#1518 The White Stripes – Elephant

There was a lot of hoo-hah around The White Stripes at the fin de siècle, and they seemed to encompass our collective cultural consciousness of millennium-fuelled paranoia and petulance, knowingness and naïveté with a raw au naturel back to basic blues. I was a bit slow on the uptake (never having been one to ride … Continue reading #1518 The White Stripes – Elephant

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#670 Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights

A claustrophobic wash of chiming guitars, a brooding and moody rhythm section, a melancholic white male vocalist. Check, check, and check. It’s Joy Division by numbers. Except it’s not really. It’s an easy and obvious comparison, and one that was thrown at Interpol a lot for this, their debut album from 2002. You don’t have … Continue reading #670 Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights

#1457 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico

The randometer has been keen on the Velvets, throwing up White Light/White Heat as only my second choice and Nico’s The End shortly after. Here we have the original and arguably the best of both their work. A truly influential record, though famously it was a commercial failure and all but ignored at the time. … Continue reading #1457 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico

#1411 Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

Arguably one of the best rock compilations ever. It certainly sums up an era and a whole genre of music – celebrating some of the lesser known gems from garage psychedelic rock in the late 1960s. It was released in 1972 (although my vinyl copy that came up on the randometer is the 1976 re-issue, … Continue reading #1411 Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

#378 DeVotchKa – A Mad and Faithful Telling

DeVotchKa are from Denver, although sound like they’re from late Cold War era Prague. For some reason I always associate their music with eating pierogi in a basic, previously government-owned, diner in downtown Krakow in the summer of 2008. Their music has a folky gypsy punk cabaret vibe and I bet they're as much fun … Continue reading #378 DeVotchKa – A Mad and Faithful Telling

#275 Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Safe As Milk

This is Don Van Vliet’s first proper studio album from 1967 (that seminal year in popular music). It’s seasick blues rock, lurching from port to starboard and crashing itself midway before getting up and lurching off in another direction. It’s weird, it’s wonderful, and compared to what Beefheart produced a couple of albums later, it’s … Continue reading #275 Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Safe As Milk

#1150 Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols

Lurid. That’s what this is, in colour scheme, lyrics and sheer noise. It’s hard to think of another band whose own brevity has had such longevity in terms of their impact. Only together for two years, the Sex Pistols left a trail of exploded debris in their wake. Having blown up the cultural norms of … Continue reading #1150 Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols