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Super Furry Animals – Rings Around The World

16 02 2011

Listened: Thursday January 20

Super Furry Animals come from the same 90s Welsh origins as Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and can even be explained in a similar terms (“psychedelic, experimental, sometimes involving Welsh-language lyrics”) but the two bands sound almost nothing alike.

Where GZM can be very folkie and druggie, SFA are in general much more like a less posh, Welsh Blur on their straighter songs. There are some samples, a psychedelic undercurrent to their music, and a few tripped out tracks that sound more like Gorillaz or The Flaming Lips, but they’re in general a rock band who could succeed in the charts. I love GZM, but even in their later, tighter years, I wouldn’t say they could ever be broadly popular.

I’m also impressed that on this 2 disc version of the album, I never get bored. All 20 tracks keep me engaged and I never want to skip ahead. That’s hard to do!

Along with Desmond Dekkar and Gorillaz, SFA remind me very much of my trip to England and Wales. Juxtaposed With U was in heavy rotation on Radio 1 at the time, so it always takes me back.

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The Beatles – Revolver

16 02 2011

Listened: Friday January 14

Revolver is probably my favorite Beatles album. This week.

Seriously, I remember Revolver being the first album to make me think beyond “Wow all these songs are so fun and catchy” and realize how far they were pushing the envelope musically.

Eleanor Rigby is fabulous – such an engaging, melancholy story. I admit that I love all the sitar on Love You To; for some reason a lot of Beatles fans hate the sitar songs, but I don’t understand why. They’re so cool! And of course Yellow Submarine – who doesn’t become entranced by Yellow Submarine?

Tomorrow Never Knows is my one of my favorite Beatles songs. Anyone who works with samples in modern times owes a debt to it. I shudder to think how long it took them to do all that backmasking and sound processing work back in the pre-computer days. It must have been like stop motion animation in music form!