Tag Archives: CDs

Recommended Listening: Tame Impala, Lonerism

Tame Impala Lonerism

A couple of years ago, Geoffrey called me up one morning to babble enthusiastically about one of the approximately 300 bands he sees per year that he had seen the previous evening, an act he said was called Tim and Paula. “Tim and Paula,” I asked, “are they a folk duo?” G got a good laugh out of that before correcting me, “No, not Tim and Paula, Tame Impala!” And so it came to be that Tame Impala, an amazing psychedelic rock quartet from Australia, are known between Geoffrey and me now and forever as Tim and Paula.

The album that turned me on to this group is called Innerspeaker, and it surely would have been among my favorite CDs of 2010 had I heard it in time for it to make that year’s list. Sadly, I was a little late to the party. Still, I’ll always be grateful to Geoffrey for hipping me to one of the best new bands I’ve heard since MGMT breathed new life into my record collection with the release of its first album. Because, seriously, the last time I heard any music that I could say even remotely reminded me of the genius of The Beatles was when I heard Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” And that was a long time ago.

Tame Impala just released its sophomore album, Lonerism, and I can assure you it is currently vying for the number one position on this year’s Top 10 CDs list. Produced by vocalist Kevin Parker and mixed by the gifted Dave Friddman (best known for his work with Mercury Rev), Lonerism serves up a swirling vortex of aural bliss. Aside from the opening track, “Be Above It” – which sounds like the well-intentioned result of Tame Impala being hired to write a self-empowering commercial jingle for a brand of sneakers, every track on Lonerism lives up to all the hype that’s been circulating for the two years since Innerspeaker fractured skulls across the globe with its brilliance.

There is so much to love about this CD that it is almost impossible to contain my squeals of ecstatic delight. “Endors Toi” sounds like “Magical Mystery Tour” with Keith Moon on drums and “Apocalypse Dreams” is the kind of song I wish they’d played at the local roller skating rink I frequented as a pre-teen. “Music to Walk Home By” – which deserves an award for its title alone – comes as close to approximating an aural representation of the physical effects of hallucinogenic drugs as the most psychedelic Pink Floyd song. Parker’s voice may owe a heavy debt to reverb and a few hits off a tank of nitrous, but he really knows how to work it. I mean, check out “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and tell me that the influence of John Lennon’s “Number Nine Dream” didn’t work its way in there at least subconsciously. Holy cow, what a great album.

It’s sad to think that kids today (did I really just type “kids today”?) will never know the incomparable joy of discovering a band like The Who or Queen while that band is still making new records (a joy that I got to experience first hand, having been born a million years ago), but anyone discovering Tame Impala’s Lonerism can read that sentence above and understand that hearing this album in 2012 creates, for me, a transcendent-bordering-on-religious experience comparable to how it felt listening to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” for the first time, on vinyl, back in the stone age. Album of The Year!

GRADE: A+

Tame Impala’s Lonerism is available now on Modular Recordings wherever fine music is procured.

Tame Impala 2010 Press Shot by Maciek Pozoga
Tame Impala 2012 Press Shot by Maciek Pozoga

CD Waterlilies By Bruce Munro

Discolily original

Artist Bruce Munro created the remarkable and eye-catching installation, Waterlilies — located on the Large Lake in Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens — from 65,000 recycled CDs secured atop floating foam discs. While this installation is best viewed by day, you can see from the photo below that it looks pretty cool at night as well.

See more pictures at This Link!

Discolily3 Detail

Gail’s Top Ten CDs of 2006!

Year End Top Ten
Like, Better late than never, right?

Top CDs of 2006, According to Me!

Black Stone Cherry Debut CD
#10. Black Stone Cherry

Initially, I was very resistant to the idea of Kentucky-based, Southern Rock Revivalists, Black Stone Cherry for two sharply pointed reasons. One being that unless a “Southern Rock” band is going to improve on Molly Hatchet’s “Flirting With Disaster” or Greg Allman’s “I’m No Angel,” why even bother? The other being that 99% of modern hard rock sounds like ass. But Black Stone Cherry come on like Soundgarden-meets-The Allman Brothers. My god, what a much needed gasp of fresh air in the vacuum! Not to mention, but you can see I am about to, their drummer, John Fred Young (check out the guy on the far left with that crazy mane of dark curly hair) is what we used to call in my day a stone solid fox. And having a little eye candy in the band never hurts.

