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Friday, August 30, 2013

Shuffle-a-gogo: MP3 Player Random Fun

1. BREAKING CIRCUS - Home of the Brave (7" single) This somber Naked Raygun cover is really just Steve Björklund with a keyboard and drum machine. The fanzine came free with an issue of the Pope fanzine.

2. MAMAS & the PAPAS - That Kind of Girl (All the Leaves are Brown: Golden Era Collection) A peppy done-wrong song with big harmonies and wicked little fuzzy guitar solo.

3. FALCO - the Sound of Musik (extended rock & soul mix) (the Sound of Musik 12" 1986) - An absolutely ridiculous and over-the-top song that always makes me smile (and usually hit repeat). It's one of the rare songs that I have multiple mixes of on my MP3 player (in this case, three of them). This one clocks in at almost ten minutes and I'd be happy if it went on aanother ten minutes.

4. WILCO - Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again) (Summerteeth 1999) I like Wilco and recognize how incredibly talented they are, but Summerteeth is the only album of theirs that's ever in regular rotation for me.

5. JOAN JETT - NAG - (I Love Rock n Roll 1981) "Run down to the butcher shop and buy me a roast". Joan Jett has the absolute best taste in covers, as evidenced by this ripping fun cover of the Arthur Crier song.

6. AC/DC - Rocker (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 1976) He's a rocker AND a roller. Man.

7. the HITMEN - Private Eye (Aim for the Feet 1980) New wave pop with that sounds like it could be Graham Parker produced by Clive Langer. Without knowing the year it would be pretty easy to peg this a s a 1980 song based on the production alone.

8. the MOTHERS OF INVENTION - Any Way the Wind Blows (Freak Out 1966) One of my favorite record buying stories involves this record. One of my former co-workers was a young record buyer when this album first came out and he and his friend had heard good things about Zappa but neither of them could afford the double album. So they pooled their money together and bought the album, then tore it in half in front of the record store and each took their album and half of a cover to their respective homes. It was a few days later before they swapped copies, and both became big Zappa fans, but one of them always favored Zappa's shorter, silly songs and the other ended up preferring the longer, weirder pieces - which corresponded to the half of Freak Out that they each first went home with.

9. EUGENIUS - On the Breeze (Mary Queen of Scots 1994) This album would be in my top five of underrated albums of the 90's. Great big guitar pop.

10. CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG - Trick Pony (IRM 2009) Fantastic production from Beck really puts this album over the top.

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's, it's, a shuffle blitz! MP3 Shuffle-a-gogo

MP3 player set to shuffle. Let 'er rip!

1. SOCIAL DISTORTION - Ring of Fire (Social Distortion 1990) A million artists have covered this, but Mike Ness and company manage to nail it and make it seamlessly fit in with their originals.

2. TRIO - Broken Hearts For You and me (Trio 1981) - I get a little bummed when Trio get dismissed as a one song novelty band ("Da Da Da"), since they packed their short career with quite a few catchy songs.

3. the CLEAN - Big Soft Punch (Clean Anthology) "Big Soft Punch" was orignally released on 1990's Vehicle, which strangely was their first proper full length album recorded after their first reunion tour. New Zealand indie bands don't seem to follow the same rule book as American indie bands.

4. HELTER STUPID - Helter Stupid Prologue (Helter Stupid 1989) Negativeland didn't want to tour so they made up a story about being involved in a murder case, which the media picked up on. Negativeland took the news coverage and turned it into a fascinating album side of weirdness.

5. MICHAEL and the MESSENGERS - Romeo and Juliet (Nuggets box) A decent garage cover of the Reflections one hit, 1964's "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet".

6. BIG BOY PETE - the Treacle Dance (Homage to Catatonia 1966-69) Eccentric pop from a charming San Francisco weirdo. I was turned onto Big Boy Pete by Kelley Stoltz, who not only covered a BBP song when he opened for Echo & the Bunnymen, but went out of his way to praise him and urge people to pick up one of his records. I'm glad I took his advice.

7. AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill (Back in Black 1980) My shuffle has been on a BIG AC/DC kick the past week, which isn't a bad thing.

8. YOUTH BRIGADE - Blown Away (Sink With Kalifornia 1984) My first two concerts were the Who, but I'm pretty sure that my third show was Youth Brigade at a Sunday Night punk show at Cubby Bear.

9. FALLEN ANGELS - Bad Woman (Pebbles Volume 1) A great slab of garage from 1966.

10. the DARLING BUDS - Burst (Pop Said... 1988) This Welsh band weren't very original, but they sure did make some catchy guitar summer pop with stellar harmonies and big hooks.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My picks for the Slicing Up Eyeballs' Best of 86 Poll

Slicing Up Eyeballs has their Best "new wave/alternative" Albums of 1986 poll up. Some of my faves came out in 86, but there weren't as many albums I was passionate about compared to the previous polls. Looking through the ballot I realized that there were loads of half-great albums in 86 - records with a few all time favorite songs and then a bunch of filler or forgettable songs.

For the purpose of voting I stuck with what was on the ballot, so there aren't any write-ins (hence no Beasties, Run DMC, etc). Here are my picks in alph order:

  • Crowded House - Crowded House
  • The Godfathers - Hit By Hit
  • Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - Element of Light
  • Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey
  • Love and Rockets - Express
  • The Mighty Lemon Drops - Happy Head
  • R.E.M.. - Lifes Rich Pageant
  • Stan Ridgway - The Big Heat
  • They Might Be Giants - They Might Be Giants
  • XTC - Skylarking

Most of my picks are pretty standard college rock/CMJ staples. But I think this is about the point where I started listening to a lot more indie music and deliberately started shunning most of the 120 Minutes type artists. I'm really curious to see the 1987 ballot.