Abel’s 4000 Albums That Matter: Part Twenty-Six
What is it that they say? The train keeps on rolling so long as the conductor ain’t dead? Right? That sounds right. Just about as right as my grasp of the English Language and Her Grammars and Spellings. Well, whatever the caveat is, we will not question it but rather allow this third week’s installment to follow its own track since it seems to have found its clip. We’re striding at the 22% mark here, let’s see how long before we derail.
556. Charged GBH – City Babys Revenge. I’ve had a hot and cold relationship with GBH since I first heard them two decades ago. I don’t know, when they hit hot, they smelt ore. When they cool it, it fucking chills my tea down man. I don’t know. This album though, for some reason has been on mind lately and I think it was because “Diplomatic Immunity” and “Christianized Cannibals” streamed on my Pandora the other day. Oh well. Those two are hot.
557. Mimi & Richard Fariña – Celebrations for a Grey Day. What happens when you get Joan Baez’s teenaged sister and Thomas Pynchon’s best friend together in a cabin in Carmel? Pretty decent folk music that’s what. Fariña will always baffle the world since he’s known in most circles as a novelist first and foremost but the truth of the matter is that he left behind a large body of recorded music and only one novel, the incredible picaresque Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, one of my all-time favorites. Maybe if he hadn’t been killed on that motorcycle two days after it published…
558. Operation: Cliff Clavin – Who Needs Electricity? For some reason I’ve had two or three conversations regarding Nikola Tesla this past week and it only seems fair that this geekcore gem would come to mind. Who needs electricity? Heck, we all do, right? Wouldn’t it be nice if Tesla had at least left some of his notes behind with a trusted source? Oh wait, too many rich white dudes would stand to lose trillions in profits if we all had free electricity. Never you mind that. Scratch it.
559. Akitsa – Prophétie Hérétique. Ever wonder what an angry Canadian sounds like? Moreover, an angry French Canadian? How about some French Canadian black metal that has everything you’d want from the worlds of hardcore and metal? That would be Akitsa. This album, “Heretical Prophecies” would be a good place to start if you want to hear about the Quebecois struggle against the oppresseurs Anglais.
560. Sinn Sisamouth – En Ecoutant La Pluie. I’ve been on a real kick of psych/garage and just general rock from Asia lately and Cambodia’s Sinn Sisamouth is one of the most amazing dudes ever. Before you get all happy about it, he left behind a sizable recorded legacy before he was unceremoniously executed by the Khmer Rouge in Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. Sisamouth is a gateway drug to some awesome Cambodian music. Start here and make sure to check me out on Jolt Radio soon as we’ll be sharing some cool Asian rock and roll with the masses.
561. De La Soul – De La Soul is Dead. Two things about this superb album: a) “My Brother’s a Basehead” and b) prophetic future astral projection vision. De La knew the time was nigh. De La Soul quit the game at the apex of their career. Nothing wrong with that, but if they had forged on, the incredibly horrible “music” that passes off as hip-hop nowadays would not be as prevalent as it is.
562. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle. This album was a bit of a big deal when it dropped 21 years ago. Yup, this disc is old enough to drink at a bar. Revisiting it though is not as awesome as it was then. “Murder Was the Case” is still the sole standout and Snoop went on to make much better music. I guess we all have to start somewhere. I think he really made his change and bared his teeth when funk and jazz got in the mix.
563. WYX – Lie Lie Lie/Association. This 7” from Hungarian outfit WYX is some righteous hardcore punk from the ‘80s that has some bizarre surrealism thrown in the mix for flavor and discordance. I came across this a while back through the Killed By Death website and it’s a lot of fun. Both songs are hot and kill it by today’s ADHD standards. Check them out. You’ll also notice that Hungary produced a slew of punk bands with three-lettered names in that era. Weird but I like that Hungarian brevity.
564. Billy Joel – Glass Houses. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” is a classic. The cover photo of Billy about to hurl a sizable rock at a glass façade impressed me at an early age. That’s right Billy! Fuck that house up! Go bang models! Be a raging alcoholic! Toughen up the piano! You know, good stuff. But then there is the fact that his reflection is there and judging from the angle he has his arm furled, he’s not smashing the house, he’s gonna smash himself! That’s pretty meta. Liberty De Vitto’s ankle watch on the back cover is just wrong.
565. Los Ilegales – Tiempos Nuevos, Tiempos Salvajes. I’ve loved this band since I first got a tape of theirs back in 1985. My parent’s might’ve thought they were getting me some Spanish New Wave rock or some such shit, but Los Ilegales were a subversive bunch who sang about drugs, booze, whoring and thinly-veiled jabs at Spanish politics of the time. Their astute observations on world affairs are square center on this platter from 1984 and looky there! You can say the same for 2014… these are new times, these are savage times.
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