Thursday, July 31, 2014

Music Library: X, X-Ray Spex, Iannis Xenakis, XTC, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yeasayer, Yelawolf, Yes, Yo La Tengo, Yo-Yo Ma, Dwight Yoakam, Yoko Ono, Young Knives, Young People

X - Los Angeles (1980), Wild Gift (1981), Under The Big Black Sun (1982), More Fun In The New World (1983), Ain't Love Grand (1985), See How We Are (1987), Live at Emo's November 11, 2002 bootleg. The best thing Ray Manzarek gave the world was the first X album. The best thing X gave the world was their second album. My favorite song X gave the world was on their fourth album ("I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts," and check out how much they progressively tear up the two chords of the verses with each new iteration in the attached video), but their essential punk-rockabilly-art mojo was starting to pass by that point. Still, there's some great moments on the next two albums, and even when I went to see them on their nostalgia tour of 2002 (represented on the bootleg here), they cooked like hell.

X-Ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents (1978). So freakin' great. I had never seen video of X-Ray Spex live until recently when I caught a piece of Wolfgang Buld's not-great documentary Punk In England with footage of the band, and man, Poly Styrene is electric.

Iannis Xenakis - Kraanerg (performed by the ST-X Ensemble, 1997). That's avant-garde, all right.

XTC - Skylarking (1986) and a compilation by a friend. The compilation has tracks from all over their career, so I know that I really like the ones from Drums and Wires more than any of their other tracks, but I'm not really much of an XTC fan.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell (2003), Show Your Bones (2006), and Is Is EP (2007). They come more into their own as they go, and I ended up liking each of these more than the last.

Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals (2007). Having finished appropriating everything they could from African-American culture, young Brooklynites went for African and Latin music.

Yelawolf - Arena Rap (2008). This is silly as shit.

Yes - Fragile (1971) and Close To The Edge (1972). Well, I don't hate Yes as much as I thought I did and - I guess - quite like them for a lot of these albums, but I really do not like Jon Anderson's voice, which could charitably be described as hobbit castrati.

Yo La Tengo - Ride The Tiger (1986), New Wave Hot Dogs (1987), President Yo La Tengo (1989), Facebook (1990), Here Comes My Baby EP (1990), May I Sing With Me (1992), Upside Down EP (1992), Painful (1993), Shaker EP (1993), Electr-O-Pura (1995), Camp Yo La Tengo EP (1995), Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo compilation (1996), I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (1997), Little Honda EP (1998), Strange But True (with Jad Fair, 1998), Aligre Radio 12/2/1999 bootleg, ...And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (2000), Danelectro EP (2000), WFMU Request Show 2000 bootleg, The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science (2002), Nuclear War EP (2002), WFMU Request Show 2002 bootleg, Summer Sun (2003), Today Is The Day EP (2003), Merry Christmas From Yo La Tengo EP (2003), Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003 compilation, Yo La Tengo Is Murdering The Classics (2006), Mr. Tough/I'm Your Puppet single (2006), I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (2007), iTunes Live Session EP (2007), They Shoot, We Score (2008), Popular Songs (2009), Fade (2013). As you might have guessed by this list, I like Yo La Tengo. I am 42 years old, and I have loved YLT since the early-to-mid 90s. But you probably know all of that. So this is really just an excuse to post a whole bunch of awesome YLT videos.

Yo-Yo Ma - Bach: Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites (1990), Elgar, Walton: Cello Concertos (1990), Rachmaninov, Prokofiev: Cello Sonatas (1991), Concertos From The New World (1995), Soul Of The Tango: The Music Of Astor Piazzolla (1997), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Soundtrack (2000), Brahms: Cello Sonatas (2004), The Dvorak Album (2004), Obrigado Brazil (2004), Appassionato (2007). Much love for this man's music.

Dwight Yoakam - Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc. (1986). I covered Yoakam earlier, but picked this up since. Used to have it on vinyl back in my youth.

Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band - Fly (1971). Pretty bad-ass stuff.

Young Knives - Superabundance (2008). Not bad, but not great, either, and more than a little forgettable.

Young People - War Prayers (2003) and Five Sunsets In Four Days (2006). Pretty cool avant-rock band with a serious love of movies.


Joe Victor 12:54 PM, August 02, 2014  

You might like Yo-Yo Ma's performance of the film score to Naqoyqatsi. The film itself isn't nearly as good as the two earlier ones in the trilogy, but Glass's score is essentially a cello concerto, and Ma plays beautifully (as always).

Hayden Childs 8:50 PM, August 02, 2014  

I'll check it out!

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