Building a music collection? Don't know where to start? Here's the best of heard in some well-known categories (though you may disagree with what I put in them!) along with the best I've heard in some categories I've made up myself! If I skip something obvious, let me know!
Country: I don't like country music, I like Johnny Cash. I recommend Classic Cash, The Sun Years, or Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.
Hardcore: Minor Threat's Complete Discography. Whether you buy into the "straight-edge" idea or not, start here. Compare everything to this- little will match it.
Punk: The Clash. Almost thirty years later, still "the only band that matters."
American Punk: The Ramones Ramones, Bad Religion The Grey Race, Social Distortion Sex, Love, & Rock n' Roll, Husker Du New Day Rising, The Minutemen Double Nickels on the Dime, X Live at the Whiskey A Go-Go on the Fabulous Sunset Strip, Violent Femmes.
Blues: It's almost impossible to go wrong in this category, so I'll give you a few choices: John Lee Hooker- The Ultimate Collection, 1948-1990, Robert Johnson- King of the Delta Blues Singers, B.B. King- How Blue Can You Get? Classic Live Performances 1964-1994, Son House- Father of the Delta Blues.
Ska: The (English) Beat I Just Can't Stop It or The Specials The Singles
Pop: Squeeze 45's and Under
Rockabilly: Start early- Eddie Cochrane, Gene Vincent, Johnny Burnette, Dale Hawkins, Ronny Self, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley- and then get modern- the Stray Cats, the Paladins, the Reverend Horton Heat, and the Hillbilly Hellcats
Dark: Wipe off the eyeliner and burn your NIN albums, Steve Albini and company go to that place in your mind/heart that you can't admit that you have- and they are relentless about it.
Rap: Start with Run-D.M.C's Greatest Hits 1983-1991, and then move on to Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique
Soul: Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963
Political: Billy Bragg Back to Basics
Other great albums or groups that I haven't mentioned already or that I'm too lazy to put into categories:
The Alarm- any album other than Raw
Oasis- I am ashamed to say I like them...but I do.
Big Country The Crossing
The Proclaimers- I don't even know where to begin...perfection.
Big Audio Dynamite This is Big Audio Dynamite or No. 10 Upping Street
Elvis Costello The Best of Elvis Costello...
The Pogues/Shane MacGowan- I like Black '47 and Flogging Molly, but they are the "t-ballers" and Shane with or without the boys are the "major leaguers."
Paul Weller- A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G
The Cult Love
Garbage- I'm human and Shirley Manson is a siren...
Dag Nasty Can I Say?
R.E.M.- There's a lot to be said for staying true to your work.
The Donnas- They rock on several levels...
Bob Mould- any album other than Modulate
Stevie Ray Vaughan- I've never seen or heard anyone as good at what they do as this man was- buy it all.
The Jam: Just go ahead and invest in the boxed set Direction, Reaction, Creation
The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
U2- With the exception of that disco album...
Morphine- Listen to Yes or The Night and you'll see why Mark Sandman's early death was such a tragedy.
The Smiths/Morrissey: They've both becme the butt of many jokes, but I urge you to listen and decide for yourself.
Mike Ness- As close to a modern Johnny Cash as I've encountered.
Joe Strummer- Again, an untimely death. Damn.
The Stooges- Iggy wasn't always a joke.
Monday, February 14, 2005
I only started traveling regularly about ten years ago, but I've seen a few places that have just awed me- some with their magnificence and some with subtlety.
- Moosehead Lake, ME: I've been going here all of my life and it's still one of the few places in the world that I can easily imagine being inhabited by only animals and natives. There is little on the east coast that matches it for scale or serenity.
- Sedona, AZ: As beautiful a part of the country as I've seen and one that was totally foreign to me for the first 30 years of my life. Populated by too many crystal-gazing leftover hippies, but I'll try not to let that keep me from visiting again.
- Inishmore, Eire: The largest of the Aran Islands first takes you back to the 19th century, and the to the Neolithic Age. Go straight to the fort of Dun Aengus (which I believe is the oldest/largest Neolithic complex in Europe) and look out over the cliffs- awe inspiring.
- Isle of Skye, Scotland: Skip the Skye Bridge and take the ferry from Mallaig to Ardvasar- the view in both directions is spectacular. Then look out over Portree Harbor at sunset- you won't want to leave. And visit the Clan Donald Center- Per Mare, Per Terras!
Friday, February 11, 2005
A work in progress...
- I Accuse My Parents
- Time of the Apes
- Wild Rebels
- The Amazing Colossal Man
- Teenage Cavemen
- Gamera vs. Guiron
- Gamera vs. Gaos
- Gamera vs. Barugon
- Stranded in Space
- Village of the Giants
- The Castle of Fu Man Chu
- Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
- The Brain
- Manos: The Hands of Fate
- Catalina Caper
- Prince of Space
- Beginning of the End
- Girl in Gold Boots
- Fugitive Alien
- Cave Dwellers
- Hercules and the Captive Women
- Hercules Against the Moon Men
- Rocketship X-M
- Pod People
- Ring of Terror
- Alien from L.A.
- Operation Double 007
- Swamp Diamonds
- Viking Women versus the Sea Serpent
- Secret Agent, Super Dragon
- Red Zone Cuba
- Master Ninja I
- The Day the Earth Froze
- Angels Revenge
- The Unearthly
- Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
- The Touch of Satan
- Planet of the Prehistoric Women
- The Phantom Planet
- The Projected Man
- Invasion of the Neptune Men
- War of the Colossal Beast
- The Crawling Hand
- The Wild World of Batwoman
- Teenagers from Outer Space
- Slime People
- Track of the Moon Beast
- Giant Spider Invasion
- Lost Continent
- It Conquered the World
- The She Creature
- Teenage Werewolf
- The Magic Sword
- Space Mutiny
- The Hellcats
- The Final Sacrifice
- The Devil Fish
- Attack of the Giant Leeches
- Time Chasers
- The Creeping Terror
- Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders
- Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues