Every day on instagram, I post an record photo, audio snippet and a mini statement about the record on display. And since all I really know about is music, I figured I’d share here weekly. I’m not here to tell anyone that my taste is better or that I somehow have more knowledge, I just really enjoy music of all kinds and love to share in hopes of generating discussion. Sure, I have my thoughts on albums, songs, labels and artists, but would love to simply talk more about it with any and all interested. If you continue reading, thank you for your time. If you’ve already moved, thank you for your time.
Now, to the records!
July 1, 2018
Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band — Trout Mask Replica
I really love this album, but will sure as hell never tell anyone to listen to it. It’s noisy, arrhythmic, chaotic and at times painful. Yet, there’s something there that always pulls me back. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of formula, form or shape, but it still finds ways to be new five decades on, despite being one difficult slog of a listen. I think it’s a perfect example of how art shouldn’t have to come to the consumer, but the other way around. Then again, that won’t sell.
July 2, 2018
R.E.M. — Chronic Town
At this point in time, the EP seems a lost art. Circa 1981, R.E.M. used the EP named Chronic Town to announce the coming of the best post-punk band in history. Only one of the tracks present would also make their landmark 1983 debut, Murmur, but none of these tracks are also-rans.
July 3, 2018
Stereolab — Chemical Chords
I came to Stereolab in the 2000s, well after their more impactful albums, but it was clear the band still had a style and sound all its own and they weren’t shedding it anytime soon. At least that’s what I thought. They would follow Chemical Chords with Not-Music, then with an announcement of indefinite hiatus. With said hiatus still in effect as of this writing, I still miss this band. Sadier’s monotone vocals over rhythms either bouncy, poppy or motorik and the layered synths were one of the better uses of retro-futurist pop music.
July 4, 2018
Neil Diamond — 12 Greatest Hits Vol. II
As Bill Murray said in What About Bob?, “There are 2 kinda of people in this world. Those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t.” While I’m more on the latter, my song choice this day, “America,” is more in spirit of the holiday and how this country came to be. People either looking for better or escaping persecution, famine or war. None of us started here. We shouldn’t crush the dreams of those looking for better or safety, nor should we separate families coming here together.
July 5, 2018
Pearl Jam — Vitalogy
I think everyone who really develops an interest in music during their adolescence finds their preferences pulled in 2 major directions: what their parents or adults in general listen to or what their sphere of friends may deem “cool.” When Vitalogy was released, I had a crew of friends that pulled so heavy for classic rock it’s a minor miracle we didn’t hit the town rolling deep in Z28 T-tops. Then again, we were suburban Des Moines kids thinking we could totally class up our parents’ minivans with varying combinations of good music and minty air freshener. If there’s one album that I stuck with despite any protest, it was Pearl Jam’s oft-labeled (by my friends) ‘weird’ third album. Usually, by the time “Whipping” finished was when requests for Zeppelin, Floyd, AC/DC or Skynyrd would be made. That meant if I didn’t get to “Corduroy” sharpish, it might get messy. Oddly though, the ladies did love “Better Man.” The really personal part here is that Vitalogy may have been the one thing that felt like it stayed with me through multiple traumas during high school. Looking back, sure I realize they weren’t a big deal and I’ve come a ways since, but when I didn’t know the scope of the world outside my own bubble, Eddie, Stone, Dave, Mike and Jeff provided a great soundtrack of intrapersonal safety for which I’ll never stop being thankful.
July 6, 2018
Against All Logic — 2012-2017
Nicolas Jaar, often known for his experimental, spacey recordings, is the man behind an album of dance music that can equally get heads nodding and bodies moving or just be a headphones-on-walk album. Released under the moniker Against All Logic, this is the album I’ve been listening to the most in 2018 to this point. Both “This Old House is All I Have” and “Some Kind of Game” have been equally magnetic to my brain; the former with its definite 70s porno vibe and the latter with its rumbling synths. The rest of the album is not filler by any stretch. There’s a wealth of interesting material, both cerebral and groove-heavy here for anyone interested in trying something new. Sure, the club scene remembers Jaar at the end of the last decade, but at least he’s not forgotten it.
July 7, 2018
Spoon — Hot Thoughts
Spoon is a band that, for lack of a better description, does what it does. They write their songs their way with adept consistency. For 2 decades now, there have been other bands that come, burned rather brightly and evaporated. Trends have come, gone and things have changed. Britt Daniel and company have steadied their course and pressed on, traversing peaks and navigating valleys. Hot Thoughts is really another album in that journey that I feel lucky to be on with them. The only real difference their 2017 effort has from prior albums is its use of sonic texture. That sentence may read as pejorative, but when their songwriting is that consistent and reliable, it’s merely an observation. Spoon are one of America’s best bands.
So that’s it for the premier of this weekly piece. If you read it, thank you for your time. What did you love? What did you hate? How can I be better? Let me know here or the following places…
Banana and out!