There’s a running joke that Paul and I don’t know how to talk about music. And though we’ve been assured by reputable sources that we don’t too bad a job of it, well…I tried writing little blurbs for the albums on my list and felt like a jackass. So we’ll again be presenting our lists (my top 10 and Paul’s top 5) without comments, as Paul’s already done with this year’s movies and comics lists.
In lieu of our dumb words, enjoy some songs from our favorite albums of 2014.
AJ: 10. POM POM by Ariel Pink
AJ: 9. MORNING PHASE by Beck
We’ve already discussed our favorite films, TV series, and comics of 2012. Now, to round things out before the impending season 4 premiere, we’ll “discuss” our favorite albums. “Discuss” is in quotation marks because, as we’ve frequently noted on the show, we are really, really bad at knowing how to talk about music. So we figured we’d let the music speak for itself.
Enjoy and check back on Sunday for the season premiere of GOBBLEDYGEEK!
PAUL: 10. SOME NIGHTS by fun.
Key track: “Some Nights”
AJ: 10. LONERISM by Tame Impala
Key track: “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
Gobbledygeek episode 102, “Insolent Musical Peasants,” is available for listening or download right here.
This episode was meant to go up last week, but fearless editor Paul was suffering from a case of nearly dying (feel better, Paul!). It’s here now, though!
The boys would like to sing a little song for you. Actually, no they wouldn’t, because that would be awful for your ears, but they would like to tell you about songs they’ve enjoyed so far this year. Paul and AJ’s musical interests don’t always overlap; Paul listens to sensitive singer-songwriter types, while AJ’s that guy who actually reads Pitchfork. Still, they’re able to unite over a few weirdos like Jack White, Father John Misty, and Leonard Cohen. AJ also tells you why you should listen to new records from Spiritualized, Dr. John, and The Men; while Paul gives you the low down on Fort Atlantic, Band of Skulls, and even Lana Del Rey.
Next: Paul and AJ discuss The Amazing Spider-Man, which, SPOILER ALERT, might prove to be pretty divisive.
(Show notes for “Insolent Musical Peasants.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 68, “Stop Rapping, Son or, Little Stipe and Big Boobs,” is available for listening or download right here.
It’s a veritable cornucopia of conversation as Paul and AJ let it roll with another fast-and-loose episode. Netflix’s questionable new business strategy is discussed (tweets are read aloud!), some of the new/returning fall TV shows are subject to the boys’ discerning gaze (planking is dissed!), R.E.M.’s break-up is mourned (Michael Stipe’s penis!), and more. Paul offers up his review of Drive, while AJ raves about Girls’ new album Father, Son, Holy Ghost. If you like your Gobbledygeek served raw and rambly, this one’s for you! Whatever that means. Forget I said anything.
(Show notes for “Stop Rapping, Son or, Little Stipe and Big Boobs.”)
Album reviews are divided into six sections: MAXIMUM GOBBLING for the masterpieces; GOBBLE IT for the merely great; WORTH GOBBLING for other good releases; GOBBLE? for those albums which aren’t really good or bad, just sort of okay; DO NOT GOBBLE for the shitty; and RUN, DON’T GOBBLE! for the awful.
QUARANTINE THE PAST: THE BEST OF PAVEMENT
As with most compilations, you could quibble as to why Quarantine the Past exists; Pavement only had five albums, and all the early EP’s were compiled on Westing (By Musket & Sextant). But let’s not quibble, shall we? After more than a decade, Pavement, the seminal 90’s indie band, came together for a reunion tour this year, and Quarantine the Past serves as both a celebration for long-time fans and a primer for new listeners. It’s all here, from Pavement at their most accessible (the sing-along almost-hit “Cut Your Hair”) to the band at their most obscure (“Unseen Power of the Picket Fence,” a track singing the praises of R.E.M.); from ephemera (EP cuts like the noisy “Debris Side”) to essentials (like the majestic “Grounded”). And yet for all the weirdness, all the guitar fuzz and noise, Pavement never lose their keen sense of melody. Leader Stephen Malkmus’ lyrics are largely inscrutable; what are you to make of a line like, “And all the sterile striking, it defends an empty dock you cast away”? What you’re to make of it, I presume, is what you make of it. The words may sound nonsensical out of context, but in the way that Malkmus’ voice intertwines with the music and plays off of it, they convey all you need to know. Like any great band, Pavement means different things to different people, and it’s up to you to fill in the blanks. My Pavement will likely always be the Pavement of the 1992 masterpiece Slanted and Enchanted, represented here by several great cuts including my two favorites, the oddly wistful “Here” and the glorious “Summer Babe (Winter Version).” But it all works, and despite the growths and strong personalities of each of their albums, it all sits side-by-side perfectly; I hesitate to call it a document because documents are boring, locked rigorously into certain perceptions of time. That’s not Pavement. Pavement remain free of such shackles, their music alive and full of color after all these years.
Hey, Mr. AJ is a new column in which I plan on writing some things about the new music I hear. They’ll be brief reviews, divided into sections: MAXIMUM GOBBLING for the masterpieces; GOBBLE IT for the merely great; WORTH GOBBLING for other good releases; GOBBLE? for those albums which aren’t really good or bad, just sort of okay; DO NOT GOBBLE for the shitty; and RUN, DON’T GOBBLE! for the awful. Got it? Now, don’t ask me again.
by Tame Impala
I’m a Beatlemaniac, so I see the Beatles everywhere. Bear with me. On their debut album Innerspeaker, Australian psych-rock band Tame Impala manage to do what the Olivia Tremor Control did on 1996’s masterful Music from the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle; without compromising their creativity or their own unique vision, they capture the spirit of the post-Sgt. Pepper, pre-Abbey Road Beatles. Specifically, both albums remind me of the more freewheeling psychedelic cuts on Yellow Submarine, like George Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much.” Indeed, lead singer Kevin Parker’s voice reminds me of Harrison’s in that soaring, nasally way, which also makes it at times resemble John Lennon’s. But as I said, this is no rip-off, and Tame Impala sound like their own band, embracing the hazier realms of psychedelia that the Fab Four rarely did. It’s misty, delightful music that lulls you into another world with its spiraling distorted guitars, insistent drums, and far out yet pleasingly retro production techniques. Innerspeaker hasn’t made its way to the States yet, but whenever you get the chance, take a listen. You’ll be glad you did.