Sunday, June 30, 2013

Music Library: Eminem, Emperor, Endless Boogie, Eno, Epic Soundtracks, Evangelista, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Everly Brothers, Ex, Exuma


Continuing the theme of catching up with music missed the first time around or added later.

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). Far more tame than it used to sound.

Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse (1994). Symphonic evil!

Endless Boogie - Focus Level (2008) and Full House Head (2010). Accurately named band! I dig it.

Brian Eno - BBC Radio Broadcast, November 1973 (with Robert Fripp) and My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts (with David Byrne, 1981). The former are live (!) versions of (No Pussyfooting), while the latter is one of the most interesting ambient-ish, rock-ish, art-full albums of the Eno-Byrne collaboration, and I don't say that lightly.

Epic Soundtracks - Good Things (2005). This is Epic Soundtracks' last album, recorded shortly before his death in 1997 and finished eight years later by his brother, Nikki Sudden, who promptly passed away the following year. The music is great, but the specter of death hangs heavy over it. I feel it necessary to warn people before they click on the video below that the footage was shot by Leni Riefenstahl.

Evangelista - Hello, Voyager (2007) and Prince Of Truth (2009). I like Carla Bozulich so much more when she's in rock-genre-smashing mode than in these pensive albums.

Bill Evans - Moonbeams (1962). Not Evans at his best, but not Evans at his worst, either.

Gil Evans and Steve Lacy - Paris Blues (1987). Pretty great stuff from the pianist/arranger who worked with Miles Davis in the early 60s and the soprano sax player who fronted Monk's band for many, many years. Includes three Mingus compositions.

Everly Brothers - All-Time Original Hits (compilation, 1957-62). The Everlys at their best.

The Ex - Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980-90. Brilliant music from the Dutch punk band. Here's the last track on this album, a cover of the Mekons' "Keep On Hoppin'."

Exuma - Exuma (1970). He was the Obeah Man. If you don't know what that is, listen to the following song. And holy crap, is this album good.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Music Library: Dosh, Dr. John, Drive-By Truckers, Dungen, Kyle Bobby Dunn, Dvorak, Dylan, Earth, electric eels, Electric Wizard, Eleventh Dream Day, Elf Power, Duke Ellington, Eluvium

electric eels

As with the last few posts, these are catching up. Some of these artists are covered in more length elsewhere.

Dosh - The Lost Take (2006). I liked the previous Dosh album I wrote about more than this, but this one is okay, too. Lots of keyboard construction and interesting rhythms.

Dr. John - Remedies (1970) and The Sun, Moon and Herbs (1972). More brilliant stuff from his voodoo king days, although he's definitely transitioning into his New Orleans Institution role by this time.

Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day (2003) and Live From Austin TX (2009). I go back and forth on the DBTs, but these are both pretty great.

Dungen - Tio Bitar (2007). Maybe the best release from the Swedish band.

Kyle Bobby Dunn - Pour Le Octaves (2010). More big, round, long tones from the minimalist composer.

Dvorak - Symphony #9 (Georg Solti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1984). I like this okay, I suppose, but it's difficult to be too passionate about it.

Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan In Concert-Brandeis University (1963), Live At Carnegie Hall 1963, The Witmark Demos 1962-64, Self-Portrait (1970), Dylan (1973), Hard Rain (1976), Street Legal (1978), Slow Train Coming (1979), Shot Of Love (1981), Empire Burlesque (1985), Knocked Out Loaded (1986), Under The Red Sky (1990), Christmas In The Heart (2009), Tempest (2012), Miscellany 1-11. Having covered most of Dylan's excellent albums elsewhere, this catches me up on most of the shitty Dylan. Good: the albums from his superfolky days in the early 60s, Dylan, Slow Train Coming, and the eleven collections of odds and ends that I found on the Internet. Lousy: Self-PortraitHard RainStreet LegalShot Of LoveEmpire BurlesqueKnocked Out LoadedUnder The Red SkyChristmas In The Heart. Great: Tempest. The man's having another golden age.

Earth - Live Europe 2006, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light (2011), Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (2012). The live album is okay, but Earth is at their best in the studio. The two Angels of Darkness albums add textures with cello and electronics. Both are powerful, moving albums.

electric eels - The Eyeball of Hell (1975). A collection of tracks from the seminal Cleveland punk band.  Creative anti-everything music.

Electric Wizard - Electric Wizard (1995), Let Us Prey (2002), and Black Masses (2010). The Electric Wizard concept is so simple and straightforward -- heavy Sabbath-style doom metal -- that these releases are all equally awesome and sound roughly contemporary, despite the 15 years and near-complete lineup change between the earliest and latest.

Eleventh Dream Day - Eighth (1997). Excellent psychedelic mid-90s indie-rock, sometimes Neil Young, sometimes Neu!.

