There is a column in NEWSWEEK where they ask authors to name their favorite books in a number of different categories. I've always thought the questions were pretty interesting, but I never thought of applying them to musical recordings, which is exactly what they did last week with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips (unfortunately not available online, or I woulda linked it).
Wayne picked some dope stuff (all that comes to mind at the moment is "keep coming back to: Debut by Bjork", "wish I made: Velvet Underground and Nico by the Velvet Underground", and "kids should hear: Yellow Submarine by the Beatles"), and it made me want to make a list of my own.
These are my answers to the Newsweek questions:
An album that redefined the album: The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails
The whole concept of a man's descent into self-loathing and suicide is a little obnoxious, but the sheer musical invention is devastating (to me, at least). On this record, metal, punk, prog rock, funk, and synth pop not only sit well together, but actually kinda sound like one thing.
An album that expanded the possibilities of music: Nail by Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel
One of the many JG Thirlwell aliases, Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel put out two back-to-back masterpieces "Hole" in 1984 and "Nail" in 1985. This one gets the edge for being the more consistent of the two experimental rock masterpieces.
An album that you keep coming back to: Transformer by Lou Reed
I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. There isn't a thing on it that I don't want to hear.
An album that I wish I'd made: Psyence Fiction by U.N.K.L.E.
DJ Shadow is one of the best songwriting DJs in the world, and he gets an amazing group of collaborators who manage to actually mesh with his style and do great work in about 80% of cases (way more than the average electronic-musician-with-guests album). Also, aggravatingly close to something I might be capable of.
An album about which I've changed my opinion over time: Enter the 36 Chambers by Wu-Tang Clan
I didn't like it at all at first. Then I liked "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuttin Ta Fuck Wit". Then I liked "Method Man" and "7th Chamber revisited". Then I loved the whole thing. Now I can't imagine what I could possibly have had against it (I truly don't remember).
An album that parents should play their children: Oh No It's Devo by Devo
Their most exhuberant and maybe even childish album. Fun, poppy, positive, but twisted. I hear you can get Devo children's albums now, with Devo classics as sung by children.
Another post with new music by me coming soon. [no, it didn't - ED]
- Ben Frankenstein