TDDS - 2020 Shelter-in-Place on a Desert Island Music Draft - BONUS 5

Sacramento's own CAKE ladies and gentlemen! A rock band this good couldn't have come from anywhere else. :D

(Actually it's Cake that led me indirectly to my last album pick. There's a local band I followed for about 15 years that was heavily inspired by Cake and the lead singer of that band happened to be dating one of my Dad's co-workers so I hung out with him at shows a number of times and he mentioned once that he really liked this LA-based band called [redacted]... and after listening to all of their albums and looking for something remotely similar, that's how I wound up listening to Orishas. I'm fairly certain I didn't just make all of that up.)
Being mindful of the admonition for this thread regarding band names, did this local group have an upside down exclamation point in its name?
Being mindful of the admonition for this thread regarding band names, did this local group have an upside down exclamation point in its name?
Yes they did! I was their #1 fan. I used to wear their shirt all over LA and people would always ask me what it meant. Pretty much every time I wore it. :)
With my 18th pick in the Shelter-In-Place Album Draft, I select:

Reconstruction Site - The Weakerthans (2003)

Track Listing:
1 (Manifest)
2 The Reasons
3 Reconstruction Site
4 Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call
5 Plea From a Cat Named Virtute
6 Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michel Foucault in Paris, 1961)
7 Time's Arrow
8 (Hospital Vespers)
9 Uncorrected Proofs
10 A New Name for Everything
11 One Great City!
12 Benediction
13 The Prescience of Dawn
14 (Past-Due)

The Weakerthans were a Winnipeg-based group (see: One Great City!) formed by the departed bassist from a punk band popular enough that I had heard of them (and it's not my genre, so I'm guessing they had a bit of a following). I was a bit surprised when I found that out, because I had never really considered their music to be hard-core in any sense - and often it's not, but in my mind they have a much softer edge than their music may deserve. Some of that may be due to the fact that they frequently use a musical saw, and it feels very...not punk. Most of it is probably due to the fact that their lyrics really stand out to me, verging on poetry. Plea From a Cat Named Virtute is just what it sounds like, a song from a feline perspective, while Our Retired Explorer is a mismatched dinner date between a philosopher and an expeditioner. One of the interesting things about this album is that while it's not a concept album per se, there's a thread running through it where about half the songs are at least tangentially related to a story of two people falling in love when one is terminally ill, as in Benediction's "shy discoveries/piled up against our impending defeat".

My favorite song on the record is the title track, and it contains the lyric that sold me on the band: "I'm a float in a summer parade/Up a street in the town that you were born in/With a girl at the top wearing tulle and a Miss Somewhere sash/Waving like the Queen".

Say do you have a ship - and a dozen able men - that maybe you could lend me?
Oh wow, I remember this band! Haven't heard that name in a minute!
I am going to take the pick I was saving till the end. Always enjoyed his early songs but when this album came out it had something and two songs I really like. Actually I have the album and the cd is the one that is in my car in the cd player.

So for my 18th pick it is bob Dylan BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.

View attachment 9801

Tangled up in blue

You’re a big girl now

Idiot wind

You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go

Meet me in the morning

Lily, rosemary and the jack of hearts

If you see her, say hello

Shelter from the storm

Buckets of rain

And Dylan at his best with this performance of shelter from the storm

I'm pretty sure this is the album that introduced me to Bob Dylan as a young adult. My roommate at the time had this on vinyl and as he was listening to it one morning I started to get for the first time why Bob Dylan is so popular. These songs are all great! I'm unclear on the timeline though. Someone gave me copies of his two 1965 albums around the same time. And it was yet another Bob Dylan album that I almost picked in the 5th round. It's hard for me to choose a favorite between those 4.
I'm pretty sure this is the album that introduced me to Bob Dylan as a young adult. My roommate at the time had this on vinyl and as he was listening to it one morning I started to get for the first time why Bob Dylan is so popular. These songs are all great! I'm unclear on the timeline though. Someone gave me copies of his two 1965 albums around the same time. And it was yet another Bob Dylan album that I almost picked in the 5th round. It's hard for me to choose a favorite between those 4.
I picked the 3 songs with video as Tangled up in blue is one of my all time favorite songs. The videos of him in concert just doesn’t sound great to me so I picked that one track As it’s like the album and cd. The songs funny as if you watch several different concerts some of the lyrics change. It’s a great song about thinking of that one love that didn’t work out and you’re wondering what that person is like now. Something that comes to a lot of us as we think of the past.

