Recommend some bands and albums
December 20, 2003 10:13 PM   Subscribe

Each boxing week I take advantage of record store sales and buy a heap of music. What's one album (doesn't matter when it came out) that you think I should buy and one band you think I should investigate? The recommended album doesn't have to be by the recommended band. [more inside]

I know that MeFi music threads often get out of hand so I'm asking if we can all play nice and not get into arguments and "your band sucks" debates. Please just list one of each (though "I second such and such's recommendation" may be helpful in the end)--pretend you could magically make one album appear under my Christmas tree. What would it be? (I like all genres. Yes, even country!)
posted by dobbs to Media & Arts (65 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Album: Life's Too Short - Marshall Crenshaw
Band: The Clash
posted by crunchburger at 10:20 PM on December 20, 2003

Band: Tortoise
Their album: TNT or Standards - take your pick
posted by scarabic at 10:29 PM on December 20, 2003

Album: Clinch Mountain Gospel by Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.
Band: Richard Thompson.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 10:35 PM on December 20, 2003

Album: Homogenic by Bjork
Band: Jeffrey "Lightning" Lewis
posted by untuckedshirts at 10:42 PM on December 20, 2003

Album: The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place
Band: Explosions in the Sky.

Fucking Gorgeous.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:47 PM on December 20, 2003

Album: Cool Struttin'- Sunny Clark (but you have to say it Cooooooooool Struttin')
Band: Oldie but a goodie, King Crimson
posted by oflinkey at 10:55 PM on December 20, 2003

Band: Guided By Voices
Album: GBV have a HUGE catalogue, but if you are just starting, pick up the newly released "Human Amusements at Hourly Rates," their 'best of' album that is quite spectacular. Soon after, you will start down the slippery slope of Robert Pollard's (the Mastermind) catalogue, which consists of approximately 5 releases per year, under various aliases, from the "Robert Pollard" solo albums, to the Lifeguards, Airport 5, Go Home Snowball, The Circus Devils, Lexo and the leapers, ect.

The 'best of' got a 9.5/10 on the uber pretentious, where they say that:
"the momentum and contrast worked into Human Amusements is so staggering that it far exceeds any Guided by Voices mix CD I've ever put together or heard. Listening to this album now, I can feel echoes of the same giddy excitement that I haven't been able to fully recapture since I listened to Mag Earwhig! for the very first time. I may have heard them all a hundred times before, but these are my 32 new favorite songs."

Also, for those fanatics out there, the newly released "HARDCORE UFO's" box set is well worth the money. You get the 'best of', a rarities cd, a b-sides cd, an amazing live album, GBV's first album "Forever Since Breakfast" (never before available on CD), and the "Watch Me Jumpstart" DVD."

Sorry, I get a bit preachy when it comes to Guided by Voices.
posted by Quartermass at 11:00 PM on December 20, 2003

Album: Nancy Sinatra - These Boots (Were Made For Walkin'); the ultimate 60s sex-kitten kitsch.
Musician: Harry Nilsson
posted by mischief at 11:33 PM on December 20, 2003

Album: The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place
Band: Explosions in the Sky.
Seconded! Also, check out the band Seluah.
posted by kickingtheground at 11:35 PM on December 20, 2003

Response by poster: This is excellent, folks. Exactly what I was hoping for. Looks like the thread will be handy for any music nut. Also, if you could provide a link to a legal mp3 or band info, that would be handy or I fear I'll die of old age in the listening booth lineups. Those interested in hearing kickingtheground and Ufez Jones' suggestion of Explosions in the Sky can do so here, trharlan's enon here, scarabic's Tortoise here, Qmass's GBV here, and Crunchbuger's Crenshaw. Couldn't find samples on others or I was already familiar with them.
posted by dobbs at 12:03 AM on December 21, 2003

band: the legendary pink dots
album: legendary pink dots: crushed velvet apocalypse
posted by jaded at 12:13 AM on December 21, 2003

Musician: Patti Smith
Album: I'm So Confused, Jonathan Richman

I know, I know, everyone knows Patti Smith. Just give her another look. Trust me, she's worth it.

(fondles Dec. 29th tickets, glances about furtively, scurries away)

posted by Ptrin at 12:48 AM on December 21, 2003

album: Red, by King Crimson
band: Bad Brains
posted by attackthetaxi at 12:57 AM on December 21, 2003

Band: The Faint
Album: Tarentel, From Bone To Satellite
posted by j.edwards at 1:40 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Elliott Smith, XO
Band: The Raspberries
posted by obloquy at 2:30 AM on December 21, 2003

Band: Cinematic Orchestra
Album: Fahrenheit Fair Enough by Telefon Tel Aviv
(no samples just amg info links)
posted by juv3nal at 2:39 AM on December 21, 2003

Band: Dahlia (Flash Req'd)
Album: I feel so mainstream, but... Dido, "Life for Rent". Just got it and I luff it.
posted by SpecialK at 2:46 AM on December 21, 2003

Band: Radiohead
Album: The Bends

If you haven't heard of them, this is the the best introduction.


