Tag Archives: Buck 65

Aaron’s Top Albums Of 2007

Joel Plaskett Emergency's Ashtray Rock

Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock

This is my official Top 10 album list for 2007:

10. Magnolia Electric Co. The Black Ram

Picking just The Black Ram was a bit of a technical cheat as this record was part of the three-album, one-EP Sojourner box set Magnolia Electric Co. released that year. That said, of the four discs it’s definitely the one I listened to the most. In fact, the title track, “Will-O-The-Wisp” and “A Little At A Time” all rank in my Top 25 most played songs in iTunes. What this all probably means is that because I was pretty deep in my Magnolia fandom at the time, as a conscious act to not look like such a fanatic I ranked this album lower than I felt it deserved in my heart. In truth it’s probably a top five record.

9. Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare

If I’m to be completely honest, I still don’t feel I know this album all that well. I was mostly enamored with the song “505” and had approached the band with more open ears on this album because the hype train for the Monkeys had receded to the point it where wasn’t annoying anymore.

8. Two Hours Traffic Little Jabs

I listened to this record a lot for a month or two and it fits solidly in a Can-Rockpop lineage that includes Sloan, By Divine Right, Limblifter, Zuckerbaby and their ilk. Since then, though, Two Hours Traffic have become extremely irritating to me. This is because of the disproportionate amount of times iTunes tries to play their songs when I’m listening in “random” mode. I have thousands upon thousands of songs. I’ve got the full Neil Young and Bob Dylan discographies. And yet, with peculiar frequency iTunes tries to serve me up songs from this album. The only reason I can guess for this is that one of the band members had a computer engineer cousin who worked at Apple and was in the department that developed the iTunes random algorithm. It’s the only explanation and it’s definitely tempered my enjoyment.

7. Buck 65 Situation

Buck 65 seems to suffer from a bit of Rodney Dangerfield can’t-get-no-respect-ism and Situation is a pretty good example of this. A concept album focused roughly around the year 1957, the songs on Situation deftly traverse topics like crooked cops, Bogart and obscenity trials. The fact that the subject matter is so unlikely — not just for a rapper, but for any type of modern music maker — just makes Situation all the more intriguing.

6. Neil Young Live At Massey Hall 1971

This show may represent the most perfect version of “solo Neil.” It’s a historic document and a brilliant setlist. In cold scrutiny, though, it’s probably not a best of 2007 album. This ranking probably says more about how much I’m willing to jockey parameters because of my Neil love than anything else.

5. Jens Lekman Night Falls Over Kortedala

Night Falls Over Kortedala is an entirely fine album, but this #5 rank is almost entirely attributable to one song, “And I Remember Every Kiss.” A soaring orchestral ballad, the song captures all the fire, all the intensity, all the passion of that nervous, electric first kiss.

4. Cuff The Duke Sidelines Of The City

Someone recently told me Wayne Petti basically tries to copy The Inbreds’ Mike O’Neill when he’s singing. Fascinating, right? And it explains why I like Cuff The Duke. I don’t listen to this album anymore, though, and I don’t remember why I had it ranked so high.

3. Feist The Reminder

The sort of person who can remain unmoved by “My Moon My Man” is the sort of person I would look upon with great suspicion.

2. Amy Winehouse Back To Black

“Me & Mr. Jones” was really what hooked me on Back To Black. Here was this jazz singer going on about Slick Rick, plus ones and “fuckery” (which has since become a core swear word for me), all with an air of stumbling, drunken tragic romance. I was won over immediately.

A lot of the songs and albums and artists I love have something I’ll define as “turbulence of the soul.” The world, for them, is just a bit tougher, a bit more painful and a bit more difficult than it is for the normals. It was clear from the first listen of Back To Black that Winehouse was one of these people and it reflects beautifully/uncomfortably in these songs.

1. Joel Plaskett Emergency Ashtray Rock

A teenage love triangle that breaks up the band and breaks up a friendship. It seems like such a small narrative to build a concept album around, but Ashtray Rock, like a less morbid Quadrophenia, works perfectly. You feel there when the drunk teenagers party down at the Ashtray Rock and when you’ve got nothing more to say to these people… well, it’s like a grayscale closing scene capturing the back of the jean-jacketed protagonist walking down a slushy sidestreet. Alone.

Other album lists…

2015 Top Ten — SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart is #1
2014 Top Ten — Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There is #1
2013 Top Ten — M.I.A.’s Matangi is #1
2012 Top Ten — Dirty Ghosts’ Metal Moon is #1
2011 Top Ten — Timber Timbre’s Creep On Creepin’ On is #1
2010 Top Ten — The Black Angels’ Phosphene Dream is #1
2009 Top Ten — Gallows’ Grey Britain is #1
2008 Top Ten — Portishead’s Third is #1
2007 Top Ten — Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock is #1
2006 Top Ten — My Brightest Diamond’s Bring Me The Workhorse is #1
2005 Top Ten — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Howl is #1
2004 Top Ten — Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry is #1
2003 Top Ten — The Dears’ No Cities Left is #1
2002 Top Ten — Archive’s You All Look The Same To Me is #1
2001 Top Ten — Gord Downie’s Coke Machine Glow is #1
2000 Top Ten — Songs: Ohia’s The Lioness is #1
1999 Top Ten — The Boo Radleys’ Kingsize is #1
1998 Top Ten — Baxter’s Baxter is #1
1996 Top Ten — Tricky’s Maxinquaye is #1

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Aaron’s Top Albums Of 2005

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

This is my official Top 10 album list for 2005:

1. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Howl
2. Kid Dakota The West Is The Future
3. Magnolia Electric Co What Comes After The Blues
4. The Raveonettes Pretty In Black
5. Mando Diao Hurricane Bar
6. The Bees Free The Bees
7. The Coral The Invisible Invasion
8. Dead Meadows Feathers
9. Buck 65 Secret House Against The World
10. Ladytron The Witching Hour

When I look back on this list I find it very satisfying because I still like almost everything on it. It’s the order that’s probably imperfect.

