The Joup Friday Album: Emerald Web – Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales

emeraldwebThe first sound we hear on experimental New Age duo Emerald Web’s 1979 album, Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales, is a whimsical flute floating in the breeze, like some errant minstrel passing by in the forest, inadvertently heralding the arrival of something far grander than he.  It sets the stage wonderfully.

The Joup Friday Album: Jean-Claude Vannier – L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches

jeanclaudevannierHey guys, it’s scary out there.  And it’s only getting scarier.  So, why not get lost in an oddball record of orchestral pop?

After providing the arrangements on Serge Gainsbourg’s legendary 1971 album Histoire de Melody Nelson, French composer Jean-Claude Vannier followed up that landmark with a record of psych-tinged soundscapes that were like nothing else out there.  Ignored and lost to time upon its initial release, years later the record became rumor to salivating collectors in the know, a legend, a ghost, something entirely too amazing to actually exist.

The Joup Friday Album: The Parasites of The Western World

parasitesA common descriptor that’s often used for music that’s different, or strange, or complex, or lost and forgotten is that it’s ahead of its time, artists creating songs that are so far in front of the game that it’s like they shouldn’t even exist just yet.  And that’s a nice sentiment I suppose.  There’s certainly a touch of endearment in those words, an implication that the art was just so visionary and amazing, that the world simply wasn’t ready for it yet.  But the other implication, and the one that is much more easily measurable, is that it just didn’t sell.  It didn’t make the artists that created it any money, which in turn usually led to shorter careers, smaller outputs, and quainter discographies, these inspired audio tomes lost to time only to end up in some jackass’s record collection and to be written about on some website’s music column.

Endless Loop: Surf Solar

fuckbuttonsHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Surf Solar” by Fuck Buttons

Endless Loop: Snookered

dandeaconHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Snookered” by Dan Deacon

The Joup Friday Album: Radiohead ‘Kid A’

 

kidaI’m not here, this isn’t happening.

For lyrics like this to be presented on a record such as Kid A is kismet. Kid A by Radiohead was created at a time when the band was facing deep pressures. With all of the album of the year and modern classic accolades that the band received with their 1997 classic Ok Computer it’s understandable why the thought of how a follow up to a record that important could be a daunting task. Somehow along the way though, amid all of the stress and tension within the band, a near perfect piece of art emerged in a way most great thing in life do, completely by accident.

The Joup Friday Album: The Walker Brothers – Nite Flights

walkerbrosThere was this moment that played out years ago, sometime in the early 2000’s, when I was in a record store, sifting through CD’s and LP’s, letting my mind wander and breathe, when over the store’s PA system came a revelation. To be fair, this moment has happened several times over my life, some record store somewhere playing some song that gets stuck in my ears, head, and soul, and demands that I procure a copy of it right then and there. I’m that sucker from that scene in High Fidelity where the clerks make a bet as to how fast they can move a copy of The Beta Band’s The Three EP’s album by playing “Dry the Rain” in the store. I’m that guy who perks up and starts nodding his head, glancing around the room for evidence as to what is being listened to. You have me trapped. I am in your control. You play something wonderful, and I’m probably going to buy it from you…right then and there. Over the years I’ve been turned on to everything from Stephin Merritt’s Future Bible Heroes project to Richard Youngs and Simon Wickham-Smith’s weirdo experimental album Pulse of The Rooster, indie rock from The Dears to old psych classics like Skip Spence’s Oar. I am seriously in sonic debt to you people, but the high water mark will always be the pure and beautiful sounds of Scott Walker (Engel) and The Walker Brothers.

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