Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Lovelyville (1991)

experimental ind1e rock by the fellers. one of their best releases. these guys don't get enough props, they're on the ranks of sun city girls when it comes to idiosyncratic yet fun music.

Rare Earth - Get Ready (1969)

rare earth was a phenomenal psychedelic blues rock band that specialized in long intricate jams that are as rich musically as they are texturally. very santana in execution, a slightly doorsy organ with proficient musicianship, this is a strong record from this bands discography. good shit

The Music Tapes - Mary's Voice (2012)

one of the best releases this year, the music tapes follow up tornadoes with this masterpiece. the usual culprits are here; saws, sweet melodies, and a hazy vintage production, but what makes this special is how much of a leap this album is from the last in terms of songpower (also there is some sweet classic e6 distorted bass, sounds fantastic). the vocals are affecting in the best of ways and the orchestration is superb. very the glow pt.2 esque in some regions, but that only adds to the magic. props to julian, ian and robbie. also john - the violin was def him.

Skeleton Lipstick - Glows Then Melts (2012)

take the bubble-gum synth aesthetic of black moth super rainbow, the playfulness of teen daze, and the assertive song writing of the likes of panda bear, and you get this. apologies to skeleton for describing his sound through comparisons, but i had to. the album is too good not to.

DJ Qbert - Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik - A Preskool Breakmix (1994)

the first solo release (non-compilation) by dj qbert. this was recorded live with the usual 2 turntable pair as far as i know, but either way, this has some rocking breaks. totally old school scratching and turntablism with  premium record selection and pure scratching techniques. 

MinuteFlag - MinuteFlag (1985)

4-song, only-spoken-about-in-hushed-tones joint venture between The Minutemen and Black Flag. my homie described it to me as being "fruity," which is hilariously apt. i like it because it's silly and not very serious and there was obviously booze and weed involved, and because it's blissfully abstract in a way that only poorly conceived and executed music can be.

not exactly a ringing endorsement i know, but c'mon it's Pedro's finest

also, anybody want to rec me some 2guitars/bass/drums-type music? that shit is a dead scene to me and i'd love for someone to prove me wrong

Tomaso Albinoni - Concertos for Oboe and Violin

I'm stressed out, figured this would help me unwind. It made me way more tense. Especially that first track.

But! It's really beautiful, and I'd forgotten how much I love Albinoni. Also, I don't think the Adagio - arguably his best known work, though ironically he didn't actually write it - is part of this collection, but I threw it in because it's hands-down one of my favourite classical compositions.

It's big, so
here's part one
and part two

Duke Ellington - Black, Brown & Beige (1958)

somehow i've managed to not hear this until very recently. this is Duke's magnum opus, a musical depiction of the "negro experience" strictly built for the concert hall. so yeah, you know there's no fucking around on this LP. actually Duke's orchestra only performed this 3 times in its entirety (and 1 was a preview performance), and while the initial 1943 Carnegie Hall show was live recorded i think this studio version is tops, simply because the incomparable Mahalia Jackson takes lead duties here, recorded about 15 years after the premiere. seriously, she fucking crushes this shit, like i can't even begin to describe how nasty her vocals are (track 4 is a highlight). it really makes you wonder what the great American mid-century jazz composers could've done for concert music if they hadn't been blackballed so hardcore. and, interestingly enough, it wasn't just black musicians, because Gershwin got the same treatment as well. if you want to learn about the nonsense that jazz composers had to deal with, i'd highly recommend Alex Ross's book "The Rest Is Noise," easily the most accessible listener's guide to 20th century music.


for real, imagine writing this shit and only get 2 pro performances... fucking stupid.

Scriabin - Complete Sonatas (1997)

Scriabin was an odd (quite possibly insane) guy, but he was also probably a fucking genius. he believed in theosophy and mysticism, had synaethesia (saw sound as color), and believed that his music could bring about the end of the world (riiiight). but dude went hard - his method of piano playing at Moscow Conservatory was so brutal that he lost the use of his right hand!! so his 1st sonata is a brilliant emotional response to that, albeit a straight up late-Romantic one... although you can hear a lot of dom7th chords with added 9-11-13ths stacked on top, basically pre-jazz voicings. but around sonata #5 ('Poem of Ecstasy'), shit really starts to get weird. he wanted the harmonies to be brighter, so those 7th chords start to stretch, as notes are #'ed and the intervals move from 3rds to 4ths. we're talking the birth of atonality here, well before/independent of Schoenberg, and coming from purely organic and sound-based ideas - no math, no vectors. his minor 9th-based "Black Mass" (#9) is probably the archetype for this style of writing, but don't overlook #10's shimmering trills or the showstopping 2 Dances, op. 73 (his club banger). i really love to hear an artist's craft evolve over the course of their career, and for my money few composers have as steep a trajectory as Scriabin.

"I Am God"