So what was I listening to in the last decade….?
Well, we started out with Fugazi‘s latest/last (?) album, The Argument. You could look at Fugazi’s entire catalog from this album and see in crystalline vision the sum of it’s parts. It’s as though they explained everything. Even now, each time I hear this record I relive the entire span of my deep love of this band, and, like when I first bought it, can listen to it over and over and over again and still feel excited.
Jimi Hendrix‘s sister gained control of his catalog and reissues began to emerge with wonderful rare tracks, heavy vinyl, and lush packaging incorporating handwritten mementos and fabulous photos. Jimi is proof of Intelligent Design.
I collected many copies of Sly and the Family Stone‘s boggling There’s A Riot Goin’ On and Bob Marley‘s simmering Catch A Fire on vinyl etc. This is a sweet sickness. I love revolution records.
El-P offered his incendiary first solo effort, Fantastic Damage. This is one of my top ten records of all time; it always gave me courage and clarity. I went to NYC several times to catch El’s rare performances (despite what he says, he never played in Burlington while I lived there). Visiting this incredible city was a great inspiration for me to move here, which has made me very happy. Eventually I got to hear him play “Tuned Mass Damper” live and again, I felt a huge weight lifted from me.
More memories after the jump…
Mike Patton, another dark genius and vocal gymnast, had a lot going on that I loved. I saw Fantômas open for Tool on their tour for Lateralus, which was just an Awesome Assault.
Outkast‘s Stankonia blew our lives open. Finally: a dirty, filthy, hard-hitting funk record for our generation. They changed the game for everyone.
Mos Def. Love Mos Def. Black On Both Sides, his single with DJ Shadow from The Private Press, his show with Black Jack Johnson at Higher Ground. The hip-hop coming out of California at that time was exciting too, with absolutely grand live shows from Blackalicious and Jurassic 5 and many others from the groovy sun-drenched West Coast.
Had a great time DJing on Free Radio Burlington with Mothertrucker on our Friday night show, “Two Chicks From The Sticks.” Blending Burroughs with all the dark disruptive beats from Anticon and Stone’s Throw and Def Jux, on sentimental nights ending with the Commodores’ “Night Shift,” the bounce, the funk, the gospel, the metal and the Pointer Sisters. The Cancer Conspiracy, Carrigan, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Coup, Public Enemy, DJ Spooky, the Dischord box set, Fela Kuti, Harry Belafonte, Odetta, Nina Simone, and the Four Tops. Susumu Yakota, Gong, Motown, Stax, deep blues, that crazy Spiderman record and all that crazy cheap dusty shit we bought in Montreal or rescued from the VPR record fair. But really, I digress.
Indie Rock and IDM were huge and virtually impossible to split into categories. Meanwhile, I was cleaning up the R&B albums in the 45s and the $3 bin at Pure Pop. I was becoming a super nerd, reading a lot of copies of Mojo and listening to Can. I’m not really into irony. So I was really into my head cans, my CD shelves, my record player and it’s accoutrements.
Mia Sladyk convinced me to go see My Morning Jacket one night. I wasn’t going out very much at that time (see above). I had peripherally enjoyed their albums as my friends played them in the coffee shop, thinking it sounded like a nice tribute to Neil Young. But when I got to the show, there was a mix tape playing of Ray Charles and The Staples Singers , and the five hirsute (some barefoot) gentlemen opened with Prince‘s “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.” I was shocked to find how well they did it, and how the show became more soulful and exhilerating as the hours surged by. So that’s where my head has been since that fair evening, and in the wake of bearded bands that has followed them. My collection has expanded quite a bit along the lines of folk instrumentation and multi-part vocal harmonies in that context. And the band pairs like a fine wine with the long pined-for Soul Revival we have been experiencing via Daptone, Numero, and the singers and songwriters emerging with new verve. Seeing My Morning Jacket live is the most fun thing to do in the entire world, and their music has been the soundtrack to many indescribable times in my rich life. For an album, I’m going to say Z, though I’m not going to live without a single one of them.
I’m always looking for beats, beats, psychedelic music, insightful lyrics, soaring vocals, harmonies, incredible instrumentation skill, passion, and dance floor burners. I want to tear a hole in the dance floor. And yes, I said beats twice, so you wouldn’t miss it. There have been many mind-blowing albums and artists from the last decade, and certainly further back, that I have missed. I’m excited to become acquainted with all of them, and to see what the kids come up with next. As a wise five-year old once said, “It could be magic, could be nothing.” These last few years have been nothing but magic, so I’m assuming things will keep rolling along in that direction.