You’re a big girl now is a great ballad so I chose it with the lyrics as the song plays.

Shelter from the storm I just had to do one of him in concert as it still sounds pretty good.

Whats funny to me is I have 2 acoustic guitars, two electric guitars and a nice banjo. I don’t play a lick but I just may take it up after my move.

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of
Staff member
Fell asleep listening to Blackstar. Played A Farewell to Kings, Poodle Hat and Drums and Wires while I was doing my weekly cleaning. At that point, I realized that I waited too long to start this listen-through, and that there's no chance I could finish up before I got through everybody's list, so I've decided to just listen to everybody's first five, and go through the rest of their lists, if I still have time.

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of
Staff member
@Cojc's First Five report card:

  • Full Moon Fever: I feel like Tom Petty has been dining out for thirty years, on the strength of two songs, and both of them are on this album. My general sentiment about Tom Petty is... I really liked him in The Postman.
  • Ramones: It's rarely a good sign when the first track on the album is the best track on the album. I feel like this record consists of the Ramones striking gold with "Blitzkrieg Bop," and then spending eleven tracks trying to recreate "Blitzkrieg Bop."
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: I recognize the technical artistry of The Beatles, but... they're not for me. I've only heard one Beatles song that I didn't think was better covered by somebody else, and it's not on either one of the albums I've listened to, between @Capt. Factorial and Cojc's respective lists.
  • Surrealistic Pillow: My knee-jerk reaction to this album was, "This sounds like a group that somehow made it big as a Beatles cover band." It turns out that I've apparently heard more Jefferson Airplane than I was previously aware of, but this is mostly because I thought for some reason that most of their songs that I'd heard of were actually Beatles songs.
  • Who's Next: I mean, they're no Cake, but they're alright... I've made my peace with the fact that British rock simply doesn't resonate with me. Like, I hear the music, but I don't feel the music: it doesn't bring anything out of me.
    • I realized that I owe a lot of people an apology, because I've been insisting for decades that I've never heard of a song called "Baba O'Riley." It turns out that I've spent thirty years thinking that song was called "Teenage Wasteland."
    • "Bargain" was okay.
    • I can't believe that there's, like, almost eight minutes worth of "Won't Get Fooled Again" before you get to the part that I've actually heard before.


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Has anyone heard from Turgenev? Officially timed out at this point. I'm going to keep this moving but I sincerely doubt that I'm making any selection that would infringe on another's list.

I'm at the point where I want to select from a couple of artists that, unfortunately, have some songs I really like (and were great in concert) but it seems like their best songs are spread among several releases. This makes it hard to choose just one that fully captures all their fun.

The Chainsmokers - Collage (EP, 2016)


I need some more EDM/electronic music on my island and these guys help bring it. The concert (at the G1C on my birthday in 2017, another gift for my son) was a blast - at times almost like a giant rave or party and they are the ones who pronounced what an awesome sound the arena put out.

While my favorite song of theirs isn't on this release, I think overall this may be the best album even at only 5 songs. Two of their biggest hits are on it and Don't Let Me Down is likely my second favorite song of theirs.

From allmusic:

Collage, the second EP from electronic duo the Chainsmokers, compiles the pair's five 2016 singles, including their smash hits "Closer" featuring Halsey and "Don't Let Me Down" with Daya. Rounded out by equally shimmering electronic pop tracks with XYLØ, Phoebe Ryan, and Swedish singer Charlee Nyman, Collage debuted atop the Dance/Electronic chart and in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200. "Closer" reigns as the most successful single of 2016, sustaining a near record-breaking run atop the Hot 100 for 12 weeks straight and topping the charts in no less than 15 countries.
From Wikipedia:

"Don't Let Me Down" was released as the lead single on February 5, 2016. The song features American singer Daya and peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, and became the duo's second top ten single, the first being "Roses".

"Inside Out", featuring Swedish singer Charlee Nyman, was released as the second single on April 1, 2016. Since its release, it has peaked at number 13 on the US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.

"Closer", featuring singer Halsey, was released as the third single on July 29, 2016. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number nine; it became the Chainsmokers' third top ten single. Two weeks later, the song peaked atop the chart. It was both the Chainsmokers' and Halsey's first number one single, topping the chart for twelve consecutive weeks, becoming the longest-running number-one single in 2016 in the US.

