Sunday, February 20, 2005

Sounds of the planet

Marc would probably impose a lower limit, but I say up to 7 CDs from the Real World label and then another 5 from any other "World Music" record labels.

I would like to see things like Trilok Gurtu, Zap Mama, The Guo Brothers and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. So-called "fusion" albums by the likes of Talvin Singh and Nitin Sawhney should be limited to one apiece.

Anything that makes a sweeping claim about being a "journey" should be regarded with suspicion.

Not sure if Shonen Knife count as "World Music" but I am happy to see them. (Yes, that was a feeble joke.)

As far as I am aware, Marc has some fairly passionate views on the Afro Celt Sound System so I will invite him to expand on that.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Live Your Life Be Free

In response to Gossy, I would say that Belinda Carlisle's first two albums and one Go-Gos album is enough. I may dare even suggest that in this case the Greatest Hits rule may be broken, because her singles are actually her best material. Also, Come On Feel The Lemonheads has her lovely backing vocals, yet this fine album should not be bought for that reason.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

For Your Pleasure

As requested by Pete, a post on the most treacherous man in the terrain of contemporary rock/pop music: Brian Eno. This will be, like the man himself, a tad too pretentious to swallow for some. So be it; Eno wouldn't mind a bit of pretentiousness at all.

Roxy Music: first two albums plus Early Years are essential Eno purchases. This was when his talent was at its zenith if you ask me (but you probably wouldn't). Also...

Solo albums: Here Come The Warm Jets is a must for the wonderful "Baby's On Fire" and "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch" also "Driving Me Sideways". Taking Tiger Mountain (By Stealth), is much of the same. Another Green World is poor in places. "St. Elmo's Fire" is a good track. Please note that this album was bound to be shite because Phil Collins, a ridiculous arse, is credited with drums and percussion. If Phil Collins was credited with wiping arses it would be enough to make one think twice but HMV do not display the sleevenotes any more.

David Bowie: Some stuff is hideously dated - most of Low and some of Lodger. What is good is the pop classic "Sound And Vision".

Talking Heads: Remain In Light has some great stuff on it. Dated but has "Once In A Lifetime" and "Born Under Punches" on it. I sold mine ages ago when I went to America and now should really buy it but I don't listen to much rock any more.

Ambient: Music For Airports only. The stuff with David Byrne from the aforementioned Talking Heads is terrible pretentious guff.

U2: Achtung Baby and Zooropa are sonically great but lyrically shite. The lyrics of "Some Days Are Better Than Others" from the latter, for example are fucking shit (and I am not going to type out the lyrics to prove it - let somebody else get fucked over for copyright issues).

Late productions: James' Wah Wah is difficult to find but only a third of it is much good. Notable tracks are "Honest Joe" and "Jam J". Simian's We Are Your Friends is an Eno rip-off with "help from Brian Eno with oblique strategies." It also has about two decent songs. Their first album "Chemistry Is What We Are" is much better.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I feel so much that I yearn to wander by the roadside and watch the trucks

Emo sucks, in general. Emo is an oxymoron. If Emo is more emotional than other music, then how? How come the musicians cannot feel the emotion in artists as diverse as Mozart, Fairport Convention, Miles Davis, Abba, Slam, Massive Attack, The Sex Pistols or The Beatles for instance? Thus Emo sucks because Emo is stupid.

Modest Mouse CDs one can own: one burned CD. Ditto the following: Operation Ivy, Pedro The Lion, Bright Eyes.

The best Emo isn't really Emo but shares similar influences. Grandaddy and Weezer and Imperial Teen and such.

Fun songs for zany people

Anything too quirky can never be good. The obvious kings of quirk, They Might Be Giants, can only occupy at most one space in a CD rack, and are best not to. Should they be there, it really ought to be Factory Showroom.

Other artists that can be classified as almost-too-quirky include Ween, Weezer, Violent Femmes, Beck (Seachange is essential though), Belle and Sebastian (I allow Dear Catastrophe Waitress and Tigermilk), Looper, any given West Coast ska punk band especially of the puerile variety (an issue in itself, I say NONE), comedian side-projects or TV Cartoon spinoff compilations and The Flaming Lips (with the exception of The Soft Bulletin, which is excellent).

I say less quirk for your smirk, so keep a lid on things. No more than four quirky discs, distributed both among the artists and also chronologically so it doesn't look like you went through a phase.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Save The Prarie Sheep

This one kept me awake at night. There should not be, unless you want to look like a big feral crustie, very much political music in one's collection. A spot of Public Enemy, Rage Against The Machine and Atari Teenage Riot is OK. Straight-Edge punk and vegan anarcho folk-dub is horrendous, and you can't *really* need so many acoustic protest albums.