Author Archives: songssuck

Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga is a pop star—why are we taking time to bitching about her?  Is it necessary to use the internet to spread negative rants about global pop stars?  Isn’t it a bit spiteful?  Some writers at BDWPS are actually Lady Gaga fans.  And we haven’t bitched about say, Britney, or Christina.  Isn’t her music better than the average pop star?  (Yes, and I happen to actually like some of it).  So why the hate?  Because of all the talk of her ‘revolutionizing pop music’—that’s why.  A quote from her interview with TIME Magazine: “I don’t want to sound presumptuous [any time someone feels the need to say something like that they already are], but I’ve made it my goal to revolutionize pop music.  The last revolution was launched by Madonna 25 years ago… I want so much for it to go beyond the music for my fans.”  That lame self-proclamation led to everyone repeating it until the hype became a common fact.  But what does Flavor Flav say?  Lady Gaga: revolutionizing pop music?  FAR from it my friends.  Let us take a look at the (wo)man who lives in the Haus of Gaga.

Our journey begins with a woman named Stefani Germanotta.  Take a moment to browse through these three clips.

Hopefully one can stand watching enough of these three videos to see what Lady Gaga started out as—a Vanessa Carlton/Norah Jones hybrid.  Maybe throw in a bit of Tori Amos, but that is probably giving her a bit too much credit.  It should be obvious she didn’t start off revolutionizing anything, but then again, we don’t hold that against her, as neither did David Bowie.

But how did Stefani Germanotta transform into Lady Gaga and get so popular?  Well somewhere along the way Gaga manipulated herself into what she felt would make her a star—or more accurately, what her management team felt would make a star.  Mainly I would say, she/they added controversy and a ‘freaky’ public image.  Is she a hermaphrodite?  Bisexual?  To answer these questions, and whether or not she is now revolutionizing pop music, let us reflect on her music videos, live shows, public image and music.

First off, I will say that a few of her videos are amazing (although the video for “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)” is absolutely horrible).  Very visually captivating… but obviously they took like thousands of dollars to make.  I’d just as soon watch this one from Dinsosaur Jr., which probably took 5 bucks to make.  Check it out:

Alejandro Video:

More on music videos later.  Music is what we are worried about here at BDWPS, not flashy music videos.  So let’s talk about her live shows.

Most of the Lady Gaga fans I know swear by her live show.  And, yeah I get it, lots of props and costumes and money put into it.  But EVERYTHING IS SCRIPTED.  During this song she will wear this, she will go over there and shake her ass for 35 seconds then take off her hat and do some scripted dance moves then put on a different pair of stupid assed glasses and grab her crotch in a neo Michael Jackson move and then a black guy will come from over there and hump her leg.  Then she will take pants off revealing a Hello Kitty covering your vagina.  Where is the REAL FUCKEN DANGER in any of that?!  Rock and roll shows shouldn’t be scripted.  Revolution is dangerous and is not scripted.  Sorry Gaga.

Watch this video of her playing “Speechless” live:

Watching her play the piano for a five minute song is almost excruciating.  Without all the flash, props, pomp her live show amounts to almost nothing.  Putting your leg up on the piano and showing your crotch doesn’t make it any more watchable or the song any better.  Okay, maybe a little, but it also turns me off, because it should be beginning to become clear to one, with Gaga very little of it is about the music.

Let us take a moment and go through Lady Gaga’s latest album, The Fame Monster, track by track.

1.  “Bad Romance” – An awesome song – the first time Gaga’s music surpassed the hype

2.  “Alejandro” –  Mostly I get fucken tired of her singing the word “Alejandro” over and over again (we used to play a game, counting how many times Creed sang the phrase, “what if” on that one shitty song. But it would be completely impossible to play that on this song, as I doubt any human can count that high).  If it weren’t for that, I could dig this song.

3.  “Monster” – sounds like Kylie Minogue song + Britney Spears

4.  “Speechless” – a bad Queen song sung by the guy from Nickelback.

5.  “Dancing in the dark” – Madonna  + Britney

6.  “Telephone” – Christina Aguleria with an autotuner

7.  “So Happy I Could Die” – like every Eurotrashpop star ever + Shakira

8.  “Teeth” – if you told me this was Christina Aguilera I would believe you.

