From Stereotype Records
Philip, of record collective Stereotype Records (and recognizable from projects like Mission to Mars), is dedicated to the idea that a good record is more than just a collection of singles to be sold on iTunes. And looky here, the year's almost over, which means it's cultural list-making season. Getting a jump on that, here are some selections off Philip's "Best of 2004" list:
- On the Speakers (self-titled EP): "I have loved Ian Sefchick's songwriting and voice since the evening Creeper Lagoon first knocked my head off in San Francisco seven years ago. This is worth it just for "Could I Be Right," which makes me drive my car way too fast every time I hear the drummer bash the crap out of his crash cymbal on the chorus."
- Franz Ferdinand (self-titled LP): "I'm not all that tough, but I'll kick your ass if you tell me this record is too popular or mainstream to be worth mentioning here. All I'm saying is that it's instant dance party in my house every time 'Jacqueline' kicks into gear. Man, that bass sounds good! I haven't loved a pop record from listen one this much in years."
- Tom Waits' Real Gone: "More tales of women who sink to the bottom of lakes like hammers from the seemingly-endless well of greatness that is Mr. Waits. The first track, "Top of the Hill," is the sort of incredibly sloppy, noisy collage of guitars, grunting (and what the hell is that? A trombone mouthpiece?) that in anyone else's hands would just be annoying. This is the kind of music that every drunk band tries to pull off at the end of practice, but without the sort of musicians at old Tom's disposal, inevitably make no one but the players happy. Strange and beautiful throughout."
- The Clash's The Vanilla Tapes: "Just like Spin calling London Calling the best album of the '80s when it was really from '79, I'm willing to pronounce this rambling, shambling mess one of the most interesting listens of '04. It's probably only for fanatics like me--these are live performance demos recorded by The Clash's roadie in the back of a car painting shop, and they sound like shit--but to hear the bones and sinews being put together for my favorite album ever is thrilling. Plus, it comes with a DVD of their producer throwing chairs at them while they recorded the album."
- Rick Stone's Turn Me On, Turn Me Out: "Is it cheeseball of me to be propping up one of my label's releases? Probably, but I wouldn't have put this out with my own hard-borrowed cash if I didn't think it was one of the most deep, complicated, and sonically amazing group of songs on one subject (jilted heart) that I've heard since, umm... Billy Bragg's Worker's Playtime?"