Elf Power - The Winter Is Coming (2000). You know nothing, Jon Snow (by which I mean that this is a fantastic psych-folk masterpiece by the most unjustly overlooked band from the Elephant Six collective).

Duke Ellington - Black, Brown, and Beige (1958). Ellington's symphony featuring Mahalia Jackson. Every word of that description says how amazing it is.

Eluvium - An Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death (2004) and Similes (2010). Well-meaning ambient music.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Music Library: Deerhunter, Delicate Cutters, Descendents, Devin The Dude, Bo Diddley, Dinosaur Jr, Dirty Three, Dismemberment Plan, DJ Shadow, DOOM


More catch-up from bands I originally covered back when people read blogs and sabertooth tigers roamed the lands.

Deerhunter - Rainwater Cassette Exchange (2009) and Halcyon Digest (2010). More psychedelic indie-rock beauty from Bradford Cox and co. Cryptograms is still my favorite, but Halcyon Digest is a close second.

Delicate Cutters - Ring (2012). Not bad, but not my thing at all. Their music tries very hard to please, and the unwillingness to risk anything ends up sinking the interesting subject matter. On the other hand, this kind of acoustic, radio-friendly faux-indie music is much beloved of many people, and this band may go far.

The Descendents - I Don't Want To Grow Up (1985), Enjoy! (1986), All (1987), and Liveage! (1987). I've heard these albums a million times, but had not owned them since I went digital, so this is filling in holes from old beloved bands.

Devin The Dude - Just Tryin' Ta Live (2002). Love this guy's flow.

Bo Diddley - His Best (compilation, 1955-66). He's a gunslinger, if you were unaware.

Dinosaur Jr - Chocomel Daze (1987), Fossils EP (compilation 1987-89), and I Bet On Sky (2012). The former is a recently-released live album of Dinosaur Jr back in the day. Freakin' rocks. The EP collects three singles that the band originally released on SST. Freakin' rocks. The latter is their album from last year, the third since the band reformed and proved that old guys can rock just as hard as they did a quarter-center prior. Freakin' rocks.

Dirty Three - Sharks EP (1998) and A Strange Holiday EP (2003). I still have yet to pick up this band's reformation album from last year. But in the meantime, these EPs sure made me happy.

The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency and I (1999). An interesting album. I didn't hear it until recently so I don't have the history that some people apparently have with it, but I like its willingness to confound expectations.

The Distant Seconds - Echo Lab Demos 2010. These are great. Still waiting on the next Distant Seconds release!

DJ Shadow - The Private Press (2002). It's no Endtroducing..., but it's interesting.

DOOM - Presents Unexpected Guests (2009) and Gazillion Ear EP (2010). The former is a compilation album of MF Doom collaborations and the latter an EP of remixes of the title song. Both good, neither essential parts of Doom's discography.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Music Library: Dadamah, Damned, Danger Mouse, Miles Davis, Dan Deacon, Dead C, Dean and Britta, Death, Decemberists, Deerhoof


Dadamah - This Is Not A Dream (1994). Noisy, droney, lovely New Zealand band.

The Damned - Machine Gun Etiquette (1979). The band's third and finest album. As great as Damned Damned Damned is, this one has the Damned reaching out and trying different sounds, coming up with something almost psychedelic. The bonus track cover of "Ballroom Blitz" is delightful, too.

Danger Mouse - Rome (2011). Danger Mouse's take on Ennio Morricone's kaleidoscopic spaghetti western music. Quite enjoyable.

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew Live (1970), Live at the Shaboo Inn, Willimantic Connecticut, January 26, 1974, Avery Fisher Hall, New York (1975), Live at Troubadour Club, Los Angeles, January 17-19, 1975. The Bitches Brew Live set features the same quintet as It's About That Time and is similarly mindblowing. The other three are bootlegs of the sizzling Pete Cosey band. The only downside is that the Troubadour bootleg has less-than-stellar quality.

Dan Deacon - Bromst (2009). I fall in love with this guy's albums for a month and then forget about them, but I shouldn't. He approaches pop electronica with a composer's ear, and this album is chock-full of great ideas beautifully executed.

The Dead C - DR503 (1987). First album by a long-lived and quite droney New Zealand band.

Dean and Britta - L'Avventura (2003), Words You Used To Say (2006), Back Numbers (2007), Variations (2008), and 13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests (2010). These are all pleasant, if not great, albums by rock music's coolest middle-aged couple (a mantle recently taken from Kim and Thurston).

Death - Spiritual Mental Physical (1974) and ...For The Whole World To See (1975). Ridiculously great African-American protopunk from Detroit that was shelved for 30-odd years.

