Arthur Adams is a great friend of The Contrarian, and a choice musician/songwriter. He’s out there on the Left Coast keeping it real for all us sinners while breaking hearts with his toothsome pop band, BLAMMOS. Arthur is also among my favorite human beings on the planet — even if he did used to make fun of me for listening to noise music (and look who’s all into that shit now!).
Still love the kid, though.
Anyway, here’s Arthur’s picks, with the obligatory bio below… list after the jump.
Devin the Dude, Just Tryin’ ta Live
The best MC alive’s best record featuring a funny, relaxed flow, laid-back Houston beats, some smooth as fuck r&b and wisdom that’s both crass and critical. “Doobie Ashtray,” “Lacville ’79” and “Fo’ Sho” are my favorites. I love this record and I love this man.
Arvo Pärt, Lamentate
Some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard was composed by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and performed by the Hilliard Ensemble, and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Orchestra. This record is just one of his many amazingly beautiful pieces. [Ed’s Note: This one isn’t available, but here’s one of my faves, I Am the True Vine.]
Antony & The Johnsons, I am a bird now
I can’t believe I didn’t hear this record til a couple of years after it came out… it’s bizarre and beautiful and sounds pretty damn unique. Antony kind of sounds like a lady in the same way that Nina Simone kind of sounds like a man. My favorite song is “For today I am a boy,” the sad childish lament of a young, questioning, transgendered soul.
Cody ChesnuTT, The Headphone Masterpiece – What would Prince sound like if he only had a four-track? This record. Full of bedroom soul, rock, folk, pop, hip-hop and more with tons of tape hiss and ridiculous braggadocio. The song “The Seed” was rerecorded on the Roots album Phrenology, but the original is just as fun.
Feist, Let it Die and The Reminder
I love her. When I heard Let it Die I was like, “woooooah.” And then when The Reminder came out I was like, “oh yeeeaaaaaaah.”
Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury
Yeah, I know… I know. It’s about slangin’ rock… but holy shit it’s one of the greatest hip hop albums OF ALL TIME. The Neptunes‘ beats and Malice and Pusha T‘s dumb-as-fuck doo-doo rhymes just meld together so well… Keys Open Doors, indeed.
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
I got this record as a promo at my last record store job and I brought it home that day, put it in the player and listened to it. Then I listened to it again. And again. And again. I may have listened to it ten times that day, specifically replaying the songs “Lump Sum” and “Skinny Love.” It sounds like diving into a vat of maple syrup. Mmmmmm.
This is such a good record. heard it kind of late coz I sort of dismissed T.I. after I heard “Rubberband Man” but this record is great, maybe one of the best mainstream hip hop records ever. T.I. is a pretty smart and clever writer… and is this maybe an attempt at a concept album? “Why You Wanna” and “Front Back feat. UGK” are my favorite tracks… but there isn’t really a bad song on this record… even the skits are tolerable.
Brian Wilson, SMiLE
For those of you that don’t know: I am officially responsible for getting Mr. Rae-Hunter the Contrarian himself into Mr. Wilson and the Boys. That’s right, you can blame me. That said, I was surprised this wasn’t on his list… It’s not as good as it would have been if it had come out in the ’60s and it’s not the “psychedelic pop masterpiece” everyone said it was going to be, but… I cried the first time I listened to it. It made me so happy that it finally was finished. [Ed’s Note: I should just redo my damn list, now that I see everyone else’s.]
Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator)
I got into Gillian when her second record Hell Among the Yearlings came out and I loved it so much that I bought this record the day it was released. I went home and listened to it… I had to stop it three times because I was having song-gasms (the uncontrollable urge to write a song). I wrote three of my best songs that afternoon and Gillian & David are the spiritual co-authors. One of my favorite records of ALL TIME.
Arthur Adams is a songwriter and performer who lives in San Francisco CA. His band BLAMMOS is currently filming an asinine self-indulgent documentary about themselves, and his other band The Phenomenauts are the world’s most bravest and handsomest space band. You should like the records he likes because he has really great taste.