An above average pop album (although if you gave almost anyone as big of a songwriting team as Gaga has, they could probably come up with some above average stuff as well), but the biggest problem with calling Lady Gaga revolutionary is that, really, it has all been done before.  Proof (all one needs is 30 seconds worth, VERY IMPORTANT TO WATCH THIS ONE):

Can one watch that and not see Lady’s shit was done 30 years ago?  I guarantee she is a Missing Persons fan, cos that is too similar to be coincidence.  David Bowie did the androgyny thing 40 years ago (even Ellen Degeneres told Gaga this in an interview) and did it way better—cos the music was fucking fantastic!  Grace Jones was much fiercer/scarier 30 years ago, Betty Davis did the whole badass “I wear the pants in this sexual relationship” way better 40 years ago, Madonna blazed these public image/controversy trails in the 80s and the rest of Lady Gaga’s schtick is a mixture of Marilyn Manson, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Freddie Mercury, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Roxy Music, Roisin Murphy (especially with the avant-garde outfits and while I am on it, Roisin’s 2005 album Ruby Blue is way ahead in the pop arena while at the same time being more avant-garde than Lady Gaga) and Bjork.

Her lyrics are 10th grade suburban white girl, her choice of collaborators (like Beyonce and Flo Rida), are definitely not avant-garde, and her controversial/nihilistic public image is only interesting cos mainstream pop music has become so damn conservative the last five years.  And come on, do you think I care about the Nazi/nihilistic imagery and if she is acting like she is fucking some dude in the ass (“Alejandro” video), or beating up some prison bitches (“Telephone” video)?  I couldn’t care less—it’s all about the music (and really, does this shock anyone but 67 year olds?).  But this brings out more beef I have with Lady Gaga.  She is always talking about how she wants to “liberate” her fans.  Is this cruelty fetish in her videos helping to liberate teenage girls?  Teaching them you need to get your ass kicked and be cruel to other?  Whatever—I could give a fuck less if she has three dicks and two ovaries (or if her music videos portray it)—it is all about the music. Justin Bieber fucking a baby in the mouth in one of his videos would be controversial as well, but that wouldn’t make his music any better.  Controversy does not equal revolution or add up to liberating music.

I listened to at least five of her interviews for this article, and not ONE time did she say anything remotely interesting (how can someone who is revolutionizing ANYTHING have nothing thought provoking to say?).  She is not the brains behind this hype machine.  Maybe Joanna Newsom said it best: “Her approach to image is really interesting, but you listen to the music, and you just hear glow sticks.”   So she is definitely not ‘revolutionizing’ pop music.  Gaga is simply what pop music is today, for better or worse.

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Top Albums of 2000 (10-1)

10.  Elliott Smith – Figure 8

Forget everything you’ve heard about this album.  Just listen to it.  For some reason, ten years after it was released some at Pitchfork still find the need to talk shit on it (check out their top albums of 2009, #46).  Didn’t they talk enough when it came out in 2000?  “Throwaway… giant, airy studio disaster… go-nowhere melody… one of the least infectious songs… includes some of his least inspired music… unbearably random sounding… a lot to plow through… another step down in terms of songwriting… you only need to hear so much Elliott Smith before you get the point.”  Why is there still a backlash (the Oscar nomination?  ‘Good Will Hunting’?  Signing to a major label?)?  I mean he died over 6 years ago!  Whether you like the hushed dreamy wistful acoustic folk of his first two albums or the full on rock moments and orchestrated grand Beatlesqe pop of XO, there is something here for you.  This album has consistently broke my heart for 10 years now.  Again, just forget everything you know about Elliott and this album and JUST LISTEN (including this from Trouser Press: “neither does any of it make the direct connection to a soul and heart.”)  I have found that nothing from Elliott connects with any other place.  Sure it could have been narrowed down from 16 songs.  But just consider it his White Album. Kid Kilowatt

For the record, I can remember Android50 buying this album while we were in college.  I can remember it so vividly partially because for like 2 months I refused to go to class unless I dropped in and listened to a tune off of Figure 8 first.  – Songs Suck

I have many favorite albums from 2000, but if I were to pick the most memorable album of 2000, it would have to be Figure 8. My best memories of that year were times spent with some of the BDWPS.com writers  in our dorm hall simply known as “The Cave”.  Before meeting them I listened to Roman Candle nonstop, lying in bed drinking Mad Dog 20/20 until I passed out, a sad, pitiful creature. My grandma died that fall and I struggled with adjusting to the big time college life, so Elliot’s heart-wrenching songs hit home.  Then of course the holy trinity was formed and I no longer needed the sad odes of Roman Candle. I was still a morose mother fucker, but I needed something bigger than one guitar and a whispering voice captured on an 8-track; I needed something larger than life. I needed Figure 8.  -Android50

Probably my favorite songwriter of all time.  What?  What about John Lennon and Paul McCartney?  For my money I’ll take Elliot over the two of them combined.  – Tyrannosaurus Banks

