Five Songs, 6/3/2017
Five Songs

Five Songs, 6/3/2017

As certain part of me wonders what I'm doing with these descriptions. Should I ramble about whatever? Talk about the artists? Historical context? Recommendations? I have no idea. Well, here's some more dancing about architecture.

We just dodged a super long rap skit, by the way.

R.L. Burnside, "Alice Mae"

Longtime blues guitarist Burnside didn't really start getting much attention until the early 90s, when his albums first started appearing on Fat Possum Records, despite playing since the 60s. I first noticed him when he worked with Jon Spencer for A Ass Pocket O' Whiskey, which is where this track comes from. If you like Jon Spencer, then this is an easy buy.

Frank Black, "Czar"

Frank Black, aka Black Francis, was the leader of the Pixies, cementing his place in musical history. His post-Pixies career, though, is mostly all over the map. His first two albums after the Pixies broke up, Frank Black and Teenager of the Year, are both pretty solid records that sound better not evaluated in the immediate aftermath of the Pixies implosion. However, the records he made as Frank Black and the Catholics are more of a mixed bag, with some good tunes and some so-so ones. Dog in the Sand or Pistolero are probably the picks from that group.

Dance Hall Crashers, "Pick Up Lines"

Third-wave ska band Dance Hall Crashers stood out from the pack thanks to dual female vocalists, which gave the proceedings a much different character than the typical third-wave band. I first discovered them after hearing that Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman (Operation Ivy) were involved, but it turned out their involvement was very brief. Lockjaw is still really fun.

Belle & Sebastian, "You're Just a Baby"

From Belle & Sebastian's impressively assured debut, Tigermilk, which was actually Stuart Murdoch's school project. It would set the template for Belle and Sebastian for the next three albums at least, not to mention the innumerable singles, EPs, and other tunes they cranked out during this period. It would only be with Dear Catastrophe Waitress that they would start shaking up the sound much, although even that wasn't a huge difference. And, as promised last time, an album ranking:

  • If You're Feeling Sinister
  • Dear Catastrophe Waitress
  • Boy With the Arab Strap
  • The Life Pursuit
  • Tigermilk
  • Girls In Peacetime Want to Dance
  • Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant
  • Write About Love
  • Storytelling

I don't include the singles compilations here, but if I did, Push Barman To Open Old Wounds would, if I'm being honest, probably be their single best album.

John Coltrane, "Countdown (Alternate Take)"

From the reissue of Coltrane's incredible Giant Steps, Coltrane is at the peak of his form here. Amazingly, he recorded this right after working on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. At any rate, as always, I'm not qualified to write about jazz, but if this album does nothing for you, that's really sad.

Joshua Buergel
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