Hundred Visions – Permanent Basement
Good morning class, my name is Dr. Jim Sullivan and I’ll be your instructor for this semester’s class; Introduction on How to Rock Face 101. Here is your first assignment. I want you to go home, put on Hundred Visions Permanent Basement and loosen up your rock maneuvers along with some serious rock face. Although, there is one condition, you cannot, and I repeat, do not, at any point in this exercise rock face to this album into or near a mirror or any other reflective surfaces. I’ll see you all tomorrow for our discussion.
Welcome back class. Well, based upon the look on all of your melted faces, you probably think that I’m disappointed to see that you all have failed to follow the instructions. Billy, what was the last instruction I gave? Uhhhmmm, don’t look into a mirror or reflective surface while rocking face to Hundred Visions? Correct Billy, and based on your experience, why would I give you that instruction? Uhhhmmm, because even the reflection alone of how hard this album makes us rock face would cause us to melt our own faces off? Correct Billy, but sometimes the best education is experiencing the true power of rocking face first hand. You can thank Hundred Visions for that one. Good job class, now let me tell you about an album I like to call U.F.O.
Damien Jurado - Maraqopa
Similar to Jim Sullivan’s 1969 masterpiece U.F.O., Maraqopa is a lush, multi-layered and mysterious sounding folk album that may not get the credit it deserves in its day and age. This album is also one of the few examples of how to tastefully use strings and choirs in modern music. But, like a fine wine, this one will definitely age well and stand the test of time so that it can be lauded when the Space Jesus returns (listen to podcast 17, time stamp 52 minutes for further explanation on that front.) I just hope Damien doesn’t mimic Sullivan and decide to walk into the desert and get summoned back to another planet where the general public appreciates his music in the time when it is actually happening. So, as Carrie would say, sometimes you have to ask yourself What Would Alien Jesus Do? Well, apparently he would listen to Damien Jurado.
Pond - Beards, Wives, Denim
Please complete the following questionnaire before pressing play on Beards, Wives, Denim.
- Do you currently own a van?
- Are there any mythical beasts or colorful landscapes airbrushed anywhere on the van?
- Is there a copy of Jim Sullivan’s U.F.O. in the 8-track player of the van?
- Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you could see sound and/or taste colors?
- Are you currently running low on Zig-Zags?
If you answered YES to all of the above questions, then you probably already own this one. If you answered NO to any of the above, go knock on the window of the guy living in the van at the end of your block, he might let you borrow his copy.
Father John Misty - Fear Fun
So the story goes that Jim Sullivan walked off into the desert after recording his album U.F.O. in 1969, never to be found again. Some scholars have even theorized that the space Jesus took him. But, after hearing Fear Fun I’ve developed my own theory that Father John Misty actually found Sullivan’s body in the desert, realized who it was, and taking guidance from Willie Nelson’s last album, they rolled him up and smoked him by which they were given the inspiration needed to write and record Fear Fun. I can’t really think of any other way this album would have been possible.
The Amazing - Gentle Stream
As I’ve mentioned in previous top 10 lists, I don’t know what is in the water in Sweden, but based on this beast of an album, I’m pretty certain it might have some time traveling properties. Or maybe we have just stumbled on the next Rodriguez inspired, Searching for Sugar Man, story. However, in this version we find out that Jim Sullivan was a huge hit in Sweden in the 70’s and 80’s unbeknownst to anyone in the states. However, much like the Rodriguez story, people in Sweden think Sullivan is dead, wherein they just haven’t learned the real story. I can’t wait to capture the look on their faces when we tell them that Jim isn’t dead, he is just chilling with the Alien Jesus. Anyone know how to say that in Swedish?
OFF! - OFF!
Me: Hey, have you still not heard the new album from OFF!
Friend: No, I haven’t, well, after you told me it would be like a machine gun going off near my face I was a little concerned for my health.
Me: Well, YOU ARE WRONG!!!!
Friend: Jeeez, I think you just ruptured my spleen.
Lower Dens - Nootropics
This album hands down gets dibs as the soundtrack for all scenes in the future Jim Sullivan Biopic we need to make where they are traveling through space or when the Alien Jesus is transporting him from Earth to his new throne as the leader of the Horsehead Nebula. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite. Heady shit. So who’s with me?
Oddisee - People Hear What They See
This is easily the album that challenged, educated, and soothed me the most this year. The challenge came primarily from my lack of experience with hip-hop music, the education from the growth and barriers I broke down in myself as a fan of music to finally realize the complex talent in artists like Oddisee, and the soothing feeling I had after my personal barriers were finally broken was quite eye opening. However, Oddisee made it easy with some of the most sensuous infusions of Motown, r&b, and vintage soul into a tapestry of infectious hip-hop tunes that would have even made Jim Sullivan proud, maybe a Hip-hop version of U.F.O is somewhere in his future? Hey, we all have to dream.
Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now
Movement and Location, done.
First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
There is always the possibility that Jim Sullivan is on a neutron star somewhere in the known Universe waiting for First Aid Kit and The Amazing to unite the clans and create a Swedish supergroup that cover’s U.F.O. in it’s entirety by which the people of Earth will finally be ready for the second coming. This all makes perfect sense because no human currently living can deny that the voices of the ladies of First Aid Kit aren’t one of the most alluring things you’ve ever heard. Oh no, maybe they are the modern Sirens they spoke of in Greek mythology class, so watch out for any jagged rocks and shit if you are listening to this on your next sailing odyssey.