One could make a pretty poppin' playlist with the albums listed at the 33 and 1/3 blog. I don't own all of the albums, of course, but enough of them to say with authority I'm anticipating closely reading (and listening) to these albums in the near future.
33 1/3: March Madness!
So, these are the 21 books we'll be signing up for publication during 2008 and 2009.
Top of mind reaction to the albums I do know:
“Maggot Brain” (Funkadelic)
My first experience with George Clinton was predicated upon flipping through albums in an Austin record store (now defunct, replaced by a Starbucks I think, or worse), and being amazed at this cover. More rock than funk at this early stage, though the weirdness and psychedelia already exist.
“Reign in Blood” (Slayer)
I don't listen to Slayer much these days, but I did own this album at one time, and saw the band on this tour.
“Boys for Pele” (Tori Amos)
I went through a phase for Ms. Amos too, which I'm apparently now over. I have a fondness for performers who follow their own muse.
“Tusk” (Fleetwood Mac)
I actually only am familiar with the Camper van Beethoven version.
“Rum Sodomy & the Lash” (The Pogues)
My favorite album on this list, and one of my favorite albums period.
“Pink Flag” (Wire)
great, angular post-punk album. 22 songs ranging from 49 seconds to 3 minutes long. I swore I would never use the word angular in referring to music, but I just did. Damn it. As penance, I'm going to listen to this album next.
“#1 Record/Radio City” (Big Star)
Several classic power-pop tunes on this album.
“Wowee Zowee” (Pavement)
Another entry on my favorite 100 album list. Literate indie-rawk. Though, two songs on here I always skip (Fight This Generation and Half a Canyon) for some reason. Probably should give a demerit for that. Also, not my favorite Pavement album, though I saw them on this tour.
“One Step Beyond...” (Madness)
ska's second wave, and much more than just the quirky MTV hits from the 80s. Good accompaniment to a bike ride or photo stroll, ie full of rhythmic energy.
“It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” (Public Enemy)
When this album came out, hip-hop was the black CNN, and the dense sound-scapes on this record rewarded multiple listenings. Chuck D still retains his integrity, but Flavor Flav is a bit of a parody these days.
Ok, but hasn't really held up over the years. Supposedly based off of Madame Butterfly. Probably an interesting book, Rivers Cuomo is a bit of a freak (though, perhaps his schtick is intentionally created, haven't decided).
“Master of Reality” (Black Sabbath)
not my favorite Sabbath record, but still one that I play now and again. Music is all about mood after all, and sometimes Sabbath's atonal sludge perfectly fits it.
Speaking of Sabbath, I've really been digging
“Sabbatum: Medieval Tribute to Black Sabbath” (Rondellus)
which is what it sounds like: a Medieval Choir singing Black Sabbath songs, translated into Latin. Excellent, in fact. You might not think this would work (some of the classical 'tribute' albums suck, in fact), but it does. They sing After Forever and Solitude from the Masters of Reality LP.
“Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” (Wu-Tang Clan)
just don't mistakenly buy the Al Gore/Tipper Gore censored version like I did.
“The Gilded Palace of Sin” (The Flying Burrito Brothers)
perhaps an acquired taste, but I think Gram Parsons is a genius who died too soon. Never really got into the Byrds, but his first album with the Flying Burrito Brothers is a masterpiece of Bakersfield-inspired country rock.
“Zaireeka” (The Flaming Lips)
a truly experimental record. Supposed to use different stereo systems and play the 4 discs simultaneously. What I really should do is make my own mix, but instead I end up just listening to the weirdness one disc at a time.
A combination of the words “Zaire” and “Eureka,” Zaireeka is a term coined by Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne symbolizing the fusion of anarchy and genius. It's a perfect title; Zaireeka is the culmination of the Lips' helter-skelter brilliance. Pushing the concept of interactive listening into new realms of possibility, the work extends Coyne's infamous “parking lot experiments” into not merely one album, but four separate discs that can be played separately or in groups of two, three, and four with multiple stereos. (Properly synchronized multi-disc playback requires more than one person -- it's literally a party album.) Between combining the discs and toying with volume, balance, fidelity, etc., the options are truly limitless. No two multi-disc performances can be repeated, thanks to the space-time continuum and discrepancies from one CD player to another. Musically as well as conceptually, the Lips are defiantly experimental throughout Zaireeka; individually, each disc sounds more like free jazz than pop, although Coyne's diamond-sharp melodic sensibilities prevail even during the most chaotic moments.
There are a few other books/albums that made the final cut, but I don't know much about them.
Can you tell I'm suffering from a post-spring fever letdown? Yesterday was 68, sunny, and I made a series of excuses to be outside walking around, soaking up vitamin D, taking photographs (70 photos it looks like). From 11 am until dark, I was inside only an hour or so, in small intervals. Today, colder (currently 49), and rainy. I have so much freaking work to do, and instead here I am day dreaming about music.....
Tags: music, /rock_snob