Shuffle of the week #41

1. The Lemonheads – Hannah & Gabi (It’s a Shame about Ray, 1992) [singlepic id=105 w=80 h=50 float=left]

North-America during the late eighties: many punk influenced high school bands are trying to make their own respectable music which was later called ‘alternative rock’, characterizing the pop climate of that time. Many were as short-lived as their songs and if they were lucky, they left us one good album. Lemonheads (Boston) had theirs with this one and it would never become much better afterwards (with several line-ups). Acoustic and electric guitar dance well together on this track.

2. Apostle of Hustle – Kings & Queens (Folkloric Feel, 2004) [singlepic id=341 w=80 h=50 float=left]

To the more recent past with another trio, from the flowering Canadian indie rock scene in the beginning of the new century. Apostle of Hustle was founded by Broken Social Scene guitarist Andrew Whiteman, during the recordings of their own album You Forgot It in People. His personal folkloric feel didn’t fit on this album, but thank God he didn’t waste it but threw it on another great record instead.

3. Tindersticks – No More Affairs (Tindersticks (II), 1995) [singlepic id=70 w=80 h=50 float=left]

First single from their second (really) album, which (just like its contemporaries, the self-eponymous debut and Curtains) I used to appreciate a few years ago. Started to repeat themselves at a certain point, although this was well intended in some cases.

4. The Doors – My Wild Love (Waiting for the Sun, 1968) [singlepic id=343 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Always a tough one to pick the strongest Doors album out of these five gems (disregarding The Soft Parade and the post-Morrison period). The first two (obviously) contain the band’s most original sound, Morrison Hotel probably is the rawest and hardest one, while LA Woman has that legendary gloom around it. But this one might have the best songs, like ‘Not to Touch the Earth’, ‘Spanish Caravan’ and closing song ‘Five to One’. This one is another interesting odd one, with Morrison acting as the high priest of a mendacious cult.

5. Traveling Wilburys – Last Night (Traveling Wilbury’s Vol. 1, 1988) [singlepic id=15 w=80 h=50 float=left]

The story of the notorious Wilburys might meanwhile be well known. This track was mainly written by Tom Petty, but especially captivates when Orbison shines during the bridge.

6. The White Stripes – I’m Bound to Pack it up (De Stijl, 2000) [singlepic id=344 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Played the life out of this great (second) album last year. The band tributed it to Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld (an important temporary representative of the homonymous art movement) and Blind Willie McTell, who was honored another time by Jack White more recently, on his last solo album Lazaretto with his interpretation of McTell’s classic ‘Three Women Blues’.

7. Thom Yorke – And It Rained All Night (The Eraser, 2006) [singlepic id=345 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Singer of another great band from the 21st century, who also released some solo work afterwards (‘with their blessing’). This was his debut (and only) album, which is as reverting to the recent past (‘The Gloaming’ more specifically on this track) as predicting some later work with his band. However, in the end it’s above all Yorke without the rest, which keeps you hungry for those characteristic Kid A / Amnesiac grooves.

8. Steve Miller Band – While I’m Waiting (Abracadabra, 1982) [singlepic id=342 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Easy listening closing track from the band’s twelfth album. Not a great lover anymore, although it remains difficult to not sing along with tracks like ‘Keeps me Wondering Why’ and ‘Cool Magic’.

9. Simon & Garfunkel – Homeward Bound (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, 1966) [singlepic id=193 w=80 h=50 float=left]

One of Simon’s best known compositions (from their marvelous third album), written in an era when it was no option to post a picture of yourself waiting in a train station, to make clear to other people that you’re actually waiting in a train station. All you could do was, well, wait, and (if you were a genius) write a great song about it.

10. My Morning Jacket – Librarian (Evil Urges, 2008) [singlepic id=107 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Certainly daring, but not the band’s strongest album. This track however can delight me now and then.

Shuffle of the week #18

This is an ode to the shuffle. How better to get a good insight in your digitized album collection than by a classic shuffle? Finally discover the albums you never got into, finally throw the ones away you will never get into and worship those classics that never grow old again. The Shuffle of this week:

1. Placebo – Pure Morning (Without You I’m Nothing, 1998) [singlepic id=191 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Not heard it in years, didn’t even know this album was still in my collection. Second album of the band, which wasn’t as well received as their debut. Stopped following them after Black Market Music, which was released two years later. Time to donate this to charity.

2. Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldier (Broken Boy Soldiers, 2006) [singlepic id=192 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Pure and raw contemporary rock from this already 7 years old album from Jack White and friends. Became a fan of the band thanks to their second album (which is great imo) and discovered this one afterwards. Apparently they are recording a new album this year, but it must be hard to complete something if you’re genius enough to get involved in numerous other projects at the same time. Got to check out The Dead Weather.

3. Joy Division – Disorder (Unknown Pleasures, 1979) [singlepic id=189 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Another band having released two albums to date (of which this one’s also the first), but we can be sure there won’t follow a third one in this case. What started as Warsaw, was turned into the nazi whorehouse afterwards and after losing Ian Curtis they didn’t make the same mistake as the remaining Doors but simply continued without vocals.

4. Band of Horses – Window Blues (Cease to Begin, 2007) [singlepic id=187 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Closing track of this bands second album. Really appreciated it the year it was released, but got tired of it also really quickly afterwards. Probably the reason I never followed this band up, which might be a mistake hearing this one again. Time to try out Infinite Arms.

5. Sunset Rubdown – Stadiums and Shrines II (Shut up I’m Dreaming, 2006) [singlepic id=114 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Don’t have to introduce this anymore.  Difference with last time is that I got Dragonslayer meanwhile, which turned out to be another great album; man I love this band. And no matter how many times I hear this song, every time I catch myself thinking there’s somebody knocking on my door halfway.

6. Mercury Rev – Something for Joey (Boces, 1993) [singlepic id=190 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Some psychedelia from the nineties, with this song from Mercury Rev’ s second album. The great instrumentals in this song make me long for another full listen.

7. Jackson Browne – Shaky Town (Running on Empty, 1977) [singlepic id=104 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Typical seventies Westcoast music then. Could as well have been an Eagles song.


8. Simon & Garfunkel – Homeward Bound (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, 1966) [singlepic id=193 w=80 h=50 float=left]

So much ‘lost albums’ this week with this typical Simon gem following.  Paul is having another typical Simon day sitting in a railway station and writing a great song about it. Proud of having added this album also to the vinyl collection.

9. Beatles – I’m a Loser (Beatles for Sale, 1964) [singlepic id=188 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Oh yes, there’s always space for a Beatles song. One of Lennon’s earlier works and really standing out on this album as announcement of what was about to come on Help! and Rubber Soul. The musical as well as lyrical turning point in the Fab Four’s oeuvre set in right here.

10. Andrew Bird – Armchairs (Armchair Apocrypha, 2007) [singlepic id=81 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Closing in style with the longest track (7 minutes) from Bird’s fourth, with a great dramatical intro. Rediscovering this album a couple of months ago made me buy his last album, Hand of Glory (2012), which won’t disappoint you.