Monday, June 16, 2008

Music Library B: B-52s, BF Shelton, Babes In Toyland, Bad Brains, Badgerlore, Bags, Balancing Act, Banana Splits, Band, Band of Horses, Band of Susans

The B-52s - Time Capsule. This is a best-of compilation, which is about all the B-52s I need. Most of it is great! I like to do the shimmy.

B.F. Shelton - "Pretty Polly." Hillbilly folk music from the 1920s, but the song is much older. Shelton's version is ominous.

Matt Baab & Hayden Childs - Lots of Demos. Well, more like 7. These are some home recordings I made with my friend and former bandmate Matt (now of the excellent band The Distant Seconds) back in 2003 or 2004. We were getting things together for an album and a new band, although not necessarily in that order. They sound pretty decent, actually. I'd like them even if I wasn't playing on them.

Babes In Toyland - "More, More, More (Pt. 1)". This is a cover for a pro-choice album, I think. And man, does it not sound like Babes In Toyland. At all. It sounds exactly like the disco track it's covering. Babes In Toyland could be great, but this isn't. Deleted.

Bad Brains - Bad Brains, I Against I, and Banned In DC. Awesome. I didn't even realize how much I wanted to hear these or how long it had been until "Sailin' On" started. The first album is the best thing that hardcore ever gave us, one of the few albums in the genre that positions hardcore as a inclusive movement with room for reggae and weirdness rather than the ridiculously exclusive and conservative hardcore music that almost everyone else made. I Against I is something else entirely, defying genre expectations at every turn. Banned In DC is a best-of compilation that puts forth a definitive argument for the band's greatness. Even though I'd just listened to some of my favorite songs on the compilation in their original context on the albums, I was just as happy to hear them again as I had been the first time around.

Badgerlore - Stories For Owls. A collaboration between Ben Chasny, the man behind Six Organs Of Admittance and a member of Comets On Fire, and Rob Fisk, formerly of Deerhoof, sounds like a recipe for awesome. It is instead a recipe for okay free-music guitar duets with electronics. There's not much to love, but it falls on the like side of the equation.

The Bags - "Frilly Underwear." Part of a compilation by David Smay, I think. Fun garage rock.

Balancing Act - New Campfire Songs and Three Squares and a Roof. I found these guys by mistake when I downloaded the first song of their first album from a music blog thinking it was "Balancing Act" by the Volcano Suns. But they're a wonderful band, with all the weirdness of Camper Van Beethoven covering Captain Beefheart on acoustic guitars. So I searched out as much of their output as was available about five years back.

The Banana Splits - "I Enjoy Being A Boy (In Love With You)". A thick slice of bubblegum I sought out after reading the delightful collection Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth. I used to have a few more Banana Splits tracks, but I didn't like any of them as much as this song.

The Band - Music From Big Pink, The Band, and Stage Fright. I may be missing a few great Band tracks from later, but if they had quit after Stage Fright, they would have had the perfect career. The Band, in particular, is an utterly perfect album, one of my all-time favorites. Getting through this section has taken a while, because I keep restarting this album. I've listened to it all the way through four times just while writing this post.

Band of Horses - Everything All The Time and Tour EP. I like Everything All The Time, but I don't love it. The guitar interplay is pretty, and it overall reminds me of how much I like Built to Spill and Bedhead. I don't get the comparisons to the Flaming Lips or Neil Young at all. The dude's voice is a high falsetto, but that's not enough to make the comparison work. This is straight-ahead indie rock. The Tour EP is just live versions of some of their songs from Everything. It's okay, I guess.

Band of Susans - Hope Against Hope and The Word and the Flesh. Wonderful walls of sound! Band of Susans was all about the melody in the maelstrom, and I love their work. I have a few more, I think, but they'll have to wait for tomorrow.


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