Monday, November 8, 2010

My 15 Albums

Okay. Using Evan's criteria. The 15 albums that I have probably listened to the most in my life. I will try not to edit too much, but there's probably some total crap that I've flushed from my brain. In reverse chronological order...

The iPod Years

The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off - I don't get why people didn't like this album more. Those that like it love it. But there aren't many of us. As well, I'm starting to think that the Walkmen could be the best live band in the world. It sounds just like them but with the energy turned up a few notches. Isn't that exactly how it should be?

The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine - There's just so much energy in this album and every song kind of brings something to the table. They've mellowed and polished with the last two and I think they need to get more manic to become this band again.

Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary - The songs on this album are 1-12 on my iTunes play count. By a fairly significant margin. What can I say, this album is nearly perfect.

Wilco - A Ghost is Born - I didn't catch on to Wilco until this album. People labeled it experimental but they don't know what they're talking about. Okay. Ignore "Spiders".

The Mini Disc Years (Not a long period of time)

The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat - Man, this album did not leave the old mini-disc for a month or so. I think this is the last album that I ever listened to completely through at least every day, sometimes twice a day. It blew my mind. I wish I had play counts on this sucker.

The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair... - It seems like some of the best bands can only exist for a certain period of time before they implode under their own colossal magnitude. Or put out one good album and then start to really suck. I'm okay with that, but I'm sad that the remnants of this band can only provide a small little tease of what could have been.

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Source Tags and Codes - What the hell happened to these guys?

The Discman Years

Swingin' Utters - S/T - A pretty great album that still gets the occasional listen. They've shown flashes of brilliance on other albums, but this guy is pretty solid all the way through.

NOFX - So Long and Thanks for all the Shoes - Punk in Drublic got a lot of airtime, but this thing has stood the test of time. What a great album. I don't listen to it very much any more but it's just solid throughout. It stuck around for a while.

Fugazi - Red Medicine (All of them, really) - What else can you say.

The Beatnuts - Street Level - This should have ended around track 13 or 14. Until that point, I think it's one of the greatest rap albums ever.

Gob - EP - This is just a short little ep but I listened to it so much. It's too bad they couldn't have done more with it.

The Walkman Years

The Pixies - Doolittle - If Alec Eiffel and The Sad Punk were to magically appear on this album, it would become an unstoppable force that could potentially cause the Universe to end.

Janes Addiction - Ritual De Lo Habitual - This album made me feel alright about Junior High, somehow. It made me happy that something so odd was out there. Especially the last few songs that don't get much credit. Three Days...Of Course...

The Violent Femmes - S/T - Man. I listened to this album so much through my early Junior High years. I am saddened about what this album became. Saddened. This was actually the very first cassette I ever bought.

That's fifteen. I guess I really did leave out some stuff I don't want to think about. Arcade Fire Funeral? Ya, probably. Nirvana Nevermind? Yep. Propagandhi How to Clean Everything? Yep. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Clap Your Hands Say Get Off the Fuckin' Stage!). Egads...probably. Anyhow. These are definitely 15 albums that got a lot of rotation and still leave some sort of imprint on my mind.


  1. Some oddball picks. For four bands you've got the albums AFTER the universally acknowledged masterpiece (walkmen, wilco, noFX, Jane's Addiction). You've picked maybe the punkest albums for the Thermals and Fugazi (Red Medicine's the one I like best too, I think. I think). But Blueberry Boat - I totally forgot about that album. I listened to that a lot. Mostly on your recommendation. It did notice recently that it was criminally overlooked on this very very questionable list of the best recent concept albums: . (Seriously, no Mike Ladd? Yoshimi "peters out after four songs"? Total nonsense). Anyway, thanks for posting a reply.

  2. What are you saying? I'm a follower?

    I think all four of those albums are underrated. Punk in Drublic and Bows + Arrows probably could have made the list as well, but the two listest feel more relevant to me at this time. I didn't really listen to Nothing's Shocking until after I got in to Ritual. And Wilco is Wilco and every album is different and pretty fantastic. That just happens to be the one I listened to the most.

    As for the's slowly becoming apparent that the body, the blood, the machine was the perfect moment for them. You could draw a graph of them. As "manic energy" peaks early and then declines, "pop polish" starts out weak and continues to grow, the two lines cross precisely at this album.

    Anyhow. As you said, it's not a deser island list. It's almost a "these are the albums I think are best lis", but not quite. These are just honestly the albums that I've spent the most time on. For the most part. With some holes.

  3. No, no. Not saying that. Well, you are a follower. But so are we all. Me, I'm listening to Kanye right now and fucking loving it. A white guy who listens to Kanye. How revolutionary.

  4. Dude. I concur. I've listened to it a few times and I'm really enjoying it. It's like he stopped caring about what everybody thought and created the record that he wanted. Or, maybe, he started caring about what people wanted to hear and made that record. I'm not sure. It's good though.