contest
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carlo

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open to whoever wants to play and doesn't own all the albums below:

based on the fat take from the "give me a dollar thread" ($10 from an anonymous member who said steak is good and ramen is bad. whoever you are, i laughed loudly when i opened the envelope) we're going to have a contest.

here are the rules: buy one of the albums that you don't already have below and write what you felt about it. if you think it sucks fine, tell me why. if you think it kicked ass fine, tell me why.

if you already own all of the albums you can't play, but then again you're probably living a happy life
this is my current rotation by the way, by no means a comprehensive list of the albums i think are essential (although all of them are essential in my opinion):


The Clash - The Clash

Beck - Midnight Vultures, Sea Change

Chuck Berry - The London Sessions

Johnny Cash - The Complete Sun Sessions

Bob Dylan - Freewheelin', Nashville Skyline, Live 1966 (Bootleg Series 4), Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde, Blood On The Tracks, Highway 61 Revisited

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Kinks - Kink Kontreversy

Aimee Mann - Magnolia Soundtrack (only her songs matter) Bachelor #2 (or, the revenge of the dodo), Lost In Space

Joni Mitchell - Blue, Court and Spark, Both Sides Now

Pulp - A Different Class, This Is Hardcore

Otis Redding - Otis Blue

Lou Reed - Transformer, Ecstacy

The Rolling Stones - Out Of Our Heads, Aftermath, Between The Buttons, Get Yer Ya Yas Out

The Stooges - Raw Power (note: get the new remaster that says "Iggy and The Stooges", don't get the Bowie version), The Stooges

Tricky - Maxinquaye

Tom Waits - Closing Time, Blue Valentine, Alice, Blood Money

The Who - A Quick One, The Who Sings My Generation

Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On a Gravel Road

Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key of Life, The Secret Life of Plants, Innervisions, Hotter Than July

The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico, White Light/White Heat, Velvet Underground

prizes:
Winner chooses one, 2nd place chooses from the two left, 3rd place gets the last one (assuming that many people play)

1)Euro Only Promo (very limited pressing) of The Rolling Stones' Get Yer Ya-Yas Out. Kinda beat but very playable, if you're looking to build a serious vinyl collection this is a great place to start.

2)Mint 180g all analog transfer of Bob Dylan's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in glorious *MONO*

3)A new CD of my choosing (I'll search the archives to see what you like and get something i think you'll enjoy).

no word limit or minimum, just say what you thought of the album. seriously, it'll be fun. deadline is two weeks from today, post your submission here whenever.

have fun
 
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royboy2k

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Beck is a weird but talented guy, and he’s capable of writing songs that are both highly creative and musical. With Sea Change, he opted to suppress much of his creativity and just write some emotional songs. And what the hell is wrong with that? I can’t fault him for writing sparse acoustic songs because I dig that stuff. Sure Nick Drake did it long before Beck, but Nick Drake wasn’t a pioneer either so why not emulate him? He was just another talented songwriter. And Sea Change still has some material that sounds distinctively “Beck,” so don’t worry about it sounding just like everything else you own. “Paper Tiger,” for example, has a dangerous groove and some nice strings that add up to a pretty catchy song. Every song has little touches (bells, keyboard, orchestra, guitar, etc.) courtesy of producer Nigel Godrich that help to keep things interesting. He also does a nice job of keeping Beck’s voice afloat amongst the many layers of music, and this is important because his voice is the main attraction on every song. The production is very slick overall.

The main reason why I like this album and the reason I recommend it is that it’s just plain enjoyable to listen to the whole way through. Through critical listening it can be quite engaging, but it’s also perfect for background music if, like me, you can’t devote all of your time to music. I suppose Beck’s lyrics also have some depth to them, but I haven’t gotten into that emotional stuff yet. It just goes to show that the album has staying power, however. I know I’ll be going back for my daily dose of Sea Change.
 
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TimSchirmer

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I'll get the velvet underground one
 
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erix

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But I have something from nearly everybody on the list!

What do I win?


But seriously folks...

Can't go wrong with Otis..

ditto Lucinda Williams.

Perhaps a trip to the record store is in order this weekend?

ok,
erix
 
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carlo

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grinch

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okay, so i asked carlo to extend the contest a week so i could participate and after much begging and pleading, he called me a bastard and said no.

so here is my bastardized attempt at a cd review having only listened to the album twice. (i wonder if carlo means midnight in his time zone or mine?
)

the flaming lips - yoshimi battles the pink robots
when going over my first impressions of an album, i want to mention my first impressions of hearing the name of the band (which in my opinion plays a large role in the type of music they play and how i will take it): a name like the flaming lips gives me the same feeling that i got when i first heard "the tragically hip". kinda a clever rock band name, with just a touch of punk influence. i was about to find out that i was a bit far off in my preliminary guess.


this album has to be one of the most tastefully done electronic albums that i have heard in ages, especially since it really isn't an "electronic album" in that sense. i'd like to hear some of their earlier stuff, but they feel like a band that has always flirted with electronic sounds, but never really dived headfirst into them like when they made this album. think indie rock, throw in a little trent-reznor-in-a-good-mood, add some drum beats and some good samples and you've got this album.

i am listening to the album right now and i can tell that in coming months this will become one of my "chill albums"; this album seems like the perfect centerpiece for a good conversation between friends and bottles on a late saturday evening. it starts off with an upbeat tempo and a couple of tracks of great beats and indie-feeling riffs, but then it cools it off a notch with "in the morning of the magicians." i'm pretty amazed by their ability to hold both an electronic side and still "rock" side of the musical threshold. the basics (guitars, bass, keyboards, and even vocals) have a very indie sound to me, but everytime i relax for a moment thinking the music just got simple, i'm attacked by a load of well-placed rhythym samples and a few keyboard notes that i never saw coming. this may sound misleading, or even annoying, but it really is done well and unobtrusive-like. i feel like they really spent some time going through the album during production, tweaking each little track for optimal smoothness.

