May 24, 2006

Music You Should Own

I asked and you spoke up. One of the things you guys mentioned was that I don't talk about music as much as you'd expect I should or could. Given the thousands of albums I own, I'd say you're right. So, in what I hope to make a semi-regular feature (but will probably forget about next week), here are some albums you shouldn't live without.

stills.feathers.jpgThe Stills: Without Feathers
Couple years back, The Stills released Logic Will Break Your Heart which was widely praised in what really became the second coming of new wave. Years pass. Band members sufficiently rotated, they're back. With a completely different sound. I'll be the first to admit I've never heard their debut but I'm sold on Without Feathers. Imagine what Coldplay would sound like if they let their roots show a little. British Invasion-style rock abounds, forming a fantastic, energetic sound without losing any edge. Mia and I bounced around to The Mountain and Helicopters last night. She loved it. And frankly that's the only endorsement I need.

weepies.say.jpgThe Weepies: Say I Am You
Two songs - The World Spins Madly On and Nobody Knows Me At All - justify the entire purchase price of this album. After that, you're in bonus territory. Don't get me wrong. The bonuses are good. Through the course of these 13 songs, there's no rocking but neither is the mood whispy enough to put you to sleep. The songs are, instead, thoughtful, well-delivered and lyrically articulate.

rhcp.stadium.jpgI'll say right here and now that I've never liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've never bought into their white boy funk routine and, worse, I always thought their radio-friendly ballads were nothing but schlock delivered by a singer who couldn't carry a tune. So why oh why would I pick up their latest, a double album no less? Because I was curious. And damnit, what a pay off. Stadium Arcadium is, almost without exception, fantastic. There's a lot to listen to - 120 minutes, to be exact. Some songs could have been left off the album...but only a scant few of the 28 songs fail to connect or work. There is, without doubt, something for everyone here. Most impressive is John Frusciante's guitar work. Why has it taken me so long to discover this guy? His guitar playing is magical, adding another dimension to what I had assumed was just a tired old band.

Secret Machines: Ten Silver Drops
Secret Machines have never hidden their influences. They make music that sounds as if it's the product of a threeway sex romp between Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips. Sure, it sounds odd but on Ten Silver Drops it's oddly beautiful. The band sports a stripped down sound. Drums are simple but insanely loud in the mix, complimented by the plodding basslines. Guitar work is handled deftly and and the vocals emerge from the mix as if from a dream. As I said, its a simple, stripped-down sound but there's something at once classic and contemporary about the feel as well as something that definitely gives off an 80's vibe that I can't quite put my finger on. Download "Alone, Jealous and Stoned" for a taste test. If it doesn't impress the crap out of you or earworm its way into your subconscious, forget about it. But the album is addictive, stylish and tender.

Oh, and just so you're in the loop...

Posted by Chris at May 24, 2006 07:14 AM

Man... that thing just won't die will it? Any comments from the peanut gallery at work about it?

Posted by: Nic at May 24, 2006 07:21 AM

At least it's a heart shaped hickey. Such talent.

Posted by: Wicked H at May 24, 2006 07:23 AM

Thanks for this- the last two times I was in a record store I found myself just kind of wandering around, aimlessly. I like to have a purpose when I go there... Going to check out The Stills. You have any Witness UK?
Yer noggin btw, is lookin' betta. How many people have asked you who head-butted you?

Posted by: JuJu's Mom Linda at May 24, 2006 07:24 AM

Re the ticker going by under Hickey Watch 2006: Federfreak better keep his hands off Barbaro! Poor thing has been through enough. Also, I'm not sure midgets can mae up a horde, no matter how many of them there are. Perhaps they can mill discontentedly, though.

Posted by: Contrary at May 24, 2006 07:31 AM

Oh dear, the ticker made me snort Diet Pepsi out my nose.

Posted by: Nicole at May 24, 2006 07:37 AM

The oatmeal through the nose wasn't enough for you yesterday, eh? You just won't be satisfied until I pee my pants at work. :P

Posted by: fauve at May 24, 2006 07:56 AM

Are there no limits to your imagination?