9.  Antony & the Johnsons – s/t

Transcendent.  – Dr. Anonymous

I-Tunes calls it “easy listening.”  Tell that to my friends who say it gives them a headache and/or make fun of his voice.  On one track, Antony sings about searching for kindness in his heart, but instead finding Hitler.  Still sound like “easy listening”?  It’s bombastic, pretentious, soulful, uplifting, precious, melodramatic, spooky, feminine, beautiful, affecting, subtle, offensive, jazzy, elaborate, masculine, atmospheric, dark, compelling, and disturbing, often in one song. – Suzy Creamcheese

8. Sleater-Kinney – All Hands on the Bad One

Let us talk about regret for a second, shall we?  I don’t have many in my life, but I can think of one thing I really regret.  I had traveled to Denver for a Gang of Four concert and got there a day early.  S-K was playing that night and I was tired, had already seen them and would see them again a week or two later when they came to my town.  Maybe my biggest regret in life, not seeing them one more time before they broke up.  Probably their most melodic, fun, exuberant and danceable album.  How they do that without a bass is beyond me.  If I were Android50 I would find this an appropriate time to bust out a Thin Lizzy comparison.  And I would be right, but S-K’s dual guitar harmonies are busier, bolder and more playful than Lizzy’s.  Like ballads?  Check out “The Swimmer”, it happens to be one of my favorites (plus it was the first S-K song this dude ever heard).  Can you tell I fucking love/miss this band?  — Pthestudp

Makes me want to eat every chic in the world out while I party on my motorcycle.  – Johnny Goodyear.

I saw Sleater Kinney in concert and all the douches in the crowd kept asking for songs from One Beat. Sleater Kinney ignored their requests and played “You’re No Rock N’ Roll Fun”, a song better than anything on One Beat. After finishing up, Carrie Brownstein aproached the microphone and said,”That song is from ‘All Hands On the Bad One’, an album none of you have ever heard of.”  I wanted to scream out, “I’ve heard it Carrie and I love it!”  Instead, I peed into a beer bottle because I didn’t want to miss a minute of their set. – Android 50

7.  Clinic – Internal Wrangler

This album makes me think that Clinic are actually a 60’s band that discovered some drug that no one else was privy to (which may explain the surgical masks they always wear in band pictures and the fact that they get all cowboyed up to rustle up some mental steers [get it?  “internal wrangler.”  Ha ha.]).  Or they somehow found a missing formula in a cave somewhere that showed how to make the usual guitars, drums, bass and organ lineup sound fresh and unique.  I don’t know how they did any of it, but every once and a while an album comes along that is really special.  Really fucken timeless and special.  – Songs Suck

Tribal drums sound off.  And then Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart drop a red pill each.  Then some obscure 60’s pop band drops by.  And we are down the rabbit hole and everywhere else in between.  Some gloriously fucked shit and the best example of how dark can be sunny, and cold, inviting.  How detached can have a big beating heart.  A heart so big it jumps out at you and dances about the room for 30 minutes before one is led to stab it with the fire poker.  Will I still be listening to this in 20 years?  Are we still listening to the Velvet Underground?  Ornette Coleman (see the cover)?  Wire?  Faust?  The Monks?  The Fall?  Well, some of us are.    — Tyrannosaurus Banks

6.  Pinetop Seven – Bringing Home the Last Great Strike

Before I heard Pinetop Seven I thought country was gay.  A rich and timeless album, Luke Ferdinand of fakejazz.com calls the music a “mix of No Depression country/folk with a small touch of something I can only think of as creepy carnival music.”  He’s totally wrong and spot on at the same time.  An indescribable album that really has to be heard and digested a few times to really “get it.”  — Willie Rambo Strider

Probably my favorite country band of the last 15 years.  Seriously, and it’s probably their best album.  So there you go.  If I ever find a real saloon, (ya know with the swinging doors) I will make them play this while I down a bottle of their finest whiskey.  It will also be the soundtrack when Pthestudp finally drags me to Joshua Tree.  Sorry U-2.  – Songs Suck

If you are playing the cowboy mercenery video game hit “Red Dead Redemption”, turn off the volume on your TV for a moment and play Bring Home the Last Great Strike as you venture through New Austin on your pixelated stallion.  You didn’t think the game could get more epic, did you? – Android50

5.  Electric Wizard – Dopethrone

It’s okay that the critics don’t get it.  They didn’t get Black Sabbath either.  Best album cover ever?  – Kid Kilowatt

