Musical Chairs – January 2012

Posted on January 8, 2012 – 12:03 AM | by Admin
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What to say about RSO?  Let’s just narrow it down to a few facts:  An artist himself, he also curates the art at Bows and Arrows. He’s an author – his book No Wolf (the waygoing compromise) was published in 2010.  He jogs.  A lot.  He’s married to Corine and they have a terribly adorable kid named Orson, yes, named after Orson Welles.  Trivia note: he and Corine were on the cover of our September 2008 issue.  For his spin in the Musical Chair Richard sent over his five fave ‘forgotten about’ albums.

Ethiopiques Vol.03 – Golden Years of Modern Ethiopian Music ’69-’75

World music sucks. There, I said it — now you can trust the rest of what I say: this album is incredible. What makes it so different is that the attraction isn’t the novelty of exotic music, as it sometimes is with world music. This album would still be cool if it were made in Modesto. It stands alone on incredible musicianship, tight grooves, fanatical vocals, those harmonious horns we all like so much, and incredible danceability.

The Feelings – Especially For You

Sometimes, I wish albums would come to life so I could hang out with them. Some albums would obviously be cooler than others. Those Libertines albums, for example, would be fun to take out, get drunk with and slap high-fives to. Radiohead albums would talk really close to your face with espresso breath. This Portland indie gem would be
the perfect pal — snappy, loud, crazy energetic and extremely clever. The fact that this album is so unknown proves that people have terrible taste in music. If this album ever does come to life, I have a whole evening planned out for us.


Philip Glass – The Thin Blue Line (original soundtrack)

I know what you’re thinking. I think so too: Philip Glass’s soundtracks are a bit like Randy Newman’s soundtracks, right? The first few are killer; the last few are more meh than yeah. This one is yeah! It’s the score for Errol Morris’s documentary about Randall Dale Adams, an innocent man convicted of murder and sentenced to die. Part This American Life, part Godspeed! You Black Emperor album, Philip Glass intersperses clips from the film with his emotive minimalist compositions. It’s hypnotizing.

The Flying Lizards – The Secret Dub Life of The Flying Lizards

How can the band responsible for one of the world’s most awful songs also create something so mind-blowing? (Youtube The Flying Lizards’ cover of Barrett Strong’s “Money,” then breathe a giant sigh of relief: you just heard the worst song you’ll ever hear.) I don’t know how things like this happen. It’s as unlikely as Rosie O’Donnell beating Usain Bolt in a 200-meter sprint, or Stephen Hawking kicking Mike Tyson’s ass. Here’s the story: in the mid-1970s, Jah Lloyd made a reggae record that was never released. It sat on a shelf until a record executive offered it to The Flying Lizards. In 1978, they remixed the album, cut it to pieces, adding layers of reverb, looping, filtering and subtracting until the record was practically unrecognizable. It then sat on their shelf until it was discovered and released in 1995. A true miracle.

John Frusciante – The Will to Death

This is my bummed-out album. Some people drink themselves into a garbled haze when things don’t go their way. When I’ve had a bad day, I put this record on. I imagine what terrible thing could have happened to Frusciante to make his voice sound so sad. I picture him all miserable and fervent. It’s feeling better by relativity. Frusciante asks the ‘who am I’ question better than anyone else. He feels so bad on this record, and his sadness is so beautifully rendered, so passionate and raw, so incredibly honest, it’s hard not to honor him with a smile.

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