The Decemberists - Hazards of Love (2009) and The King Is Dead (2011). I do not much care for the former, but the latter is okay. There's always some tension when an artist begins to experiment with their sound. The Decemberists added a healthy dose of prog in Hazards of Love, and I do not care for that. It's fair to say that there had always been some prog to this band (such as on The Tain), but the real problem here is that the Decemberists do not rock. They are an arty folk-rock band, but there's no abandon in their music. Everything is carefully controlled, and when they try to rock, they sound silly.

Deerhoof - The Man, The King, The Girl (1997), Deerhoof Vs. Evil (2011), 99% Upset Feeling EP (2011), and Breakup Song (2012). Deerhoof's first album and their last two, along with a web-only live release. No one else does quite what they do. The first album is pretty spotty, but the recent albums are fantastic. The tropicalia influence that has been growing in their music since roughly Green Cosmos is now in full flower and bless them for that.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Music Library: Chrome, Clean, Clinic, Cluster, Cohen, Coltrane, Comets On Fire, Compton's Most Wanted, Arthur Conley, Connells, Cosmos, Elvis Costello, Crazy Horse, David Cross, Cryptacize

Danny Whitten of Crazy Horse

Many of these have been reviewed before, but we are playing catch-up, so here goes.

Chrome - Alien Soundtracks (1977), Half Machine Lip Moves (1979), and Blood On The Moon (1981). I had Red Exposure before, but these three pick up most of the rest of the Helios Creed/Damon Edge period. Freakin' awesome stuff, especially Alien Soundtracks.

The Clean - Odditties (1982), Live Dead Clean (1986), In-A-Live EP (1989), Vehicle (1990), Unknown Country (1996). Geez, The Clean is the greatest. Vehicle is the strongest of these, but all of these are fantastic.

Clinic - Walking With Thee (2002). Kick-ass organ-driven UK garage rock.

Cluster - Cluster 71 (1971), Sowiesoso (1976), Grosses Wasser (1979). As much as I love Zuckerzeit, I think I like the latter two of these more.

Leonard Cohen - Songs From A Room (1969), New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974), Recent Songs (1979). More from Laughin' Lenny. I prefer his 1960s output to the later stuff.

John Coltrane - Coltrane (Prestige) (1957), Bags and Trane (1959), Olé Coltrane (1961), Ballads (1962), Coltrane (Impulse) (1962), Sun Ship (1965), Expression (1967). It's Coltrane. All of these are brilliant in their own way. My favorite of these is, unexpectedly, Olé Coltrane.

Comets On Fire - Comets On Fire (2001). The first and least of the Comets On Fire albums.

Compton's Most Wanted - It's A Compton Thang (1990) and Music To Driveby (1992). Kickin' it old school.

Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music (1967). As advertised.

The Connells - Boylan Heights (1987) and One Simple Thing (1990). Folky indie rock band from Raleigh. I used to like them more than I do now, but they're ok by me.

Cosmos - Jar Of Jam Ton Of Bricks (2009). This is a collaboration between Bob Pollard and Richard Davies, two of my favorites, and I wish I loved it more, but their styles simply don't meld well. I mean, it's perfectly competent and some of the songs are even great, but the whole is not quite the sum of the parts.

Elvis Costello - Punch The Clock (1983), Blood and Chocolate (1986), and Spike (1989). Filling in some holes in my collection.

Crazy Horse - Crazy Horse (1971). Neil Young's collaborators out on their own. As you might guess, it is AWESOME.

David Cross - Shut Up You Fucking Baby! (2002). Geez, David. Give it a rest.

Cryptacize - Dig That Treasure (2007). Quite good indie-rock band featuring Chris Cohen, who used to be in Deerhoof. They have some Deerhoof and Danielson influences.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Music Library: Animal Collective, Archers of Loaf, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Bats, Beaux Animaux, Andrew Bird, Blue Oyster Cult, Boris, James Brown, Can, Nick Cave

DJ Argue

I've reviewed almost all of these artists before, but we have to catch up sometime.

Animal Collective - Centipede Hz (2012). I've covered this band so many damn times. But I like this one much more than the last.

Archers of Loaf - Vee Vee (1995). This is the two-disc remaster from last year, which sounds fantastic. One of my favorite Chapel Hill bands to see back in the 90s.

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - Brooklyn Babylon (2013). Powerful, beautiful, brilliant avant big-band music from one of the best jazz composers around.

The Bats - Thousands of Tiny Luminous Spheres (compilation, 2000), Don't You Rise EP (2009), Spill The Beans EP (2010). I have most of the Bats' releases, but this gathers up some of the odds and ends I missed. There's only two tracks from the compilation here. As always, the Bats are excellent.

Beaux Animaux - Beautiful Animals (2010). My pal Michael's last band. He's an amazing songwriter, and these are killer pop songs.

Andrew Bird - Hands of Glory (2012). Although endlessly innovative, Bird is also the indie rock guy most likely to turn into a folkie singing Townes Van Zandt songs on Letterman.