Not the first time the Wizard has been featured on Bob Dylan WPS.  Read pthestudp’s review of their 2007 album, Witchcult Today, elsewhere on this site for a fuller description of the Wizard.  In that review pthestudp mentions that Dopethrone is a “full on DOOM classic [and it is] a combination of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, the Melvins and Eyehategod.”  He is right and if BDWPS is the only site with enough balls to pronounce it, then so be it.4 Somewhere a horned and bearded Satan (is there another kind?) sits on a black throne in his castle, on the side of a hill in a dark forest, with malevolent looking hooded dudes guarding the castle and roaming the woods.  This album is what Satan pulls out before he tokes from his gigantic black bong.  Doomy, sludgey, monolithic riffs, spacey FX, this album really is the heaviest shit out there.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

4.  Smog – Dongs of Sevotion

You may not get a lot out of this album at first listen (except for maybe realizing his lyrics are fucken genius).  Some of the songs are minimalist dirges, and Bill Callahan refuses to follow up on catchy hooks (although “Dress Sexy at My Funeral” is one of his catchiest songs).  One gets the idea that either Smog is fucking with us or he really likes Leonard Cohen.  For those who are familiar with Callahan’s work, I describe it as the album he is obsessed with death and sex, often in the same song and one seems to follow the other.  I get scared to play it loud in my apartment with lyrics like: “I can hold a woman/ Down on a hardwood floor / This was my / My cold discovery.”  These lyrics and others, including ones that rhyme tête-à-tête with machete, and every note are going to permeate your brain until there is nothing else in there for weeks at a time.  A fucken shame this album did not show up on any of the “best of the aughts” lists, cos it is probably Bill Callahan’s finest hour.  – Songssuck

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with these songs playing in my head.  Why does this album haunt my dreams?  — Suzy Creamcheese

3. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven

One time I popped into a record store, just to browse.  LYSFLATH was playing.  I left immediately.  Call me extreme, but I refuse to listen to just parts of this album, at half volume.  LYSFLATH demands more.  And the more I give to it, the more it gives back.  – Willie Rambo Strider

My dad is a pretty cool guy.  He is also what I would call a radical devout christian.  He loves him some Jesus.  But there is one problem.  He doesn’t like any Christian rock bands.  I guess it’s hard to dig Christian rock when one has already heard Led Zeppelin.  Dad cannot deny that the Almighty’s rock bands do not compare to his favorites: Neil Young, Black Sabbath, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd and Zep.  He has a bunch of friends who got all excited when Dad told them his dilemma.  They were going to show him the light and started bombarding him with Christian music.  At first he would come home all excited with a new tape or CD given to him.  But after popping it in, he would realize: “it’s crap.”  After a while, Dad conceded that Satan had the better music (although he fervently believes that one day Christ will take back the music mantle that Satan took with him to hell and then Christians will truly ‘rock’).  But Dad, don’t give up hope just yet!  Cos when this nonet’s 3 minutes into “Storm: Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven” it is so rapturous and magnificent it must come from heaven.  Usually GSYBE albums just convey hell, indignation, grief, anguish and Armageddon, but like any good Christian album LYSFLATH’s last track, “Antennas to Heaven,” chronicles Jesus’ victory over Satan.  With that realization GSYBE have added another emotion to their musical palette: joy.  Talk about goose bumps.  – Pthestudp

2.  Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Sunset Mission

Another made up genre exclusively for this list: doom noir-jazz.  Seriously, I feel like someone is standing behind me holding a knife while I listen to this.  Or maybe I am in a lounge cantina on Mos Eisley and Jabba the Hut just walked in (slithered?).  Or I could be driving down the autobahn (the band is German), chain smoking cigarettes, pondering how I am going to get away with the murder I have just committed?  No one know whilst this record spins.  If you love jazz, doom, or midnight, check it out. – Pthestudp

Bohren & Der Club of Gore bitch slapped everyone who said one had to look to the 60’s to find the last good jazz.  Even though most of the people who said that would still think that after hearing this, BDWPS.com readers will know better.  – Dr. Anonymous

1.  Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica

This really came out of nowhere.  And yet, I didn’t appreciate it at the time.  I liked it, but my 2000 self really didn’t comprehend just how good this album is; it would take a long long time.  M&A was Modest Mouse’s major label debut and they made the most of it.  Isaac Brock sings about unearthly places and ideas: places I have never been and cannot comprehend; ideas I cannot grasp.  But for the first time the music is really ambitious enough to soundtrack his visions.  The music comes to us from bad motel, but where is this motel?  The 3rd planet?  The dark center of the universe?  A frozen over version of hell?  The stars?  An endless ocean/endless desert?  Antarctica?  The moon?  Brock gives a lot to ponder, but offers no easy answers.  I think Brock actually knows how the world began, how it will end and what happens when you die.  He knows the secrets of the universe, what the meaning of life is and the location of hell.  To find them one only needs to listen to this album.  But I’ll warn you right now, if one enters The Moon & Antarctica they are going to get mind-raped, and might not escape with their sanity and may not end up knowing where they came out at.  – Pthestudp


