The Joup Friday Album: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers “Damn the Torpedoes”

51a3EG7uUKLThis will be the first time I post something for the Joup Friday Album that I am not intimately familiar with. And yet, Damn the Torpedoes, especially the singles, has surrounded me to greater and lesser degrees for as long as I can remember. Refugee in particular I have memories of as a child; a wee lad of three of four, cuddled up at night with the powder blue AM/FM transistor radio that I always insisted on taking to bed with me. Refugee‘s sound made an impact on me – although obviously molded from what we now think of as traditional rock and roll influences Tom Petty and his band did things a little bit differently and really, in some ways helped guys like Elvis Costello and U2 update the popular rock music charts with elements other than tried-and-true 50’s style rock. Released in 1979, Damn the Torpedoes has obviously influenced a lot of what came immediately after it, so again, it’s always been slightly familiar to me. But intimate? No; Petty’s catalogue was always music I took for granted, was never something I sought out and consumed 100%. That changed recently, and when it did, I found that his late 70’s/early 80’s work still sounded fresh as hell to me, even through the wonderfully nostalgic and very much “of-its-time” 80s recording stamp it wears so well.

The Joup Friday Album: U2 “Pop”

U2___Pop___FrontLadies and Gentlemen, although tagged by Tommy last week I, Shawn C. Baker will not be presenting this week’s Joup Friday album to you. Instead, I am using my turn to introduce the newest member of our rotation, the lovely, the talented Sara Farr!!!

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My relationship with U2 began about the time that “The Joshua Tree” came out. It was the first time that an album seemed to resonate with my life, and I even remember calling the radio station in Fort Wayne, Ind., to request “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” when the boy I had a crush on moved away to a different town without saying goodbye. (In my defense; I was a very emotional 12-year-old living in a very rural Ohio town.)

The Joup Friday Album: Sunn O))) – Monoliths and Dimensions

sunnoI’m going to a wedding tomorrow…so let’s talk about Sunn O))).  When listening to Sunn O))), I get the feeling that I’ve just wandered into something I have no business being privy to, that I’ve just witnessed something never intended for my eyes.  It’s like finding oneself the unexpected audience member of some archaic ritual, a sacrifice to the ancient gods, a blood ceremony of cloaked witches dancing to firelight in a black forest.  This is all very evident in the experimental drone doom metal duo’s 2009 record Monoliths and Dimensions, the band’s seventh studio album.  Whether it be the deep and unsettling spoken word sections of “Aghartha,” the haunting choirs on “Big Church (Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért),” or just the general unease and foreboding created by the heavy and droning guitar effects throughout, the whole album feels like the score to something evil and eternal.

The Joup Friday Album: Slowdive – Pygmalion

slowdiveShoegaze is back!  So let’s talk about a legendary shoegaze act’s least stereotypically shoegazey album, an oddity amongst the band’s catalog, and one that led to them being dropped by their record label.

The Joup Friday Album: Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun

mastodononcemoreroundthesuncdFor almost nine years I have told people in Los Angeles that the fabled LA traffic nightmare everyone considers so dire is actually nothing compared to Chicago traffic. I’ve clung to this statement, scoffing at traffic here in LALA land. For Five of those years it was easy – my daily commute rarely took me on more than about a three mile stint of the 110 Harbor Freeway, all down near its end, where the freeway becomes Gaffey St. Then, in the back half of 2011 I switched jobs and began a three year and counting relationship with the 405 Freeway. Still I clung to the idea that it wasn’t that bad – certainly not as maddening as commuting during rush hour in Chicago. I start work super early in the morning so my morning commute is usually fairly easy, and I get off at 2:30 in the afternoon, so again, for the first two years of this commute I didn’t deal with anything all that bad. Then, about a year ago the commute became noticeably, exponentially worse. 2:30 PM on a Monday or Tuesday usually still isn’t that bad, but Thursday? Friday?

The Joup Friday Album: Roky Erickson and The Aliens – The Evil One

rokyericksonFull disclosure: I am super stoked that I ended up with the Halloween edition of Joup’s Friday Album.  That being said, it was actually kind of difficult to narrow my options down to one solid choice.  I skidded around from Goth metal to dark and creepy drone, from horror scores to silly, Halloween themed surf rock, finally settling on The Evil One, Roky Erickson and The Aliens’ punk and 80’s rock riff on all things monster movie.  This 1981 opus has everything: monsters, demons, zombies, vampires, and the devil himself.  It plays out like a love letter to a midnight B-movie marathon.

The Joup Friday Album: Butthole Surfers – Independent Worm Saloon

buttholesurfersI just knew that I would eventually get around to writing a little bit about Texas’ answer to psych-punk, acid, noise, and mayhem, the oddball and fascinatingly weird Butthole Surfers. It took me a while to decide on an album to focus on, hopping around from the weirdo psych-metal of 1987’s Locust Abortion Technician, to the strange and acoustic psych-rock meandering of 1988’s Hairway to Steven, and finally to the drag race heavy metal thump of 1993’s Independent Worm Saloon, ultimately deciding on the latter due to it being my introduction to the band when I was in junior high school. It also features Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones on the boards, throwing a little credit to my theory that a band’s rhythm section are often the hippest dudes in the group.

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