Hey Mr DJ: Record Keepers Edition

It’s business as usual. The Admininstration continues to ignore its rampant scandals, another mass shooter terrorizes the nation and prompts calls for gun control, and the fully dysfunctional federal government prepares to pretend to have a debate about whether it should borrow even more money that it can never pay back to pay for wars that can’t be won, bloated and crooked entitlement programs, and the all-around regulatory/bureaucratic/corporate/financial nightmare that is ObamaCare–which Congress will neither be subject to for themselves nor will they defund it for us. Since I already have at least one DJ thread dedicated to all of the above, I guess there’s nothing to talk about but music.

I’m very much a product of the digital age, owning absolutely no CD’s. I typically only download music track by track and I have come to realize that I have extremely few actual “favorite” bands despite such a huge MP3 collection. My musical library is simply all songs I like and that’s it. On the rare occasion that I do download an album, it’s not uncommon for me to delete the songs I don’t like to keep my library from getting cluttered. For example, I kept exactly four songs from David Bowie’s The Next Day in my collection within a month of downloading it. If you were to ask me about any good albums that came out in 2013, I’d tell you Next Day is totally one of them, but in truth, that would be because there are two songs I really liked on it and two others I think are okay.

There are some artists who I really, really like such as The Talking Heads, Radiohead, Muse, and Tool; but if you talk to me about certain albums or even name members of the band, I will likely as not draw a blank. Bands that I consider my “favorites” generally just have a cluster of songs that I enjoy or a distinctive style that tickles my fancy. I don’t really care what set the drummer uses or even what country the band is from.

See, I think I have good taste in music (and you guys can be the judge of that) but I’m also aware that I’m extremely ignorant about music. So that’s where you come in. You’ve probably noticed that I clearly favor Alternative, Punk, and some Metal from the late 70’s to the present (or the same genres for the span of my entire life). The only variety I have is what I get from friends. And you fucking people. You’d be amazed at how much the DJ threads from years of doing this so closely resembles my own library. It’s there because you share <3.

Here are the options:

1. You WILL Appreciate This, You Poser Bastard: Albums with brilliant stories, styles, or even subtlety that I’m just not getting. There are some tracks that are incomplete without the rest of the album and always will be. Tell me all about it.

2. Faves and Raves: Who do you most enjoy and why?

3. The Standard Bearer: The albums that best exemplify the achievements of a particular band. What does it say of their sound, attitude, or even genre.

Biggie G: In my opinion, you have truly exceptional taste and a superb knowledge of music. Allow me to share Above by Mad Season from I’m Above. This is probably the #1 album of my life, partly because of my reverence for Layne Staley and partly because I was at the height of my youth, when such things get crystallized. This was one album I could just listen to straight through over and over again, but I can’t tell you I have a favorite song from it. It just…is.

WVR: You seem to closely identify with my mindset, as far as I can tell from the selections you post every week. You like a wide spectrum of damn good music, yet rarely throw anything totally god-damn crazy at the group. For you, I have Jimmy by Tool from Aenima. I love things that are dark and beautiful and this whole album succeeds at both. I knew this album by heart through the late 90’s, every lyric and every sound.

MY: A man of two worlds. Loved rock in youth, and a fan of good, old fashioned ass-kicking country in maturity. For you, only Johnny Cash will do. A deep, complex man who described the world as truthfully as any man with a good sense of justice could see it. Johnny Cash, of course, is also in both the Rock n’ Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame. One Piece at a Time

InsipiD: I confess that I still haven’t got you figured out. That’s not a negative, by any means. I completely approve of everything you post, even though I don’t recognize all of it. You’re not married to any particular decade or genre, but you pick solid stuff from all; classic rock to gangsta rap. Still, I think my dedications with you are more “miss” than hit. Eventually, I’ll get it right! Today, however, I’m taking another random stab and you get The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen. What I consider to be a perfect song. This is pretty typical of my combination of taste and ignorance in that I have maybe half a dozen songs that I like by this band but I seriously cannot name a single album by them without looking it up. It’s also a good expression of how I haven’t yet figured out your style.

stogy: Man, I will never figure you out. You’re on a different level from me, as cherubim are to dragonflies. Usually, I just throw a dedication out to you, duck, and wait to see what comes back at me. This is no exception. Hard to Beat by Hi-Fi.