4 There are almost no reviews of this album on the web, even on music sites I respect.

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Top Albums of the Year 2000 (20-11)

20.  Enon – Believo!

John Schmersal played guitar for the seminal 90’s outfit, Brainiac.  Brainiac disbanded after the death of Timmy Taylor and Schmersal started Enon.  Believo! was as informed by Brainiac as they were by Guided by Voices, Prince, Les Savy Fav, Beck and the Breeders.  I can think of no other awesome band’s lead singer dying and then a lesser known member coming forth and kicking so much ass (besides Foo Fighters of course…. Pause…. More Pause……. NOT!).  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

19. Blackalicious – Nia

Reminds me of old school 80s rap, mixed with A Tribe Called Quest, mixed with their own unique dopeasfuck shit.  Lots of flute (almost reminds me of Gil Scott-Heron in places, they may even sample him), funk, cultural politics, excellent lyrics and choruses to sing along to.  Lyricist the Gift of Gab and DJ-producer Chief Xcel produced a high point with their debut that they really haven’t yet topped (although most critics would say Blazing Arrow does, not sure I agree). – Songssuck

If all hip hop albums were this innovative and fresh, no one would ever list rap as the genre they hate.  – Kid Kilowatt

18.  Antaeus – Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan

Antaeus are a black metal band from France.  Their motto is: “anti-Music, anti-God, anti-You.  They are overtly satanic.  Every song is a furied, blast beated affair and CYFAWS is their debut.  Sounds like a recipe for dooshiness and disaster, right?  Well usually, yes.  But in Antaeus’ case one would be wrong to assume that.  CYFAWS is a brilliant debut.  It is the year 2010 and we now know that France is a breeding ground for amazing black metal.  And even though their Satanic and antisocial shtick should be boring and pathetic they seem devout enough for it to become almost legit.  But how can I get over the fact that the songs are just one blast beat after another?  I don’t quite know myself, but they vary it up enough and at times the band’s weirdness shines through into some glorious whatthefuckness. – Songssuck

What?  I am supposed to be writing a review?  Sorry, I was too busy cutting my flesh and worshipping Satain.  – Dr. Anonymous

17.  Crooked Fingers – s/t

Like falling down in a deep dark well, with almost no hope of being rescued.  Then you find a hidden cache of alcohol and decide it’s not such a bad place.  The solo joint of Eric Bachmann, the dude from Archers of Loaf.  Much different from the Loaf however, more like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen all rolled up.  Actually it’s nothing like that either.  Fuck.  – Pthestudp

For an album not known for its melodies, this mother really gets stuck in your head.  One of the few albums you get the feeling you will be listening to in fifty years.  —  Suzy Creamcheese

16.  Enslaved – Mardraum: Beyond the Within

Nachmystium get all the credit, but Enslaved were really the first to incorporate “Pink Floyd” into their black metal.  So fucking epic, makes me want to get on some tights and fuck shit up with swords, mainly people’s throats.  Mixes furious speed with slowed down guitar harmonies, prog, classic rock, punkish riffage and post-rock into a violent black metal stew.  Black viking prog: how’s that for another one?  Just might be the black metal album to get all you nonblackmetallisteningwussies hooked.  – Pthestudp

Majestic + Black Metal?  Impossible?  Maybe, but Enslaved don’t give a shit what you think.  – Willie Rambo Strider

15. 764 Hero – Weekends of Sound

I always thought that the Built to Spill comparisons were lazy.  But I can hear it; a moodier BTS (the band kinda has that Pacific Northwest 90s sound, and hey that is how I heard about them, the BTS comparisons).  But take this seriously, cos BTS didn’t release anything this good in the 00s.  Band named after the number to call to report car pool violators. – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, and Death Cab for Cutie all hit the big time while maybe my favorite of the 90’s Pacific Northwest bands wallows in obscurity.  If you like any of those bands, or Neil Young for that matter, you owe it to yourself to check this album out.  – Dr. Anonymous

14.  Hot Snakes – Automatic Midnight

In high school, some friends of mine built a skate park in an empty cul de sac.  We spent most every afternoon there, skating, hanging out and building new ramps.  Looking back, it was a very constructive way to spend our time; cos as soon as they tore it down to make room for a new church we all started drinking.  Normally right about now I would start talking to you about the positives of kids having a place to hang out and legally blowing off a little steam.  And how it is a lot easier to say no to drugs when they have healthy activities as an alternative.  But in hindsight, it wouldn’t have mattered in my case anyways.  You see, skate park or no, I would have started drinking after discovering this album.  Listening to Automatic Midnight makes me want to shotgun beers while I am hanging out with buddies at the skate park just before we take the drinking show on the road while blaring it with the windows down.  Why?  It’s not cos of the lyrics, they have nothing to do with any of that.  Well, actually I am not sure about that; I am always too busy thrashing around while this album spins to analyze lyrics.  – Pthestudp

