Title Comment Comment Date Comment Link
Quirky Pop Artists To Check Out

Mmm they're pretty consistently cool, so it's hard to be definitive (they're prolific as hell)... My favorite/most familiar is Asylum.

5/14/2011 View
Quirky Pop Artists To Check Out

Egad- missed Legendary Pink Dots, who are potentially one of the most amazing out there bands on the list.

5/8/2011 View
Quirky Pop Artists To Check Out

Great list! I must be coming back to this. I have heard of a handful:

The Flying Lizards - Kooky New Wave. Always reminded me of Young Marble Giants with more screws loose.
Tsigoti - I actually thought their latest was awful.
Os Mutantes - All time favorite, esp. 1st s/t album. Crazy inventive.
Tom Zé - Fun equivalent, also from Brazil.
Clinic - Great stuff. Maligned for repeating themselves, but their first album at least is sneering technicolor art-punk at its finest.
Tall Dwarfs - Chris Knox, right? New Zealander does great, purdy, ramshackle/incomplete songs.
Cornelius - Wonderful uplifting pop from Japan. Try his less electronic stuff on Fantasma.
Various Artists: 塊フォルテッシモ魂 [Katamari Fortissimo Damacy] (2004) - Yes.
OOIOO - Boredoms drummer Yoshimi P-we (of Flaming Lips titular fame). Swirling tribal psych, the swirlingest (Feather Float) is the best.
Alvarius B: Blood Operatives of the Barium Sunset (2005) - Of Sun City Girls, whose extensive discography's also worth checking out.
Red Crayola with Art & Language: Kangaroo? (1981) - Ya, Mayo Thompson. These guys had lots of phases.
R. Stevie Moore - Indeed! Never been on a major label, apparently. Amazing homemade stuff. Phonography's his "classic."
Amon Düül II: Vive la trance (1973) Not this one! Go for Yeti for some true depth. This one isn't as good as Faust.
Marmoset - Really like Tea Tornado and wish I had access to more.
Godley & Creme - Proggy goofballs, like
Kevin Ayers - On Soft Machine's first album. Oft. Wonky, Syd Barrett, etc.
Robyn Hitchcock - Of Soft BOYS. Like Syd Barrett, too, tho he's got his eggs in a row.
Black Tambourine - Fun, fuzzy C86-style stuff, like Shop Assistants.
Sparks - Hilarious. Over the top queen-esque harmonies and nonlinear song structures. Discovered by Todd Rundgren, who actually was similar sounding (wasn't so lame) on A Wizard, A True Star.
Danielson Famille - Haven't heard, but have often gotten the sense I would be annoyed by them.
The Raincoats - Kurt Cobain covered or at least liked them, I think... Started out more like punk but got very dense and bizarre on Odyshape. I haven't made up my mind, but I definitely respect them.
Disco Inferno: Technicolour (1996) Good but it's D.I. Go Pop that's one of my favorite albums ever. Totally hypnotic.
Wir - Wire with the e, and that's no joke. I think it's sans one member but otherwise similar.

Hope this does something for you. It was fun to meditate on these guys, anyway.

5/8/2011 View
Listening Log

Thanks for commenting! I might as well run down the whole shebang, because yes, they're an amazing group.
Pablo Honey (1993) 7.5
I have an unusual number of friends who had only heard Pablo honey for awhile, and they've convinced me not to dismiss it. I never turned on "Creep" like a lot of others, and I think if "Blow Out" had come on any subsequent album of theirs, everyone would think it was a classic track.
The Bends (1995) 10
I know that "people whose favorite Radiohead album is The Bends" is a certain backhanded category, but this album is just very special to me, even if in the larger trajectory it's just a stepping-stone.
OK Computer (1997) 9.5
All that I can say about this album is that I don't think it's as "timeless" as everyone says, but that's a kinda GOOD thing. It's their massive, fractured prog-rock statement, and it's full of references to both 70s and 90s sonic obsessions. It might be stone-cold if it didn't drag a bit in the last 10 mins.
Kid A (2000) 9.5
The first Radiohead album I ever heard, and it will remain an enigma. I have a weird history of dismissing its acclaim (largely because I find "Idioteque" a tad annoying), but it has such a specific meaning amongst all the music that I love, and is probably closest of all their albums to the music I just instinctively love (namely, drone pop). Monolithic.
Amnesiac (2001) 8.5
I keep rediscovering this one. I like thinking of it as the moment of maximum hope for Radiohead, all the different directions they could've taken from there. I like that they waxed Squarepusher and dark piano ballads on the same album, and I REALLY think they could've done more with the avant-garde jazz thing in subsequent albums.
Hail to the Thief (2003) 7.5
First of all, no one seems to agree with me that this is the most depressing Radiohead album. It's like a quagmire for grey days, and Thom Yorke seems trapped inside his own tonal system. Maybe their most intricately produced album. A bit of a consolidation of everything people wanted them to "return" to, which makes it a little bloated for me.
In Rainbows (2007) 8.5
This really hit the right chord for me, but I feel no need to defend it. I partially like it because it's so attackable -- so lush, so bare, Radiohead stripped down to what they did best, rather than what they did most progressively. I think it absolutely has a soul that Hail doesn't.

