Sunday, December 21, 2014

3 of My Records' Favorite Albums of 2014

The three most important words in music for 2014.

(Click links for album details/reviews.  Mostly* comprehensive Spotify playlist below.)

*Thom Yorke and Spotify don't play well together.

20.  You're Dead by Flying Lotus
Genre: Experimental Electronic
Label: Warp
Album Highlights: "Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)", "Dead Man's Tetris (feat. Captain Murphy and Snoop Dogg)", "Coronus, the Terminator"

19.  I Never Learn by Lykki Li
Genre: Indie Pop/Rock
Label: Atlantic
Album Highlights: "No Rest For the Wicked", "Gunshot", "Never Gonna Love Again"

Genre: Indie Pop/Rock
Label: Transgressive
Album Highlights: "Adult Diversion", "Archie, Marry Me", "Next of Kin"

Genre: Alternative/Indie Electronic
Label: Partisan
Album Highlights: "Hey Mami", "Dreamy Bruises", "H.S.K.T."

Genre: R&B Instrumental/Funk
Label: Daptone
Album Highlights: "Into the Fog", "The Sticks", "Trail of Tears"

Genre: Indie Electronic/Experimental
Label: Self-Released
Album Highlights: "Guess Again!", "The Mother Lode", "Nose Grows Some"

Genre: Neo-Psychedelia/Experimental
Label: Rocket/Sub Pop
Album Highlights: "Talk to God", "Goatchild", "Gathering of Ancient Tribes"

Genre: Indie Pop/Rock/Electronic
Label: Arbutus
Album Highlights: "Way to Be Loved", "Blind Faze", "Outside"

Genre:  Rock/Garage
Label: Sub Pop
Album Highlights: "Rainbow's Run", "Madness", "Eddie's Song"

Genre: Rock/Alternative
Label: Last Gang
Album Highlights: "Right On, Frankenstein!", "Virgins", "Trainwreck 1979"

Genre: Rock/Alternative
Label: Matador
Album Highlights: "All the Rage Back Home", "Breaker 1", "Tidal Wave"

Genre: Indie Pop/Electronic

Label: Because
Album Highlights: "The Upsetter", "Love Letters", "Boy Racers"

Genre: Electronic Pop/Shoegaze
Label: XL
Album Highlights: "Chasing Shadows", "So Now You Know", "Change Your Mind"

Genre: Garage Punk/Neo Psychedelia
Label: In the Red
Album Highlights: "Disorder", "Mountain", "Plank"

Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Anti
Album Highlights: "Inside Out", "Outlier", "New York Kiss"

Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Domino
Album Highlights: "Had to Hear", "Talking Backwards", "Crime"

Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Secretly Canadian
Album Highlights: "Under the Pressure", "Red Eyes", "An Ocean Between the Waves"

Genre: Indie Electronic

Label: 4AD
Album Highlights: "Tempest", "The Wheel", "Bloodflows"

Genre: Indie Electronic/Experimental

Label: Twin Group
Album Highlights: "In the House of Yes", "Blush", "Out of the Dark"

Genre: Rap
Label: Mass Appeal
Album Highlights: "Oh My Darling Don't Cry", "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)", "Angel Duster"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

...To Remedy the Weekend Blues (Sunday Morning Jams)

3 of My Records:

Charade [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] by Henry Mancini (1963)
Crying Time by Ray Charles (1966)
Waltz For Koop by Koop (2001)

Chosen By: David D.

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Why These 3: A fine remedy for the weekend blues.  Also, "Bye Bye Charlie" (Charade) is the saddest song ever written.  "Tears" (Crying Time) is the second saddest.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

...That Prove You Really Can Please Everyone.

3 of My Records:

Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 by Sam Cooke (1985)
Big Echo by Morning Benders (2010)
Girls Can Tell by Spoon (2001)

Chosen By: Ian P.

Location: Denver, CO

Why These 3: It's the discerning vinyl collector's worst nightmare: your coworkers, inlaws, hipster friends and some random neighbor are all at your house. None of them listen to the same music. WHAT TO PLAY!? The risk here is that you err too far towards "inoffensive" and end up playing something that no one actually, you know, ENJOYS. Instead, you should just play these three so you can move on to the next heart attack: what beer are you going to buy?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

...That Dominate My New (Old) Grundig Console.

