The Living Room
#61 Crap. Fallen behind again. This time I blame it on Last.fm. So much to listen to…
Pyramid - Sleep In
An interesting space-rock journey by a bedroom producer. Cool stuff, but occasionally gets in its own way with over-dubbing. Reminds me a lot of Hawkwind or Can.
Queen Elvis - Robyn Hitchcock
Melody driven absurdity that wallows in cleverness. Don’t get me wrong, this album is a classic, but sometimes Robyn is hard to take. Good word-psychedliac pop. Saw him at Bumbershoot *gasp* almost 20 years ago. He talked A LOT.
Queens of the Stone Age - Queens of the Stone Age
I like this album. Not sure why I didn’t get sucked into it when it was released. Must have been doing something else. Good, heavy riff-city. Simple, but good simple.
Rarities, B-Sides and Sad Waltzes - Cowboy Junkies
If you like the CJs, you can’t really miss here. I would like Margot to sing me lullabies. Sweet, sweet music. This is the way country music should be.
Rather Ripped - Sonic Youth
More melody and less punk here. I think SY have figured out that creating anger is exhausting, and as you get older, you can get less angry. This album seems really produced, for better or worse. There is some beautiful work in here. Check out “Tourquioise Boy” - Kim Gordon sort of plays Thurston Moore crooner on this one, and it is sexy. Not to worry, I still think Thurston is hot.
Real Estate - Real Estate
Hey, let’s slow everything down here. I would call this mope-based whimsy. Really nice western twang guitar (“Black Lake”) over echo-ey rock. These guys aren’t sad, really as much as out of focus. The garage-esque production of this slow psychedelia make it feel urgent and earnest. Great stuff.
Realism - The Magnetic Fields
I really wanted to be swept away by this album (based on past experience with 69 Love Songs), but I wasn’t. Not sure why. Consummate quirky musicianship is intact here, but something about it didn’t catch me. I am going to chalk this up to my mindstate while listening (probably arguing with a developer over how many pixels should be between textfields in a form or some such thing). I will go back to this when I have a change in listening context. Can’t write it off just yet.
Reggatta De Blanc - The Police
I have been fed The Police via greatest hits collections and radio staples for most of my life. Listening to a whole album was an interesting experience. I can’t say it was all good. I like slower, bass-drenched reggae. I didn’t fully understand that The Police often traffic in fast, transient-heavy percussive reggae. Huh. The rave ups like “I’ts Alright For You” were done better by Devo. Some surprises were here though, like the title track “Regatta De Blanc”. All in all it was OK. It is always good to know your music history though. This is an important album.
Remixes I + II - MSTRKRFT
I can take about 4 songs before being too exhausted to listen to any more. I feel like these try to “take you there” in the first 2 measures and try to “keep you there” for the duration of the song. I could see this in a dj set, but as a sit-down-and-listen experience, I felt it was just too much much. It is a remix couple of albums, so I can’t really judge it as a well thought out collection. Not bad, but you really have to be in the mood.
Replicas Rubato - Piano Interpretations of Gary Numan
Big echo-drenched piano by Terre Thaemlitz’ alter ego, noodling around Gary Numan songs. You would be hard pressed to recognize any of the songs. More of a homage and departure point. Gorgeous sound on the piano. This is good music to make art to. Would be good for staring out the window at a storm too.
Return to Olympus - Malfunkshun
Concept album by Andy Wood (and his brother) with a host of pre-grunge grunge royalty contributors. Andy Wood’s history is tragic and dramatic. This album is an interesting pre-Mother Love Bone collection. Sort of proggy. Some of the balads sound straight out of Guns N Roses songbook. An interesting artifiact.
A Return to the Inner Experience - Sky Cries Mary
2am or there abouts walking around The Evergreen State College with my girlfriend (later wife), we both see, at the same time, this poster that just vibrates. It is a music flyer that is somewhat cryptic. Didn’t pay attention to the dates, or really pursue the artist it was advertising. The flyer was just cool. Really cool. Fast forward a couple of years or so…we travel from Oly to Seattle for a rave. This is just post college, so maybe 1993/4. Rave is in a weird warehouse space on West Marginal Way (unbeknownst to us we would later buy a house near there). There are two bands we had never seen, starting at dusk. First band up, !Tchkung!. Minds blown. Seriously. Wow. Still amped from that revelation/amazement we wait in anticipation for the next band. We were chatting with a friend of a friend who was doing visuals at the time, from a makeshift platform. Turns out he was doing visuals for the band SCM. We end up watching, what would be a seriously transforming performance (for me at least). It was, at one time, the culmination of all my loves - space rock, crowd participation and theater in one spot. “A Return…” is their first full length album, and in my heart, the best. My favorite tracks are “Rain”, “Bus to Gate 23” and “Rosaleen”. Great, great stuff and good memories.
