Friday, May 27, 2011

8 albums to celebrate a three day weekend!

 Memorial Day Weekend... growing up in a resort town in Maine, Memorial Day Weekend symbolized the beginning of the season: tourists from all over New England, and from Southeast Canada, clogged the two lane turnpike with their station wagons piled high with tents, boogie-boards, and bikes.  As locals, we braced ourselves for long lines at the grocery store, inflated gas prices, and endless nights by the bonfire.

My Memorial Day Weekends have changed... being a young mom who works full-time, in the mono-seasonal Bay Area, there isn't necessarily the ceremonial hurrah! there once was.  My plans for the weekend include the usual--farmer's market, trips to the park, a hike with the wee one, some sewing, some cooking... and lots of music!  Here is a list of 8 records to kick off the holiday weekend:

1) Neutral Milk Hotel, On Avery Island [Vinyl]
NMH = everything that was right about the 90's.  Noise, harmony, bow-saws... love.  Jeff Mangum's genius, lyrically and musically, collaboratively with the Elephant 6 folks... I can't say enough about it.  I saw NMH at the Middle East in Boston back in '98 (or was it '99?).  Definitely one of my top 10 live rock shows ever.

2) David Bowie, Low
Anything David Bowie does is a-ok in my book, and anything Brian Eno is involved with ups the ante.  Take the post-Los Angeles Bowie, throw in a lost weekend (or, lost months) with Iggy Pop in a studio in a castle, add dreamy synth soundscapes, and you've got Low.  Yum.

3) Archers of Loaf, Icky Mettle
More 90's bliss.  I challenge you to listen to Web in Front (the first track) and not fall in love.  Archers are doing a reunion tour this summer.  You should check them out.

4) The Covers Record
If I could sing, like, really sing, I would want to sound like Chan Marshall.  Her cover of "I've Found a Reason" (Velvet Underground) is especially lovely.

5) Built to Spill, Perfect from Now On [Vinyl]
Certainly one of the most widely-loved BTS albums.  Lovingly produced by Phil Ek.  More buzz-y indie rock goodness, and where the marriage of Doug Marsch and Brett Nettson as musical mates really fused.  The time-signature changes, especially on "Kicked it in the Sun," prove that this is the album where the indie darlings grew up.

6) The Beatles, Revolver (Remastered)
I think "Revolver" is my favorite Beatles album. 

7)Fleet Foxes
Any band with vocal harmonies that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young would covet, and a Breugel painting as an album cover, is worth checking out.  This album is nothing short of enchanting.  I recommend headphones and sunshine pairings.

8) Celebrate the New Dark Age
Perhaps my favorite album... ever?  I'm not sure. 

well, OK, let's do 9...
9) Joan Armatrading - Greatest Hits
No summer(y) day is complete without Joan.  The voice, the funk... the best, best, best of the early 80's sound.  "Cool Blue Stole My Heart."  That's my jam!  "Drop the Pilot."  Yeah!  I grew up dancing to Joan with my mom.  To this day, I love to crank this album when I vacuum.


Katie said...

OMG, have you heard the *new* Fleet Foxes album yet? I *love* it.

Sarah said...

funny i downloaded it today along with the new thurston moore album... so digging "demolished thoughts" that i haven't gotten to the fleet foxes one yet, but i will!