We're back! After a much need break from the rawk, the crew is rested and restored and ready to dive into this increasingly daunting back half of the year. Before heading out on break, we unleashed our collective top ten unto the world and all was good. But that list was made up of over sixty submitted albums, across any and all genre's you could think of. Taken as a whole, it paints a pretty clear picture of the personalities here and how everything fits together. Beyond that though, there are some great (and not so great) albums that didn't quite make the cut that are well worth a mention.
Kicking things off is Andre's top 10 list. It's a little more cosmic than most, but we wouldn't expect anything less from the good Doctor. So strap in and prepare for liftoff, because you're about to head through the looking glass and into the heart of the sunrise with your cosmic captain at the helm. Safe journeys. We'll see you on the other side.
#1 Pond – Beards, Wives, Denim
GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, excessive dosages of Pond in the confines of a van may result in the slowing of the expansion of the Universe. (2) Over-consumption of Beards, Wives, Denim may cause you to suddenly wake from a six week dark period where you indeed have grown a sweet beard, are married to the Shaman’s daughter, and have a newfound love for the Canadian tuxedo.
#2 Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
I’m not quite sure what a Maraqopa is, but maybe it is related to the Agave Americana that only blossoms like every 100 years or so. We’ll, similarly enough, that is about how long it feels like it took me to learn about Damien Jurado. Luckily, he has an attitude about his art that has allowed him to just keep making great music until we all have the time to take notice. I’m thankful for Damien’s patience with me as this album has an enticing complexity to it that causes you to hear new things on every spin.
#3 Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Oh J. Tillman, why you gotta be so sensuous. You could sing about standing in the line at the DMV or a description of the funk under your toenails and it would sound interesting.
GOVERNMENT WARNING: (3) Don’t play Pond’s Beard, Wives, Denim and look at the Fear Fun album cover at the same time. It has been reported to induce a feeling that is comparable to taking the infamous brown acid.
#4 Lower Dens – Nootropics
I wonder if Lower Dens would be interested in being the house band on my late night sprockets-inspired public access show? If you know them, would you mind asking for me? Thanks. If they aren’t interested, you think they would mind if I made an animatronic version of the band similar to the Rock-afire Explosion at Showbiz Pizza to perform the songs? That would be pretty awesome.
#5 Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?
Similar to the B-horror movie Basketcase, I’ve vacillated on this one since I’ve heard it. But, much like all of their music, it has a good number of songs that continually call me from the closet like that crazy deformed Siamese twin brother dude who is being carried around in the basket. And as a band, I’m finding myself talking more and more about them in the 2 am. argument of “Who are the greatest American bands ever?”, which naturally happens during commercial breaks of any viewings of the Basketcase films.
#6 Hospitality – Self-titled
I recommend talking to Kevin on this one. Just remind him that the first step is accepting you have a problem.
But as you can see, I dig it as well, just not as much as Kevin, naturally.
Me: Hey, have you heard the new album from OFF!
Friend: No, I’ve never heard of OFF!, what do they sound like?
Me: Well, have you ever had a machine gun go off near your face for 15 minutes and 44 seconds?
#8 Maps and Atlases – Beware and Be Grateful
I read somewhere that these guys are Math pop. I also read that a fair number of people thought this album was just ok or sucks. So, I’m assuming that those people don’t really like their math and pop hanging out together. Maybe they prefer Home Economics and Pop or Typing and Pop better. I wonder if industrial music should be renamed Shop Pop and it would clear up all of the confusion surrounding that type of music. Guess I’ll have to have a roundtable with Mr. Hodges at Parker Jr. High School and Einsturzende Neaubauten on that one. Until then, I’ll just work on some geometric proofs and enjoy this one.
#9 Lambchop – Mr. M
The thing that I appreciate the most about Kurt Wagner and Co. is that they don’t give a funk about what anyone thinks about their music. They just seem to be doing what they enjoy doing and you can engage if you so feel like, which, depending on the band, can be a really good or bad thing. Luckily, Lambchop reminds you when it is a good time to hang out.
#10 Whirr – Pipe Dreams
Just to go full circle, I think if Whirr and Pond hooked all of their phaser and flanger pedals in a series circuit and then they all played an Em chord at once it would open some sort of wormhole into a Universe that has folded 1971 with 1991. Well, now that I think about it, that seems to be what is happening in music and mustaches right now so I don’t know, maybe we are already living in some sort of time travel paradox. Whoa. Lets hope we make it to the end of the year list to see how this plays out.
Tune in tomorrow for to see how our word economist's list stacks up in the order of the universe. If you need Andre in the meantime, he'll be in the chill out tent.