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Thread: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

  1. #2101
    old school ods..'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Yes! Thanks Bryan! Gonna study this tomorrow when I'm not on my phone.

    I really hope to get a Prince write up finished sometime this summer. Tall order tho.
    5/9 - Suishou No Fune (水晶の舟) - The Empty Gallery - HK
    6/7 - NHK'Koyxeи / Mark Fell - The Empty Gallery - HK

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Expect another update soon. One bonus to bar study is I listen to a ton of music.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Coachella Junkie cutterbutter's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Frank Zappa.

    Please.

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Never gonna happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by SoulDischarge View Post
    I feel like I've been working on this for fucking ages on and off and since they're officially reuniting, I'm just going to post what I do have done and hope it motivates me to finish the rest soon.

    Swans


    Filth (1983)
    Swans debut is as harsh and unforgiving as anything you're likely to hear. It's like Michael Gira and company invoked all the negative feelings in all of New York City in the early 80's and distilled it into one brutal, ugly blast of grinding No Wave. As to be expected from a debut album, it shows Swans at their most primitive. There's not much in terms of musical ability, with most of the songs being comprised of repetitive plodding industrial dirges over which Gira chants and moans about power, control, self-loathing, etc. While there's not much variety here, it's still a lot less monochromatic than the releases immediately following this with a few slight touches of distortion effects (the vocals on opener "Stay Home," the strange, noisy interlude "Freak," the semi-coherent "Gang"). It's not very much fun, but it's a small masterpiece of angst and aggression. The band occasionally gets locked into something of hypnotic death grind groove that's very effective if you're in the mood for it. It's usually where I go if I'm in the mood for pre-Jarboe Swans. Tacked on to the end is the first EP recorded by the band under a previous incarnation, which sounds significantly different from Filth. These four songs have more in common with bands like the Birthday Party, and are considerably more upbeat from any other early Swans material. Worth hearing.

    B


    Cop/Young God (1984-ish, reissued together 1993)
    As bleak as Filth was, Swans found some way to make their follow up, Cop (re-released with a different running order and an EP from the same era mixed in), even more punishing. Their sound is even more stripped (and slowed) down, with Gira's more forceful vocals being brought further out in the mix. The lyrics are more of the same: lust, power, abuse, hatred. The title track pretty well sums up the mood here; Gira rambles about how "nobody rapes you like a cop" over a bass heavy dirge that makes the Melvins sound like Tiny Tim. Most of the tracks sound pretty similar, with barely even the lyrics to distinguish them. It's all played out like metal slowed down to the pace of a slug's crawl. It's pretty hard to digest, especially in one sitting, but you have to admire them for acheiving what they set out to accomplish here. Most music that tries to sound as unsettling as this tends to come off as cartoonish and over the top, but this album feels very straight faced and dedicated to its atmosphere of misery. I'm very rarely in the mood for this and most people don't have a need for music this grim and unrelenting, so I can't really recommend it, but it deserves credit for being a unique accomplishment in ugliness.

    B-


    Greed/Holy Money (1986-ish, reissued together 1993)
    This release is a combination of Swans' third and fourth albums, which work well together as a piece. While still as wretched as ever, on these albums the band lightens up just a shade. There are a few tracks that could have been on Cop, but there's just as many that sees them reaching forward to a new sense of musicality. One of the biggest changes is in the introduction of Gira's unsettling cool and calm croon that would become a distinctive trademark of the band over the next decade. Another important element added to the band around this time is female vocalist Jarboe, who served as a more gentle, although no less haunting, contrast to Gira's blunt force. There's also more diverse instrumentation than the typical guitar squeals, bass rumbles, and clanging percussion, including horns and pianos. The Jarboe sung piano ballad "Blackmail" is about the last thing you would expect to hear on a Swans album at this point, but it doesn't feel at odds with the rest of the material here. "Money is Flesh" and "A Screw" feature stabbing horn blasts that go a long way in relieving the monotony and despair of the proceedings. It's not an outright revolution of their sound, merely an opening up and expansion, but it paves the way for their future masterpieces of sinister beauty.

    B


    Children Of God (1987)
    Here's where Swans come into their own, breaking out of their No Wave inspired niche and producing one of the best albums of the 80's along the way. This is a straight up masterpiece of Gothic grandeur. There's not a weak track on here, and, unlike previous releases, there's a significant amount of diversity between the songs while still cohering into a consistent vision. These songs were meant to be heard together, in a certian order, which is what seperates a good collection of songs from a great album.

