Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Favorite Music

I used to have swathes of free time to read, and watch movies and television. For years a listened to music rarely, and stuck to what my roommates liked. Believe it or not , for 2 years in Oxford I did not even own a stereo, and I still have to admit to preferring recorded music to live music. My need for music developed late, in conjunction with the invention of the iPod and my need to run, run errands, and commute. As a result my list of favorite music is a bit limited, uncooked, and lacks historical perspective. Nevertheless, here it is. My tastes tend to run toward indie, rap and country -- the genres that in my opinion have the best lyrics, and dance, which is good to run to. Classification of music by genre is very confusing: let me know if something on this list should be somewhere else or called something else.


The Mountain Goats -- basically all of it, but especially Tallahassee, All Hail West Texas

Neutral Milk Hotel

Olivia Tremor Control

Magnetic Fields

Belle and Sebastian


The Polyphonic Spree

The Arcade Fire

Super Fuzzy Animals

Tegan and Sara

Apples in Stereo

The Weakerthans

The Dirty Three --

Palace / Bonnie Prince Billie




Daft Punk


Kanye West



The RZA and the Wu Tang Clan

Bone Thugs n' Harmony


Mos Def and Talib Kweli

Girl Talk's Feed the Animals and Night Ripper and All Day.

MC Chris is Dead

And though I hate the album, Gheto Boys' "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta" is one of my favorite songs of all time.


The Beatles -- just about all of it


Guided by Voices

Bob Dylan

Leonard Cohen

Johnny Cash

Other Stuff

My Bloody Valentine

New Pornographers

David Holmes

Man or Astroman

LCD Soundsystem

Hot Chip


Gillian Welch -- Revival, Time (The Revelator), Soul Journey

I like REM fine, but I would have to say that "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I feel fine)" has special significance for me.

Tom Waits

Sun Volt

And I have to grab my favorite running album of all time, Running Cadences of the US Armed Forces.


scott91777 said...

My purpose in life was to make this list...

Seriously, of all my things to my favorite list of... this is my, uh, favorite. There's a myriad of ways I could do this... so I'll just list favorite artists, with the implication that all they're albums are great, followed by my favorite albums by that artist.

But first:

Currently listening to:

Viva La Vida- Coldplay, Consolers of the Lonely- The Raconteurs, Accelerate-REM, as well as assorted Radiohead, early REM, and Beatles songs I put in the playlist.

The Beatles- like Geoff said, pretty much all of it, but my favorites have always been The White Album, Revolver, and Rubber Soul... oh, and Past Masters Vol 1 & 2 which collect all the non-album singles.

U2- Achtung Baby (my all time favorite album), How To Dismantle and Atomic Bomb, All That You Can't Leave Behind, The Joshua Tree, War, Boy, Pop, Zooropa.

The Who- Who's Next (my second favorite album), Live at Leeds, Quadrophenia, My Generation, any collection of their early singles.

Bruce Springsteen- Born To Run (my third favorite album), Greetings from Asbury Park, The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Nebraska, Born In The USA, Magic.

The White Stripes- De Stijl, Icky Thump, Elephant, White Blood Cells.

REM- Document, Murmer, Reckoning, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, Automatic for the People, Green, Monster, Up.

The Strokes- Room on Fire, First Impressions of Earth, Is this It?

Red Hot Chili Peppers- Stadium Arcadium, Californication, Blood Sugar Sex Magic, By The Way.

Johnny Cash- American IV: The man Comes Around, American Recordings, American V, A Hundred Highways, Unearthed, The Legend (boxed set)

Def Leppard- Pyromania, Hysteria

Van Halen- Van Halen I, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, 1984.

The Clash- London Calling

The Ramones- Road to Ruin, The Ramones, The Ramones Leave Home, Rocket To Russia.

Wilco- Kicking Television: Live in Chicago, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Summerteeth

Matthew Sweet- Girlfriend, 100% Fun

The Hives- The Black and White Album, Veni Vidi Vicious

Guns N' Roses- Appetite for Destruction, Use Your Illusion I & II, Lies

Weezer- The Blue Album, The Green Album, Pinkerton.

Bob Dylan- Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 revisited, John Wesley Harding, Blonde On Blonde

Green Day- American Idiot, Dookie

The Beastie Boys- Check Your Head, Ill Communication

Fiona Apple- Extraordinary Machine, When The Pawn...

Radiohead- Ok Computer, The Bends, I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings

Coldplay- X & Y, Viva La Vida or Death and All of his Friends

Metallica- Master Of Puppets, Ride The Lightning, Kill 'Em All, The Black Album.

Beck- Odelay, Sea Change, Guero

Peter Gabriel- So

The Guilty Pleasure file:

Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard (other than those listed above), Phil Collins, Genesis, hair metal in general, the solo work of Clarence Clemons, "Take On Me", "Don't You Forget About Me", 80s new wave stuff.

Other stuff:

Favorite Motown- The Temptations, Marvin Gay

Mainstream Country- Dixie Chicks

Hip-Hop/Rap- Outkast, Public Enemy, The Fugees, Run DMC, Jay-Z, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince.

scott91777 said...

Dammit, I knew I'd forget something:

Jimi Hendrix- Electric Ladyland, Are You Experienced? Axis: Bold as Love

The Cure- Disinigration

scott91777 said...

Oh, and the Police... I can't believe I forgot the Police!

No one album in particular... actually, I love the two disc best of they put out last year simply titled The Police.

Ok, I think that's everything...

Like you Geoff, I like to be judged by my list... and, for me, this is the most important list of all... so I can't leave out anything important :)

Jason said...

My faves:

The Kinks (best albums: Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur)

The Beatles (Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, White Album)

Oingo Boingo (Boingo, Alive, Farewell)

Midnight Oil (Diesel and Dust, Blue Sky Mining, Earth and Sun and Moon, Capricornia, Red Sails in the Sunset)

I'm on a big Midnight Oil kick lately. SO very underrated. Scott, if you like U2, I recommend the Oils. They are similarly rocking/political.

The Undertones (self-titled debut, The Positive Touch)

David Byrne (Uh Oh, Grown Backwards)

Paul said...

Geoff sure likes the Elephant 6 bands.

Here's my all-time faves:

The Cure
The Smiths
New Order
Sonic Youth
Pulp (His & Hers, Different Class, Hardcore, & We Love Life)
The The
Billy Bragg (Talking to the Taxman, Worker's Playtime, & Don't Try This at Home)
Smashing Pumpkins (pre-2000)
The Replacements (Let it Be, Tim)
The Pixies
The New Pornographers
Blonde Redhead
Besnard Lakes
Mates of States

Darius Kazemi said...

Geoff, you have excellent taste in music. And by "excellent," I mean "similar to my own."

If you like Mountain Goats that much, I highly recommend you check out John Vanderslice. He is the long-time producer for Mountain Goats, and he is very generous and puts up full album mp3s for anything older than a few years. You also can get the full albums for his old band, MK-Ultra, legally on their website for free (I recommend The Dream Is Over to start with). Incidentally, the JV song "Time Travel Is Lonely" reminds me a bit of Casanova. And since you're a Neutral Milk Hotel Fan you might appreciate that he named one of his albums "Mass Suicide Occult Figurines."

Also, if you like "Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta" you will probably like the Geto Boys track "My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me." You can find it on my muxtape here.

Mikey said...

Surf guitar music, dubstep and pre-war blues. AND NOTHNG ELSE.

Oh go on then:

Guns n Roses – Lies
Metallica – Ride the Lightning (as the first album I ever owned)
White Zombie – La Sexorcisto

Bad Religion – Generator
Pennywise – About Time

My ideas about music were exploded by first hearing:

Refused – The Shape of Punk to Come
Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

Favourite albums:

Lift to Experience – Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads is possibly my favourite album.
The (International) Noise Conspiracy – Survival Sickness
Blind Willie McTell – Atlanta Strut
Nomeansno – The Worldhood of the World (As Such) and Dance of the Headless Bourgeoisie

Like Kurt Cobain, Lead Belly is my favourite performer.

Artists who’ve made some of my favourite music:

Skullflower – Orange Canyon Mind
Lil Wayne
DJ/rupture’s Gold Teeth Thief mix is pretty perfect (and available online as a free download.
Digital Mystikz
John Coltrane

Other Favourite bands:

Belle and Sebastian, The Kinks, Beach Boys, Kris Kristofferson, The Handsome Family, The Stooges, Hank Williams, Townes van Zandt, Mothers of Invention, New Bomb Turks, The Ramones, Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Godspeed You Black Emperor, Man…Or Astroman?

The Weakerthans – Fallow, Left and Leaving, Reconstruction Site
Lard – Pure Chewing Satisfaction

Cannibal Ox – The Cold Vein (a Masters essay on this and 36 Chambers is in a drawer somewhere.)
Rammellzee – The Biconicals of the Rammellzee
MIA - Kala

King Tubby
South Rakkas Crew
Trim – Soul Food

The Clash – London Calling
Velvet Underground – Waiting for the Man and Heroin
The Bug ft. Warrior Queen – Poison Dart
DJ/rupture – Mosquito and Little More Oil (ft. Sister Nancy)
Spragga Benz – All About Dem


Marc Caputo said...

Geoff: I notice Beck isn't on your list. Is that an oversight or just don't like his stuff?

For the most part, he occupies the same place in my musical world that Prince did until 1994 (ironically, the year Beck broke with 'Loser'). I had a feeling that Prince had nothing new to say to me around 1991, but waited (the 'best time to look for a new job - or girlfriend - is when you have one' theory, you know). That place being an artist that never bores me (or himself), is willing to try anything and just a plain good listen.

Everyone: I have a list of albums that constantly give me pleasure and reveal new things about them and me to me over time.

...,actually. - Pet Shop Boys
Blue Lines - Massive Attack
Brighten the Corners - Pavement
Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
G-Man - Sonny Rollins
Learning to Crawl - The Pretenders
London Calling - The Clash
Only Life - The Feelies
Remain in Light - Talking Heads
Tunnel of Love - Bruce Springsteen
Sign of the Times - Prince
3 Feet High and Rising - De La Soul
Up On the Sun - Meat Puppets

plus artists like the Smiths, Steely Dan, the Blasters and too many to mention.

But for a full measure of where my musical tastes lies, check out

Click on the links for "iPod experiment." That's a good insight. Please drop by.

scott91777 said...

The Stones! How can I forget the Rolling Stones!

The early singles, Sticky Fingers is my favorite album... always preferred that over Exile... I just felt it was a much tighter album, Exile is sort of their White Album to me... Between The Buttons is a very underrated album and one of my favorite stones albums (check that one out Jason... if you like the Kinks I think you'll enjoy that one).


Can you reccomend a good collection of the early Kinks singles? With stuff like "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night"

Re: Midnight Oil, I remember them... I do need to check them out as I might like some of their stuff. Oddly, though, when it comes to U2 the political side of things isn't what draws me to them. People always say "they got too political" but, really, while their public persona (Bono's really) has grown more political... the music/lyrics have grown LESS political... Their most political album was War and they've generally grown less poltical since then, at least, the lyrics are ambiguous enough to have poltical undertones without being overtly poltical most of the time... think about their best songs... most of them aren't very political... I know that my favorites aren't the political ones.

Sorry, ranting a bit... it's just a common misconception I felt like clearing up :)

(When I want politico-rock... I go for the Clash! They did it better than U2 anyway)

Geoff Klock said...

Marc: I like Beck fine -- the cross genre thing appels to me of course. but I don't think of him often or listen to him much now. Maybe I should start.

