I’m the guy who covered the Salsatheque show for Stereogum and I can say from experience that it was mind-blowingly awesome being in a crowd of people dressed for the occasion. It created this amazing sense of community that is totally lacking at most shows. It was also just an unforgettable aesthetic experience. AF aren’t being assholes – they won’t kick you out if you don’t comply, and didn’t even do so for the Salsatheque shows where there were only 100 people present and were filming a video. It’s just like Halloween: you don’t HAVE to dress up, but it’s a lot more fun if you do.
Agreed that Adore is better than Pisces Iscariot. Also extremely underrated: Machina II, though I can’t imagine ranking it higher than it is here.
Yup, he said the name of the track. I was listening hard but didn’t catch the names of the others (or pretty much any lyrics). It was even a little hard to see even though I was about five feet from the band because they were literally performing right on a flat dance floor. I realized pretty quickly that I could see clearly if I watched the band’s reflection in the mirrors on the ceiling. Going for, ahem, a theme there maybe?
Oh, and this article deals with Trans perfectly. For some reason it usually brings out extreme reactions in people – “worst piece of crap ever” or “most under-appreciated album ever” – and the fact is that it’s a really interesting experiment that went pretty damn okay. It’s fun hearing Neil Young so far out of his element, and it’s fun getting all ironically enthusiastic about him sounding like a robot and playing disco, but the vocoder/synth aesthetic had been pretty well explored by better artists by then and his entrance into the genre definitely was a little dilettantish.
One thing about On the Beach that the article didn’t mention is that it captures Neil Young’s disparate song styles on one record. “See the Sky About to Rain” is from the After the Gold Rush/Harvest period (and was included on Live at Massey Hall) and “Revolution Blues” and “Walk On” could have just as well been recorded with Crazy Horse. But then you get those last three songs doing something really interesting and different that Neil Young never quite returned to. You could say it doesn’t hang together as an album, but this is outweighed by its function as a capsule of all of his best work. It also just happens to be my personal favourite Neil record.
I love Lou Reed as much as the next guy, but there should be some law against him talking about things.
And is that a bad thing? I just can’t believe the number of negative comments on this album. There are maybe two or three dud tracks, a few that are good but not classic, and five or six that I could listen to on repeat for a whole afternoon. That beats the hell out of most albums.
I’m really happy to see so much love for “It Makes No Difference.” It’s one of the greatest songs ever written, period, but gets overlooked next to other Band classics. Awesome list.
First Impressions of Earth is a really underrated album. I think it deserves more credit for expanding The Strokes’ sound beyond their first two LPs. If The Strokes hadn’t shifted gears a bit at that point in their career, everyone would be railing on them for writing the same album over and over. There are definitely a couple duds on First Impressions, but far more great songs that people give them credit for. I’m glad that at least “You Only Live Once” got its due.
What does it say that a product like this is aiming itself at hipsters?