Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Music: Could you make it with Frankenstein?

How many albums have you heard where you dig every track?

In college I had this theory that there were two kinds of music fans in the world: those who can lists dozens of albums and those who can only list one or two. The theory went on to make the further claim that anybody who had more than one or two albums wasn't really a music fan. They were too promiscuous. Like people who are always falling in love, they love widely but not deeply.

Of course, I was one of those folks who could only name one or two albums.

The theory is obviously the sort of nonsense only a college radio DJ jackass would make up, perhaps under the influence of some psychoreactive substance. Like all theories that end with conclusion that the person creating the theory is superior – Objectivism, Hegel's theory of history, Nazi racial theories, the ideology of Cobra – it's correlation to reality is highly suspect.

Though I no longer believe it tells you anything essential about anybody, I still sometimes ask folks, just out of curiosity, to name those albums that are all killer and no filler for them. Of late, as often as not, I get the response, "Who still listens to albums?" What would the self-righteous music-geek that I was have ever done in the age of iTunes?

But, if you still actually conceive of music as coming out in meaningful clusters called "albums," what albums do you have where you love each and every track? Let me know in the comments.

I bring this up because I still only have two (maybe three, depending on how you count it) and one of them is the source of today's first song: The New York Doll's self-titled debut album, home of the track "Frankenstein."

Here's some live footage of the boys at work:

As a bonus for all you loyal Screamers and Screamettes out there: Feel the mighty power of the key-tar as it wha-whau-whooos it's majestic way over the chunky riffs of "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group.


Sasquatchan said...

So were you one of those, uhh, unusual, characters that worked at the college station (I'd give the call letters, but unsure if that wouldd out you in any way..)?

Knew guy (Dalton, IIRC) frosh year that got into FCC trouble for live-broadcasting a phone conversation..

spacejack said...

Gahh, I hate to do this as it reveals me as the pop-culture Gen-X nerd that I am.

But anyway, a few "records" that I could list that seem about as perfect as one can expect from pop music, spanning from boomer rock to Gen X to the more recent:

Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust or Hunky Dory
The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Mother's Milk
Orbital - The Brown Album
Fishbone - Truth and Soul
The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Metric - Old World Underground

Which is probably pretty typical for my demographic.

Probably not enough horror/goth in there, but my personal experience with that stuff is that the singles shine a lot more brightly than the albums. I consider Bauhaus for example to be the best cover band for goth re-interpretations of classic tunes. But besides Bela Lugosi's Dead, not so great in the original songwriting department.

Actually, my favourite genres for the past decade have been classic or rare R&B/Funk/Soul, but I explore that primarily through greatest hits collections or singles.

when is evil cool? said...

i got a "killer without the filler" list. it's a little all over the road but here goes...

melvins - houdini
bowie- aladdin sane
samhain -final descent
man - welsh connection
television - marque moon
public enemy - takes a nation of millions
nick cave - abattoir blues

do i get extra credit for having most of these on vinyl and start to finish is the only way to listen to them? awesome post by the way.

CRwM said...

Screamin' Sassy,

Yep. I was one of the deejays on the wheels of steel. I'm shocked anybody else even knew there was a radio station.

I don't recall anybody named Dalton, but that was a long time ago.

I got in trouble with the school administration once for "blatant disregard of the emotional concerns of others," but never got federal attention. I was on in the dead middle of the night, so I would have had to do something pretty out there to piss of the FCC during safe harbor hours.

CRwM said...

Screamin' Spacey and WIEC,

Great lists both. And vinyl gets WIEC two billion extra cool points. I can make those kinds of calls. It's my blog.

In the interests of full disclosure, my two, or three, albums are:

New Yorks Dolls, New York Dolls
Elvis Costello, This Year's Model

I sometimes count it as three because there are two different versions of the latter (a US and a UK version) and I like all the tracks on both.

Sasquatchan said...

Hmm. I couldn't find Dalton in the frosh drool book thingy.. Hard to forget him.. If I remember, he was very tall (very tall), and on the heavy side, tight curly dark red hair, side burns, round ginger, freckled face.. .. Lived in Monroe 2nd.. I think he roomed with Torch, if you remember/know Jason.. I think Torch is in the big apple..

Anyway, what exactly did you do for blatant disregard ? I'm intrigued..

when is evil cool? said...

i'll take all the cool points i can get. many thanks.

after reading yer post i checked the music list on yer profile. i'm nosey like that. i figured the dolls right away from the video above. awesome. and i figured yer other pick was going to be a toss up between my aim is true or next year's model. you picked wisely.

blatant disregard of the emotional concerns of others? well, if yer going to get in trouble that's how you do it.

ilovehorror said...

I consider myself a music snob. I download like mad, and have long since eclipsed that beautiful threshold known as 100GB of music, so it seems only natural that I could list dozens of albums where I believe every track is solid. Here's a few for you, and I highly recommend you check them out.

1. The Dear Hunter - Act II: the Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading

2. Afghan Whigs - 1965; Gentlemen

3. The Unseen Guest - Checkpoint

CRwM said...


Thanks for the leads. I'm hip the Whigs, but the other two are mostly new to me: I've heard a Dear Hunter tune or two, but Unseen Guest is totally new. I look forward to checking them out.

The Igloo Keeper... said...

1. Pixies / Doolittle
2. Elliot Smith / XO
3. Stone Roses / Stone Roses
4. Led Zep / 4
5. Manic Stree Ptreachers / Holy Bible

CRwM said...

Screamin' Sassy,

You may not remember, but back in, like, '96, maybe, there was some crazy guy who got his kicks exposing himself to people in the various laundry rooms of the dorms on new campus. The cops referred to him by the name "The X Attacker," where X equals the dorm in which the original exposure took place.

Thinking that the name no longer captured the scope of our flasher's, um, flashing grounds, if that's a term, and given my dubiousness on dubbing him an "attacker," I held an on-air contest to re-christen the fiend.

The administration received a complaint from somebody and they were not amused.

The winner of the contest was "Chester the Second Semester Molester." Too unwieldy for everyday use, I know; still, it had a goofy charm to it and alluded to a series of scandalous Hustler cartoons - so it had a pedigree or sorts.

CRwM said...

Iggy Keeper,

Nice selections. Doolittle. Hmmm. I may have to revisit that. That may actually need to be put on my list.