    Opening with the pounding, organ-tinged call and response chant of "New Mind" before proceeding directly into the melancholy ballad "In My Garden," the album charts a course through a menacing, tragic, gorgeous, and haunting meditation on the effects of love and religion.
    Gira has always been obsessed with power and control, so it was only a matter of time before he explored their effect on theology and romance. Despite the grim fury of much of the music, the majority of the lyrics are ambiguously neutral about their subjects, preferring to paint subtle portraits of situations and feelings and letting the listener draw their own conclusions. A good exmple of this is the stunning, strangely beautiful closer, "Children Of God." On its own, it could be taken as a straight faced hymn about the glorious redemption of God's love, but in the context of the rest of the album, it takes on an unsettling undercurren.

    The sonic approach this time around is far less abrasive, with folk elements coalescing with the harsher aspects of their sound. There are still remnants of earlier Swans ("New Mind," "Sex, God, Sex") but even these are tempered by a stronger sense of melodicism and a majestic grandiosity that suits the religious themes well. Adding to the improvement in songwriting ability is a perfectly pitched, highly affecting atmosphere of solemn awe. Jarboe's increased presence helps achieve this in no small way. On tracks like "In My Garden" and the remake of their earlier "Blackmail," she exhibits a frail tenderness that finds beauty in pain. Gira, on the other hand, sings in a seductive, low growl that's simultaneously soothing and ominous. A perfect example of his duplicitous nature is in the softly sinister "You're Not Real, Girl", where he casually informs his lover that "nothing inside you is real," especially "when you take my trust in your body." In the context of this gentler approach, the songs that do let the hell fire simmering just below the surface break loose are stronger and more powerful for it, particularly the howling damnation of "Beautiful Child," and the distorted horn laden nightmare "Like A Drug (Sha La La La)."

    This album is as good a place as any to start with Swans. From here they would mellow further, introducing an even wider range of influences, but this is the apex of their 80's output. Recommended for anyone interested in the darker depths of alternative rock.


    A+


    Feel Good Now (1988)
    This is a live official bootleg from the Children Of God tour. It features primarily material from that album. The sound quality is pretty poor. There might be some great performances on here, but the sound is so muddied it's not really worth it for anyone but the most dedicated fans.

    D


    The Burning World/Forever Burned (1989/2003)
    The Burning World is the only major label Swans album, and as that usually implies, it's probably their weakest. (Forever Burned is a compiliation that features the entirety of The Burning World with some other songs from the era added to the end). Gira has spoken about his disatisfaction with the album and attributes it to the incompatibility of their sound with the production by Bill Laswell, although the songwriting isn't at its strongest either. It's very much a transitional album. That being said, it's certainly no travesty, and has some very fine moments that point towards future greatness. It's a testament to Swans' power that their weakest album is this strong, really. This is the band at their gentlest, with a strong emphasis on the dark folk elements of their sound. Maybe a result of Laswell's influence, there's also quite a bit of world music elements being introduced here (check the drum patterns on "Mona Lisa, Mother Earth"). Some times the lighter touch makes certain songs pretty unmemorable and tame sounding, such as opener "River That Runs With Love Won't Dry" and "Saved," although they're pleasant enough to listen to while they're on. They just lack the power and dynamicism of prime Swans.

    C


    White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity (1991)
    Here Swans make yet another transition, beginning probably their most diverse, rewarding period. This incarnation of the band is far more accessible than ever before, but instead of feeling watered down, it comes off as a refinement of their sound, favoring lush, layered arrangements over brutal aggression. Starting with the cooing of a baby, opening track "Better Than You" sets the mood for the album, alternating between dramatic, roaring grandiosity and more restrained acoustic passages before finally drifting out on a majestic wave of ethereal chants of the title courtesey of Jarboe, ringing guitar strums, and bells. The rest of the album continues in this vein, contrasting quiet, introspective moments with cinematic soaring blasts of sound pouring out like the white light of the album's title. The albums finds the beauty in themes such as failure, lies, betrayal, and existential uncertainty and, as always, the darkness behind power and love. Despite some very powerful moments, there's an inconsistency here that prevents the album from quite achieving greatness. Certain songs hit exactly all the right notes ("Love Will Save You," "Failure," "Miracle Of Love") while others ("We Will Survive," "Song For The Sun") don't quite meet the promise of their ambitions. There's also a feeling of the band trying the same tricks too many times so that some of the songs feel somewhat indistinguishable from one another. But even these near missteps have enough interesting ideas to recommend them, and overall this marks a large step forward in the development of the band's sound.

