It’s time for another lightning round with the cd changers. Here’s what the gods of shuffle are throwing at me today:
6:54pm – Billy Nicholls * Would You Believe – This is a twisted little late-60’s pop confection, obviously influenced by The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, but soaked in gallons of LSD. I think this was selected by Mojo magazine as one of the great “lost” albums of all-time – no argument here.
6:59pm – Tosca * J.A.C. – Tosca is one of the best electronica bands going right now. A side project of Richard Dorfmeister of Kruder/Dorfmeister, Tosca takes a back seat to noone when in comes to assembling state-of-the-art dance tracks, and J.A.C. just might be their best album.
7:04pm – Various Artists * Guilty Pleasures – This compilation gathers many of those 70’s and 80’s tracks that you hate to love, but can’t help yourself from singing along to.
7:07pm – Jimi Hendrix * Royal Albert Hall 1969 – A sustained feedback wail that leads into the familiar refrain of ‘Foxy Lady’ – what’s not to love? I’ve listened to a lot of Jimi Hendrix shows through the years, and this one is my absolute favorite. It matches incredible sound quality with a stunning, guitar-shredding performance. Jimi’s solos on ‘Foxy Lady’ alone are worth the price of admission here.
7:13pm – Method Man & Redman * Blackout! – A great rap combo – Method Man’s lazy flow works perfectly against Redman’s assertive, brash style. These guys sound like two sides of the same voice – a badass serpent with two tongues. Their soundtrack for the movie How High made my list of The 20 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums Of All-Time, and Blackout! isn’t but a step behind it.
7:17pm – The Jam * At The BBC – I’d never even heard of The Jam until I was nearly 30 years old – but then, the group never did enjoy any significant success in the U.S. Hard to believe, considering the sheer number of great songs they put out in the late 70’s/early 80’s. This 3-disc collection of their live performances from the Beeb is testament to a great band that brought the goods on every song.
7:20pm – The Byrds * Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde – This is far from The Byrds’ finest moment on wax, but I have a serious weakness for this group, in all its scattered configurations. I hardly ever think of Roger McGuinn as one of the signature musicians of the 60’s, but he deserves to be on the short list…
7:24pm – James Taylor * Sweet Baby James – Yikes! This feels like the audio equivalent of getting caught with my pants down. What can I say? JT was an absolute staple of my parents’ collection, and I’ve inherited a begrudging enjoyment of his sugary lullabies.
7:28pm – Jay-Z * MTV Unplugged – Great segue there – a little preview of the next Girl Talk mashup. The Unplugged thing is an excellent forum for Jay-Z. This is easily my favorite album of Hova’s, though it hardly ever gets mentioned as one of his best. The flows are dynamite, although the song I was just hearing cut out midway through. Uh, waiter…
7:31pm – Faithless * Reverence – Faithless released this excellent electronica/hip-hop debut in 1996, and practically nobody heard it. The whole album has an awesome 4am grimey weirdness to it – hectic and frazzled, yet dreamlike and enchanting. This is definitely the subject of a future Buried Treasure post.
7:42pm – Fleetwood Mac * Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac Live At The BBC [Disc 2] – This early, blues-oriented version of the group was the far stronger iteration of Fleetwood Mac. Much of their music was spun out of the blues, but sounds like a spaghetti western/blues hybrid. These are really interesting songs that sound nothing like the confessional pop that the group would become synonymous with in the late 70’s.
7:45pm – David Holmes * Let’s Get Killed – I’ve written about this album in the past, and it’s one creepy listen. I Heart NYC, but there are some serious weirdos to be found in the big apple, and David Holmes has the evidence on tape.
7:50pm – Stereo MC’s * Supernatural – If they’re remembered at all, it’s probably for their early 90’s hit single ‘Connected’, but the Stereo MC’s have created a solid body of work that includes several fine albums. This group also has the distinction of being one of the earliest hip-hop groups to play all of their music live in the studio and not rely on samples.
7:54pm – The Squirrels * The Not-So-Bright Side Of The Moon – The perfect sendup of one of rock’s classic albums. Every detail is hilariously worked over, and the looney voices are guffaw-inducing.
7:58pm – RZA * Ghost Dog Soundtrack – This one took years to grow on me, but I do like it. Wu Tang Clan member RZA cuts an offbeat figure here, referencing Samuris, Ninjas, and The One True Path, and creating a spooky, chilled atmosphere that sounds unlike any other hip-hop album.
8:03pm – Ali Farka Toure * The River – When I was a little kid, I used to wonder if other countries had their own rock stars. I imagined Russian, Indian, and African bands jamming out, making crazy music that sounded nothing like the songs on my radio, and I wondered where someone would have to go to hear such things.
8:09pm – Talking Heads * Speaking In Tongues – David Byrne reminds me of my dream-world self: wigged out and searching for lord knows what, speaking in non-sequitars and wearing size XXXXXL suits. However, while Byrne has an anti-rhythm that makes everything he does sound uber-funky, I ain’t got no rhythm, even in my dreams…
8:15pm – George Brigman * Jungle Rot – This is such a fine, fuzzed-out album. It just drips with a bored, sticky, mid-summer heat that makes me want to crack open a beer and start doing bad things.
8:19pm – Ween * Koln, Germany 8/18/00 – Ween is one of the P’s favorite bands of all-time, and her love of them has definitely rubbed off on me. The group isn’t averse to tapers, so I think that a lot of their shows are floating around out there. At any rate, we’ve got a bunch, and this one is just a random pick off the pile. Good sound quality and an amusing version of ‘The Mollusk’… stop by any time fellas.
8:23pm – Ramones * On The Road To Ruin – A blistering collection of early live Ramones, and one of the selections on my list of The 20 Greatest Bootlegs Of All-Time.
8:25pm – Lee Perry * Voodooism – Lee Perry has an intimidating number of albums available on the open market, and amazingly, most of them represent no overlap with one another. The guy has been so prolific for the last 40 years, that it’s tough to figure out what’s worth getting (answer: most of it). The three disc Arkology set is a great place to start, but this single disc compilation does a nice job of distilling his 70’s Black Ark work.
8:28pm – Tom Waits * Heart Attack & Vine – I know a lot of people who don’t dig Tom Waits, but he’s just elemental for me. He always sounds like he just dragged himself out of the gutter, but those rusty razor blade blues work just fine for me.
8:33pm – Various Artists * Left Of The Dial [Disc 3] – This four-disc box collects the best of 80’s ‘alternative’ music. Someone’s gothing out here… is that you Peter Murphy?? Some of this stuff is so serious that it’s totally hilarious.
8:37pm – Run-DMC * Raising Hell – “My Adidas walk through concert doors, and roam all over coliseum floors…”