This monthâ€™s top ten is going to be a little different, since it is the last list before we all list our end of the year top films, cds and etc. next month. I asked people what were the ten records that influenced you and I wanted to reach out to people outside of our little family. Our first list is from Adam Rehmeier, talk about a director that either people love and talk highly of, or are ready to dismiss him as this or that, but he truly has his hand on the pulse and is getting people talking at least. Of course, Adam would put his own spin on our list. Enjoy
///THE 10 ALBUMS THAT MADE ME SIT AND STARE INTO SPACE///
1.[PAVEMENT /// SLANTED & ENCHANTED] /// I cannot say enough positive things about this album. It came highly recommended by friend Eric Bemberger[from RR134] as I thumbed through discs and records in the basement of the Antiquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. I remember being completely blown away by the odd tunings, structure, Malkmusâ€™ voice/// I listened to it over and over again in my bedroom, completely mesmerized. It was the album that really inspired me to pick up instruments, a 4-track and just start recording. To this day, I have to listen to the entire album all the way through, I never just listen to a track here and there. TRIGGER CUT, ZÃœRICH IS STAINED and OUR SINGER are the real standouts to me, 20 years later, but the entire album is PURE GOLD! A PERFECT ALBUM from front to back.
2.[GUIDED BY VOICES///ALIEN LANES] /// Another one of my absolute favorites. Bob Pollard, the king of lo-fi, delivers his finest work on this 41 minute masterpiece. I love simple, short, and powerful songs, and AS WE GO UP, WE GO DOWN is a perfect example. ALIEN LANES instantly makes me think of Chicago, circa â€™98, driving up and down Lake Shore Drive in my beat-to-shit Nissan, blasting the album through near-blown speakers. Other favorite tracks are: MY VALUABLE HUNTING KNIFE, MOTOR AWAY, CHICKEN BLOWS, ALWAYS CRUSH ME. Fucking brilliant Bob Pollard!
3.[SILVER JEWS // AMERICAN WATER] /// David Berman paints pretty picturesâ€¦with words. This is another album that must be played straight through from start to finish for maximum impact, though I must admit, I used to loop NIGHT SOCIETY over and over again on the tape deck in my car that I eventually destroyed it. Berman is one visual storyteller, on tracks like FEDERAL DUST, LIKE LIKE THE THE THE DEATH and THE WILD KINDNESS, one beautiful image after another invades my head as the songs progress.
4.[PINK FLOYD // THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN] /// For me, there is no PINK FLOYD after Syd Barrett was replaced with David Gilmore. I do not believe the band ever recovered after losing their leader, although they achieved much commercial success with albums like THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, WISH YOU WERE HERE, and THE WALL. The psychedelic magic is all on the first album. ASTRONMY DOMINE and INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE are the heroes of this amazing album.
5.[WEEN //PURE GUAVA] /// The ultimate stoner DIY album. Wow. This album still packs the punch it did 20 years ago. Itâ€™s another one of those albums I found myself listening to all the way through, over and over again. Just a masterpiece from Gene and Dean Ween! You canâ€™t ever go wrong with a little nitrous and LITTLE BIRDY, BIG JILM and TOUCH MY TOOTER.
6.[SYD BARRETT /// THE MADCAP LAUGHS] /// The crown jewel of Syd Barrettâ€™s post-PINK FLOYD recordings. Iâ€™ve spent many a night with this album softly playing in the background, meditating on what it must have been like for Syd as he grew increasingly withdrawn and reclusive. You can still hear the genius in tracks like OCTOPUS and NO GOOD TRYING, amazing songs that I think hold up as well as his work in PINK FLOYD. Also enjoyable, are the raw, first takes of TERRAPIN and FEEL. While technically quite imperfect, emotionally they speak volumes about Syd during this time period.
7.[RAMONES /// RAMONES] /// Is there a better punk album than the RAMONES self-titled debut? NO. Side A alone teaches you everything you need to know about punk rockâ€¦Side B is just the cherry on top.
8.[RIVERDALES /// PHASE 3] /// Ben Foster from SCREECHING WEASEL delivers what I consider the BEST punk rock album post-RAMONES and post â€™77. My friend Alex Pekar turned me onto them in the late 90s, and I became a fan of their self-titled release and follow up album STORM THE STREETS. With tracks like LAST STOP TOKYO, OUT OF MY HEART, and WAIT IT OUT, PHASE 3 not only boasts amazing, thick-as-a-brick production value, it rock your face off. Seriously.
9.[THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO] /// The crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of â€œperfect albums.â€ Itâ€™s the album on this list that I could actually play every day, and for many years, I believe it was the only album I kept in my car. I wouldnâ€™t even attempt to pick a favorite track off this album. The only thing it is missing is SISTER RAY, my favorite VU song, which can be found on the B-Side of WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT.
10. [BRIAN ENO /// NEROLI] /// As much as I love music, I find it really distracting to have anything playing when I write short stories or scripts. Enter Brian Enoâ€™s ambient masterpiece NEROLI, which is pretty much the only thing I can tolerate outside of silence or the slight whirring of a fan while I punch away on the typer. Everything from traffic jams to long lines at the supermarket could be made more tolerable if NEROLI was piped in for the masses via loudspeakers. Itâ€™s so calming that it has been implimented into maternity wards in Europe to enhance the organic nature of childbirth.