    B+


    Love Of Life (1992)
    Love Of Life continues to explore the sound laid down on White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity, although not quite as memorably as that album. In fact, it almost sounds as if it could be a collection of outtakes and spare tracks from that album than a cohesive self contained album. Out of seventeen tracks, six are short instrumental interludes, although they don't really improve the flow of the album as a whole. The main problem is there's too many songs that are content to plod along moodily without really going anywhere. Additionally, they begin to incorporate the sound found aesthetic which they would perfect on Soundtracks For The Blind, but doesn't quite gel here. A perfect example of this is on "Her," a track that alternately lilts and rages before being overtaken by a sample of some dippy hippie chick that gets more annoying on every listen. When the band does find focus here, though, the songs are up to their usual standard, especially on the leading title track and "Amnesia." Overall, though, this album ranks with The Burning World as their least essential work. Devoted fans will want to hear this eventually, but newcomers should start elsewhere.

    C


    The Great Annihilator (1995)
    After several albums exploring their more subdued side, Swans return with their second masterpiece, incorporating the moody folk-tinged atmospherics of their previous few releases with a ferocity not heard since Children Of God. After a howling instrumental intro, the album announces itself with the raging "I Am The Sun," pairing some of Gira's most haunting lyrics delivered with a disaffected deadpan demeanor with children's chants and pummeling percussion. From there, the band vigorously tears through what is probably their strongest set of songs, each with its own distinct atmosphere and cohering into a whole that is substantially more than the sum of its individual parts. Most of the tracks are buried in a wall of sound, similar to much of shoegaze, although there is more forward drive and less narcotized drifting than any shoegaze record. Most tracks strike a balance between a mournful haze and raging ferociousness, drawing from both the rhythmic harshness of their early work and the lilting gothic beauty of their early 90s material. About the only problem with this album is that it's a little too heavily front loaded. The first half is absolutely perfect, containing some of the best songs of their career: the aforementioned "I Am The Sun," the predatory "She Lives!,"
    the shimmering meloncholy of "Blood Promise," and the soaring "Mind/Body/Light/Sound." The second half is a somewhat more subdued affair, although it still contains it's fair share of impressive moments, and none of the tracks could be considered weak. Due to this slight unevenness, I'd say this album ranks just behind Children Of God, but it's a masterpiece in its own right and a great introduction to the world of Swans.

    A

    To be continued . . .
    To be continued....
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by bmack86 View Post
    Expect another update soon. One bonus to bar study is I listen to a ton of music.
    Soon...

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    To be fair, I was going to post that awhile back then someone posted that they were finishing their reviews of the same artist and I recalled the issue with you, Greg and Bob Dylan. It's been long enough, I might as well finish that set of reviews and post it.
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    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    There was no issue with me, Greg, and Bob Dylan.

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    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    If I start finishing the things I start, it's going to lead to a total identity crisis.

    I thought about doing a guide to the Fabric mixes (excluding Fabriclive), but that would be a pretty massive undertaking considering they're getting close to 70 now.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

  10. #2110
    old school ods..'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by SoulDischarge View Post
    If I start finishing the things I start, it's going to lead to a total identity crisis.

    I thought about doing a guide to the Fabric mixes (excluding Fabriclive), but that would be a pretty massive undertaking considering they're getting close to 70 now.
    I would be interested in a top 10-15 with commentary
    5/9 - Suishou No Fune (水晶の舟) - The Empty Gallery - HK
    6/7 - NHK'Koyxeи / Mark Fell - The Empty Gallery - HK

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by ods.. View Post
    I would be interested in a top 10-15 with commentary
    For sure. Doesn't even have to be a lengthy commentary.
    5/15 - Muse - Mayan
    5/23 - Ceremony - Echoplex (?)
    5/26 - Refused - Roxy
    5/27 - Neutral Milk Hotel - Warner Grand (?)
    5/30 - Spoon - Wiltern (?)


    Quote Originally Posted by LtLoisEinhorn View Post
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAz View Post
    There was no issue with me, Greg, and Bob Dylan.
    I was misremembering. It was Springsteen. Regardless, I have one review to complete, which I'll do tomorrow. To be continued.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Sleater-Kinney



