Okay, this is dumb and self-indulgent, and it’s not even really a top-n list of ANYTHING, I guess technically it’s a list of “albums I have listened to at Carnegie Mellon that I really like” or some sort of desert-island itunes library… but take it for what you will, I liked making this list, and it serves a couple of honest purposes:
- for my own memory
- maybe you haven’t heard these albums, and would like to check them out
- I sure do like making lists.
I put CDs on here if they had a big product of quality * how much I like them * the memories they bring back.
Without further ado, #88.3 to #51, and I’ll limit myself to one sentence each, tops:
88.3. The Shins- Chutes Too Narrow- I didn’t want to put the Shins on here at all because they’re so blah, but at one time I did really like “Kissing the Lipless” and “Saint Simon” and maybe I still do.
88. The Field- From Here We Go Sublime- Maybe the techno-iest of my techno indulgences, this minimalist repetitive disc is at once relaxing, trance-inducing, and dancey.
87. Prefuse 73- One Word Extinguisher- Somehow all the glitches and the rapping and the rhythms all come together in some jangly mess.
86. Mylo- Destroy Rock and Roll- WRCT rec from Danny Orenstein, I think, this is a little cutesy and a lot infectious dance pop music.
85. Steve Goldberg- Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies- more for the memories, thanks to Will recording/mixing this disc, but it’s still good if not excellent pop, and from a CMU student!
84. Bat for Lashes- Fur and Gold- Sometimes I love beautiful icy female voices over dark, brooding, backgrounds (see: Portishead), but I can’t fall in love with the whole disc because it’s a little slow.
83. Tom Vek- We Have Sound- “A Little Word In Your Ear” sounds classic already, also memories of German class with Prof. Hallstein for some reason.
82. Voxtrot- Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Wives- if this were a full-length of the same quality, it’d be much higher.
81. The Rapture- Pieces of the People We Love- somehow rises above most of the British-sounding dance-punk bands, and I could listen to the opening four bars of “get myself into it” on repeat for literally minutes.
80. Beck- Guero- Hasn’t aged as well as other Beck albums, but this second dose of Odelay hit me at the right time and struck a chord, if you will.
79. The New Pornographers- Electric Version- I still think, if these guys made just one album of their best songs instead of like four okay power-pop albums, it might ascend, body, soul, and liner notes, into heaven.
78. The National- Alligator- Thank god somebody is singing a pop/rock CD with a powerful bass voice, plus these guys rock and I kinda wish I put them higher.
77. The Prodigy- Their Law: the Singles 1990-2005- now THIS is energizing, and it makes me wish I got into them in the 90’s instead of just hearing and ignoring “Firestarter.”
76. The Flaming Lips- Zaireeka- I’ve listened to it once, and it was last Friday, but it’s a cool experiment, and props to them for making a CD that forces you to get people together and have an event.
75. BOAT- Songs That You Might Not Like- Unnoticed by others and overrated by me, this sloppy pop CD still brings me back to Florida and airports.
74. The Beta Band- The Three E.P.’s- Hey, can we all get all excited over “Dry the Rain” again?
73. Pixies- Doolittle- Ram and Aaron, I’m sorry this is not in the top 10, but I think I’m just a half-generation too young to REALLY get into them, which is not saying I can’t kinda get into them.
72. The Books- Lost and Safe- This one’s for Daniel Dewey, and I have often wished I had an ipod with this CD on it so my average walk in the park could become a movie with soundtrack.
71. Sigur Ros- Takk…- And this one (along with Agaetis Byrjun) has made me wish I were on the side of a grand mountain overlooking rolling green hills on a cloudy day that threatened storm; fairies optional.
70. Gil Mantera’s Party Dream- Bloodsongs- For the experience of seeing them live, which is one of those things I will probably never forget, for better or worse.
69. Joan of Arc- Joan of Arc, Dick Cheney, Mark Twain- Thanks, Joe McD, this made my sophomore year a little more dark and twisted in a sort of immature way, and I think that’s all a compliment.
68. The Unicorns- Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?- I can’t point to when exactly it wormed its way into my consciousness, but I do know at some point I heard “Jellybones” in Skibo, and I thought “what song is that, because I love it!”
67. Ratatat- Ratatat- This bit of crunchy electronics is so Sam McUmber, and Sam McUmber is a cool dude, and this CD is a cool CD.
66. Pavement- Slanted and Enchanted- Mostly, for the indie cred.
65. Girl Talk- Night Ripper- Woo Pittsburgh, and his mashups are spot-on, and I want to be him (except without all the drugs).
64. Sly and the Family Stone- the Essential Sly and the Family Stone- Hi, I’m white, I like the poppy upbeat SatFS but I can’t get into “There’s a Riot Going On”, and by the way, thanks Adam Jaffe.
63. !!!- !!!- Still impossible to Google, these guys were my first favorite dance-punks, and I didn’t even know it.
62. Flotation Toy Warning- Bluffer’s Guide to the Flight Deck- Well-crafted, still brings up the hopelessness feelings of Godspeed! you Black Emperor in about 1/3 the time, maybe only because of the theremin.
61. Various Artists (as selected by Hot Chip)- DJ Kicks- I would love to make a CD like this, which not only flits from Hot Chip to obscure German techno to “I Got a Man” by Positive K seamlessly, it makes it seem like they couldn’t go together any other way.
60. The Go! Team- Proof of Youth- The reviews all said their stuff lost its edge and this CD was just more of the same, but I love that same, and it’s all worth it for the (instrumental) pre-chorus of Keys to the City, and have you seen them live?
59. The Fiery Furnaces- Bitter Tea- Tough to pick out a second FF album, but this one does get me feeling the worldwide travel and Southeast Asian jungles, and ooh, it sounds like that witch’s hut scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 2 looks.
58. The Avalanches- Since I Left You- Will probably go down in history better than Girl Talk, as it’s more polished, but I still envy all-samples records.
57. My Bloody Valentine- Loveless- I know I’m supposed to LOOOVE this pioneering groundbreaking genre-defining shoegaze record, but really, I only love it.
56. Eels- Electro-Shock Blues- I still say these guys are a little hit-or-miss, but it’s one of a few CDs that really brings back the slanty shanty and summer 2006 for me.
55. Stars- Nightsongs- Also a little hit-or-miss, the hits are the kind of music that almost makes me cry, and have you heard their cover of “This Charming Man”?
54. TV on the Radio- Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes- Better than Cookie Mountain, this disc is one of few that I feel is really yelping and reaching and creating very primal sounds instead of staying within a safe, distanced indie niche.
53. Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend- overrated, sure, but I like it, and Sarah likes it, and if for no other reason, it deserves a spot on this list because it will always bring me back to spring 2008.
52. The B-52’s- Cosmic Thing- maybe I’m cheating on this one, because my parents used to play it when I was a kid, but when I rediscovered it, I dove in headfirst to one of the most fun records I will ever hear.
51. Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere- mainstream, sure, but unlike most flash-in-the-pan pop stars, these guys are the real deal, and I hope they go down in history as one of the highlights of the ’00s.
blog 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010