The Joup Friday Album: The Smiths – The Queen is Dead

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We come to the final member of the Holy Trinity, The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead, which along with The Cure’s The Head on the Door and New Order’s Brotherhood, were the three albums I was given for Christmas when I was 13 that went on to influence my musical taste for the rest of my life. The Queen is Dead probably got the least play out of the three back then, but has proven to have the most staying power despite my ever-growing weariness with Morrissey and his… Morrisseyness. The simple truth is that I love the Smiths despite Morrissey, not because of him. Johnny Marr has been my lifelong guitar god and if I have to listen to an obnoxious narcissist bloviate over the top of him, it’s worth it to get those sweetass riffs and jangles.

The Joup Friday Album – Kasabian: For Crying Out Loud

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Music fandom is so much different in the 21st century than it was just 25 years ago. When I fell in love with a band as a teenager, I scoured magazine racks for the tiniest mention of them. Liner notes included addresses where I could write bands (no doubt cringe-worthy) letters telling them how much I liked them, and in return I’d get at least a sticker or newsletter back, and on some rapturous occasions, an actual letter back from a band member! Today, everything is online – you can learn everything you want to know about a band with a quick google search and the most you can hope for by way of interaction is a tweet.

The Joup Friday Album: Sparks “No. 1 in Heaven”

No1Cult legends never die; this is something that can absolutely be said in the case of Ron and Russel Mael, or as you know them (or don’t know them) Sparks. The Los Angeles based duo have been carving out a huge musical identity for themselves since 1968. It can be a daunting task getting into a band with a career as long as this and a discography that spans 23 studio records – including last years beyond stellar and underrated FFS collaboration record with Scottish Nu-wave revivalists Franz Ferdinand (which led to my exposure to Sparks). But Sparks pays off in huge dividends, and a great entry point is this record right here: 1979’s No.1 In Heaven.

The Joup Friday Album: Tame Impala – Currents

tameimpalaLevitation was cancelled due to weather.  I’m a sad panda.  Here’s your Friday album.

This week, rather than pick some album from my youth that has been instrumental to me as a person, or some culturally significant all-timer that deserves your infinite spins, I’m going with a more recent offering that’s just way too much fun to not listen to today.  And while someday, Australian rock band Tame Impala’s third album Currents may become a certifiable classic or pop cultural milestone (it’s certainly good enough), for now we’ll just call it a ridiculously good pop record that blends psych rock, dreampop, and slinky disco synth-pop in a way that recalls the best 80’s albums that were never actually made.  It’s retro chic, but in a timeless way, and I’ve been grooving steadily to it since last summer.

The Joup Friday Album: Jay Reatard – Singles 06-07

jayreatardHonestly, I’ve always wished that I could have made (and still make) my living playing music.  To be in a band.  To be a musician, on the road, in the studio, on stage or in the corner in clubs and bars and dives across the world.   Or, just as a session guy or recording artist, a local residency to play to a roomful of folks every weekend.  I was in a band for a few years.  We played some shows and recorded an album.  I suppose it could have happened.  But it didn’t.  And now I’m left with some fond, if fading memories, and some halfcocked daydreams that surface when I’m bored…OR when I hear certain songs or albums or artists.  And so, we have the wonderful, all-too-short career of Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., better known to you and me as punk and garage rock troubadour Jay Reatard.

The Joup Friday Album/ The Avalanches: Since I Left You

An aquatic scene depicts three rubber rafts with about ten people in each. The water has white crested waves. The left raft is separated from the leading two by a chest high wave. A person stands in the right raft and is facing back to the last one with an arm raised. The band's name is written in white letters near the bottom with the album's title below it; both use the same block capital script.    One of the most joyous records of all time? I’m hard pressed to say I’ve heard a record that inspires as much joy in a listener as The Avalanches first and only record Since I Left You. Sounding all at once retro and like the future, this record is the musical equivalent of one’s proverbial happy place. For those of who have never heard of The Avalanches they are a group based out of Australia spearheaded by producers Robbie Chater and Darren Seltmann. Stylistically they can be categorized as electronic music, dance pop or more specifically plunderphonics, a sub genre in electronic music that relies heavily on the use of samples for its source material.

The Joup Friday Album: “Ace of Spades” — Motorhead

motorhead_ace_of_spades_by_wedopix-d39sqkp“I’m more into the slot machines, actually … but you can’t really sing about spinning fruit.”

When Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister died on Dec. 28, the world lost one of its most unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll heroes. Lemmy wasn’t exactly a role model, but he was a constant, dependable presence in hard rock. The world might be going to hell in a handbasket, but at least Lemmy was always there to give it a good soundtrack.

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