Friday, January 19, 2007

Update!

Thanks for stopping by my old blog. This blog was active from July - early December 2006. It represents my 50 favorite albums at that time.
Rather than updating the old blog I'll just say that there are some albums that would now make this that didn't make in several months ago. Those being:
The Decemberists - TIE between all full length albums (Castaways and Cutouts, Her Majesty The Decemberists, Picareque, and The Crane Wife). I can't help it - I love them all.
Death Cab for Cutie - The Photo Album.

Please visit my new blog :

The Figurehead

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

#1 - The Cure - Disintegration - 1989


This is recorded beauty. This is an album that has been with me, been a part of me ...for so long now. The lush sounds contained on this album take you to another place - somewhere apart from the hum-drum of everyday life. Picture yourself somewhere in the English moors, freezing rain falling from above, and memories like dreams haunting your every thought. I'm sooooooooo Goth! Seriously though, I did spend hour upon hour listening to this album and moping about something or other. I apologize for considering The Joshua Tree for the top spot. I feel so foolish and beg for your returned respect and admiration. I appreciate the firestorm of feedback that yesterday's mistake created. Sometimes we forget who we are. It took you, my friends, to remind me.

Key Tracks: All of them except perhaps, Lullaby.

#2 - U2 - The Joshua Tree - 1987


This is a masterpiece. I get the same feelings from The Joshua Tree that I get from The Unforgettable Fire, but they are even stronger. I spent alot of nights lying awake in bed at night listening to this album on headphones when I was a teenager. Visions of who I wanted to be flooded my thoughts and kept me awake. The Joshua Tree kept me company. Now, in my 30's, this album can take me back to that place in my heart and mind where I can look at myself in the mirror with honesty about who I am - who I wanted to be - and ultimately who I will become.

Key Tracks: the entire album

Monday, December 04, 2006

#3 - U2 - The Unforgettable Fire - 1984


This album feels like being 16. I was starving to death (literally) and experiencing heart problems from severe electrolite imbalances. All of this to serve the end purpose of becoming a state wrestling champion in the future. I remember shivering in my parents basement, skin and bones, but strong from hard work. It snowed heavily that Christmas; I walked through the snow wearing a wool black trenchcoat while listening to this album over and over. This is what it felt like to be 16, hungry and resolute in my decision making.

Key Tracks: all of them ...especially A Sort of Homecoming and Bad.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

#4 - TIE - Nirvana - Nevermind (1991) / In Utero (1993)



What can be said about Nevermind that hasn't already been said 1000 times? It changed music as we knew it...blah blah blah. I suddenly wanted to be a sad slacker in a flannel shirt. It was with 1993's release of In Utero that my feelings about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain changed. With Nevermind I was simply obsessed with the music and the image, but didn't really think about the fact that this guy...Kurt Cobain...really meant the things he was saying. Gen X wanted to believe he was a voice for us, but didn't really want to believe that his issues were real. It was supposed to just be a metaphor. When I listened to In Utero the truth about Kurt became painfully obvious. He was hurting and as bad as I wanted to be that way too, it just wasn't true. I was a happy middle class kid without a clue how it felt to be him. Nirvana did to it's audience with In Utero what Faith No More did to it's audience with Angel Dust. They lashed out against their sudden commercial success. In Utero isn't as slick as Nevermind; it's mysterious, darker, and above all else - sadder.

Key Tracks: all of them

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

#5 - Faith No More - The Real Thing - 1989


You won't find this album ranked this high on many (if any) other lists. I hated the song Epic when I first saw the video on MTV. Mike Patton was so different from anything that was going on in music and to be honest, I just didn't get it. I was hanging with a bunch of kids who played this album constantly though and I began to see that there was something special about FNM and Mike Patton in particular. Within a few months of first hearing this album I was seeing FNM live at Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville (opening for Billy Idol). That was my first concert. By the time Patton was finished I was lifetime fan. I was listening to bands like The Cure, INXS, and the Violent Femmes at that stage, so adding FNM to my musical repertoire really changed the way I heard experimental music.

Key Tracks: Epic, Falling to Pieces, Zombie Eaters, The Real Thing, The Morning After

Monday, November 27, 2006

#6 - Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes - 1982


I was talking on the phone to a cheerleader from my high school. She and I were dating at the time. The year was 1990; That's when I found out the horrible truth about who and what I was. In the background she could hear this album playing and asked what it was. I told her and she her reaction caught me off guard. "Are you alternative?" she asked almost in disgust. "I don't know," I said. "What's that mean?" She explained that alternative people listened to college music and that's what I was doing and it was weird. I loved the Femmes. That relationship was short lived. This 1982 release is a master piece of teenage angst vield in poppy folk punk melodies. When I was young these songs made me want to run through the streets like a maniac to express something...something, anything...being a teenager is such a weird thing. This album tells that story perfectly.

Key Tracks: the entire album, although like a true "alternative person" I don't listen to Blister In The Sun that often. I leave that to the posers.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

#7 - Jimmy Buffett - A1A - 1974


A masterpiece recorded in the year of my birth - 1974 - in my hometown - Nashville, TN. I know some of you are shocked to find a Buffett album this high on a list of albums that has also included hardcore punk and Goth. The truth is, this album is probably closer to who I really am...and certainly who I want to be. That album cover is how I perceive myself. My own time in the islands in my mid-20's is the time in my life that shaped what I want my future to look like. That picture of Jimmy is me, watching my wife and kid (s?) play on the beach after a long day of writing and casual beer sipping. If you're "too good" to listen to Buffett...you take yourself and life way too seriously...or not seriously enough.

Key Tracks: A Pirate Looks at 40, Trying to Reason with the Hurricane Season, Migration, Tin Cup Chalice
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