Thanks for the music reviews. I am hopelessly mainstream.(meaning, I listen to what's on the radio) Perhaps I will take use or more of your reviews to try and broaden my horizons.

Posted by: Alissa at May 24, 2006 07:59 AM

bwahahaa!! love it! *snort*

Posted by: Lauren at May 24, 2006 08:05 AM

The ticker is classic.

Posted by: Bill at May 24, 2006 08:19 AM

Dude, is it ... is it SPREADING? And now it seems to have taken on the shape of a heart. What's next, the Virgin Mary?

Posted by: Fraulein N at May 24, 2006 08:20 AM

Yep. Lovin' the ticker.

I think your blog needs a real-time news ticker like that.

Posted by: Allan at May 24, 2006 08:26 AM

Did you make up some kind of story to tell the guys at work about the heart-hickey? Stuff like that is such a pain in the ass...And makeup doesn't always cover it!! Thanks for the music update too...There just really doesn't seem to be any good stuff on the radio, and yes, I do enjoy listening to the radio, but let me tell you, satellite is WAAAAAYY better.

Posted by: Michelle at May 24, 2006 08:27 AM

That hickey seems to have a life of it's own...maybe it's some kind of sign. Perhaphs from the Love God since it appears to be a heart. Man the ticker is classic!

Also thanks for the tip on the Red hot chili peppers album, I'll definitely have to pick it up.

Posted by: MrsJoseGoldbloom at May 24, 2006 08:29 AM

Thanks for the recommendations - I'm always looking for new bands to listen to (except the Chili Peppers because I've always listened to them).

Posted by: Jessie at May 24, 2006 08:30 AM

Speaking of music...the cd arrived. I'm really enjoying it. Thanks.

Posted by: wordgirl at May 24, 2006 08:58 AM

Lovin the ticker too! And I just gotta know - what toy did you get to stick to your head that hard?? I could never even get those things to stick to the bathtub let alone to someone's head!

Posted by: Traci at May 24, 2006 08:59 AM

I might take you up on a couple of your recomendations, but The RHCP's? I'm over it.

Secret Machines seems like something I sould check out. Thanks.

I'm tagging you, by the way.

Posted by: freezio at May 24, 2006 09:05 AM

Oh! There's a ticker! Love it!

Secret Machines sounds interesting - a "sex romp" between three of my favorite bands. I'll have to check them out after I've worn out my Pearl Jam CD.

Posted by: Beth in StL at May 24, 2006 09:14 AM

thanks for this! i was wondering debating the new chili peppers album, but now i think ill have to check it out for sure. good luck with the hickey, man..

Posted by: steph at May 24, 2006 09:48 AM

I too noticed the hickey taking on a heart shape. Maybe Barbaro's staff needs to kick up security... we don't need K-Fed tainting him... then he'll just be looking for ditzy pop diva wannabes to stud with. Sheesh. I'll have to check out your music recommendations. I'm always looking for new stuff, and don't usually like the main stream crud.

Posted by: Karen at May 24, 2006 09:55 AM

I love hickeywatch. Seriously, I think I'll be a little sad when your hickey goes away.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers with John Frusciante = good. I even liked some of the Hillel Fradkin stuff (the cover of Higher Ground for example). It was the Dave Navarro years that were awful. Which is odd, because I do like Jane's Addiction. Oh, and you're totally right about about the radio friendly ballads. I cannot express how much I do not like Under the Bridge.

Posted by: bad penguin at May 24, 2006 10:10 AM

it seems to be getting kind of heart-shaped. Maybe it's an omen or something. Maybe it means you're the chosen one.

Posted by: kalisah at May 24, 2006 11:04 AM

*taking notes* ooo, new CD's to spend money on... yay.

day 3?!?! impressive!!

