Can someone do dubstep please?
2012: Coachella Weekend Two & Roskilde
Kiwi Pop (Most of these are going to be compilations)
Really you just need the first disc. This is kind of the ground zero for what most people consider the New Zealand Underground sound-lo fi, trebly guitars that jangle and pop, fast tempos, a mix of punk and reverence for 60s sounds. The Clean were the band that galvanized the scene after the Enemy, the first punk band on the South Island, threw everyone for a loop. The Clean were three guys (David and Hamish Kilgour and Bob Scott) who played shows for a few years in Dunedin and then Auckland, gave Flying Nun, their record label, both its start and its first number one hit, and wrote a mess of fantastic pop tracks.
Tally Ho-their first single, and one of their best.
Point That Thing Somewhere Else-The Clean at their most psychedelic.
Anything Could Happen-Just a superb song.
2.The Chills-Submarine Bells
The Chills were well on track to being the great lost band from New Zealand when they put this out. By this point, they had been a band for over 10 years, gone through around 20 members, released 5 uniformly excellent singles and put out one completely unrecognized album full of short, peppy rock tracks. Then in 1991 they went big, signed to Slash Records in the US and released Submarine Bells, which will wind up being their signature release. This is full of big sounding indie pop, replete with strings, reverb, dense lyrics and incredible melodies. They start it off with Heavenly Pop Hit, one of the best songs in their catalog and a truly spectacular pop song, full of build and vocal trading and great sounds. The rest of the album is good, but Heavenly Pop Hit is perfection.
Heavenly Pop Hit (Bonus-Uber-90s video!)
3.Tall Dwarfs-Hello Cruel World
Tall Dwarfs is two guys, Alec Bathgate and Chris Knox. They were both part of The Enemy, a notorious punk band from Dunedin fronted by Knox, who would frequently wind up cut and bloody on stage in tribute to Iggy Pop. They then formed a new-wavey band called Toy Love who made a decent record for a major label in Australia and quickly dissolved. Tall Dwarfs was their response to the major label bullshit-defiantly lo-fi, their recordings were all made on Knox's 4-track and featured no drums, instead gaining percussion from pots, pans, toys and whatever they could find. Hello Cruel World is a compilation of their first four EPs, and its a hell of a release. The CD contains every track from these, so it's an undertaking at over 20 songs, but these short psychedelic bursts make the listen easy. Knox has a weird voice and this isn't for everyone, but after listening to the tracks on here, you can definitely hear the striking influence the band has had throughout the indie scene, from Yo La Tengo to Jay Reatard to Neutral Milk Hotel (Fun fact-Knox is friends with Mangum, and booked him a show when he came to visit in 2001, not knowing that Neutral Milk Hotel had stopped as an active concern. They performed the show, and that was the last full NMH show.)
All My Hollowness To You
Nothing's Going to Happen
The NZ indie scene was small and, as a result, very incestuous, with bands constantly shifting and sharing members (Case in point-Martin, the man behind the Chills, plays the organ on the early Clean stuff.) Straightjacket Fits formed out of the ashes of the Doublehappys, who were the second iteration of The Stones, one of the original bands who, along with the Chills, The Verlaines (We'll get to them) and the Sneaky Feelings, were on the seminal Dunedin Double EP, the first major release from Flying Nun (all recorded in Chris Knox's living room on his 4-track). By this point, Straightjacket Fits had grown from the bluesy punk they had played in the early 80s to a noisy, psychedelic pop band. They could have blown up with the alternative boom if they had better distribution in the US, but sadly they didn't have much recognition outside of New Zealand at the time. By the time they came to California in 1993, they were falling apart. But here, in 1988, they released a record packed with rocking gems. Check the videos below for proof.
5.This Kind of Punishment-This Kind of Punishment
New Zealand, in addition to producing great indie pop, is also home to a lo fi experimental scene that's long been productive. This Kind of Punishment were one of the early bands, releasing stuff in the 80s on Flying Nun and Xpressway, the tape-only label that became the main documentor of the noise scene in the 80s. This Kind of Punishment is the Jeffries Brothers, Peter and Graeme. They make spare, haunting tracks with ominous overtones and dark piano pieces. Their subsequent albums would develop more nuance and range, but the first one is their purest statement, full of dread and sounding vaguely like Joy Division or early Bauhaus but decidedly lo fi and noisy. A really cool band well worth checking out.
