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?
At the very least, it’s refreshing to see a conversation about feminism with so many female voices present.
Midnight Vultures is just essential Beck… If it doesn’t do anything for you, I wonder if you’re really that much of a Beck fan.
I realize I’m jumping into this really late, but I think it’s such nonsense that The King of Limbs has gotten so much flack. Aside from clearly outdoing Pablo Honey, you could arguably rank it above Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief, both of which have plenty of killer songs but don’t work as well as full albums.
“…one of the most astute and beloved communicators of the human condition since Baudelaire or Rimbaud.” I really, really love Leonard Cohen, but that’s a pretty ridiculous overstatement.
It’s a good enough list, given the challenge of narrowing down Wilco’s immense catalogue. I would have added “Art of Almost” from their new album. I think it’s the best Wilco song post-Sky Blue Sky and arguably since A Ghost is Born.
I think it’s a really cool video, there just needs to be a director’s cut that eliminates all elements involving Lana Del Rey.
Do you even know what the word “deconstructing” means? Because it doesn’t just mean analyzing something. It refers to a specific form of textual analysis developed by Derrida. It’s not what you’re doing here.
I’m not saying this to add more pretension to the conversation, just to deflate yours.
This new snark-fest column is the worst kind of music journalism.
I don’t think it matters. If music isn’t good enough to win people over without someone having to say, “But you HAVE to appreciate this! Don’t you understand their place in rock history?,” then maybe it’s just not that great. Our generation lived through a huge Beatles revival, with The Beatles Anthology miniseries and the reissuing of Beatles albums on CD, when the world had a collective moment of honoring The Beatles’ achievements and treating them like the greatest rock band of all time. Can you blame a younger generation for caring less when all they have is Across the Universe and Apple’s acquisition of The Beatles’ catalogue for sale on iTunes? The latter event was a nauseating enough display of baby boomer narcissism and out of touch-ness to make ME question my appreciation for The Beatles. And let’s not forget the corporate machine that operates on selling us, over and over and over, the idea that The Beatles are the greatest thing ever to happen to music, with constant redundant (and expensive) reissues and compilations and Rolling Stone features and major films. Yes, the music is both great and influential, but there are also people sitting in offices who profit a lot from having us believe that.
If anything, I think it’s healthy for us to consider the possibility that The Beatles suck.
I think the negative reviews that take a position like “it’s good but not as great as album X” are just disrespectful toward Radiohead as artists. Why can’t they put out an album capturing their current musical interests? Why can’t listeners take an approach like ” I want to see what Radiohead are up to these days,” instead of “I want Radiohead to put out another Ok Computer/Kid A, etc.” ?
This album has the most innovative rhythms and eclectic influences of any Radiohead album. I trance out just listening to the drums all the way through. I think it’s only getting tepid responses because indie rock listeners on the whole don’t appreciate rhythm.