"All We Know", which features Phoebe Ryan, was released as the fourth single from the EP on September 29, 2016. It was dubbed by some critics as "a sequel to 'Closer'". The song peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Setting Fires" was released as a single the same day of the release of the EP. The song features the vocals of American electronic music duo XYLO. It peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Track List:
1. Setting Fires
2. All We Know
3. Closer
4. Inside Out
5. Don't Let Me Down


Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
As Warhawk noted, @Turgenev has timed out and we are moving forward. Turgenev can make this pick up by jumping in at any time, first come, first served, but the draft will continue to run for other users (e.g., @Löwenherz is on the clock now). If we do not hear from Turgenev before his spot in round 19, @Warhawk will draft directly after @Cojc.
This is easily my most complicated pick.

This album was released in 1996 in the UK, but not until 1997 in the US, where it spent 23 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200, largely on the strength of a super-hit single that only ever got its remixed version played on the US airwaves, and likely for that reason, the remixed version was haphazardly added at the end of the US album release. I find this utterly redundant, because the difference between the two versions, while interesting, is really rather aesthetically minor, and probably only included so US consumers didn’t complain about false advertising or something. That said, I wouldn’t need the ‘97 US album.

Where it starts to get tricky is both singles from this album that got significant play in the US (there were six singles total) are remixed versions. This is significant because the second single of those two is in essence a completely different song than its album version. In fact, the album version of the second single almost made me quit the album all together. It is drawn-out, droning, repetitive, and has a minute long interlude in the middle with a woman ugly-sobbing and what sounds like either hyenas cackling or a visit from Samara of The Ring. That alone would make me not want the UK version either. And frustratingly, while the first single’s remixed version is stapled to the end of the US album needlessly, the second song’s rather popular remix was left to float exclusively in the aether of the US airwaves.

The natural response to this complaint is of course “tough rocks pal. You take the album as is, flaws and all, or you pick a different one.” Which would be perfectly fair. However, in 2008 and 2016 the studio behind the album released a “remastered” vinyl version with the same tracklist, song order, and cover art as the original UK version, except three of those songs, including the second single, were their more popular remixed versions, despite there being no notation of that fact in any press release or even the tracklist on the album sleeve itself.

This to me, combined with the continued prevalence of the remixed version in popular media, that every live version in which I’ve watched the band play this song was in its remixed format, and the fact the song’s writer said the band wanted it to be an “upbeat dance song” (which the original most assuredly is NOT), suggests the remixed version in both the studio and the band’s view, is the official “canon” version of the song, and I should have no qualms nor shame with saying the 2016, remastered vinyl version is the one I’m taking with this pick.

Both above mentioned songs, along with four others from this album, were included on a later album release in which all songs were remixed and both US hit singles received multiple and different remixes on the same, new album again. Further muffling which verison is supposedly “canon” to the album I’m selecting here.

Yet there will be purists who cry foul, considering that utter blasphemy, that the original is the correct version, and I simply can’t handle the band’s darker, edgier style due to my commercial sensibilities. To that I argue I’m not certain I should trust the instincts of a band that, out of hubris, thought frontwoman Kelli Ali / Kelli Dayton was the element of their sound holding them back.

This album is basically my sonic version of Blade Runner. Hardcore fans may have their own preference of the proper “version” but I choose the “final cut” as it were.


Becoming X - Sneaker Pimps (1996)

That was a really long walk for an 18th round pick-up of an album that probably isn’t in the top 20 of its genre.

Regardless, I really dig the industrial, gritty, dirty, electronic “trip hop” stylings of the backing sounds, mixed with the sarcastically, nihilistic pessimism of the lyrics, provided, and this is a vitally important caveat, the siren guide on that grim journey is the almost bubblegum saccharine vocals of Ali. That combination is what really makes the album palatable and memorable, and absolutely dumbfounding to me they ultimately decided having a “female vocalist” was what made them sound like every other trip hop group out there. I have to believe there were internal rifts and personality conflicts that led Sneaker Pimps to fire Ali and essentially commit seppuku. To be fair, I haven’t heard their other two albums, and they have their cult following ... but I also haven’t had much interest either.

