Brief Discussion of an Album per Day for the Past week (ACA #19)

April 1st:

Zola Jesus — Tiaga (2014)

Listen to “Darkest Days” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As-issfZ2-Q
And/or donate to her patreon: https://www.patreon.com/zolajesus

Tiaga (2014) was released between Conatus (2011) and Okovi (2017), two of my top 500 albums of all-time. The fusion of goth and industrial sounds with pop that’s well-constructed and lyrically insightful and intelligent works amazingly well. “Darkest Days”, “Hunger”, “Ego”, “Lawless”, “Nail”, and “Hollow” work incredibly well as a standalone songs. “It’s Not Over” makes sense as the closing track, both thematically any musically. It’s a coherent, thematically and musically consistent, album.

This is probably the most accessible Zola Jesus album, straying the furthest into pop music out of the three albums we’ve covered so far. It’s also an album where there’s not the “killer track” that really connects with me. “Siphon” on Okovi specifically comes to mind. All-around great album — just a bit less great than the one before and the one immediately after. [4/5]

April 2nd:

The Andrew Oldham Orchestra — “The Rolling Stones Songbook” (1965)

Listen to “The Last Time” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YrllfAMwHI

For Millenials and Generation X, this album’s claim-to-fame is likely associated with The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”, which ended up losing rights to royalties until signed over in 2019. I’d call “Bittersweet Symphony” transformative, but I lack sufficient background in copyright/fair use law to have any meaningful opinion on the matter. The backing instrumental loop is derived from “The Last Time”, the closing track of this album.

I don’t care about the Rolling Stones that much. I respect the quality and skill behind their better work, but it’s not very interesting musically to me. Andrew Oldham’s arrangements here turn songs I wouldn’t care about into proper masterpieces, especially given the increased difficulty of recording in the 1960s versus present-day. Definitely worth checking out for fans of 60s-era rock music, the Rolling Stones, or orchestral arrangements of rock songs. [5/5]

April 3rd:

Adam Green — “Aladdin” (2016)

Full album streamed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWqB0SjoIGE
And/or support them on Bandcamp: https://adam-green.bandcamp.com/

One of many solo albums by Adam Green of the Mouldy Peaches. It’s a fairly straightforward antifolk album with all of the standards one would expect from an antifolk work. Many of the songs straddle the line between comedy and being serious surprisingly well. I haven’t listened to any of the other Adam Green solo albums yet, but this album was definitely good enough to encourage me to do so. [4/5]

April 4th:

Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld — “Fall”

Italian musician/composer Teho Teardo (founder of Meathead, composed soundtracks for multiple films, and a variety of collaborative projects) and Blixa Bargeld (member of Einstürzende Neubauten and former member of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds)collaborated on four studio albums thus far, with Fall (2017) being the most recent.

This EP contains three original songs and a cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My” with industrial and dark ambient sounds throughout. One track seems to drone on and be rather boring, but the other 3 are quite good. Definitely worth checking out for fans of industrial and experimental music. [4/5]

April 5th:

Calexico & Iron and Wine — “Years to Burn” (2019)

There are very few band collaborations that gel as well as Americana indie rockers of the southwest: Calexico and Iron and Wine. This album has a timeless quality to it, being just as good and fitting if released in 1970 versus 2019.

If you’re into Americana, country, folk, and/or southwestern indie rock, definitely check this album out. [5/5]

April 6th:

Señor Kino — “Aurora Boreals” (2021)

Full album here: https://youtu.be/AK41arfiLJY
Bandcamp: https://seniorkino.bandcamp.com

A northern Mexican-based psych-rock band that’s quite good. Lyrics are in Spanish, not English, if that’s an issue.

[4/5]

April 7th:

Anal Trump — “First 100 Songs” (2018)

Anal Trump album covered including a naked Trump.

This is a concept album seeking to recreate the work of Seth Putnam (Anal Cunt) utilizing Donald Trump as the theme. As such, it definitely serves those two purposes. It’s a grindcore album, so it’s not exactly an easy or long listen. It has some quite comedic song titles thrown in and even a Trump supporter might get a laugh or two out of some of them.

Not sure how to score a grindcore piece like this. It’s musically not impressive, but neither was Anal Cunt for the most part. The brief songs have some technical prowess on display, albeit only for a few seconds typically. If grindcore is your genre, then this is a 3/5. For the general music listener, I can’t in good faith recommend this other than for a chuckle at the track names. [2/5]

Ratings Simplified

5 — Top Albums of All-Time
4 — Very Good, Recommended Albums
3 — Acceptably average albums. Listenable but flawed.
2 — Not personally recommended albums but have redeeming qualities.
1 — The Worst of the Worst

Ranked 5/5s:

  1. Tom Waits — “Mule Variations” (1999)
  2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “No More Shall We Part” (2001)
  3. Smashing Pumpkins — “Siamese Dream” (1993)
  4. Aphex Twin — ”Richard D James Album” (1995)
  5. Tori Amos — “Little Earthquakes” (1992)
  6. Tom Waits — “Real Gone”(2004)
  7. Venetian Snares — “Rossz Csillag Allat Született” (2005)
  8. Zola Jesus — “Okovi” (2017)
  9. Negativland — “True False” (2019)
  10. Portishead — ”Dummy” (1994)
  11. Boards of Canada — “Music Has the Right to Children” (1998)
  12. Neko Case — “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You” (2013)
  13. Sufjan Stevens — “Illinois” (2005)
  14. Tricky — Maxinquaye (1995)
  15. Frank Zappa — “Hot Rats” (1969)
  16. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Murder Ballads” (1996)
  17. Neko Case — “Middle Cyclone” (2009)
  18. The Postal Service — “Give Up” (2003)
  19. The Polyphonic Spree — “Live from Austin TX” (2004)
  20. Rush — “A Farewell to Kings” (1977)
  21. Ani Difranco — “Little Plastic Castle” (1998)
  22. Regina Spektor — “Far” (2009)
  23. The New Pornographers — “In the Morse Code of Brake Lights” (2019)
  24. Bjork — “Post” (1995)
  25. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Tender Prey” (1988)
  26. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band — “Trout Mask Replica” (1969)
  27. Aesop Rock — “Labor Days” (2001)
  28. Zola Jesus — “Conatus” (2011)
  29. Neko Case — “Fox Confessor Brings The Flood” (2006)
  30. Calexico & Iron and Wine — “Years to Burn” (2019)
  31. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Ghosteen” (2019)
  32. Macroblank — ” 行方不明” (2021)
  33. Amon Tobin — “Bricolage” (1997)
  34. Neko Case — ”Middle Cyclone” (2009)
  35. Neutral Milk Hotel — In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (1998)
  36. Chlopcy Kontra Basia — “Oj Tak!” (2013)
  37. GZA — “Liquid Swords” (1995)
  38. Prefuse 73 — The Failing Institute of Drums & Other Percussion (2021)
  39. Leonard Cohen — “You Want it Darker” (2016)
  40. Kahil El’Zabar & David Murray — “Spirit Groove” (2020)
  41. Elliot Smith — “Figure 8” (2000)
  42. Warren Zevon — “Excitable Boy” (1978)
  43. Tatvamasi — “Parts of the Eternity” (2013)
  44. The Andrew Oldham Orchestra — “The Rolling Stones Songbook” (1965)

4/5

44 Leningrad — Klub Livestream 2022–01–22 (2022)
44 Leningrad — “St. Ihlow” (1998)
Adam Green — “Aladdin” (2016)
Alina Bzhezhinska — “Inspiration” (2018)
Architecture in Helsinki — “Fingers Crossed” (2004)
Asheron’s Call 2: Legions Preorder Promo CD (2005)
Atari Teenage Riot — “Burn, Berlin, Burn” (1997)
Busdriver — “Fear of a Black Tangent” (2005)
Death Cab for Cutie — “Thank You for Today” (2018)
Dr. Dog — “Shame, Shame” (2001)
Dr. Octagon — ” Dr. Octagonecologyst” (1996)
Fiona Apple — ”Tidal” (1996)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor — “G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!” (2021)
Incubus — S.C.I.E.N.C.E. (1997)
Jamiroquai — “Travelling Without Moving” (1996)
KMFDM — ”Nihil” (1995)
LCD Soundsystem — “Sound of Silver” (2007)
Lucia Cifarelli — “I Am Eye” (2021)
Macroblank — “ラストチャンス” (2022)
Martina Topley Bird — “Forever I Wait” (2021)
MF Doom — “MM..Food” (2004)
Mogwai — “As The Love Continues” (2021)
Neko Case — “Hell On” (2018)
The New Pornographers — ”Mass Romantic” (1998)
Nurse With Wound — ”Opium Cabaret” (2021)
Ol’ Dirty Bastard — “Return to the 36 Chambers” (1995)
Pearl Jam — “Vitalogy” (1994)
Regina Spektor — “Soviet Kitsch” (2003)
Rizomagic — “Voltaje Raizal” (2021)
Senor Kino — “Aurora Boreals” (2021)
Stereolab — “Emperor Tomato Ketchup” (1996)
Subtle — A New White (2004)
Sunny Day Real Estate-”How It Feels to Be Something On” (1998)
Tsaraas — Шепот зарытых сердец (2008)
Tyler the Creator — “Bastard” (2014)
Yann Tiersen — “Kerber” (2021)
YĪN YĪN — “The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers” (2019)
Zola Jesus — “Tiaga” (2014)
zoviet france — loh land (1987)
Цукор Біла Смерть — “Село” (1993)

3/5

AIDS Wolf — “Loversss EP”
Anal Trump — “The First 100 Songs” (2018)
Apes & Horses — “Echo EP” (2016)
Birds Of Passage — Without The World (2010)
Birds Ov Paradise — Konstrukt 010 (2019)
Butt Trumpet — “Primitive Enema” (1994)
Death Cab for Cutie — “Kintsugi” (2015)
Death Cab for Cutie — “Narrow Stairs” (2008)
Jenny Lewis — “On the Line” (2019)
Jenny Lewis — “The Voyager” (2014)
My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult — ”Confessions of a Knife” (1990)
Nancy Griffith — “Storms” (1989)
Nullsleep — “Click Beep Click” (2000)
Violet Indiana — “Roulette” (2001)

Below 3/5 — Not Recommended

Anal Trump — “The First 100 Songs” (2018

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We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

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Aun Collective

Aun Collective

We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

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