Makes me want to fuck every girl in the world while quaffing beer and riding my motorcycle.  – Johnny Goodyear

13. Necrofrost – In a misty soar and on it swampy floor

The sound of a bear lumbering drunkenly through the forest.  – Pthestudp

Whenever Pthestudp makes me listen to black metal, I request Necrofrost.  – Suzy Creamcheese

Besides having some of the greatest song titles ever (like:“Rapacious Forests in Ultimate Sleep”), “Grimm of Decembers Mailune” sounds like Necrofrost kicked the shit out of Metallica backstage and came out trying to play “Memory Remains.”  They of course were too fucked up to do so and soon gave up.  – Songssuck

12.  Circle – Andexelt

A wizard, attempting to make a powerful potion put Neu’s 2, 80’s cheese metal (it may have been Judas Priest’s Screaming for Vengeance), a chunk of outer space, leaves from the WTF tree, a 1970’s horror flick, five drops from the Repetition vial, a pinch of flute, and some drone into his cauldron.  Can you guess what came of the concoction?  — Suzy Creamcheese

Coolest thing I ever did: leave all my friends and Animal Collective to go see Circle.  Lamest thing I ever did: leave the Circle show cos the girl who was with me wanted to go somewhere else.  I am wishing 2010 Dr. Anonymous could slap the shit out of 2006 (or so) Dr. Anonymous.  The best thing to ever come out of Finland.  – Dr. Anonymous

11. The Lord Weird Slough Feg – Down Among the Deadmen

In the year 1011, Brad Childress was fired and I became the offensive coordinator for the Norse Vikings.  We had taken some lumps from the North American Indians and the Christians were continually organizing against us.   It seemed we could no longer get it up for the big battles, our confidence was at an all time low and our civilization was on the decline.  Some wanted to retreat to Iceland.  But I knew our formula could win again, we just needed a boost.  It came in the form of installing speakers aboard the longships.  Slough Feg’s 13 songs about flying ships, epic battles, knights, cauldrons filled with blood, troll kings, demons and the dark lord were all we needed to gear us up for battle.  – Pthestudp

Seriously, if you like metal and don’t know Slough Feg, something is wrong.  – Willie Rambo Strider

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Top Albums of the Year 2000 (30-21)

30. Entombed – Uprising

True Entombed fans are probably the faction who prefer their earlier, more brutal death metal albums.  This one is often referred to as “death ‘n’ roll.”  Ha ha, I usually hate lame made up genres (even though I am more guilty of it than most) but this one really fits and it’s kinda funny.  I started with Uprising, maybe that is why I tolerate the slower tempos and yelled (rather than growled) vocals.  Definitely not a sellout ploy, it is still WAY too brutal for MTV or the radio (although not in a perfect world).  One of my top metal albums of the 00s.  I like walking the dogs while listening to it; it makes everyday activities like that seem badass.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

29. 16 Horsepower – Secret South

How’s this for another made up genre: post-rock Americana.  I don’t know what to

call it, but it is brooding and one is jolted into the realization that hell is a mother fucken real place.  And we all might end up there.  No one knew banjos, violins, organs, bandoneons, and stand up basses could be so heavy and ominous. — Pthestudp

28. Mountain Goats – The Coroner’s Gambit: or Slavonic Dances if you prefer

John Darnielle disagrees with Android50 about the Bible being punch-lineless.  I’ll tell you that right now.  In “Jaipur”, after he gets done singing about sugar pastries cooked in clarified butter, he tells the story of being sold to evil men by his brothers.  An obvious Joseph reference and a definite a “punch line.”  But even though they would disagree on that topic, this is exactly the type of album Android50 pines for from the Mountain Goats: lo-fi songs with hilarious and often poignant lyrics.   He sings about blood running through the streets of Rome, growing a garden, having no money or sense, going to Canada with a Tolstoy quoting woman, divorce, suicide, death and the afterlife.  In fact, he is really the only person I want to hear sing about the latter three. And of course maybe my favorite lyrics ever: “bag full of oily rags, fifty cent lighter/dreams of retirement in Cancun burning ever brighter/there’s a lot of ways to make money in this world/but I can’t recommend insurance fraud.”  But even though he is probably the only lyricist the last fifteen years who can give Bill Callahan a run for his money, you really can’t get it off of a page.  You have to hear the demagogue himself preach it from his pulpit on high.  – Kid Kilowatt