I couldn't find any videos of songs from the first album, so here's Immigration Song, the first track off their third album
6.The Dead C-Eusa Kills
The Dead C are probably the most well known experimental band out of New Zealand. A long running concern, they have been performing since the mid 80s, constantly releasing material and performing in New Zealand. Despite the fact that they mostly remain over there, their following is much larger in England and the US than it is in their home country. They spin out long, dense improvised tracks that meander from psychedelia to noise to free-jazz inspired rock to traditional song craft. Eusa Kills is a good place to start, as it is slightly more song focused, and also available to find in the US (most of these are really hard to track down in physical format.)
Again, no videos from this album, so here's a live recording from Philadelphia
Every time I read about these guys, they are referenced as an early predecessor to Stereolab's sound. I don't hear that so much, but they do have the slinky bass lines and organ tones. Snapper, to me, is more rock than Stereolab, and they retain some of the menace of the darker Velvet Underground work. Peter Gutteridge, who is the main songwriter, was a member of the Clean and the Chills (that's him playing lead guitar on Point That Thing Somewhere Else). This album is a dark one, sounding quite a bit like JAMC at points and (yup) Stereolab in others, all while retaining their own sound. I don't know what happened to them, but this is a fantastic record.
Snapper and the Ocean.
8.The Bats-Daddy's Highway
The Clean went on Hiatus after their single and two EPs, and Robert Scott, the drummer, decided to form the Bats. Really, any Bats record you get will be a perfect intro, as they're all essentially the same. They do acoustic, lilting indie/twee stuff, and they do it perfect. Each song on here is a little gem of acoustic indie pop, a style they were the forefathers of and really perfected. They still release records and tour, and might even be coming to the US soon, as the Clean are playing some shows.
Treason-Their best song
9.The Verlaines-Bird Dog
The Verlaines were the distinguished band of the whole scene. They began recording and performing early, being one of the four bands on the Dunedin Double EP. They recorded a number of fantastic albums, eventually moving to the US for a few years and recording in increasingly high fidelity. They never sounded like a band that should have been Lo-Fi, and the increased fidelity here helps. Graeme Downes, the constant force behind the Verlaines, is a professor of musical composition, and his intelligence and understanding of orchestration shows. There's lots of subtle structural work here that makes the album scream for repeated listens, in addition to the fact that Downes has a hell of a way with melodies and soaring song structures. Simply a great band, and this was their finest hour.
CD, Jimmy Jazz and Me
Makes No Difference
10.Bird Nest Roys-Bird Nest Roys
They get forgotten even amongst Kiwi Pop fans as a second rate band, but don't believe it for a second. This album is chock full of pop gems. The Roys had a way of writing a melody that didn't hit right away-it developed and twisted and slowly came about, and they made songs that were excellent because of it. This one is probably the easiest, most accessible listen on the list, and may very well be a good introduction into the whole NZ sound.
Jaffa Boy-their most known single
Nice work, Bryan. These are all top-notch picks. I know I asked you about Bailter Space last week, but do you also know Able Tasmans? They're another one you might consider checking out, if you don't already know them. They're so close in spirit and style to The Chills and The Verlaines that they probably don't need to be on this list, but their 1987 debut, A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down, is first-rate guitar pop.
THIS. God, Bathory was so awesome. My favourite album of theirs is "Hammerheart" but that's when frontman Quarthon ended his black metal phase and went into a Viking phase.
Would be way cool if someone could write a primer on the top Viking metal albums. Don't know enough about the genre myself to do it.
But, someone should really do a legitimate Post Rock list. I mean, a list that is mainly comprised of albums that have elements of Post Rock really isn't a Post Rock list at all, when it all comes down to it. No offense meant to Stilldo.
Yeah, it's a masterpiece. I see what you mean about my list, but I feel that another list would be kind of superfluous, considering that I feel that 9/10 of those albums are definitely post-rock. The only one that might not be is Red, but that is only if you consider where it fell in the progression. And lets face it, it's much more interesting to listen to that album than anything Explosions in the Sky put out.
I say a list that shows the full range of post rock makes is more interesting to me than a list that sticks to a very strict definition.