As for this album, Low Place Like Home is a nice intro track, setting up the soundscape for the album and positioning Ali’s vocals as the latch-on point well, although it overstays its welcome a tad.

Then we get the four major singles and the title track, kind of a murders row of late 90s radio trip hop that’s just edgy enough to concern your parents, but really has some stellar groves (especially when Spin Spin Sugar is in its remixed version).

And easing the album to a close with the second half includes two other singles, Roll On and How Do, and a bit more downbeat, introspective song groupings.

I know this album isn’t a monolith of its genre, got a little too much popular attention pushing it into the overrated category, and represents a sonic cul-du-sac for the band anyway. But coming to it as late as I diid saved me from the oversaturation of its sound on the airwaves. It’s possible as I dig deeper into the genre, I’ll have more refined tastes (I can immediately think of two albums from different bands that I could take for more street cred) Here and now though, I can rock out with this album just fine.

As long as it’s the right version anyway.

1."Low Place Like Home"
2."Tesko Suicide"
3."6 Underground"
4."Becoming X"
5."Spin Spin Sugar"
6."Post-Modern Sleaze"
8."Roll On"
9."Wasted Early Sunday Morning"
10."Walking Zero"
11."How Do"
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Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
THAT SAID...umm, I think I like the album version better. The remix previews the chorus at the beginning, which for this song steals a bit of the first chorus drop for me. And what Löwerherz referred to as "droning" adds an atmospheric feel to me and pushes the (remix overpowering) drums into the background. I don't even hate the sobbing break - although it's by no means a stellar example of the type I do have a soft spot for musicians who can throw unexpected and incongruous wrinkles into their music (a trademark of my next pick, though never quite so sob-avant-garde). I've always liked the track 6 Underground but other than that hadn't looked into the Sneaker Pimps. Not bad!
THAT SAID...umm, I think I like the album version better. The remix previews the chorus at the beginning, which for this song steals a bit of the first chorus drop for me. And what Löwerherz referred to as "droning" adds an atmospheric feel to me and pushes the (remix overpowering) drums into the background. I don't even hate the sobbing break - although it's by no means a stellar example of the type I do have a soft spot for musicians who can throw unexpected and incongruous wrinkles into their music (a trademark of my next pick, though never quite so sob-avant-garde). I've always liked the track 6 Underground but other than that hadn't looked into the Sneaker Pimps. Not bad!
The break is what sullies it for me. I’d be fine with everything else. Unexpected switch-ups are welcome, but this was edgelord-level of trying too hard.

Stoked you dug it though. Give the rest of the album a listen. It’s surprisingly solid for a “one-hit wonder” group.


Staff member

Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart - 1971

Track listing
Side one
Every Picture Tells a Story
Seems Like a Long Time
That's All Right/Amazing Grace
Tomorrow is a Long Time
Side two
Maggie May
Mandolin Wind
(I Know) I'm Losing You
(Find a) Reason to Believe

Another album from 1971 that has a lot of personal meaning for me (partially because my first husband bore a more than passing resemblance to Rod Stewart). Aside from that, there was something about his voice that just stood out. His raspy sound wasn't studio perfect. His songs demanded your attention, even though they were called "soft rock".

From Wikipedia:
Stewart's 1971 solo album Every Picture Tells a Story made him a household name when the B-side of his minor hit "Reason to Believe", "Maggie May", (co-written with Martin Quittenton) started receiving radio play. The album and the single occupied number one in both the US and the UK simultaneously, a chart first, in September.[83] Set off by a striking mandolin part (by Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne), "Maggie May" was also named in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, one of three songs by him to appear on that list. The rest of the album was equally strong, with "Mandolin Wind" again showcasing that instrument; "(I Know) I'm Losing You" adding hard-edged soul to the mix; and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time", a cover of a Bob Dylan song. But the ultimate manifestation of the early Stewart solo style was the Stewart-Wood-penned "Every Picture Tells a Story" itself: powered by Mick Waller's drumming, Pete Sears's piano and Wood's guitar work in a largely acoustic arrangement; it is a song relating to the picaresque adventures of the singer.

