Music Library: Webb Pierce, Wedding Present, Weezer, Weird Weeds, Weirdos, Wes Montgomery, Kanye West, Whiskeytown, White Stripes, Who, Why?
I've been busy, y'all. (Get with it, Childs!) So, I'm keeping these short. Would like to finish this project this year so I can facing the gaping abyss of the rest of my life.
Webb Pierce - King of the Honky-Tonk: From the Original Decca Masters, 1952-1959 and Memory No. 1 (1965). Mr. Pierce indeed has a claim to the title of King of the Honky-Tonk.
The Wedding Present - George Best (1988). Excellent Brit-pop.
Weezer - Weezer (1994) and Pinkerton (1998). I like the first Weezer album a lot (even though their tendency to overuse nostalgia and irony is wearing 20 years on), but I don't get the hype about Pinkerton.
The Weird Weeds - Hold Me (2004). Lovely experimental fake-jazz from Austin. The drummer Nick Hennies played with Jandek on Jandek's first American show. I can't find clips from this album online, but here's one of their songs from a different album.
The Weirdos - Who? What? When? Where? Why? EP (1979) and Weird World 1977-1981: Time Capsule Volume One. Extremely creative first-generation LA punk band.
Wes Montgomery - The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960). Superbly well-named album.
Kanye West - Late Registration (2005) and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010). I reviewed much of Kanye's other stuff with the Ks and haven't cared at all about the most recent albums. Late Registration is really good. The Fantasy record, though: eh. No video for Mr. West.
Whiskeytown - Rural Free Delivery (1997) and Stranger's Almanac (1997). When I saw Whiskeytown play in 1996, I thought they were the Second Coming of the Replacements, as volatile and riveting a live show as I had ever seen. But this energy and friction did not translate well to these albums, which are trying too hard to please when they should be carelessly flicking lit cigarettes at you.
The White Stripes - The White Stripes (1999), De Stijl (2000), White Blood Cells (2001), Elephant (2003), Get Behind Me Satan (2005), and Icky Thump (2007). A strong argument for the merits of simplicity.
The Who - The Who Sings My Generation (1965), A Quick One (1966), The Who Sell Out (1967), Tommy (1969), Live At Leeds/Live At Leeds Deluxe Edition (1970), Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (compilation, 1965-70), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), Odds and Sods (compilation, 1964-74), The Who By Numbers (1975), Who Are You (1978), Face Dances (1981), Who's Better Who's Best (compilation, 1964-81), Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B (compilation, 1964-91). I love 'em best when they're still almost a garage band with outsized ambition. When the ambitions start to drag the songs under (Tommy, Who's Next, Quadrophenia), they were still capable of making awesome music, but then when the ambitions are all there was (Who By Numbers on, pretty much), they were capable of maybe one good song per album. This is a pretty good example of Manny Farber's termite art and white elephant art. Pete's an excellent termite artist, turning his silly concept in Who Sell Out into an astonishingly great album by focusing on the people in the songs, but when he gets his white elephant out, he loses track of what's important by focusing on being important. Anyway, here's a video of The Who upstaging the Stones at their own Rock & Roll Circus.
Why? - Alopecia (2008). Pretty great TVOTR-ish album from some of the members of cLOUDDEAD with a similar refusal to be pigeonholed.