Blue Oyster Cult - On Your Feet Or On Your Knees (1975) and Spectres (1977). The former is live BOC, which is always awesome, but the latter is fairly tepid other than "Godzilla."

James Brown - Revolution Of The Mind: Live At The Apollo, Vol. III (1971). Hell yeahs.

Can - Tago Mago (40th Anniversary Edition) (1971). I don't know how many times I've bought this now. The remastered original album is the same as the 2004 re-release, an astonishingly clear version,  and the live album sounds fantastic, too.

Nick Cave - Your Funeral... My Trial (1986) and Push The Sky Away (2013). Some critics have complained about the new Cave album, but I like it. Don't love it yet, but that takes some time occasionally. The earlier one works about the same for me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Music Library: Qa'a, Quadrajets, Quasi, Queen, Queens of the Stone Age


Qa'a - Chi'en (2009). A Spanish band very much in the vein of Godspeed You! Black Emperor with a more pronounced krautrock influence. I don't much care for their vocals, but most everything else is quite alright by me.

The Quadrajets - If The Good Lord's Willin' And The Creek Don't Rise (1993), Dixie Speedway 7" (1995), Let's Go To Outer Space 7" (1995), Queen of the Twist 7" (1995), When I Lay My Burden Down (1995), Alabama Hip Shake (1996), A Little More Speed (1997), The Real Fucked Up Blues EP (1997), 61 Blues 7" (1997), Pay The Deuce (1998), The Hellacopters And The Quadrajets 7" (1999), My Car, My Starship 7" (1999), When The World's On Fire (2000). Freakin' excellent country- and blues-influenced punk rock from Auburn, AL.

Quasi - The Sword Of God (2001). Featuring Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag on drums and vocals and her ex-husband Sam Coomes on organ and vocals, Quasi has a kaleidoscope pop vibe not too far removed from organ-driven tracks by the Beatles or ELO. Interesting stuff, but it's never spurred me to seek out more.

Queen - Queen's Greatest Hits (compilation, 1974-80). Before I had kids, it never occurred to me that Queen is pretty much the ultimate in bubblegum kids' music. But now it seems obvious: the bombast, the silliness, the simplicity of the lyrics. Music for children.

Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf (2002). Pretty good rock music, but I don't see why people went apeshit crazy over this.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Music Library: Pterodactyl, Public Enemy, Public Image Ltd., Pulp, Pulsars, James and Bobby Purify, Pushtwangers, Pussy Galore, Pylon


Pterodactyl - Pterodactyl (2007). Fun Beefheartian spaz-rock.

Public Enemy - Yo! Bum Rush The Show (1987), It Takes A Nation Of Million To Hold Us Back (1988), and Fear Of A Black Planet (1990). As with other heavy-hitters I've gone through recently, this white middle-aged man concludes that he has little to contribute to any discussion of Public Enemy.

Public Image Ltd. - First Issue (1978), Second Edition (1980), Commercial Zone (1983), and Greatest Hits, So Far (compilation, 1978-90). These first two albums are absurdly great, all dub bass courtesy of Jah Wobble and Keith Levene's wailing industrial guitars while John Lydon (nee Rotten) whine-screams his objections to the modern world. Commercial Zone is Levene's protest album, as he stole the master tapes for the future This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get album during a dispute with Lydon and released these tracks himself. The compilation is okay, but shows how far from grace Public Image fell in 12 years. Check out this video, in which Lydon makes it up as he goes and has a hell of a time subverting the institution of American Bandstand.

Pulp - Different Class (1995). Sneering at British society just as much as Lydon, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker softened the blow with pop music not unlike later Roxy Music or Belle and Sebastian instead of Public Image's abrasive sound. Hard to argue which is more subversive.

The Pulsars - "Technology."Another orphan of unknown origin in my collection. Electropoppy.

James and Bobby Purify - Shake A Tail Feather: The Best Of James And Bobby Purify (1966-68). Perhaps the best ambassadors for the Muscle Shoals Sound.

Pushtwangers - "Naked In My Car."This orphan is power-poppy.

Pussy Galore - Exile On Main St. (1986) and Sugarshit Sharp EP (1988). A brilliant track-for-track deconstruction of the Stones album and a top-notch post-punk EP. Not bad at all. Warning: lots of dirty words in the clip below.

Pylon - Gyrate (1980) and Hit (1979-83). Truly excellent Athens (GA)-based post-punk band. You cannot go wrong listening to Pylon.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Music Library: Portishead, Brian Posehn, Postal Service, Pretenders, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Prince, Prince Albert Hunt, John Prine, Professor Longhair

Professor Longhair

Portishead - Portishead (1997). Tepid trip-hop (that was really a thing?) from the late 90s.

Brian Posehn - Fart and Wiener Jokes (2010). Although Posehn is kidding on the square, this is a pretty accurate title.

