The Joup Friday Album: Julee Cruise – Floating into the Night

Floating into the NightIf there’s an album title more evocative of Twin Peaks – I mean other than the soundtracks that bear the town’s name – I’ve not found it. Especially I feel a strong thread between this album and the second half of the original pilot episode of the show, where half of the teenage cast runs around in the night with various secretive agendas, starting fights, burying secrets and forgetting to put air in their sister’s bicycle tires. I was a teenager myself when I saw that and first experienced Cruise’s music through David Lynch’s lens, and it shaped me in a way that a lot of the times I’m out in the night with a debaucherous agenda at hand -with admittedly is not very often anymore – echoes of this album provide my interior soundtrack.

Joup Confessions… Alan Parson’s Eye in the Sky

Alan ParsonsI love Alan Parsons Project’s Eye in the Sky. I mean, really truly love it. Not in the way I love Sticky Fingers, or the second side of Down on the Upside, or the new Afghan Whigs record, but I love it nonetheless. It’s not something I can listen to often – probably because it sometimes induces narcoleptic seizures in me, many of which are followed by or experienced alongside dry mouth, diarrhea, really brutal rashes that resemble K.D. Lang profile. Sometimes these rashes occur on my stomach and then I scratch them and my abdomen bleeds and the friction from that can sometimes – TMI I know – cause prolonged erections, fits of rage or thoughts of suicide (it’s kinda nice when those three all occur at once because it feels like the description I once heard a homeless man give of a party he attended in 1985 at George the Animal Steele’s house, a party where there were people dressed in and snorting copious amounts of denim, staples, vanilla extract, Monster energy drink, Gordon’s fish sticks, and raw, smashed unsalted peanuts. Smashed like with a ball peen hammer.

The Joup Friday Album: DJ Shadow – Endtroducing

endtroducingIt’s Friday night and my weekend has begun in the way I love most – I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop working on a new short story waiting for my baby to get off work. The story was having a little trouble flowing and that’s when I remembered that I recently put the legendary Endtroducing by DJ Shadow back on my iPod. If there’s one thing I learned about this record when my good friend Keller introduced me to it back in 2011 – yeah, I was late to this party for sure – it’s that Endtroducing is a powerful catalyst for the isolation and introspection of creative writing. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me. Full Disclosure: the version I have is one I purposely left the interstitial dialogue tracks off of in order to keep the otherwise mostly instrumental flow, so when you cue this up and hit play you’ll be hearing a slightly different version than me, but that doesn’t matter. The thing’s a classic and I only resorted to the blasphemy of altering it to ensure it keeps me where I use it to go.

The Joup Friday Album: JSBX – Now I Got Worry

jsbx worryThis band! This album!

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s 1996 Now I Got Worry takes me back. I mean, it really takes me back. Back to a time that seems like it was in a galaxy long ago and far, far away, where the world was a decidedly different place. Maybe that’s why I have trouble going back to an album like this on a regular basis regardless of how much it kicks; nostalgia is a relative phenomenon, relative to the experiencer, and the older you get the more it plays a funny game with time. The world early-20’s Shawn experienced in the mid 90’s was relatively different from the world that existed twenty years before that, so much so that at the time the late 60’s/early 70’s seemed archaic in many ways. However, jump up another twenty or so years and you land here in the NOW and guess what? Relative perspective – perceived through me as the aforementioned experiencer of course – shows that 1996 really wasn’t that different from 1976 or even 1966, because 2016/17 is exponentially different than that starting point in our time line.

The Joup Friday Album – The National: The Boxer

The BoxerSo this is going to be new, because we’re going to get to know this one together. I became a fan – and I mean a rabid, rabid fan of The National via a burned copy of High Violet that a former co-worker slipped me back around the time it came out in May of 2010. I sat on the record for a few years because at the time I was inundated with new music and what I can now admit was a completely erroneous idea that The National’s music was what I call “beard and wine music” (think Bon Iver – who knows, I may one day find I’m wrong about him too). So around 2014 Bret Easton Ellis had the band’s lead singer Matt Berninger one his podcast. I was unfamiliar with the guest by name, and as the cast began with the opening of High Violet’s Conversation 16 my eyes went wide – it sounded exactly like Ellis’s prose – which I am an enormous fan of – reads: haunted. I listened to the conversation Ellis and Berninger shared, which dwelled largely on Mistaken For Strangers, and afterward sought out the song on youtube. When I did I realized it was from the album I had on file and immediately dug it out of one of the stacks of burned discs that live in a cupboard in my dining room.

4tlocamy

For The Love Of Comics – 2017: The Year of the Bastard

sb_coverI’ll be damned if Southern Bastards didn’t just one-up itself AGAIN!

Shawn’s Favorite Albums of 2016

david-bowieWhat a year, eh? While 2016 was easily the most devastating year I’ve seen in my 40 on this planet. To kick things off David Bowie died before the damn News Years clock had hardly even stopped ringing. Follow that with Prince, Richard Lyons, Sharon Jones, Phife, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard and just before the closing bell, George Michael. That’s not even all of them, but it’s more than enough to illustrate that the Universe had A LOT to make up for. Ying and Yang, right? You cut down a tree, you plant one in return. Well, I don’t know if the scales balanced, but I certainly found a ton of great new music this year. A heaping helping of it it is published by the wonderful Felte Records, so you may want to bookmark their website and keep an eye on them. Also, my two main gatekeepers/curators at this point are Heaven is an Incubator and Part Time Punks, two more great tools for finding amazing new sounds to make your ears happy.

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