...the great triumph of Every Picture Tells a Story lies in its content. Every song on the album, whether it's a cover or original, is a gem, combining to form a romantic, earthy portrait of a young man joyously celebrating his young life. Of course, "Maggie May" -- the ornate, ringing ode about a seduction from an older woman -- is the centerpiece, but each song, whether it's the devilishly witty title track or the unbearably poignant "Mandolin Wind," has the same appeal. And the covers, including definitive readings of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is Such a Long Time" and Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," as well as a rollicking "That's All Right," are equally terrific, bringing new dimension to the songs. It's a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music -- few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich.


Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of
Staff member
@Turgenev 's First Five report card:

  • Good kid, m.A.A.d. city: You might think that this would be more relevant to my interests than most of the albums I've listened to, so far. And you'd mostly be right, but I'm not the biggest fan of this particular album. It's one of Kendrick's weaker releases, in my opinion; I just never could get into the flow of the album, and I found the car skits to be annoyingly distracting.
    • "Good kid" is a bop, though.
  • When I Get Home: So, funny-ish story: until the movie Black Panther came out, I thought that SZA and Solange were the same person. Like, I deadass thought that SZA was Solange's alter-ego; I had no idea that they were different people. This isn't the sort of R&B that I typically go for, but it was a harmlessly quick listen.
  • Bandana: This is the first time that I've listen to a record where Madlib collaborated with someone besides MF Doom. I was not previously familiar with Freddie Gibbs' body of work. I'll say this: Freddie can rap his ass off, but I'm not a really feeling most of what he's rapping about.
    • I found "Palmolive" intriguing, in that it featured Pusha T, making this the first time I've ever heard Pusha T, when he wasn't busy snatching Drake's soul. Let's just say that I like him way better as a diss rapper.
    • "Flat Tummy Tea" goes.
    • "Education" goes. Black Thought's verse is straight heat because, of course it is; he's ****ing Black Thought.
  • The OOZ: Um... Okay.
  • Freetown Sound: This is... interesting. But, not a bad interesting. Not my usual fare, but I could get into it. It seems experimental, in places, but not experimental in a, "let me see what happens when I mix these sounds together" sort of way. More experimental in a, "the artist is in the middle of a period of personal growth, and trying to articulate that in his music, and exposing the listener to his process" sort of way. I generally prefer these sorts of personal growths to be expressed as more of a finished product, but it works, more or less.
    • "Chance" sounds like a tribute to Al B. Sure!, which I'm pretty sure is not what he was going for.
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The Twilight Sad - IT WON/T BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME (2019):

01 [10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs]
02 Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting
03 The Arbor
04 VTr
05 Sunday Day13
06 I/m Not Here [missing face]
07 Auge/Maschine
08 Keep It All to Myself
09 Girl Chewing Gum
10 Let/s Get Lost
11 Videograms

Genre(s): Post-punk, new wave, shoegaze, indie rock

My next pick comes by way of Kilsyth, Scotland. The Twilight Sad are one of the best UK bands you likely haven't heard of. They released a stellar debut album in 2007 that I fell in love with immediately due to its massive wall of sound approach to post-punk guitars. Their sophomore record was iterative and less resonant than the first, but they traveled down an interesting sonic lane for their third record, with its cold wave-styled analog synthesizers. I absolutely adore that record. Unfortunately, it was not well-received by the majority of their fanbase, so they went back-to-basics for their fourth record, which was a strong effort, if a little maudlin and milquetoast.

Then came last year's bold and bracing IT WON/T BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME, an obvious course correction toward less expected sonic territory, and was among my favorite albums of 2019. I am the type of listener that is prone to heaping hyperbolic praise upon the artists I love most. But if my endorsement isn't enough, consider that Robert Smith has hailed The Twilight Sad as his favourite band, at one point saying, “If the world was a better place they would be playing to more people." And the post-punk legend actually had a hand in the recording of IT WON/T BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME, acting as a mentor of sorts through parts of the album's production.

IWBLTATT retains The Twilight Sad's characteristically noisy, shoegaze-driven sound, but there is an adventurous and-the-kitchen-sink approach to their sonic palette this time around, as they tweak their guitars to sound like synthesizers and twist their synthesizers to sound like guitars. Lead singer James Alexander Graham continues to mine melancholia and personal trauma for lyrical content, but the music that his bandmates bend around his lovely Scottish brogue is considerably more optimistic than it's ever been. "VTr," for example, ranks as one of my favorite songs by this band, and one of the best from last year. I'd recommend starting there, then eventually winding your way back to the beginning of their discography.

