus, but like that band, they never cross the line into bombast for its own sake.
Charlie Rich - The Complete Sun Masters (1958-62). The man was a genius from the very beginning.
Terry Riley - Copenhagen 1970 (with Don Cherry), Koln 1975 (with Don Cherry), Shri Camel (1980), and Songs for The Ten Voices Of The Two Prophets (1983). Although none of these are among my favorites of Riley's work, they all are quite interesting and full of surprises.
Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2 (2014). One of my favorite hip-hop albums of last year.
Doug Sahm/Sir Douglas Quintet - Together After Five (1970). Man, I love Sir Douglas's ability to blend Tejano and conjunto music with 60's garage and soul.
The Seldom Scene - Long Time... Seldom Scene (2013). I had thought this was going to be a career overview, but it's a new recording. Modern-day bluegrass generally sort of bores me with all of its infinitesimal variations on the same formula, but this album was very listenable due to the excellent song choices ("Hickory Wind" in particular) and the easy familiarity of the musicians with each other.
The Sex Clark Five - Strum & Drum (1987). By all rights this should be a stone classic in every music lover's collection. Garage, power pop, Southern jangle, and noise rock all swept up together.
Shudder To Think - Ten Spot (1990), Funeral At The Movies (1991), and Pony Express Record (1994). I had always heard that these guys were interesting, but I never confirmed this until recently.
Silkworm - L'ajre (1992). Those moments when these guys let loose and play some damn dramatic guitar are the best.
Silver Scooter - Orleans Parish (1999). From Austin's underappreciated power-pop underground.
Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (2014). Another favorite from last year. Simpson doesn't completely overhaul the formula, but he tweaks it in fascinating ways.
Sonic Youth - Confusion Is Sex (1983). Replacing a very old, worn-out cassette.
Regina Spektor - Soviet Kitsch (2004). Spektor can do no wrong.
Splitsville - The Complete Pet Soul (2001). There's a few good songs on here, but mostly I thought this was overmannered.
Spoon - They Want My Soul (2014). And another favorite from last year, one of the best Spoon albums in a long while. I may say the same thing with every release, though.
St. Vincent - Actor (2009), Strange Mercy (2011), Krokodil 7" (2012), 4AD Session EP (2012), and St. Vincent (2014). She's an amazing talent, and her increasing rock star status is well-deserved.
Sun Kil Moon - Benji (2014). This is such a weird album, a work of intense mystery. Mark Kozelek may be more confessional here than anyone has ever been, but he achieves it by throwing away line meter and rhyme and delivering the lyrics as if they were emerging fully-formed from his head. Which should be awful, but he somehow makes it work. I listened to this more than any other album last year.
Sun Ra - Other Planes Of There (1964). Another Sun Ra album to drink deeply from.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Further into the abyss.
Madness - One Step Beyond (1979). Most excellent ska.
Mastodon - Live At Brixton (2013) and Once More 'Round The Sun (2014). I like these, but I can't help but think about how I like how Baroness is doing basically the same thing, but better.
Melvins - The Crybaby (2000), Tres Cabrones (2013), and Hold It In (2014). All very fun. If I'd gotten to Hold It In in time, it would have been one of my top albums of 2014.
MF Doom/JJ Doom - Keys To The Kuffs (2012). As always, a very enjoyable album. Doom is the best.
Roger Miller - Roger And Out (1964). Roger's getting wacky!
The Minders - Hooray For Tuesday (1998). Pretty good Elephant Six-related psych-rock.
Juana Molina - Wed 21 (2013). Molina blew me away when I caught her on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, and now I want to hear everything.
Moonlight Towers - Like You Were Never There (2005). Found used in a store in LA. This is a band I like from Austin, although I felt quite ripped off when I heard them cover "Marquee Moon" at the Carousel one night. That's a Trouble Down South trick, poseurs!
Bob Mould - Beauty & Ruin (2014). I loved his last album, too. This was my favorite and most-repeat-listened album of the year.
The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth (2012). I like it and yet I'm not as moved as I used to be.
My Dad Is Dead - Out Of Sight Out Of Mind (2014 Remix) (1993) and Engine Of Commerce (2012 Remix) (2002). Mark's tinkerings with old albums sound phenomenal.
New Radiant Storm King - Hurricane Necklace (1996). Never listened to this guys back in the day, but I wish I had.
The Obsessed - The Church Within (1994). Wino! Heavy!
Roy Orbison - Sings Lonely And Blue (1961). Geez, the man could sing.
Pelican - Forever Becoming (2013). More Pelican is never a bad thing.
The Quintet - Complete Jazz At Massey Hall (1953). Bird in flight.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Burning on and on.
Bert Jansch - L.A. Turnaround (1974). Mr. Jansch in rare form. Includes "Needle of Death."
Jennyanykind - Mythic (1995), Big John's (1998), I Need You (2000), and Peas And Collards (2003). Killer Dylanesque Chapel Hill band that should have been bigger than they were.
The Kinks - Kinks (Deluxe Edition) (1964), Face To Face (Deluxe Edition) (1966), Something Else (Deluxe Edition) (1967), Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) (Deluxe Edition) (1969), Lola Versus Powerman And The Money-Go-Round, Part One Plus Percy (1970-71), Muswell Hillbillies (Deluxe Edition) (1971). Already had the big edition of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, so I needed to catch up with the others.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - I Talk With The Spirits (1964). Mr. Kirk kicking out the jams.
Kraftwerk - Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977), and The Man-Machine (1978). These are the 2009 remasters to replace/augment my original copies.
