Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Currently listening to:Week of March 20,2012

To really hear an artist's work, you must look past the hit singles. The entire album is worth hearing to truly get a glimpse of it all in one body of work. Here are some of the albums I am listening to this week.

Nirvana - Nevermind Deluxe Edition (Devonshire mixes)

To coincide with my previous post about producer Butch Vig, I decided to listen to the newest Nirvana reissue for their landmark album, Nevermind. Nevermind was released in an expansive 3 CD/1DVD box set last year and one of those cds. One of those CDs from that set is called the Devonshire mix. These are basically the Butch Vig mixes of what would become Nevermind before Andy Wallace polished them up. The songs still sound familiar and golden and it's a nice look at what was to come. Such a difference from their previous album, Bleach.

Skinny Puppy - Singles Collection

Skinny Puppy is in a word:art. Art is not easily understood, sometimes difficult, sometimes beautiful, at times strangely haunting. I suppose that would be the best way to describe Skinny Puppy, a Canadian industrial band that has been around since 1983, this showcases all the singles that were released form them at their time at Nettwerk. This is a great intro to people who might be interested in Skinny Puppy, but don't want to explore their massive discography yet. Assimilate remains a favorite of mine, and the first song I heard from them. I love the melodies and loud chorus. Worlock appears in it's remixed form here and I actually prefer this version. Recommended if you like Front Line Assembly, Throbbing Gristle or any other challenging acts.

Current 93 - Soft Black Stars

Current 93 is a band that is difficult to categorize. They themselves describe their music as apocalyptic folk, and it seems fitting but there are elements of industrial (especially in their early days, and piano music, such as this album), Contemporaries of Death in June, Sol Invictus, Boyd Rice, Coil and others affiliated with the former World Serpent label, Current 93 creates some disturbing, chaotic, beautiful tunes. This album is all piano based and simple and I especially like A Gothic Love Song, and Antichrist and Barcodes. References to Gnosticism and Kabbalah run throughout and an album I haven't heard in a while prior to this week but I love.

Smashing Pumpkins - Gish

Another album reissued last year and produced by Butch Vig. This is a taste of great things to come. Released in 1991, before Butch produced Nevermind, this shows the Pumpkins. I would call it psychedelic hard rock. I love the drums on Window Paine and it showcases what a great drummer Jimmy Chamberlin is. Billy Corgan shows great promise on these songs, especially Siva and Crush. This was rereleased as a Deluxe Edition in 2011, with an extra cd with Peel Sessions, bonus tracks and early versions of the songs and a live DVD. Get this album.

Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
One of the best albums of all time. The harmonies on this are incredible. Songs include Wouldn't It Be Nice, God Only Knows and Caroline No. This is always on the top 10 best albums of all time lists and one listen will tell you why that is. No one can sing like Brian Wilson does. No one had such great melodies and harmonies. A very infectious album. Has influenced generations of musicians such as REM, Elton John, Pink Floyd and the Beatles themselves who were inspired to create Sgt Peppers after this album was released.

Iggy Pop - The Idiot

Released in 1977 and produced by David Bowie, The Idiot is one of those great classic Iggy Pop albums. The original China Girl appears here sung by Iggy. Nightclubbing is another great song which was later sampled by Nine Inch Nails on their song, Closer and used on the movie Trainspotting. This album or Lust for Life are the two best Iggy albums I would listen to before any others. Funtime has been covered by artists as diverse as REM and Peter Murphy. With only eight tracks, there is no filler here.

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