The Joup Friday Album: The Cure – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

The_Cure-Kiss_Me,_Kiss_Me,_Kiss_Me_(2006)-FrontalSadness is, I have long maintained, very similar to a drug. A nasty, hurtful and yet still strangely alluring drug, whose effects both damage and enthrall. And there is a way to enjoy sadness. Yes, I know that makes me sound Goth and I suppose although I’ve never felt the need to dress according to the parameters of any particular social group, there is indeed a large component of the ‘Goth’ ethos in this thing I call Shawn. That said the uniform is weak; adhering to the jurisdictional lines of social strata isn’t what defines our tastes, it’s the feeling that inspires those conventions. And The Cure – although they once pioneered the ‘look’ and in current times pretty much lampoon the same – are all about those feelings. And while previously I have always enjoyed 1987’s Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me I never quite thought of it as one of their ‘sad’ albums, probably because my experiences with it have always felt a bit more anthological than conceptual to me, in the way it seemingly swings from joy to sadness to sexy to frightening. This uneven tone in both theme and composition render the record a slightly less solid emotional statement than other Cure records, Disintegration and Pornography for example. That said, two nights ago I discovered this record’s true majestic statement on sadness and, pardon the vulgarity, it fucking fucked me up.

The Joup Friday Album: T. Rex – Electric Warrior

trexOne of these days, I’m going to walk into a smoky, dimly lit room, an assorted crew of characters therein talking amongst themselves, sipping their cocktails or beers, and staring at walls or into space. And the light will shine behind me as I open the door, heads looking up and peering from around the room. And, as if on cue, T. Rex’s “Monolith” will begin playing, and I’ll smile and enter.

The Joup Friday Album: Gogol Bordello’s Super Taranta

Gogol_Bordello_Super_TarantaA friend once told me that throughout your life, you become about five different people. We change. That’s just the way it is.

In my early twenties (surprise, surprise), I was completely lost. I searched. I prayed. I hoped that I’d figure out my place in the universe before the universe could eat me alive. I clung onto anything shiny and new that offered temporary relief from all of this emptiness, shunning away people that I felt were “problematic” to my new plan. The only result in all of this was guilt. I didn’t feel like I fit into a mold that existed long before myself. In a last-ditch effort, I moved back home to try and reset things.

The Joup Friday Album: The Minibosses – Brass

minibossesSince I began writing my Endless Loop column, I have toyed with the idea of including old video game soundtrack music as part of the grand oeuvre of songs I never get tired of. Or, more succinctly, I have toyed with the idea of including the 8-bit music from Mega Man II, the late 80’s video game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, and consequently, my favorite game of all time. And yes, I realize that that dates me, but seeing as I’m old enough to have fond memories of Atari too, what does it really matter? I am by no means a gamer, but I certainly can appreciate the music that goes into these things, especially those quaint, nostalgia inducing 8-bit tones.

The Joup Friday Album: Nikki Lane – All or Nothin’

NikkiLane-AllOrNothin-ADAMost reviews of Nikki Lane’s second album, All or Nothin’, released in 2014, say one of two things — they either concentrate on the album’s producer — Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys — or they talk a lot about how Lane is a rougher, less polished brand of country music, comparing her to Dusty Springfield, Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson or Tammy Wynette. While Auerbach certainly had something to do with the sound of the record, and Lane cites Jackson as an influence on her Facebook site, saying both of those things really shortchanges the star of the record, which is Lane herself. As a songwriter and singer, she puts forth an honest record, an expression of where she was at and what she was thinking at the time it was recorded.

The Joup Friday Album: The Phantom of the Paradise OST

phantomofparadiseTwo years before he tackled Carrie in 1976 to open himself up to a much wider audience, Brian De Palma made the absolutely bonkers musical/rock opera/horror schlock film The Phantom of the Paradise. The movie is a take on The Phantom of the Opera and Faust, but taking place within the music industry. William Finley plays the wide-eyed Winslow Leach, an aspiring music composer and singer whose songs catch the eyes and ears of satanic record producer and club promoter Swan, played wonderfully and devilishly (pun absolutely intended) by Paul Williams. From there, we have love, betrayal, murder, mutilation, a deal with the devil, and a string of grand, rock and roll music numbers.

The Joup Friday Album: Oliver Nelson – The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Oliver nelsonAround the time of the late Aughts, the idea of “authenticity” had permeated indie rock so thoroughly that individual band members’ biographies and “previously in” credits nearly eclipsed whatever new project they happened to be involved in. It seemed as though every new release came with a sticker that read, “Featuring former members of such-and-such.” No one seemed interested in moving forward so much as holding on to the last remnants of a perceived heyday that realistically never existed. Indie rock was not a commercial, mainstream movement in popular music, despite the importance it had in the minds and lives of Gen Xers.