Saturday, May 3, 2008

Odds 'N' Sods

Bands, albums and such...

CHINA CRISIS: Criminally ignored and unfairly labeled “The English Steely Dan”. Sophisticated synth-pop with political underpinnings. Recommend you find and download Working With Fire And Steel in it’s entirety.

FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON: I really dig these guys! Loopy electro with a sense of humor. Some you can chill to, some you can dance to. Lifeforms and the greatest ‘hits’ sampler entitled “Teachings From The Electronic Brain” will be all you’ll need.

IGGY POP: This guy and the work he did with the Stooges, although panned at the time, was groundbreaking to say the least. The Stooges stuff is great of course, but his solo stuff in the seventies is outstanding. Listen closely and you’ll hear the birth of goth in there, too!

JOHN PRINE: A magnificent songwriter that is respected by fellow musicians but unrecognized by the public. Damn shame, because (terrible hair-do's aside)his songs are Americana at it's finest.

LLOYD COLE: Like the Jazz Butcher, very underrated--still is, unfortunately. He’s been putting out consistently great records since the 80's, each different and each with their moments. I think that Antidepressant, one of his newest, ranks among his finest.

MERCURY REV: A weird carnival of a band. Ever seen the film “FREAKS”, from the 1930’s? The Rev’s music could definitely soundtrack it! It WILL take some getting used to, to be sure, but it’s worth the patience in the end. Deserters Songs is a must, but All Is Dream is a very close second.

OZRIC TENTACLES: Just a screwed up band with super sonic chops! Elements of electronica mixed with live instrumentation and Tolkeinesque imagery makes for a very entertaining listen. Sounds horrible, right? A prog like electronica band? Well, it isn't, the pure musicianship of the band saves it from self parody. This is what YES should have sounded like!

(EARLY) SIMPLE MINDS: Up until John Hughes single-handedly destroyed their credibility these guys were pretty cutting edge. They SHOULD have been bigger than U2. Radiohead cite them as a huge influence, as do many others. New Gold Dream is their undisputed masterpiece, but everything before is equally excellent.

(EARLY) ROXY MUSIC: Search out the stuff when Brian Eno was in the band, b-sides and all. Not to say Bryan Ferry’s stuff wasn’t good (it was!), but the dynamic between the two made for some groundbreaking and very influential records.

SUPERGRASS: The lone survivor of any merit from the Brit-pop movement (well, other than SFA, but I never considered them from that movement anyway!) still releasing great albums.

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