Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The 1 Hundred :: Red House Painters - Down Colorful Hill

Red House Painters - Down Colorful Hill (4AD, 1992) // New Vinyl

These days Mark Kozelek is known as much for his press-prodded feuds with festival organizers, reporters, and other bands as he is for the flow of releases as Sun Kil Moon or under his own name; these releases are plentiful and sometimes still quite daring and sublime. But 25 years ago a then 25 year old Kozelek and his band Red House Painters released a debut album full of slow and melancholy gems about youth, first crushes, and missing friends. It remains one of the must-haves in his ever-expanding discography.



Saturday, November 18, 2017

The 1 Hundred - Sunn O))) - Monoliths and Dimensions

Sunn O)) - Monoliths & Dimensions (Southern Lord, 2009) // New CD

Primarily considered a metal band, Seattle's Sunn O))) is also about stretching the genre to new heights and depths... generally depths of tone in their early work that featured low tune riffs and drones that seemed to emerge from the the universe's creation. On Monoliths & Dimensions the group collaborates with everyone from Australian experimenter Oren Ambarchi to composer Eyvind Kang to deliver a work that balances anger, beauty, despair, and grace in equal measure. Closing track "Alice" is perhaps the most stirring and epic track you'll find on an album played by guys obscured by fog machines and wearing druid robes.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

The 1 Hundred Bill Evans & Jim Hall - Undercurrent

Bill Evans & Jim Hall - Undercurrent (1961, UA, reissue 2017) // New Vinyl

As much as I love Miles Davis and John Coltrane, I often veer back to jazz that features the piano as the lead instrument... especially Thelonious Monk and especially especially Bill Evans. And though Undercurrent is not Evans on lead it is one of the loveliest in his discography. Evans duets with guitarist Jim Hall, the two give verve and vigor to such standards as "My Funny Valentine" and "I Hear a Rhapsody." Among the other tracks is "Dream Gypsy," a piece credited to a composer named Judith Veevers for whom very little biographical information is available... and this appears to be her only recorded composition. Its opening piano phrase is worth the price of the album alone.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The 1 Hundred :: Mikrowelle - Twang Boom Tschak... Peng

Mikrowelle - Twang Boom Tschak ... Peng (Kamikaze, 2003) // Used CD

One of many many projects from Germany's Rajko Gohlke, Mikrowelle is German for microwave... which is appropriate as this album sits astride a tipping point between futurism and retro. In a style that could be described as electro surf, Gohlke takes on everything from Morricone-esque western themes to kitsch nuggets like "Popcorn" with a synth-driven bounciness. It's relentlessly fun.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The 1 Hundred :: Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham (Cargo 1991, reissue 2016) // New Vinyl

The band will forever be known for contributing the theme to Kids in the Hall, but they also have three albums of instrumental post-surf rock - some might just call it surf, but there's something more to it - that deliver short sharp twangy shots of good mood right to the pleasure centres of the hips, toe taps, and brain.


The 1 Hundred Main Page

Friday, November 10, 2017

The 1 Hundred :: Mount Eerie - Black Wooden

Mount Eerie - Black Wooden (Latitudes, 2009) // New CD

The Latitudes series from Southern Record provides an avenue for artists to take a few risks and work out a few ideas in a short form manner. Phil Elevrum seizes his day here, building the scorched foundations for what would later become the Black Wooden Ceiling Opening EP. The six tracks here are less aggressive than the metal-infused flavour they'd eventually take on, but they provide a good snapshot of Elevrum as he continued to mutate away from his work as Microphones. That plus the Latitudes series is just fun to collect... so there's that too.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

The 1 Hundred :: Buffalo Tom - Let Me Come Over

Buffalo Tom - Let Me Come Over (Beggars Banquet, 1992 / reissue 2017) // New CD

In that wave of "alternative rock" that began with bands like R.E.M. and crashed on the shore with a noise that went Grrrruuuunnnggggge, Boston's Buffalo Tom stood astride of the jangle and the fuzz and wrote songs that were big and simple and catchy and open-hearted. After a couple of buzzier lo-fi outings, one produced by fellow MASS resident J. Mascis, Bill Janovitz and friends released this cleaner and meaner collection of indie rock chargers. It was one of my favourites then and remains so today.

The 1 Hundred :: Fred Thomas - Kuma

Fred Thomas - Kuma (Ernest Jenning Record Co, 2012) // Used Vinyl

If the title of Fred Thomas' seventh solo record hints at Neil Young's Zuma that's not a full on coincidence... though it is also the name of his dog. Thomas has fronted bands like City Center and Saturday Looks Good To Me as well as playing in a handful of other semi-obscure indie folk outfits, but this album definitely carries the echo of the 70s into present day. Both bleary and ornate in its mood and casually complicated instrumentation, Kuma imagines an early Neil that is a little more articulate and fragile, but just as certain about the beauty and ugliness in the world.


