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I’m up late due to a nap gone horribly wrong. nothing to drink/smoke. gotta do something before i can go to sleep. I know, I’ll push my opinion on others with some unfounded end-of-the-year music reviews! that always seems to please! This is the first in a three part series.
some of these albums came out in 2004, some didn’t. I know you’re all wondering aloud “why on god’s green earth would you include old albums in your 2004 music review?” you got a lot of nerve mister. the albums reviewed herein are albums I listened to for the first time in 2004. if you got a problem with that, go get your own blog….or piggyback on a friend’s.
The Dave Matthews Rating System (shamelessly ripped off from Buddyhead):
– This album was so good, Dave couldn’t believe it and makes this stupid face when he hears it.
– This album made Dave think, which isn’t an easy thing to do.
– Dave didn’t hate this album, which means it can’t be that mindblowing.
– This album makes Dave smile, which means it sucks.
well enough of the chitter clatter, on to the reviews! (the following are not legitimate reviews)
múm – Summer Make Good (2004) -
múm has been a longstanding favorite in the Moreno camp. They’re icelandic. They used to be a quirky quartet comprised of two beautiful twin sisters and their beaus (for all you Belle and Sebastian freaks, the girls graced the cover of B&S’ Fold your hands child you walk like a peasant LP. I dunno how the hell that happened but don’t hold it against the girls). I was lucky enough to see múm perform in Barcelona while smoking hash out of an apple. After the show, I approached one of the girls, shook her hand and told her “I just saw you guys perform in L.A.” (it was true, only a month prior too). The girl dropped my hand, turned around and left. a month later she quit the band. The guilt will follow me to me to my grave. Anyway, they replaced her with two other people so theyre now a quintet. to get to the point, this album is alright. it has more singing which i don’t mind. check out “The ghosts you draw on my back” …or don’t, whatever.
Kanye West – College Dropout – 2004-
ok, so i got this album before Kanye was nominated for 11 grammy american music awards or whatever that shit is. it had just come out, i loved his production on talib’s “Get By” and i thought “Through the wire” was a pretty cool song. i downloaded a few more songs which i dug so i went out and bought it the week it came out. i thought it was real good the first few listens. having a chorus of kids singing “we weren’t supposed to make it past 25, jokes on you we’re still alive” was classic. lots of good songs here. lots of shite too. anyway, i let priya borrow it and i never saw it again. if you decide to get this album, keep it away from her.
Blonde Redhead – Misery is a Butterfly - 2004 -
another favorite in Camp Moreno comprised of identical twins. not as good as their previous album, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons but they do have a song called “Melody”. the production on this album is amazing. “Elephant Woman” and the title track are standouts. the string section on this album is so sweeping it will kill you. that’s a guarantee.
Calexico – Feast of Wire – 2003 – man i love this album. songwritings great, there’s like 15 people in this band not including the mariachi section. any band with a song titled “Not even Stevie Nicks” wins a chapter in my book…or a paragraph at least. check out that song and “Quattro” which is my favorite.
Cee-Lo – Cee-Lo Green is the Soul Machine – 2004 – I love Cee-Lo. I think he’s uber-talented. but for some reason i never listened to this album all the way through more than once. he’s got some great tracks, a lot of throwaways. i think thats the problem with having an album with 18 tracks, there’s a greater chance of having poor songs. In addition, Pharrel is on this album which is enough to make you want to delete it….er, i mean, throw it away or sell it to a Used CD store…phew. I’ve always been a fan of Timbaland, tho. I think he’s a real good producer even if he looks like a beaver.
T. Rex – Electric Warrior (1971), Slider (1972), Tanks (1973) – three classic albums from the glam pioneer and my namesake. Apparently T. Rex experienced something akin to Beatlemania in the U.K. He was huge. then he died in a car crash. so it goes. Electric Warrior is the one that gets the raves and for obvious reasons. They all have great songs. they all have bad songs too. his lyrics are deep and thought provoking “i drive a rolls royce, cause its good for my voice”. this shit can rock you and your baby all nite long. I think Bowie said it best in that song he wrote for that band which turned out to be their only hit song: “oh man, I need TV when I have T. Rex”.
