I would agree with that, but the vantage points are wretched at best. When I saw The Cult there it was awful. The place was packed and I could barely get anywhere where the band was visible. Plus my dad and I had issues with the dickheaded staff when I went to see Motorhead there (long story), so it would have to be a good band for me to want to deal with those pricks again.
I wouldn't be surprised if you are picturing me peeling a carrot with a staple gun.
After much deliberation, instead of pulling out a deep cut, I've decided to go with my favorite album of all time. Hopefully, you guys won't mind too much...
The Cure - Disintegration
This album needs no introduction. It is among the greatest albums ever recorded, and according to South Park it IS the best album ever made. This album alone should be all it takes for The Cure to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Admittedly, I got into this album a little late - having first listened to it in 1995. Until that point, I was only aware of The Cure as the band who did 'that lame Friday love song that my sister was obsessed with'. I first listened to Disintegration around the time I was moving out of my grunge phase and into my moodier Ministry/Nine Inch Nails/ Marilyn Manson phase... I was 16. I had just started dating this faux-90s-goth girl who used to wear t-shirts with Robert Smith's face planted across them to go along with her skirts, fish-net stockings and Doc Martins. So, as to not sound like a complete idiot when The Cure inevitably came up in conversation - I raided my sister's cassette collection and reluctantly turned this album on (I chose this album because it was her only other album by them that wasn't Wish- and I couldn't bring myself to listen to that 'lame friday song.' My very first thoughts? HOLY FUCK - THIS IS INCREDIBLE! HOW HAVE I NEVER LISTENED TO THIS BEFORE?!?!?! I immediately grabbed Wish and turned that one on... THIS IS GREAT TOO! EVEN THAT LAME FRIDAY SONG!!!! THE CURE FUCKING ROCK!
Long story short, they quickly became my favorite band. Almost as quickly as that, the goth chick and I broke up - which, of course, made my love for The Cure even stronger... They are The Cure after all - melancholy, sadness, rejection is what they do best. But still, there's something much deeper and complex to The Cure and especially with Disintegration. I still can't quite define it, even after listening to this album for 16 years. What I do know is, on one hand, yes, it's a very painful record - beautifully arranged with some of the finest layered synth and bass lines ever recorded. On the other hand, it's also a very peaceful, calming and satisfying album. Life sucks, love is short, you will feel completely empty, but everything's gonna be okay. Honestly, I'm not sure if self-loathing and misery have ever sounded so welcoming.
I'm no longer an emotional 16-year-old boy, but this album still takes hold of me in a way no album has ever done before and i'm not sure will ever do again. From the moment the cymbals clash on Plainsong to when Untitled slowly fades away. It's a truly captivating album unlike no other.
Fascination Street is my favorite track, but the other 11 songs on the album are in a close tie for 2nd.
Disintegration it is. Enjoy. And as it says in the liner notes...
This music has been mixed to be played loud so turn it up!
Post by Blacksmile on Oct 19, 2011 19:09:36 GMT -8
At the Drive-In - Relationship Of Command
I have owned this album for many years and have listened to it a lot over the course of time. But since being recommended a few weeks back I have listened to it 5 or 6 times and it's getting addictive.
I fucking love the powerful intensity at play on this album. To me, it's flawless. It's a perfect length and never loses momentum, the instrumentation is unbelievably tight and harmonious, the subject matter of the songs demands repeated listens, and the vocals are incredible. I love the vocals on this album. Cedric's scream grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go, while Jim Ward's backing vocals smooth everything out. The mix on this album is great, and if listened to on a decent stereo you can hear all the parts of the band coming together as one.
It's really a shame that they broke up because the fucking killed it live when I saw them in early 2000, but out of the ashes came Sparta, so that was a blessing in disguise. I have to say that I never really got into The Mars Volta, but, their set at Sasquatch was one of the most jaw-dropping performances I have ever seen. Does that mean I liked it? No. I thought it was awful, but it was one big accident that I could not stop watching. I was captivated by it even though I had no idea what the fuck was even happening. It must say something about the band.
Enough rambling though. I can't stress enough how much I like this album and At the Drive-In are one band that I will support if they decide to jump the reunion train.
Post by know ID yuh on Oct 21, 2011 22:24:47 GMT -8
We only have two more selections before we do a Re-up, Eminem style. Everyone had the opportunity to pick their favorite and/or underrated album with virtually no rules. Now we're going to change it up. We all frequent music message boards because we love music, and are looking to learn more about it. We can read Pitchfork all we want to get suggestions of the next big thing, but why live in the present? Some of the best music of all time was created before Pitchfork existed, so shouldn't we be looking for that as well?
