Welcome to Beandon’s Musical Nook, the one place on campus for in-depth, exhaustive critiques of the newest releases in rock, jazz, experimental… and just about every little thing else. Brandon Rupp (additionally identified by his mononymous musical title “beandon,” beneath which he releases music and DJs as KZSU’s Pupil Music Director) explores a brand new title and offers unfiltered suggestions, whatever the style. Be happy to ship him music; he’d love to have a look!
Virtually each different week in 2022, I’ve explored a brand new, great launch on this column. Nevertheless, I strongly imagine that music shouldn’t be seen in a vacuum: though there’s loads of nice music being made as we speak, a lot of the music I hearken to on a day-to-day foundation will not be from the previous 12 months… and even the previous decade. The album format can be particularly vital to me: LPs exist not as singular merchandise scattered in a void however as a substitute as items of artwork in dialog with one another.
Whereas engaged on the category I’m educating within the winter, ITALIC 99-04: Listening to Music Like Your Life Depended On It, I’ve realized simply what number of data I wish to discuss or share with different folks. In truth, just a few albums on this checklist will probably be extensively mentioned within the class. I see nice worth in exploring releases from the previous — particularly to get everybody within the list-reading temper in preparation for my upcoming greatest albums of 2022 checklist (which I’ll make if it’s the very last thing I do).
To that finish, right here’s a randomly assorted checklist of 5 unbelievable albums that’ll hopefully offer you some contemporary musical views. These will not be essentially my favourite albums of all time, however moderately a curated choose of some distinctive items of artwork I’ve picked up alongside my journey via the annals of music.
1. “Lincoln” by They Would possibly Be Giants (1988)
They Would possibly Be Giants stability so many disparate components that it’s anybody’s guess as to how they turned so well-liked. The instrumentals of “Lincoln,” their second — and greatest — album, are populated by punchy gated guitars over tinny drum machines and artificial bass. Nevertheless, it’s with John Linnell’s quirky voice and unparalleled nerdy phrase play (nerd play?) that the true core of the album is revealed: distinctive, punchy songwriting.
There’s a track on “Lincoln” for principally anybody: the sharp satire of “Purple Toupee” balances effectively with the existential dread of the mind-bending “The place Your Eyes Don’t Go” or the well-known indie pop traditional “Ana Ng.” Co-writer and guitarist John Flansburgh works in some gems with the power-pop “Santa’s Beard” and the anti-work “Snowball in Hell” as effectively.
It’s in all probability with the haunting bridge of “They’ll Want A Crane,” although, the place “Lincoln” exhibits itself to be way over a slapdash romp: “Don’t name me at work once more / No, no, the boss nonetheless hates me / I’m simply drained and I don’t love you anymore / And there’s a restaurant we must always take a look at / The place the opposite nightmare folks prefer to go / I imply good folks — child wait / I didn’t imply to say nightmare.”
2. “Dead Magic” by Anna von Hausswolff (2018)
“Neoclassical darkwave” sounds extra like a parody of a style than a reputable musical type, however hopefully this album can persuade any non-believers of the facility of this mouthful of a classification. Anna von Hausswolff, a Swedish singer, songwriter and organist, is without doubt one of the freshest voices exploring the brooding atmosphere and melancholic sound pallets of neoclassical darkwave. Her fourth studio album, “Lifeless Magic,” manages to mix the grandeur of classical instrumentation and postrock repetition (à la Swans) with legitimately catchy melodies.
Although it may not be the most effective thought to hum alongside in public to the torpid moans of the 12-minute opener, “The Reality, The Glow, The Fall,” testing “Lifeless Magic” will however grace your ears with a spellbinding album populated with persistently nice concepts.
3. “Frizzle Fry” by Primus (1990)
“Frizzle Fry” is a childhood favourite of mine. After I first started studying bass, I (idiotically) tried to begin with Primus with out realizing that the band’s bassist/vocalist, Les Claypool, is without doubt one of the most technically proficient musicians on the planet. Every of his components are full of slaps, faucets, pops, sixteenth notes and funky syncopation — all whereas he “sings” in his trademark faux-Southern drawl.
With the band’s first album, nevertheless, the instrumental complexity takes a backseat to robust, punchy songwriting with quirky lyrical matters and enjoyable steel instrumentation. The three-piece band finds probably the most technically laborious methods to explain laziness, rejection and social exclusion, with matters starting from lounging on the sofa watching “Spegetti Westerns” or the tragic story of “John the Fisherman.” It’s the uncommon type of album that has solely gotten higher as I’ve gotten older (and at last discovered the best way to play the entire songs).
Whereas Harm Reserve’s newest album is perhaps the latest launch on this checklist, it has however solidified itself as a forward-thinking and progressive hip hop album within the foreground of twenty first century avant-garde music. If you happen to’re curious as to what “post-hip-hop” would possibly sound like, look no additional: the manic vocal performances of Nathaniel Ritchie, a.okay.a. Ritchie with a T, barely permeate the searing industrial electronics and art-rock samples of producer Parker Corey.
Because the album facilities across the premature demise of Harm Reserve founding member (and performer on just a few of those tracks), Stepa J. Groggs, each monitor oozes pessimism, despair, hopelessness, debilitating anxiousness and basic psychosis. It’s harrowing, painful and completely compelling. I like to recommend giving the Black-Midi-sampling “Knees” a hearken to see if this album is best for you.
5. “Sing to God” by the Cardiacs (1996)
That is in all probability the toughest promote on the checklist. A progressive punk album (“prunk” when you’re feeling annoying) that includes fast chord adjustments, dozens of modulations per track and surrealist shrieking in a heavy British accent. Between whimsical lyrics a few “Fiery Gun Hand,” a “Soiled Boy” or a set of “Insect Hoofs on Lassie,” every maximalist composition solidifies the album as a piece all of its personal. It appears like nothing else ever conjured within the mortal airplane: suppose Queen plus Richard Wagner blended with Frank Zappa and a bit of Pete Townshend’s guitar antics.
I wrote all of these phrases however acquired no nearer to describing the work adequately. Merely listening to the masterful “Fiery Gun Hand” (whose cartoonish guitar solo needs to be heard to be believed) explains this album higher than phrases ever may.
Editor’s Notice: This text is a evaluate and comprises subjective opinions, ideas and critiques.
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