The Ramones – Rocket to Russia (1977) – Some time before the Ramones Cancer claimed its most recent victim, I finally got into The Ramones. I always passed them off as trite. then one day i realized that they are trite, but they were good at it and had an original sound. anyway, i liked this album. probably wont ever listen to it again in its entirety, but who cares. they’re all dead.
Carole King – Tapestry (1971) Ms. King is quite a songwriter. she worked in the songwriting behemoth at the Brillo Building back in the day turning out hits like “will you still love me tomorrow” and “you make me feel (like a natural woman)”. this was her debut album, i think, where she sings both of those songs as well as the theme song to The 7th Gilmore Girl . this is a decent album from a good songwriter. end transmission
Ratatat – Ratatat (2004) – these guys are from Brooklyn. Their songs are instrumental, they kick ass, but a whole albums worth starts taking its toll on you. one of their songs is on a hummer commercial now. sucks. check them out, then go buy a hummer.
Iron and Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days (2004) – Get it? “Endless Numbered Days?” Get it?? I love this guy. hes amazing. this album sounds like the first one. there’s only so much you can do with one guy, an acoustic guitar, and a big mountain-man beard. his voice is so quiet, i think he recorded it in his apartment where the walls are real thin and his neighbors always banging on the wall because shes trying to put her kids to sleep. he teaches film at FSU. this albums good, check out the first one too. and his 2 eps.
CCR – Cosmo’s Factory (1970) – One day I realized how good CCR is. I tried looking for their stuff and realized what a singles band they had become. i sought out to find an actual album of theirs and this was what I found. CCR always seemed to be a good band who was trying to be taken more seriously as “artists”. hence the title of this record and the lame album cover. anyway, this album has most of the stuff you’ll find on their numerous greatest hits comps and what-have-yous. it also has songs that you won’t find. its real good stuff. i wish i could have been around when this album came out instead of having to hear them on the oldies station between Neil Sedaka and Jan and Dean.
Devendra Banhart – Rejoicing in the hands (2004) – This guy’s a freak. hes real good at his guitar tho. theres little instrumentation here other than his acoustic guitar. im not as into it as Iron and Wine but he’s still a freak and he’s getting all this credit for starting this “neo-folk” music or some hippie bullshit like that. the albums good, he’s a freak.
Pink Floyd – The Final Cut (1983) – No, The Wall was not the last Pink Floyd album with the classic lineup. There was one more after it. one that most people forget, and for good reason. Roger Waters has taken full control of the band at this point. They’re all songs about his dad getting killed in the war, etc. It’s like The Wall but without the good stuff. I’m a big Floyd fan, but i never listened to this more than once. its a little too narcissistic and self-indulgent for me, and that’s coming from a guy who enjoyed Brown Bunny .
The Rolling Stones – Beggar’s Banquet (1968) – whatever, fuck the Stones. yea they’re rock and roll and Mick Jagger walks around like a rooster. we get it. this is a pretty good album tho for the Stones.
Ambulance, LTD – Self Titled (2004) – Another Brooklyn band. These guys are pretty fucking good. Just saw their live show a week ago. they kicked ass there too. if there’s one Brooklyn band you see live in the next year, make it Via Violenta. if you can’t catch them, go see Ambulance LTD or get their album. you won’t regret it (not a guarantee). end transmission
Menomena – I am the fun blame monster! (2003) – The album title is an anagram for “the first menomena album”. ain’t that cute? and as if that wasn’t enough, they got their band name from that Sesame Street sketch. Remember the one with the monster singing “menomena, do do do-do do, Menomena do do-do do (if my typing out the song doesn’t remind you, see The Office, Season 2, Episode 1, first joke. classic) freddie and i saw these guys a few months back after we were denied entrance to the Arcade Fire show. Menomena, they threw that shit down. they created a computer program specifically for the band. I dunno what that means but it sounds super cool! these guys are nerds from Portland and this album kicks ass. it doesn’t get much better than “strongest man in the world”. check it out.