Marc Caputo said...

I'm not going to start on the Beatles again, but if the world forgot about the Kinks, I'd leave it.

U2 - with the exception of Rattle and Hum (the entire magilla book/cd/movie/theme park ride - except the trailer for the movie) - I really like their 80s stuff. Achtung is actually their masterpiece and 'Zooropa'/'Numb'/'Lemon' are of a piece, but after that, I'm out.

I'll take R.E.M. over U2 any day of the week, but the Smiths kick all their asses. 4 years (we just passed the 25th anniversary of "This Charming Man"), 4 great albums, and truckload of singles and b-sides that trump the albums and you have easily one of the best acts of all time.

Scott: no Tunnel of Love? Lifes Rich Pageant? Chronic Town?

Also going through a Rush phase again.

Marc Caputo said...

Also, can anyone help me with this?

I'm about to switch computers. I have, on my iTunes, songs from my collection, songs from iTunes and songs from eMusic.

What is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get my library - playlists intact - from one to another?


scott91777 said...


As I said, all the works of these artist are implied... but Tunnel Of Love isn't high up on my Bruce list... I like the singles ("Tunnel of Love" and "Brilliant Disguise") the rest of the album felt a little flat for me... I know some people swear by them, but Life's Rich Pageant and Fables of The Reconstruction were never my favorite REM albums, you're right about Chronic Town though... I love "Wolves, Lower" ... and they played "1,000,000" when I saw them a few weeks back!

Marc Caputo said...

Scott: really? Tunnel ranks as my favorite, followed by The River/Darkness/Nebraska/Lucky Town.

Lifes and Fables are fast growers for me. Didn't play them beyond the singles years back, but they really jump out at me now. Document and Green don't really get me but I can play them all the way through now.

"1,000,000", huh? WOW. That must have been something to see.

Jason said...


Here's a good Kinks collection, though it's a double-Cd ...

This one's a single disc, which gets the job done, I suppose. (Not always a good idea to ask the hardcore fan about best-ofs ... :) )

I'll take your word for it re: U2. I think Midnight Oil is better than them anyway, really. :) I just know a lot of Midnight Oil fans to have said things like, "The only band I love as much as the Oils is U2." So, thought I'd try and tempt you on that connection. Midnight Oil is one of those bands I'd like to convert the world to -- they're so dang good! I even blogged about 'em recently:

Jason said...

"I'm not going to start on the Beatles again, but if the world forgot about the Kinks, I'd leave it."

Marc, you are a horrible person.

Jason said...

Or wait, are you saying you'd want to leave the world if it forgot about The Kinks? :)

ripvanruben said...

fucking hell, klock! what are you doing with my Music collection! add some XTc and scratch the Bone Thugs and thats fucking me! Stop stealing my brane!!!

Paul said...

Fables is my favorite R.E.M. album of all time! Followed closely by Document and Pageant.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ping33 said...

I also love all the E6 stuff except Of Montreal which I find annoying.

Other Faves include:
Explosions in the Sky
Fiery Furnaces
DJ Shadow
Pink Floyd
The Microphones
Yo La Tengo
All Kim Deal related Bands/projects
Philip Glass
King Crimson
The Magnetic Fields
Sigur Ros
All Phill Spector related Bands
Add N to (x)
Asobi Seksu
David Bowie
Buffalo Daughter
The Boredoms
Brian Eno
Flying Saucer Attack
Chris Knox
Serena Maneesh
...probably more I'm forgetting...

Marc Caputo said...

Jason: Fear not, it's the second. I dearly love the Kinks. I would even go so far to say that of the 60s 'Fab Four' - Beatles/Stones/Kinks/Who - Kinks outdo the Who, though not the Stones (who could, really?)

Ping also jarred a few from the memory

Last Splash - The Breeders
I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One - Yo La Tengo - this is the album that brought me back to music after 2-3 years of blahs.

Ping33 said...

