Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Currently listening to: Week of April 23,2012

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.

Iggy and the Stooges - Live at ATP 2010 (2012)

Limited edition release for Record Store Day. This album features Iggy and the Stooges performing the entire Raw Power record live. This record only includes a few songs from Raw Power. It also includes Funhouse and other songs. It sounds completely incredible live, especially on vinyl. There is also a 13 minute interview included where Iggy sounds a bit tired and talks about some upcoming book and the tour. Included on the vinyl is a download code where you can download the entire performance for free! This shows what an incredible vocalist Iggy is and such energy for his age! Hurry and purchase because this is limited to 1,000 copies. Here's a few of the tracks.

I Wanna Be Your Dog:
Death Trip

R.E.M - Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)

One of the top 3 best R.E.M. albums ever. It's a more upbeat album compared to their previous Fables of the Reconstruction. There were only 2 singles from this album released, Fall On Me (which talks about acid rain) and their cover of the Clique's Superman (sung by Mike Mills). Even though there were only 2 singles from this album, there were tons of classic songs, including Cuyahoga (which talks about the infamous river which was so polluted it caught fire), and Begin The Begin (which is fast becoming a favorite of mine). One of the important albums released in the 1980s. Here are some examples of songs from this album:

Fall On Me:
Swan Song H:

T. Rex - Electric Warrior (1971)

The biggest selling album in the US in 1971, this even peaked on the US charts at #32. This includes some of T. Rex's greatest hits including Bang a Gong (their only US hit) and Jeepster. Produced by Toni Visconti (who would later work with David Bowie), this album is rocking, yet touching. Sadly, vocalist Marc Bolan died in 1977, but this music lives on and it still used in movies and TV shows. This is the first glam rock record, and it preceded Bowie's huge success. Here are some of my favorites from this album.


Cosmic Dancer:
Life's A Gas:

Depeche Mode - Ultra (1997)

When this was released, I was originally not a fan of this album. I wasn't used to this new sound. It was darker, not as upbeat as I was used to from this band. Barrel of a Gun was the first single and it has now become one of my favorite songs. It's interesting when you find out this was written after Alan Wilder left the group, Martin Gore was suffering from seizures, Dave Gahan was battling drug use and Fletch was having emotional issues. This influenced the song and the album. It's No Good, Useless, and Home were also singles from this album. There's also an excellent version of Sister of Night which Martin Gore sang on the Exciter tour which is pure emotion. One of the great 90s albums. Here are some great songs:

Barrel of A Gun:
Sister of Night:

Oingo Boingo - Only a Lad (1981)
Coming out of the Los Angeles early new wave/punk scene from the early 80s, this album establishes Oingo Boingo as a new wave group (they were previously a cabaret act). This albums mentions social taboos (especially in the tongue-in-cheek Little Girls, and Nasty Habits). The music was a mixture of new wave, ska, jazz, even heavy metal. A very diverse record which features vocalist Danny Elfman (who is now known more for his soundtrack work with Tim Burton). Local Los Angeles radio station KROQ constantly played songs like Only A Lad, and Little Girls. They later influenced groups such as Mr. Bungle and Nirvana. It's hard to believe how young this band was and how much influence they had later on. Listen to these songs:
Only A Lad:
Little Girls:
Nasty Habits:

That's it for this week. This was a fun trip back through time.


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