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (1971) – the cover of this album is enough to make you want to listen to it. George Clinton is uber funk personified and this album has more of a rock feel to it. i dont think Bootsie’s on it either. its still good tho and it doesn’t have any songs that were later sampled by Snoop Dogg and/or Dr. Dre. and that, dear reader, is a good thing.
Jimmy Cliff – Jimmy Cliff (1969) – one of the few times i hung out with both Oso and Abogado was back in high school or post-high school when we all went to go see Dave Matthews Band. This was when I liked that band too, before they became the hacks they are today. me, Abogado, and a lot of other people in the group didn’t have tickets, but Oso didn’t care because he did. Abogado lived near the venue and knew a way to sneak in. it was a guerilla mission. some got caught. we never saw them again. it was like vietnam. I lost my pipe. Dev got too drunk to even try and sat in the car the whole night. needless to say sneaking in was more satisfying then actually seeing the Dave Matthews Band. Anyway, while we sat in the parking lot before the show drinking in Oso’s Previa, we heard the opening act come on. His name was Jimmy Cliff. “Who the hell is Jimmy Cliff?” I asked. everyone laughed. man i was hilarious. “I think he sings that ‘I can see clearly now the rain has gone’ song” said Oso. no one laughed. we weren’t going to cut our tailgating short to go hear about this guy singing about how its gonna be a bright sunshiney day. 5 years or so later, i regret missing jimmy cliff and wished I had seen him instead of DMB. I blame Oso. Anway, this is Cliff’s debut album I think. It’s got “Many Rivers to Cross” on it which is one of my faves. It’s also got a song called “Vietnam” which was about the Iraq war. check it out.
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – going to a go-go (1965) – Smokey’s the best. amazing songwriter, beautiful voice. This was their debut album. it has “ooh baby baby” and “tracks of my tears” as well as some other filler. this shit kicks ass. Check it.
– serge gainsbourg – histoire de melody nelson (1971) – Serge was a dirty old man. he was also french which means he hated america. this song is great for rocking the casbah, even if hes singing about taking advantage of a pre-pubescent girl when her bike gets a flat tire. we’ve all been there, right?
pixies – trompe le monde (1991) – i love the Pixies. this unfortunately is more like Frank Black’s solo stuff: a few great songs intermixed with forgettable filler. this was their last album and if my band made an album like this after making Doolittle i’d suggest breaking up also.
Fela Kuti – Zombie (1977). I haven’t heard enough Fela to know where this stands in the development of his career. it sounds like the other stuff of his i’ve heard: rocking! this stuff is enough to make you want to go out and rise up against Nigeria. and thats a good thing.
Caetano Veloso – Caetano Veloso (1968) – I first heard our boy Caetano in Spain. i thought he was a woman. then i found out his son’s named Moreno. I was sold. This is his debut album, back when he was the Serge Gainsbourg of the Brazilian scene sans the pedophelia. “Clarice” is my favorite, but you don’t care about that, do you. bastards, go home. end transmission.
Cesaria Evora – Voz d’amour - (2003) – i’m giving this album such a good rating because it sounds like all her other stuff, absolutely beautiful. shes from Cape Verde which I think is somewhere near Iceland. I think she’s friends with múm too. anyway, i think shes got the most beautiful voice.
Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism (2003) – Priya says “I love this album because i can understand what he’s saying”. They’re from Seattle. enough said.
Scissor Sisters – s/t (2004) – if i want to listen to vintage Elton John I’ll put on Goodbye Yellowbrick Road, but the chances of me wanting to listen to vintage Elton John are slim.
Well that ends part 1 of these awful reviews. I know what you’re all thinking, “Moreno, why so few bad reviews? we want to see more of you tearing people down!” well the truth is i deleted most of the albums i didn’t like and kept the better ones. sorry. i’ll try to think of more bad albums in the next installment, but don’t count on it. until then, “adieu adieu adieu”.