February 15, 2007

Open Thread...

by Chris Randall

Okay, today's open thread topic: which is the best band in the world ever: Agent Orange or Killing Joke? Seriously, though. I'm curious as to what makes a band someone's favorite. I have probably a dozen artists that could interchangeably be my favorite band ever, depending on mood and context. The one thing all of the artists have in common is the fact that they have deep catalogs; otherwise, they couldn't be more dissimilar. My list, for posterity, and in no particular order: Agent Orange, Killing Joke, Prince, Pink Floyd, Public Enemy, The Police, Tom Waits, Underworld, Otis Redding, Neubauten, and I think that's about it right now.

Quite frankly, I think I'm about over Pink Floyd. I've listened to them too much. That happened to the Beatles as well, and they're no longer my Favorite Band Ever either. And for the record, I CAN NOT STAND Synchronicity . I'm not one of those Johnny-Come-Lately Police fans that gets a hard-on from a Synclavier arpeggio.



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Feb.16.2007 @ 10:29 AM
I guess if I go for longevity then I've listened to Rush longer than any band... Maybe because they were my first real musical 'passion' (~14yo), I've listened to plenty of radically different music since but still pull out their records now and then... scare myself by how well I know their records, I can yak on now about how Low or whoever are the greatest group ever but I'll struggle to remember a fraction of their lyrics, shit, even the track listings of their albums. Not with Rush, can yodel along to Red Barchetta without a worry... "I think I'm going bald"?, side one of Caress of Steel of course. :)

Of course, Rush kinda sounded like the Police at one point...

But, gun against my head, I'd say best band ever: Husker Du.

Sort of life changing for me; made me realise bands didn't have to be 'rock' at all, while rocking harder than anything i'd ever heard before. Y'know? no affectations, dodgy sunglasses, posy leather jackets, crap haircuts (80s...),stupid videos... just tunes and noise and words that tore your head off and ripped your heart out and.... other stuff.



Feb.16.2007 @ 11:29 AM
The top of my pile would definitely be Underworld, but other than them, it really is just a big pile. Bjork, J.S. Bach, Tom Waits, Death in Vegas, Aphex Twin, Peter Gabriel, Nina Simone. Really, there's just to much to narrow it down.

Feb.16.2007 @ 12:25 PM
Can't say The Police left much of an impression on me at the time though, hearing their early stuff on the radio now, I appreciate it more. Not enough to go see them if their reunion tour comes this way though.

Since we're making lists, here's mine - in no particular order: Can (OK, first by a mile), Cocteau Twins (come back Liz, all is forgiven), Cluster/Harmonia, Captain Beefheart, Ry Cooder (well that got the C's out the way), Rezillos (best basslines ever committed to tape), Tortoise (the Can of the 90's), Stereolab, David Torn, Bill Frisell, Richard Thompson (OK, so I play guitar), Aphex Twin, Eno (sorry this is getting predictable), Kraftwerk (as much the pre-Autobahn stuff as the later electropop), and being a child of the John Peel generation The 'mighty' Fall must take pride of place. Oh, and pretty much the whole Atlantic and Stax 60s catalogues ...

I saw The Clash on the London Calling tour. A fine gig (in the front row in gobbing distance of Joe Strummer). But it pales into insignificance compared to Joy Division supporting the Buzzcocks a few weeks earlier. Now that was a gig to remember!


Feb.16.2007 @ 12:51 PM
wquoyle - I'm totally with you on the Rush thing. First show I ever saw (first two, actually), first band I ever REALLY got into. And, yes, I still know all the lyrics from Farewell to Kings through Signals. Scary.

I like to laugh about my pubescent Rush-love now because it's pretty damn embarrassing, but in reality they're the reason I don't listen to anything remotely mainstream (save for 70's prog, which was, at the time, mainstream). It opened my ears, ever-so-slightly, to sounds other than 4/4, verse-chorus-verse, 3-minute songs; as I got older (and began PLAYING, rather than just listening, to music) that little entree into opened me to things you don't hear above 91MHz in the USA.

My tastes can be categorized as such: electronic, drone, noise, free-improv, and prog; preferably a combination of some/all of those. (Trapist?)

I should have added to my original list: John Coltrane (especially Love Supreme and afterwards; Interstellar Space is still mind-blowing) and mid-to-late-60's Miles, all the way from his abstract-bop phase (Sorcerer and such) through the early fusion (Bitches Brew, bitch!).


Feb.16.2007 @ 1:47 PM
my favorites, in terms of most-listened-to and biggest impact on how I relate to music:

Autechre, especially Lp5, Gantz Graf, Confield, Untilted, Draft 7.30, Peel Sessions 2, & Cichlisuite... those doubting the Machinedrum era should track down the 2005 Untilted tour Glasgow live set floating around the net. It's ridiculously good.

Tetsu Inoue, especially Waterloo Terminal, Active/Freeze (with Taylor Deupree), & Object and Organic Code.

Oval, especially Commers and Process.

Merzbow, especially Noisembryo, Pulse Demon, Metalvelodrome, Loop Panic Limited and Space Metalizer.

Sunn0))), for their incredible live performances.

Kazumoto Endo, for While You Were Out.

Disgorge (Mexico), for Necrholocaust. Straight up grotesque darkness.

Demilich, for blowing my mind with oddball time sigs and ultra complex yet insanely catchy riffs. Pity there was only one lp; pity most folks will hear the (admittedly ridiculous) vocals and cease listening to them.

Aphex Twin, for introducing me to ambient music and then for girl/boy song. then for windowlicker, then drukqs... a new album in the drukqs style would be appreciated.

Squarepusher, for doing everything humanly possible with the amen break.

Discordance Axis, for pushing the limits of human endurance and speed.


Feb.16.2007 @ 1:53 PM
Regatta de Blanc was the first LP I ever bought and it's still one of my favourites. I'm with CR, I'm gonna have to go see 'em but I know in my heart it will suck.

Other long term favourites in no particular order: ELO, Kraftwerk (natch), J-M Jarre, the Cardigans, The Sundays, Faith No More, Primus, Miles Davis, Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Propellerheads (only one album, but what an album), Stone Roses, Living Colour...

The Sundays are the one I'm at a loss to explain. Most of the music I listen to is noisy, irritating, objectionable or preferable all three. The Sundays made the 3 most inoffensive albums ever, yet I consistently keep going back to them. It must be Harriet...


Feb.16.2007 @ 3:45 PM
African Head Charge
Eno & Byrne
Tall Dwarfs

Feb.18.2007 @ 11:55 AM
With all the talk about the Police, here's a New York Times article on their upcoming reunion tour:

link [www.nytimes.com]">link [www.nytimes.com]

My Faves:

Amon Tobin
Laurie Anderson
Infected Mushroom
Kinnie Starr
Hank Williams
Mark Deutsch
Mazzy Star
Smoker's Delight (Nightmares on Wax)
Nash the Slash ;-)
Keith Jarret


Feb.19.2007 @ 3:57 AM
Dear Ataru,

"those doubting the Machinedrum era should track down the 2005 Untilted tour Glasgow live set floating around the net. It's ridiculously good"

I was at the london date (SEOne, London Thursday 14 April 2005) and I swear - for a moment - I thought some guys from Elektron were demo-ing the new gear before the concert. I love Autechre but I think earlier stuff sounds/makes-me-feel better.


Feb.19.2007 @ 6:39 AM
Best band in the world? Good question. Obviously there's not really a reason to make such a declaration other than that it's kinda fun.


The Birthday Party.

Seems they always did it for the music; there's not much way one could construe any of their work as commercial. It's pretty visceral stuff.


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