Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Sorry about that last post. Sometimes you need to try and get some pity points from friends to make you realize your life isn't as shitty as it feels. I am still in employment limbo and poor as balls.

Anyway, so the point of this post is to talk about my recent music obsessions. I am culturing myself in the ways of Hip-Hop and some other artists that I have always loved but never delved into their catalogues. Music is really the best support I have right now. So here are my obsessions with a little write up about them.

1. Neil Young's Entire Catalouge- So Neil Young has dethroned the Beatles for the #2 spot on my all time artists. I think I have pretty much all of his albums right now (missing a few elusive 80s discs) on cd and my vinyl collection is growing. Young writes some of the best classic rock infused with country and folk songs ever, but one albums stands out of the pack like a sore thumb. That album is Trans. If you think most Neil Young songs sound the same, look no further to the synthed out 80s techno-meets-folk album. It's not straigt up Techno, but it's Young with limited guitar work, synths and singing through a vocoder. If you don't know what a vocoder is, it's a microphone that makes your voice robotronik and is connected to a synth. Need further description, check this out. So wh an album like this? Young signed with Geffen after his contract with Reprise was up and started recording an album. He recorded a whole album that Geffen rejected most of it (the songs "Like an Inca", "Little Thing Called Love" and "Hold On To Your Love" were kept) due to them being "unmarketable" and "not Neil Young sounding songs." If you hear these three songs, you will say, wtf is Geffen talking about? So what does Neil do? He straps on a vocoder, gets behind his guitar, invites old friends to experiment and comes up with Trans. The songs on this album are ridiculously Neil Young if you strip away the 80s synth vibe that he tinkers with. "Transformer Man", "Computer Age" and "We R In Control" are brilliant songs about futuristic society, Orwellian themes of supremecy and bittersweet tales of love in the computer age. It's amazing. Check it out.

2. Jedi Mind Tricks- So Ray and my fav non-Tsikitas Greek, Faz, introduced me to some good hip-hop on our Delesandro's when we were graduating. So they are white boyz from South Philly. This makes me say "who can really say Eminem is a good white boy rapper?" Not only are their rhymes sick, the beats and samples they lay down are disgustingly catchy and fun. They mix themes like conspiracy theory and eastern religion into their rhymes and sample things like Spanish Guitar and the "Diamonds are Forever" commercial bit. I don't really listen to any hip-hop/rap and I feel the need to get into some. ANd this was the perfect place to start. Gritty, deep roots in the hip-hop of the older age when it was better and all around great listening experience. If you know more stuff like this, let me know so I can expand. The album Legacy of Blood is the goods.

3. Peter Gabriel- As mentioned in last post, his first solo album (self titled, but known as Car since he has about 4 self titled albums) is amazing straight through. He tinkers with many different genres on the album. After he left Genesis, he decided to keep the vein of progressive rock, but added a nice pop music flair to the sound he had created with Phil the Shill and crew. However, as Genesis went the ultimate cheese pop route from this point on, Gabriel kept a level head and went the route that the Talking Heads and Bowie took with pop music and made it influenced foreign cultural music. Anyway, songs like "Moribund the Burgermeister" and "Modern Love" are filled with gooey pop goodness, but a strange vibe covers them. "Solsbury Hill", one of the best pop rock songs of all time, appears here. "Humdrum" and "Here Comes the Flood" are very personal, but beautiful songs. Gabriel has many other early albums that are just as good, but the first one seems to be the best of the bunch.

4. The Red Elvises- So yeah. Kinda random, but I ahve been listening to these guys since Kevner gave me their cd and I saw Six String Samauri in which they starred and had songs of theirs in the film. They are, simpyl put, Bolshevik Russian Rockabilly. It's really just straight up fun music with silly lyrics like "Last night, Jesus called me on the phone. I was surprised this morning. He told me... and he said 'Why don't we do some boogie voogie. Some boogie voogie on the beach." Gotta love that shit.

So thats it for my culture lessons.

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