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

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
@whitechocolate's First Five(ish) report card:

This is... a lot. I'm not intellectual enough for this music. I don't really like the idea of thinking that much, while I'm listening to music... At any rate, since I already gave my "real time" thoughts on Trout Mask Replica, I'll just skip to the next four; At this point, whitechocolate has the record for most artists I've never heard of on lock: the only artist/group on his playlist I've ever even heard of is Björk, and I'd never actually listened to a single Björk song until about a half an hour before I started drafting this post.

  • Vulnicura: This probably isn't going to make much sense, but I found it beautiful, but not enjoyable. And I don't know whether it's because she's performing in Icelandic (or, at least, it sounds like that) or what, but there's something about Björk's singing cadence that I found really distracting and off-putting.
  • Not Available: When I saw that The Residents' biography on Spotify included the passage, "Drawing inspiration from the likes of fellow innovators including Harry Partch, Sun Ra, and Captain Beefheart," I knew that I was in for it. In their write-up, whitechocolate says, "Listening to it is an experience like no other." And, well... I can't argue with that!
  • Hopes and Fears: An album so obscure, it's not even on Spotify. Unfortunately for me, I was able to find it on YouTube. I think "The Dividing Line" might be the first song ever to cause me to have an upset stomach.
    • A quote taken directly from the YouTube comments:
      Listen to that implies a regression, acceptance of an abandonment of critical sense and a letting go to resonate with expression of human passions. A moving and sensual music, it will always remain opened to the sicks of heart!
      Did I mention that I'm not intellectual enough for this music?
  • Kontakte: I did not find this beautiful. Another album with no presence on Spotify, had to listen on YouTube. My conclusion is that avant-garde is above me. Whatever the listener is meant to experience while listening to this is not the sort of thing that I want to experience, when I'm listening to music.
 
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Hopefully Cojc is able to finish their list. For now:

Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1. Jill Scott. 2000.

1588204317027.png

I've enjoyed this draft. It's cool that there is such a range of picks from everyone. I don't often write as much as others - sometimes I can't be bothered, don't have the time or want the pick to speak for itself, sometimes I want to write something contextual but can't list the important albums, and others I just meet my limits re putting basic words together. Rest assured, I am more or less the same in person and often use smiles, shrugs, nods, and eye movements to get by when I don't want to look for the words.

There were a couple of albums I was considering for this pick - all around the same era. I might still share once this is done just for the sake of it. Anyways - I went for this. Wake up, go through the regulars of your day with feeling. Good for me to take a moment to think about some of sensations in this album at the moment - we are in quarantine and are cut off from usual activities and community. But each day I am working at my gf's place and it's nice for us to share a very stripped back existence - and to find enjoyment in things we would otherwise be too busy for or would be quick to overlook.

 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Screw it. I'm going to just further alienate Slim with this pick, but that is fine. I never expected to win anyways.

By sticking with bands I've seen in concert, I'm limited in certain ways. There are several other bands I'd like to select from but no individual album stands out enough to make me want to bring it to my lockdown. But this means I'm also picking bands I know and love from both albums and live performances.

While Pyromania and Hysteria were Def Leppard's breakout albums in the 80's, this is their best album in over 20 years. Each album sounds different (bringing something unique, not the same old sound), but each still brings that pounding arena rock at heart.

Def Leppard - Def Leppard (2015)

Def_Leppard_(album).jpg

https://www.allmusic.com/album/def-leppard-mw0002888017

From allmusic:

There are two ways to look at an eponymous album by a band well into its fourth decade of existence: it's either a rebirth or a summation. In the case of Def Leppard's 2015 album -- their eleventh studio set, ..... the record is most certainly the latter, a nifty encapsulation of the group's range, obsessions, and ambitions. At 55 minutes, Def Leppard feels nearly as sprawling as the hour-plus Hysteria -- one of the first albums to ever feel specifically designed to fill out the confines of a CD -- but where that 1987 classic pulsates with the arrogance of a band hungering to conquer the world, this 2015 set is distinguished by the casual authority of a band who remain a band solely for the love of it. Unlike many groups with decades of experience under their belts, Def Leppard aren't particularly concerned with maturity, at least not in the conventional sense where they turn in fuzz guitars and heavy-booted stomps for sepia-toned reflections. They're still pledging allegiance to glam and heavy metal, favoring arena-sized riffs, and slathering their productions with vocal harmonies and guitars. While this self-production lacks some of the finesse Mutt Lange brought to the twin towers of Pyromania and Hysteria -- both are titans of the golden age of big-budget studios, while this is a relatively scrappy 21st century digital production -- this record can still dazzle with its pyramid of overdubs, intricate details that never sound fussy. Most of Def Leppard stays firmly within the band's wheelhouse -- muscular descendants of glitter alternating with power ballads -- and the group is confident enough to flirt with disco ("Man Enough," where Joe Elliott asks his object of affection if she's man enough to be his girl) and electronic beats ("Energized"), which is just enough to give this record an appealingly modern kick. This is a summation of where the band is now: they love the past, both their own and their inspirations, but they're not looking back, they're loving the life they live.
From Wikipedia:

(Def Leppard) became their seventh top ten album after debuting on the Billboard 200 at number 10.

It won a 2016 Classic Rock Roll of Honours Award for Album of the Year.

On 13 December 2018, Def Leppard were named in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2019. The band won the Klipsch Audio Fan Vote, beating 14 other nominees with 547,647 general public votes (119,803 and 28% more than second vote receiver Stevie Nicks).

The current lineup of the band, along with past members Pete Willis and Steve Clark, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 29 March 2019 at a ceremony at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Def Leppard were inducted by Queen guitarist Brian May, who said they were "a magnificent rock group, in the classic tradition of what a rock group really is" and "a bunch of magnificent human beings."
Lots of favorites here - Dangerous, Invincible, and Let's Go are more Def Leppard-y than some of the others. But I also dig Energized for it's unique sound. We Belong lets everyone get in on the singing and grooves along. Sea of Love kind of throws the guitars out there in your face, but not obnoxiously so. Blind Faith starts slow and builds to a fantastic finish. All kinds of good stuff in this one. Man Enough has a great bass line/sound to it, but isn't a personal favorite.

Track List:
1. Let's Go
2. Dangerous
3. Man Enough
4. We Belong
5. Invincible
6. Sea of Love
7. Energized
8. All Time High
9. Battle of My Own
10. Broke 'n' Brokenhearted
11. Forever Young
12. Last Dance
13. Wings of an Angel
14. Blind Faith





 
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Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
Def Leppard - Def Leppard (2015)
For whatever reason, I've always been fascinated by self-titled albums that are not a band's debut album. So far in this draft we've had somewhere between 17-19 self-titled albums picked (I'm hedging because I think technically the Weezer album is untitled, and the proper title of the Cromagnon album may in fact be a different, NSFW title). Of those, four are of the non-debut variety: The Beatles, Def Leppard, Deftones, and Astronoid.

Nothing profound to add, just one of those things I find interesting.
 
@whitechocolate's First Five(ish) report card:

This is... a lot. I'm not intellectual enough for this music. I don't really like the idea of thinking that much, while I'm listening to music... At any rate, since I already gave my "real time" thoughts on Trout Mask Replica, I'll just skip to the next four; At this point, whitechocolate has the record for most artists I've never heard of on lock: the only artist/group on his playlist I've ever even heard of is Björk, and I'd never actually listened to a single Björk song until about a half an hour before I started drafting this post.

  • Vulnicura: This probably isn't going to make much sense, but I found it beautiful, but not enjoyable. And I don't know whether it's because she's performing in Icelandic (or, at least, it sounds like that) or what, but there's something about Björk's singing cadence that I found really distracting and off-putting.
  • Not Available: When I saw that The Residents' biography on Spotify included the passage, "Drawing inspiration from the likes of fellow innovators including [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and Captain Beefheart," I knew that I was in for it. In their write-up, whitechocolate says, "Listening to it is an experience like no other." And, well... I can't argue with that!
  • Hopes and Fears: An album so obscure, it's not even on Spotify. Unfortunately for me, I was able to find it on YouTube. I think "The Dividing Line" might be the first song ever to cause me to have an upset stomach.
    • A quote taken directly from the YouTube comments: Did I mention that I'm not intellectual enough for this music?
  • Kontakte: I did not find this beautiful. Another album with no presence on Spotify, had to listen on YouTube. My conclusion is that avant-garde is above me. Whatever the listener is meant to experience while listening to this is not the sort of thing that I want to experience, when I'm listening to music.
People often use words like "intellectual" to describe certain forms of music that is different from what they are accustomed to, often suggesting that they don't get it. Implying such music requires thinking about and needs to be understood does a great injustice to countless genres, artists, and records. People who enjoy such music enjoy it for the same fundamental reasons people enjoy any other style of music. We simply enjoy listening to it. As one of the leaders of modern classical and avantgarde music said, "I love sounds just as they are, and I have no need for them to be anything more than what they are."
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
Alienated? Man, I sure hope not! I feel like, if you are finding yourself alienated by my reviews, you may be taking all this way more personally than I am... I am certainly not trying to offend anybody: if there are any of the three remaining drafters who don't want me to review their playlists, just tell me not to.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
People often use words like "intellectual" to describe certain forms of music that is different from what they are accustomed to, often suggesting that they don't get it. Implying such music requires thinking about and needs to be understood does a great injustice to countless genres, artists, and records. People who enjoy such music enjoy it for the same fundamental reasons people enjoy any other style of music. We simply enjoy listening to it. As one of the leaders of modern classical and avantgarde music said, "I love sounds just as they are, and I have no need for them to be anything more than what they are."
Man, I guess. Except, with other genres of music, they either evoke some sort of emotion in me or, at the very least, I feel like I can comprehend what emotion the artist wants to evoke in the listener, and/or what emotions the artist was experiencing, when they composed their work, even if I don't feel those emotions, myself. Like, I don't like folk music, and I don't really get folk music, but I feel like I at least have a general comprehension of what folk music evokes in other people. Same for country, and most subgenres of metal. I get none of that from avant garde music, which makes me feel like there is some sort of cognitive disconnect between me and the artist.
 
Wow.

I’m somewhere between calling this a beautifully-crafted encapsulation of sound and chaos, and declaring all other music dead to me.

1588222892884.jpg
Fetch the Bolt Cutters - Fiona Apple (2020)

OK, my intro is intentionally hyperbolic, because critics have been absolutely fawning all over this thing, including Pitchfork awarding the album its only third ever perfect 10 score. Still I am really rather thrilled with the descent into madness Apple guides me on with Bolt Cutters. (Which, come to think of it, is an especially insane yet appropriate sentence).

A little unorthodox, but because I took this album earlier, and the song is fairly essential to understanding the approach Apple took for Bolt Cutters, this is Hot Knife from The Idler Wheel ... , which acts as the impetus for this entire album.


It's all there: the binaural, layered vocals; the continuous repetition of cryptic lyrics; the absurdly powerful and primal percussion; the cacophony of chaos and noise somehow harmonized into a frenetic chant-like melody. Hot Knife had always been an exhilarating, almost vaudevillian, if somewhat odd inclusion as the closer to Idler Wheel. The rest of the album is a lot more stripped down, letting Apple's lyrics and vocals take center-stage, with the accompanying instrumentals, including household items, present almost exclusively for atmosphere.

Clearly it seems, Hot Knife was the harbinger of what Apple had in mind for the next eight years of experimentation, as she took the foundation of Hot Knife and dialed it up to eleventy billion.

Granted, this is brand new, and I've only had the pleasure to enjoy the album all the way through from start to finish without interruption once, but overall, I've found it brilliant, if a bit uneven. The highs are some of the best work Apple has ever done, surpassing the entirety of her four previously-released album catalogue. Then there are moments that seemed a little under-baked, with the ghost of its mad genius haunting frustratingly close. I also think the album has a much stronger first half, and ends rather abruptly and unceremoniously - especially jarring for such an intense project. Still, this is an thunderstorm of a thrill ride.

I would never suggest this be the first album someone new to Apple's work explore as an introduction. But as a well-versed fan of Apple's particular brand, this was sublime.

This tweet sums it up perfectly:

Bess Kalb:
-
Fiona Apple was waiting for the entire world to descend into restless melancholic rage and then once we all started pacing our kitchens in our underwear in the middle of the night she was like, “You’re ready.”


Warning: some NSFW words in this one:


Warning: A single NSFW word in this one too:

Tracklist
1."I Want You to Love Me"
2."Shameika"
3."Fetch the Bolt Cutters"
4."Under the Table"
5."Relay"
6."Rack of His"
7."Newspaper"
8."Ladies"
9."Heavy Balloon"
10."Cosmonauts"
11."For Her"
12."Drumset"
13."On I Go"
 
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Man, I guess. Except, with other genres of music, they either evoke some sort of emotion in me or, at the very least, I feel like I can comprehend what emotion the artist wants to evoke in the listener, and/or what emotions the artist was experiencing, when they composed their work, even if I don't feel those emotions, myself. Like, I don't like folk music, and I don't really get folk music, but I feel like I at least have a general comprehension of what folk music evokes in other people. Same for country, and most subgenres of metal. I get none of that from avant garde music, which makes me feel like there is some sort of cognitive disconnect between me and the artist.
I'm not trying to say the music I like doesn't relate to our experiences. In fact, I would even argue that simply enjoying music for how it sounds and nothing more is a profound experience. It's recognizing the natural, inherent beauty of the world we live in. It's recognizing our natural, inherent ability to perceive beauty. That alone can manifest emotions. It's not unlike just appreciating the beauty of nature, and the simple joy of living within it. That being said there are plenty of specific qualities of the music I selected that we can relate to. Even embracing its sometimes unpredictable, spontaneous nature, as our lives and world often are. Finding beauty amidst uncertainty and chaos is not unlike our lives. Personally, I embrace, and relish in, the abstract nature of our experience. All that being said, the music I selected does set moods, and has a purpose.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
... That being said there are plenty of specific qualities of the music I selected that we can relate to. Even embracing its sometimes unpredictable, spontaneous nature, as our lives and world often are. Finding beauty amidst uncertainty and chaos is not unlike our lives. Personally, I embrace, and relish in, the abstract nature of our experience. All that being said, the music I selected does set moods, and has a purpose.
That was sort of my point: I don't grok the moods, or the purpose, And it makes me feel kind of dumb because, for the most part, I can grok the mood of an album, even if I don't like it.
 
Well there's no wrong way to relate to something. That's one of the beautiful things about being human. We are free to make whatever out of life and everything in it as guided by our own points of view. I just didn't want you or whomever to think that experimental music and music that goes largely ignored by the mainstream is special or intellectually above other genres. They're just different styles like anything else. And people just enjoy what they enjoy.
 
Wow.

I’m somewhere between calling this a beautifully-crafted encapsulation of sound and chaos, and declaring all other music dead to me.

View attachment 9821
Fetch the Bolt Cutters - Fiona Apple (2020)

OK, my intro is intentionally hyperbolic, because critics have been absolutely fawning all over this thing, including Pitchfork awarding the album its only third ever perfect 10 score. Still I am really rather thrilled with the descent into madness Apple guides me on with Bolt Cutters. (Which, come to think of it, is an especially insane yet appropriate sentence).

A little unorthodox, but because I took this album earlier, and the song is fairly essential to understanding the approach Apple took for Bolt Cutters, this is Hot Knife from The Idler Wheel ... , which acts as the impetus for this entire album.


It's all there: the binaural, layered vocals; the continuous repetition of cryptic lyrics; the absurdly powerful and primal percussion; the cacophony of chaos and noise somehow harmonized into a frenetic chant-like melody. Hot Knife had always been an exhilarating, almost vaudevillian, if somewhat odd inclusion as the closer to Idler Wheel. The rest of the album is a lot more stripped down, letting Apple's lyrics and vocals take center-stage, with the accompanying instrumentals, including household items, present for atmosphere.

Clearly it seems, Hot Knife was the harbinger of what Apple had in mind for the next eight years of experimentation, as she took the foundation of Hot Knife and dialed it up to eleventy billion.

Granted, this is brand new, and I've only had the pleasure to enjoy the album all the way through from start to finish without interruption once, but overall, I've found it brilliant, if a bit uneven. The highs are some of the best work Apple has ever done, surpassing the entirety of her four previously-released album catalogue. Then there are moments that seemed a little under-baked, with the ghost of its mad genius haunting frustratingly close. I also think the album has a much stronger first half, and ends rather abruptly and unceremoniously. Especially jarring for such an intense project. Still, this is an electric storm of a thrill ride.

I would never suggest this be the first album someone new to Apple's work explore as an introduction. But as a well-versed fan of Apple's particular brand, this was sublime.

This tweet sums it up perfectly:

Bess Kalb:
-
Fiona Apple was waiting for the entire world to descend into restless melancholic rage and then once we all started pacing our kitchens in our underwear in the middle of the night she was like, “You’re ready.”




Warning: A single NSFW word in this one:

Tracklist
1."I Want You to Love Me"
2."Shameika"
3."Fetch the Bolt Cutters"
4."Under the Table"
5."Relay"
6."Rack of His"
7."Newspaper"
8."Ladies"
9."Heavy Balloon"
10."Cosmonauts"
11."For Her"
12."Drumset"
13."On I Go"
This is a pretty staggering work. I've found Fiona Apple's output a bit more hit-and-miss than many other listeners do, but her last two records are absolute aces.
 
That was sort of my point: I don't grok the moods, or the purpose, And it makes me feel kind of dumb because, for the most part, I can grok the mood of an album, even if I don't like it.
I can't speak to most of the albums @whitechocolate selected in this draft, having only listened to a few of them, but a lot of avant garde and experimental music is purposely confrontational. It often seeks to dislodge or unsettle the listener. As @whitechocolate wrote, an artist sometimes delights in the creation of sounds for which the listener may not be able to divine a reason or appreciation. But other times, I'd argue that an artist simply doesn't want the listener to be able to divine a purpose from the collisions in their work.

I think there's an unfortunate contemporary pop cultural tendency to "get" or "decode" or "unlock" that which doesn't necessarily require a key, or at least doesn't require a singularly-shaped skeleton key that all members of the audience must wield in order to engage in the "right" way. As a result of those ingrained habits, audiences are often defensive when they approach works that seem intellectually daunting. But puzzlement is an apt response to a lot of art! It's a great equalizer, honestly, in turbulent times such as these, to feel dislodged or unsettled by the swirling chaos around us.
 
I know there's a rule about losing your pick if the order goes all the way around again, but I would be in favor of Cojc still getting to make 20 picks considering we're up to the last round anyway and some of us submitted our picks very quickly in the last round. Just throwing that out there. I don't know where you are Cojc, but I hope everything is okay.
 
This is a pretty staggering work. I've found Fiona Apple's output a bit more hit-and-miss than many other listeners do, but her last two records are absolute aces.
I may have been fortunate that The Idler Wheel was my introduction. Allowed me to appreciate her first two albums with the benefit of hindsight knowing how she would eventually evolve. Both those albums are still monumental displays of talent and songwriting, but I’m not sure I would have been as enthused without coming into her catalogue “backward” as it were.

I’m still exploring her third album. That one is ... complicated to say the least.
 
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I know there's a rule about losing your pick if the order goes all the way around again, but I would be in favor of Cojc still getting to make 20 picks considering we're up to the last round anyway and some of us submitted our picks very quickly in the last round. Just throwing that out there. I don't know where you are Cojc, but I hope everything is okay.
Completely agree. This draft has flown by at light speed. I’m happy to have Cojc finish out the roster.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
I know there's a rule about losing your pick if the order goes all the way around again, but I would be in favor of Cojc still getting to make 20 picks considering we're up to the last round anyway and some of us submitted our picks very quickly in the last round. Just throwing that out there. I don't know where you are Cojc, but I hope everything is okay.
Consider it done. I'll send him a PM. I, too, hope he's okay.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
For my final pick, I'm going with an album that always makes me feel good. I crank up the volume and share it with the neighbors ... whether they like Shania Twain or not.

