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Old 09-12-2017, 09:31 PM   #741 (permalink)
I like what I like
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mord View Post
Last year I got into Tom Waits. As a 42-year-old man, I am ashamed. The albums I first got a hold of were Rain Dogs, Blue Valentine, Closing Time, Franks Wild Years, Small Change, Swordfishtrombones, and The Heart of Saturday Night.

After sucking on that grimy, late-night dick for months, I feel like I'm ready to move to some more of his albums, so tonight I got Bone Machine, Mule Variations, Alice, Blood Money, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards, and Bad as Me.
I enjoyed the later ones, too. I did. He's great. But for me, the earlier ones are better because in his youth, Tom Waits was able to take that gravelly voice and dip it in some kind of sweet, thick molasses, to make it go down just smooth enough to be perfect. In his later years, he seems to have lost that ability. His songs are still amazing. "Hell Broke Luce" is glorious. But his earlier works are what I love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mord View Post

I went on Reddit today and asked for recs of lesser-known Japanese artists. After sifting through all the shit, I found this gem:

2005, post rock and modern classical.

The third track is to die for.
I enjoyed it. But really, in the same post with Tom Waits, it is lacking!
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:25 AM   #742 (permalink)
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From this point forward in my journal I'm going to--until I've worked through them all--talk about albums I love that I think need more love from music nerds.

So let's kick this off with...

Alabama 3 - Exile on Coldharbour Lane


What: Acid House, Alternative Dance, Blues Rock
Where: UK
When: 1997

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: it is a perfect conflation of sex, drugs, and religion, demonstrating the equally strong lure of all three influences on human behavior. The sleazy "reverend" is a smooth-talking charlatan, and his raspy voice over that lush beat would be too much for any down-on-his-luck, purple-tin-dependent bloke to resist. Remember, kids, if you want consciousness expansion, don't lie on the beach smoking dope. Go to your local tabernacle and sing!
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:48 AM   #743 (permalink)
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Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire


What: Alternative Rock
Where: USA
When: 2007

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: I don't know anything about this supergroup or the other groups the members come from. I haven't even heard any other Angels & Airwaves album, and I'm not sure if I'm even interested in exploring their catalog. But this album is gold. There's a cheese-sheen on some of the tracks, but that's fine. This is a fun collection of catchy rock songs that should be played in a stadium full of positive people. People who just want to rock out without navel gazing and double-checking that they're liking the "right" kind of music.

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Änglagård - Viljans öga


What: Symphonic Prog, Progressive Rock
Where: Sweden
When: 2012

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: this doesn't have the punch of their other two albums, but it's still an amazing document of symphonic prog. It's delicate and beautiful, and the haunting flutes give rise to bold musical phrases centered around the guitar. This is the only one of Änglagård's albums that isn't canon, and I think it should be included.

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Ayreon - The Source


What: Progressive Metal, Rock Opera
Where: Netherlands
When: 2017

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: as of the writing of this (2017 Sept 20), this album is only about five months old, so I hope that over time more nerds will listen to this and see that it is a gem, just like Into the Electric Castle.

This album is epic in its scope and oh-so fun in its approach. Here we have the story of humanity overrun by AI and have to flee Earth with only a remnant of their species. They end up on another planet, a water world, and have to adapt to live in that radically different environment. And they do. But at the end of the story, you know that the poison of that original rise of the machines lives on, because humans have gone out into space again to explore...and perhaps they will re-visit Earth and repeat the whole process again.
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Last edited by Mord; 09-20-2017 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:47 AM   #744 (permalink)
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What I like to call...
The Joan Baez Trilogy



What: Contemporary Folk
Where: USA
When: 1960

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: I'm surprised Joan Baez doesn't get much love from music nerds. Maybe it's because she does a lot of traditionals/covers? I don't know. I love her renditions of selected Child Ballads. Folk singers like this have saved and are saving old Western European folk songs. By the way, I loved this album before I found out she was only 19 when she recorded this.

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What: Contemporary Folk
Where: USA
When: 1961

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: TWO REASONS -- "Lily of the West" and "The Cherry-Tree Carol", both traditional folk songs, the former an Irish tune, the latter a Child Ballad that has a history going back to the 1400s. Again, Baez, along with a handful of other folk artists, has contributed in keeping alive something of our musical heritage.

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What: Contemporary Folk
Where: USA
When: 1965

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: basically, three Joan Baez albums in my collection are enough for me. Anything else gets a bit repetitive, but this, along with the other two above, is sufficient to appreciate what she's done for the preservation of folk music.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:43 PM   #745 (permalink)
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Kishi Bashi - 151a


What: Art Pop, Indie Pop
Where: USA
When: 2012

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: aetara dou suru? That's how Kishi Bashi's debut album starts. "What'll happen if we actually meet?" This sets the tone for a beautiful, imaginative, creative, and unique pop album. I've never heard anything like Kishi Bashi. I guess the only things that come close are Beirut and of Montreal. Kishi Bashi is pop's violinist savior. No one plays with his energy and creativity, and the way he uses his foot-pedal loop machine is nothing short of genius.

151a, the album title, is a homonym wordplay on the Japanese phrase 一期一会 (ichi go ichi e), which roughly translates to "once in a lifetime opportunity". That's what this album is. Passing up this guy is passing up a once in a lifetime opportunity of hearing one of the best pop albums of all time.

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Kishi Bashi - Lighght


What: Art Pop, Indie Pop, Psychedelic Pop
Where: USA
When: 2014

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: as if 151a weren't good enough for this chap, he decides to go and up the ante on his second album, raising the bar for indie pop artists everywhere. There's so much joy in this music, so much life. I saw Kishi Bashi live in Tokyo in the spring of 2017. A small show. Only about 50 people in the audience. It was like we were all just hanging out with him, and it was so sweet and so beautiful. If you want complex, beautiful, creative, and intelligent pop music, this album is a must listen.

Quote:
The second day, we created the earth
Tickled in irony as we made love upon it's girth
And to our delight, the sun gave us the stars
...
Today I paint to life, a portrait of the sacred friend, the perfect wife
In synesthesia
Together we have filled the world with colored wine
But the story nears the present time
Of restlessness and wake up calls
Wake up!
*******************************

Kishi Bashi - String Quartet Live!


What: Art Pop
Where: USA
When: 2015

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: this is a delightful live album of Kishi Bashi's best songs. Sung by the artist, every song is conducted by him, too, as he leads a string quartet through his musical gems. This is an intimate and beautiful recording.

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Kishi Bashi - Philosophize! Chemicalize! EP


What: Art Pop, Indie Pop
Where: USA
When: 2013

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: at nine tracks, this is a rather long EP, but three of the tracks are covers brilliantly done: "This Must Be the Place" by Talking Heads, "A Sunday Smile" by Beirut, and "Twilight" by ELO. The other six tracks are pure Kishi Bashi in all their beauty, creativity, and, surprisingly, sadness. This EP swings from the dark humor of "Unicorns Die When You Leave" (spoiler: he murders the unicorn) and the death-bed regret of "Conversations At the End of the World", wherein Kishi Bashi uses a breathing machine as part of the musical fabric of the track.
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Last edited by Mord; 09-20-2017 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:54 PM   #746 (permalink)
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Beachwood Sparks - Beachwood Sparks


What: Alt-Country, Indie Pop
Where: USA
When: 2000

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: this isn't some great work of art, in my opinion, but it is everything it means to be: a soothing blend of indie pop and alt-country. I loved this the first time I heard it years ago on a friend's recommendation. This is a great singalong album, equally good in summer or winter, but for opposite reasons.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:05 PM   #747 (permalink)
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Beck - Mellow Gold


What: Alternative Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Lo-Fi
Where: USA
When: 1994

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: the song that put Beck on the map, "Loser", is actually the weakest song on this album. For most people, this is Beck's debut. Maybe the lead single, so overplayed as to become trite in many music nerds' minds, is the reason Mellow Gold hasn't gotten the love it deserves. Many years ago, I took Beck's sage advice and have ever since been giving the finger to the rock n roll singer who dances upon my paycheck. Beck simply doesn't get better than "Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs", spoken intro and all.

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Beck - Mutations


What: Folk Rock, Alternative Rock
Where: USA
When: 1998

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: this is a weird album for me, because when I first heard it, I thought it was a Best Of compilation. I have no idea why I thought that. I guess it's because I think every song is excellent, and yet they all sound so dissimilar? I don't know. Or maybe it's because this album feels like it doesn't have an overall theme or feel that unites the tracks? I don't know. This album has grown on me over the years and is now one of my favorites.

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Beck - Midnite Vultures


What: Funk Rock, Alternative Rock
Where: USA
When: 1999

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: I remember when this album came out and was surprised at how it got panned. What? This album is fun, interesting, and everything Beck hadn't been up to this point. Even Odelay isn't as engaging as this masterpiece is. Sure, a lot of Midnite Vultures sounds tongue in cheek, but that's because it is. This album is Beck's ultimate mix: he just threw a bunch of genres into a blender and had fun with it all.
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Old Yesterday, 04:52 AM   #748 (permalink)
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Maniucha Bikont & Ksawery Wójciński - Oj borom, borom


What: Ukranian Folk Music
Where: Poland
When: 2017

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: I loved this the moment the first track started. Everything about this is brilliant, from the unusual singing and upright bass playing to the background of the album: how the pair went out and got real traditional sounds from random old people they could find on the road. (This is a new release [as of the writing of this post], so I'm hoping it'll pick up some much-deserved love from folk heads.)

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Birds and Buildings - Bantam to Behemoth


What: Progressive Rock
Where: USA
When: 2008

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: with more than a little Zeuhl influence, this band starts its discography off right with a high-energy opening. The drums and synths play well together, and everything's held together by the dynamic interplay of the guitars and horns. Vocals aren't really highlighted here, but when they are, they blend perfectly with the overall feel of the tracks. This is intelligent without having to be "challenging".

This band will be forever linked in my mind with ice cream, because when I met one of my good friends for the first time, we met in an ice cream shop and talked about music. He name-dropped this band, and I looked them up and listened to them as soon as I got home.

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Birds and Buildings - Multipurpose Trap


What: Progressive Rock
Where: USA
When: 2013

Rating: 5.0



Why it needs more love: there's a lot more of their organ magic on this one without sounding like ELP. Also, the vocals are more intense and necessary to the overall structure of the compositions. They have some other quite interesting sonic effects going on throughout this album, too, but as I am neither a musician nor a producer, I cannot identify what they are. They are certainly engaging, however. To be honest, I think I detect some dream pop (ala Youth Lagoon) hints in here.
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