Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I've got about 50 that I jotted down - the list is at home though. I either like or love all of the records already proposed, and a number of them would make my (in particular Costello, Smiths, Strokes), so for now I'll put a quick list of ones I either (a) absolutely love to death that have been mentioned but I've got to echo or (b) great openers that haven't been. Also with an eye towards some representation per decade, despite the obvious tilt toward the sixties. The other thing I tend to exclude just instinctively (though not fairly) is an artist whose first record while great was signficantly bettered (in my opinion) by later records.
The Byrds - Tambourine Man (maybe my number one). Simply sublime, created a genre of music that's still going strong (anyone like a little jangle and harmony in their pop?)
The Doors - unbelievable record that still sounds completely unique.
Velvet Undergound and Nico - ditto comments for the Doors, though this record I love with a white (though appropriately nihilistic and cynical) hot passion. Maybe the most influential "indy" record of all time.
Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks. It brought punk to the masses. Plus it's filled with great songs.
The Cars - Wow. Never had a band sounded anything like this. New wave hits the big time.
REM - Murmur - among all of their great records of the eighties this is the best. Defined the college scene.
Pearl Jam - 10. Hasn't necessarily aged well for me, but was so crucial at the time.Weezer - note the connection to Rik Ocasek (yes, this one sounds unbelievable too). I knew the 90's was for real when the music on the charts sounded this good. So much crunch, wit, and angst all blended together.
And in terms of artists that looked great and then (more or less) fizzled, Oasis is a great chioce. The Strokes is another one. Tracey Chapman comes to mind, as do the Cars. There are many others which I will add tonight.
Two more questions:
(1) Anyone have the balls to say "here is the greatest debut"? (2) as a flip side question, which bands do you think reached the highest heights despite middling or just plain bad starts? (3) Finally, where is Derek? Still out at Betty's maybe.
The other album that leaps to mind (and is also a strong candidate for the false hopes category) is Rickie Lee Jones' first album. I listened to that one just the other day, and I still think it's great. According to AMG, she did releaese some impressive stuff later in her career, but I think she's flitted between genres to the extent that she has been lost in the mix.
And while I'm at it, two more debut albums that I really loved were Crowded House and the Bodeans' Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams. But I don't expect that either of those albums garnered enough critical acclaim to appear on any definitive lists.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
the band-music at big pink
costello-my aim is true
nick drake-5 leaves
kate bush-the kick inside
jackson brown-self titled
next i will try and list some new purchases that the artist has yet to build on...
to try to predict who will make it...this is obviously more difficult
As to the first ?, how about:
"Slanted and Enchanted" - Pavement
"Funeral" - Arcade Fire
"The Stone Roses" - The Stone Roses
"The Smiths" - The Smiths
"Is This It?" - The Strokes
"The Velvet Underground and Nico (banana) - Velvet Underground
"Unknown Pleasures" - Joy Division
"Surfer Rosa/Come On, Pilgrim" - The Pixies
"Murmur" - R.E.M.
"Debut" - Bjork
Monday, April 26, 2010
Re the Dylan, I'll confess my multi tasking was somewhat limited - I think I managed to read four of Wallace Stevens' shorter poems in two hours. Just to end the suspense that's been killign you all for the past week, the album I was listening to was Bringing it all Back Home, which I've always thought of as a transitional album (ie from folky Bob to blues rocky Bob) but actually the blend that's on that record is fantastic. Some of his best (or my favourite anyway) material - Tambo Man, It's All Over Now, Subterranean Homesick, It's Alright Ma - and then some songs that fly below the radar that are amazing - like She Belongs to Me, Love Minus Zero. What a great record.
Up until last Tuesday I would have said, fairly reflexively, that this was my favourite Dylan record. It probably still is. For me Blonde on Blonde doesn't quite compare song for song, though it has a some great tracks, and perhaps as importantly, it is a little bit "more of the same", stylistically, whereas 61 was Dylan as a rocker, full bore, for the first time. Both are great records. I do really like Blood on the Tracks, but it's the sixties Dylan that really works for me, and Blood is more of a return to form than him at his peeak, in my opinion.
The other record that I would put forward is The Freewheelin' Bob, which is one of the great folk records of all time, wouldn't you say? Mr. Mercer, enough silence from you on this.
And speaking of VU and Derek, we had beers at Betty's last night (always a fruitful combination for blog topics) and discussed the following two (related) topics:
- what is the greatest debut album of all time? Tough one I know....More manageably, which ten make it into the pantheon?
- and secondly (could be the same bands), which bands are the best examples of having enormous promise based on the first (or first few) releases only to end up as relatively minor contributors to music history? Which current bands are in danger of joining that group?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
And yeah, I'm a bit of a mutlitasker myself, listening to music while reading quite a bit of time, but I find it difficult to read and listen to anything with lyrics, let alone Dylan. What were you thinking, Herr Doyle? I suspect you were also smoking a gauloise and wearing a beret.
I would have to say the dylan question, thats a tough choice....but for me it would have to be blood on the tracks...because it is flawless, and I seem to need to listen to it regularly
.having recently listened to hwy 61 all the way through on a car trip , it would be very close...
that album while almost reaching perfection, still has a few weak moments, (though you may disagree)...... blond on blond maybe tied with it for second...
6 others would tie for 3rd...
Nashville skyline would be in there as a heavily under rated album...along with desire, john wesley harding , another side of , oh mercy, and bringing it all back home....
something like that anyways...