1588278995763.png

Come On Over - Shania Twain - 1997

1. "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" 3:53
2. "I'm Holdin' On to Love (To Save My Life)" 3:30
3. "Love Gets Me Every Time" 3:33
4. "Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)" 3:35
5. "From This Moment On" (with Bryan White) 4:43
6. "Come On Over" 2:55
7. "When" 3:39
8. "Whatever You Do! Don't!" 3:49
9. "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" 4:04
10. "You're Still the One" 3:34
11. "Honey, I'm Home" 3:39
12. "That Don't Impress Me Much" 3:38
13. "Black Eyes, Blue Tears" 3:39
14. "I Won't Leave You Lonely" 4:13
15. "Rock This Country!" 4:23
16. "You've Got a Way"

Shania Twain is pure country gold and this album hits all the right notes with me. Sorry, Slim. ;)



 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
I was more thinking that I hope he is ok.
I think all of us share the same concern, especially now. According to the board software, he was last here on Monday afternoon. I did notice in one of his posts he said something about moving so maybe it's just one of those "life gets in the way" kind of things. I sent him a PM, though, so hopefully we'll hear from him soon.
 
Wow.

I’m somewhere between calling this a beautifully-crafted encapsulation of sound and chaos, and declaring all other music dead to me.

View attachment 9821
Fetch the Bolt Cutters - Fiona Apple (2020)

OK, my intro is intentionally hyperbolic, because critics have been absolutely fawning all over this thing, including Pitchfork awarding the album its only third ever perfect 10 score. Still I am really rather thrilled with the descent into madness Apple guides me on with Bolt Cutters. (Which, come to think of it, is an especially insane yet appropriate sentence).

A little unorthodox, but because I took this album earlier, and the song is fairly essential to understanding the approach Apple took for Bolt Cutters, this is Hot Knife from The Idler Wheel ... , which acts as the impetus for this entire album.


It's all there: the binaural, layered vocals; the continuous repetition of cryptic lyrics; the absurdly powerful and primal percussion; the cacophony of chaos and noise somehow harmonized into a frenetic chant-like melody. Hot Knife had always been an exhilarating, almost vaudevillian, if somewhat odd inclusion as the closer to Idler Wheel. The rest of the album is a lot more stripped down, letting Apple's lyrics and vocals take center-stage, with the accompanying instrumentals, including household items, present for atmosphere.

Clearly it seems, Hot Knife was the harbinger of what Apple had in mind for the next eight years of experimentation, as she took the foundation of Hot Knife and dialed it up to eleventy billion.

Granted, this is brand new, and I've only had the pleasure to enjoy the album all the way through from start to finish without interruption once, but overall, I've found it brilliant, if a bit uneven. The highs are some of the best work Apple has ever done, surpassing the entirety of her four previously-released album catalogue. Then there are moments that seemed a little under-baked, with the ghost of its mad genius haunting frustratingly close. I also think the album has a much stronger first half, and ends rather abruptly and unceremoniously. Especially jarring for such an intense project. Still, this is an electric storm of a thrill ride.

I would never suggest this be the first album someone new to Apple's work explore as an introduction. But as a well-versed fan of Apple's particular brand, this was sublime.

This tweet sums it up perfectly:

Bess Kalb:
-
Fiona Apple was waiting for the entire world to descend into restless melancholic rage and then once we all started pacing our kitchens in our underwear in the middle of the night she was like, “You’re ready.”




Warning: A single NSFW word in this one:

Tracklist
1."I Want You to Love Me"
2."Shameika"
3."Fetch the Bolt Cutters"
4."Under the Table"
5."Relay"
6."Rack of His"
7."Newspaper"
8."Ladies"
9."Heavy Balloon"
10."Cosmonauts"
11."For Her"
12."Drumset"
13."On I Go"
While I'm certainly aware of Fiona Apple, her music hasn't really crossed my radar before to the extent that I felt the need to listen to it. At this point I'd filed her previous albums into the category of "things I'll probably never get around to, and I'm okay with that" but I'm intrigued by what you've posted here. I like the densely layered arrangements on this new album. I guess I'm going to have to do some mental re-sorting.
 