3 of My Records:

On the Corner by Miles Davis (1972)
Blue Train by John Coltrane (1957)
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis (1959)

Chosen By: Jake S.

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Why These 3: These sound great and compliment a glass of scotch perfectly. They make me feel like a more sophisticated person, even though we all know I'm not. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

...That Prove I Love a Good Anthology (And That I Can't Control Myself at the Record Store).

3 of My Records:

Anthology by Marvin Gaye (1974)
Wave of Mutilation by The Pixies (2004)
An Introduction To... by Elliott Smith (2010)

Chosen By: Lori S.

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Why These 3: The thing is, going to the record store is really, really hard for me.  I try to only go once a month, and I try to only buy one record.  Because I have a tendency to get caught up in all the hunting (and therefore overspending), I have taken to (gasp) buying from Amazon. In a record store, I feel like if I find it, then the stars have aligned and I can't fight fate. 

Internal monologue as I am walking into the store: "You can do this.  Head straight for the album you've been eyeing.  Do not look around. You are a baller on a budget. Just get that one record."  

Internal monologue as I open the door: "Oh good, there's that album. Is it hot in here?  Why am I sweating?  Wait... is that what I think it is??? No way, is it really?  A used anthology record? A USED ANTHOLOGY! OK, let me think.  I have gas in the car. I've paid my bills.  If I buy an anthology, it is like a bargain because I am getting the greatness of an artist at the low, low price of $20. Life is so hard sometimes.  I basically deserve this."

The sheer joy/guilt I feel when I leave takes me straight to a junky convenience store to buy a six pack of coors light.  (Yes.  Coors light.  Whatever, I really like it.)  By the time I've finished those beers and listened to the anthology a time or two, I realize I left the originally intended purchase at the record store. 

I'll be stronger next time.

Friday, November 7, 2014

...For When My Wife Leaves the House and My Volume Hand Gets Itchy

3 of My Records:

The Monitor by Titus Andronicus (2010)
In the Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson (1969)
Onwards to the Wall by A Place to Bury Strangers (2012)

Chosen By: Ian P.

Location: Denver, CO

Why These 3: Let me start off by emphatically stating that my wife is great. In addition to enjoying a lot of the same music as me, she even manages to tolerate my annoying habit of occasionally spending a stupid amount of money on records. But. Sometimes when your job and traffic and people and responsibility and whiskey happen, antisocial noise levels need to follow. That's where these three come in.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

...I Want to Listen to While I Chop Vegetables For A Stew, or Sit and Contemplate the Fallen Leaves I Should Rake

3 of My Records:

Strychnine Dandelion by The Parting Gifts (2010)
Son of Schmillsson by Harry Nilsson (1972)
The Velvet Underground & Nico by The Velvet Underground (1967)

Chosen By: Clint M.

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Why These 3: After the brutal grind that the excess of summer eventually becomes, I'm ready for a change of tempo. In autumn, I want a record to listen to while I chop vegetables for a stew, or sit and contemplate the fallen leaves that I should rake. That is to say, I'm not exactly at my most punk rock. The Velvet Underground is kind of a no brainer for shorter days and longer shadows. The Parting Gifts present a perfect soundtrack for a cool weather stroll with someone soft who may smell of pumpkin spice. If you can't get into Nilsson by a fire with a nice scotch--well, I can't help you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3 Of My Records...That I Love to Blast While Watching Thunder Games On Mute

3 Of My Records:

Angel Dust by Faith No More (1992)
LCD Soundsystem By by LCD Soundsystem (2005)
Stankonia by Outkast (2000)

Chosen By: Me (Rob V.)

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Why These 3: Because to combine music and sports (and probably booze if we're being honest) is the Costanza element of my being.  Might it be a sensory overload that may ultimately cause a catastrophic confusion of my sports and music pleasure centers?  You bet.