    Sleater-Kinney (1995) – Grade: B-



    Corin Tucker was guitarist in one of the seminal riot-grrl acts, Heavens to Betsy. Carrie Brownstein saw them perform, was inspired, and started her own band Excuse 17. They started Sleater-Kinney (named after an off-ramp in Portland near their practice space) as a side project for those two bands, both playing guitar and singing. They toured Australia not long after forming and found Lora McFarlane down there, adding her as drums. This album was recorded shortly after they got together, and reflects their roots in the Riot-Grrls scene. At this point the band was a side project for two relatively successful underground bands, but they both brought their a-game for their first record together. Their punk leaning is obvious here: more often than not, Corin is screaming rather than singing, and she plays fast, distorted riffs as Carrie lays angular guitar melodies over the top. However, songs like The Day I Went Away and Her Again point to their ability to mix fantastically catchy vocal melodies, interesting guitar tracks and huge choruses. And they aren’t all hard rock and screaming; with a winking nod, they pull of two pretty ones in a row, the first called Slow Song. The production on this is pretty thin and the drums mostly hide in the back, and the vocals sometimes get warbly and rough when they aren’t screaming. And it’s also far and away their shortest album, at 22:45. It blasts past in a rush, and you’ll wanna toss it back on. A promising start.

    Call the Doctor (1996) – Grade: A+



    I wrote three different, unrelated reviews for this one because it’s such a formative album for me:
    The jump between the first album and this is huge. Right away, the interlocking guitars do more than a regular rhythm/lead configuration, taking cues from Wire, Gang of Four and even Iron Maiden in their assault. Carrie’s vocals soar and the chorus so urgent and driving. Corin’s turn on Hubcap is equally stunning, a tense and rhythmic verse leading into a Pixies-on-steroids chorus that could have been a hit on alternative radio when it was released. For both Corin and Carrie, the band was now their main concern, as both Heavens to Betsy and Excuse 17 had broken up recently. Lora flew in from Australia and they recorded this one quickly, but the sound is much improved and everyone turns in a stronger performance. There isn’t a bad song on it, and it deserves to be recognized as one of the strongest punk albums of the 90s.
    If Sleater-Kinney had an anthem, it would be I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. On it, Corin screams that she wants to be your Joey Ramone, your Thurston Moore: your badass rock god. They always toyed with the idea of gender, and one reason Sleater-Kinney always stood out so far above the rest of their peers is they weren’t a great riot-grrl band or a great feminist band, or a great punk band: they were just a great band, and they played like rock stars. The chorus to the song is in league with some of the Ramones catchiest tunes, and the guitars are filthy and booming. It also showed that Carrie could write ‘em just as well as Corin, and sing just as convincingly.
    In fall of 2002, my family took a trip from Bishop down to Lancaster, home of crackheads, desert rats and Frank Zappa. My brother was playing in the High Desert little league playoffs. Since Bishop is such a small town, I always took advantage of a trip to any area with a population above 10,000 to check a Best Buy or record store for something to listen to. I had recently fallen for Fugazi, and some random review reading tipped me to the fact that I should probably listen to Sleater-Kinney. Best Buy only had this album, and it was 7.99, so I couldn’t pass it up. As we drove towards the baseball fields, I put the disc into the new CD player I’d earned laying rock for my dad all summer. I put on the headphones and let it rip. I sat in the back of the air condition, yet sweltering, car and let the songs blast through me. I had not yet heard X-Ray Spex or Bikini Kill or even the better Jefferson Starship stuff: my idea of female rock musicians at the time was Alanis Morrissette. These ladies blew me away. I bought three other CDs that day, but I didn’t listen to them at all during the late night, four hour drive home. Sleater-Kinney had me hooked.
    Get this album.

    Dig Me Out (1997) – Grade: A+



    Eight seconds into the opening, titular track, it becomes obvious that this is a different Sleater-Kinney. The ringing guitar that introduces the song and album is already more complex than anything from the previous two releases, but the drums come in and things go to another level. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Janet Weiss, the third core member of Sleater-Kinney, drummer extraordinaire. The drumming on Call the Doctor was good, but Weiss is a masterful beater of the skins; she finds unique rhythms, provides excellent backing vocals and can both hit like Bonham and skitter and strut like Tony Allen. The songwriting has only gotten tighter in the interim year. The second track, One More Hour, shows how far they’d come in such a short time: it’s not quite a ballad, definitely not a rocker, but completely captivating and driving, driven by a grinding rhythm guitar and a chiming lead, and a caterwauling vocal take by Corin. It’s also a nuanced love song, something you don’t get too often.

    The Hot Rock (1999) – Grade: B



    The first two songs will cue you in: Sleater-Kinney are working hard to keep from being pigeonholed. The Hot Rock kicks off with two songs in a row that don’t feature loud guitars, screams, pummelling drums or charging rhythms. Instead, they give you chiming sounds, prettily sung tracks and a foreboding sense of darkness. The Hot Rock is, on its face, a minor key lament, but there’s an urgency to the delivery that makes it much more haunting. A song like Burn, Don’t Freeze! would have, only two years prior, been an explosive launch into a screaming stratosphere, but here the band keeps restraint and works on a grinding groove and clean guitar tones that really benefit from the more muted sound. The songwriting shows more nuance as well, but I can’t help but miss the brash, in your face Sleater-Kinney of the previous releases. A good album to be sure, but also an anomaly in their career for it’s calmness and clean tones.