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The 1 Hundred Various - Everything is Nice

Various - Everything is Nice : The Matador 10th Anniversary Anthology (Matador 1999) // Used CD

When Matador turned the big one-oh, which was eighteen years ago, they put out this excellent 3CD compilation with two discs of "greatest hits" and one of unreleased tracks. It now serves as a great time capsule for a decade that saw the rise of Pavement, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Cat Power, Modest Mouse, Bardo Pond, Sleater-Kinney, Yo La Tengo, Mogwai and many many others you may not have yet discovered. The bang/buck ratio is remarkable.


Track Listing:
Disc: 1
  1. Stereo - Pavement
  2. Count Five Or Six - Cornelius
  3. Talk About The Blues – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
  4. Cross Bones StyleCat Power
  5. Flight '96 – Chavez
  6. Fire In The Middle – Nightmares On Wax
  7. Refuse To Lose – Non Phixion
  8. Pitbull – Jega
  9. NO TECH! – Unwound
  10. Cosmic Rays – Helium
  11. Maximum Sunshine - The Lynnfield Pioneers
  12. Fujiyama Attack – Guitar Wolf
  13. Heart Cooks Brain – Modest Mouse
  14. Flux – Bardo Pond
Disc: 2
  1. Xmas Steps – Mogwai
  2. Sugarcube – Yo La Tengo
  3. The Official Ironmen Rally Song – Guided By Voices
  4. Banned From The End Of The World – Sleater-Kinney
  5. Our Louder Solex – Solex
  6. The Banjo's Categorical Gut – Matmos
  7. Here We Go – Arab Strap
  8. Booker To Hooker - Khan
  9. Image Of You – Red Snapper
  10. Blaze – Arsonists
  11. Roygbiv – Boards Of Canada
  12. Do The Strand - Burger Ink
  13. Tanzen - Pole
  14. X-Factor - Void
Disc: 3
  1. Windblown - The Lynnfield Pioneers
  2. Naked - The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
  3. Sleepwalkers - Non Phixion
  4. Universal Skills - Arsonists
  5. One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Barbie Dolls – Pizzicato Five
  6. Oh Cripes! - Solex
  7. Body Dump (Super-8 Mix) - Khan
  8. Schtumm – The Wisdom Of Harry
  9. Sugarcube (Live) - Yo La Tengo
  10. Grounded (Crooked Rain Version) - Pavement
  11. Choking Tara (Creamy Version) - Guided By Voices
  12. Aging Astronauts II - Mary Timony
  13. Long Ride - Bardo Pond
  14. Hugh Dallas - Mogwai
  15. Sea Of Love - Cat Power   

The 1 Hundred :: Paul de Jong - If

Paul de Jong - If (Temporary Residence, 2015 ) // New Vinyl

from NPR.org:

At the turn of the 21st century, computers began to audibly infiltrate musical realms far beyond the electronic and experimental spaces, cropping up in rock, indie-pop and more. One of the cagiest uses of the computer could be heard on The Books' winsome 2002 debut Thought For Food. There, the duo of Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong used it to organize acoustic guitar, cello, violin, field recordings and sampled voices, slicing everything into the smallest of strips and then painstakingly weaving it all back together into a crazy quilt. Taking cues from old folk records, as well as the mischievous collage work of Christian Marclay and Negativland, the results sounded disarming and fresh, like folk music rendered by intellectual androids.

After four albums, though, the duo disbanded in 2012. Zammuto released two solo albums under his surname, at times sounding as if he wished to distance himself from his previous band's distinct sound. But de Jong, a cellist and audio collagist, unabashedly embraces and refines The Books' sound on his first solo album, IF. Album opener "Auction Block" situates the listener in the countryside at dusk, complete with crickets chirping, as the sound of a fiddle and piano slowly emerges in the distance. Soon, we're in the middle of a square dance, with de Jong reeling off vocal samples until they replicate the machine-gun patter of an auctioneer.

From there, de Jong continues to play with vocal samples and acoustic strings at dizzying speeds, continuing The Books' early themes. "Hollywald" and "Baxter @73" most closely adhere to his previous band's aesthetic. But while he can still make miniature tornados of sound that somehow retain all their detail — as in the climax of "This Is Who I Am" — IF best stands apart from his previous work when de Jong peels away the layers so as to allow in more space. The title track is distilled and slow-evolving, the vocal snippets unspooling and then wrapping back around a gentle violin line as gently brushed drums enter and propel the track forward.

