As serendipity would have it, a local radio station chose today to dump ten or so boxes on a table and tape the following sign nearby: FREE CDS HELP YOURSELF.
And so…I did. And there are not words for the waves of delight I experienced, digging through boxes and boxes of obscure college alt. rock and bad garage band demos to find a couple stacks worth toting home. Because I couldn’t actually listen to any of it at the time, all of my judgments were based solely on album artwork, band names, and song titles (the more ridiculous, the more likely it made it into my backpack).
Total bonus: the radio station deejays had compiled their own lists/reviews/notes about each album and taped them to the inside. It was like finding GOLD. And after a very lovely listening party, Kyle and I have chosen eight of the choicest albums for this list. Read on…
1. Lost Somewhere Between The Earth and My Home by The Geraldine Fibbers
Conclusion: Salty and soulful. Good driving music.
2. Memphis is Dead by The Lost Sounds
Out of the mouths of deejays: “A small pocket of hell may have opened, spewing forth this punk/synth/garage soundtrack to an apocalypse we have yet to see…like breathing shrapnel.”
Conclusion: These sounds should have stayed lost. Terrible.
3. Fisherman’s Woman by Emiliana Torrini
Try her if you like: Regina Spektor, Dido, Carla Morrison.
Conclusion: Breathy, atmospheric, and satisfying mood music.
4. Don’t Let the Bast**ds Grind You Down by The Toasters
Dedication: Toasters song on playlist is for Sarah. Visit her HERE.
Conclusion: A less-polished Aquabats with slightly over-indulgent saxophone player. Worth a listen for the ska-lover.
5. Near the Sun by Julie Peel
Conclusion: Next time I’m sad, I’m skipping the calories and heading straight for Julie’s cheerful little declaration, “I don’t get people and they don’t get me and I don’t mind. I am living in a movie.” I would actually pay for this album.
6. meet miss young and her all boy band by Kristeen Young.
Best promo tag ever: “Is it Goth? Is it 90’s new wave pop? Is it Jazz-Punk-Opera? Does it really matter? It’s the Minnie Pearl of Goth!” This sticker on the cover is seriously THE only reason I brought this one home.
Conclusion: If Alanis Morissette and Amy Lee got drunk and made a record in Minnie Pearl’s bathroom…it would sound better than this.
7. “curtains” by tindersticks
Out of the mouths of deejays: “Deserted, sad, lonely, nice drumbeats but very depressing. [Listen to] #1,3, and 12 (if you can take it.)”
Conclusion: I completely disagree with the deejay on this one. If this album was a flavor, it would be black cherry and walnut. Heavy dark romantic sound, some sad lyrics but overall, a rewarding listen.
8. Tragic Animal Stories by Barry Black
Conclusion: Um, any guy who can write a sweeping love song about microscopic fish has missed his calling (“The Horrible Truth About Plankton”). Seriously, why is this dude not writing scores for Animal Planet? Pretty much the whole album sounds like Morgan Freeman should be talking about penguins or something.
Honorable mentions: So Serious by The Like Young. Love Is a Dog From Hell by Maggie Estep.