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Showing posts from September, 2006

130. Elton John: The Captain & The Kid (2006)

In 1975 Elton John released Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy. It was the very first album to debut at the top of the Billboard charts. And it wasn't even a commercial album! Instead it was an autobiographical song cycle, the type of complete listening experience that record affeciandos such as myself tend to completely geek out over.

That album told tales of two men, Elton and his lyricist Bernie Taupin, struggling together on the precipice of fame.

As the 2006 sequel The Captain & The Kid begins, they've fallen over the side.

Postcards From Richard Nixon finds Bernie and Elton arriving in America and heralded as heroes. They're amazed by what they find there, beautiful people, Steve McQueen in a red Porsche and open arms of a president who never failed to try to ride coattails of a popular culture he was completely out-of-step with. My favorite moment is when Elton describes California as "Brian Wilson's promised land" and the band responds …

Top 200 Songs of the '80s

I promised a big project was in the works, and now here it is!

Inspired by Pitchfork's recent Top 200 Songs of the '60s, I thought I'd try my hand at putting together a list for the '80s. I sought out the expertise of some music-lovin' friends and the list was born! The idea was not to create a definitve list, but rather to pick songs from the decade that mean(t) something to us.

I'll be posting them on a subsite, Top 200 Songs of the '80s. The plan is to post 10 new songs every other day until all 200 are there! I hope you enjoy reading the list as much as I have enjoyed putting it together (though I can't speak for my collaborators)!

Shorties

126. P.O.S.: Audition (2006)

Though it doesn't hang together as an album, Audition has a surplus of excellent tracks. P.O.S. approaches his raps with the mentality of a punk singer and the beats match his intensity. Stand Up (Let's Get Murdered) is a signature example, turning an funky horns and soulful backup vocals into something akin to doomy metal. De La Souls is his life story mixed with a statement of purpose. There are guest stars too: Safety In Speed (Heavy Metal) features Hold Steady singer Craig Finn, and Slug (from Atmosphere) shows up on a couple of tracks.

Grade: B
Fave Song: Bleeding Hearts Club (Mpls Chapter)
Fave Line: "First of all, fuck Bush, that's all, that's the end of it" (from Half-Cocked Concepts)

127. Leroy Smokes: Love Hustle Theater (2006)

This multi-culti Twin Cities rap-with-instruments crew returns with a new long-player, emphasis on the long. The 22 tracks are all over the place both in quality and style, but there's a lot …