Fela Kuti - Live! (with Ginger Baker, 1971), Open & Close (1971), Why Black Man Day Suffer (1971), Na Poi (1972), Roforofo Fight (1972), Shakara (1972), Afrodisiac (1973), Alagbon Close (1973), Everything Scatter (1975), Kalakuta Show (1975), Excuse O (1976), Ikoyi Blindness (1976), Monkey Banana (1976), Upside Down (1976), Fear Not For Man (1977), Opposite People (1977), Sorrow, Tears and Blood (1977), Stalemate (1977), Unknown Soldier (1979), Authority Stealing (1980), Coffin For Head Of State (1980), I.T.T. (International Thief Thief) (1980), Music Of Many Colours (1980), Original Suffer-head (1981), Perambulator (1983), Army Arrangement (1985), Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense (1986), Beasts Of No Nation (1989), and O.D.O.O. (Overtake Don Overtake Overtake) (1989). This increases my Fela collection by about 10,000 percent, and it's still not enough!
Lambchop - Mr. M (2012). Another fine outing.
Led Zeppelin - In Through The Out Door (1979). I hold onto some teenage fondness for this album and quite a bit of embarrassment at its excesses.
Nick Lowe - Pinker And Prouder Than Previous (1988), The Old Magic (2011), and Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family (2013). The former is pretty-good-to-ok, the second is quite enjoyable, and the last is now an integral part of my holiday season.
Loretta Lynn - The Definitive Collection (1964-79). I had a few Lynn albums, but not enough of her hits.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Yeah, I'm going to keep rushing through this. Wouldn't you? Continuing with brief mentions of albums bought in the last year or so.
Tom T. Hall - Homecoming (1969). Oh, heck yeah. Hall's so much fun.
Mitch Hampton - Hard Listening (2014). This looks like a groovy jazz/funk album circa 1972, but it's more like an avant classical composition about listening to groovy jazz/funk albums circa 1972.
The Handsome Family - Through The Trees (1998) and Twilight (2001). Yeah, great songwriters.
Grant Hart - Good News For The Modern Man (1999). I love Hart's Husker Du songs so much, but his post-Du stuff leaves me a little cold.
Hartle Road - Hartle Road EP (2014). Top-notch Southern garage-soul band.
PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love (1995), Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (2000), and White Chalk (2007).
Hawkwind - In Search Of Space (1971) and Quark, Strangeness and Charm (1977). I like, but I do not love.
Levon Helm - Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977) and American Son (1980). A little bland without the rest of the Band.
Kristin Hersh - Hips and Makers (1994). Almost as good as the Throwing Muses albums she was making around this time.
Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks - Original Recordings (1969). Groovy.
High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis (2012). Super-enjoyable.
Robyn Hitchcock - Fegmania! (1985), Gotta Let This Hen Out! (1985), Globe Of Frogs (1988), Queen Elvis (1989), Eye (1990), Perspex Island (1991), Respect (1993), You & Oblivion (1995), and Moss Elixir (1996). Man, I never regret picking up more Hitchcock albums.
The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams (2014). My least-favorite Hold Steady release. Yawn.
Buddy Holly & The Crickets - The "Chirping" Crickets (1957). So damn great, so damn fun.
Patterson Hood - Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance (2012). Mr. Hood getting down-home and personal.
Husker Du - Land Speed Record (1980). Replacing a long-dead cassette.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Keepin' on truckin', minimal-style.
Dave Edmunds - Get It (1977) and Tracks On Wax 4 (1978). Yeah, this is great stuff.
Eleventh Dream Day - Lived To Tell (1991). Much love for this band, written about elsewhere on this blog.
Endless Boogie - Long Island (2013). I picked this up a long time ago and just now am getting around to mentioning it. But it's great stuff, in keeping with the other Endless Boogie albums.
Exuma - Exuma II (1970). Really, really good. A worthy successor to the first Exuma album.
Tav Falco - Sugarditch Revisited (1985) and Deep In The Shadows (1994). Much love for Mr. Falco, a true original.
The Firesign Theatre - The Giant Rat Of Sumatra (1974) and In The Next World, You're On Your Own (1975). Mostly harmless, sadly.
The Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action (1976), Now (1978), and Jumpin' In The Night (1979). Why have I never picked these up until now? Amazingly great.
Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record (2013). Continuing her evolution into a pop star circa 1977-88-99 or something like that.
Max Frost And The Troopers - Shape Of Things To Come (1968). Very enjoyable and coherent, especially considering that this wasn't a real band, but a collection of studio guys cashing in on the psych-garage fad.
Fucked Up - Glass Boys (Deluxe Version) (2014) and Year Of The Dragon (2014). I always think the most recent album is one of the best, and weirdly, I'm always right.
Game Theory - Blaze Of Glory (1982) and Distortion EP (1984). RIP, Mr. Miller.
Gene The Southern Child - Southern Meridian (2014). Free offering from [adult swim]. It's pretty good. Might even be priced a little low.
Allen Ginsberg - First Blues (1975). The sound of a genius fucking around.
Jay Gonzalez - Mess of Happiness (2012). Heavily power-poppy SoCal Laurel Canyon sound from the heavily talented Drive By Truckers guitarist.
Davy Graham - Folk, Blues, and Beyond... (1964). He's sort of the British Doc Watson, I think.
The Grateful Dead - Fillmore West 1969. I think I may be brain-damaged. This was thoroughly enjoyable at times, even though it is approximately 900 million hours long.
Guided By Voices - Sunfish Holy Breakfast EP (1996) and Live From Austin, TX (2007). The former is more enjoyable than the latter, but the latter sort of gets me all choked up.