Apropos of nothing, to the person who once said to me that the 1990s had no good music, I offer a list of 40 albums worth owning. This list has a good drubbing of obvious Alternative Rock and Brit Pop picks, but banks and dips into Shoe Gaze, Noise Pop, Trip Hop, and Electronica, which are more recent musical interests of mine. I own other albums from the nineties that are Canadian Rock-weighted (Tragically Hip, Tea Party, Odds):

  • Heaven or Las Vegas by The Cocteau Twins, 1990
  • Gala by Lush, 1990
  • Achtung Baby! by U2, 1991
  • Ten by Pearl Jam, 1991
  • Nevermind by Nirvana, 1991
  • Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, 1991
  • Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1991
  • Screamadelica by Primal Scream, 1991
  • Peng! by Stereolab, 1992
  • Lazer-Guided Melodies by Spiritualized, 1992
  • So Tonight That I Might See by Mazzy Star, 1993
  • Siamese Dream by The Smashing Pumpkins, 1993
  • Debut by Björk, 1993
  • G-Stoned by Kruder & Dorfmeister, 1993
  • Zooropa by U2, 1993
  • Dummy by Portishead, 1994
  • Superunknown by Soundgarden, 1994
  • Weezer by Weezer, 1994
  • Post by Björk, 1995
  • (What's the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis, 1995
  • Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins, 1995
  • The Bends by Radiohead, 1995
  • Exit Planet Dust by The Chemical Brothers, 1995
  • Electr-O-Pura by Yo La Tengo, 1995
  • Odelay by Beck, 1996
  • Emperor Tomato Ketchup by Stereolab, 1996
  • Among My Swan by Mazzy Star, 1996
  • Ok, Computer by Radiohead, 1997
  • Urban Hymns by The Verve, 1997
  • Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized, 1997
  • Homogenic by Björk, 1997
  • Opera by Tosca, 1997
  • I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One by Yo La Tengo, 1997
  • Northern Star by Groove Armada, 1998
  • Mezzanine by Massive Attack, 1998
  • Moon Safari by Air, 1998
  • Music Has the Right to Children by Boards of Canada, 1998
  • Glee by Bran Van 3000, 1998
  • Vertigo by Groove Armada, 1999
  • Surrender by The Chemical Brothers, 1999

That 1997 tho.

And since I want to keep the party going, here's an extension of this list into the first half of the 2000's, 20 more albums too good to leave off:

  • Since I Left You by The Avalanches, 2000
  • Felt Mountain by Goldfrapp, 2000
  • Kid A by Radiohead, 2000
  • And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out by Yo La Tengo, 2000
  • Simple Things by Zero 7, 2001
  • Amnesiac by Radiohead, 2001
  • Comfort Eagle by Cake, 2001
  • Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub) by Groove Armada, 2001
  • Charango by Morcheeba, 2002
  • Machine Says Yes by FC Kahuna, 2002
  • Lost Horizons by Lemon Jelly, 2002
  • Details by Frou Frou, 2002
  • Elephant by The White Stripes, 2003
  • Black Cherry by Goldfrapp, 2003
  • Talkie Walkie by Air, 2004
  • When It Falls by Zero 7, 2004
  • Lemon by Lemon Jelly, 2004
  • The Campfire Headphase by Boards of Canada, 2005
  • Haughty Melodic by Mike Doughty, 2005
  • The Cosmic Game by Thievery Corporation, 2005

I guess it's kind of easy to look back twenty years into the past and peer at "the best of" with the rosy hue of critical acclaim and record sales, but man, do I enjoy the music. Please drop me notes on what I've missed or what I should pick up from the next twenty years!

§1286 · January 3, 2024 · Entertainment, Music · (No comments) ·

Roll the dice

I'll try to keep this one short - it's not exactly tech-related, but it kinda is. A tiny story about a tiny story that you might enjoy, in three parts.

Part One

I got into some speculative short story reading during the pandemic and Ray Bradbury was one author I got into. I think it started with some of my comic book research from the 1950s. Now I won't go as far as Rachel Bloom on ol' Ray, but the man definitely knew how to spin a yarn. In terms of sheer volume of interesting ideas, he beats out Isaac Asimov for me big time.

Anyway, in 1950 Ray Bradbury wrote this great short story called "The Veldt". It's only 13 pages and, rather than read a synopsis about the story, I think you should read it. Here's a free copy I found, though I noticed some typos. G'wan read it, I'll wait.

Back? I thought it was great, what about you? I think it's got a lot to say about how tech has invaded our lives, de-sensitized us from each other, maybe other things that are way over my head. And it holds up today - nice and dark.

Part Two

Ever hear of deadmau5? He's an electronic music artist from my homeland. Not sure if you're into progressive house or the techno scene, but the guy has earned a lot of awards for his work. Anyway, he wrote a song called The Veldt in 2012 (the year Ray Bradbury died). Here you should watch the video:

Rolling Stone thought it was one of the 50 best songs of 2012. My musical wheelhouse is more the 1990s and early aughts, but I really love the tune.

Part Three

And how did this come to be? Apparently deadmau5 created the music in a "22-hour live streaming session" back in March 2012. Crazy, but what's even crazier is that one day later, deadmau5 discovered that a fan named Chris James had posted vocals for the track. He was ready to shred the guy on his live stream but instead this happened:

So yeah, that music video you watched, the song that officially landed on the album, the one that Rolling Stone thought so highly of, is the combination of deadmau5 and Chris James' vocals weaved together over the course of 48 hours.

In some way, I find this a satisfying balance to Ray's meditations on technology... Anyway, I'm off to play in Africa!

§1343 · May 17, 2023 · Entertainment, Music, Technology · (No comments) ·