Santino: I adore the guts out of you and I don’t care who knows it. You know your stuff like no other and you’re almost single-handedly my most reliable barometer for great new music. Even your guilty pleasures are epic. I mean, how is this not just symbolic of all that is happy and good on this Earth? PS: kevinmkr says hi. He said on Wednesday that the three of us need to team up and assault the mitten state for a glorious beer tour. I second it.

pfluffy: As you all know, if I were an evil wizard, I’d feel like I could confidently rely on her to defend one of my horcruxes. We appreciate the same era and sound for all the right reasons. Indeed, I behave even gayer for Jerry Cantrell than I do for Santino. It is a rare treat to encounter anyone on the Web who really gets where you’re coming from. I am thankful for your presence here every week. For you, I have what I have said before is the song of my life from my second-favorite AIC album. Don’t Follow.

Those of you who didn’t contribute anything last week are probably totally wishing you had. I did make an exception for Biggie since he’s brilliant and all that.

Comments are closed.

  1. Mississippi Yankee

    1. You WILL Appreciate This, You Poser Bastard:

    Days of Future Past – Moody Blues
    (best listened to after a couple hits of blotter acid)

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  2. Mississippi Yankee

    2. Faves and Raves: Who do you most enjoy and why?

    Little Big Town

    They do semi-ballads and their picking AND harmony if fantastic

    I won’t lick to the whole album but this song is one of my favorites

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  3. Mississippi Yankee

    The Standard Bearer: The albums that best exemplify the achievements of a particular band. What does it say of their sound, attitude, or even genre.

    For me it always comes back to Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

    From their album Sloppy Seconds

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  4. CM

    2. Faves and Raves: Who do you most enjoy and why?

    Other than Achtung Baby, this would be my pick for my Desert Island Disc.
    ‘Dressed Up Like Nebraska’ by Josh Rouse.
    Much of this is probably influenced by seeing him a handful of times at various venues around London between 2002 and 2006 (pre-kids, plenty of drinking going on).

    I love the poignant, nostalgic lyrics and the music that matches it. All Music Guide desribes him as a “Critically acclaimed indie singer/songwriter who has embraced rootsy country and soulful pop, all with observant lyrics and touching songs.”

    Unfortunately the best song ‘Flair’ isn’t on YouTube. But “The White Trash Period of My Life” is pretty good too (it builds slow).

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  5. CM

    3. The Standard Bearer: The albums that best exemplify the achievements of a particular band. What does it say of their sound, attitude, or even genre.

    Ashes & Fire by Ryan Adams. Genius, a masterpiece (after a period of great but still uneven albums). Also a statement of his peace of mind (finally beyond the drinking and drugs, all loved up and at peace for the first time in his life). It took me time to like it, then love it, but then that’s always the case with the best stuff. It reveals itself over time.

    As the Popmatters review said: it’s the “most confident and consistent album of his career, a gentle meditation on love and loss, sadness and contentment”.

    Along with Jason Isbell’s “Go It Alone” this is probably my favourite song of the last couple of years…

    Ok enough dribble-pop (as my wife calls it, she’s much more of a hard rock gal, although I also love a fair amount of that too).

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  6. CM

    1. You WILL Appreciate This, You Poser Bastard: Albums with brilliant stories, styles, or even subtlety that I’m just not getting. There are some tracks that are incomplete without the rest of the album and always will be. Tell me all about it.

    The Rising by Bruce Springsteen.
    Even though much of it was written prior to 9/11 every single song seems to both relevant and hit the right note in terms of that day and the ones to follow. Epic but personal. Bundles of sadness and also plenty of hope. Also a quite ambiguous last song. But it all works as a perfect whole, telling a wider story from different perspectives.
    I don’t quite know how he did it. I’m not sure anyone else could have. I doubt this album will ever leave my Top 5.

    All Music Guide nails it:

    The many voices that come out of the ether on Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising all seem to have two things in common: the first is that they are writing from the other side, from the day after September 11, 2001, the day when life began anew, more uncertain than ever before. The other commonality that these voices share is the determination that life, however fraught with tragedy and confusion, is precious and should be lived as such.

    The individual tracks offer various glimpses of loss, confusion, hope, faith, resolve, and a good will that can only be shown by those who have been tested by fire. The music and production is messy, greasy; a lot of the mixes bleed tracks onto one another, giving it a more homemade feel than any previous E Street Band outing. And yes, that’s a very good thing.