Revolver - The Beatles
Not sure what to say. Listen to the new stereo re-masters and marvel at this album. So many great musical ideas on this album. This is my second favorite Beatles album (behind the perfect Sgt Pepper’s).
Ritual de lo Habitual - Jane’s Addiction
I listened to this heavily during the summer of 1992. I had just graduated from college and Toni and I were renting this house on the W. Side of Oly. The album is good, but one song, “Three Days” truly transcends. I mean that song defines EPIC. Slow, sensual build up to a frenzied, blissful end. *Ahem*. That song will always remind me of that time in the hot Olympia sun.
Robbin’ the Hood - Sublime
If you like Sublime, you will dig this. It is an odd collection of musical ideas that never saw the light of day on an album. Bradley’s voice was so damn good. Soulful, strong and honest. Added bonus are the weird epithet filled “solliloquies” by some crazy (albeit intelligent) guy. I had not listened to this from end to end before. Quite rewarding.
Roots of Dubstep - Various Artists
I love dubstep. It is my “get my groove on” favorite genre lately. This is a sampler of the earlier days of dubstep showcasing the work of El-B, Horsepower Productions, Benga and Skream. I think the album may be just two productive guys under different monikers. You never know.
RSW 87-95 - Renegade Soundwave
I think it was Dan, my occasional dj partner in college passed some RSW to me. “Cocaine Sex” was the single. While that single is booty-shaking fantastic (all due to that bass line - I am a total sucker for it), the rest of the ouvre on this retrospective - is terrible. Thin and stupid. I think it was always meant to be stupid. Maybe now that I am older I don’t have the patience for this sort of thing. Whatever. I will probably jettison this collection and just keep the “Cocaine Sex” single.
Presents… You Again? - Terre Thaemlitz
Not as good as say the albums “Tranquilizer” or “Soil”, but reasonable. Different purpose: gone are the ambient stylings (although they are in there if you listen close), and present is house music, circa early 90’s.
Pretty Hate Machine - Nine Inch Nails
What’s to say about this perfect album? Go listen to it again…loud. Like an angry warm blanket.
The Process - Skinny Puppy
I think I have grown out of this band. I no longer have the patience, or such a grim outlook on life.
Protection - Massive Attack
Perfect head-bobbing, red wine sipping evenine album…until the last track. Why did MA take a perfect album and stick a lousy live version of The Doors “Light My Fire”?
Like a warm blanket of protection.
The Psychadelic Furs Greatest Hits - Psychadelic Furs
Put this in the “I should have listened to this more in high school bin”. Lots of songs I had never heard. Lots of songs that are familiar that are still good. “Love My Way” and “Heaven” still feel good. A tad dated, but still wonderful.
Pyschic Chasms - Neon Indian
This is hard to describe…low-fi pop psychadelia with nods to 8-bit culture. Tries the patience a bit, but ultimately interesting.
Pure Phase - Spiritualized
This is my second favorite Spiritualized album. Wonderful, smoother extension of The Spaceman 3 stuff. Headphones required for this aural goodness.
Purifying Fire - Lustmord
Hey, I am having a really creepy, subtle dark nightmare. Could someone please provide a soundtrack? “Sure” replied Lustmord. This is good, creepy music. Perfect for a lonely walk through a dark parking garage.
Push Play - Worm is Green
Slow, moody and simple. I see this sort of music as the pre-cursor to bands like XX. On this album they remind me of a twisted and sad Morcheeba.
Puzzles Like You - Mojave 3
This wasn’t what I was suspecting. I was expecting some simple, moderately produced mope-country. What I got was 60’s pop with a slide guitar. I am not sure if I like this incarnation of M3…It’s so sunny where they are, at least instrumental speaking. Lyrics are still a bit sad.