Looking back, putting Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s Howl at number one feels a bit like an act of style over substance. I mean, at the time they were super-cool, and still are to me, but Howl, the album, is one I rarely go back to despite having a number of great songs on it. In hindsight, this is probably a low top ten choice now.

Kid Dakota‘s The West Is The Future remains a brilliant, magnetic work for me. This dark narrative album takes you on a number of journeys — all articulated with thematic album art by Will Schaff — which leave you more than just a little bit unsettled. I’m not sure why Kid Dakota has remained so relatively unknown. Maybe it’s having recorded on small labels, maybe how intense the songs are (it’s clear to me most people don’t like intense… unless it’s by Bruce Springsteen or Thom Yorke), nonetheless, this album deserves to be heard. (Also, while writing this Sarah just reminded me that we once had a theory that this was Bill Priddle having secretly recorded a “crazy” album to free himself from his past.)

My love for Jason Molina’s music is well documented on this site and Magnolia Electric Co‘s What Comes After The Blues dutifully filled that spot in my heart for something new from him at the time. I know these songs off by heart from having listened to this album and the various live bootlegs of it non-stop, but it’s not the MEC/Songs: Ohia album I reach for first despite having songs I adore like “Hard To Love A Man,” “The Night Shift Lullaby” and “Northstar Blues.” Maybe it’s so much in me I don’t need to listen to it all the time.

Man, between The Raveonettes, BRMC, & MEC there was a lot of magic records happening at this time. I’ve definitely cooled on The Raveonettes recent recordings but this remains a pretty solid set.

If there’s anyone on this list that gets the Rodney Dangerfield no-respect treatment it’d be Mando Diao and their Hurricane Bar album. In fact, it wasn’t until writing this that I even realized I hadn’t imported the album into my iTunes. That’s probably a fair indicator that Hurricane Bar should be lower than it is, but something in the back of my head says no. I’m going to listen to it right now and consider it… annnd… alright, in a post-Strokes world it’s still pretty great. And because I haven’t listened to it in so long it’s like discovering a new album.

The Bees Free The Bees. The world is stupid for not knowing and loving this band and “Chicken Payback” is the best rock ‘n’ roll dance/party/Animal House song of the last 10 years. With a brilliant video that pre-dates “Gangnam Style” by years.

I still really like The Coral and feel they’ve made some amazing singles over the course of their discography, but I’m less invested in The Invisible Invasion than I used to be. I think perhaps my love of this album had something to do with grasping at the last wave of great Brit-pop and yearning for those days of Oasis, Blur, Supergrass and the like.

Dead Meadows Feathers. I don’t really feel this album any more. This one’s clearly a trend record that got lumped in-between BRMC and Raveonettes. I haven’t ripped it into my iTunes either and feel far less urgency to do so. I still like “At Her Open Door’ though.

Is Buck 65 still underground? He works at the CBC after all. And he was on a major label. That’s probably technically above-ground, but he still remains remarkably bold and avant. Secret House Against The World
is the album he made with Tortoise while in that I-hate-hip-hop period he had. The album has aged incredibly well and I still enjoy listening to it, but some of his future experiments were even more interesting to me, so this one suffers a bit not against its 2005 competition, but against Buck’s own discography.

When Ladytron first broke they were the shit with their coquette Depeche Mode thing. For The Witching Hour they dropped that act for a Sisters Of Mercy-girl goth electro thing. This hits a lot of my buttons, but upon relistening the songs aren’t quite there and if I had to redo this list this album would be at risk of being bumped.

Other album lists…

2015 Top Ten — SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart is #1
2014 Top Ten — Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There is #1
2013 Top Ten — M.I.A.’s Matangi is #1
2012 Top Ten — Dirty Ghosts’ Metal Moon is #1
2011 Top Ten — Timber Timbre’s Creep On Creepin’ On is #1
2010 Top Ten — The Black Angels’ Phosphene Dream is #1
2009 Top Ten — Gallows’ Grey Britain is #1
2008 Top Ten — Portishead’s Third is #1
2007 Top Ten — Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock is #1
2006 Top Ten — My Brightest Diamond’s Bring Me The Workhorse is #1
2005 Top Ten — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Howl is #1
2004 Top Ten — Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry is #1
2003 Top Ten — The Dears’ No Cities Left is #1
2002 Top Ten — Archive’s You All Look The Same To Me is #1
2001 Top Ten — Gord Downie’s Coke Machine Glow is #1
2000 Top Ten — Songs: Ohia’s The Lioness is #1
1999 Top Ten — The Boo Radleys’ Kingsize is #1
1998 Top Ten — Baxter’s Baxter is #1
1996 Top Ten — Tricky’s Maxinquaye is #1

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10 Great Songs About Zombies

Zombies

Zombies

Sarah has an uneven history with zombies.

You might even go so far as to suggest she hates them.

Her feelings on the undead didn’t stop her, however, when she was asked to compile a list of the best zombie songs for Spinner.

The resulting list featured the likes of Buck 65, Harry Belafonte and Insane Clown Posse.

To read it, go here.

 

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