Odds and Ends 002
Notes for a Revised Paleontology
Wilco: The Whole Love (Anti-)
Full-on Radiohead electronica Americanized with aw-shucks diffidence, red-blooded guitar, sharp tunes, and exceptionally dull poetry ("Standing O," "One Sunday Morning") ***
The Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck (Merge)
Four great songs, all of which address mortality directly instead of implying it the way the nine merely ambitious ones do ("Estate Sale Sign," "For Charles Bronson," "Sourdoire Valley Song," "Beautiful Gas Mask") ***
Radiohead: The King of Limbs (XL/TBD)
So much more fun than Eno these days ("Little by Little," "Bloom") **
Comet Gain: Howl of the Lonely Crowd (What's Your Rupture?)
Desperate times catch up with desperate punk love poetry ("Clang of the Concrete Swans," "Ballad of Frankie Machine") **
Giant Sand: Blurry Blue Mountain (Fire)
With nothing much at stake but the shape of his life, Howe Gelb keeps his slow hand in ("Fields of Green," "Better Man Than Me") **
Faust: Something Dirty (Bureau B)
Synth-free after lo these many decades, their experiments have more oomph, especially the Hawkwind homages ("Tell the Bitch to Go Home," "Dampfauslass 2") **
Wire: Red Barked Tree (Pink Flag)
Even formalists get the grays--well, especially formalists ("Bad Worn Thing," "Please Take") **
New York Dolls: Dancing Backwards in High Heels (429)
Weary blues from trying ("Talk to Me Baby," "End of the Summer") *
Keep in mind that the Dolls' second album is also "heavy on covers",
I understand that our host is no friend of classical music, but I can't imagine all of his readers necessarily share that bias. In fact, I'm curious as to whether the classical music favored by Xgau's readers would reinforce the canon or depart from it in interesting ways, especially since I'd open the poll(s) to pop manifestations of classical music (e.g. Strauss waltzes, Stephen Foster songs, Gershwin tone poems, "third stream" works, e.g. movie scores) that (some) classical purists look down upon.
while early Stones and Dylan's first are so heavy on covers that they would also presumably be eliminated.Concerning highly rated albums and albums with many covers, remember that two of Xgau's favorite albums ever are The Beatles' Second Album and The Rolling Stones Now!, both very heavy on covers.
I was wondering people here would think about a poll of classical music recordings?Whew, that would be a tough one. Not because as a genre it is uniformly good, but because there's just so damn much of it. If you were to swing it, maybe just a catch-all "favorite classical albums" poll rather than several different classical polls? I think this is a lovely idea that would unfortunately be even harder than the jazz poll, especially given that classical music isn't typically thought to operate as an album-oriented art form.
(I'd also like to add that the '60s jazz poll has now become a life mission for me. I'd already significantly shake up my top ten, though I still insist each album listed remains top shelf. But birthday money led to new purchases led to new love affairs with the Art Ensemble and Bill Dixon, among others. And further listening led to further raves--wow, that Jerome Kern Songbook Ella recorded is killer! And so on.)
his theory in the introduction that rock & roll is a wholly disposable thing
Yeah, that was the obligatory attitude back then if you didn't want to be treated like a halfwit in literary circles. Remember, a mere three years earlier, it was the End of Civilization when Springsteen appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek.
Can someone put me onto a good Ricky Nelson title or comp that's in print or otherwise also any good Everly Brothers titles that are worthy as well. Thanks in advance for your assistance! And, yes , I did consult the CG books already.
I am looking forward to checking out the Giant Sand disc. Is this the album called Blurry Blue Mountain or is there a separate recording called Blue Mountain?
Can someone put me onto a good Ricky Nelson title or comp that's in print or otherwise
this x 1000!
two of Xgau's favorite albums ever are The Beatles' Second Album and The Rolling Stones Now!, both very heavy on covers.
I don't have that impression from The Stones album. I'm a 12 x 5 man myself.
In support of polls, I'd like to add that I'd been meaning to put together something like my '60s jazz ballot for quite a while, but that it took the organized EW poll to actually make it happen. I agree with the DIY comments, but I also think some of us need some kind of deadline to actually put in the work required for such a ballot. Hell, I need a hard deadline to get anything done--I am a member of the high court of procrastination. Granted, I'm pretty sure it's a mighty big court.
edit: sanity is good.
Thelonious Monk Misterioso
The Clash The Clash
New York Dolls New York Dolls
Steely Dan Pretzel Logic
Indestructible Beat of Soweto
The Rolling Stones Now!
The Beatles The Beatles Second Album
Debarge In A Special Way
Funky Four Plus One "That's The Joint"
Afrika Bambaataa "Zulu Nation Throw Down"
T.S. Monk "Bon Bon Vie"
The list is here and includes some additional commentary: http://goo.gl/kQPKq
Pitchfork has just posted video of what may be Sonic Youth's final show ever.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.