The Joup Friday Album: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

rolling-blackouts

Radio is my preferred method for listening to music. I love not knowing what song is coming next. An iPod on shuffle is not enough – I know everything I put on there. Streaming services try to figure me out, but make too many near-misses and end up throwing too many repeats at me to satisfy my need for musical surprises. In my teens, Chicago’s WXRT was in a golden age and kept me happy most of the time. In my twenties, an internet station called Desperate Radio was programmed by a man from Washington DC whose musical taste matched mine perfectly. In my thirties, British music paper NME hosted an internet station on their website that fulfilled my needs. And now, I end up flipping between a handful of satellite stations in my car.

The Joup Friday Album: Broadcast- Tender Buttons

Broadcast Tender ButtonsVastly underappreciated in their creative heyday, and still an untouched gem for many, Broadcast were a dire part of indie lore. The group formed in England in the mid 90’s and consisted of vocalist Trish Keenan and multi-instrumentalist James Cargill. They put out five records over the course of their career, which was cut short when Keenan tragically passed at 42 in 2011. The albums they left behind though were nothing short of hypnotic and bewildering; stylistically bringing their own flavor to indie electronic and dream pop with a slight shoegaze tinge. Their sound earned them many comparisons to the group Stereolab, but I personally always connected with Broadcast more. Their ability to add a level of warmth and sensuality to this genre always resonated with me, and there’s no better example of them doing this at their best than on 2005’s Tender Buttons.

The Joup Friday Album: White Lung – White Lung

maxresdefaultI have a new director who, in three films, has planted himself in my favorites category. Richard Bates, Jr. Man! This guy’s films are fantastic – funny, uncomfortable, disturbing and sometimes horrific, Mr. Bates really knocks it out of the park with Suburban Gothic and Trash Fire, the two films I had seen previously (the former is on Prime, the latter Netflix). Then, a couple of nights ago I got around to the film of his I’d been saving since I discovered it on Shudder: Excision.

The Joup Friday Album: Johnny Marr – Call the Comet

Johnny_Marr_-_Call_the_Comet

As someone who always wanted to be able to play guitar well but never had the self-discipline to learn more than a handful of chords, I have always been in awe of my chosen guitar gods. My big three are the Cult’s Billy Duffy, John Squire from the Stone Roses, and Johnny Marr. Marr has spent the last 30 years standing around waifishly with a “Will strum for food” sign. Dozens of artists took him up on it, from alternative icons like Bryan Ferry, the Talking Heads, and The The, to bands whose profile he raised by signing on (Modest Mouse, the Cribs). Over the last five years he finally embarked on a solo career, releasing three albums under his own name, including the recently released Call the Comet. Oh, and he was also in the Smiths.

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: Burzum – Filosofem

Burzum - FilosfemWell, Grez recently got in over his head in a high stakes poker game in Vegas and right now, none of us know where he is, so the powers that be asked if I would be so kind as to fill in for him on the Joup Friday Album this week. As a goat busy spreading the word of his Master, I’m a bit booked up, but luckily I found an open slot in my morning schedule and figured I’d turn in a quickie. So, to open up your weekend in a dark and foreboding sort’a way, I give you – Filosofem, by Burzum.

The Joup Friday Album: PIL – Public Image: First Issue

Public Image, LTDWhat do you get when you remove the one member of the Sex Pistols that didn’t buy into the hype? You get the death of the band, whether or not Jonesy, Cook and Mclauren knew it or not. Ronnie Biggs? Come on…

Meanwhile, Mr. Lydon found himself some interesting people to work with when starting his subsequent project, the aptly titled Public Image, Ltd. Jah Wobble is one of the legendary musicians that not only helped catalyze what has colloquially become known as “Post Punk”, but also inspired the first outcroppings of Industrial music, specifically the Chicago sound (a personal modern favorite of Wobble’s that sets him in with some of the Chicago folks he influenced is the criminally short-lived band The Damage Manual). Then there’s Keith Levine and Jim Walker, both of whom I know far less about but turn in fantastic performances on this record.

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