RS#434: Big Star, #1 Record


Big Star, #1 Record

Release Date: 1972
Previously Owned: Yes
Big Star, #1 Record
"#434 Record" didn't have quite the same ring to it.
Impressions:  I don't care if this is indie-hipster bait, this album is amazing. I probably like it too much to look at objectively, but I'll try my best… "Feel" chugs in with a great riff building toward a '70s power-pop groove. It's super catchy, but still seems like the whole song is going to fall apart, just like Chris Bell vocal ( "I feel like I'm dyin!") After that, the gorgeous heart-rending Alec Chilton ballad "The … Continue Reading ››

RS #435: Nirvana, In Utero

Nirvana, In Utero
No joke, was supposed to be called "I Hate Myself and Want To Die"

Nirvana, In Utero

Release Date: 1993
Previously Owned: Yes
Impressions: This disc is supposedly tough listen, but, in the past, I mostly found it to be challenging but still enjoyable. Sometimes I've even enjoyed it more than Nevermind. Let's put it on... Big, unvarnished Steve Albini production makes it seem very present and still fresh. Even at their supposed most "difficult"  like with the screaming, power-chord driven "Scentless Apprentice" Nirvana still can't help but be suprisingly catchy, listenable...even … Continue Reading ››

RS #436: Beck, Sea Change

Beck, Sea Change
Beck was ahead of the curve on Google glass by a decade.

Beck, Sea Change

Release Date: 2002
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Real strange that I don't have this album since I like Beck in general. Sometimes the holes in my collection are inexplicable. Well, let's put it on…There's an acoustic guitar opener, so it's that version of Beck and not the sample-heavy, hiphop collage artist guy. Slightly trippy, but more direct and personal (for him, at least) in addressing his recent divorce than his random, non-sequitur lyrics of the past. Also, songs … Continue Reading ››

RS #437: Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

LIl Wayne, Tha Carter III
Lil Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

Release Date: 2008
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Lil Wayne is kind of an interesting trainwreck on (and off) the mic. Let's put this on... Wayne's got the usual braggadaggio, sometimes delivered in a sort of toasting rhyme style, but still surprising vunerability. Not the hugest fan of his voice, but he's compelling as a erratic, almost tragic character. He's good at offering up bon mots like "And I am no Elliott Ness/I don't handcuff, I don't arrest/I do confess to … Continue Reading ››

RS #438: The Cure, Boys Don’t Cry

The Cure, Boy's Don't Cry
EGYPT TRIP 1978!!!


The Cure, Boys Don't Cry

Release Date: 1978
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Much like the way I enjoy the Smiths, I like my mopey served up with a side order of catchy. The Cure certainly fits that bill. Boys Don't Cry is an early compliation of The Cure smashing together stuff from their first album Three Imaginary Boys and other singles for a US audience. Let's put it on...The title track is still a simple classic single-- with a chiming guitar and lean production that … Continue Reading ››

RS #439: Sam Cooke, Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963


Sam Cooke, Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963

Release Date: 1985 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Sam Cooke, Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963
Where have you been my whole life?
Impressions: I've heard of this album, but never listened to a minute of it, mostly because radio stations rarely play live albums and, I guess, some laziness on my part. Let's put it on… Right off the bat, the atmosphere is pretty great; sounds like a hot crowd in a smaller, more intimate setting that most concert albums. Sam "Mr. Soul" Cooke and his band … Continue Reading ››

RS #440: The Pogues, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash


The Pogues, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash

Release Date: 1985 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
I guess I'll take rum...
Impressions: Irish folk-punk rock. A very narrow little sub-genre, practically invented by The Pogues, that I enjoy in small doses, like a musical version of Jameson's Whiskey. Definitely not for everyone, but if you are open to its aggressive fiddle/banjo/accordion/mandolin/whiskey driven sound, it can be quite bracing. Let's have a shot… The first few songs get right to the point … Continue Reading ››

RS #441: Suicide, Suicide

Suicide, Suicide
Yep, this is what it sounds like.

Suicide, Suicide Release Date: 1977

Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes Impressions: Completely never heard of these guys. Not even in name, although I'm going to assume it's not party-time music…So far, name is apt: they play lo-fi, almost amateurish, early New Romantic keyboard heavy sad music. The mood is Dire. "Ghost Rider" sounds like if a depressed Elvis got ahold of some synths. You can definitely hear a wire-frame for new wave or goth type … Continue Reading ››

RS #442: Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
There's very little golf material on this album.

Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

Release Date: 1978 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes Impressions: Sadly, I’ve never really considered these guys as, like, an actual band of musicians. Like ZZ Top and their long beards, their nerdy, red siren hat wearing image has overshadowed their tunes in my mind. This should be interesting… “Uncontrollable Urge” blasts out of the gate with some rocking, angular guitars and their version of punk. I’m impressed. They follow … Continue Reading ››

RS #443: Cheap Trick, In Color


Cheap Trick, In Color

Cheap Trick, In Color
It's oddly apt that they put the two pretty boys on the cover and hid the other two, more-talented dudes.
Release Date: 1977 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes Impressions:For a guy like myself who loves '70s power pop, Cheap Trick for whatever reason has never won me over before. Let's give them a chance…. Well, "Hello There" is a goofball fun rocking opener and "Big Eyes" rocks fine, but that's it; just fine. The production seems a little restrained, the songs don't quite seem to take off. … Continue Reading ››