Monday, February 8, 2010

Top 10 Repertoire of 2005

The middle child of three 2005 Top 10 lists, somewhere between the "main/stream" list (kinda weak) and the "drone/ambient" list (awesome). These are the Top 10 compilations, live albums and other repertoire releases. We got Italian soundtracks, Arabic folk-pop, songwriting and jamming, experimental and psychedelic.

#10 Selections: Volumes I-IV - Bardo Pond

Selections I-IV
"Heaven" from Vol. II (2001)

Genre - Psychedelic Rock
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Psychedelphia, PA

Review - Stylus Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Selections I-IV
Purchase - Amazon

Bardo Pond's always there for you. For some reason, I always seem to pick up their outtake collections. I assume the regular albums are pretty similar: expansive, long-form psychedelic guitar jams that just keep exploring towards the horizons. This one's a 2xCD package of selections from the Selections series, which I believe are tour-sold rarities. Droning and hazy until it cranks up, with low-key female vocals and occasional flute. Whenever I listen to them, I always think how I ought to listen to them more often.

#8 Kicking Television: Live in Chicago - Wilco

Kicking Television
"Misunderstood" [live] from Kicking Television (2005)

Genre - alt.Dadrock
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Chicago, IL

Review - Pitchfork
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Kicking Television
Purchase - Official Wilco Store

Used to listen to this one quite a bit, but it's been replaced by the Ashes of American Flags dvd downloadable audio content. I'd actually never listened to Wilco until I saw them at the Austin City Limits Festival. Great live band, if you like the music. So, I generally think of them that way. They're still offering .mp3 live shows for Haiti donations here - on the honor system.

#8 Out West: Live at The Fillmore - Gomez

Out West
"Get Miles" [live] from Gomez

Genre - Indie Rock
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Southport, UK

Review - Pop Matters
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Out West
Purchase - Amazon

Good live document of a band I keep missing whenever they're playing around. I hadn't realized it's a US-only release, since apparently they can't conquer America. But they'll keep trying. You can also get lots of free live shows on .mp3 at here.

#7 Choubi Choubi: Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq - V/A

Choubi Choubi
Souad Abdullah from Choubi Choubi (2005)

Genre - World/Folk/Vocal Pop
Label - Sublime Frequencies
Myspace fan page -

Review - Dusted Magazine
Download/Lala - nope!!
Purchase - Forced Exposure

Excellent collection from Sublime Frequencies label, which is somehow Sun City Girls-related. I hesitate to say it's their best, because they release a ridiculous amount of material. And several have very good reputations. But I can totally vouch for the Iraqi pop! I was especially blown away by the khishba (or zanbour), a hand-drum that makes an extremely unique rhythm sound. It's Arabic, so sometimes in a foreign key. But the hooks are pure pop power!

#6 Crime and Dissonance - Ennio Morricone

Crime and Dissonance
"Giorno di notte" from Una Lucertola con la pelle di donna (1971)

Genre - Ennio Morricone
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Italy

Review - Stylus Magazine
Download - Ipecac Recordings, iTunes
Lala - Crime and Dissonance
Purchase - Amazon

I wrote a whole post with lots of YouTube action - click on the album title. This is a great collection of some of the wilder Ennio, brought to you by Mike Patton's label and friends.

#5 Late Night Tales comp - The Flaming Lips

Late Night Tales
"People" by Alfie from Do You Imagine Things? (2003)

Genre - Multi-Genre Compilation
Series Official -
Myspace -
Location - Oklahoma City, OK

Review - Pitchfork
Download - at Official
Lala - only snippets
Purchase - Amazon

From a series of guest-star mixtape CD compilations, the Flaming Lips do an excellent job. Bjork and Miles Davis, Roxy Music and Aphex Twin, Lush and Nick Drake, Radiohead and 10cc. And some cool stuff I'd never heard before. The band contributes their own version of White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," with Bush-bashing politics and Butthole Surfers' "Moving to Florida" themes. The Flaming Lips also released the Video Overview In Deceleration (VOID) dvd, but Warner Bros botched it by not including pre-WB videos. Awesome.

#4 I Have Always Been Here Before - Roky Erickson

I Have Always Been Here Before
"You Don't Love Me Yet" from All That May Do My Rhyme (1995)

Genre - Iconic Texan Psych-Rock
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Austin, TX

Review - Pop Matters
Download - Oddly, only other Roky albums
Lala - 13th Floor / Roky
Purchase - Amazon

If for some reason you need convincing, this 2xCD set should clear all doubts. But then you'll need to pick up the 13th Floor Elevators' first 3 albums, and at least 4 or 5 Roky Erickson records. Might as well just go directly to those. But this is a terrific overview and guide!

#3 The sounds of Monsterism Island volume one - V/A

The sounds of Monsterism Island volume one
"Black Rite" by Mandingo from The Primeval Rhythm Of Life (1973)

Genre - Experimental Psych-Pop
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Monsterism Island

Review - All Music Guide
Download/Lala/Purchase - stuck with Vol. 2:
A Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island (2009)

I wrote a whole post with lots of YouTube action - click on the album title. This is a great (but hard-to-find) collection of some classic old-school avant-pop, brought to you by the graphic artist for Super Furry Animals. The second one has a different focus, but is also worth checking out.

#2 Songs of the Cretaceous CDr - Linus Pauling Quartet

Songs of the Cretaceous CDr
"Bongfire" from C6H8O6 (2003)

Genre - Heavy-Duty Stoner-Psych
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Houston, TX

Review - Houston Press
Download - Unlikely...
Purchase - I think they're all gone...

Gotta love Linus Pauling Quartet, so you gotta love a CD-r with everything they'd released so far, plus rarities and demo's, plus an interview. Released as a fund-raiser, it's no longer in print. You can still find some of the included cd's and vinyl sometimes at Sound Exchange in Houston. But I couldn't find any of this material for preview or download.

#1 Shinola, Vol. 1 - Ween

Shinola, Vol. 1
"Transitions" from Shinola, Vol. 1 (2005)

Genre - Alt-Psych Jamband
Official -
Myspace -
Location - New Hope, PA

Review - Pitchfork
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Shinola, Vol. 1
Purchase - Amazon

Fantastic compilation of rarities and unreleased material, from a band that has multiple semi-legit rarities collection floating around the internet. I was surprised so little was on YouTube. If you dig Ween, you should already have this. If you're not there yet, I'm not sure this is the place to start. But what would be? (Wait, I think the answer is the 2003 Live in Chicago dvd!) Also, we got to see Ween at least twice in 2005... At Vegoose Festival #1 in Las Vegas: good. And Halloween night at The Joint at The Hard Rock Casino: boiling hot, temperature- and show-wise! A video of this show also floats around the internet tubes.

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