    All Hands on the Bad One (2000) – Grade: A-



    By this point they’ve almost got a formula: intertwined guitars, vocal harmonies behind Corin’s screams. They are a much tighter band at this point, and they rock harder than they did on the Hot Rock. Ballad of a Ladyman starts out with a similar melodic intro that suggests the calmer previous material, but it builds into an epic pop-rock song with some soaring guitar and vocals. All Hands on the Bad One is the highlight of the first half of the album. It has a really taut groove and the vocals never get to the throat shredding level of the past. There is so much tension, yet the song is energetic and almost danceable. Just fantastic. They don’t stay quite at this level throughout though, as Youth Decay and #1 Must Have are a bit unmemorable. However, most of the second side continues the huge sound from Dig Me Out to great effect. Both Youth Decay and Leave You Behind capture them in nice, twee-with-umph mode, delivering sweet indie pop goodness. Another highly enjoyable album.

    One Beat (2002) – Grade: A



    Combat Rock was the best response to 9/11 that a band put out in its immediate aftermath. Whereas most bands avoided political statements (Bruce Springsteen put out the Rising, Neil Young had his song that advocated swift justice and I’m sure someone else was out there, but it wasn’t common) but Corin and Carrie made their most overt observations in connection with 9/11. Check these lyrics out (I was going to pull out a quote, but they’re too astute, so this’ll be a long one:

    They tell us there are only two sides to be on
    If you are on our side you’re right if not you’re wrong
    But are we innocent, paragons of good?
    Is our guilt erased by the pain that we’ve endured?
    Hey look it's time to pledge allegiance
    Oh god I love my dirty Uncle Sam
    Our country's marching to the beat now
    And we must learn to step in time
    Where is the questioning where is the protest song?
    Since when is skepticism un-American?
    Dissent’s not treason but they talk like it’s the same
    Those who disagree are afraid to show their face
    Let's break out our old machines now
    It sure is good to see them run again
    Oh gentlemen start your engines
    And we know where we get the oil from
    Are you feeling alright now
    Paint myself all red white blue
    Are you singing let's fight now
    Innocent people die, uh oh
    There are reasons to unite
    Is this why we unite?
    If you hate this time
    Remember we are the time!
    Show you love your country go out and spend some cash
    Red white blue hot pants doing it for Uncle Sam
    Flex our muscles show them we’re stronger than the rest
    Raise your hands up baby are you sure that we’re the best?
    We'll come out with our fists raised
    The good old boys are back on top again
    And if we let them lead us blindly
    The past becomes the future once again

    They question, they struggle with other people’s complacency, and they do it in a great rock song. This album is full of these juxtapositions. In addition to fantastic lyrics (also check Far Away for another strong protest song) they took some serious steps to broaden their sound. There are keyboards on a few tracks, a horn section on Step Aside, Sympathy is the bluesiest they ever got, and Janet Weiss’ backing vocals are more prevalent and varied. The guitars aren’t as blunted and sharp as All Hands, but that task is ably covered by the vocals and the aforementioned lyrics. They cover the rockers, the ragers, quieter songs and new landscapes in a complete and excellent way: this is the most representative Sleater-Kinney album.

