This could’ve been a list with 5 entries, but the release date for the Nicene Creedence Edition of Pavement‘s Brighten the Corners has been pushed back to December 9th.
- The Cure – 4:13 Dream
Put Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Wish in a blender, and then add a dash of Disintegration and that’s what 4:13 Dream tastes like to me.
- Deerhoof – Offend Maggie
I listen to Deerhoof when working. While I typically prefer vocal-less music when concentrating, I love Deerhoof for times when I’m brainstorming or doing some redundant coding – the sort of code that won’t burn a lot of brain cells. Offend Maggie is probably about as accessible as Deerhoof gets.
- Deerhunter – Microcastle
Deerhunter’s previous album, Cryptograms, received so much critical praise, it should’ve been a masterpiece. The Pitchfork review made it out to be the greatest thing ever recorded. Which re-enforces my belief in Pitchfork’s reviews; they’re seemingly written by recent BA graduates trying to write up a storm to justify their degrees, so take them with a grain of salt. It suffices to say, I didn’t “get” Cryptograms; I found it good, but hardly a masterpiece. Microcastle, though, is truly an excellent album.
- Her Space Holiday – XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival
I liked Her Space Holiday’s three previous somber synth albums, but this one is totally different. Gone are the laptops and keyboards, which have been replaced by traditional instruments in an almost campfire sing-a-long style. And it works! “Sleepy Tigers” even ended up in a recent Sun-Rype commercial.
Next month, I’ll post my annual list of favourite albums from the past year.
With all the goings-on of the seasons’ change, elections, and the collapse of financial markets, here’s the albums I’ve been listening to lately:
Bloc Party – Intimacy
Rave-inspired, this time around, it would seem.
Mercury Rev – Snowflake Midnight
Classic Mercury Rev lushness, with the added touch of IDM elements.
Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling
This album will do a number on your body; it will send shivers up and down your spine, and melt your face.
TV on the Radio – Dear Science
Brilliant and versatile; a successful merger of all the best from Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes and Return to Cookie Mountain,
Jen Byck has posted 15 songs that she feels are under-exposed; deserving far more recognition than they get and has requested that I do the same. I must respond in kind with a Smiths-referencing title and 15 songs that I deem under appreciated.
- A Place To Bury Strangers – Don’t Think Lover
APTBS take the best things about the Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division and Cocteu Twins, mix it all together, play it really loudly.
- Aqueduct – Hardcore Days and Softcore Nights
This song is gangsta! But not really.
- Boards of Canada – Music Is Math
Even though this was a single, I don’t think any of BoC’s singles will ever tear up the charts. This one should’ve, if the masses didn’t have such sucky musical tastes.
- Catherine Wheel – Broken Nose
Adam and Eve was one of Catherine Wheel’s best albums. If I had to pick one track, and I do, it’s this one.
- The Flaming Lips – Talkin’ ‘Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants To Live Forever)
The Flamings Lips have come a long way. You can find their recent music on movie soundtracks, TV shows, and commercials. But once upon a time, they dropped a lot of acid and wrote weird and catchy guitar pop.
- Mew – The Zookeeper’s Boy
My fave from their very under-appreciated …And the Glass Handed Kites album.
- Mogwai – 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a Mogwai song in this list…love the ‘gwai – love them! If I had to pick a song from their catalogue that I feel is under-valued it’s “2 Rights Make 1 Wrong”.
- My Bloody Valentine – You Made Me Realise
One year before releasing Isn’t Anything and three years before releasing like simply the most wicked sounding album EVER – Loveless – MBV tossed out the You Made Me Realise EP. The title track is a blistering little ditty that apparently becomes absolutely gargantuan when they perform it live and stretch it into a lengthy endurance test for your ear drums.
- Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Grey Cell Green
I’m not sure why the Neds weren’t bigger on this side of the pond.
- The Notwist – One With the Freaks
12, Shrink and the recently released The Devil, You + Me are amazing albums, but The Notwist’s 2002 album, Neon Golden, is their pinnacle.
- Spacemen 3 – Revolution
Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to. No kiddin’.
- The Twilight Sad – Cold Days From the Birdhouse
Great way to kick off an amazing album from a band that I expect big things from.
- Ween – Mutilated Lips
Ween’s entire discography is completely underrated – they have amazing musical chops. The Mollusk is a masterpiece, I would say, and “Mutilated Lips” is my choice cut (“Waving My Dick In The Wind” would be a close second).
- XTC – Making Plans for Nigel
I was a big XTC fan when I was only on this planet for a mere fours years. When kids were doodling on their notebooks and humming songs from the Minipops or Sesame Street, I was scrawling the XTC logo and that cat-lookin’ thing from the cover of the English Settlement album – I was a weird kid thanks to my cousins, I suppose. XTC would go on to release some up-tempo jangle pop radio hits like “Dear God” and “The Battle of Peter Pumpkinhead”, but “Making Plans for Nigel” is probably the one song I’ve liked since I could remember…well, anything.
- Yo La Tengo – Sugarcube
Everything YLT is golden in my books; ‘twee rock, noise freakouts, fuzz pop and even their free-jazz sojourns. How “Sugarcube” didn’t find more success when it was released in the post-grunge era is beyond me. Even the video for it was pretty cool; way ahead of Jack Black’s School of Rock movie.
Fifteen songs are not enough. There’s so much more that I could add to a list like this. Where’s the Sonic Youth, Ride, Archers of Loaf, Swervedriver, Constantines, Butthole Surfers, Isis, Aphex Twin? I could go on…really, I could.
Here’s some albums I’ve been listening to lately:
Broken Social Scene Presents: Brendan Canning – Something For All Of Us…
It sounds like Broken Social Scene. I think that’s all that needs to be said.
Spiritualized – Songs in A & E
Trade in the blue microdot for Valium. This a laid-back album about telling the Grim Reaper to shove his scythe up his ass sideways, accompanied by the sounds of a Baptist church revival somewhere in Louisiana in the background.
The Notwist – The Devil, You + Me
This is a great album to listen to while coding, thinking, or thinking about coding.
Here’s some albums I’ve been listening to lately:
The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
I’ve never been disappointed by the Hold Steady’s previous albums and the trend continues. Stay Positive is chock full of the sordid tales from Craig Finn that we’ve come to know and love.
No Age – Nouns
If Jack White was weened on Sonic Youth instead of the blues, the White Stripes would be No Age.
The Verve – A Storm in Heaven
In anticipation of their new album, titled Forth, coming out next month, I’ve gone back to the Verve’s beginnings.