2006/12/15

Unsung Musical Treasures

The best thing about collecting a lot of music is the rare gems, bands and albums, that you find, learn to love, and then find again years later. Here are some gems I've recently rediscovered:

ZZ Top - Antenna

High production values and gobs of money marked ZZ Top's descent from edgy blues-rock combo to irrelevance, but 1994's Antenna broke that slide because it was so reminiscent of Tres Hombres. "Fuzzbox Voodoo" is, quite frankly, one of the ZZ Top's best.

Cocteau Twins - Milk & Kisses

The swan-song for an eclectic band that specialized in using the human voice as an instrument. If you were into ambient, you couldn't get away from Cocteau Twins for the better part of a decade, but in 1993 everybody thought that this band had nothing left. They were wrong.

Poi Dog Pondering - Pomegranate

The best of a series of unloved albums from a band that almost never charted. This CD is packed with great material, but track 9, "God's Gallipoli" is probably the catchiest, most poignant song about the end of life ever recorded.

The Silencers - A Letter From St. Paul

No finer band has toiled in obscurity longer than The Silencers. I first heard them in 1986 when their debut album was released. It was a time. I was fresh out of school, at my first job, had a lot of arty friends, and thought... What the hell does a quartet from Scotland know about the Twin Cities? I've followed 'em ever since.

9 Comments:

Dude, I haven't even heard of the last two.

Impressive. Really.
You're right. . .I have well over 1,000 cd's, not to mention old cassettes and compilations. I seldom think about them, but when I do. . .I've been known to spin tunes all night and reminisce. . .

For tonight's "Friday Nite Retro" feature on Left in Aboite, I went with some more obscure artists that more people might enjoy if they got to experience them.
Funny you should mention ZZ Top: I heard La Grange on the radio today. I haven't heard that in forever.

I always liked Deguello with El Loco coming in second.

I've never heard of the last two, either.
interesting selections Kvatch. It is always fun to dig through old albums
Praguetwin, Poi Dog Pondering has been using their own label for a number of years now. So getting their stuff can be a challenge. The Silencers have enjoyed a small renaissance in the last 5 years.

John, Graeme, these days my iPod does the digging for me. Just randomize and suddenly you're hearing all sorts of stuff that you'd forgotten about.

Julien, of the early ZZ material it's Tres Hombres and Rio Grande Mud for me, but that doesn't mean that I don't own Deguello and El Loco. :-)
Hail, frog.
Landing here in the outback I was reunited with some long lost vinyl of my youth. Among those gems - Newport Folk Festival ’59 – ’63 – ‘64. These were absolute classics.
There were a few others, notably hard core gospel - Odetta and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Now I just need to find a turntable that won't destroy them. A great find though.
Cartledge, I've got some old Muddy Waters live at Newport CDs (from the jazz festival). Great stuff.
Recently discovered treasures here in NE Oregon by yours truly include "Rock and Roll" by The Mekons, "16 Lovers Lane" by the Go-Betweens, and most of Miles Davis' catalog, particularly the "Tribute To Jack Johnson" disc; the album-side-long cut "Right Off" may be the closest Miles ever came to playing rock and roll. I have to music to listen to, and not enough time or ears to hear it all!

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