If a band’s entire discography amounts to one great record, that’s still one great record.
Black Tambourine's eponymous Slumberland Records LP adds two early demos and some beautiful new recordings (the original lineup reproducing their favorite live staples, including covers of Suicide's “Dream Baby Dream” and Wire's “Heartbeat”) to the 10” Complete Recordings you may already be familiar with. The new material is a welcome surprise but arguably unnecessary, because this band’s original releases—like “Throw Aggi Off The Bridge” here—are so perfectly dated: From 1992, here’s an American response to My Bloody Underground—it’s shoegaze in a a garage—it’s postpunk two musical generations removed—it’s an early 90s time capsule proving we had more than the [expletive] New Kids On The Block to listen to.
One of John Peel’s favorite singles, and oddly enough it wasn’t originally a Factory release. I’m reading Simon Joyner’s Totally Wired: Post-Punk Interviews And Overviews (a followup to his indispensable Rip It Up And Start Again), and during one interview drummer Steven Morris says “Atmosphere” and “Dead Souls” were basically the only two Joy Division tracks he was satisfied with at the time. Dig this bit here:
If the band had produced itself would it have been more live-sounding? A fuller, noisier sound?
It would have been rocking. When we did the songs live, the guitar was dead loud. And then we’d go in the studio, and Martin would put the guitar through a Marshall Time Modulator and it would sound like this little scratchy sort of sound. We used to call it the Marshall Time Waster. He just spent ages fucking around with this device, making things sound shite. An example is this track on Movement called “Senses”. There’s a big tom-tom riff on it, but Martin put it through the Marshall Time Modulator and it sounds like coconuts with matchsticks.
Those Factory Records releases produced by Martin Hannet are fucking classics, of course, but having read this, I now want to find a good live recording of Joy Division. Suggestions?
From the Vancouver-based duo’s album Do Not Engage. It’s an uneven release, but the songs only vary from decent to amazing. They’re moody, they’re melodic, and their best lyrics are (to my ears) like when a girl you’re kinda falling for levels with you about her weird shit: You’re gonna need a goddamn seatbelt for this ride, dude.
This song has been accused of glorifying suicide, but you’d never get that impression if you don’t know French. Serge Gainsbourg was so damn good at carving pop gems out of sordid subjects that it’s just part of the fun for us to dance along and totally miss the point.
"We Gets Up" by The Artist Formerly Known As An Annoying Symbol
Their are damn few triple-albums I’d recommend, but only because few artists can tickle even a devout fan’s attention-span for that long. I have a few stupidly-long “albums” I like to dip into periodically because I treat them like collections—which they all are, really: In this “album,” Prince was finally recording & releasing a backlog of songs he’d written during the label dispute that turned him into a symbol. All 36 tracks on Emancipationare consistently awesome—it’s motherfucking PRINCE reaching one of several creative peaks—so this album is the perfect raw material for an epic, ever-changing playlist, which is how I recommend listening to it. (Unfortunately, Emancipation was released in 1996, long before everyone had iPods. Being an artist ahead of your time must kinda suck like that.)
Does anyone have a particular favorite stupidly long album/collection?
You know how I am about girls in garage bands, and Wax Idols were a perfect example on their debut No Future. Their second album Discipline & Desire is even better, but wildly different, inspired by goth and postpunk. I love bands that can shift gears like this, and now I can’t wait to hear what their next album will sound like.
Put it this way: I picked up this CD at Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis along with four other CDs and a few records. I popped it in my car stereo on the long drive home, and surprised myself by listening to Pure Heroine from beginning to end three times in spite of how eager I was to listen to the other CDs. I was hooked. I dig how the musical accompaniment is so beautifully rhythm-oriented and spare, leaving room for Lorde’s amazing voice and lyrics that aren’t just about parties and ex-boyfriends.
Vinyl tempts the discerning aural palate and the nostalgic imagination. Like a fine wine or craft beer, playing a record is cause to pause and savor. That being said, The Ex-Bombers would rather yo…
The Ex-Bombers are my favorite local band. "The Tightwire" is such an awesome record, they’re threatening a second album with some killer songs I’ve heard live, and they always put on a good show—I’ve seen them play three times now and I can’t wait to catch them again next week.
I only post sporadically these days, but I’m still going to shows and hunting down records—it’s one of those little things that keep me sane. This, and a metric fuck-ton of Fall records, is what I’ve been digging lately.
I hope to share some awesome tracks and hear some of your own recommendations while I’m back in the neighborhood again. Keep on rockin’ in the free world, folks!
From their soundtrack for Mabuta No ura. Beautifully subdued albeit definitely a fans-only release. The import version (from Brazil) I snagged at Reckless Records has some trippy packaging: Eleven unbound cards with fragmented snapshots and snippets of narrative on either side. These loose cards may or may be pieces of some larger collage of image and narrative, and fitting them together is a task I’ve set aside for the next time I’m high enough to dance on the ceiling.
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Albumマブタノウラ Soundtrack From The Film "Mabuta No ura"(Brazilian Version)