1. Lemonheads – Rudderless (It’s a Shame About Ray, 1992)


As written earlier, Boston based Lemonheads’ lonely claim to fame. Solid, melodic alternative rock that unfortunately quickly lost its rudder when it grew up.

2.Tom Waits – Diamonds & Gold (Rain Dogs, 1985)


Satisfied with a bunker full of professional musicians (including Keith Richards), Tom snaps out for some fresh air and smokes a cigarette or ten on the roof top. Coming from the distant neon spoiled city, he can hear the industrial sound of synthesizers and drum machines. After inhaling a last shot of imagination, he’s ready to go back inside. Unleash the Chinese drunk and give me your best midget’s bar mitzvah’s sound.

3. Beirut – A Candle’s Fire (The Rip Tide, 2011)


Not playing at the Ba Da Bing anymore, but at his own Pompeii label on this third album. Pleasant and fresh indie pop, but lacking the musical class from his first two albums. Looking forward to number four nevertheless.

4. The Doors – The Unknown Soldier (Waiting for the Sun, 1968)


Like I said last time, probably the Doors album with their best songs on it. Although I consider this one not among them, it became the album’s first single (with a stripped-down outro) and closed side 1. Rather an anti-media than anti-war song, with typical Morrisonesk catharsis in the end.

5. Of Montreal – Eros’ Entropic Tundra (Satanic Panic in the Attic, 2004)


According to its name, you might associate this band with Canadian peers like Islands, Sunset Rubdown, Apostle of Hustle and Arcade Fire. However, these guys are from Athens, Georgia and rather linked to a group of guys who regarded the unfinished Smile-album as their Holy Grail, recorded albums in their Pet Sounds Studio and like to hang around in their pedestrian-based eco-village: Elephant 6. Collective sixties-tribute.

6. Jack Eliott – Boll Weevil (Jack Takes the Floor, 1958)


Traditional from Jack Eliott’s third studio album, recorded off-the-cuff in London while this New York cowboy (for real) was touring across the British pubs and nightclubs. Keith Richards and Paul McCartney could have been among his audience and after returning to the US, he adopted Bob Dylan as his musical son: all admirers of the Ramblin’ Jack Eliott.

7. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Country Girl (Déja Vu, 1970)


Victory of vocals, with Young’s After the Gold Rush –visions still being very present on this song.

 

8. Feist – Honey Honey (The Reminder, 2007)


Ending up in Canada at last, with former Broken Social Scene vocalist Leslie Feist. Feist broke through with her second album Let it Die, but this third one was the biggest success after all, especially commercially. Good album, although the shuffle didn’t hit its strongest track.

9. Spirit – Soldier (Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, 1970)


What I said last time about Gary Usher’s work on The Notorious Byrd Brothers, does as well apply to David Briggs’ production of this fourth Spirit album: it completely disguised the hostilities between the band’s greatest actors, guitarist Randy California and singer Jay Ferguson. The original line-up still fell apart a month after the release, but the album was certified Gold five years later.

10. Beirut – The Bunker (Gulag Orkestar, 2006)


The shuffle heard my prayers and delivers an early Beirut just in time, back in Tom’s bunker. Cheers.

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Highway61_1965 Vol-1_1988 abraxas1970 darknessontheedgeoftown1978