Little Answers Earlymay
#9. Little Answers, Earlymay

Remember back when music that passed for adult contemporary rock actually had balls? Neither do I. But if I were programming the Adult Contemporary format at radio today I’d scrap the Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bolton and flood it with songs by amazing bands like The Verve Pipe and Earlymay. Little Answers comes highly recommended if you like U2 but wish Bono would just get over himself already.

Richard Butler Cover Art
#8. Richard Butler

I wasn’t much of a fan of LoveSpitLove, former Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler’s first post-Furs outting. But on Butler’s sublime debut solo excursion, he won me over with moody, soporific songs that sound like they were written by a less acid-damaged version of Julian Cope rather than a guy who was once married to notorious groupie Bebe Buell for about fifteen minutes. Downside: Abysmal cover art that makes him look like he has the plague, or something worse.

Blank Stares CR Cover
#7. All Blown Up, The Blank Stares

The Blank Stares are a band from San Francisco who contacted me through Myspace and asked if they could send me their CD. Now, I don’t want all you independent, undiscovered, unsigned, un-good bands out there to get any ideas, but if your shit sounds like The Beatles, feel free to look me up.

Hot One Cover Art
#6. Hot One

A Power-Quarter based in NYC that also features rock chick bass legend Emm Gryner, Hot One “observes the tradition of rock and roll as a medium for social protest, a la the Clash, Public Enemy, Psychic TV, Woody Guthrie, Minor Threat, the MC5.” I took that statement off their Myspace page. I love Hot One’s sexy glam rock/power pop amalgam (favorite cut, “Sexy Soldier”), but I also dig that they throw in a little George Bush hating on the side.

\Scott Reeder
#5. Tunnel Vision Brilliance, Scott Reeder

Is there a serious metal head alive who doesn’t/didn’t worship Kyuss? Because if there is I want to know who they are so I beat their faces in. Former Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder is a fucking genius for making the best Pink Floyd album since Wish You Were Here. Heavy Mettle indeed.

Advantage Elf Titled
#4. Elf Titled, The Advantage

Six Words: “Nintendo Game Theme Song Cover Band.” Nothing more needs to be said. This CD is brilliant from start to finish. And I’ve never played Nintendo in my life.

Crash Kelly
#3. Electric Satisfaction, Crash Kelly

Canadian Rockers Crash Kelly excell at producing stellar Modern Glam Trash for people like me who go out of their way to live in the past.

YEAH-Def_Leppard
#2. Yeah!, Def Leppard

Seriously, how can you possibly go wrong if you’re already Def Leppard — who are, without a doubt, a genius band — and you decide to make an album of covers that includes Badfinger’s “No Matter What” and Mott The Hoople’s “Golden Age of Rock & Roll”? How can you go wrong, I ask yez?

Sloan Never Hear The End of It
#1. Never Hear The End of It, Sloan

I have to thank n=my buddy Frank Griggs for sending me this Sloan album on the fly when he was doing their publicity last fall, because otherwise I never would have heard the BEST ALBUM OF 2006! No amount of clever compound adjectives can fully describe how awesome this CD is. Those tasteless dicks over at Rolling Stone only gave Never Hear The End Of It three-out-of-five stars, but here’s their review:

“For more than a decade, Sloan have been big in their native Canada without even reaching Guided by Voices-level fame stateside. With thirty, count-’em, thirty songs (several of which bleed together and clock in under two minutes), their eighth studio album is a power-pop record that flows like the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime — but with glam rock and acoustic balladry in the mix.”

So just go out and buy it already.

Honorable Mention

These are some genius discs that didn’t quite make into the Top Ten, mostly because I could only fit ten selections into a list of ten. Logistics, you know.

1. Benevento Russo Duo, Play, Pause, Stop
2. Dirty Royals, Obsessed America EP
3. David Gilmour, On An Island
4. Ambulance, New English EP
5. Gosling, Here Is…
6. Hellacopters, Rock & Roll is Dead
7. American Hearthbreak
8. Barrett Martin, Earthspeaker
9. Wired All Wrong, Break Out The Battle Tapes

10. (Guilty Pleasure) Taylor Hicks
Don’t even start with me on this one. I may be a self-confessed huge fan of American Idol, but nobody was more surprised than me when I fell in love with former spazz Taylor Hick’s fake Elvis swagger and his “Takin’ It To The Streets” mock-soul funk. This album is probably the best piece of commercial “product” that the big corporate machine has crapped out since I even listened to mainstream pop radio. And thank god someone got him to dye his hair.

Gail’s Top Ten CDs of 2005!

Top Ten

As a special New Year’s treat, here’s a preview of my Top Ten Favorite CDs of the year, to be elaborated on in my upcoming 2005 Year End Rewind! Enjoy!