    The Woods (2005) – Grade: A+



    They toured with Pearl Jam after One Beat, and playing in stadiums inspired them to write songs that hit the seats in the back. They recorded outside of the pacific northwest for the first time, holing up in Woodstock with the Flaming Lips favored producer. Oh, and they jumped ship from Kill Rock Stars, their label for nearly 10 years, to put the new one out on Sub Pop. With this much change and ambition, the Woods had potential to be a flop, a failed experiment. But, if every review above didn’t already tip you off, Sleater-Kinney were too good to fail. The Woods is their hardest, heaviest and loudest album, and a strong contender for their best. The Fox opens things with a howl, a wicked burst of distortion and overdriven drums. It’s a sonic litmus test: we’re loud, and if you don’t like this, you can leave now. The pure noise isn’t carried over to the rest of the record, but the sonic maximalism definitely is; they sound huge. Wilderness and What’s Mine Is Yours take the dual guitar attack from Dig it Out and All Hands and pushes it further than ever. They are more intricate in their back and forth, and when Corin howls on this one, she lights it up. Carrie gets more and better guitar solos here than at any other point in their career. The breakdown in What’s Mine is Yours reminds me of Whole Lotta Love’s solo, in that it’s dark, discordant, eerie and completely great. Janet gets her first lead vocal on Modern Girl (another overdriven track, this time with tons of fuzz on top of a twee-ish pop song.) The second to last song, Lets Call it Love, is essentially an 11-minute dual guitar solo that would impress Maiden. They achieved the stadium filling sound, and coupled it with stadium-ready rock songs, some of the best of their career. Sleater-Kinney went on hiatus after the tour for this one, and if they do nothing else, this is an excellent, daring and highly enjoyable way for them to bow out. They were our Joey Ramone.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomAz View Post
    I have started writing a real Van Morrison overview, but I think I'm too big of a fan to be coherent with some of his stuff.
    This and Gram Parsons please.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by bmack86 View Post
    (named after an off-ramp in Portland near their practice space)
    bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Lacey, Washington, which is a suburb of Olympia.

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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Yeah, it's off the 5 right? Definitely have passed a Sleater-Kinney exit while driving south of Seattle on the 5. I'd always assumed it had something to do with their name.
    5/15 - Muse - Mayan
    5/23 - Ceremony - Echoplex (?)
    5/26 - Refused - Roxy
    5/27 - Neutral Milk Hotel - Warner Grand (?)
    5/30 - Spoon - Wiltern (?)


    Quote Originally Posted by LtLoisEinhorn View Post
    Once Morrissey realizes he's on a poster/lineup with an act called 'Horse Meat Disco' he will Cancel.
    last.fm, if you care

    Twitter, if you dare

  17. #2117
    Member zircona1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    I should listen to Call the Doctor again, it didn't grab me the first few times I listened to it.

    I completely agree with your ratings for Dig Me Out, One Beat and The Woods. All 3 are fantastic.
    We're here to play some Mississippi Delta Blues. We're in a horrible depression, and I gotta admit - we're starting to like it.

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    Member FEELS's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Nice work bmack!

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    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    OK Bryan here's your Gram Parsons.

    The International Submarine Band – Safe at Home


    45 years after the fact, the idea of a rock band playing country songs seems quaint and old fashioned. But in 1967, rock music and country music were on opposite sides of a rather polarized culture war. Rock music was for hippies and drug abusers, country for solid upright rural or southern Americans who wore their hair short and the clothes neat. So Parson’s idea to bring the two together was extraordinarily radical and as we know now wound up pretty influential, in both good and bad ways, on pop music for years to come. (note: to say Parsons “invented” country rock, as many do, is not quite fair; Dylan was recording John Wesley Harding in 1967 as well).

    The International Submarine Band was formed while Parsons was a freshman at Harvard, where he dropped out after a semester and the band moved first to NY and then LA. This album was recorded in 1967 and is mostly covers (Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard) but does include a few Parsons originals including “Luxury Liner”, probably the best song on this record. This is a decent album but not the place to start with Parsons. Grade: B



    The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo


    Parsons left the International Submarine Band before Safe at Home was even released (note: this theme tends to repeat itself) and was recruited by Chris Hillman to join The Byrds, who were already huge rock stars with first their jangly power-pop (Turn Turn Turn) then psychedelia (Eight Miles High). Parsons steered the Byrds to country-rock and they recorded this masterpiece. The most striking thing about the record is it treats country music absolutely seriously, with respect and not as novelty or parody. The result, a mix of covers and originals, is a beautiful and stirring collection that should melt any country-hater’s attitude to the genre – it’s not all stupid right wing crap; its roots (and as interpreted here) are deeply human and soulful.

    There are 3 Parsons originals on here, and two of them, “Hickory Wind” and “One Hundred Years From Now” are essential parts of the Gram Parsons catalogue. Parsons was supposed to sing lead on most of the album, but Parsons was, umm, under contract still with the International Submarine Band’s label. So Parsons vocals were all deleted in favor of Roger McGuinn, who does a decent job, but you have to wonder what this would have sounded like with Gram singing. Grade: A (but, in a way, also Incomplete).



    The Flying Burrito Brothers – Gilded Palace of Sin


    Parsons left the Byrds after just a few months (see what I mean?), along with Chris Hillman, and formed The Flying Burrito Brothers. In my mind Gilded Palace of Sin is the first truly great Gram Parsons record (since Sweetheart had to delete his vocals) and for the adventurer would be a pretty good place to start. Palace builds on where Sweetheart left off – but rather than treating country with kid gloves, they knock it around a bit and add some real rock components (electric guitar solos) and R&B elements. The hybrid may not have been born here but it was perfected here. Most of these songs are Parsons originals (or at least, he co-wrote them). “Christine’s Song”, “Sin City”, “Juanita” and the two “Hot Burrito” songs are among Parson’s best work.