Therefore, round two will have a theme. It's a time when hipsters, hip hop, trip hop, EDM, and bullshit Chill-wave didn't exist. We're going back in time to rediscover the era when creating a cohesive album was born. A time when voices, drums, lyrics, and guitars ruled the world. A time when people didn't wear collared shirts, so they didn't have the option to pop them. A time when flat brimmed/pro fitted hats didn't exist. A time when your body odor was more of an expression of your personality than expensive cologne. A time filled with free love, lots of hippies, and lots of drugs. It's also an era when none of us were alive. The theme for round two is the 60s.
Your album selection in round two must have been released in the 60s. I'll go in the same order as round one, except I'm making an executive decision by removing Bradberad and ComesWithASword, because they haven't posted in ages, unless they respond and want to be included of course. If you don't know any albums from the 60s, you have plenty of time to learn yourself. If you hate the idea, and want to be removed from the ordering, post that in the comments section. If you are new, and want to be included, again, post that in the comments section. Don't worry Canadians, there are enough Neil Young and The Band albums from the 60s to fill your CanCon quota.
Well, it went by a lot zippier than first anticipated. A lot of these picks seem to be really pushing the limits on number of tracks, and when I first saw the length, I'll admit I was worried I was going to get bored. And especially so when I figured out it was basically an instrumental album (my own issues there as I end up liking most instrumental albums I try, I just have a weird bias against non-EDM ones I haven't given up on yet). Luckily, that didn't happen. My attention was held by the great bursts of energy, the creative sampling and the distinctive styles given to tracks. I was also amused by most of the track titles. For awhile there, I was real keen on paying attention to when the tracks changed, but found myself enjoying it a lot more once I gave into them flowing into one another. I didn't like the mystery science theatre song; it broke up a great flow I was getting into. On the FLAMING FUCKING LIPSide, I really liked the singing on the venus song which seemed to come at just the right time. Music and movies have always had a close connection for me -- I often find myself thinking about how I would use a track if I was making a movie or "soundtracking" moments of my life. This album had me thinking a lot about the movies. Especially James Bond type action scenes and the '60s spoof movie "Psycho Beach Party". It was that retro surf feel with a little danger thrown in, like battling a sea-monster (or, maybe more aptly, aliens as the title would suggest), that felt the perfect fit for a campy, action b-movie. Simply put: good, cheeky fun.
One time when I was four years old, I remember my mom's boyfriend, Jim, placing me on a chair in the darkened dining room and making me stay seated for an hour as he played Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" and R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" on a continuous loop. When I was six, we all went on a small vacation to Seattle. Jim’s number one stop was Sam the Record Man. My six-year-old brain remembers spending hours following him around the store as he raked endlessly through the bins and shelves. Eventually, he gave me twenty bucks to buy some music of my own— The Chipmunks Go Country (my first and last country album), Troll Radio (a collection of '50s and '60s hits sung by the "troll dolls"), and Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction became the first CDs I ever bought. But it was my ninth birthday when Jim’s musical influence on me reached a crescendo. That year, he gave me a copy of Concrete Blonde's Walking in London and turned me into a "fan" of a band for the first time in my life.
Man, I remember putting that CD on and dancing around my living room like a maniac. "Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man" and "Walking in London" were my jams. Whenever I had chores to do, that was the only album I listened to. It probably didn't hurt that my mom was a pretty big fan of the band too, so she didn't care when I blasted the CD. But, there I was, nine and hooked to music like I had never been before. Over the next few years, I ended up buying all their albums with my hard earned allowance. Don't worry I haven't always had cool taste in music – I had my Ace of Base and Whigfield stage, and that one summer when I listened to nothing but the new Brandy album (and I'm sure some of you would say I still don't have cool taste in music) – but at that time I really got into a more mature sound.
Concrete Blonde wasn't that innovative, it was rock music like I’d heard before, but there was a twist ‘cause the driving force was this powerful female voice. I was all about Johnette Napolitano’s dangerous, husky voice. I’m not sure if it simply spoke to me more being a young preteen girl and filled some niche there. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I never went through a “grrrl power” phase or anything. But I was definitely drawn to her voice (and to this day I still have a weakness for husky female voices). I still can’t exactly pinpoint why I suddenly became such a devoted fan of the band instead of the casual music listener I had been before. I do remember liking this new feeling of being part of something that felt larger than just me; I enjoyed being a fan, having all their albums and listening to them constantly and telling others they were my favourite and that they should listen to them too... well, this is starting to sound similar to religion. In a way though, I guess that’s what happened when Jim gave me that CD: his religion of music finally became mine.