27. Microphones – It Was Hot We Stayed In the Water*

No one should have been too surprised by the black metalness of 2009’s Wind’s Poem. First of all Phil Elverum hasn’t been too secretive about his love of the dark metal and secondly his music never really has been too far removed from being classified as such.  IWHWSITW’s nature themes and his massive noise WTFs and hissy lo-fi recording techniques owe something to BM.  It is really just noisy, massive, fist pumping black metal for the soccer arenas, albeit with loads of pop dynamite, some sunny mumbling vocals and a pack of cavemen beating on random things for percussion.  If you like The Glow Pt. 2 you really must have this one as well.  – Suzy Creamcheese

26.  Weakling – Dead as Dream

Five songs, (the shortest being over 10 minutes) of the most intense black metal ever issued from this side of the Atlantic.  Will surely separate the men from the pussies (and poseurs).  Don thy corpse paint and thy Gorgoroth spiked arm bands cos we’re about to fuck some shit  up.  – Dr. Anonymous

25.  Agents of Oblivion – s/t

It’s funny looking back to high school and the music we listened to.  I say this because I grew up in rural Wyoming, with no college radio and practically no internet.  How did we find good bands?  I still don’t know; so when I remember us listening to a good band I feel like providence somehow led our path.  My buddy’s older brother introduced me to Acid Bath and I followed Dax Riggs wherever he went after that, and Agents of Oblivion was formed after Acid Bath’s bassist died.  I’ve heard Dax’s voice compared to Jim Morrison.  So how’s this: a Queens of the Stone Age fronted by Jim Morrison that grew up in New Orleans on Eyehategod and weed, instead of in the desert on LSD and ecstasy. — Pthestudp

24. Black Heart Procession – 3*

I have a BHP t-shirt.  It depicts a bunch of naked zombie girls running around hypnotized.  That is what this postwar desolation album sounds like, given the fact that one or more of the hypnotized naked zombie bitches can play the saw. — Pthestudp

23. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

One can tell a lot about the music from Polly’s album covers.  The raw, blaring guitars of Dry were presaged by the picture of Polly’s lips and chin pressed against the glass with an ominously dark background.  Rid of Me’s cover, a naked Polly in black and white with her hair flying presumably from a whip of her head, foretell Steve Albini’s abrasiveness had been added to the bone rattling mix.  To Bring You My Love has Polly in a red dress, lying down in water, heralding grandness, passion and theatricality. One look at this albums cover will tell you times have changed.  Polly dressed and looking normal in every way, crossing some NYC (where she lived for 6 months for inspiration, as indicated by the album’s title.  I’m assuming the sea part comes from her life in England) street.  Many do not like the change in Harvey brought by SFTCSFTS but they should have seen it coming.  Look at the cover people!  — Suzy Creamcheese

22. Avey Tare & Panda Bear – Spirit They’re Gone… Spirit They’ve Vanished

This album is like a child who frequently begs their parents for candy.  The parents get tired of the child’s incessant whining, so occasionally they give in and dish out some candy; but sometimes they beat the shit out of the child whenever they ask.  Then, about 25% of the time, in spite they think: “you asked for it, you got it” and drown the child in a vat of yummy honey.  And the child thinks to themselves, “hum, I kinda wish my parents would have beat the shit out of me again; instead of immerse me in sweet sweet candy.” – Songssuck

21. Christine 23 Onna – Shiny Crystal Planet

Another Pthestudp recommendation.  He said to put it on when I was hungover sometime.  Which I did and didn’t know why the fuck he would say that.  It was like I was hungover on Mars and getting anally raped by Martians or something.  But then I found as the album went on, it did soothe my hangover like nothing else (maybe I like being anally probed by aliens).  I couldn’t believe I had never heard these guys, this is the grooviest cosmic attack (without ever getting wanky) ever!  — Songssuck

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Top 100 Albums of 2000 (40-31)

40.  Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun

When this came out, people hyped like they were the first band to make their music even more pretentious by making up and singing in their own fake language.  Well, they are not (but I guess I could use a history lesson on a few subjects as well).  Listening to Agaetis Byrjun makes me feel like this (basically a grown up, creepier version of their album cover):

— Kid Kilowatt

39.  Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele*

The hungriest and most consistent rapper of the last 15 years.  An amazing lyricist.  21 tracks, so expect some filler and some cartoon skits.  Well worth it.  My second favorite Ghostdeini joint.  – Dr. Anonymous

38.  Faraquet – The View From This Tower *

Faraquet is the culmination of two decades of Dischord records.  They are conceptual like Fugazi, melodious and raw like Jawbox, dramatic like Shudder to Think, and as earnest as anything Minor Threat ever did.  On The View From This Tower the band masterfully takes all that is Dischord and blends it together into something that can only be defined as Faraquet.  – Android50