    “Hot Burrito #1” in fact is a fucking masterpiece in 3 minutes. On the surface an old fashioned country weeper from a jilted lover, closer listening reveals something far more complex. The music is as much R&B as country; the lyrics show a man not just mourning his lover but angry and resentful. Elvis Costello learned much from this song and has said so. “Hot Burrito #2” is its polar opposite, sounding almost like an upbeat Carol King song, full of confidence and swagger. As a pair, the tension in the contrast is striking.
    Grade: A+



    The Flying Burrito Brothers – Burrito Deluxe


    Gilded Palace of Sin didn’t sell a lot but it did get a lot of attention, including Bob Dylan and, famously, Keith Richards. Keith and Gram became good friends and spent a lot of time together talking music and partying; Keith learned about country music from Gram and it shows in the Stones’ music from this time.

    So the thing is, Gram was so busy partying with his new friends he didn’t spend a lot of time on actual music. The Burritos were a notoriously bad live band, mainly because they refused to practice, ever, at all. This led to some discontent in the band and some lineup changes, notably with Chris Ethridge leaving and replaced by Bernie Leadon (yes, the Eagles guy). Leadon, being a polished professional, pushed the band in a new direction (like actually playing their instruments well outside the studio) and as a result Burrito Deluxe feels much more polished, but less inspired, than Palace. “Farther Along”, traditional cover, is pretty good, as is “Cody Cody” and “High Fashion Queen”.

    Probably the most interesting song on the record is the cover of “Wild Horses” – a year before the Stones released it.

    Grade: B



    Gram Parsons – GP



    Parsons left the Burritos shortly after Deluxe; the band carried on with Leadon in charge until he left to help form the Eagles. (For the record, Gram Parsons is said to have hated the slick-sounding, richly produced Eagles). Parsons foundered a bit, hung out in France with the Stones while they were working on Exile on Main St (and supposedly got kicked out by Mick for being a bad influence on Keith).

    While Gram was farting around Chris Hillman discovered this woman folk singer playing clubs in Washington DC that he thought might be a good fit to work with Parsons. Thus Gram Parsons met Emmylou Harris and began a musical partnership that only lasted two albums but endures for the ages.

    Inspired by (and probably trying to impress) Emmylou, Parsons wrote some of his best material in years: “She”, “A Song for You”, “How Much I’ve Lied”, and others. But the covers here feel just as inspired if not more so – “We’ll Sweep Out The Ashes in the Morning” is fucking amazing, with Gram and Emmylou’s voices playing off each other; “The Streets of Baltimore”, which is old cornpone music, sounds fresh and bright and brilliant interpreted here.

    This album is a serious classic and you should all listen to it. Grade: A+



    Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel


    Gram’s drug (heroin) use was increasing at this time and it is said it was affecting his ability to put out new music. I sure don’t hear it though, because Grievous Angel is total genius, building on where GP left off but (to me) with better songs and a more focused band. As great an album as GP is, in my mind Grievous Angel is even better, and is one of my favorite albums ever by anyone, which means I can’t write about it very well.

    “Return of the Grievous Angel” kicks the album off gloriously, with Gram’s lead and Emmylou’s harmonies meshing perfectly. This is my favorite Parsons song and I think everyone should sing along with it enough times til they have it memorized. TWENTY THOUSAND ROADS I WENT DOWN, DOWN, DOWN.

    But as on GP, the covers really make the album; “Hearts on Fire” and “Love Hurts” are amazing how Gram and Emmylou build a slow tension over the course of the song and then you can just feel it explode.. “My love has turned to hatred / Sleep escapes me still / God please take this heart of mine / Cause if you don’t the devil will / Hearts on fire, my love for you brought only misery”. You gotta listen to it to see what I’m talking about there.

    Grade: A++


    Post script: Stop me if I've told you this one before.. Parsons died of an OD at the Joshua Tree Inn before Grievous Angel was released. Parsons body was being shipped back to his family for burial; but his buddies stole the coffin off the tarmac at LAX and hauled it back to Joshua Tree and took it to one of his favorite partying spots in JTNP. They then doused it in gasoline and set fire to it, so that Gram could be cremated in his favorite place. But they saw lights, got paranoid, and ran off with the coffin still in flames – the fire went out before much happened. I’ve done a little pilgrimage to the spot the past two years before Coachella.
    Last edited by TomAz; 11-11-2012 at 07:07 PM.