Friday, April 16, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I am very much struggling to absorb the amount of music I purchase on a monthly basis, which, as you astutely surmise, includes not just the 90 emusic downloads (say, 6 albums conservatively), but two or three other albums either purchased through itunes or on disc. Add to the fact that I have music on both my home and work computers, that the hard drive on the former, which houses my music collection in its entirety, is quickly exceeding capacity, that my 60gb ipod can't contain all the songs so it contains an ever-shifting variety of new and old music, none of which ever seems to contain either the older song I want to hear at a given time or a newer album I've recently downloaded and haven't yet transferred (often due to lack of space on the ipod), and that my iphone, which is even smaller in size and syncs only with my work laptop, which holds only a fraction of the music I download, is usually the only player I carry with me on the road, which is where I get most of my listening time in, and well, you get a sense of the difficulties I'm having in, as you put it, reconcilling the vast quantities of music at my disposal with my limited amount of time to appreciate it.
Having said that, I'm loathe to give up my grandfathered-in, extremely generous 90 d/ls for $24 per month or 1,080 tracks per year or 72+ albums (at a conservative 15 tracks per album average, more if you consider that many of the discs are closer to 12 tracks per) for $288 or just under $4/album. And as you also noted, there are many artists who aren't available on emusic in Canada, which forces me elsewhere if I want to purchase that music.
So, while I'm unwilling to get off the 'grab as much music as I can' merry-go-round, I also don't have time to get in those minimum 3-5 listens per album that Mike suggests, and with which I'll wholeheartedly agree, are required to really understand an album.
The way I see it, my options at this point are:
- reduce my downloads and/or quit emusic and limit my consumption to that which I can actually consume [chance of short term adoption: 5%]
- come up with a better system for evaluating new music that ensures I devote enough time to the new stuff to properly grasp/understand/love/loathe it [chance of short term adoption: 5%]
- resign myself to the fact that i may not get around to listening to all the new stuff and that it may sit on my hard drive untouched and unloved, like so many plastic wrapped discs sitting on a shelf in Derek's apartment, where, like a fine wine (bringing the post full circle now to your original vino-themed opening), it will age gracefully, waiting for that perfect day to be opened and either savoured with gusto or spat out like the oxidized, trichloroanisole-tainted plonk it has revealed itself to be [chance of short term adoption: 90%]
I'm open to other suggestions, and, as always, to wine recommendations.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
i am closing in on the end of a bottle of 2005 Maleatis red wine from greece that i bought a year or 2 ago and I am quite loving it... not knowing anything (at all really) about greek wine , I bought it (like a good little tourist) because it has a silver medal sticker , was almost sold out, and was only 20 bucks.... I checked online after enjotying it so much to find nothing much on it. This made me think that maybe wines are similar to music (or art in general) that there is much good stuff out there that generally goes un-noticed (except locally w the greek wine medal), so the real game is to find this good stuff at very reasonable prices...I wonder how much sucsess you lot have at this game??? It is certainly hit and miss for me, but tonight I got lucky...My segue (sp??) to topic two may be weak but the happily arrived at state of bliss from the wine , and listening to a wonderfull (if self laudatory) playlist of old and new music which I am made a while ago made me think of a topic I discussed w Derek last week regarding (of course) music....
Currently I have only a 30 song a month emusic subscription...pardon me while I refil my glass...........................................................................................................................................................................
but i also buy about 3 cds a month because a lot of good music is a little larger than emusic can get the rights to....Really if all you are buying is emusic you dont get out enough...
So I am trying to process at the very least 1.5 cds a week of new music... Now I listen to pretty well everything I have ever purchased, so as I age the math becomes problematic...ie at a certain age I can no longer listen to some music because I have too dammn much of it... Also, the stuff I really love ( say belle and sebastian for egample) I listen too almost bi-weekly, and there are a bunch of bands like them that I listen to so much its ...well...absurd... Bob Dylan, DEcemberists to name 2......so this brings me to my first point..
-Sorry kyle but you are in my line of sight here.... you have ( last we spoke ) a 90 song selection, add that to what you buy on cd, ( since you must do that) ....there must be tons of music that gets lost to you, or else you dont repeat listen much ( I really doubt that) or else you dont go back and listen to stuff you liked in the past but now find dated, ( I doubt that too because you like 80's stuff so much..( a fault I am ready to overlook)..
so my question is ( unfortunately using Kyle as the bait) ..
How does a music lover reconcille the vast quantities of music at our dispersal... How do we decipher what is good form average because a lot of stuff we all agree is great we only teally understand after repeated listenings....
In short I propose that a better stategy may be to buy less... be more disciminate... and listen more to the fewer purchases...perhaps play it safe and listen more to those dreaded biases unoriginal music critics...
damn I dont know the answer, but it is worth pondering
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
My issue, in the form of a rhetorical question: How many motherfucking times does a motherfucking obscure indie band from the late 80s/early 90s have to motherfucking reissue their motherfucking music? Given they reissued their sum total 3 studio albums a decade ago, as well as a box set of music in mid-1997, then a rarities disc from the box set separately a few years after that, plus the requisite Peel Sessions disc, doesn't a third decade on reissue of all three albums seem a tad motherfucking excessive?
Any other 'too many trips to the well' examples you can conjure up/muster enough outrage to curse about?