Posts Tagged ‘The Jesus Lizard’

Quick Morning Rant: Slint “Spiderland”

November 23, 2010

Touch and Go 1991

This has been one of my favorite albums since my early high school years. It’s one of the many that I can thank Mr. Eric Melin for introducing to me. I was the really geeky kid that would come into Streetside Records and ask people about EVERYTHING, and Eric was one of the employees that took advantage of this–I guess he saw it as an opportunity to spread the glorious disease of great music onto a malleable young mind. Subsequently, he proceeded to throw this album at me, as well as albums by Pixies, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, Guided by Voices, KISS, Cheap Trick, The Jesus Lizard, and basically all the other music that came to shape my taste. But Spiderland is so different from any of those, or anything else for that matter. For one thing, all the other bands listed above are more or less canonized these days, and though Slint is almost universally revered as one of the most influential bands of all time, they can’t really be canonized because their body of work is so small. Not only that, Spiderland is their only great record. The album that precedes it, Tweez, is interesting at best. But Spiderland puts music fans in an interesting conundrum, because it’s that kind of record that completely stands out as an original. So many bands have tried to copy it, but trying to copy it completely misses the point–the band’s ethics speak for themselves (for instance, if you have a copy of Spiderland on CD, note the disclaimer on the back, reading that the album is meant to be heard on vinyl). Slint created their own little niche with this record and broke up soon after, but I don’t think they could have lasted much longer. Where was there to go after creating something like “Good Morning Captain”, one of the coolest songs in history? The mix of spoken word creepiness and breathtaking, apocalyptic instrumentation that defines this record is simply captivating. “Breadcrumb Trail”, one of the best openers of all time, has a part where the narrator sits down to have his fortune read by a fortune teller, but then abruptly asks her if she would rather ride a roller coaster. If your answer would be “Yes”, this album is for you.

Top Ten Great Halloween Albums That Are Not Slayer’s “Reign In Blood”, AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” or Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast”

October 31, 2010

No Misfits, either; and no Thriller. I mean, come on; it’s not even that scary. The whole point is I am trying to avoid super obvious stuff that people mention all the time. On that note, there are a few records when making a list like this that simply must be mentioned, so read on and see what develops.

Casablanca 1975

10. KissAlive!
Most people probably think the skariest thing about Kiss is their bloated presence, but I had to give one of my favorite bands a spot on this list. (more…)

The Top Ten Record Makers of Today

April 5, 2010

As we enter this new decade, it is already apparent that in the rock production world, a changing of the guard is at hand. There is a whole new batch of producers, engineers, songwriters and arrangers that are setting a new standard for music today, and thanks to them, it seems we’ll have many more years of memorable tune-age to expect. This list compiles the people who, in my mind, currently stand out as the ones to watch, for their future potential as much as their already impressive achievements. (more…)

Listening Log: February 24th 2010

February 25, 2010

Epic 1971

2/24/10

Album of the Day: Sly & the Family Stone There’s A Riot Goin’ On

What a dark, sweaty and amazing way to start the coldest day of the New Year. This record is such a spontaneous and unpredictable statement about the general mood of the world in the early seventies, at times it feels like nothing more than an afternoon jam session that went on into the wee hours of the morning and produced several albums worth of material. In actuality, there is an elusive meticulousness at work here. Stone recorded most of the instrumentation himself, enlisting a few members of The Family Stone, as well as several guest performers. Everything from the songwriting to the performances, and especially the production, is drenched in a deep fog of disillusionment and repressed rage. Actually, I think it might be one of the most darkly hypnotic albums ever created, right up there with “The Madcap Laughs”, “Third/Sister Lovers” and “Tonight’s the Night”. What’s different about “Riot” is its success—despite its pervasively heavy mood, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and produced three hit singles. Man, I really wish I could go back and at least EXPERIENCE this time period, for like a few days. The fact that this album not only was at the top of the charts but DEBUTED there must mean they were doing something right back then. Have you seen who’s been topping our charts lately? (more…)

Listening Log: February 22nd 2010

February 24, 2010

Warner Bros. 1999

2/22/10

Album of the Day: The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin

There’s almost no competing with this album. Even after listening to it for over a decade, I still believe it represents a key evolution in rock music, and that it’s one of the top 5 albums of all time. Is there a better album opener than “Race for the Prize”, one that is more distinct, memorable or awesome? It has become an album of glorious little details that have burrowed into my psyche over the years, like an old movie you watched a thousand times as a kid and every time you hear a sound or a line from it, you automatically get transported back to whatever or wherever you associate it with. Hearing this album helps to move any day up a notch. (more…)


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