But there's no better soundtrack for the unique aesthetic combination of aggression and poetic movement that is the NBA for me than the albums above.  Pounding drums, wicked pulsating beats, and ice cold hip-hop rhythms are a far more worthy NBA soundtrack when compared to the generic, cliche-driven play-by-play bullshit we all too often consume with meekly grudging acceptance.  So I say it is time to evolve.  I say it is time to demand more of your sports-watching experience.  Give your ears a standard of consumption worthy of the greatness your eyes behold.  And welcome back the NBA into those loving arms--better than ever.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3 Of My Records...That Give Me That Teenage Feeling

3 Of My Records:

The Bends by Radiohead (1995)
Something To Remember Me By by Ben Lee (1997)
Energy by Operation Ivy (1989)

Chosen By: Me (Rob V.)

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Why These 3: As a teenager in the mid to late 90's, no 3 albums could possibly better represent my anxious introspection, unabashed romanticism, and rebellious skepticism, respectively, than these. And 20 years on, this music STILL takes me right back to those places in my soul.

Monday, October 27, 2014

3 Of My Records: A Mission Statement, A Call For Submissions, A Call to Create Something Beautiful


I’m kicking off a new (art/music/what-have-you) project that NEEDS the input of others to work.  It’s simple, to the point, and will say more about me/you/us/others than you might initially think.  And it starts with a very simple request:

Fill in the blank: 3 of my records that/to/for/whose/from _______________

For example:   3 of my records that make me feel like a teenager again
                        3 of my records whose album art creeps me the F out
                        3 of my records for nights spent in solitude

You get the gist.  Right?  Right.  So here’s all you do (it's purposefully simple):

  1. You complete the thought: “3 of my records that/to/for/whose/from, etc. _____________
  2. Snap a photo(s) of your 3 records (yes, these should be records you own!).  Make the photos conventional or unconventional.  Use effects.  Use weird angles or lighting or whatever.  Get creative/weird with it.
  3. Send completed thought and photos to with your name or an alias you’d like used.  PLEASE add a few thoughts or a paragraph explaining your selections!  If you want the photos and the thought to speak for itself, also great!
  4. I’ll post submissions to the site.  Done!  

A few notes on why I am and am not doing this:

· This is definitely an art/idea concept for the sake of itself. I have ZERO ambition to make money off this. So no ads or anything like that. I sincerely think the sharing of the what and why of the music we own is a worthy subject of artistic inquiry.

· While I plan to post some of my own submissions, this really MUST be about the input of others in addition to myself. Even I get bored with a site devoted exclusively to my own opinions (believe it or not). I think there’s true beauty and discovery in seeing what others including friends, family and total strangers have to say in regards to 3 records they love, need, are haunted by, etc.

· My old blog, Music Jerk Rob’s Music Blog, is MOSTLY dead moving forward. Having said that, for the sake of posterity and the fact that there’s a great deal of content I’m proud to have created over the last several years, I’m rolling that old blog’s content into this new site/URL. It gives me the flexibility to throw out the occasional list or playlist because those are things I like to do. But those will definitely take a backseat to the “3 of my records” content. It was time to do something new and the inspiration for this hit me like a ton of bricks (let’s hope they’re the good idea bricks instead of the bad idea ones).

· As some of you more astute observers will note, I am continuing to utilize the Blogger platform for now/a variety of reasons. If any of you would like to contribute to sprucing up the layout or designing a banner or logo of some kind, my ears/mind is definitely open. Overall, my goal is to keep this simple. But I’m fortunate to have so many friends who both own records AND know a lot about web/graphic design.

· Finally, please SPREAD the word!  I look forward to the day when I start to get submissions from total strangers! If you think this idea/bit has anything to it, please consider sharing and encouraging others to submit. In short, I am utterly fascinated by people who own records and the reasons they love them.

So that’s it. I look forward to hearing from you soon. The maiden post from me will come later this week!

