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Old 10-12-2012, 12:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
And then there was music
 
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Default Badlittlekitten's top 100 Albums

I like list. List is good. List order is complete, expect steady updates as of when I get time to write my thoughts about each LP. No tokenism, just an honest as I can get reflection of the albums I love (at this moment in 2012) including nostalgia picks. See if you can spot them.

I'll also list my favourite tracks from each release - usually five - in order of preference. First things first;

Honourable Mention
Michael Jackson - Off The Wall
1979
Pop/Disco/Soul

Key tracks; ' Don't stop til you get enough', 'Get on the floor', 'Off the wall', 'Workin' day and night', 'Rock with you'.

A fitting way to begin, cos this is where it all began for me. If you were a kid in the 80s then you know how magical and mythical Jacko seemed (i'll pocket the kiddie fiddler jokes for now). This obviously had a lot to do with marketing and all that grown up stuff, but some of his music was too infectious, you just had to dance along. And Thriller doesn't come close to this slick pop / disco / soul joy of a record. Quincy Jone's production is masterful and Jackson's songs and, um, skin have yet to become diluted. A line as trite as 'If you take the chance and do it, then there ain't no one who's gonna put you down' is made life affirming through a ecstatic voice backed with exquisite disco pomp. As i grew older a lot of weird stuff went on with Jacko and it damaged his legacy, but this is still here. And its force don't stop.

Now we roll.




100
Various Artists - Gamelans De Bali
1964
Gamelan

Best Tracks; Le Gangdrung - 'Ouverture et Danse' and 'Air Sur le 3 Monde #2', Gamelon Djogéd Bungbung - 'Danse de L'eventail', Gamelan Saron - 'Musique Funéraire Pour le Lavement du Corps'.

And we'll start quietly, with this gentle pitter patter, chiming, smiling, beguiling. With this restless rattle and clang of percussion they call gamelan; an ancient music from Indonesia. It primarily consists of melodic/percussive xylophone type instruments, but there's also strings, flutes and voice. This is a lovely collection of recordings from various gamelan ensembles made in the early sixties. The first three tracks by the Gamelan Selunding sound like some kind of medieval reinterpretation of soundtracks from 80s sci-fi films. The two tracks by Le Gambuh feature bamboo flutes which sound like ghosts turning over furniture whilst storming through an ancient temple. Gamelan Saron's twelve minute 'Musique Funéraire Pour le Lavement du Corps' chugs gently along with its chocky - blocky metallophones, stopping occasionally for the heavy thump of a drum, a tranquil train journey set towards that moment in the past you try to revisit but never quite reach.

The best tracks are the numbers towards the end of the LP. The L'Angklung and Le Gangdrung tracks are played with a cheerful intensity, dance numbers that startle with their effortless syncopation and complexity, chirpy melodies and percussion. 'Ouverture et Danse' in particular is an unrestrained, rickety joy, shuffling like a quite storm until the clouds part and xylophones appear and drop softly like rain on the dry earth.

My favourite gamelan compilation, and if you're unfamiliar with the genre there's enough fun and variety here to make it a good starting point.



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Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 10-12-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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99
Gjirokastër Vocal Ensemble - Albanie: Polyphonies vocales du pays Lab
1995
Vocal Polyphony/Throat singing

Bewitching Albanian vocal polyphony. Basically, there's several blokes, but three main ones - two alternate on lead and solo duties, weaving intricate lines of dissonant melody around each other, and then there's that guy who sounds like he's got a frog stuck in his throat, popping up in between the breaks before dropping into a backing drone along with the other background vocalists - and then they all drooooooooooooooone, and it's pretty hypnotic. Once you get used to its starkness there's fun to be had in scouting the structure of these surprisingly rigid tracks; indeed, when I'm in a suitable mood I can find myself lost in the subtle, complex interplay between the voices. The trick to get maximum enjoyment out of this, I find, is to closely follow the lead vocalist down his chosen path. It's then that it'll wash over you - the way the songs loop around the pentatonic scale, notes reaching the hidden corners, the particularities of each voice and the ringing dissonance at every glorious moment the voices blend into a single drone - and you'll soon be on your way. Don't worry, I'm already there.

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Old 10-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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98
Stevie Wonder - Where I'm Coming From
1971
Soul/Pop/Funk

Best tracks: 'Take Up a Course in Happiness', 'If You Really Love Me', 'Something Out of the Blue', 'Look Around', 'Sunshine in Their Eyes'.

