So I need to get something else posted in April. It's been a busy month for us all. Hopefully it'll chill out later, BUT I wanted to give you something that's a little different on the other blog posts, but nothing you're not familiar with. I'm going to list out Albums that have inspired me to draw from track 1 all the way to the end. Most of the time there are albums that give us one good song and the rest are a waist, but here is a list of albums worth more then a full 20$ ...
So lets start from Number 1 and go to 10, cause you'll look at them all, there is no point for you to wait for it.
#1: Mink Car by They Might Be Giants
This album was the 1st time I found myself blown away by current music. For years I was listening to things my parents liked and suffering through the Limp Biscuit and N'Sync crap that was all over the radio. This album opened my mind and within moments I was drawing (think I feel asleep listening to it). The humorous lyrics and fast paced techno sound of "Man It's So Loud in Here" just filled me with joy.
This album hit the market on September 11th and watching the way Conan O'Brain announces the band, you can tell the album wasn't going to make top charts. I make this my number 1 for that reason. I only had heard of TMBG prior to this through Tiny Toons MTV parody episodes where they make music vids to "Istanbul" and "Particle Man". I had no idea they were a real band, so hearing new music from them was really awesome. I could say that this isn't the band's best album but every song on it paints a picture and it has to be one of their best, if it isn't their most ignored.
#2: Very Greasy, David Lindley & El Rayo-X
This might not inspire the rest of you to think of the crazy things I did as a child but I keep coming back to it cause each track is so catchy it's hard not to think of Werewolves playing guitars with their tongues...yah that's what was going on in my head. I had a hard time picking my number 2, but I figured I'd do with the album that inspired the creation of my character Toby. I remember that each song had a little story in my head to go with it. The "Texas Tango" still reminds me of the mexican song from the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie (the good one from the 80s). If it doesn't get you to draw, it'll certainly get you to dance in a silly way.
#3: Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles
If I had to pick my favorite Beatles album, this would be it, BUT cause I have not really studied each other as much as I have this one, my opinion could change. I always have liked the Beatles, when I picked up the album 1. This choice how ever, is a more modern choice because only recently have I become a full fledged Beatles fan (meaning I've moved away from just liking Yellow Submarine, to knowing all the names of the albums, what they were about and who sang and wrote what song, ect...I'm still learning though...I know more about TMBG then the Beatles). Now I believe that this album could be turned into a full on movie, which it already is a movie, but let me explain. From start to finish each song can relate to one another, and tell a story in a very surreal way (the Beatles way). If not a movie, then I do plan to create a masterpiece of artwork about each song separately, and when they all come together creates one big image.
Regardless, I feel out of all of the albums I've listened to, it has the most unity, all the while with each song being so unique to it's self. The earlier albums were the 60 crew cut sound and they all sang about "lovin' you". The later experimental albums like the White Album are good, but it sounds like the music was made by 4 different guys. This album was one of those experimental albums but it has a golden sound different from the others, and I feel like most people can get a lot out of the listening experience of it.
#4: Perennial Favorites, Squirrel Nut Zippers
Didn't think I would have this so high on the list, but it is the album to get me into retro cartoons. Discovered during my years at Brooks, this album really gets me to think about pacing and timing of animation with music. Just about all if not some of my Rokko ideas come from this album and many of the other SNZ albums they have. I feel that out of all of the Swing Revival Bands of the 90s, this band has the most soul...or lack of soul because to get so much deep swing you have to sell your soul to the devil, and with their top single called "Hell" I believe these guys are the swinging-est of sinners.
#5: The Essential Perrey & Kingsley
I've actually talked about these guys before on a previous blog about music for Eddie Eel's show. So it's no surprise that I would bring this up here too. And while you can say any old Moog music would be good for Eddie, these guys where the first. I spent money to get a CD copy of it, it's that good. XD
#6: The Hazards of Love, The Decemberists
I would say that "Picaresque" was their best, but "Hazards of Love" has to be their most artistic. The whole album tells the story of a girl falling in love with a fawn boy who is the son of the Forest Queen . She hates the girl and allows an evil "rake" to steal her away from her son, but he goes to rescue her, and they drown in a river together to spite the Forest Queen, and be married together in death. You HAVE to listen to this album from start to finish to get the whole story, and the lyrics are so poetic, the music and themes are so haunting. It should be higher on the list, but it really only paints the ONE story. You can take each song as their own story, but some of them are less then a minute long and cause so many themes repeat to doesn't give much to imagination. STILL, the signers voices and the story they tell just inspires you to make your own mental movie.
#7: Six Demon Bag, Man Man
I used one of their songs before on a blog post and I didn't think the rest of the album would catch onto me like it has. It's hard to explain why I feel like this album is so good, but it might be because it sounds so different. There is intentional melody in their madness, and because they're rhythm based band you can set some great walk cycles to them. I would really love to give these guys a break into a theme song for a show or get more recognition. Pick up this and their secod one Rabbit Habbits.
#8: Thunder, Lightning, Strike, The Go! Team
This band is so edgy and it really pumps you up...why didn't we have these guys at our high school rallies? Anyway, if you need some sort of power music to wear your rainbow unicorn t-shirt to while you're pokemon training, these are your guys. They're very 70's sounding, mostly because they take samples from 70's music. Their song "Milk Crisis" was featured on Cartoon Network for a while, and while their second album does have more original scores, it doesn't have the same energy as this one does. This album pumps you up to draw...if not for an action jog.
#9 Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman
When I typed in the phrase "best albums of 2007" in google, somewhere on the internets I came across this guy. Never heard of him before, but I love this album. Now he's low on the list cause I skip over a few songs here and there, but the 1st two tracks on the album are so 70s sounding and epic, you can just imagine the swells of sound and light coming from behind you, much like when Tony signs about Maria in West Side Story. His since of humor is very good to, as he sings about how he's asked to pose as a boyfriend to his lesbian friend's father during dinner. The rest of the tracks have that same level of causal humor, and he sings about them like they're a big deal. Just makes it funnier, and would be corny if it wasn't so romantic sounding.
#10 Contra, Vampire Weekend
Sadly I have to put these guys low on the list cause they really haven't inspired me to draw art but both of their albums are worth listening to from start to finish and this band is definitely going somewhere. I should have more to say cause I really can't get enough of them and even when I'm sick and tired of listening to their music, I put at least one song from each album on and it makes me feel good. But up both.
Well All I can do now is just list 10 more albums that are worth getting (if not torrenting if you can't afford it).
David Byrne - Uh-oh
Mr. Bungle - California
Martin Solveig - So Far
Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah (or wait until Night Work comes out in June)
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion
Reel Big Fish - Why Do They Rock So Hard?
Aquabats- The Fury of ... The Aquabats!
Apollo 100 - Reach For The Sky (Joy)
Franz Ferdinand -(self titled)