The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

18 01 2011

Listened: Tuesday December 28

I admit it – The Queen Is Dead is the only true Smiths album I own (Louder Than Bombs doesn’t count, since it’s a compilation). I should rectify this problem.

I giggle to myself every time I hear “I’m the eighteenth pale descendant of some old queen or other” – I’m sure the double meaning of “queen” is intentional here.

Some of my favorite Smiths songs are on this album – Cemetry Gates, Bigmouth Strikes Again, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, and The Boy With The Thorn In His Side.

I remember a Belle and Sebastian show where someone yelled out that they wanted to hear The Boy With The Thorn In His Side and they pulled an audience member onstage to sing it, which he did amazingly well, and the whole audience sang as loud as they could along with him. It’s one of my favorite concert memories ever.





Stone Temple Pilots – Purple

18 01 2011

Listened: Tuesday December 28

OK, I know I went off on Core and the pain it brought me, but I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed Purple. I don’t think I’ll bust it out to listen outside of the project, but I listened to it several times and enjoyed it each time, both the singles and the deep tracks.

I thought the songs were of higher quality than the songs on Core; no sophomore slump here!





Lady Sovereign – Public Warning

18 01 2011

Listened: Tuesday December 28

I feel a little bit like a 15-year-old (a hip one though) when I say I love Lady Sovereign. A lot of personality is packed into her 5’1″ frame. Despite her brattiness and the likelihood that I wouldn’t enjoy her company socially, I find her incredibly endearing. She makes fun of herself, being English, and educates us on the real, untouristy London, but raps sentimentally about the fun she had just being a kid in a tough housing estate that has since been demolished.

Maybe she reminds me of high schools friends who would swear, say rude things with a smile, and accidentally burp in your face. Or maybe because, as she says “I can’t dance, and I really can’t sing, I can only do one thing and that’s be Lady Sovereign.” What’s a better attitude than that?





UNKLE – Psyence Fiction

11 01 2011

Listened: Monday December 27

Psyence Fiction is a classic of my college experience. I’m surprised I’ve never bought any DJ Shadow records, since I assume he’s the one who made it so badass (Shadow left the collaboration after this album and I didn’t like their followup as much).

Richard Ashcroft’s and Thom Yorke‘s contributions are critical too. Both Lonely Soul and Rabbit In Your Headlights are entire rock/trip-hop operas compressed into one song. I feel the emotion ripping into me as I listen to both. I love the Jacob’s Ladder sample on Rabbit, too. Brilliant. Now that I think of it, the sound of Rabbit In Your Headlights is very reminiscent of later Radiohead. Maybe Thom and the band got some ideas!





Air – Premiers Symptomes

11 01 2011

Listened: Monday December 27

Premiers Symptomes is a bit more loungy and robotically vocaled than Air’s usual album work. I hadn’t listened to it much before the project. It’s a bit short, since it’s a mini-album, but it’s good work music.





New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies

11 01 2011

Listened: Monday December 27

I don’t know exactly why, but the transition from Positive Dub to Power, Corruption & Lies is amazing. I get wrapped up in a dubby groove wave, and the sudden driving rapid baseline of Age of Consent lifts me into another universe.

Power, Corruption & Lies is a very recent purchase. I had eyed it for a while having recently discovered Joy Division in a big way. The deciding factor for purchase was finding an important music list from my youth. I made a point of going back and researching songs I didn’t remember, and discovered that all the New Order songs rocked. Cha-ching!

Age of Consent, The Village, Your Silent Face, Ultraviolence, and Leave Me Alone are all atrips to wonderful 80s synths and groovy baselines. My car’s speakers will never be the same. Since I splurged for the collector’s edition, I got Blue Monday on the bonus disc, which is one of the classics of my Modern Rock youth.

I should have bought this album years ago.





Black Uhuru – Positive Dub

11 01 2011

Listened: Monday December 27

I don’t own much dub, but I do like Black Uhuru, so when we wandered into Requests Records in Wailuku, Maui and I saw this album for cheap, I bought it. We spent the rest of the trip with it booming from the uncool rental car!

It’s catchy and I enjoy it, though I have to say that parts of it are dreadfully 80s sounding. The drums and synths are not what I would choose to listen to normally.





U2 – Pop

11 01 2011

Listened: Monday December 27

Even for a hardcore fan like myself, Pop was kind of a low point for U2 – at least the general style and aura of the band was pretty played out at that point, anyway. They had grown too big and bold for a bit too long, starting with Zooropa four years earlier.

Now that we’ve proceeded a bit from that time, I can appreciate some of the really great songs on this album that got lost in all the glitz and swagger of the moment. If God Will Send His Angels, Staring At The Sun, Last Night On Earth, and Please are all songs I enjoy very much and feel sorry that they’re on such a low-performing album. Miami and The Playboy Mansion are interesting songs musically, and maybe even metaphorically, but the individual lyrics are cringe worthy in spots.

I was really glad when they blew things wide open again when three years later All That You Can’t Leave Behind came out. U2, the band with something real to say, was finally back.





2010 in review

3 01 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,700 times in 2010. That’s about 23 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 343 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 353 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 25mb. That’s about 7 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 26th with 222 views. The most popular post that day was The Beatles – Live At The BBC.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, WordPress Dashboard, emilysalbumsatoz.tumblr.com, 74.125.67.100, and google.co.uk.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for cosmo’s factory, cat stevens, the very best of cat stevens, cassius au reve, and beatles live at the bbc.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Beatles – Live At The BBC September 2010

2

Cat Stevens – Cat Stevens June 2010

3

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory June 2010

4

Cassius – Au Rêve May 2010

5

Belle and Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress June 2010