Tag: Indie Rock

1999, Music

The Beta Band (1999)

Sometimes you encounter something you don’t know at all and it just stuns you with something special about itself. In this case, it’s the irreverence and the extremely healthy disrespect for genres (which I’m a sucker for) of something like the lead-off track, “The Beta Band Rap”, which I just can’t get over. It takes …

1999, Music

Keep It Like a Secret (1999) by Built to Spill

I think I am predisposed to like every Built to Spill record. There’s something about a good guitar solo or jam that goes straight to my heart. Martsch is such a compelling player that he long ago overcame whatever aversion I would have to his voice, a voice which is not the kind I normally …

1988, Music

American Water (1998) by Silver Jews

Pavement were such a big deal – or seemed like they were such a big deal – that I think it’s really easy to understand why they inevitably come up with this band, even though, according to some sources, this band existed prior to Pavement, and certainly in some iteration or other. But even if …

1998, Music

How It Feels to Be Something On (1998) by Sunny Day Real Estate

Apparently these guys were one of the original Midwest Emo bands. I did not know that; really I knew nothing at all about them before listening to this record.

1998, Music

Electro-Shock Blues (1998) by Eels

I had long heard of Eels but was actually completely unaware I had heard him, as I had never made the connection between “Last Stop: This Town,” which I vaguely remember from High School, and Eels the band name. So all this time I thought Eels was something else but I had actually heard what …

1998, Music

Something About Airplanes (1998) by Death Cab for Cutie

Much of what the world knows as “alternative” is actually post grunge, a subgenre of alternative if we’ve being generous, that has a little in common with alternative and a lot more in common with mainstream rock music. Much of what people now seem to dislike about alternative rock music and its brief dominance of …

1993, Music

Perfect Teeth (1993) by Unrest

Imagine if Television were really an indie pop band with an occasional female lead singer and maybe you get some idea of what Unrest sound like on this record. Not really, actually, as that’s a pretty poor comparison for many of the songs here, but it’s the best I can do at the moment.

1993, Music

Exile in Guyville (1993) by Liz Phair

Many years ago, after hearing way too many times that Exile in Guyville is a song-by-song response to Exile on Main St. I listened to this right around the time I was obsessed with that Stones album. I listened to this once, didn’t hear a song-by-song response, and decided it was one of the most …

1993, Music

Today’s Active Lifestyles (1993) by Polvo

Imagine if Sonic Youth played Pavement-style indie rock (albeit longer songs), but more of a post-hardcore version of Pavement without their idiosyncrasies, you may get some vague idea of what Polvo sounds like. RYM lists them as a Math Rock band and frankly that mystifies me, even in the context of the early 1990s, but …

1988, Music

Viva Hate (1988) by Morrissey

One of my reasons for my antipathy towards Morrissey (and the Smiths) is the music, and I must say the music here is much artier and weirder than I was expecting. (I think we can thank Vini Reilly for that. He’s a musically interesting guy in ways that Street and Morrissey normally are not.)

1993, Music

Fuzzy (1993) by Grant Lee Buffalo

I decided to talk about this record, rather than any number of other records from 1988 and 1993, in part because Michael Stipe once claimed it was the best album of 1993. Now, I don’t necessarily share musical states with the lead singer of REM, but I do feel like he had an important role, …

1993, Music

On the Mouth (1993) by Superchunk

By reputation, I always thought No Pocky for Kitty was the Superchunk album to listen to. Then I listened to it and, though I appreciated why people like it, I didn’t love. I see the RYM rating is higher for this one. I think I know why. I mean, maybe I know why.

2018, Music

Black Inscription (2018) by Rabbit Rabbit

One of the things I love about this band is that I never know what their next record is going to sound like. They normally release one track a month but I always wait until the full album comes out, making the whole thing more of a surprise.

1997, Music

When I Was Born for the 7th Time (1997) by Cornershop

I really appreciate the genre-bending of this record. Even though mixing Indian music with western popular music was a thing a full thirty years before this record came out, it feels like that part of psychedelia was the least popular (or accessible) to all the bands that were influenced by the genre. For the most …

1992, Music

Down Colorful Hill (1992) by Red House Painters

I do not know the history of slowcore, as I am only familiar with a few bands (5 or so tops) that would be considered slowcore and who existed in 1992. So I find myself unable to assess whether or not this is an important record in the development of the genre, given that lack …

1987, Music

Strangeways, Here We Come

To say I dislike The Smiths would be an understatement. I don’t hate them so much as I hate the aura around them and this idea that they somehow saved British music from itself (and synthesizers! don’t forget the synthesizers), almost like a younger, hipper Bruce Springsteen (because Springsteen saved rock music from disco, don’t …

2017, Music

The 2017 Wolfe Island Music Festival

After a year’s hiatus, the Wolfe Island Music Festival returned and I resumed my annual pilgrimage to the one and only music festival I go to. I think that, with one major exception, there was a general feeling among our group that this edition was better than the 2015 edition.

1997, 2017

OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 – 2017 by Radiohead

I don’t normally review reissue editions of albums, whether or not I like them. And I wouldn’t review this either only I am going to record a podcast episode about OK Computer shortly and I was advised to listen to the rarities disk. So here goes…

1991, Music

Sebadoh III (1991)

Without having heard the two previous Sebadoh albums, and not being familiar enough with the evolution of home recording releases in the 1980s, I still feel confident in saying that I think this album is a pretty big deal; its influence on 1990s indie rock, indie folk and the lo-fi/bedroom recording movement in general is …