Band: Muse
Album: Apocolypse Now
posted by triv at 2:59 AM on December 21, 2003

Album... Big Star - #1 Record / Radio City (Of course, there are 100 good choices for this, but this is the first thing I thought of. As close to a perfect album (two really) as they come.)

But I mean, how many possible contenders are there for these slots? How to choose? I'm going to presume there are no limitations, but I'm going to go with a current band I'm just getting into, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. I really like them, esp. the songs "Timorous Me" and "The Great Communicator" (both on the album The Tyranny of Distance Uh... again, 100 possible selections, but there's something to start with.
posted by nath at 3:03 AM on December 21, 2003

Johnny Cash - American IV: The man comes around (2003)

Mr. Cash's last album before (may he rest in peace) he went to heaven, this album is astonishing in the way that he knew his time was up with every word in this album. I want to extenuate a true diamond in the rough to you, dear sir.

Review of said album is located here.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:13 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Herbert - Bodily Functions
Band: Da Lata
posted by bifter at 3:15 AM on December 21, 2003

Album : Damien Rice - O
Artiste : Scott Walker
posted by mattr at 4:31 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Sophtware Slump (Grandaddy)
Band: don't really follow people/bands, but maybe Tricky (and the rest of the Bristol stuff - it's all a bit old now, though)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:38 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Buena Vista Social Club
Band: Wow, that's tough...err. Guess I need to go with the band I have the most albums from and has (almost) never disappointed me. They Might Be Giants
posted by Dick Paris at 5:24 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: The Prodigy - Music For the Jilted Generation
Band: Faithless
posted by ajbattrick at 6:30 AM on December 21, 2003

Album : The Nightfly, Donald Fagen
Artist : Leon Redbone
posted by crunchland at 6:46 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Take the Guitar Player for a Ride - Peter Laughner
Artist: Jeff Mills
posted by dydecker at 6:48 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Blue Skies Forever
Band: Mary Prankster
posted by oh posey at 6:49 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Rosenbergs - Mission: You
Band: Old 97's
also seconding andrew cooke and ajbattrick
posted by yerfatma at 7:40 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: M83 Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts

Band: coil

Warning: M83 website uses a faux DOS interface that is a supreme pita.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 8:15 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Mark Hollis
Band: The Shins
posted by tomharpel at 8:23 AM on December 21, 2003

Musician: John Wesley Harding (some live/free mp3s here)
Album: Poses, Rufus Wainwright
posted by eilatan at 8:40 AM on December 21, 2003

Album -- The Bridge, a tribute to Neil Young
Musician -- can't decide. I'm torn between the bands Will Oldham has been in [all his Palace Stuff & Bonny Prince Billy], the band that Pete Krebs has been in [Hazel, Golden Delicious, solo stuff, Gossamer Wings], or the bands Joel RL Phelps has been in [Downer Trio & Silkworm]. I'm in a singer/songwriter phase. A lot of Songs::Ohia's music is evocative of all three guys.

I have to say I also love that Tortoise album, the Shins, Richard Thompson, the Clash and most of the music that has already been listed.
posted by jessamyn at 9:00 AM on December 21, 2003

Album: Give Up, by the Postal Service. Also check out the cd single for Such Great Heights off that album, which includes covers by Iron & Wine and the Shins. Awesome, I say.

Band: The Microphones.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:13 AM on December 21, 2003

Been working to iTunes this morning; can I chime in with more than one choice? I know you asked for one but they're so different...

Album: Heavy Weather
Artist: Miles Davis
posted by Dick Paris at 9:23 AM on December 21, 2003

This is very cruel but I have to applaud (and follow) fellow members' contention. My only proviso is that I'm glad so many of my other choices have already been covered. Here goes, but, whatever you do, don't quote me on this, dobbs. Just but the bastard, enjoy for the rest of your life and shut up about it, already.