And yeah-- I thought The King of Limbs was pretty good but I have yet to listen to it enough to give it a rating (+ is more of an impression than a belief). They really don't make bad albums, I notice. I think it's probably on par with Hail to the Thief.

Here's what I posted about the album on the Tiny Mix Tapes forum (I write for them):

"I think Radiohead WANTS casual fans. There's a certain Radiohead obsessive, in his or her late twenties, with whom Radiohead have matched psychological step with just about every album, I think, until now. In Rainbows would have (imo) closed the curtains on their career arc pristinely--but if they want to keep making music, which I think they really know that they do now, they're going to have to sorta typify themselves, and churn out albums for casual fans (the younger generation, maybe) every few years like, I dunno, Autechre or something. If they can pull this off, the middle-age drift, I'm happy for them.

"That name--The King of Limbs--suggested to me that Radiohead was getting kinda DUMB and no one was noticing, and I was frankly expecting a Volta. Something that would really doom the band for even trying to achieve something anymore. It's kinda remarkable that even our staffers who barely even listen to music with vocals anymore were listening to Limbs, expecting... something. The real question is whether the Radiohead-type band can even emerge in this climate anymore. Don't say Animal Collective."

3/1/2011 View
2010 Listening log

You, sir, are a wellspring. My only request is a nudge of your taste. Which of these are your favorites? Do you only listen to a whole album if you like it a certain amount? Even a little asterisk for the best one each month would be neat.

5/4/2010 View
Favorite Albums of 2010 (Submitted)

Hell yeah -- though it flows more like surf than Reggaeton if at all, right

4/20/2010 View
Albums of 2010 (AKA, the year R. Stevie Moore became a hipster hero with the underground)

I love running lists!

I'm mostly fascinated by this:

52. Dum Dum Girls - Yours Alone. An open letter to God. Dear God, Don't do this to me! Please! I like No Age, Psychedelic Horseshit, Smith Western, Vivian Girls etc. Don't ruin this genre for me with crap like this. Please don't. Thank you. Yours sincerely, James.

Why the sudden turnaround? Is the rest of the album in fact BETTER than the single? (I don't know the band, but like you I'm sure a hair away from being done with the genre)

3/16/2010 View
Animal Collective (album/EP rankings)

Ahhh yes interesting... Here're mine.

1. Spirit has always been apart from anything else they've done for me. I still remember hearing that first song, my mind was blown, I'd never heard anything so impossible and infinite.

2. Feels - I haven't listened in awhile, but this was the one that seemed like it brought together songwriting and drone and beauty in the most COMPLETE way. Liking this album has made me easily mistaken for the fans who think the band got better and better, but I guess I just saw this midpoint as a great exhibition of restraint.

3. Young Prayer was totally unexpected. I think it's a great cohesive concept & sound, love what he makes an acoustic guitar do.

4. Sung Tongs - surprised you consider this the worst! I do think the "experiments" on this album are overrated compared to the songs, but I like how stripped-down the affair is.

5. Person Pitch should be one of my favorites in theory, because I love gorgeous loop-drone stuff, and to be sure it's awesome, but I've never seen quite as much CONTENT as everyone else.

6. Here Comes The Indian needs a little more time, I'm sure I'll appreciate it more someday.

7. Strawberry Jam was moderately successful at the overkill it seemed to be going for, but I always thought that was the POINT -- people who really like the album seem to think it's more detailed than cement-mixer.

8. Campfire Songs is a pretty consistent meh for me.

9. Merriweather Post Pavillion is the antichrist. Full impossibly long diatribe here: http://www.angelfire.com/indie/enigmatichowler/reviews/index.blog/133810...

3/14/2010 View
Top Albums of 2000s

Gallowsbird's Bark and Spirit They're Gone are both stellar debuts that are too often left in the shadow of the bands' later careers. Well done!

3/14/2010 View
Album rankings of 1992

Lazer Guided Melodies is one of my favorite albums of the 90's, though I can see why it might be harder to immerse than other Spiritualized stuff.

That said, anyone who loves Red House Painters this much has my approval. Try Elephant Micah, more recent/below the radar but similarly stirring. Maybe.

1992 releases I wanna recommend based on this are Superchunk's No Pocky for Kitty and Dadamah's This is Not a Dream.

Cheers!

3/14/2010 View
Listening Log

♣♠

12/29/2009 View
Listening Log

☺☻

12/29/2009 View