116. station to station

“Speaking of David Bowie albums I’d probably die trying to save from a house fire, Station to Station‘s the one where he refers to himself as the Thin White Duke, title track, first song, first words. Not that it meant much to me at the time, 1976, half-way through Grade Eleven. It was just another disappointment on the level that it wasn’t somehow a return to Ziggy Stardust and/or the year of the Diamond Dogs – a perspective I’d soon outgrow, because I couldn’t help but get sucked in by Station to Station. Particularly the song, its long slow build from noise to creepy mutant groove, to sudden switch at half-distance into full-on cocaine party rocker. Later that year, I’d read the infamous Playboy interview where Mr. Bowie spoke not unfavourably of Adolph Hitler, how what the Britain of 1976 needed was a solid fascist government. What an asshole! Years later, the story would come out that Station to Station was an album he had no memory of recording due to a confusion of cocaine, black magic, milk, full-on paranoid psychosis and appearances on the Dinah Shore Show. Which is just one more reason why I wouldn’t a trade a teenage in the 1970s for any other decade. Exactly as strange and provocative as this growing boy needed.” (Philip Random)

(photos: Andrew Kent)
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947. worlds in collision

Jerry Harrison being the other guy from the Talking Heads (also the Modern Lovers), Worlds in Collision being one of those tracks that employs whatever means are necessary (including big mutant funk, Adrian Belew’s fully animalized guitar, even a little Adolph H railing on about blood and soil and whatever) to drive home its point. Which is yes, we’re in trouble, all of us, every living thing really, this Apocalypse being not a thing that’s coming but a thing that’s here, on top of us, all around us, even inside us, and it’s not going away, such is the wild, weird, stretched-out historical moment into which were born. Just don’t stop dancing.

jerryharrison

987. the dream

You had to love the cover of Tupelo Chain Sex’s Spot the Difference. Little punk kid sporting a Ronald Reagan Adolph Hitler t-shirt, getting pulled two ways at once. But the real treasure was the music. Not just another hardcore band from LA, these guys had former Frank Zappa alumni Sugarcane Harris in their midst (not to mention a guy named Stumuk blowing a monster sax) and thus were brilliantly all over the place. Reggae, dub, ska, jazz, rockabilly, hardcore – everything, with lead off track The Dream (an extrapolation on an old Cab Calloway hit) serving as a whip smart intro to what remains one of the great (mostly) forgotten albums of any era.

Tupelo Chain Sex - Spot the Difference