    With The Rising, Springsteen has found a way to be inclusive and instructive without giving up his particular vision as a songwriter, nor his considerable strength as a rock & roll artist. In fact, if anything, The Rising is one of the very best examples in recent history of how popular art can evoke a time period and all of its confusing and often contradictory notions, feelings, and impulses. There are tales of great suffering in The Rising to be sure, but there is joy, hope, and possibility, too. Above all, there is a celebration and reverence for everyday life. And if we need anything from rock & roll, it’s that.

    I’m a Kiwi but my three entries are all totally American. Fuck yeah.

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  7. InsipiD

    1. You WILL Appreciate This, You Poser Bastard: Albums with brilliant stories, styles, or even subtlety that I’m just not getting. There are some tracks that are incomplete without the rest of the album and always will be. Tell me all about it.

    If this description alone were enough to make a good album, then Chinese Democracy would have been a shoo-in for best album ever. To understand this kind of idea, look no further back than the 70s, when prog rock meant that albums were supposed to be taken as such, an idea that buyers continue to resist. Before that time, radio play created sales of singles, much like it does today. The 70s through the 90s had the music industry willfully resisting selling singles the way most buyers to buy music, and pushing the idea of an album as cohesive unit. This ignores that many albums have stinkers, no matter how good the musicians are.

    Don’t forget that the music market is steered by 14 year old girls. This demographic that isn’t exactly flush with cash, is somehow the group that buys the most music.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7XrAJNGZkQ
    A band still relatively new to mainstream success gets stoned, ambitious, and nearly alienates everybody with some epic weirdness. (See Spinal Tap’s Jazz Odyssey)

    2. Faves and Raves: Who do you most enjoy and why?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MejbOFk7H6c
    Lately, I’ve been enjoying Ok Go. Their music is cool, but it’s introduced to me the idea of the video being instrumental as it were to the song itself. Try to ignore that this was literally a Chevy ad by realizing that without ad money, it couldn’t have happened at all. (See also Pomplamoose)

    3. The Standard Bearer: The albums that best exemplify the achievements of a particular band. What does it say of their sound, attitude, or even genre.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUEA5NWlQU0
    It has some great singles, but works great to represent why classic rock is classic. (See also Boston)

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  8. Thrill *

    Other than Achtung Baby, this would be my pick for my Desert Island Disc.

    Funny you mention that. When I was writing this, Mrs Thrill and I debated whether that or Joshua Tree is U2’s signature album.

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  9. Thrill *

    If this description alone were enough to make a good album, then Chinese Democracy would have been a shoo-in for best album ever.

    For all the GnR I post on here, I have never once listened to any song from that album, believe it or not. When it first came out, I recall that Lee pronounced it as “shit” on here and I took that review to heart. I didn’t agree with his opinion of Andrew Sullivan, but the man knew music.

    Don’t forget that the music market is steered by 14 year old girls. This demographic that isn’t exactly flush with cash, is somehow the group that buys the most music.

    Maybe “having money” and “having money to spend on crap” are different things. Still, you do have to wonder with so few teens working these days.

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  10. Santino

    Aw shucks Thrill, my guts have the same feelings for you too!

    PS: kevinmkr says hi. He said on Wednesday that the three of us need to team up and assault the mitten state for a glorious beer tour. I second it.

    I enjoy kevinmkr, Michigan, and beer so I’ll third it (maybe we can sneak in a concert too). I have to drop that guy a line, it’s been way too long.

    Funny you mention that. When I was writing this, Mrs Thrill and I debated whether that or Joshua Tree is U2′s signature album.

    For me it’s definitley Joshua Tree. I love Achtung Baby but that was the end of the road for me with U2. The whole experimental thing with Zooropa really turned me off. Achtung Baby was the last album I purchased and listened to from them.

    I know I’ve stated this many times before but it bears repeating, there is no better song to open a concert than with this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQxl9EI9YBg

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  11. CM

    When I was writing this, Mrs Thrill and I debated whether that or Joshua Tree is U2′s signature album.

    Hmmmm, that’s a difficult one. I think they are the two obvious high points. Possibly they are the signature albums for each era?

    I love Achtung Baby but that was the end of the road for me with U2. The whole experimental thing with Zooropa really turned me off. Achtung Baby was the last album I purchased and listened to from them.

    I generally agree, although Zooropa has some excellent stuff, and I think Pop is very underrated. The last three tracks on that almost rival the last three on Achtung (all of which are in my U2 Top 10, and probably Top 7 or 8 even).