And yeah, Cooks, Hammerheart is a beast. I would not be able to do much of a Viking Metal one myself; I haven't been taken with much beyond Amon Amarth. Which is to say they've been enough for me.
2014 Collaborative Playlist on Spotify.
I don't think another post rpock list would be superfluous at all, but i also don't think there is anything wrong with Still-ill's list. There are plenty other albums to fill a good list with though.
12/4/14 - Angel Olsen @ El Rey // 12/10/14 - Tune-Yards/Cibo Matto @ Wiltern
nothing more exciting than arguing genre definitions.
Anyone have any other genre input? A thread like this really needs to stay on the first page.
I'm working on an early industrial debuts one but real life is getting in the way of internet projects.
I'm not forgetting about this. Andrew and I have a collaborated list that needs write-ups. Perhaps I can talk with him and solidify it this week.
Those of you with unfinished work would be praised should you find the time.
Can someone complete an electronic list?
2 oz blended whiskey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 slice lemon
Shake blended whiskey, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the half-slice of lemon, top with the cherry, and serve.
C+C Music Factory
that Missy Elliott song
Tangerine Dream soundtracks
Super Mario Bros.
internet meme techno remix
The Chicago sound was created, mostly, by players who grew up in the South and cut their teeth playing and recording in the Delta, then moved north during the second Great Migration following WWII. I could drone on and on about the sound and how it formed through the necessity of amplification (which, in turn, presented a whole new palette of sounds and effects for musicians to experiment with and popularize with great success) and the crucial role this music served as the link between blues and R&B/rock and roll. But I won’t. If you like the sounds presented here, I’m certain you’ll perform your own research and realize the immense impact that Chicago blues had on nearly all subsequent forms of rock and roll and popular music in general. In no particular order:
1. James Cotton – Best of the Verve Years
Cotton recorded hits with Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters (Waters alternated between Cotton and Little Walter during the 50s) before striking out on his own and forming the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet with Otis Spann on the keys. This guy could fucking play a mean harmonica. Pretty much all that needs to be said. He still records and plays shows, go see him if given the opportunity. This album contains a good number of Cotton’s earliest solo work and represents what is generally considered to be Cotton’s most fertile period artistically. The collection includes his entire first album on Verve as well as 9 other tracks from his next two Verve Albums, showcasing his virtuosity and blast-furnace sound.
2. Big Bill Broonzy— Good Time Tonight
Bill Broonzy moved to Chicago and began recording in the decade before World War II. Broonzy did not play much of the dark, brooding blues of the Delta but, rather, played upbeat “happy blues,” if such a term can exist. A fine and able guitarist, Broonzy was a hell of a composer and songwriter, writing over 300 compositions during his career. Lyrically, his songs were clever and well-written, often risqué and riddled with double-entendre. Even the sleaziest songs seem somewhat tame because they are told in a manner that separates them from most bawdy blues songs about squeezing lemons and such. Mostly. His ode to whiskey-dick, “Whiskey and Good Time Blues” is a bit more direct, and is also quite funny. This collection is nothing special or too out of the ordinary, but it includes twenty tracks that span 1930-1940, including some unreleased gems, presenting a fine sample of early Chicago blues.
3. Sonny Boy Williamson – Bluebird Blues
Sunny Boy Williamson (not to be confused with Sonny Boy Williamson II aka Aleck Miller, a talented harpist who assumed Sonny Boy’s name after the original was murdered in the late 1940s. Sonny Boy II was actually important in the Chicago scene in the 1950s) is the most important blues harmonica player ever. Ever. There has not been one blues harpist since Sonny Boy that has not borrowed greatly from his style. Sonny Boy’s success came in being able to synthesize older solo styles from the Delta into a new bluesier sound that sounded equally good solo or with a band. Williamson singlehandedly transformed the harmonica from inter-verse filler into a lead instrument. Stylistically, Sonny Boy played with a very dexterous sound, equal parts smooth and raw, bending notes and taking runs like a clarinet or saxophone. Williamson had a slight stammer, which is apparent in the elongated vowels on the slower songs and slight stutters during the upbeat numbers. Strangely, this made his vocals sound a bit more urgent and expressive, and this vocal “style” has been imitated by many blues singers, essentially becoming a style unto itself (listen to Waters bite this style on the live record Fathers and Sons). His songs have become standards, covered by every blues band on the planet. This compilation is part of a very good series on the blues, and I highly recommend the entire series (the Blind Willie McTell set is superb). They have collected a lot of Sonny Boy’s most well-known and influential tracks. Plus, it’s hard not to like a comp that includes a song titled “Sloppy Drunk Blues.” Few individuals had such massive impact on the Chicago scene, and blues in general, as Sonny Boy Williamson.
