The Joup Friday Album: The Jesus Lizard – Blue

TJL_BlueIn 1998, I was working in Ohio at the Dayton Daily News as a page designer and copy editor. I was also just starting to dabble in music writing and criticism, thanks to the encouragement of the features editor there. His office was always full of promotional releases and cool freebies — this was in the music industry’s last Golden Age, so it was almost as though every day was an episode of “Storage Wars” based on the bounty you could find in one small office. He would invite me in and allow me to pick through the hundreds of CDs that would arrive each week, and I would select a few to review for what now seems like an obscenely large weekly entertainment guide, considering a lot of mid-range markets produce only an A- and B- news section these days. Ah, the ’90s.

The Joup Friday Album: SHELLAC ‘1,000 Hurts’

There are so many things to consider when the occasion calls for you to pluck an album out of your (re)collection, or hard drive and hold it up as representative of yourself and assure others it’ll be worthy of up to three quarters of an hour of their time. The scope for selection is so wide, I have to blinker this decision with some relevance either to previous posts, the fact that it’s a Friday, or maybe it just has to have an opening track that has you ensnared from the get go. This album has as memorable an opener as any.

Having Your Cake and Hating It: Nirvana ‘In Utero’ 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Unit Shifter

nirvanaA shotgun hole is so absolute. The vacuum a suicide leaves behind so engulfing, it’s the epitome of ambivalence in its dichotomy of grief and resentment. A disavowal. A denial. The crepuscular introduction of ‘Heart Shaped Box’ heralded summer’s decay on August 30th 1993, through the pregnant fluff-bubble of a cassette tape piped down wires that ran through the cobwebs, pipes, atrophying plaster and laths of the cellar ceiling, up into the kitchen speakers after school as the clouds bruised with the impending deluge. ‘In Utero’ would accompany me on a walkman through the rigor mortis of autumn, to the decidedly funerary flavour of ‘Unplugged in New York’, the snowy satellite TV-taped VHS of which us siblings watched on the bright, crisp, February 1994 morning we interned my mother in the furnace after cancer had turned her black.

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