Welcome to Beandon’s Musical Nook, the one place on campus for in-depth, exhaustive critiques of the most recent releases in rock, jazz, experimental… and just about every little thing else. Brandon Rupp (additionally recognized by his mononymous musical title “beandon,” underneath which he releases music and DJs as KZSU’s Pupil Music Director) explores a brand new title and provides unfiltered suggestions, whatever the style. Be at liberty to ship him music; he’d love to have a look!
Nearly each different week in 2022, I’ve explored a brand new, great launch on this column. Nonetheless, I strongly consider that music shouldn’t be considered in a vacuum: though there’s loads of nice music being made at the moment, many of the music I take heed to on a day-to-day foundation isn’t from the previous 12 months… and even the previous decade. The album format can be particularly essential 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 instructing within the winter, ITALIC 99-04: Listening to Music Like Your Life Depended On It, I’ve realized simply what number of data I need to speak about or share with different individuals. In reality, a number of albums on this checklist will likely 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 incredible albums that’ll hopefully provide you with some recent musical views. These usually are not essentially my favourite albums of all time, however reasonably a curated decide of some distinctive items of artwork I’ve picked up alongside my journey by way of the annals of music.
1. “Lincoln” by They Would possibly Be Giants (1988)
They Would possibly Be Giants stability so many disparate parts that it’s anybody’s guess as to how they turned so common. The instrumentals of “Lincoln,” their second — and greatest — album, are populated by blaring gated guitars over tinny drum machines and artificial bass. Nonetheless, 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 basic “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 most likely with the haunting bridge of “They’ll Want A Crane,” although, the place “Lincoln” reveals 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 try / The place the opposite nightmare individuals prefer to go / I imply good individuals — child wait / I didn’t imply to say nightmare.”
2. “Useless Magic” by Anna von Hausswolff (2018)
“Neoclassical darkwave” sounds extra like a parody of a style than a authentic musical fashion, 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 among the freshest voices exploring the brooding atmosphere and melancholic sound pallets of neoclassical darkwave. Her fourth studio album, “Useless Magic,” manages to mix the grandeur of classical instrumentation and postrock repetition (à la Swans) with legitimately catchy melodies.
Although it won’t be one of the best concept to hum alongside in public to the torpid moans of the 12-minute opener, “The Fact, The Glow, The Fall,” trying out “Useless Magic” will nonetheless grace your ears with a spellbinding album populated with constantly nice concepts.
3. “Frizzle Fry” by Primus (1990)
“Frizzle Fry” is a childhood favourite of mine. Once I first started studying bass, I (idiotically) tried to start out with Primus with out realizing that the band’s bassist/vocalist, Les Claypool, is among the most technically proficient musicians on the planet. Every of his elements are filled with slaps, faucets, pops, sixteenth notes and funky syncopation — all whereas he “sings” in his trademark faux-Southern drawl.
With the band’s first album, nonetheless, the instrumental complexity takes a backseat to robust, straight-forward songwriting with quirky lyrical matters and enjoyable steel instrumentation. The three-piece band finds essentially 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 form of album that has solely gotten higher as I’ve gotten older (and eventually realized find out how to play all the songs).
Whereas Damage Reserve’s newest album is perhaps the newest launch on this checklist, it has nonetheless solidified itself as a forward-thinking and progressive hip hop album within the foreground of twenty first century avant-garde music. For those who’re curious as to what “post-hip-hop” may 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 loss of life of Damage Reserve founding member (and performer on a number of of those tracks), Stepa J. Groggs, each monitor oozes pessimism, despair, hopelessness, debilitating nervousness and common psychosis. It’s harrowing, painful and completely compelling. I like to recommend giving the Black-Midi-sampling “Knees” a take heed to see if this album is best for you.
5. “Sing to God” by the Cardiacs (1996)
That is most likely the toughest promote on the checklist. A progressive punk album (“prunk” if you happen to’re feeling annoying) that includes fast chord modifications, dozens of modulations per track and surrealist shrieking in a heavy British accent. Between whimsical lyrics a couple of “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 combined with Frank Zappa and slightly of Pete Townshend’s guitar antics.
I wrote all of these phrases however received no nearer to describing the work adequately. Merely listening to the masterful “Fiery Gun Hand” (whose cartoonish guitar solo must be heard to be believed) explains this album higher than phrases ever may.
Editor’s Word: This text is a evaluate and accommodates subjective opinions, ideas and critiques.