While I'm certainly aware of Fiona Apple, her music hasn't really crossed my radar before to the extent that I felt the need to listen to it. At this point I'd filed her previous albums into the category of "things I'll probably never get around to, and I'm okay with that" but I'm intrigued by what you've posted here. I like the densely layered arrangements on this new album. I guess I'm going to have to do some mental re-sorting.
Please do. I was firmly encamped in your same position seven years ago before Gadget indirectly introduced me to The Idler Wheel. Now that Bolt Cutters is out, that camp should be left abandoned, reclaimed by the wild workings of Apple's immense imagination.
 
Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty (2014):



01 Dawn in Luxor
02 Forerunner Foray
03 They Come in Gold
04 Solemn Swears
05 Harem Aria
06 Noetic Noiromantics
07 The Ballad of Lt. Maj. Winnings
08 Soundview
09 Ishmael
10 …down 155th in the MCM Snorkel
11 Divine of Form
12 #CAKE
13 Colluding Oligarchs
14 Suspicion of a Shape
15 MindGlitch Keytar TM Theme
16 Motion Sickness
17 New Black Wave
18 Sonic MythMap for the Trip Back

Genre(s): Experimental hip hop, alternative hip hop, jazz rap, space rap, noise rap, what-the-f*** rap

I began my draft with some sci-fi-tinged hip hop, and in the spirit of coming full-circle, I am ending my draft with some sci-fi-tinged hip hop. But where El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead is an earthbound and apocalyptic sonic landscape crafted with the blunt force of beat-making legends like the Bomb Squad, Lese Majesty has its eyes turned upward, toward the stars in the sky.

Shabazz Palaces are emcee Ishmael Butler (formerly of 90's underground rap luminaries Digable Planets) and multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire. Like El-P, they are middle-aged veterans of hip hop, unconcerned with the trappings of rap music, invested wholly in reshaping the genre to fit their lofty creative ambitions. Lèse-majesté is a French term meaning "to do wrong to majesty," an offense to the reign of a sovereign state. It's an appropriate title for this strange, formless, expectation-shattering what-the-f*** of an album, which challenges notions of what hip hop should be, what blackness should be, what human should be.

Truth be told, Lese Majesty is less an album and more a collection of bite-sized meteorites burning up in the atmosphere. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously said "The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long," and as Elden Tyrell opined from there in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, these songs "burn so very, very brightly." There is just so much going on in the production of this record, as Butler and Maraire twist the shape of hip hop into a swirling and psychedelic galaxy of their own making. In that sense, it's very much a "headphones record," with the listener finding a more satisfying high while injecting Lese Majesty directly into their eardrums.

"Forerunner Foray" and "#CAKE" are probably the easiest points of entry, the former a jazz rap expedition through the Stargate sequence of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the latter a propulsive, vamping exercise in free association. They're representative of the sonic and lyrical diversity on display across the breadth of Lese Majesty, an album I both love and admire. It seems as good a place as any for my Shelter-in-Place On a Desert Island draft to reach its conclusion.
 
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Sitting down to listen to Homotopy to Marie is like sitting down to watch a good horror film. The kind with a richly eerie mood, and suspense that keeps you on your toes and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. But if you allow yourself to get lulled you may experience a jump scare or two, and it may put smile on your face.

Tracklist

01 - I Cannot Feel You as the Dogs are Laughing and I am Blind
02 - Homotopy to Marie
03 - The Schmürz (Unsullied by Suckling)
04 - The Tumultuous Upsurge (Of Lasting Hatred)

 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I can't speak to most of the albums @whitechocolate selected in this draft, having only listened to a few of them, but a lot of avant garde and experimental music is purposely confrontational. It often seeks to dislodge or unsettle the listener. As @whitechocolate wrote, an artist sometimes delights in the creation of sounds for which the listener may not be able to divine a reason or appreciation. But other times, I'd argue that an artist simply doesn't want the listener to be able to divine a purpose from the collisions in their work.