Love and reverence,


Friday, October 17, 2014

12 and 12: The Top 12 Albums/Songs of 2004

File under wildly unpopular music opinions of my generation: Better than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Top 12 Albums of 2004

1.  A Ghost Is Born by Wilco
2.  Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
3.  Bows + Arrows by The Walkmen
4.  A Grand Don't Come For Free by The Streets
5.  Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand
6.  Antics by Interpol
7.  Funeral by Arcade Fire
8.  You Are the Quarry by Morrissey
9.  The King Khan & BBQ Show by The King Khan & BBQ Show
10. Seven Swans by Sufjan Stevens 
11. Phantom Planet by Phantom Planet
12. Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes by TV On the Radio

Top 12 Songs of 2004

1.  "Hiding All Away" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
2.  "The Rat" by The Walkmen
3.  "Evil" by Interpol
4.  "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" by Wilco
5.  "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" by Arcade Fire
6.  "Can't Stand Me Now" by The Libertines
7.  "First of the Gang to Die" by Morrissey
8.  "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" by Desert Sessions
9.  "Got It Made" by The King Khan & BBQ Show
10. "Public Pervert" by Interpol
11. "By the Bed" by Phantom Planet
12. "Girl Anachronism" by Dresden Dolls


Previous 12 and 12 Entries

Thursday, August 28, 2014

12 and 12: The Top 12 Albums/Songs of 2003

A sequel on par with The Godfather Part II or The Empire Strikes Back.  Or even A Very Brady Sequel.

Top 12 Albums of 2003

1.  Room On Fire by The Strokes
2.  Elephant by The White Stripes
3.  Down the River of Golden Dreams by Okkervil River
4.  Hail to the Thief by Radiohead
5.  Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by Outkast
6.  Fever to Tell by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
7.  Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers by The National
8.  Guitar Romantic by The Exploding Hearts
9.  Echoes by The Rapture
10. Her Majesty by The Decemberists
11. Take Them On, On Your Own by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
12. Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins

Top 12 Songs of 2003

1.  "Maps" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2.  "What Ever Happened?" by The Strokes
3.  "The War Criminal Rises and Speaks" by Okkervil River
4.  "There, There" by Radiohead
5.  "Young Liars" by TV On the Radio
6.  "Remember Me" by British Sea Power
7.  "Modern Kicks" by The Exploding Hearts
8.  "You Talk Way Too Much" by The Strokes
9.  "Still In Love Song" by The Stills
10. "Black Math" by The White Stripes
11. "The Way You Move" by Outkast
12. "Crazy Beat" by Blur



Previous 12 and 12 Entries

Friday, May 30, 2014

Playlist of the Week: Groove Directive 5

Sweet.  Beat.  Heat.

Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  His body wants what his body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
     Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  Your body wants what your body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  Her body wants what her body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  The body wants what the body wants.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.
  Beat the heat.  Heat the beat.  Our bodies want what our bodies want.  Beats as remedy.  Repeat.

There are TWO ways to listen to this playlist!  The Spotify version of the playlist is located directly below the track listing. Not a Spotify subscriber?  No problem. Directly below the Spotify playlist, an 8tracks playlist link (requiring no subscription) is also found below.  Just press the 'play' button on the box and rock.  (Works on computers and mobile devices.)

Not a Spotify user?  Click here to listen to this playlist for free on 8tracks. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Playlist of the Week: Airport Commuter 10

The "good land".

The soundtrack to this week's airport adventuring that will take me to both Milwaukee, Minneapolis and back home. This week's playlist features a bunch of new music that will serve as a warm and comforting supplement to the tiny airplane blanket from the overhead compartment.  Listen along with me!  It'll be like YOU are stuffed into the tiny seat next to me instead of the 300 pound "husky" dude who always manages to find me.  Fasten your useless seat belts and let's go see America, eh?

 Not a Spotify user?  Click here to listen for free on 8tracks. (works on smartphones and tablets)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Your Tuesday Morning Random Album Recommendation: "Divisionary" by Ages and Ages

"Do it all the time, do it all the time."

Album: Divisionary

Release Year: 2014

Label: Partisan/PTKF

Genre: Indie, Rock, Pop

For Fans of: Music that makes sharp turns, anthemic vocals, and summer sunshine instrumentals surrounding a darker, more introspective collection of lyrics, Dr. Dog, The Polyphonic Spree, Spiritualized

Perfect For: Summer, contemplation, catharsis

Album Highlights: "No Pressure", "Over It", "Ante Up", "Divisionary (Do the Right Thing)"

To Stream: Spotify