I bought music for the first time in around three years. I needed to binge--makes me feel part of the music buying and playing public. Here’s my review. Some of these CDs will show my rock n’ roll ignorance and how out of the loop I have been. Whatever, I yam what I yam.
Todd Rundgren, "A Wizard, A True Star"
If the Beach Boys sound like a "psychedelic barbershop quartet," so said Jimi Hendrix, then this record is like AM radio on LSD. That’s just crazy enough to work, sometimes.
Neutral Milk Hotel, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
I love "On Avery Island" and it took me a while to get to this record. I like Avery more. I toured with Neutral Milk Hotel once, when I was playing drums for Odes, also on Merge records--fronted by Rebecca Odes who was in Love Child with my brother. NMH were great, but too damn loud. I thought the same thing about the Flaming Lips, who I’ve seen once, sometimes in the late nineties, opening for Beck, I think. They were so loud you couldn’t hear a thing. Seemed to act counter to the music.
Sparklehorse, "Good Morning Spider"
I stayed away from Sparklehorse cause the band name sounded like a bunch of pretty indie-rock boys. My jealousy is blinding. Didn’t know it was basically a one-man band, which interests me.
Nirvana, "Sliver, the Best of the Box"
I’m too cheap to buy the box set. Great stuff on this. Especially, "Opinion," a song I have on an expensive, stupidly named bootleg called "Outcesticide." I play and sing it with lyrics I half wrote myself, until his "Journals" which included the lyrics. Also, "Do Re Mi," is great, recorded two weeks before he died. I noticed that he has a lot of songs with one word choruses. Didn’t notice that before.
How come nobody ever tells me to buy records like this? Also a songwriter with a drum machine. The first song is a perfect song.
Jim O’Rourke, "Eureka"
Thanks, Jim O’Rourke! My daughter picked up the CD with the picture of the rabbit sucking off the fat man and asked, "What’s the rabbit doing? What’s the rabbit doing?’ Sort of feels like a Brian Eno record, cept in the 90s and it doesn’t sound like Brian Eno.
The Kinks, "Preservation Act 1"
I’ve been going through a Kinks-fanatic period. Songs aren’t as good as Village Green or Arthur or Everybody’s in Showbiz, but the story’s better. Been working on my indie rock opera more and more so I like/need to listen to these ambitious/over-serious records.
Lou Barlow, "Emoh"
So earnest as to sometimes be uncomfortable. Sounds sort of like he listened to Beck’s "Sea Change" and wanted to make a more adult record with a deeper voice that doesn’t sound entirely like his old self. But it’s still LOU BARLOW.
Shows just how behind I’ve been, five years behind. Didn’t like it so much on first listen. Now do a lot. Like cleaner Pavement, but truth be told, the intentional sloppiness of Pavement sometimes bugged me. The last song, "Deado" might be the most beautiful song he’s ever recorded. A song to listen to over and over again, which I have.
Guided by Voices, "Under the Bushes, Under the Stars"
I wanted another GBV record. I remember listening to it with an ex-girlfriend. I like "Bee Thousand" and "Alien Lanes" more. There’s a pattern here. The records I didn’t own aren’t as good as the ones I already did.
The King of France
My friend’s band. Very great. Somewhere in the archives I wrote about recording with him in Vermont. He’s been singing songs in promos for MTV’s "Real World." I don’t have MTV so I haven’t seen them. Feel-good songs. My own songs ain’t. Hear songs HERE.
Believe it or not, all this didn’t cost me a lot of money. The Amazon Marketplace is an amazing thing. I’m expecting a few more: Roxy Music, "For Your Pleasure," Neil Young, "On the Beach," Broken Social Scene. I think I’m done for a while. Feels very good to be connected again and hear new music.
I have never heard the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Franz Ferdinand.
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