Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The First CD's You Should Buy

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.

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."
Devo Hits
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?
There's a lot to be said for staying true to your work.
Fugazi Repeater
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
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

Places To Visit Before You Die

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

Best MST3K Episodes

A work in progress...
  1. I Accuse My Parents
  2. Time of the Apes
  3. Sidehackers
  4. Wild Rebels
  5. The Amazing Colossal Man
  6. Teenage Cavemen
  7. Gamera vs. Guiron
  8. Gamera vs. Gaos
  9. Gamera vs. Barugon
  10. Stranded in Space
  11. Village of the Giants
  12. Mitchell
  13. The Castle of Fu Man Chu
  14. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  15. The Brain
  16. Manos: The Hands of Fate
  17. Catalina Caper
  18. Prince of Space
  19. Beginning of the End
  20. Girl in Gold Boots
  21. Fugitive Alien
  22. Cave Dwellers
  23. Hercules and the Captive Women
  24. Hercules Against the Moon Men
  25. Rocketship X-M
  26. Pod People
  27. EEGAH!
  28. Ring of Terror
  29. Skydivers
  30. Alien from L.A.
  31. Bloodlust
  32. Gunslingers
  33. Operation Double 007
  34. Swamp Diamonds
  35. Viking Women versus the Sea Serpent
  36. Daddy-O
  37. Secret Agent, Super Dragon
  38. Red Zone Cuba
  39. Master Ninja I
  40. The Day the Earth Froze
  41. Angels Revenge
  42. The Unearthly
  43. Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
  44. The Touch of Satan
  45. Planet of the Prehistoric Women
  46. The Phantom Planet
  47. The Projected Man
  48. Invasion of the Neptune Men
  49. War of the Colossal Beast
  50. The Crawling Hand
  51. The Wild World of Batwoman
  52. Teenagers from Outer Space
  53. Slime People
  54. Track of the Moon Beast
  55. Giant Spider Invasion
  56. Lost Continent
  57. It Conquered the World
  58. The She Creature
  59. Teenage Werewolf
  60. The Magic Sword
  61. Space Mutiny
  62. The Hellcats
  63. Diabolik
  64. The Final Sacrifice
  65. The Devil Fish
  66. Attack of the Giant Leeches
  67. Time Chasers
  68. Werewolf
  69. The Creeping Terror
  70. Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders
  71. Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues
  72. Hamlet