The Joup Friday Album: The Paper Chase – God Bless Your Black Heart

paperchase“Good things die all the time.”

Dark and ugly times call for dark and ugly music.

And I’m trying to remember maybe where we were at collectively in 2004 when John Congleton and The Paper Chase released their third full length album God Bless Your Black Heart.  What was the backdrop?  What was in the ether?  Or for that matter, what was in the hearts and minds of the band members who created it at that moment?  On the surface, the record is a scorching, screeching, often disharmonic concept album that seems to be about the end of a relationship, filled with all of the bitterness and resentment that that would entail, each discordant note echoing the declarations of pain and hate.

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.

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