Posted by: b. at May 24, 2006 11:33 AM

RHCP new album is excellent driving music. I have a decent commute to work each morning and it's very nice and upbeat to drive to. (ah hem, makes me drive faster and I get there quicker when I'm already late like always.) I've recently found a newfoundlove for The Pixies. Especially Hey. They are in rotation at the moment. RHCP /Pixies, repeat. :)

Posted by: Paige at May 24, 2006 11:54 AM

The Stills - Logic Will Break Your Heart is one of my all-time favorite albums. I saw them play three times and they never get old. It's weird to me that other people are discovering them :)

Posted by: Anne at May 24, 2006 12:07 PM

I was pleasantly surprised by the new RHCP's double album as well. Who does double albums these days? The last one I remember buying was Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness, back in, gah, high school.

(What made it even better was that I got it at Best Buy for $11 - a double disc for $11? Score).

I had kinda forgot about them the last few years (I remember liking Californication, but after that, who knows?), but I'm glad they're back. And I will agree with Paige - excellent driving music. Something about Flea's baseline ...

Posted by: Jen at May 24, 2006 12:24 PM

You need to get some Sigur Ros up for some reviewing. Good, good stuff.

And excellent choice on Secret Machines. Love them.

Posted by: RSM at May 24, 2006 12:31 PM

That ticker is the most inspired thing I've seen in weeks. Clearly conceived of by a man heading into a week-long vacation!

Posted by: Vaguely Urban at May 24, 2006 12:57 PM

Dude! Hickeywatch '06 is consuming me!!! I have been thinking of getting the RHCP... but am scarred by songs like "Under the Bridge" - I yell at the radio every time it comes on and change the station. Will think of picking it up now. Also - have been digging the Cactus mix CD!! Thanks very much!

Posted by: Sue at May 24, 2006 01:01 PM

I always look forward to your album reviews. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten us with your fabulous music taste. I'm going to the US next weekend so I'll definitely get them.
PS. That hickie is not going anywhere!

Posted by: Ava at May 24, 2006 01:03 PM

I've had a chance to listen to that RHCP album too, as a friend just bought it, and I quite like it. Now to see if he'll lend it to me...

Posted by: Heather at May 24, 2006 01:06 PM

I picked up the Peppers album for my daughter who worships them. (she's 15) I've been digging on the album since we got it. Word of caution: not good for attempted meditation.

Posted by: chantel at May 24, 2006 01:51 PM

vitamin E -- use a capsule, pierce it, and rub it on your skin. if you have coconut oil, even better. it'll heal a lot faster! just do it at night so you're not walking around with a greasy forehead

Posted by: Dolly at May 24, 2006 02:08 PM

I have been considering The Weepies cd forEVER. And ya just gotta love a dad who'll sacrifice the face for the daughter. sweet heart hickey you got going on there, Chris. But let's try not to do it any more. Seriously. No more suction cups to the face.

Posted by: Keri at May 24, 2006 05:29 PM

"greasy forehead"??? You're walking around with a silver dollar size hickey on the that point, a greasy forehead is nuttin'! (Youj have people looking at you thinking, "Hmm. Birth mark or something more temporary? New eye or big zit?") You're like the world's coolest cyclops.

Most of that music is new to me, so I thank you for broadening my horizon...well, as long as I'm not inspired to adhere something to my forehead while listening to such music.

Posted by: kristen at May 24, 2006 07:47 PM

Just think, 2 more days until you can spend an entire week, prancing around with your hickey head and not giving a crap who sees it!! Yay for vacation time!! :)

Posted by: Jill at May 24, 2006 09:25 PM

SO.... when do you plan to initiate the next forehead hickey? We're just having so much fun with this one... *crosses fingers and hopes for a new forehead hickey immediately following this one*

Posted by: ironic1 at May 24, 2006 11:09 PM

ummm ... are you taking pictures in your car? do you have a web cam under your visor?

Posted by: s@bd at May 25, 2006 12:07 AM

The hickey has been consistently cracking me up, but the ticker was the topper today. Hope your noggin heals up soon.

Posted by: Annie at May 25, 2006 01:25 AM