  20. #2120
    The Encyclopedia bmack86's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Thank you. I agree on all of that, except for the wishy washy, Luxury Liner is PROBABLY the best song on the album statement. That song is one of his all-time great gems. It's like Love Me Do: not a totally developed statement, but a shot of pure talent and joy in a few minutes that far outstrips its humble trappings. I've listened to that song alone hundreds of times.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

  21. #2121
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    I also should have mentioned that the tribute album, Return of the Grievous Angel - A Tribute to Gram Parsons is also worthwhile - much moreso than those things usually are. Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Wilco, and usual suspects like that (including a great cover of "Hickory Wind" by Gillian Welch) but also may be the only time you'll ever hear Beck sing a duet with Emmylou Harris.

  22. #2122
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

  23. #2123
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    It's nice to see I'm not alone.

  24. #2124
    Coachella Junkie getbetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Looks like Im listening to a bunch of Gram Parson tomorrow.I wonder if this inspired me to go check out the hotel he died in this weekend.
    Translation


    Swans @ Terminal West 03/28/15
    Drive like Jehu @ The Glass House 04/08/15
    Electric Wizard @ Slims 04/17/15
    Acid Mother Temple @ BOTM 04/18/15
    Faith No More @ the Warfield 04/20/15
    John Zorn @ UCLA 05/02/15
    Will Bulter @ Slims 05/26/15
    Neutral Milk Hotel @ Pappy & Harriets 05/30/15
    Mariah Carey @ Caesars palace 06/11/14


    Last.fm
    Quote Originally Posted by PotVsKtl View Post
    Fuck you.

  25. #2125
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    COSMIC

  26. #2126
    Coachella Junkie getbetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Im really diggin this Grevious Angel Album
    Translation


    Swans @ Terminal West 03/28/15
    Drive like Jehu @ The Glass House 04/08/15
    Electric Wizard @ Slims 04/17/15
    Acid Mother Temple @ BOTM 04/18/15
    Faith No More @ the Warfield 04/20/15
    John Zorn @ UCLA 05/02/15
    Will Bulter @ Slims 05/26/15
    Neutral Milk Hotel @ Pappy & Harriets 05/30/15
    Mariah Carey @ Caesars palace 06/11/14


    Last.fm
    Quote Originally Posted by PotVsKtl View Post
    Fuck you.

  27. #2127
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies


  28. #2128
    Loveable Curmudgeon TallGuyCM's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by TallGuyCM View Post
    holyfuckingshit I just listened to this (and the band) for the first time a few hours ago...I am in love. Jenny Ondioline had me completely jumping out of my skin, that's the best song I've heard in ages...
    I just want to reiterate how fucking astounding Jenny Ondioline is...I try not to listen to it too often for fear of overkill, but it came up on shuffle on my way home tonight. Absolutely, without a doubt, one of the most amazing and thrilling pieces of music I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. And one that I may have very well never come across if not for this board, more specifically Patrick and Bryan.
    5/15 - Muse - Mayan
    5/23 - Ceremony - Echoplex (?)
    5/26 - Refused - Roxy
    5/27 - Neutral Milk Hotel - Warner Grand (?)
    5/30 - Spoon - Wiltern (?)


    Quote Originally Posted by LtLoisEinhorn View Post
    Once Morrissey realizes he's on a poster/lineup with an act called 'Horse Meat Disco' he will Cancel.
    last.fm, if you care

    Twitter, if you dare

  29. #2129
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    An incredible track, no doubt, but I think "Analogue Rock" may be the crown jewel on Transient etc . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

  30. #2130
    Loveable Curmudgeon TallGuyCM's Avatar
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    Default Re: A young'uns guide to purusing extensive artist discographies

    Quote Originally Posted by SoulDischarge View Post
    An incredible track, no doubt, but I think "Analogue Rock" may be the crown jewel on Transient etc . . .
    Listened to Analogue Rock today a few times. Good song, but imho comes nowhere near reaching the heights of Jenny Ondioline.
    5/15 - Muse - Mayan
    5/23 - Ceremony - Echoplex (?)
    5/26 - Refused - Roxy
    5/27 - Neutral Milk Hotel - Warner Grand (?)
    5/30 - Spoon - Wiltern (?)


    Quote Originally Posted by LtLoisEinhorn View Post
    Once Morrissey realizes he's on a poster/lineup with an act called 'Horse Meat Disco' he will Cancel.
    last.fm, if you care

    Twitter, if you dare

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