Friday, October 20, 2006

Recent iTunes Uploads

There’s nothing like having the vast majority of your online music collection feel stale – which is where i’m at right now. Obviously, these things happen from time to time, and this just happens to be one of those times. In general, I’ve found there are only a couple of cures to this situation – one is to throw the whole thing into a shuffle – it’s one of the only ways to remind you that there were songs that you forgot that you had and and that you liked. Often these are songs you would never have intentionally listened to – but the fact that it just “came on” somehow makes you a bit more tolerant. However, in certain circumstances – this approach just won’t work – you’ll find yourself wanting to skip ahead to the next track, and then the next one, and the next one … once you start down that road you’re only a few steps away from despair.

At this point it’s a good idea to start exploring the “radio” or “podcast” sections of itunes. Unfortunately for me, this is rarely the approach I take – instead I tend to find myself in the “store” section of itunes thinking – well, how bad could that Fergie album really be?

But there is an alternative – at least, for me there is. The dig into my actual cd collection to find albums that i have never uploaded onto my itunes. This is can be a useful expedition, especially if undertaken rarely. You will often find yourself face to face with some embarrassing moments (how did i get all those ida albums?? Actually, i know how…but it’s not even worth it…)

In any case, what follows are the cd’s I uploaded the other night as Grace slept and i watched the Mets game (it’s playoff time, remember?)

Luna – live – I was never really much of a Luna fan, but this record made me want to try (I went out and got Bewitched, and their newer one – which was horrible, and even some old Galaxie 500 – but I just wasn’t depressed enough at the time to make that one work…). Dean Whateverhisnameis is a great guitarist and a decent singer. But there’s something about his guitar work live – it was really just working for him that night.

Iron & Wine – Creek Drank the Cradle; in my mind, he still hasn’t topped this album. The phenomenal rhythmic fingerpicking, the soft, breathy vocals, and the poor recording quality which made you feel like he just did that in his bedroom like 20 minutes ago gave the album an immediacy and intimacy that he never really regained. Fortunately, he still manages to make good albums and great songs, but this is still my favorite.

U2 - B-sides 1980-1990. U2 was my first favorite band, the Joshua Tree was my first favorite Album, and Where the Streets Have No Name was my first favorite Video. (First favorite song? “What A Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers – and no I’m not kidding, I was 4!) Not much else to say really. I never upgraded my cassette copy of the Joshua Tree to CD - I guess I felt I’d had it so long that I somehow didn’t need to transfer it. Looking back, I think that was a mistake. Anyway, I still haven’t listened to this one. It does have “The Sweetest Thing” on it, which alone makes it worth listening to.

Zero Zero – A.M Gold - First heard this one on a mix my friend Jeremy made me. It was one of the best mixes I’d recieved in a long time, I recall. There were many hits to be discovered on that one, but this was by far the most fun. (Also by far the worst song on the mix? Fischerspooner. God did they suck. Are they even still around?)

The Who – Join Jogether – another trip down memory lane. This came out around one of their many reunion tours. It’s a live “Box Set” (2 CD’s – more box than set), which is a live version of Tommy on disc one, and a bunch of Greatest Hits on disc two. I don’t own a CD of Tommy proper, so I figured I’d chuck the live one into the mix.

(Attempted) The Kills – Keep on Your Mean Side – again, another first album far superior to the second. Although I did love the cover to the second album. Anyway, this is something that bothers me about iTunes sometimes – when it flat rejects a cd for import that i KNOW plays on a cd player. Grrrr. Regardless, I really liked this album when it came out and since I don’t really listen to cd’s anymore this one has not make the journey with me. I suppose I could buy it again on itunes but the whole principal of that really bothers me. The thing I like about the Kills is the intense musical energy between the man and woman (who both have weird names like VV or something) who form the 2 person band. It reminded me of another band who’s music I could import…

Boss Hog – (debut LP) I loved the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (especially circa Extra Width/Orange – sort of tuned out after Now I Got Worry), and watching the sexual tension between Jon and his wife (the unforgettable Christana Martinez) was unbelievable. Their music seemed dirty and bluesy – it was so dirty it was practically slimy – but for some reason, it was a good thing. If I was only going to own one Boss Hog album, it would probably be the Girl+ ep, but I couldn’t find it in my CD case that night. I like this album too.

Television – Marquee Moon – How many times have we been told by rock critics what a great album this is? Answer: A lot. I don’t get it. I don’t hear it – I wasn’t around at the time, I wasn’t doing the right drugs, I don’t know. I’ve tried to appreciacte this album as the classic that it is. I like the noodle-y guitar, don’t love the vocals. However, all in all, this album is, to quote the truest music critic of all – Randy Jackson, “just alright to me.” [The “dog” at the end of that quote was implied.] But for whatever reason, I’m giving it another chance.

Matthew Sweet – Altered Beast – This is not his best album, and it may be his most depressing. But there are some great tracks on here (and some not so great ones, frankly). But there are hidden gems in an album like this – think about it. It’s right after his breakout album (Girlfriend) which was way overrated. [It had like 3 great tracks on it (Girlfriend, Waiting, Evangeline – Looking at the Sun was OK too, but he only seemed to know how to do spacey-guitar power rock with like 50 layers of overdubs (sort of a one-man, pop version of the Smashing Pumpkins), and really depressing ballads.] Then this one was totally disappointing to the people who liked Girlfriend. His best album (already on my itunes) was easily 100% Fun.

That would all seem like a lot if there weren’t like 10 more. But man is this post getting long. More to come.