Album: Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
Band: The Pogues

If you'd been more generous in your question, I would have said anything by Leonard Cohen. Damn me for cheating...I know....
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:32 AM on December 21, 2003

"but" is Portuguese for "buy", as you very well know. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2003

album "ruby vroom" by Soul Coughing
Band: Spoon
posted by drezdn at 9:37 AM on December 21, 2003

Album - Stepmother City by Sainkho Namtchylak.
Artist - Brian Eno.
posted by Blue Stone at 10:22 AM on December 21, 2003

Album - Shoot Out the Lights by Richard and Linda Thompson
Band - The Connells (Trouser Press reviews of their 80s and 90s work)
posted by kirkaracha at 10:37 AM on December 21, 2003

Album - Muswell Hillbillies by The Kinks
Band - Dirty Three
posted by picea at 11:43 AM on December 21, 2003

band: The Wrens
album: Hope by the Non-Prophets
posted by subgenius at 11:50 AM on December 21, 2003

Album - Works, Vol. I, by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (despite the title, not at all a greatest hits package, which in their case would be a box set like Manticore)

Band - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Keyser: Good selection on the Cash, I got it yesterday from my Sweet One for Hanukkah.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:06 PM on December 21, 2003

Album: Andrew Bird, "Weather Systems"
Band: Faith No More -- so, so underrated

Please note: these two groups sound nothing alike, so don't predicate interest in one on the other
posted by me3dia at 12:06 PM on December 21, 2003

Oh, another I haven't seen:
Jeff Buckley. I have Grace and ... it's spooky, but it's like he knew he was going to die young and was singing his eulogy on that album.
posted by SpecialK at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2003

My friend's band actually released a split with the Wrens that came out about a year before their current album. Sadly, most copies were lost in a fire.

I should also mention Yo La Tengo as a band worth checking out.
posted by drezdn at 1:14 PM on December 21, 2003

Album: The American
Band: Angie Aparo

Pop Alternative similar to matchbox 20, but somewhat softer and more comtemplative lyrics.
posted by woil at 2:10 PM on December 21, 2003

Second the recommendations for the Connells, They Might Be Giants, Postal Service, and Leonard Cohen.

Album: "Jazz Goes to College", Dave Brubeck Quartet
Band (errr, musician): Elvis Costello
posted by Vidiot at 2:50 PM on December 21, 2003

Artist: The Joel Plaskett Emergency

Album: Matt Mays - Matt Mays
posted by boost ventilator at 4:50 PM on December 21, 2003

Album - Peter Gabriel's Security (aka PG 4 in UK)

Another Leonard Cohen vote - plus, there's a pretty good LC tribute album called Tower of Song. At least three great renditions on that.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:03 PM on December 21, 2003

Jon Brion, Jon Brion, Jon Brion. Can't be any clearer :-) (FWIW, he's the guy that produced Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann's hottest albums, and also did the Magnolia soundtrack, but he has a solo album and it's mind blowing.. like the Beatles crossed with Brian Wilson)
posted by wackybrit at 5:20 PM on December 21, 2003

Album: Moontan by Golden Earring
Artist: Hoyt Axton
posted by joaquim at 5:54 PM on December 21, 2003

album: The Penguin Cafe Orchestra's Preludes, Airs & Yodels
artist: ditto on Brian Eno
posted by heather at 5:55 PM on December 21, 2003

Love Ritual by Al Green. If you can't find that, I think Listen to the Rarities has many of the same tracks.

Clear Spot by Captain Beefheart is a great rock record.

Booker T. and the MGs – get their Play the Hip Hits on Ace Records for some stuff you probably haven't heard before.
posted by timeistight at 6:39 PM on December 21, 2003

Album: The Avalanches - Since I Left You
Artist: Once again, ladies and gentlemen... Brian Eno.
posted by soyjoy at 8:53 PM on December 21, 2003

Album: The American
Band: Angie Aparo

Nice to see this record getting its props.
posted by kindall at 1:41 AM on December 22, 2003

Album: Vehicles & Animals by Athlete
Band: Badly Drawn Boy
posted by davehat at 3:01 AM on December 22, 2003

Album: Want One, Rufus Wainwright
Band: Death Cab For Cutie
(DCFC is fronted by the same singer as the aforementioned Postal Service, but has a more conventional indy/emo sound. MP3s at label site Barsuk)
posted by krisis at 3:50 AM on December 22, 2003

One artist, one album = too difficult, but I'll try:
Album(s) - Future World Funk
Label - Memphis Industries
posted by asok at 4:28 AM on December 22, 2003

I'd never be able to give one best option, so here are some that I doubt anyone else will mention.

Band: Jennyanykind (particularly Revelator)

Album: "41" by Swell.
posted by werty at 6:35 AM on December 22, 2003

Album: Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest
Band: Air
posted by Dr_Octavius at 8:05 AM on December 22, 2003

Band: Swervedriver
Album: Mezcal Head
posted by Otis at 8:10 AM on December 22, 2003

Artist: Chris Whitley
Album: Sigur Ros, ( ) [untitled]
posted by gottabefunky at 9:17 AM on December 22, 2003

Response by poster: Much thanks to all who chimed in. Gonna be busy doing some resarch!

For my own picks:

Album: Born Free Forever by Bobby Birdman [mp3s]
Artist: Masada
posted by dobbs at 10:59 AM on December 22, 2003

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