Friday, August 06, 2010

Favorite Friday with Echo Orbiter: Underrated Albums By Olivia Tremor Control and Van Dyke Parks

Echo Orbiter's Justin Emerle is the kind of guy who can get lost in an album when he listens to it. A physical response or a memory trigger goes off when he hears one of his favorite albums of all time or brand new bands like Avi Buffalo. It makes sense then that one can easily turn off the outside world when listening to Echo Orbiter's upcoming LP Euphonicmontage. Here Justin describes why he honors each album, and if you haven't already, making you want to hear them all yourself.

Echo Orbiter's Favorite Albums of the Week

Dinosaur Jr., Bug
The juvenile Dinosaurs at their best. Cleaner production than You're Living All Over Me and a final scathing statement just prior to their signing with Reprise. "No Bones" stands as J's finest moment in songwriting and sonic shock.

Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation
As a child, Daydream Nation stepped into my innocent life and shook me violently until I professed aloud that Van Halen wasn't so much "the shit." Not my favorite SY record, but a nostalgic emergence nonetheless as I walk along trails in the woods of South Jersey in 2010 as an adult.

Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
D. Boon and Mike Watt are still, today, among the most influential musicians in the annals of underground/indie/punk/hardcore/blah, blah, blah, rock. Minutemen defy genre anyway and Double Nickels on the Dime breaks ground, that none have yet to fix, through all 43 tracks of their masterpiece.

Avi Buffalo,
Avi Buffalo
I got the 45 earlier this year and loved the A-side. This was a record I was actually anticipating and was more than pleased. I admire anyone with the apparent knowledge of pop structure and chord phrasings, especially a kid fresh out of high school. Somehow, "Where's Your Dirty Mind" reminds me of a song that the Peanuts would sing on a holiday special, and who wouldn't love that?

Beach Fossils, Beach Fossils
Sunny pop about summer, beaches, and teenagers written in the most basic of forms is all the bee's knee's right now and Beach Fossils are at the forefront of that movement. Every song tends to sound a bit similar to my schizophrenic ears, but there are two tracks that stand out; "Golden Age" and "Wide Awake."

Best Coast, Crazy for You
I loved their previous 45s and the grainy, lo-fi summer/sunny pop that they wrote about beaches and the sun. Their debut record is sadly a bit more polished, which is all good aside from the fact that I was hoping to see how their sound would hold up on a long player. I only listened once as I was watching an army of cicadas emerge from their 17-year slumber at 3:00 AM. I do remember "When the Sun Don't Shine" was playing while one particular cicada emerged from its cocoon and I'll now forever see that in my brain when I hear that track.

Black Moth Super Rainbow, Falling Through a Field
Simply one of the best bands around today. I love the '70s and the way the sun shone differently back then as a toddler and Black Moth perfectly evoke the energy of any vague memories of the end of that decade. I particularly like this record of theirs because of its relative rawness and simplicity.

Olivia Tremor Control, Black Foliage: Animation Music
In my opinion, the most underrated record ever recorded, with the possible exception of all of my own records... This is audio art in its highest form. OTC obviously approached this record as they would a canvas and applied sound in strokes like paint from a brush. More proof that great art usually goes generally unnoticed.

Woods,
At Echo Lake
Spending time alone in the woods, in fields, or along bodies of water is a favorite past time of mine, and Woods were specifically formed with the sole intention of occupying my iPod for convenient listening as I get lost in the wilderness. "Suffering Season" is a tree bark's width behind "The Number" in the race for all-time best Woods song

Van Dyke Parks
, Song Cycle
Actually, this may be the most underrated record of all time. I think about 250 people have ever really heard this record. Van Dyke Parks is best known as Brian Wilson's collaborator on the doomed SMiLE LP, and he proved just what a musical force and visionary he is in his own right with Song Cycle; recorded on the heels of SMiLE's demise. Parks utilizes six or seven lifetimes of music knowledge to craft a record that's steeped in history and complicated music theory, all the while dripping in excitement.

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Each Friday, hence the name Favorite Friday - one GLG band/artist will send us a list and comments about their "favorites" of the week. It could be a list of albums they are listening to in the van, books they are reading, guilty pleasure TV, and so on. We hope these various "favorites" will give you unique glimpse into the lives of our bands.

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