I know I said no posting for a while. But… I am a simple girl with simple pleasures. Skippy on vinyl. One more must have record down. I wish it was the original Columbia recording instead of the Sundaze re-release, but I like my kidneys.
I started writing this before all the hell of November began, so I decided to finish it. I’ll write the 2016 year-end stuff next month and then that’s it until I find some sort of joy or purpose. When I discussed Skip Spence’s exquisite and underappreciated OAR, I mentioned a fondness for the broken and lost geniuses … More Soundtrack of my Life: “War In Peace” by Skip Spence
Sly Stone was a genius. Is a genius. A one time drug addled platinum mohawked genius. But a genius none the less. A funkified, soulful genius with the ability to make me dance in a spontaneous way. I wanna take you higher, and all that jazz. Sly came to me late in life after Arrested Development … More The Album List: # 191 Sly and the Family Stone “Stand!”
The idea that electronic music is a recent invention of celebrity DJs or as an off-shoot of hip hop is false. Electronic music pre-dates the second world war, and thrived in post-war Europe, where artists like Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer created the blueprint of modern avant-garde music. It’s no accident countries like France, Germany, … More The Album List: # 192 The Avalanches “Since I Left You”
If my list tends to skew 1980s pop at moments, it’s because I grew up in the 1980s with little more than a boom box where I ripped hundreds of hours of radio, plus several episodes of Video Hits (my boom box had a built-in mic. Yes, I did pretend to be a DJ like … More The Album List: # 200 Simple Minds “New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84”
I don’t think the Kinks get enough credit. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Beatles blah blah whatever. I still think the Kinks were better. People I love think I say that to just cause an argument. I don’t. I genuinely believe it. I think the Kinks are a better band than the Beatles. Please send hate … More The Album List #1: The Kinks “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society”
Few things on this earth are guaranteed. Death. Taxes. The fact that Starbuck Caffe mochas will always taste better with full fat milk instead of no-fat milk. The only thing more sure than those three things is that I love the Clash. There is only one band I love more than the Clash. But that … More The Album List #2: The Clash “London Calling”
The year: 1991. The place: Manhattan. I think. Somewhere in New York City, at the very least. The sitch: Spin magazine releases their year-end issue. It’s the issue with all the lists about what’s awesome and what wasn’t so awesome. This particular list caused a stir, though, because of what was number one. 1991 was … More The Album List #3: Teenage Fanclub “Bandwagonesque”
My politics were shaped as much by the music I heard as a teenager as the life experience I have suffered through. I’m a left-wing Nutter, if you haven’t clued in, and quite proud of it, thankyouverymuch. Yeah, whatever, bite me. I grew up with conservative, religious parents who were dismayed by my leftist world … More The Album List #4: Billy Bragg “Talking With the Taxman About Poetry”
My love for the Manchester quartet knows no bounds. Everyone has those bands that implode but you remain devoted to simply because they were so very important to you when you were thirteen. I’ve listed about a dozen of them on this list alone. But the Smiths were special. They were always so very special.
Picking one Elvis Costello record from the reams and reams of worthy Elvis Costello records should have been a nightmare. But it wasn’t. King of America has always been my favourite album by the awesome and brilliant Declan MacManus. There was never any question in my mind it would be on this list, and that it … More The Album List #6: Elvis Costello “King Of America”
Radiohead went from being Britpop runner ups to unequivocal geniuses in three albums. Talk about ambitious.
I’m still recovering from the September announcement of R.E.M.’s end. They were hugely important to me in my life, and even though I know they made the right decision, I’m still trying to get my head around the idea that there will be no more R.E.M. I have every album. This is the one that … More The Album List #8: R.E.M. “Fables of the Reconstruction”
It really comes down to one thing and one thing only. He’s John Lennon. You are not.
I am probably the only Manic Street Preachers fan in all of North America. I am devoted. 164 songs on my iTunes devoted- only a few bands top them in sheer volume. They are a band with a bit of a sad history, having lost member Richey Edwards a couple of years into their successful … More The Album List #10: Manic Street Preachers “This Is My Truth Tell me Yours”
I listen too much music. But even those of us who listen to a lot of music sometimes miss amazing records, usually debuts, from small labels simply because most people want to hear about how much Britney Spears’ album sucked ass. The problems with music criticism is the increasing need to draw in eyeballs ( … More The Album List #11: Arcade Fire “Funeral”
Love is a mysterious thing. It strikes you down, consumes you, eats you from the inside out. When you just cannot take one more second of it…
Bruce Springsteen playing “Born To Run” is pretty much as holy roller as my life gets. Music is my heart and soul, after all. A song like “Born To Run” is the greatest hymn for those who think that, with its grandiose wall of sound production, insane Clarence Clemons solo, and of course, lyrics about cars … More The Album List #13: Bruce Springsteen “Born To Run”
Yes, Parklife would probably be the one you own, if you happened to be a person from the nineties with a modicum of taste. Blur never made a huge impact over in America ( they fared slightly better in Canada), and they never had the breakthrough Oasis had with “Wonderwall”. In the eternal battle for rock … More The Album List #14: Blur “Blur”
One of the greatest songs ever written about loving music was written by one Ted Leo. A spry, punkish tribute to ska, the lyrics drip with references to the Rude Boy era of British music, particularly the perfection that were the Specials. It has the benefit of being one of the greatest songs ever written, … More The Album List #15: The Specials “The Specials”
There are just some artists you know you should drop from the discussion. I did it with the Beatles. But Bob Dylan is so important to me I couldn’t cut him with the big 5. And this album is just so magnificent I had to put it on my list. It really is an arbitrary … More The Album List #16: Bob Dylan “Bringing It All Back Home”
The Ramones are the be all and end all of punk rock. Everything that comes after is punk rock mixed with something else. The Clash used ska and reggae. The Sex Pistols were a glorified boy band. Blondie was disco, Television was arty, the New York Dolls were an excellent drag act, the Adverts could … More The Album List #17: The Buzzcocks “Singles Going Steady”
Rock history is littered with perfectionist geniuses. Brian Wilson comes to mind immediately. But Kevin Shields, the mastermind behind My Bloody Valentine, holds a special place in the hearts and minds of music fans. Because he nearly ended Alan McGee. McGee founded Creation Records. A crucial label in 1980s Brit indie music, he signed MBV … More The Album List #18: My Bloody Valentine “Loveless”
The pianist in me wants to be amongst the greatest jazz pianists. Peterson, Baisie, Carmichael, Corea, Dearie, Ellington, Gershwin, Hines, Henderson, Jobim, Ibrahim, Legrand, Monk, Mingus, Strayhorn, Tatum, Toussaint, Waller- these are just the ones who have albums sitting in my Sunday morning jazz playing queue. But I always save a special place every Sunday … More The Album List # 19: Dave Brubeck Quartet “Time Out”
One of the best things about the recent OWS protest in Zuccotti Park was that Jeff Mangum, NMH’s erstwhile leader, played music. In the twelve years since the band famously just stopped, Jeff has been a mercurial creature. Recent activity might indicate a future for the brilliant man to come back to. He curated ATP … More The Album List #20: Neutral Milk Hotel “In The Aeroplane Over the Sea”
Hip hop and I were born around the same time. We grew up together. We once trawled disco beats before discovering life was hard and listening to new music that felt as alienated and angry as we were. There were moments of sweetness, moments of pain, and a lot of fantastic music. But it wasn’t … More The Album List #21: Jay-Z “The Black Album”