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Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

30 09 2010

Listened: Monday September 13

I’m kind of shocked how much more I enjoy Mellon Collie than when it originally came out. At the time, I wasn’t a big Smashing Pumpkins fan and I couldn’t yet handle “harder” music (yes, I know Smashing Pumpkins aren’t that hard on the scale of things, but they are very guitar heavy). I remember touring the dorms at Cal as a prospective freshman and seeing a sticker of the album cover on someone’s door. Not sure why I remember that so vividly.

All the famous songs like 1979 (which I did always really like), Tonight, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Zero, are all great for nostalgia purposes. I discovered I really like Here Is No Why, Cupid De Locke, Muzzle, and Thirty-Three too. Even though this album probably could have been trimmed down to one album, for a double album, there isn’t a lot of filler.

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Noise Addict – Meet the Real You

30 09 2010

Listened: Friday September 10

Noise Addict was Ben Lee‘s first band. Meet the Real You is a really fun album written and performed by teenagers, for a teenage audience. For being so adolescent, this album’s pretty good both musically and lyrically. This album was released when I was 16, so the lyrics of the song 16 were pretty apt:

You told me 16 had a girl
16 had a car
16 made me wise
But now I’m 16 and I see that’s all wrong
But now I’m 16 and I see that’s all wrong
At 16 I’m just lucky to be alive

I regret not going to their only American tour, but I seem to recall they played a small club the size of Bottom of the Hill, but at the time I was too wimpy to go to such a small venue, and who knows if I would even have been allowed to by my parents. I assume it was an all ages show, but I don’t remember.

Wow, I can’t believe my excellent memory. This is a review of that show I’ve just googled. I vaguely recall reading it at the time. The web page definitely looks that old.





Pink Floyd – Meddle

30 09 2010

Listened: Friday September 10

For a long time I didn’t realize one of the double-exposures on the front cover of Meddle is an ear. I thought the earhole was the blurry head of a camel or something and the light was coming from a point behind it. And I swear I wasn’t on drugs!

Meddle is a little ambient for me. I don’t listen to it much at work. I love Fearless though; it’s a great example of Pink Floyd’s ability to rule.





Sigur Ros – Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

30 09 2010

Listened: Friday September 10

As the album cover hints, Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust (With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly) is a lot more free and easy than previous Sigur Ros albums. The other albums are beautiful, but are very serious about their art. This album lets go a little and lets the light in. There’s less opera and more pop. The song Festival is a good example of this; it’s a momentous, positive, dramatic ray of light.

Some of the songs are a little slow for work momentum, but they’re all beautiful and affecting. If you couldn’t quite get into Sigur Ros’ earlier records, I encourage you to check Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust out.





Travis – The Man Who

30 09 2010

Listened: Friday September 10

The Man Who is an important album from my college years. Why Does It Always Rain on Me is a brilliant pop song. Though it amazes me that apparently people used to ask Fran (Travis’ singer) what he lied about when he was 17.  Hello? I’m sure it’s not specific! Who didn’t lie about something when they were 17?? I never once thought he was referring to a specific event.

I remember taking Amtrak to Davis from Berkeley to stay with my friend Leslie so we could go see Travis at the Crest in Sacramento. To this day, it’s one of my fondest memories and most fun concerts I’ve ever been to. We also got to meet the band and get autographs (and a hug and a kiss on the cheek from Fran) afterward behind the theater when they came out, which had never happened to us before. It was only a group of about 30 or so people waiting there, so it was mellow and fun. It seems so innocent and unlikely to happen these days, even though it was only 10 years ago; I wonder if bands still do that without anyone being obnoxious?  I wish we had thought to bring a camera!