Albums »Outlandos d’Amour

by The Police (1978)

I guess I’ve never been a die hard Police fan. I like them, but realized I don’t know their albums too well (is all my information from the radio and best of collections? For shame!).

I was please to find out that two of my favorites by them “Can’t Stand Losing You” and “So Lonely” are both on their debut album Outlandos d’Amour.

Jim, who’s a much bigger fan than I, has filled me in on their back catalogue and also has his favorite: “Masoko Tanga” while the great radio hit “Roxanne” also makes an appearance.

But the rest is not just filler, aside from an odd poem thing in the middle it’s prefect sunny weather post punk through and through.

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Posted on May 20, 2012

Albums »Come Away With ESG

by ESG (1983)

First awesome Spotify discovery! I don’t know why, but since I found Come Away with ESG on a pitchfork list I expected it to be inaccessible. Instead it’s incredibly fun and infectious. I can’t imagine anyone not being driven to dance and smile by these snazzy tracks.

If you had told me ESG was some new darling of the moment I’d believe it because the sound is timeless and refreshing but they are old school 80’s Bronx mixing hip hop, dance, disco, punk and everything else fun. You like fun, right?

They look like fun, real ladies that you share the subway with too. Standing for emerald, sapphire and gold ESG consisted of four cool sisters who, without much credit added a new sound to the scene.

Fun stuff. How come no one told me about them before?

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Posted on September 23, 2011

Songs »Institutionalized

30 Day Song Challenge – Day Two: Best Song to Wreck a Hotel Room to if You’re 16:

Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies (1983)

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Posted on May 2, 2011

Albums »Blood Visions

by Jay Reatard (2005)

From the tragic drug related death at age 26 of Jay Reatard, aka Jimmy Lee Lindsey, it would seem he lived as he made music: short and hard. His energetic, agitated Blood Visions squeezes life out of the pop punk quick song tradition with a critically adored album that calls to mind Operation Ivy and The Ramones with a modern wave that almost sounds like Wire-like.

It’s not the genre of music I usually go to first, but I’ve found myself mysteriously drawn to the spastic album lately that lends a sense of urgency to any project you happen to be working on while listening to it. It’s not revolutionary but for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, it’s far more interesting and worthy of repeat listens than other similar takes on pop punk. It’s a shame we won’t be hearing any more from this talented showman.

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Posted on September 18, 2010

Albums »Billy Idol

While Billy Idol's self titled debut is peppered with undying, beloved radio hits like Dancin With Myself and White Wedding (still excellent despite their being overplayed), but the lesser known songs are a worthy listen that evokes images of teen 80s movies.

Hot in the City could role over the credits as a great spring break comes to an end with a beach side party, Dead on Arrival: played over a gang of suburban best friends in the big city for the day – most likely with a sun roof to pop their exuberant heads out of, Nobody's Business But My Own, again over credits – this time an outsider has triumphed over a douche bag and won the girl – they share a kiss someplace far from the prom she left the douche bag behind at, and So Cruel is a mid movie heartbreak montage – he is in a jean jacket, gazing into a body of water with perfect pompadour hair, she is throwing a stuffed animal aside that he had previously in the film won for her at an arcade.

You get the picture. It makes for fun daytime daydreaming listening.

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Posted on September 28, 2009

Songs »Anger Is My Apple Tree

all torn up!Grace graciously invited me to the inner heart of the local mid afternoon socio-political angry punk metal scene last weekend to a All Torn Up! show at ABC No Rio. Lead singer/writer/screamer Chris Waller is a welcome addition to my personal parties and it was invigorating to see him lashing out with his music.

He plays often and you are guaranteed to smell the memorable scent of young boy sweat (which brought me right back to high school) and a woman that looks like a unicorn in human form if you attend one of their shows (the drummers lovely wife is the unicorn).

Our favorite song, especially in title is Anger is My Apple Tree. It comes from their self titled album and its about being angry.

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Posted on August 24, 2009

Albums »Black Monk Time

black monk timeI can't quite remember how I stumbled across The Monks and Black Monk Time, but I am glad I did. They remind me of many of the British invasion stuff I most enjoy, like The Troggs and The Animals, but it's a bit more raw and strange. The band, made up of American GIs stationed together in Germany were more original than just post-Beatle wanna bes. In fact, according to wikipedia, founding member Remy Essen:

“”designed” the Monks as “anti-Beatles”: short hair with tonsures, black clothes, ropes around the neck, image of being hard and dangerous”.

Their sound is sometimes abrasive, always rhythmic, and sometimes a bit silly but somehow beneath all the shouting, spoken word, banging drums and strange costumes, there is a pop sensibility at the heart of it all.

The once obscure band and album has gotten a renewed life with a recent re-release and wildly praising reviews from among other spots, the usually non plussed Pitchfork:

“When you hear it barked out by Monks lead vocalist Gary Burger over an otherworldly groove, though, it's an unlikely call to arms, and an immediate auditory stamp for one of the most strikingly original bands of the mid-60s.”

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Posted on August 10, 2009