The Postal Service - Give Up (2003). Weirdly revered electro-pop album. Yes, it is good. No, I don't know why people lost their minds over it.

The Pretenders - The Pretenders (1980) and Singles (1987). Great faux-punk band who put a feminist spin on the laddish pub-rock scene.

Pretty Girls Make Graves - The New Romance (2003). Ok, but sort of forgettable Matador band. I saw them at SXSW one year while waiting for Mission of Burma, which is how I ended up with this album.

Prince - Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), 1999 (1983), Purple Rain (1984), Around The World In A Day (1985), Parade (1986), Sign 'O' The Times (1987), The Hits 1/The Hits 2/The B-Sides (compilation 1979-92). Clearly, what the world has been crying out for is yet another 40-something white guy to weigh in about why Prince is so awesome. Today is not the day, my friends.

Prince Albert Hunt - "Blues In A Bottle." I wonder how many of his performances were interrupted with jokes about letting him out of the can?

John Prine - Great Days: The John Prine Anthology (released 1993). Slightly more John Prine than I have any use for. The highlights are truly fantastic songs.

Professor Longhair - New Orleans Piano (1972) and 'Fess: The Professor Longhair Anthology (released 1993). The guy who pretty much invented and set into stone the New Orleans sound.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Music Library: Point Juncture WA, Polecats, Police, Polvo, Polyphonic Spree, Pong, Ponytail, Pop Art Toasters, Pop Group, Pop Will Eat Itself, Popol Vuh, Porter Wagoner

Hard To Guess

Point Juncture, WA - Juxtapony EP (2006). Pleasant but sorta uninspired indie rock.

The Polecats - The Polecats Are Go! (1981) and The Polecats Won't Die (1989). Rockabilly pranksters at their best when covering "John, I'm Only Dancing" and "Jeepster."

The Police - Outlandos D'Amour (1978), Regatta da Blanc (1979), Zenyatta Mondatta (1980), Ghost In The Machine (1981), Synchronicity (1983). Although these guys are revered by most people of my generation, I don't enjoy their music like I used to. They're at their best on the first two, and the last three have some decent songs among the increasing filler.

Polvo - Today's Active Lifestyles (1993), This Eclipse EP (1995), Exploded Drawing (1996), Shapes (1997). Excellent guitarwork and experimental song structures from Chapel Hill. This is what indie rock promised to be in the mid-90s.

The Polyphonic Spree - "Lithium." Ugh.

Pong - Killer Lifestyle (2002). Excellent Austin band that leapt across genres without a care in the world. Serious stuff.

Ponytail - Ice Cream Spiritual (2008). Like Yoko Ono fronting the Boredoms. With ADHD and no ritalin.

Pop Art Toasters - Pop Art Toasters EP (1994). David Kilgour of the Clean and Martin Phillips of the Chills covering four fairly obscure tunes and one semi-obscure Who track.

The Pop Group - Y (1979). Intensely great post-punk album with elements of dub, world music, Beefheart, and funk. A huge influence on the Minutemen.

Pop Will Eat Itself - "Can U Dig It?" Nope.

Popol Vuh - Herz aus Glas: Coeur de Verre (Filmmusik) (1978), Nosferatu: Original Soundtrack (1979), Sei still, wisse ich bin (1981). All three of these were used to soundtrack Herzog films (the last one popped up in Fitzcarraldo) and all three are powerful and emotional enough to stand on their own. Nosferatu is the least of these by a hair.

Porter Wagoner - The Cold Hard Facts Of Life (1967), The Bottom Of The Bottle (1968), The Carroll County Accident (1969), What Ain't To Be Just Might Happen (1972), The Essential Porter Wagoner (compilation, 1955-77), The Essential Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton (compilation, 1967-80). I have no idea what happened in Wagoner's life to turn him to the dark side in the late 60s, but the four of these albums are just amazingly great stuff, by turns bleak and witty and perhaps the best thing in the world to listen to while drinking cheap bourbon in a dive bar. The best is What Ain't To Be Just Might Happen, which is pretty well perfect from start to finish. The compilations are killer, too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Music Library: Phosphorescent, Piero Umiliani, Pig Destroyer, pillows, Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Pink Avalanche, Pink Floyd, Pink Mountaintops, Pipettes, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Platters, Pogues


Phosphorescent - To Willie (2009). Ain't nothing wrong with an Alabama boy singing Willie Nelson songs.

Piero Umiliani - "Mah-Na-Mah-Na." The Swedish porno track that would later be huge for the Muppets.

Pig Destroyer - Phantom Limb (2007). Heavy, bonkers, creative as hell.

the pillows - FLCL Original Soundtrack Vol. 3 (2005). Catchy, catchy, catchy.