The four albums that followed were all classics of course but it's Where I'm Coming From that's sealed its place as my favourite Wonder album. It's his most consistent work really, and there's something here for everyone, whether it's the Sly Stoned funk of 'Do Yourself a Favour', the jaunty romp, 'If You Really Love Me', or the McCartneyish ballads 'Something Out Of The Blue', 'I Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer' and the infectious 'Take Up A Course In Happiness'. Even the preachy song, 'I Wanna Talk To You' is brilliantly tongue in cheek. It's all lovingly strung together with flutes, strings, horns, harpsichord, fuzz guitars and on the closer 'Sunshine In Their Eyes', a mournful children's choir. 'Sunshine' turns out to be a complete 'Hey Jude' rip off, but I like it more. The bit on the outro to 'Never Dreamed You'd Leave' where Stevie goes "why didn't you staaaaaaaaaaaaaay?!" backed by those strings may have brought me tears once. Easily one of the most overlooked albums by a big name.
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My Top 100 LPs
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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97
Th Microphones - The Glow Pt.2
2001
Lo-fi indie/Indie folk

Best tracks: 'The Moon', 'I'll not contain you', 'I felt your shape', 'The Glow Pt 2', 'I want the wind to blow'

Rubbing quilt in between the fingers, you follow the fallen leaves and the forgotten echoes of scents to deep childhood. Staring from the mountain peak beneath the purple skies at the white fizz of the shore below where the plumes of foam search like serpents for the cracks and crevices of caves. You enter this luminous corridor of dissolving rocks and deserted time as the winding steps crumble under your feet and this house has always been here. Ancient and imposing, same as it ever was. You enjoy a moment with the familiar features - the smooth marble of the dining table, the blackened carpet by the smouldering oak fireplace, the high white walls that reach into forever - and then you wait for the appearance of that tall silent figure. The chalky grey spectre that watches over you never to be reached, always receding, face shadowed and obscured, creeping into the fading light between the curtains. Your stomach churns at the thought of ever seeing that face. But you follow anyway. Follow follow. Into the light, into the glow.

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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 11-20-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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96
Marine Girls - Lazy Ways
1983
Twee pop/lo - fi

Best tracks: 'Falling Again', 'Sunshine Blue', 'A Different Light', 'Love To Know, 'Second Sight'.

In theory, twee may be my favourite genre in the world. I find the fundamental characteristics of it very attractive. In practice though it's all too often the kind of awful, syrupy, cutesy shit that you get in TV ads for phones and dating sites. Of course, it's all a matter of taste, and some might see the twee albums in this list as exactly that. I guess I prefer my artists in the genre to never sound like they're genuinely happy. There has to be an underlying feeling of loss and melancholy in there to make it feel human, or at least so I can relate. A sense that, hey, you may be as miserable as fuck now, but this chiming guitar and this sunny melody hint at the joy and content that will soon find you. Being happy is boring. But hoping to be happy is something I can dig. And this feeling always has to come from the vocalist. Twee lives or dies by the vocalist. If she (and it almost always has to be a she) lacks them intangibles in the grain of her voice that char my heart then you can do one. And that's something that connects all the twee pop/rock I have time for.

Lazy Ways has all that fun stuff as well as holidays, deckchairs and elastic bass guitars that you could bathe in. The songs are brief ditties with two or three scratchy guitar chords and the odd bit of woodblock tap or tambourine shake. Tracey Thorne's (soon of Everything But the Girl) voice is steady, sure and always mournful whilst Jane Fox stays cheerful, her words haphazardly flutter like a butterfly on the breeze. They’re a wonderful contrast in vocal timbre and the twin vocals for ‘Falling Again’ are a wobbly delight. Every moment of this album is perfect for lounging around in the garden, weightless under the June sunshine, the melodic basslines crawling up your spine or as Fox sings, “playing the perfect summer melody”. Yeah, not ideal for winter really but hope has no off seasons.

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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 11-20-2012 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a stretch of time where I listened to an assload of twee and never found this. It's definitely really good and it's on my long list of albums I need to listen to.

And Phil Elverum, well, that's a strapping young man. My favorite release of his is No Flashlight under Mount Eerie with The Glow being a close 2nd.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have to admit his other records have never quite grabbed me like The Glow. There's a giddy innocence captured in that album that I don't hear in the others. What do you think of his new one?
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https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I loooove the Glow 2. Gave "Lost Wisdom" a couple listens and it just wasn't nearly as good.

Good list so far, keep it going :-)
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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95
Exuma - Exuma
1970
Freak Folk/Caribbean Folk

Best tracks: 'Seance In The Sixth Fret', 'The Obeah Man', 'Dambala', 'You Don't Know What's Going On'.

Stoned voodoo vibes from the Bahamas. Exuma came to this Earth through a lightning bolt, bringing with him his old folk tales of zombies and sorcery and a record that pretty much invented freak folk, this effortless mash of calypso, Caribbean folk, soul, blues and whatever else is in the medicine bucket. A haunting, funny and darkly magical lost record. All Beefheart fans should check this out. In fact - and I'm not going to make a habit of saying stuff like this as I realise music is a personal thing - I don't see how anyone could not dig this. Succumb to the Obeah man.



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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I practically died when I heard that first Exuma song. Those drums... that voice! I have found my newest obsession. Got any linkage for a brother in need?
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