Christmastime is Here

December 13, 2007

As the holidays are approaching I’ve compiled a list of music to tide me over until New Years. I’m still looking around the interweb for anything else that catches my eye, but here’s a short list of christmas goodies:

  • Daniel Johnston’s “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
  • Beck’s “The Little Drum Machine Boy”
  • of Montreal’s “My Favorite Christmas (In One Hundred Words or Less)”
  • Grandaddy “Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland”
  • James Brown “Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto”
  • My First Keyboard “Christmas Is Only Good If You’re A Girl (Boy)”
  • of Montreal’s “Christmas Isn’t Safe For Animals”
  • Queens of Sheeba “Christmas time Celebration”
  • the Olivia Tremor Control’s “Christmas With William S.”
  • Ringo Starr “I Wanna Be Santa Claus”
  • Arcade Fire’s “Jingle Bell Rock”
  • Tom Wait’s “Christmas Card From a Hooker In Minneapolis”
  • Summer Hymns “Santa Couldn’t Fit You Under My Christmas Tree”
  • T. Rex “Christmas Bop”
  • Major Organ and the Adding Machine “What A Wonder World”
  • Tiny Tim’s “White Christmas”
  • The White Stripe’s “Candy Cane Children”

And of course, no holiday season is complete without the corner stone of christmas soundtrack:

xmas brown

Flashback: Kyuss

October 12, 2007

Welcome to Sky Valley is the definitive desert rock album. Three tracks averaging about fifteen minutes a piece, each split into three or four parts, and one semi-amusing 57 second doo-wop track as a closer. What else you could you ask from Kyuss on their second to last album before disbanding?

Kyuss

While I’m not a big fan of Kyuss’s earlier work (1990’s Sons of Kyuss and 1991’s Wretch,) Kyuss has been one of the only bands to control the cd player in my car for the past few weeks. Their last three albums Blues for the Red Sun, Welcome to Sky Valley, and …And the Circus Leaves Town are prime albums when it comes to the vague genre of “stoner” or “desert rock.”

Heavy blues-influenced guitar riffs, psychedelic style solos, subtle acoustic undertones, and organic lyrics join together to make Welcome to Sky Valley one of the prime albums for any listener of heavy rock. Though I’m not a huge Queens of the Stone Age fan, Josh Homme has really left me dumbstruck with his Kyuss work, (and the Eagles of Death Metal aren’t too shabby, either) and really gave me a taste of what the whole droning stoner rock genre was about. 1995 really was a year of mourning for rock and roll.

the Fiery Furnaces

Is it a coincidence that two of the most talented musicians of today are siblings? Maybe it’s genetic? Or maybe Eleanor and Matt Friedberger are geniuses, and instead of disproving the theory of time travel, they are putting their minds to producing experimental concept albums that touch upon more genres than I have fingers and can only be described as “breathtaking.”

If I had an all-time top twenty albums list, 2004’s Blueberry Boat would be pretty damned close to the top. Hell, if those pretentious snobs over at Pitchfork give the album a 9.6/10, you know this album has got considerable potential. The perfect blend of sitars, extensive guitar solos, three-part eight minute songs, ear-piercing (yet melodic) piano melodies, and nonsensical brother/sister vocal duties telling us the story of something I haven’t quite yet understood makes for 76 minutes of pure aural bliss. Songs include subject matter such as cheating partners, religious canines, and typerwriter repairers.

Instead of embellishing this album with an extensive list of adjectives, let me leave it at this: you’ve gotta listen to this album.

Crispin Glover - The Big Problem

One would be a fool not to enjoy Lee Hazlewood’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” just as they would be for not enjoying Crispin Glover’s performance as Rubin Farr in Rubin and Ed. Now, the way I see it, combine the two and you have something godly; Crispin Glover’s 1989 album, The Big Problem The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be.

The reason I bring up the Hazlewood hit is not merely to open this article using a familiar name-drop, but rather because Track 7 of this album is a twisted cover of none other than “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.” And no, it’s not the Jessica Simpson cover I’m referring to, it’s Crispin Glover wailing out the lyrics, gasping and screeching as if under some form of excruciating pain. Definitely a unique piece of it’s own, it’s what ultimately persuaded me to take a listen. Along with this song are some Glover-originals (including “Clowny Clown Clown,” a maniacal circus themed song filled with painful yet entertainingly bizarre rhymes: “I was walking on the ground, I didn’t make a sound, then I turned around and saw a clown.”), a cover of Charles Manson’s “I’ll Never Say Never to Always,” and selected readings from his books Rat Catching and Oak Mot.

Any fan of the eccentric, the novel, or George McFly is sure to get a kick out of it.