King Crimson, "21st Century Schizoid Man Including Mirrors"
The early pinnacle of prog rock, In The Court of the Crimson King set a standard that a bunch of other bands would strive uselessly to surpass, including King Crimson themselves for a while. Now, prog is inherently ridiculous, but it's also hard not to enjoy the unbounded artistic ambition here. I'm not a huge King Crimson guy, because I think a little of this can go a long way, but this is very easy to just sit back and listen to.
Belle and Sebastian, "Suicide Girl"
The official position of us here at Five Songs is that non-album compilations are mostly bullshit. They tend to be just uneven nonsense, cynical cash-ins for all the garbage that bands didn't think was good enough to put on proper albums. However, the "mostly" is there because there are some bands that are worth keeping track of. Belle and Sebastian are one of them, as their miscellaneous EPs and B-sides are usually at least good, and sometimes great. The Third Eye Center isn't the best of those comps (that would be the sublime Push Barman To Open Old Wounds), but it's still very good.
Merle Haggard, "Here In Frisco"
Growing up, I was taught that referring to San Francisco as "Frisco" was a dead giveaway that you weren't, you know, from San Franscisco. As I was taught this by relatives who lived just outside the city, I figured it must be true. I have no idea to what extent this is true, mind you, and I'm absolutely not going to check it. I want to continue to judge people.
Mantar, "The Funeral"
I don't know a thing about Mantar. They showed up on a year-end list with their first album, and I liked what I heard, and have a couple of albums from them. They're a duo, which is unusual in metal, but not so much around here. But, still, to kick up this much of a sludge-y racket with only two people is pretty impressive. And yet, you can still hear some space in the music, which is neat.
Gob, "Asshole TV"
Been a minute since we've had some Canadian punk around here. Fixed that! We were in a Dr. Martens store the other day, and the boy was totally dancing to the Rancid song that was playing. Gotta play more punk for him!