De Jong sounds most assured in the back half of IF, which contains some of the most resonant and beautiful music of his career. "Debt Free" opens with contemplative piano before a digitally reconfigured metallophone — and what sounds like a violin run backwards on tape — gives the track momentum, before a whispered "wow" and laughter come in at the end. Meanwhile, "The Age Of The Sea" shows no seams or cuts at all; no inserting of vocal samples to make a crafty joke. It's just the gorgeous sound of cello, violin and guitar as they move together elegantly.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The 1 Hundred :: Naked City - Live at the Knitting Factory 1989

Naked City - Live at the Knitting Factory (Tzadik, 2002) // New CD

from Allmusic 8/10 :

It's almost inconceivable to believe that Naked City, the vanguard supergroup comprised of John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Wayne Horvitz, and Joey Baron, never recorded a live album during their tenure. This wonderfully recorded document from the dawn of the Knitting Factory provides ample evidence that Naked City was even more astonishing live than on their albums. The material comes mainly from the band's debut -- which was recorded some months later -- and has all the punch and sheer adrenaline-gushing verve that a new project brings out of its participants. From the stomping psychedelic lounge of "Batman" to the strolling, edgy R&B in "Latin Quarter," to the hardcore punk and roll of "You Will Be Shot" and the freewheeling improvisation that gives way to Addams Family-style surf music at the heart of "Shot in the Dark," in these first four selections, Naked City lays out a territorial map of the ground that they will stake as their own. But it's not enough to be wide-ranging and experimental and humorous: You have to be able to pull it off in style, and Naked City reveals beyond doubt that inside the grain of their collective voice as a unit, the sense of swing and movement is paramount -- check "Blood Duster," "Chinatown," "Den of Sins," etc., over 20 selections. The other magnificent thing about this live date juxtaposed with the band's studio outings is how different the solo impulses are. No two are the same from any member, and none of them made their way onto tape later. The stop- and start-on-a-dime histrionics of their hardcore attitude and Ornette Coleman-inspired improvisation is an open field against the tighter arrangements of the shimmering jazz noir and warped, blues-laden post-bop. This is not only essential for fans, but proves to be an accessible and wondrous introduction to a truly awesome, if short-lived, band.


The 1 Hundred

Just as there are certain records that continually sell year after year, there are some titles that are continually either just under the radar of popularity, or maybe just need a bit of a highlight to remind you they are still out there waiting for new ears. As an experiment we are going to build a list of one hundred titles, all currently in stock, that we think you should lend an ear to.

Of course this list will have to be fluid and ever changing, so we'll try to keep updating it, adding new titles as the old ones find new homes... let's see how it works? OK?

Each of the titles below will have a link to page with a review and a sample song, so have yourself a click fest and see what you can find.


American Music Club - Mercury // New Vinyl
Gastr Del Sol - Upgrade & Afterlife // Used CD
Gold Sparkle Band - Fugues & Flowers // Used CD
Helado Negro - Awe Owe // Used CD
Victor Herrero - Astrolabio // New Vinyl
Jeremy Jay - Dream Diary // Used Vinyl
Mikrowelle - Twang Boom Tschak ...Peng // Used CD
Mount Eerie - Black Wooden // New CD
Mountain Movers - S/T // New Vinyl
Mountains - Mountains Mountains Mountains // New Vinyl
Painkiller - Collected Works // Used CD (4 disc set)
Zak Riles - S/T // Used CD

The 1 Hundred :: American Music Club - Mercury

American Music Club - Mercury // (1993 Virgin / reissued 2014) // New Vinyl

from AllMusic // Rated 8/10:

Leave it to American Music Club to make their major-label bow with the most perversely idiosyncratic record in their catalog. Produced with eccentric panache by Mitchell Froom, Mercury spotlights the band at their darkest and most eclectic, favoring odd rhythms, bizarre effects, and extreme arrangements ranging from the synthetic lounge grandeur of the worshipful "Johnny Mathis' Feet" to the swirling sonic maelstrom of the fatalistic "Challenger." Under the cover of defense-mechanism titles like "What Godzilla Said to God When His Name Wasn't Found in the Book of Life," "If I Had a Hammer" and "The Hopes of Dreams of Heaven's 10,000 Whores," Mark Eitzel paints some of his bleakest portraits to date; even the most superficially upbeat tracks -- "Keep Me Around," "Hollywood 4-5-92," "Over and Done" -- are relentlessly grim at their core. A triumph of abject misery.