Sunday, September 27, 2009

4 admirable 7" singles with origins circa 1992.

2 great rhythmic rabble-rousers on spilt 7" picture disc.



Noisy blues swagger on Claw Fist / Butchers Hook #001. Green vinyl and amazing leap on heavy cardstock.



2 great Shellac songs in a hand-stamped, intricately-folded sleeve.



Nightmarish romance on sparkly silver vinyl.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Recent, Lurid Findings at Kayo Books.


From a recent journey to Kayo Books (= 2-story downtown SF oasis of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves loaded with vintage pulps, paperbacks, comics, and magazines from the 1930s-1970s plus other assorted esoterica/exotica = museum of fine illustration and tawdry brilliance = my favorite bookstore in San Francisco...)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

79 favorite albums list, in roughly descending order, 9/6/09.


This is not a list of favorite artists or biggest influences. This is a list of albums that, in my opinion, are perfectly executed and consistently great throughout. The album as a self-contained universe, a coherent journey, an impressive achievement. I only considered LPs and EPs (and CDs), no singles. Compiling this list was a massive and ridiculous project, needless to say…and it was painful to reject all the ‘imperfect’ albums that still contain my favorite songs. Another list maybe.

So why 79? That’s the total number of albums that unquestionably do it for me, that hold my devotion from start to finish. Amazing. These albums all generate biochemical sparks of pleasure in my brain every single time I listen to them.

It turns out this list is dominated by albums from the late 1980s. If one graphed the number of albums per year, one would see a nice Gaussian peak at 1988, tailing off in both directions into the 70s and 2000s. (OK, I did actually graph this!) So it is obvious that the music I enjoyed during my passionate, formative kid years has not only stuck with me, but also shaped me - I am still most emotionally receptive to those same musical values: noise, beauty, genuine personality, drama, and disorientation. And a dark sense of humor doesn’t hurt either...

The Album List:
1. “Goat” The Jesus Lizard (1991)
2. “Mutiny” Birthday Party (1983)
3. “Express” Love & Rockets (1986)
4. “Tender Prey” Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (1988)
5. “Cold Hands” Boss Hog (1990)
6. “Hole” Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel (1984)
7. “The Taming Of The Shrewd” Barry Adamson (1989)
8. “Psychocandy” The Jesus and Mary Chain (1985)
9. “Fun House” The Stooges (1970)
10. “Songs Of Love and Hate” Leonard Cohen (1971)
11. “Bird Wood Cage” Wolfgang Press (1988)
12. “Stoneage Romeos” Hoodoo Gurus (1984)
13. “Time Bomb High School” Reigning Sound (2002)
14. “Night Music” Tones on Tail (1987)
15. “Treasure” Cocteau Twins (1984)
16. “Sign O’ The Times” Prince (1987)
17. “Horse Rotorvator” Coil (1986)
18. “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” The Sex Pistols (1977)
19. “It Takes a Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” Public Enemy (1988)
20. “Peepshow” Siouxsie and The Banshees (1988)
21. “The House Of Love” The House Of Love (1988)
22. “Marshall Crenshaw” Marshall Crenshaw (1982)
23. “Bloomed” Richard Buckner (1994)
24. “You, The Night, and The Music” Gallon Drunk (1992)
25. “Kicking Against The Pricks” Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (1986)
26. “Let’s Play Domination” World Domination Enterprises (1988)
27. “Infected” The The (1986)
28. “Portishead” Portishead (1997)
29. “The Director’s Cut” Fantomas (2001)
30. “a Table Forgotten” Faun Fables (2008)
31. “Purple Rain” Prince (1984)
32. “Junkyard” The Birthday Party (1982)
33. “Green” Green (1986)
34. “Underwater Moonlight” Soft Boys (1980)
35. “Liar” The Jesus Lizard (1992)
36. “Stink” The Replacements (1982)
37. “Raw Power” Stooges (1973)
38. “The Good Son” Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (1989)
39. “The Bad Seed” Ep The Birthday Party (1983)
40. “The Ponzi Scheme” Firewater (1998)
41. “Presentent The No Comprendo” Les Rita Mitsouko (1986)
42. “Forever Blue” Chris Isaak (1995)
43. “The Negro inside Me” Barry Adamson (1993)
44. “Palomine” Bettie Serveert (1992)
45. “Gentlemen” Afghan Whigs (1993)
46. “Music To Remember Him By” Congo Norvell (1994)
47. “California” Mr. Bungle (1999)
48. “I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits” My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (1988)
49. “Allegory and Self” Psychic Tv (1988)
50. “Ocean Rain” Echo and The Bunnymen (1984)
51. “The Velvet Underground and Nico” The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)
52. “Unknown Pleasures” Joy Division (1979)
53. “Jackson” Tar (1991)
54. “Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven” Love and Rockets (1985)
55. “Lifes Too Good” The Sugarcubes (1988)
56. “Twentieth Century Chemical” Those Bastard Souls (1996)
57. “Loveless” My Bloody Valentine (1991)
58. “Pornography” The Cure (1982)
59. “Drink Me” Queen Adreena (2002)
60. “Soul Mining” The The (1983)
61. “Zuma” Neil Young (1975)
62. “The Untidy Suicides Of Your Degenerate Children” Alice Donut (1992)
63. “Abandoned Meander” Andrew Douglas Rothbard (2007)
64. “The Locust Years” Hammers Of Misfortune (2006)
65. “Prayers on Fire” The Birthday Party (1981)
66. “Darklands” The Jesus and Mary Chain (1987)
67. “Hanky Panky” The The (1994)
68. “Armed Audio Warfare” Meat Beat Manifesto (1990)
69. “Yawn + House = Explosion” 20 Minute Loop (2005)
70. “Dolly Horrorshow” The Blacks (1998)
71. “Head” The Jesus Lizard (1990)
72. “Fake Can Be Just As Good” Blonde Redhead (1997)
73. “Sunburn” Blake Babies (1990)
74. “Souls For Sale” Verbena (1997)
75. “The Birthday Party” Ep The Birthday Party (1983)
76. “Bodies Need Rest” Pleasure Forever (2007)
77. “Floating into The Night” Julee Cruise (1989)
78. “Star” Belly (1993)
79. “Spiderland” Slint (1991)