Forgot Ghost... Hypnotic Underworld is one of the best albums of the naughts.

Jason said...

Marc -- sweet, then I can unclench. :)

Marc Caputo said...

Jason: man, am I glad I checked in before the long weekend...

scott91777 said...


Not only did they play "1,000,000"
They opened with "Harborcoat", "Pretty Persuasion" and "Seven Chinese Bros."

I figured it out and they played at least one song off of every REM album.

Oh, I forgot... for the guilty pleasure file... throw in My Chemical Romance... it speaks to my inner wounded teenager.

Streebo said...

There are some fantastic suggestions on this thread. I would like to add a couple that have escaped mention as yet.

For RZA fans it's definitely worth checking out his collaboration with the GRAVEDIGGAZ. The first album "Six Feet Deep" is the strongest effort.

No classic rock fan's collection could be complete without a copy of The DOORS "Absolutely Live" on their shelf.

And lastly for the metal fans - let's not overlook some fine contributions from one of the founding members of Metallica - Dave Mustaine and his follow up band Megadeth: Best albums include So Far, So Good, So What?

Peace Sells, But Who's Buying?

Rust In Peace.

Did anyone mention White Stripes - Elephant?

Streebo said...


by the Gravediggaz.

Verse 2 (Too Poetic/Grym Reaper)

"Hey you little rich kid, what's your beef?
Come and tell the Grym Reaper all of your grief
You asked for a Benz and you only got a Jeep
Your pop's got endz, but yo he's mad cheap

Maybe you're a bastard child you think
Mom and dad are white and you're dark as ink
Maybe you're Sicilian with a tan
But you hate lasagna and the pizza man

Now you stand on the grave digga locked and
You're singing the blues about the rough life you've got
Not! You don't wanna live no more
I guess you're really ready for the grave yard tour

When you get home
Just seal up your windows and you doors
Turn your oven on high for about four hours
Light you a blunt, kiss your ass goodbye
You gassed yourself 'cause it's a suicide."

Darius Kazemi said...

Streebo: EXCELLENT pick on the Gravediggaz' 1-800-SUICIDE.

scott91777 said...


I mentioned Elephant... although I like De Stijl and Icky Thump both a lot better :)

Also, a lot of people are mentioning Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation... fine album indeed but my Favorites were always Goo and Dirty. In Goo, they perfected that 'melodic noise' thing and I've always found Dirty to be their most accessible in terms of Pop sensibility.


I'll take the Who over the Kinks AND the Stones... any day :)

Marc Caputo said...

Scott: Actually, I go the other way with SY. If I don't call up Daydream Nation, then I go with Sister. I like the band just outside the pop thing, looking in, but ultimately going their own way.

But Goo is good.

As for the Who, I just never got into a lot of their material. I prefer Townshend on his own, at least while the 1980s were going on.

Ping33 said...

Who's Next
The Who Sell Out are both amazing records.

I've never been a huge Sonic Youth fan my fave is SYR 4 - Goodbye 20th Century.

I also forgot Spacemen 3 and Animal Collective

Ping33 said...

oh! And 3rd Eye Foundation!!! and Yann Tiersen

Streebo said...

Darius: Glad to see the love for Gravediggaz. Their debut album hasn't left my MP3 player all month.

Scott: Sorry for overlooking that. I've been meaning to give Icky Thump a closer listen of late. Good stuff.

Marc Caputo said...

Who's Next is, of course, the monster album. I would say that that is a better best album than let's say, Zep IV or Revolver and right alongside Stones albums like Beggar's and Exile.

I never picked up SYR 4 - only have the first 3.

Jason said...

My ranking for the British Invasion Mount Rushmore would go,

1 Kinks
2 Beatles
3 Stones
4 Who

Streebo said...

I seem to be falling deeper into Leonard Cohen this month.

Has everyone seen this video of Cohen performing The Stranger from the Julie Felix Show in 1967?

The only word I can find to describe it is sublime.