It's become popular for a certain kind of listener to claim that guitar music is dead, and that rock as a genre lost its spirit long ago. I myself spend a lot less time listening to "rock bands" than I used to. But The Twilight Sad are certainly proof of the vibrancy that can still be found with a guitar in hand.
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I previously picked a record by Throbbing Gristle who are the primary pioneers of industrial music. Kollaps is also an industrial record, but of a whole different style. While Throbbing Gristle's The Second Annual Report uses a lot of dark, electronic atmosphere, Kollaps is much more tactile and metallic sounding, with harsher vocals. Similar sounding vocals were a trademark of many industrial bands, but Kollaps has my favorite use of them. They are brash and raw, and compliment the metallic percussion very well. Like Cromagnon, which I picked two rounds ago, Kollaps is also very primal sounding, with simple, ritualistic sounding repetitions. I think using modern, industrial objects to display our primal nature is an interesting and poignant juxtaposition, and may be why the record's sound works so well.


01 - Tanz Debil
02 - Steh auf Berlin
03 - Negativ Nein
04 - U-Haft Muzak
05 - Draussen ist Feindlich
06 - Hören mit Schmerzen
07 - Jet'm
08 - Kollaps
09 - Sehnsucht
10 - Vorm Krieg
11 - Hirnsäge
12 - Abstieg & Zerfall
13 - Helga

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Charles Kynard - Afro-Disiac (1970)


01. Afro-Disiac
02. Bella Donna
03. Trippin'
04. Odds On
05. Sweetheart
06. Chanson Du Nuit​

This album feels like a bit of a cheat because it's got several of my favorite jazz musicians all featured in the same band. On the drums it's the legend Bernard Purdie. On electric guitar, the pride of St Louis Mr. Grant Green. Rounding out the band are saxophonist Houston Person, Jimmy Lewis on the Fender bass, and the man himself, Charles Kynard cooking up some killer organ grooves. This is slick laid-back soul jazz played with expert precision by a group of musicians who are all paragons of the genre and all of them get their chance to shine across these 6 loosely orchestrated jam sessions.

I first heard this album as part of a compilation which combined it with another album Charles Kynard released the following year with a different group of backing musicians. I started collecting all the compilation albums in this particular series and before long I started to recognize a number of the same names popping up across all of them which gave me further strands to explore. This is another of my favorite car trip albums though I have to be careful because it's easy to get carried away with the steering wheel drumming! Safety first kids!

And speaking of Bernard Purdie, hearing this man talk about the drums is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

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Nick Curran and the Lowlifes - Reform School Girl

I first met Nick in Denver when he was playing electric bass with the Bellfuries in support of their first album, I caught them 3 times in 5 nights during my work trip and was blown away by his voice when he covered Little Richard tunes. I bought one of his albums which helped introduce me to a few other acts and would always check him out when he was on festival shows I'd go to.

Opening with an Etta James cover (Tough Lover) and closing with another from AC/DC (Rocker) with a dozen originals in between, this album shows off Nick's wide variety of influences. Along with the title track and the duet with Phil Alvin (Flyin' Blind) my other favorites include Kill My Baby and Psycho.

Besides the Bellfuries, Nick was a full time member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds for ~4 years, would collaborate with Ronnie Dawson, Kim Lenz, and front a punk act along with his more traditional rock and roll performances. He also managed to get 4 songs featured in HBO's True Blood.

Reform School Girl would be his final album before his untimely death due to cancer in 2012. A real loss because I think this was his best work yet.

1. Tough Lover
2. Reel Rock Party
3. Reform School Girl
4. Kill My Baby
5. Psycho
6. Sheena's Back
7. Baby You Crazy
8. Ain't No Good
9. The Lowlife
10. Dream Girl
11. Flyin' Blind
12. Lusty L'il Lucy
13. Filthy
14. Rocker


Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of
Staff member
@Warhawk's First Five report card:

  • Hysteria: This album reminds me of junior high. And I don't mean that in no kind of good way.
  • Beautiful Trauma: As I already mentioned when I made my Can't Take Me Home pick, I prefer P!nk's pop/R&B style to her pop/rock style. This is the first of her albums that I've listened to, from beginning to end, since she switched things up, and... it did not change my mind.
    • My first thought about "Revenge" is that Spotify inexplicably edited out one of the curses in this song, while leaving them in for all the rest. My second thought was, I don't buy it. When P!nk recorded "Hell Wit Ya," "There You Go" and "You Make Me Sick," I felt like you could feel the pain and betrayal of a young woman who was processing her first-ever really bad breakup, and infidelity. Nearly eighteen years later, she's singing about the same themes on "Revenge" when, as far as the public knows, she's been happily married for at least the last ten years and, I don't know... it comes across as insincere to me.
    • "What About Us" is a bop.
    • "I Am Here" sounds like a song I'd expect to hear in the kind of church that I wouldn't be caught dead in.
  • Violator: I'll bet that, if I had challenged Warhawk before the start of the draft to name an album that both he and I own, he would not have gone with Violator... And yet, here we are. "Personal Jesus" goes. Hard. When I first heard it on the original MTV Party to Go compilation, I had a "I am intrigued by your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter" moment. I got all kinds of funny looks when I brought the tape up to the cash register, but I regret nothing. "World In My Eyes" goes. "Halo" goes. It's a good solid album, but I wouldn't necessarily want to be stuck with it on a desert island.
  • Pyromania: More Def Leppard. Great... The best thing I have to say about this album is, at least it was only 45 minutes.
  • Crazy World: So, yeah, remember what I said about Hysteria? Well, replace "junior high" with "high school" and, hello, Crazy World.
With very few picks left, I'm having to decide which albums won't make the cut.
Last time around I picked a different Dream Theater album - this one wasn't out yet.
(@Mr. S£im Citrus, feel free to sub this into any of my top 5, as you should get some DT in your life.)

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Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events

1. "On the Backs of Angels"
2. "Build Me Up, Break Me Down"
3. "Lost Not Forgotten"
4. "This Is the Life"
5. "Bridges in the Sky"
6. "Outcry"
7. "Far from Heaven"
8. "Breaking All Illusions"
9. "Beneath the Surface"

Mike Portnoy, a modern-day drumming virtuoso, had just left the band to pursue his own projects. I was curious to see how the album would turn out after hearing that he had been replaced with Mike Mangini. Honestly, I wasn't really into drummers at the time, but I knew that Portnoy had a big influence on Dream Theater's sound, having co-produced and written a lot of their earlier albums.

But oh man, this one is pretty solid. All of these songs stand independently on their own. If you want a feel for what modern prog sounds like, this might be the way to go. Bridges in the Sky is probably my favorite one on this album. Build Me Up, Break Me Down, and Lost Not Forgotten are probably the most straight-ahead (using that term loosely for DT) rockers on here. Beneath the Surface is a nice way to end the album.

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of
Staff member

Musiq Soulchild - Juslisen (2002)

This album came out while I was stationed in Hawaii, which is pretty much the last time I listened to the radio, at least on a semi-regular basis. For some reason, the single "dontchange" was getting heavy airplay in Honolulu, even though it's not one of my favorites. After getting rickrolled a few times looking for songs on KaZaA, I said to hell with it, and went to a record store to listen to it, and liked it enough to leave with a copy. I enjoy listening to this album while I'm cooking, or level grinding on Final Fantasy. As a non-Beatles fan, it also includes a cover of "Something" that I like. Musiq's second studio album, Juslisen was his most commercially successful release, peaking at Number One on the US charts, and being certified platinum by the RIAA.

Track listing (links provided to songs released as singles):
  1. "scratch introlude"
  2. "newness"
  3. "caughtup" (featuring AAries)
  4. "stoplayin'"
  5. "religious"
  6. "babygirl"
  7. "halfcrazy"
  8. "time"
  9. "future"
  10. "intermission: juslisen"
  11. "realove"
  12. "onenight"
  13. "previouscats"
  14. "solong"
  15. "bestfriend" (featuring Carol Riddick)
  16. "dontchange"
  17. "motherfather"
  18. "Something"
  19. "ifiwouldaknew (girlnextdoor remix)"

Favorite non-singles:

Source: Wikipedia

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
With my 19th pick in the Shelter-In-Place Album Draft, I select:

In the Village of the Apple Sun - Anton Barbeau (2006)

