Thursday, September 25, 2008

Music Library Post: Beat Happening Plus Catch-Up: Able Tasmans, Air, Alec Bathgate, Archers of Loaf, Ariel Pink, Avengers, Band, Bats, Battles

Some more delving into my music library for your mildest pleasure.

Beat Happening (Crashing Through box set):
  • Beat Happening: Pretty rough going at times, but there's some great stand-out songs. Reminds me a bit of Daniel Johnston albums.
  • Jamboree: Where Beat Happening hit their stride. "Indian Summer" in particular is so great that this album could be forgiven for anything.
  • Black Candy: Beat Happening tries to be the Cramps with mixed results. "Cast A Shadow" is sublime.
  • Dreamy: This one has a bunch of fantastic songs and blends the innocence of Jamboree with the darkness of Black Candy to an amazing result.
  • You Turn Me On: The perfect Beat Happening album. They would have been a great band without it, but with it, they are one of the all-time best-ever bands.
  • Music To Climb The Apple Tree By: B-sides and EPs. Fun for fans, but not essential by any stretch of the imagination.
  • Crashing Through 7: Audio + Video: Four live tracks and the videos. The videos are fun, but the audio is only okay.
Catch-up: lotsa kiwi-pop plus a few extras.

Able Tasmans - A Cuppa Tea And A Lie Down, Somebody Ate My Planet, and Store In A Cool Place. If the NZ guitar-pop universe is one in which the Feelies were like unto the Rolling Stones' influence on UK and US post-punk, the Able Tasmans are the Speed The Plough of the universe. By which I mean that they're lighter and more willing to engage in woodwind-heavy twee-ness. That's okay by me, but might need to be culled down for a non-fan.

Air - The Virgin Suicides soundtrack. I always thought of Air being on the bleep-and-bloop electronica side of things and didn't realize they were so T. Rex-ish.

Alec Bathgate - Gold Lamé. The Tall Dwarf who is not Chris Knox. Strange that it should come up first of all of their albums. Anyway, this solo album shows that Bathgate has songwriting chops of his own.

Archers of Loaf - Icky Mettle. I like this a lot, but it makes me wonder: did anyone ever feel that Archers of Loaf was their favorite band? I mean, their influences are so clear and, for the most part, were contemporaries of the band. Why would someone love the AoL over, say, Sonic Youth?

Ariel Pink - "Everybody." Blah. A cover of a Madonna song, I think. But it's awful. I have a few other tracks by Ariel Pink on collections, but I can't really think of what they sound like offhand. I know some people love the hell out of him, but this song doesn't make a good case for the guy. Deleted.

The Avengers - 4 Song 12" EP. I'm surprised that this is the only Avengers I have. I like them, but apparently only on compilations. This one's different than the 3 Song 7" EP, by the way. Starts with "The American In Me". Awesome.

The Band - a handful of tracks plus The Last Waltz. Those tracks include a few favorites from post-Stage Fright albums, such as "Ophelia," "It Makes No Difference," and their cover of "Don't Do It." It's The Band. The Last Waltz actually wears on me somewhat, as most live albums do, but I love the source movie and The Band, and I forgive it when it tips into tedium, especially when accommodating boring guest vocalists (ahem, Van Morrison).

The Bats - 4 Song EP, Compiletely Bats, Silverbeet. Man, I love The Bats. Even when they're not at their best, which they rarely are on any of these, they're wonderful. The Compiletely Bats album collects a bunch of early EPs. I have two early EPs and there's no overlap. So I dunno what's going on.

Battles - EP C. The last EP from this math-rock band that I didn't have. Yay!

UP NEXT: The Beatles. Man, for someone who's sorta tepid about the Beatles, I sure have a lot of their music.


L 7:56 AM, March 09, 2009  

Interesting post. thanks.

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