    I know I’ve stated this many times before but it bears repeating, there is no better song to open a concert than with this.

    Totally.

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  12. pfluffy

    When it came out, “Dirt” had two versions. “Down in a Hole” near the end or fourth on the list. I had the former. In that configuration, the CD played like a movie up to the hidden track after “Godsmack”. You could follow the story. Some dirtbag stole my car in 1999 and that CD was in it. I looked high and low at used CD shops until i finally found one with that list, which was not standard. Now, of course, you can just get the songs and put them in any order you want.

    You WILL Appreciate This, You Poser Bastard:

    Indeed, here it is in all its glory; Layne Staley’s descent into madness.

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  13. pfluffy

    Faves and Raves: Who do you most enjoy and why?

    I didn’t know Nick Cave from Adam’s house cat until 1999, when Metallica remade Loverman. I was so impressed with the song that I had to hear the original. It is on “Let Love In” from 1994. This is the album that contains one of Cave’s more popular songs, “Red Right Hand”, best known for its inclusion in about a million soundtracks in the 90’s. Almost all of Cave’s albums have some sort of theme, and this one deals with unrequited love. For various reasons, in 1999, I needed the anger and bitterness found in “Let Love In”, thus my love of Nick Cave was born. It is an amazing album if you are inclined to listen and have the time. I always clicked through “Jangling Jack”. It is a strange album, but if you ever need to symbolically destroy a lost love, I highly recommend it.

    Well I’ve been bound and gagged and I’ve been terrorized
    And I’ve been castrated and I’ve been lobotomized
    But never has my tormentor come in such a cunning disguise
    I let love in

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  14. pfluffy

    I’m a Kiwi but my three entries are all totally American. Fuck yeah.

    CM you might know this guy. He’s an Aussie. I love this remake.

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  15. pfluffy

    For you, I have what I have said before is the song of my life from my second-favorite AIC album. Don’t Follow.

    I went out and bought it the day it was released. It was love at first listen.

    (I would totally defend your horcruxes, of course, but you already knew that.)

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  16. pfluffy

    Days of Future Past – Moody Blues
    (best listened to after a couple hits of blotter acid)

    Great selection, MY. Moody Blues bring me back to childhood. Great band.

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  17. pfluffy

    For all the GnR I post on here, I have never once listened to any song from that album, believe it or not. When it first came out, I recall that Lee pronounced it as “shit” on here and I took that review to heart.

    Come to think of it, I did the same. I never gave that album a chance. I forgot about Lee’s declaration.

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  18. Mississippi Yankee

    A man of two worlds. Loved rock in youth, and a fan of good, old fashioned ass-kicking country in maturity.

    I can still get it up for some hard driving rock too. And who are you calling mature punk?

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  19. Thrill *

    Well, MY, that last was a good setup for one of my essential albums: Antichrist Superstar. This one might as well have been permanently jammed into my CD player through 1996-1997. The album itself is the story of a worm evolving to a boy and eventually becoming the demigod Antichrist Superstar.

    Awesome arrangement, huge arena sound. What’s not to love about this album?

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  20. Thrill *

    For me it’s definitley Joshua Tree. I love Achtung Baby but that was the end of the road for me with U2.

    I’m torn on this, but Achtung Baby is the more special to me. I remember buying it at the Ft. McClellan PX when I was in MP School. Listened to it every night. My favorite from the album:

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  21. Mississippi Yankee

    Granted I was doing a fair amount of recreational drugs at the time but I remember Harry Nilsson doing an entire album about Oblio (a round headed boy) who lived in the “Land of Point” where everyone had a point (on their heads) including Oblio’s dog Arrow.

    To my addled brain this whole story was immensely profound. In fact it was turned into an after-school special I believe.

    This was the featured song

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  22. Thrill *

    Lately, I’ve been enjoying Ok Go.

    I’d never heard of them before today. I just got done checking out their cover of the Muppet Show Theme. Sublime!

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  23. Thrill *

    Last one for the night. This is a truly unique metal album. Unfortunately, I was listening to it like crazy right before and on the morning of 9/11. Hard as hell for me not to think about it when I listen to it now. Great Left-Libertarian Rock though.

    Definitely SOAD’s finest work, this record. Toxicity.

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  24. CM

    This one might as well have been permanently jammed into my CD player through 1996-1997.