4. Howlin Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf (“Rocking Chair” record)
EDIT: Shit. This section got deleted and I'm too lazy to fix it. This is a REALLY good record. Check out Hubert Sumlin's spiky guitar lines, they nicely complement Wolf's visceral singing and harp playing. This is absolutely essential listening for all fans of blues.
5. Muddy Waters – The Best of Muddy Waters
Not much more can be said about Muddy Waters that hasn’t already been said countless times. His music occupies one of the rare pivot points of popular music, where we have music before Muddy Waters and we have music after Muddy Waters. In terms of impact, influence, visibility, and his role as a blues cherry-popper for most folks, Waters might be the most important blues musician to ever live. He is “the blues” for a lot of people. When we hear the stop-riff style he helped popularize, we identify it as “the blues.” THE blues. Waters found massive commercial success recording for Chess and created one of the most famous bands in history, the archetype for the modern rock and roll band: drums (Elgin Evans), harmonica (Little Walter), piano (Otis Spann), guitar (Jimmy Rogers), bass (Willie Dixon). Sounds simple. It is. It wasn’t new, Sonny Boy Williamson had done it a decade earlier, but it had never sounded like this.
This Chess compilation disc from the late 1950s includes all of his best sides for Chess. I’m not sure if it’s still in print, but I am certain there are other Chess compilations. In the 60s Waters adopted more of a rural folk-blues persona to cash in on the folk revival. These songs aren’t bad, they just aren’t nearly as good or interesting. Avoid Electric Mud like the plague, it’s quite terrible.
6. Jimmy Reed – I’m Jimmy Reed
Jimmy Reed’s music is like your favorite local dive or breakfast at Mike & Rhondas in Flagstaff: it’s nothing fancy, it might even seem woefully ill-equipped at times, but god damn it if it doesn’t hit the spot every time. Jimmy Reed is more important to popular music than the majority of people will ever realize, the sound of his records permeates rock and roll and modern blues to the point that we have forgotten their origin. His songs have been covered by an endless list of bands and artists in the 60s and 70s were obsessed with Reed. Talk to Keith Richards and he'll tell you there were three names he, Mick, and Brian idolized in the early days: Reed, Berry, and Diddley. Shit, don't ask Keith, just listen to the Stones' early output. You still hear him name-checked by Leon Russell and Neil Young and others. Reed had more records on the R&B and Pop charts in the mid-50s and early 60s than Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and most other well-known bluesman. Not a great singer, harpist, or guitarist, Reed’s success at the time was largely the result of his rhythm guitarist and childhood friend Eddie Taylor. Taylor’s muted boogie riffs, played on the bass strings of the guitar, have become such a fixture of the blues that people have a hard time separating it from what they consider “blues.” Not only that, this stuff makes people want to get up and dance and boogie and have a good time. Reed was a simple, yet oddly gifted songwriter (he’s one of my favorite lyricists) whose songs are catchy, heart breaking, and just plain good. Key tracks include “Honest I Do,” “You Don’t Have To Go,” “Ain’t That Loving You,” “You Got Me Dizzy.” Also worth checking out this compilation (), which gathers the best of his sides for Vee-Jay, including those previously mentioned, “Big Boss Man,” “Bright Lights, Big City,” and “Going to New York.” Vee-Jay recordings are the only recordings of his really worth listening to, as debilitating alcoholism and undiagnosed epilepsy wracked his talent in later years.
7. Elmore James – Blues After Hours
Elmore James was a retardedly good slide guitarist. My brain hurts just thinking about it. He’s very nice to listen to. He was known for his heavily amplified and nearly howling guitar (an old hollow body, unbelievably) and his gripping, powerful voice. Ignore the tacky cover and take a listen to the raw, beautiful fury within. Key tracks include “Dust My Blues (aka Dust My Broom), James’ most well-known song, a cover of a Robert Johnson song, “Blues Before Sunrise” and pretty much everything. It’s really good. This is his first and his best, although Sky Is Crying comes at a close second. Interested parties should check out the compilation Shake Your Moneymaker: The Best of the Fire Sessions, it represents a good cross-section of his hits recorded between 1959-1961 for Fire records when James was still in his prime and really cutting into it.