The Pine Valley Cosmonauts - The Executioner's Last Songs Vol. 1 (2002), The Executioner's Last Songs Vol. 2 and 3 (2003). Three albums of Jon Langford and pals singing death songs for the benefit of an anti-death penalty nonprofit. Here's one with Mekons vocalist Tom Greenhalgh on lead covering a Hank Williams track.

Pink Avalanche - Wraiths (2013). Any band led by Che Arthur is going to be incredible. Veers from Baroness-style metal-but-not-quite to Husker Du-ish passion to almost folk-y intertwining guitars and back again. Heavy, beautiful, worthwhile stuff.

Pink Floyd - Peel Sessions 1967, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967), Peel Sessions 1968, A Saucerful Of Secrets (1968), Peel Sessions 1970, The Early Singles/Relics (1967-71), Meddle (1971), Dark Side of the Moon (1972), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979). 1971 is the year where Pink Floyd goes from trippy garage-psych band that 40-something-year-old me likes to slick studio-psych band that 16-year-old me likes.

The Pink Mountaintops - The Pink Mountaintops (2004). More stripped back rock from the guy who fronts the Zeppish Canadian band Black Mountain.

The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes (2006). Feminist-ish girl group. The ironic 60s nostalgia laid on thick.

The Pixies - Pixies (1987), Come On Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), Trompe Le Monde (1991), Complete B-Sides (1988-91), Pixies At The BBC (1988-91), Rough Diamonds (bootleg, 1987-91), "Bam Thwock." Is there anything left to say about the Pixies at this point?

PJ Harvey - Dry (1992), Rid of Me (1993), 4-Track Demos (1994), Uh Huh Her (2004), Let England Shake (2011). Like Nick Cave and Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, Polly Jean Harvey channels the creepy underbelly of old folk and blues songs into punk-based fury. She is fantastic. I need to pick up the albums I don't have.

The Platters - "My Prayer."Powerful doo-wop.

The Pogues - Red Roses For Me (1984), Rum Sodomy and The Lash (1985), If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988), Peace and Love (1989), Hell's Ditch (1990). They're the Pogues, and they play Irish folk music with a punk rock heart. What's not to love?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Music Library: Peter Brötzmann, Peter Gabriel, Peter Laughner, Peter Martin, Petra Haden, Pharoah Sanders, Phil Kline, Phil Manzanera, Phil Spector, Philip Glass

Peter Laughner

Peter Brötzmann - Machine Gun (as the Peter Brötzmann Octet, 1968), Nipples (as the Peter Brötzmann Sextet and Quartet, 1969), and Images (as the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, 2004). This is jazz in the same way that extreme death metal is a kind of rock music. Abrasive, passionate, and overwhelming.

Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (1977), Peter Gabriel (1978), Peter Gabriel (1980), Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ (1989), and Shaking The Tree (compilation, 1977-1989). The only one of Gabriel's solo albums that I really like is his second one. The rest are okay to good.

Peter Laughner - September 20, 1972: Coffeebreak Concert Cleveland, The Famous Lester Bangs Sessions (with Lester Bangs, 1975), Ann Arbor 1976, "What Goes On," Pirates Cove Cleveland 1976 (with Friction), Take The Guitar Player For A Ride (released 1995). 2013 and still no Laughner box set. For those who don't know the man, Laughner was a catalyst for Cleveland's amazing punk scene during his brief time there. He drank himself to death in 1977 when he was 24, so these live recordings cover only five years of his life. He put together a number of bands during that time, including Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu. Wilco's "Misunderstood" steals liberally from his song "Amphetamine."

Peter Martin - Something Unexpected (2001). Or not so unexpected if you are expecting competent but not groundbreaking jazz.

Petra Haden - Imaginaryland (1999), Petra Haden and Bill Frisell (2003), Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out (2007), "God Only Knows," and "Thriller." My secret girlfriend Petra Haden makes music so precious that it barely exists. All of these other than the collaboration with Bill Frisell are a capella. Yes, Haden did a track-for-track cover of The Who Sell Out a capella, partially because Mike Watt suggested it. But mostly because she is awesome.

Pharoah Sanders - Izipho Zam (1969), Karma (1969), and Thembi (1970). Sanders, who played with Coltrane during Coltrane's later avant-big band period, is a player of extraordinary power and strength. These are incredible albums. Sanders also put on one of the most transcendentally powerful shows I ever saw in my life. I'm bragging, yes.

Phil Kline - Zippo Songs (2004). Kline is a minimalist composer and this album consists of songs based on poems that American soldiers would inscribe on their zippo lighters in Vietnam. It is beautiful and terrifying and moving.

Phil Manzanera - Diamond Heat (1975). Manzanera was the guitarist for Roxy Music and he played on pretty much all of the great British art-rock albums in the mid-70s. This, his first solo album, features one of Brian Eno's finest songs, "Big Day," although the whole album is fantastic.

Phil Spector - Back To Mono (1958 - 1969). A three-disc box covering just about everything that anyone needs from Spector's Wall of Sound production.

