Tag: Alternative

1985, Music

Flip Your Wig (1985) by Hüsker Dü

Time can really change perception, especially when it comes to cultural artifacts. I have read online abbout how this is one of Hüsker’s great albums, perhaps even their best. But I don’t hear it. I don’t know if that’s because I haven’t sat down and listened to New Day Rising recently or whether it’s because …

1995, Music

Garbage (1995)

As I have said way too many times, I do not like post grunge. Usually, post grunge takes something I like and basically ruins it. However, Garbage avoid many of the most irritating aspects of post grunge, if you can even classify Garbage as post grunge. (In fact, that false categorization may explain why I …

1995, Music

Ben Folds Five (1995)

At some point during the last 30 or so years before this album’s release, the piano stopped being a rock instrument. That’s particularly weird given its primary in the creation of rock and roll, as it was piano and saxophone, before electric guitar, that helped create what became rock and roll (in part because they …

1990, Music

Facelift (1990) by Alice In Chains

Alice in Chains are, to me, the least immediately appealing of the big Seattle grunge bands. I think that’s because they have the least catchy songs – though Cantrell is a good songwriter he is not necessarily a writer of particularly catchy songs. Though I do wonder how much of my experience of this band …

1985, Music

The Head on the Door (1985) by The Cure

My general appreciation of The Cure keeps running into problems. The problem is that I had their singles collections for years and listened to them fairly regularly but didn’t get around to their albums until recently. And now I listen to them haphazardly: one from the early ’80s here, one from the mid ’80s there, …

2000, Music

Parachutes (2000) by Coldplay

Imagine early Radiohead with none of the energy or edge (i.e. none of the alternative/grunge influences) and none of the aritness or idiosyncrasy, and imagine them playing mostly ballads (and the up-tempo songs are so soft they sound like ballads) and I guess you get some idea of what Coldplay sound like on their first …

1995, Music

Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home (1995) by The Geraldine Fibbers

YES Where has this band been all my life? I read about them ages ago and I just took my sweet time getting to them. And for that, I’m sorry.

1995, Music

…And the Circus Leaves Town (1995) by Kyuss

I really like this band and I really like this sound. In fact, you might say I’m a sucker for bands who play music like this, no matter when. (I remember getting excited about Black Mountain even though they were not doing anything new.) But this is probably the weakest Kyuss album I’ve heard for …

1990, Music

Goo (1990) by Sonic Youth

Sometime between their earliest albums and Daydream Nation Sonic Youth learned how to write melodies and, as importantly, learned how to swing. (Obviously this happened gradually.) And that development is perhaps nowhere more apparent than on Goo, their most accessible album to date.Sure, calling a Sonic Youth album ‘accessible’ is a relative thing, but it’s …

1985, Music

Fear and Whiskey (1985) by Mekons

This record is credited by many as the birth of alt country. (Funnily enough, a record by an American band released exactly five years later is also credited as the birth of alt country…) I’m not sure that’s true for more than a few reasons, but it’s still a remarkably unique post punk record, especially …

1990, Music

The Good Son (1990) by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

I love Tender Prey. For me, it’s the culmination of the Seeds through their first era, a powerful combination of punk-influenced music and songwriting well beyond the quality of most punk albums.

1990, Music

Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches (1990) by Happy Mondays

I’ve listened to a few madchester/baggy albums at this point and it’s safe to say that I just don’t get the genre. Now, I get very few dance-rock hybrids outside of Talking Heads’ version of that kind of thing, but this one I find particularly perplexing.

1985, Music

Up on the Sun (1985) by Meat Puppets

The more that I listen to the Meat Puppets the more it feels like they are one of the foundational bands of American alternative rock, setting the template for what was acceptable. When I was young and first encountering alternative, it felt like the diversity was baked in but original. The more I listen to …

1985, Music

Meat is Murder (1985) by The Smiths

One of two things is happening: either I am slowly – slowly – getting so inured to The Smiths that I no longer hate their guts – or I have listened to enough of the British music of the 1980s to finally understand why people thought they were such a big deal. I still don’t …

1995, Music

The Great Annihilator (1995) by Swans

I am still far from a Swans expert – though I have seen them in concert! – but I feel compelled to echo the comments of others about how this record feels either like “more accessible Swans” or some kind of hybrid of their ’80s sound with a more traditional approach to songwriting (at least …

1995, Music

The Rapture (1995) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

This is my first ’90s Banshees album and I must say I was a little reticent to give it a listen, for two reasons. For one thing, though I feel like their ’80s records have dated rather well for ’80s music, I must say I was worried that this record would sound pretty damn ’80s. …

1990, Music

Flood (1990) by They Might Be Giants

I was pretty overwhelmed by Lincoln and not necessarily in a good way. I had heard so much about the band but didn’t really know anything. On Lincoln they came across to me as a sort of poor mans’ Camper Van Beethoven, which probably not fair for many reasons. But I feel very differently about …

1990, Music

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (1990) by The Sundays

Why do I know The Sundays’ biggest hit? I was 8 when it came out and absolutely not listening to contemporary radio. My only guess is that the video got played a lot on Canada’s music video channel when I was older. Because I’ve definitely heard this song, and I can’t come up with any …

1999, Music

Midnite Vultures (1999) by Beck

I really like Beck. You might say I love Beck, or at least Beck’s mainstream records from ’90s and early ’00s. (I have slowly become less of a fan, over the years.) And I’d like to think I also really enjoy listening to musicians I enjoy having a great time, though I don’t know if …

Uncategorized

There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999) by Foo Fighters

I have written on many occasions that post-grunge is one of the few genres I hate as a whole genre, which is nothing I normally do. (I generally believe there are no “bad genres” but there are a few ’90s genres which make me want to reconsider that.) The Foo Fighters are more “rock” than …

1989, Music

Boomerang (1989) by The Creatures

Does the idea of a Siouxsie and the Banshees album with the music made up of almost entirely percussion sound appealing to you? Well, that’s probably the easiest way of explaining this Creatures record to someone who isn’t familiar with it (as I wasn’t). It’s got a similar vibe to their parent band except the …