37.  Ulan Bator – Ego: Echo

Ego: Echo’s producer said this about recording the album: “Adrenaline, stress, heat chaos, and panic, combined with the language barrier (they’re French, the engineer was Italian), forced us into places we never expected to end up in, which to me, was incredibly elating.”  I quote this because it helps one to understand the music.  Ego: Echo’s procucer was Michael Gira and it came out on Young God Records.  I mention this because it reminds me of the Swans at times and because almost everything on Young God or involving Gira is pretty great.  Andy Kellman from All Music Guide compared them to ‘80s era Sonic Youth.  I allude to his assertion because it has some truth to it.  Mark E. Smith said, “Repetition, Repetition Repetition,” when referencing his music ( I think he said that).  I point this out cos this album reminds me of it.  — Pthestudp

36.  Dirty 3 – Whatever You Love, You Are

With the use of only drums, a guitar and a violin, this trio created something more beautiful than any other band with an army of instruments in 2000.   This album is just devastating, something you’ll want to listen to over and over again.  Probably their best album, in a long line of excellent ones.  – Suzy Creamcheese

35.  Elf Power – The Winter is Coming

The most underrated of the Elephant 6 groups (Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control, Apples in Stereo).  Their 3 album run ending with The Winter is Coming is one of the best of the 90-00s.  Psychedelic, dark lo-fi pop and fuzzy sunny melodies at their best.  You know how albums carry memories along with them?  Well, after having my driver’s license suspended for a year, I listened to this on the way home with my brand new license burning a hole in my pocket.  Fitting.  – Pthestudp

34.   Les Savy Fav – Rome (Written Upside Down) EP*

This 18 minute EP chronicles the band’s transformation from humans to machines.  Tim Harrington sings, “I hope Adams are enough, cos Eve sure ain’t coming.”  It seems Eve couldn’t hand the new machine army and their hyper angular shards disguised as guitar riffs they brought with them to the party.  Fuck her, she can have her fig leaves and fruit from the forbidden tree.  I’ll take Rome.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

33.  Trans Am – The Red Line

I like to sometimes explain what an album sounds like by comparing it to other, similar sounding bands.  Something like this: “track 12 of Trans Am’s The Red Line, “I’m Coming Down” sounds like Brian Eno fronting Spacemen 3.”  Now that really describes that song perfectly.  But the problem is, on The Red Line, Trans Am took all their influences and went so far out with them, that they ended up sounding like no one else but Trans Am.  Sure, one can hear all sorts of Krautrock, some Suicide, New Order, ambience, vocoders and classic rock, but I cannot figure out the recipe for how it all goes together so well, because this shouldn’t work at all (especially 73 minutes of it).  – Willie Rambo Strider

32. Clientele – Suburban Light

It’s weird how things come full circle.  I remember listening to this album after losing my dog, a rottweiler named Max, to a dude who liked to drive down our dirt road too fast.  And now, 7 or 8 years later, I listen to this as I think about how much shit I am in after losing an old ladies’ dog while house sitting for her, due to it being able to run much faster than me.  At first the album kinda runs together (it is a compilation of the band’s early singles and scattered recordings), cos every song sounds the same.  But the more you listen, the more every song becomes distinctive and takes you down a different lane (albeit it’s autumn and every lane is tree lined).  But that’s me; see where it takes you.  – Pthestudp

31. A Silver Mt. Zion – He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corners of Our Rooms

Remember Y2K?  I sure as fuck do.  I had a high school teacher obsessed with it.  I don’t know where he heard about it, but he told us well ahead of time that shit was going to hit the fan.  I hadn’t been so excited for anything that I could remember.  I couldn’t wait to see what would happen and was ready to start my career as a revolutionary early (I’ve always been obsessed with Che and Fidel).  My excitement boiled over in all types of forms, imagining how I would survive (easy, I lived on a farm), practicing my marksmanship, and writing all my assigned papers on something to do with it.  But mostly just being really fucken stoked about it, I didn’t know what all was going to go down (although I had a healthy imagination and the media fueling some big ideas), but it was going to be better than that Sublime (April 29th, 1992) song and maybe even better than the Revolution of 1776.  I woke up that morning and probably had the most disappointing day of my life.  Not one damn thing happened.  At least I have this, the soundtrack to what Y2K would have been, had it not been some scaremongering media sham (swine flu anyone?).  Features guitarist Efrim Menuck, bassist Thierry Amar, and violinist Sophie Trudeau of Godspeed You Black Emperor. — Songssuck

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