My favorite albums. Click on the title to see more details (reviews, play lists, and samples) or to buy them.
Also: click here to see music I've been playing lately (courtesy of Last.fm)
|All Time Favorites||Recent Tracks Played|
Tour schedule (bands I like coming to the Bay
|Great Albums (in descending order)|
|I should have bought this a long time ago. Sad, dreamy, folky rock.|
|"Hallmarks of their style are a simple, poppy briskness borne along on trebly acoustic chords, with vocals so understated as to flirt with invisibility. So innocent it's almost sinister, their even, low-key approach is often compelling, always persuasive".|
|The best thing that's come out in the last 10 years.|
The Velvet Underground
|Almost everything else I like has some connection to this band.|
Boy with the Arab Strap
Belle & Sebastian
|... " 'precious' can be a damning word, and Belle & Sebastian doesn't have the negative qualities that the word connotates -- they are private but not insular, pretty but not wimpy, they make gorgeous, delicate melodies sound full-bodied... an intimate, majestic sound that is equal parts folk-rock and '60s pop. Murdoch's gift for not only whimsy and surrealism, but also odd, unsettling lyrical detail... keeps the songs grounded in a tangible reality." [source]|
|"As huge as they are now, R.E.M. started out with a small cult that this first album inspired; Peter Buck's chinging guitar, Michael Stipe's impassioned but incomprehensible singing, and the band's unpretentious interaction with its audience were genuinely revolutionary at the time."|
"Wire's debut is the smartest record of the '77 punk explosion, a formally seamless suite of 21 songs in 35 minutes, edited to the bone and graced with allusive, thoughtful lyrics, howled by Colin Newman like political slogans. The band's crisp, precise snap gets an awful lot of mileage out of their three-and-a-half chords, and their attack never lets up."
is an obvious revision of textbook East Coast guitar bands, specifically Velvet
Underground, The Feelies and Television - with a touch of Big Star's Third Album."
... and that's bad because...?
The Soft Boys
|A really ugly cover
on a really great album.
"Robyn Hitchcock may have to battle to get his annual melodic Rickenbacker-soaked bulletins released over here, but the Americans know a true master of the warped guitar song when they hear one..."
England by the Pound
|Art Rock at its best.|
|Long-winded guitar gods.|
Guided By Voices
|"How many influences can you find in this picture? A Beatles harmony and a Syd Barrett musing here and there are easy to spot, but how about the pack of no-name psychedelicists and prepunk garage dwellers that only Guided by voices have ever heard of? Could be thousands."|
|Worth it for Solsbury Hill alone.|
|"Touches of Neutral Milk Hotel's lyrical majesty and the nostalgic swirl of Echo and the Bunnymen abound. But the Shins' music--rich with acoustic guitars, flickering rhythms, and Casio-tone keyboards--is distinct and peculiar."|
|Slanted and Enchanted
|Uneven, but worth the time.|
|Killer guitar playing.|
|The other big influence on my favorite bands.|
Falkner presents Author Unknown
|"Amon Tobin's off-kilter rhythms and jazzy samples create a beautiful mess on Supermodified. Feeding off Latin rhythms, downtempo beats, and wildly adventurous musical jumbles, Tobin's manic bliss never allows the songs to wander, working a sense of method into a sea of crazy atmospheres. The result is focused, enticing, and fascinating."|
|"...The fractious combination of [Black] Francis's over-the-top but strangely relevant lyrics and vocals, and the band's unsettling melodicism reached its epitome in 1989's DOOLITTLE..."|
|"Every so often a band comes along that shifts the parameters of indie music: The Smiths did it, The Fall did it, The Jesus And Mary Chain did it, and now Clinic are doing it... a debut set of original, yet compelling and familiar little gems... like a comically deranged hybrid of Kraftwerk, Stereolab and The Velvet Underground."|
|"One of the more hauntingly visionary indie-rock artists, Bill Callahan, a.k.a. Smog, writes sparse, poignant songs that shimmer with solipsistic grandeur."|
|"Marked by crisp drums, distressed vocals, and a cunning knack for volume-surprises, more angular rock fare is outclassed by the haunted slowies, particularly Spaceboy and Today (with its unconvincing whine . . . is the greatest day I've ever known')."|