at first, i was listening via my computer->dac->meta42->sr-325, but now i threw the cd into my rega planet 2000->dimarzio m-paths->rkv->hd600/cardas and the album has been taken to whole new levels of greatness. suddenly layers upon layers of audio that i didn't notice there before, are suddenly there. the bass takes a bigger chunk out of the music, and of course it's a fair share darker, but i am hearing more layers of electronics/guitars/vocals. i really am digging this album.

okay, so for conclusions (even though i haven't listened to this album more than three times), i give this album the thumbs up. screw that six out of four stars and all that crap, to me an album is one of the following:
  1. bad
  2. good (worth buying)
  3. i am in love with it
now, the problem here is, if i think an album is bad, i probably won't even buy it and give it a try.
all in all, this album is definitely good. i feel like i might fall in love with it at some point, but that'll take a few months because after all, there is no such thing as love at first sight.
 
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DanG

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The Who -- A Quick One (While He's Away)
I've liked The Who since I first saw the movie version of Tommy as a kid. I was a mild fan after buying the original album and the soundtrack to the movie. But I became a raving fan who loves The Who after a college friend of mine just gave me his old oft-used and scratched copy of Live at Leeds on the bus from Boston to Williamstown. The only gift that's meant so much to me was when my best friend gave me Revolver, Wish You Were Here, Houses of the Holy, and L.A. Woman as a graduation gift, exposing me to some of the best stuff of three bands that I would learn to love on about the same level as I love The Who now.

What is it that drew me back then to The Who? I was quite familiar with Tommy, yet that didn't make me love them. I had heard Who's Next and some of Quadrophenia, yet that didn't really move me either. Yet the moment I popped Live at Leeds into my portable CDP, it was just heaven.

The best answer I can think of is that this is real rock n' roll mixed with some of the best musical talent of the 60s and 70s -- both in terms of writing and technical ability. Who's Next and Quadrophenia disappointed me because they seemed to contain fewer of the foot-tapping and frivolous beats, not to mention the amazing improv jams, of Live at Leeds. I was looking for something more reminiscent of the lighter side of Leeds.

I found it in A Quick One. It's an album that contains everything fun and just plain cool about Live at Leeds, even if Petey isn't so great at his guitar yet, and even if Roger sounds like he's twelve years old. It has all the freshness of a garage band f@#$ing around plus the talent of a legendary group of rock musicians. They play covers of “Barbara Ann,” “Buckett,” and even the Batman theme song. Some songs are so ridiculous they could have been written by a ten-year-old – yes, I’m talking about “Boris the Spider.” Yet for the past week I’ve been going around saying “Boooooris the Spi-der” in that rumbly-throated voice that I always used as a kid.

Freshness – that’s the best way I can characterize this album. Nico is about the exact opposite – it’s slow, even oppressive in its laziness. I would describe that album as catatonic – the same way I’d describe my friend that we call “rabbi” after he smokes up. Carlo tells me that The Who were using a lot of drugs at this point – if they were, it didn’t kill their music the way that it did The Velvet Underground’s (then again, it might have been that idiot, Warhol). The beats are usually simple, the chord structures not too complex (hey, even I can play most of them after fiddling on the frets for a few minutes), and the lyrics many things, but not deep. Sometimes they’re reminiscent of a fifth-grade breakup – like the upbeat song “So Sad About Us,” which describes the singer’s frustrations over a recent dumpage.

What more can I say? I could talk about influences (hm, probably some Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, network TV) or trends in music at the time as Carlo did when we talked about the album, but it just doesn’t seem to matter to me. If you like the suite of songs called “Tommy’s Parents” more than you like Tommy, if you like “Substitute” more than “Baba O’Riley,” then you’ll love A Quick One. And even if you like those lighter Who songs at all, then you’ll still love A Quick One.
 
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carlo

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grinch,

i agree that yoshimi as a chill album is its immediate appeal, it went from something playing in the background on drives and hanging out with friends to something that kept finding its way into the cd tray. it just grew on me, sort of like fungus but better

Quote:

they feel like a band that has always flirted with electronic sounds, but never really dived headfirst into them like when they made this album. think indie rock, throw in a little trent-reznor-in-a-good-mood, add some drum beats and some good samples and you've got this album.


and thats exactly what they are. its arguable that the soft bulletin is more original than yoshimi, an album that took what had been done with japanese electronica and loosened it up a tad. its heavy pop without the bubble gum but still keeps the foot tapping... i don't think reznor can get through the angst to find that.

interesting perspective man, loved what you had to say on the album, but you're in second place because whiny dan edged you out. bastard.

dan,
i should put in you last just for bitching so much


to me a quick one was a turning point: the who's appeal to me is that they were both setting pace as a progressive and regressive band - one that sought inspiration from blues and (along with the animals and kinks) created garage and what would be punk. at the same time prog owes a lot to quadrophenia and tommy. a quick one embodied both of it.

there's certain rules to what an album is supposed to sound like, what a member of the british invasion was supposed to talk about, what being a mod was all about. the who painted over the lines and came up with something that defied what had been done before and set what would come...

your approach to look at it from live at leeds (i agree - its the album where they just rocked and showed pure musicianship) where as i've looked at it as arguably the first real punk album (playing with structure, stripping down songs, distortion and effects, etc). i'm processing some of your thoughts as the album plays through the setup


first choice: dan
second choice: grinch (it was close man)
third: royboy2k

call what you want and send me your address in a pm (dan - still have yours, will send prize with the powercord on friday).

thanks

carlo.
 
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