The List 2010, #70-61

Part the fourth!

70
Tortoise 1994
Tortoise
I had tickets to go see Tortoise, this past Monday. Was too sick to make it. That’s probably OK, since I haven’t liked much of what they’ve put out in the last 14 years. This album, though. Mmm Mmm post-rocky Good. It’s a bit more song-oriented than the other Tortoise record on the list. A bit less like a big sound collage. Sounds more like a band playing these cool, jazzy, spacey instrumentals.
69
Neutral Milk Hotel 1998
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
I rarely listen to this any more. It’s so strange, and often abrasive, that I rarely find myself in the mood. So, when I was assembling this list, I made myself listen to it again, to at least have it fresh in my head when it came time to do the sorting. And, so I gathered my courage, and I put it on, to see if I still liked it. I did. Having grown more familiar with Syd Barrett’s music, over the last couple of years, this no longer seems as shockingly original as it once did. But, it’s still mighty powerful.
68
The Sundays 1990
“Reading, Writing and Arithmetic”
This is one of the many suprising entries on this year’s list – suprising to me anyway. I’ve always liked this record, and I’ve been playing it a lot recently. I just never realized how much I liked it, I guess. So, here it is! I really do love the sound of it – her voice, his guitar, the whole lazy, dreamy, thing. And, I love this guitar player’s sound and style. For instance, listen to that second clip (“Joy”), and then listen to this (skip ahead to 2:15 or so):

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I = Theef!
In my defense, it did take me 15 years to recognize where I got that guitar bit from. I didn’t copy it consciously.

67
Rogue Wave 2005
Out Of The Shadow
It’s a quirky little slightly-psychedelic folk rock record! It’s very much in the same niche as The Shins’ first (though tending more towards the acoustic), and it’s kindof like what Modest Mouse used to sound like. Ah, the good old days… of five years ago.
66
The Colorblind James Experience 1987
The Colorblind James Experience

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Imagine Frank Zappa took over a western NY wedding band, broke all their polkas and line-dances and country swing tunes into short jerky fragments which repeat over and over while the singer sings surreal lyrics in a pleasant deadpan. With vibes! I doubt I’d know anything about these guys, if I didn’t go to school in Rochester, NY.
65
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 2005
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Here’s another surprise. I do like this record, but I don’t think it has earned such a high spot – I’ve only had this for a few months. Nevertheless, here it is! This band has somehow captured the essence of the Talking Heads without sounding a whole lot like them. It does take a bit to get used to the singer’s lazy groan, but if you can manage that, it’s a great record.
64
Cowboy Junkies 1996
Lay It Down

“That lonely, sinking feeling”. This is probably the most somber of all the Junkies’ records. It’s like a 50 minute melancholy sigh.
63
The Cars 1978
The Cars


Everyone knows at least six of the nine songs on this one, and you can hear any of those six any time of the day, if you just flip through the channels.
62
The Doors 1967
The Doors

Even today, this sounds unique; nobody ever tried copying their sound. And even The Doors themselves couldn’t manage to hold onto it for too long.

Relatedly, this is an abomination.

61
Big Star 1972
#1 Record
The first time I heard this band, or ever heard of this band was more than twenty years after this record was released – and I wasn’t alone. A lot of people were introduced to them in the early 90’s, during a kind of Big Star revival. Why such great songs would wallow in obscurity for so long remains a mystery.

And, the histogram:

3 thoughts on “The List 2010, #70-61

  1. The Modesto Kid

    I love, love, love The Cars (and without even knowing whether they have any other records — surely they must, right?) This is one of the places where popular taste gets it exactly right.

  2. Mr Furious

    Lay It Down was the first Junkies album I ever owned, and remains my favorite. It was one of a handful of discs I would use to audition audio equipment when I was in the phase of my life when I blew an obscene amount of money on the music portion of my life.

    The Cars debut album is the best one, but much like you and the Police, I’ve heard those songs enough, and will stumble across them still so I never need to consciously select to play them.

    “Since You’re Gone” off “Shake it Up” is a great tune (and great video), that has been swept aside in favor of rotating the hits of the first album. That song is a treat for me.

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