I think there's an unfortunate contemporary pop cultural tendency to "get" or "decode" or "unlock" that which doesn't necessarily require a key, or at least doesn't require a singularly-shaped skeleton key that all members of the audience must wield in order to engage in the "right" way. As a result of those ingrained habits, audiences are often defensive when they approach works that seem intellectually daunting. But puzzlement is an apt response to a lot of art! It's a great equalizer, honestly, in turbulent times such as these, to feel dislodged or unsettled by the swirling chaos around us.
OK, maybe the issue is that I expect music to be, well, musical. Even if confrontational, I would like to think I could recognize it as music. And at least some of what has been presented here as "music" isn't, at least to my untrained heathen ears. :)

This is a perfect example (from the last selection made). I didn't listen to the whole 16+ minutes by any means, but skipped through at maybe 1-2 minute intervals and listened for a bit each time for anything that sounded like music. I heard stuff that sounds like special effects, but not music. And hey, if that works for you, fine! But nothing I heard in there matches the definition of music in wikipedia:

Music is an art form, and cultural activity, whose medium is sound. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the "color" of a musical sound). Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements.
So, if you omit all of those elements (other than dynamics, I guess), is it still "music"? To me, no. And that isn't to say others might feel differently. I am admittedly not someone who appreciates many forms of "art". I have no musical talent and people always tell me to stop singing whenever I start. Maybe that is one reason my musical tastes are rather pedestrian, who knows?

If the example above rocks your boat, more power to you! I'm not putting it down, I just don't recognize it as what it reputes itself to be. I don't hear "music" when I hear that. It doesn't do anything for me. Actually, it does something - makes me want to listen to something else. And maybe my musical selections do that to others - obviously Slim doesn't care for my list much. But, different strokes for different folks (as Joan Jett would say). :)
 
The Meters - Fire on the Bayou (1975)


(https://www.allmusic.com/album/fire-on-the-bayou-mw0000067494)

01. Out In The Country
02. Fire On The Bayou
03. Love Slip Upon Ya
04. Talkin' 'Bout New Orleans
05. They All Ask'd For You
06. Can You Do Without?
07. Liar
08. You're A Friend Of Mine
09. Middle Of The Road
10. Running Fast
11. Mardi Gras Mambo
12. Running Fast (extended jam)

With my last pick I'm going with a little feel-good music for your soul from the original funk masters out of New Orleans. From the late 60s to the mid 70s this Art Neville fronted band could do no wrong, contributing several radio hits spread over their first 6 albums as well as scoring gigs with Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones. Artistic differences led the Neville brothers to break out on their own and that was that, though several iterations containing at least one original band member have kept the spark alive in the decades since. I don't know that I have a favorite album, they're all solid but since I have to pick one I'm going with their 6th album here, Fire on the Bayou as I feel like it rocks just a little bit harder than the others.

The title track is the biggest hit here though you've probably heard some version of the old standard "Mardi Gras Mambo" if you've been alive long enough and/or ever visited New Orleans. Opening track "Out in the Country" is an ode to the simple pleasures of time spent out in the natural world (for you VF21 ;) ) with a smooth vocal delivery from Art and Cyril Neville, a simple beat and some extra skunky guitar riffing. "Love Slip Upon Ya" and "Liar" have got killer bass lines that groove for days. The horns get a workout on "Talkin Bout New Orleans". Most unexpectedly, instrumental jam "Middle of the Road" borders on Prog Rock. It's interesting to speculate on where they might have gone next if they hadn't split up. This is music that's just as fun to play as it is to listen to and it's easy to see why they've been a favorite of jam bands and old-school DJs for the last 4+ decades.

Part of the reason I don't really "get" the genre of music that has coalesced into modern EDM is because I feel like dance music was already perfected in the 70s by jazz,soul, and R&B musicians who invented the breakbeat, the electric bass groove, the highly effected guitar, and the horn hit. Whenever I listen to the Meters it's not long before I feel compelled to get up and dance. Producers have done wonderful things with samples over the years but we should acknowledge that most of the swing, groove, and soul in sample-based music comes from the original musicians who lived and breathed it and then shared it with the world....

That being said, I certainly can't argue with the primal urgency of a beat -- whatever moves you to shake your body, is cool with me. We don't all have to like the same stuff, in fact it's these differences of opinion that make exploring art and culture so endlessly fascinating. I just don't see much point myself in grooving to a facsimile when the real thing is available. So I'm going out on top with some Fire on the Bayou and dancing my way into that eternal sunset!