Track listing:
1 This is Why They Call Me Guru 7
2 Mushroom Box, 1975
3 Coffee Pot
4 The Eye on My Hand
5 On a Bicycle Built for Bicycle 9
6 Murray Boots Are Conquering the World
7 Bane Edit (Sing Gypsy Sing!)
8 Bane Projector
9 The Bane of Your Existence is My Name
10 Seeds of Space
11 46 Strings
12 Creep in the Garden
13 Eric Has Gone Wrong
14 When I Was 46 in the Year 13
15 In the Meadow of the Mellotron
16 In the Village of the Apple Sun
17 My Hair is Oily
18 Outro

I own the entire studio catalog (or at least everything that I know of) of quite a few of the artists from whom I’ve selected albums in this draft. A few examples: Led Zeppelin - one of the “biggest” rock bands in history - has a catalog that’s a bit over 7 hours of music. The Beatles’ catalog is about 11 hours. (Obviously, due to death and dissolution these bands didn’t have “full” careers.) Weird Al, though, has been releasing music for nearly 40 years and comes up to about 11 hours. XTC comes in at about 12 and a half. Rush, who released 19 studio albums over 38 years, has a catalog a bit over 15 hours. But the artist whose music I own more of than any other is Sacramento’s own (and for the last two decades or so itinerant work-visa vagrant of the U.K. and Berlin) Anton Barbeau, whose studio catalog comes up to about 21 hours over the last 28 years. Now, to be fair, he has re-recorded quite a few of his songs (some several times) and eliminating those brings his total down to about 17 hours of unique studio music (this is not counting an upcoming double album that is in the can and waiting to be mastered). The guy is a prolific songwriter. And, to a first approximation, basically nobody knows who he is. I’ve never heard a single song of his on the radio. He’s never been on a major label. He basically has to crowdfund his records.

It’s kind of criminal.

I’m not entirely sure why, because based on the level of enjoyment I get out of his music he should be headlining arenas, not scraping for gigs in bars in Berlin. But so it goes. Maybe it’s his voice, which is far from classic (though that didn’t stop Bob Dylan - and he’s a damn sight better than Dylan). Maybe the music world just doesn’t have room for an ultra-quirky pop songwriter with an infectious stage presence, though laced with a good dose of ADHD. Or maybe he just missed the marketing bus. I don’t think he’s going to catch up to it at this point, which is too bad.

I first encountered Anton Barbeau (yes, for those who are curious he IS the nephew of Adrienne Barbeau of Maude, Escape From New York, and Swamp Thing fame and the computer voice in The Thing, Judge Dredd AND Demolition Man!!) when he was one of two opening acts for a short-lived (and redacted) Sacramento band at the G Street Pub in Davis. I have no idea who the first act was - they didn’t leave an impression. Anton, on the other hand, stole the show for me. And one particular song (I’ll risk the ire of anybody here who might be thinking of picking some of Anton’s work and just say that it was about a banana) stood out. I went to the record store the next day, and with some money burning a hole in my pocket and no songs that seemed to mention a banana in the title, bit the bullet and bought all three of his albums to date. It wasn’t on any of them, but I fell in love with his music anyway. (Never fear, “Banana Song” got released on his fourth album.)

Anton is at his best when he is being quirky and bucking musical convention, and there’s plenty of that on In the Village of the Apple Sun. When it was released, he referred to it as a “psychedelic” record, and let’s just say that I don’t think the title fungi from “Mushroom Box, 1975” were in the spaghetti sauce. Yet, it really worked out, as the groovy, trippy cosmic vibe of this record makes it probably my favorite album of his - I think he’s got at least one album that in terms of songwriting merit is better, but I can just vibe with this one all day long, and it goes so many strange places. “Murray Boots Are Conquering the World” sounds like an advertising ditty coming out of London in the wake of WWII. “The Bane of Your Existence is My Name” starts out conventionally enough, but deteriorates into a woman singing about rats with plague and Mothra, the lepidopteran monster of Godzilla fame before Anton finishes by blatantly ripping off Fleetwood Mac. (See? A lot going on here!) “When I Was 46 in the Year 13” imagines, among other things, Rene Magritte spending 6000 years painting apples for some queen. (“I felt somehow that I’d been warned.”)

The title track is a highlight. I had gotten a hold of a demo version, so I knew it was a good song, but for the album he played around with the orchestration (slide whistle solo! backwards guitar!) and jumped between an acoustic version, a hard rock version, and a brief carousel piano version at verse changes - this thing just tickles my ears.