    In 1996 I drove 13,000 miles around the US and Canada listening to primarily U2, REM, Dummy by Portishead, Down On The Upside by Soundgarden, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis and Anodyne by Uncle Tupelo.

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  25. pfluffy

    Dedication for Lee, since we’ve referenced him. He mentioned loving this album.

    I really miss Lee at times. You, Lee and I had very similar taste in music. Lee’s was just a pinch harder than mine. Perhaps I’ll do a few shots tonight and throw in Pretty Hate Machine for old time’s sake.

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  26. Santino

    (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis

    One of my all-time favourites, from start to finish it’s a fantastic album. I alternate between that and Definitely Maybe as the best Oasis album, it’s a toss up. Since I’ve become obsessed with Muse (thanks in-part to Thrill), and the fact they split, I’ve grown apart from Oasis but they are still in my top 3 all-time. Oasis is nothing without Noel.

    By the way CM, what part of Canada did you hit on your road trip?

    ‘“The White Trash Period of My Life”

    Thanks for that CM, that’s brilliant!

    ‘Dressed Up Like Nebraska’ by Josh Rouse.

    This music is the no-frills variety that takes a bit of getting used to, but once acclimated, listeners start to feel like they’ve come across something real.

    Huh, that was pretty evident to me. No acclimation necessary, thank you very much.

    Oh, btw, Santino. You catch the new one from The Killers?

    That’s the first time I heard it. I really wish they would get back to their Hot Fuss roots. I do like their recent stuff, but Hot Fuss is on my deserted island repertoire.

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  27. Thrill *

    Yeah, Hot Fuss is a masterpiece but they moved away from that sound in Sam’s Town. I recommend The Bravery for the forsaken Killers fans:

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  28. Thrill *

    West Virginia Reeeeebeeeel…come out and plaaaaaa-aaaay!

    One of those bands that was regrettably underappreciated in the US. This whole record is wonderful.

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  29. West Virginia Rebel

    Standard bearer:

    I’ve always liked this song from REM’s glory days (the mid Eighties to early 90s IMO). I remember when they were on Letterman back in ’83 {was it really thirty years ago?) in the days when Letterman was still cool and funny:

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  30. Biggie G

    Now I fell compelled to post something. Also, I would say that I am aware of music, not that I know it. I will listen to almost anything except EDM and a lot of the current hip hop.

    Anyway, Copper Blue by Sugar has been in a CD player or never skipped on the iPod for the past 20 years. I think that it still holds up. It’s not as weird as Husker Du, but harder than Bob Mould’s prior solo stuff.

    This one is the “hit.” And as a bonus, it is a prime example of early 90’s cheesy alt rock video making.

    Here’s the opening track.

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  31. Biggie G

    Standard Bearer:

    I have recently retired my black t-shirts and have been listening to a lot of 60’s R&B and soul. I have no idea why. I’m a white boy from the suburbs who was born years after these songs came out. Although I prefer the Memphis sound, my all time favorite is from Motown.

    Edwin Starr – 25 Miles http://youtu.be/hz60whdT4ts

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  32. CM

    Thanks pfluffy, I had not heard of that guy before. Not bad, not bad at all.

    Santino, we drove up from the States into Vancouver, spent a couple of days, and then headed into The Rockies (calling in to see a relative in Chilliwack on the way through), then camped out at Glacier National Park, rowed a boat about Lake Louise, spent a day in Banff, and then headed to Calgary. We had planned on staying there for a day or two but (unknown to us) the Stampede was on and we literally couldn’t find anywhere to stay. So we bailed and headed east. Stayed the night at Moose Jaw. Then we did a 13 hour day on the 1 turning off to the south at Winnpeg into North Dakota (pretty sure we made it to Grand Forks for what was left of the night, and then went to Fargo the next morning). Then a little later on we came up into Canada through Detroit where we stayed for a few days at a friends place in Kitchener. We were planned on checking out Toronto but realised we’d run out of the time if we wanted to get to DC in time for some of the Olympic football matches, so went directly to Niagara Falls and out that way. So although we covered some decent ground in Canada, we didn’t get to see nearly as much as we wanted.

    Totally agree about Definitely Maybe being about as good. And yeah I’m a Muse fan too (would love to see them live, haven’t’ managed it yet). And Hot Fuss was superb.

    Glad you liked Rouse. ;-)

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