8. Little Walter – Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
Little Walter was to blues harmonica what Charlie Parker was to the alto saxophone or Hendrix to the electric guitar: his virtuosity and vision redefined what was possible on the instrument and influenced nearly everyone who has come after. The first person known to play while cupping his hands around a mic, Walter, to put it bluntly, fucking killed like nobody had ever heard before. Using the mic, he was able achieve a raw, punchy mid-range and wailing, shrieking high notes that could be heard over amplified guitars and ripping horn sections in noisy clubs. Walter experimented with distortion and echo and managed to get some pretty awesome and fucked up sounds. While recording for Chess in the 50s, he scored more top ten hits than label mates Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Included here are his 12 charting singles, as well as 8 others that do nothing less than rock the house. “Juke,” “Blues With a Feeling,” “My Babe,” and “Key to the Highway” are some of his best known, but pretty much the whole compilation is stacked with essential tracks.
9. Buddy Guy – A Man and the Blues
Buddy Guy’s first record as a band leader is also his best, it is blues perfection. He is normally the deathly loud, heavily distorted bridge between Chicago blues and rock and roll, although this record shows a cleaner, crisper sound from Guy. Soulful and dramatic, with high-wire guitar and rock-solid rhythm, it is hard to accurately state how good this record is. If you were wise enough to pick up one of the reissues on Record Store Day this year, you know what I’m talking about. There’s not a bad song on this album, “Sweet Little Angel” is sublime and “One Room Country Shack” could be a definitive statement of what the blues are all about. Utterly brilliant playing by the whole band (Otis Spann, the best Chicago blues pianist, on the keys, Muddy’s drummer Fred Below, and the criminally underrated guitarist Wayne Bennett). The horns bring a wonderful danceable groove to the songs and really tie the room together. Guy’s vocals are clean and soulful, and a bit high-pitched, not as gravelly and partied out as it has been for decades. I’m not a huge fan of Buddy Guy’s overall body of work, but this album is fucking transcendent. Listen to it.
10. Butterfield Blues Band – East-West
Harpist and vocalist, Paul Butterfield and guitarist Mike Bloomfield were what we like to call hipsters. They were affluent white college kids who hung out with Muddy Waters and Little Walter and James Cotton & co. in the blues clubs in South Chicago and generally considered themselves too cool for “white” music. Instead they spent their time soaking up blues and r&b and posturing as streetwise bluesmen. However, these hipsters turned out to be enormously talented blues musicians who became very well respected by their peers in Chicago. They even helped provide exposure for the Chicago scene to white folkie/hipster/hippie audiences and secured Waters, James Cotton, and others spots at west coast festival that the Butterfield Blues Band had been booked to play. Butterfield was the first white blues artist to not merely mimic black artists, but to actually create and contribute to the form. Some argue the first record is better but, for me, this record is a much more expansive and free-feeling endeavor as they explore sounds outside the traditional blues idiom. Two jazzy extended jams on the album show the band exploring outside traditional Chicago blues, incorporating modal jazz and Indian ragas (“East-West” is the best, and likely only, raga you’ll ever hear played by a blues band. Shit gets crazy, and it’s great). Bloomfield’s playing is fluid and incendiary and Butterfield’s harp is funky and distorted and totally irresistible. The rhythm section is tight as hell. Funky. Piano is ripping throughout, although “Get Out of My Life, Woman” serves up some very tasty treats from key man Mark Naftalin. And Bishop actually contributes some solos to the record, unlike the first. This was the last album to feature the “classic” lineup of the band, as Bloomfield would leave to start Electric Flag and Bishop would go solo. This album is an interpretation of the Chicago blues that managed to influence the scene and have enormous impact on the genre. Essential listening.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Tampa Red (slide guitarist and progenitor of the Chicago sound), Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Magic Sam, Junior Wells, Earl Hooker (very good and in-demand slide guitarist, John Lee’s brother), Otis Spann.
Paging Jared to the Primer thread.