So, you’d probably expect me to pick Walking in London since it was such a game changer for me musically. Instead, I went a different route and chose their most commercially successful album, Bloodletting. Now, I don't know much about the band beyond what any of us could google. My main exposure with them took place before the internet was a household thing and I wasn't into reading music magazines or able to go to shows yet. What I do know is that this album marks their foray into a more gothic sound that would come to be their signature sound. Though, the “gothic” term is probably meant more for the lyrical content than the actual sound. All in all, I’d just call them a rock band.
Bloodletting was released in 1990, but I think it wears its age well. The late ‘80s/early ‘90s sound is there at times for sure (see “Caroline” or “Lullaby”). For most of you guys it’s definitely from before your time, but a few of you might recognize their biggest single “Joey.” I still love this song and the raw emotion I get from it. Some other personal faves are “I Don’t Need a Hero” (a lot of power drawn from Napolitano’s voice in this) and “Bloodletting” (great opening track that just revs me up). Overall, it’s a very tight album; at only ten tracks, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find excess fat. And commercial success or not, I really do think it is the best example of what the band was about.
I didn't realize 'til I put it on the other week that it's been over ten years since I last listened to this particular album. Sixteen and license-less, I had "borrowed" my grandma's car at 2 a.m. to drive down to visit a friend in Tacoma (only possible in a pre-9/11 world), and the only tapes I had on hand for the drive there and back were "Bloodletting" and a copy of the mixtape I had made my best friend. A definite rush of nostalgia flooded me on the first listen. Pretty sure this memory had a little to do with me picking it over Walking.
Anyway, my love for the band slowly faded by the time I was thirteen or fourteen. Hell, it’s probably been at least a good five or six years since I’ve last listened to any of their albums before revisiting them specifically for this exercise. I didn't realize how much I missed them. And I've decided if I ever hear that the band or Napolitano is touring, I'll grab tickets up pretty fast. I was too young back then and never getting the chance to see them live has left me with a little unfinished business.
[sidenote: when I checked, grooveshark had the album but the tracks weren't numbered properly and one seemed to be missing. but it was also my first time using the site so it could just be user error.]
Last Edit: Nov 2, 2011 0:24:05 GMT -8 by kymess_jr
Post by Friendly Destroyer on Nov 2, 2011 10:31:24 GMT -8
Awesome write up Ky-Jr! Really, that was a great read. Want to hear something crazy? I had a very similar experience with the whole being sat down by a grown up and guided through a little life and music. I have this very loving, kooky, and amazing aunt who once hijacked a sleep over between me and my cousin as we were hanging upside down on kitchen chairs letting our moussed heads dangle into the hopeful hair styles of Bevis and Butthead (we were 12). Before we could let them set and begin talking like buffoons my aunt (who was going through a hard time) snagged us and brought us in front of the stereo and proceeded to show and explain to us all these songs by Annie Lennox from Diva, "I Want To Come Over" by Melissa Etheridge, and "Joey" by Concrete Blonde. I swear I learned everything I know about relationships, empathy, genders, and why we consciously make knowingly bad decisions all in that one night (University did not hold a candle to it!). It seriously left the biggest imprint on me. "Joey" specifically was an important one for me as it gave voice and support to some complicated feelings my very young self was struggling with in regards to a family member (obviously a different sort of relationship than the one in the song).
It may sound nuts, but "Joey" and my Aunt's explanation gave me some of the best insight into understanding the importance of having an empathetic view of the world and realizing that it is far from black and white. Some of you may laugh as I say this as my Internet persona can be very black and white when dealing with issues such as intolerance on the board, but I assure you that in my career with my clients, with my friends, and family I have a world of patience and understanding to why we all can't just "get it" (myself included), and the journey it takes to over come such obstacles.
As I was doing my write-up, I figured some of you might've had similar experiences as kids and I was kinda hoping I might prompt a story or two out of a few you. Extra cool that you actually had a similar experience with Concrete Blonde. I've always found it intriguing that what can seem like such small actions, like listening to some music or being given an album, can end up making a huge impact on a kid. And that we carry those moments with us into so many other areas of our life.