Philip Glass - North Star (1977), Einstein on the Beach (1979), Koyaanisqatsi (1982), and Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass (1995). Although I am very fond of minimalism, Glass sort of leaves me cold when he is the musician interpreting his own work. I could trance out to Koyaanisqatsi, though, and the Kronos album makes a great argument for his talents as a composer.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Music Library: Pelican, Pell Mell, Pelt, Pentagram, Pentangle, Percy Sledge, Pere Ubu, Perfume Azul do Sol, Carl Perkins, Pernice Brothers, Persona, Pet Shop Boys

Pere Ubu

Pelican - Pelican EP (2001), Australasia (2003), The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw (2005), March Into The Sea EP (2005), City of Echoes (2007), Pink Mammoth EP (2007), Split (with These Arms Are Snakes, 2008), Ephemeral EP (2009), What We All Come To Need (2009), Ataraxia/Taraxis (2012). Instrumental metal that recalls what King Crimson could do if they had dropped the sappy love songs. As the number of albums I have attests, I love this band.

Pell Mell - Bumper Crop (1987) and Interstate (1995). Instrumental indie rock with surf-like overtones.

Pelt - Max Meadows (1997), Empty Bell Ringing In The Sky (1999), Técheöd (2000), Ayahuasca (2001), Pearls From The River (2003), Skullfuck (Bestio Tergum Degero) (2005), Untitled (2005), Dauphin Elegies (2008). Mostly instrumental avant-folk from the late Jack Rose. What happens when the old, weird Americana meets the new, weird Americana.

Pentagram - "When The Screams Come." Pretty awesome mid-70s hard rock. And the trogdor comes in the niiiiight!

Pentangle - The Pentangle (1968), Sweet Child (1968), Basket of Light (1969), Cruel Sister (1970), Reflection (1971), Solomon's Seal (1972), A Maid That's Deep In Love (compilation, released 1989), Light Flight: The Anthology (compilation, released 2001), On Air (BBC Sessions 1969-70). Fantastic Brit-folk band led by guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. Jazzy, groovy, and with interlocking guitars that would later influence Television. Bassist Danny Thompson would later collaborate with Richard "No Relation" Thompson.

Percy Sledge - The Ultimate Collection: When A Man Loves A Woman (rel. 1966-70). Buncha Staxy singles.

Pere Ubu - The Shape of Things (live 1976), Ubu Unchained (half Ubu/half Rocket From The Tombs, recorded live 1975-76), Terminal Tower (1975-81), The Modern Dance (1978), Dub Housing (1978), New Picnic Time (1979). Early Pere Ubu is so freakin' awesome.

Perfume Azul do Sol - Nascimento (1974). More garage-y tropicalia.

Carl Perkins - Original Sun Greatest Hits (1955-58). This is why some folk say Perkins is better than Elvis.

The Pernice Brothers - EP (2000), My Own Personal Psychic EP (2001), Australia 2002 EP (2003), Yours, Mine and Ours (2003). More poppy than Joe Pernice's previous outfit the Scud Mountain Boys and quite good, if not great.

Persona - Som (1975). Even more tropicalia.

Pet Shop Boys - Les Garcons de Boutique des Animals Favoris (mix by Gary Mairs). My pal Gary couldn't believe that I didn't care for the Pet Shop Boys, so he made this mix some ten years back to change my mind. It's good. I like it. Not what I'm going to listen to every day, but I'm glad to appreciate the band now.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Music Library: Paul F. Tompkins, Paul McCartney, Paul Wertico, Paul Westerberg, Paulo Bagunça, Pavement, Peaches and Gonzalez, Peanut Butter Wolf, Pedro The Lion, Pee Wee Fist


Paul F. Tompkins - Impersonal (2007), Freak Wharf (2009), and Sir, You Have Fooled Me Twice (2010). While in the early 00s I would not have selected Mr. Tompkins as the Mr. Show alumni most likely to turn into the funniest damn standup comic in the world, he has defied my hypothetical bet against him, and in the most delightful way, too.

Paul McCartney - McCartney (1970) and Ram (1971). Light, but fun.

Paul Wertico Trio - Don't Be Scared Anymore (2000). Okay, I won't.

Paul Westerberg - 14 Songs (1993), Eventually (1996), Mono/Stereo (partially as Grandpaboy, 2002), Folker (2004), 49:00 (2008). Sumbitch can still write a song, but he has no natural ability to distinguish between his good work and his half-baked stuff.

Paulo Bagunça - Paulo Bagunça e a Tropa Maldita (1973). Minor tropicalia.

Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe and Deluxe (1993), Westing (By Musket and Sextant) (compilation, 1989-1993), Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: LA's Desert Origins (1994, mostly), Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition (1995ish), Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition (1997), and Terror Twilight (1999). Pavement is the Platonic ideal of indie-rock: obscurant, hooky, noisy, genre-bending, funny, fun, equally rewarding as mindless car jams and serious drunk bullshittery fodder.