Crash Kelly Penny Pills

1. Crash Kelly, Penny Pills (Liquor & Poker)

When I got the advance of this album last winter, I predicted that Penny Pills would be my favorite CD of the year 2006 and, no surprise here, I was right. Embracing a full-on 70s sensibility of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out and T Rex at its most glam, Penny Pills is the only drug you need.

Lake Trout
2. Lake Trout, Not Them, You (PALM)

Baltimore’s Lake Trout bring us acid rock for the aughts and are one of the best live bands around.

Kasabian ST
3. Kasabian, S/T (RCA)

Kasabian are such a great band I can’t even believe they’re signed to a major label, let alone RCA. Which reminds me of joke:

Q: How do you stop the spread of AIDS?
A: Let BMG distribute it.

Eric Anders More Regrets
4. Eric Anders, More Regrets (Baggage Room)

Eric Anders is an obscure, independent singer songwriter whose unaffected ability to turn a phrase and otherworldly knack for arranging transcendent, melancholy melodies would have made him superstar, you know, if records still sold based on talent.

Porcupine Tree Deadwing
5. Porcupine Tree, Deadwing (LAVA)

I still love the Prog rock and nobody bends the mind quite like the dark masters of the genre, Steven Wilson’s Porcupine Tree.

Turbonegro Party Animals

6. Turbonegro, Party Animals (Liquor & Poker)

What’s going on up there in Scandinavia that gives bands hailing from that part of the world such superior ass kicking power in the Rock & Roll arena? Norway’s Turbonegro might say it’s a higher tolerance for alcohol.

The Greenhornes East Grand Blues EP

7. The Greenhornes, East Grand Blues EP (V2)

The Greenhornes play fuzz-toned garage rock that’s impressively faithful to the sonic hallmarks of the classic British Invasion bands (Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds) and their counterparts in the original wave of American garage rock. East Grand Blues EP completely obviates the need for The Strokes to ever make another record.

Fear Factory Transgression
8. Fear Factory, Transgression (Liquid 8)

Managing to stay authentically dangerous without becoming a parody of itself, heavy metal juggernauts Fear Factory have in Burton Bell and Raymond Herrera the best lead vocalist and the best drummer, respectively, in the genre today.

Black Halos Alive Without Control

9. Black Halos, Alive Without Control (Liquor & Poker)

My hands down favorite band to see live and, individually, my very favorite group of band dudes to hang out with, Vancouver’s Black Halos sweat Rock & Roll from every pore. I just adore them.

Peppers Ghost Shake the Hand
10. Peppers Ghost, Shake The Hand that Shook The World (Hybrid)

Five words: Ziggy Stardust meets Sergeant Pepper.

My Top Ten CDs List of 2003 for Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone Top Ten By Gail Worley

1. Pre(thing), 22nd Century Lifestyle (V2): An acid-rock masterpiece predestined for obscurity by the untimely death of lead vocalist/guitarist Rust Epic just weeks before the CD’s release date.

2. Steve Morse, Major Impacts 2 (Magna Carta): A legend of instrumental guitar rock pays homage to his own influences. Absolutely essential listening.

3. Ambulance LTD, Ambulance LTD (TVT): Penny Lane is in their ears and in their eyes.

4. Audio Karate, Lady Melody (Label): LA Punk Rock revivalists blend disarming melody and authentic grit with a little help from producer and punk rock legend Bill Stevenson (ALL, Descendents).

5. Josh Todd, You Made Me (Label): Ex-Buckcherry front man and his eponymous new band made one of the year’s best albums while keeping Rock & Roll in the gutter, where it belongs.

6. The Killers, Hot Fuss (Island): This Sin City foursome validated its advance hype, combining the hipster synth-pop of Duran Duran and Ultravox on the most original sounding album of the year.

7. VAST, Nude (FourFiveSix): Arena-worthy Thinker Rock for the Modern Progressive.

8. Jonny Polonsky, The Power of Sound (Loveless): Audiot savant Jonny Polonsky graduates from the School of Rock with straight A’s to show all the whiny brat rockers how it’s done.

9. Doug Gillard, Salamander (Pink Frost/Big Takeover): Flawless Beatles-esque pop that sounds like The Lemonheads meet Guided By Voices without all the substance abuse issues.

10. Green Day, American Idiot (Reprise): Ever wondered what The Who’s Tommy would sound like recorded by Green Day? Here’s your answer.

Reissue: The Clash, London Calling (Sony Legacy): Two words: Bonus DVD.