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Friday, July 8, 2011

The 5 Best Indie Rock Records Ever

If you were into music in the 90's, and had an ear to the underground, you were into Indie Rock. I always liked many genres and primarily Metal, but boy did I love me some Indie Rock. I checked out every band possible, and weeded out the bad from the good. I loved the homeade quality, and it felt like something anybody could do(but couldn't). It made me feel like I didn't have to be a guitar shredder to write a great song. There are many different opinions about what are the classics of this genre are, but here are the ones that are my favorite, the ones that I've worn out, but they still fit like my favorite sweater:

Yo La Tengo: Electr-o-Pura
YLT are comprised of Music Critics and music snobs, so usually you know that you are getting quality, no matter what record you choose. But never did they get the balance so right as it is on Electr-o-Pura. It has Krautrock workouts, Beach Boys harmonies, and country ballads. This record is an actual listening experience.

Sebadoh: III
when Lou Barlow was kicked out of Dinosaur Jr., he had already released a couple of records as Sebadoh. It was a home-spun outfit that record quirky songs on out of tune guitars in their bedroom on boom boxes. You either loved them or hated them. When they released III the indie world was shocked. It was a sprawling double record set, that seemed to be Dark Side Of The Moon for the "striped sweater" generation. You had Lou's acoustic songs, Jason's smogged out stoner classics, and Eric's spastic hardcore-influenced rants. It was perfect front to back, and definite classic.

Palace Brothers: There Is No One What Will Take Care Of You
Will Oldham, or as we know him now Bonnie "Prince" Billy, has gone under many different guises in his long career. He began this career in 1993 under the moniker The Palace Brothers, and this was his first record. Most people would argue that "I See A Darkness" or "Arise Therefore" are the pinnacles of his career, but my big love goes to this one! If any of the Southern Gothic writers such as Carson MCCullers or Ambrose Beirce, had made a record, I think it would sound like this. The songs sound like primitive hillbilly music that was about to fall apart at the seams. None of my friends shared my love for Will and complained about the cracking vocals, but I had just found my favorite songwriter of all time.

Royal Trux-Self Titled
Royal Trux were a husband/wife duo that made junkie blues for indie kids, but were the real deal. They had habits so bad, they often squandered their recording budget on the infamous "H" drug. Since most of their music consisted of pretty blatant "Exile On Main Street" worship, I ate it up by the shovel load. They definitely weren't a band for everyone, but you will know if this is for you. They actually broke the band up when they got sober , and divorced.......that's Hardcore!!

Smog: Burning Kingdom EP
Bill Callahan is Smog, and acoustic/electric troubadour that a was a 90's Bob Dylan if there ever were one. Much like the others he initially recorded his songs himself on a cheap 4-track, but with each record there were subsequent jumps in quality. This record was only an EP but it also is one of the most perfect records ever. Like the song 'The Desert" on this record, it was like crawling through a desert without water or love. This record made the Cure or Joy Division sound chipper. But when you are in the mood for that sort of thing nothing else will do.

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