Peaches and Gonzalez - "Hot Pink Hot Sex." No idea where this came from. Catchy, though.

Peanut Butter Wolf - My Vinyl Weighs A Ton (1999), The Jukebox 45s (2002), Peanut Butter Wolf Presents Chrome Children (2006). PBW is a producer who uses the studio and the often-nameless artists who record on his albums as instruments.

Pedro The Lion - Control (2002). I do not like this. Wish I did.

Pee Wee Fist - Flying (2001). An offshoot of sorts from Clem Snide, this band featured my pal Jon on theremin, and I would praise it even if it weren't so great. But it is.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Music Library: Parliament, Dolly Parton, Parts & Labor, Patsy Cline, Patti Smith, Patton Oswalt, Paul Ansell, Paul Bley Trio

Patti Smith

Parliament - Up For The Down Stroke (1974), Chocolate City (1975), Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo (1976), Mothership Connection (1976). George Clinton's other outfit. So great that it is unnecessary for me to point out that these are truly great albums. The first and last of these are among the best damn funk albums ever made.

Dolly Parton - Just Because I'm A Woman (1968), Just The Way I Am (compilation, 1972), and Jolene (1974). I first wrote about Dolly when I went through the Ds, but I have subsequently transferred these from vinyl to mp3s. Like so many country albums of the day, these have super-high highlights but also lots of filler.

Parts and Labor - Stay Afraid (2006) and Mapmaker (2007). I used to quite like Parts and Labor's glitch-rock, but I've lost interest over time.

Patsy Cline - 12 Greatest Hits (1957-1963). Phenomenal.

Patti Smith - Piss Factory 7" (1974), Horses (1975), Easter (1978), Wave (1979), and Land (1975-2002). Horses burrowed its way under my skin when I was 16 and remains one of my favorite albums, its raw punk ferocity and Smith's ultra-romantic song-poems out-Doorsing lame ol' Jim Morrison any day of the week. While I love the rest of these, I've been much less enthusiastic about Ms. Smith's later output, although considering my tendency to re-evaluate, I'll probably fall head over heels for them in another five years or so.

Patton Oswalt - Werewolves And Lollipops (2007). While I find Oswalt's subject matter appealing, his execution often has a rather ugly edge to it. There's some Ain't-It-Cool-News nerd-first bullshit that crops up in unappealing places.

Paul Ansell - "Tear Joint." A Brit about whom I know little, Ansell had the good taste to hire my buddy Matthew to play drums on this track.

Paul Bley Trio - Closer (1965). This was probably the 1965 jazz version of glitch-rock, but I connect to Bley's noise and lyricism much more.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Music Library: Augustus Pablo, Painted Willie, Palace, Palestrina, Palomar, Panda Bear, Pantera, Pao com Mantiega, Graham Parker

Bonnie Prince Billy

I'll be terse to get through the next series of posts.

Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown (1976). The firstest of first-rate dub.

Painted Willie - Mind Bowling (1986). I rather like this SST 2nd-stringer album.

Palace - There Is No-One What Will Take Care Of You (1993), An Arrow Through The Bitch EP (1994), Days In The Wake (1994), "For The Mekons et al.," Hope (1995), Viva Last Blues (1995), Arise, Therefore (1996), Lost Blues And Other Songs (1997). Ignoring the nonexistent difference between Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Palace Music, and Palace releases, Will Oldham's mid-90s output is varied and excellent. The earliest albums are spare and almost Jandek-esque (although Oldham's willingness to tune his guitars into standard tuning and compose songs with recognizable structures is not so Jandek-y). The songwriting is stunning throughout. The best of these are Days In The Wake and Viva Last Blues, but I must make special mention of Arise, Therefore, which uses cheap keyboards to hit the same spare emotional notes as Days In The Wake, only with a far spookier effect.

Palestrina - "Sanctus" (1999). Early music is the worst.

Palomar - Palomar (1999), Palomar II (2002), All Things, Forests (2007). Great NYC band with a dynamic borrowed from The Slits and The Raincoats much like Sleater-Kinney.

Panda Bear - Young Prayer (2004), Person Pitch (2007), and Tomboy (2011). The drummer and occasional singer from Animal Collective makes Animal Collective-ish albums on his own. He focuses more on the Beach Boys style of singing. The first of this is interestingly wordless, although Panda Bear sings throughout.

Pantera - Cowboys From Hell (1990) and Vulgar Display of Power (1992). It's no Slayer, but it's all right.

Pao com Mantiega - Pao com Mantiega (1976). Decent Brazil bubblegummy garage-pop.

Graham Parker - Howlin' Wind (1976). Delicious vitriolic blues-pop.

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