Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville was one of my favourite albums during my last year at university and is one of the few instances where I've had a real-life High Fidelity moment - where you're idly browsing in a record shop (Record Collector in Sheffield, fact fans) and ask the assistant what's playing then buy it on the spot. If I remember rightly the guy who served me moaned that it was the only copy they had... This was a phenomenon that would return to haunt me when I worked in the jazz department of my local Virgin Megastore - Coltrane's Giant Steps and Wynton Marsalis' Joe Cool's Blues were the popular choices, if memory serves.
Anyhoo, Liz Phair - I like to think my reaction to this album was more sophisticated than the thrill of a feisty American woman with a dirty mouth but I can't be sure... I do know that I really dug the sloppy lo-fi recording, her gnarly guitar playing plus her can't-be-arsed vocal style.
Liz Phair - Divorce Song
This track has one of the most affecting lyrics on the album and gets away from any accusations of stomping on the potty-mouth pedal for a cheap thrill.
Liz Phair - Stratford-On-Guy
On reflection this album is still well worth checking out if you can - a big sprawling and ambitious double-album. The second album Whip-Smart has a couple of decent tracks but gets a bit "auto-pilot". Later albums have resorted to collaborations with pop tyrants The Matrix and more explicit shock tactics, resulting in some comically stinking reviews.
Visit - Liz Phair
Buy - Exile in Guyville
Hand me the crowbar...
A Tribe Called Quest - Buggin' Out
(file under 'Q')
From their magnificent Low End Theory album, this is officially stevedomino's FAVOURITE HIP HOP TRACK EVER. This is just perfect - a smokin' beat, cool bass line, fantastic rhymes, the works. Awesome stuff and effortlessly cool, this is everything that I want hip hop to be.
I remember dancing to this in a club in Nottingham BACK IN THE DAY with our friend the Singing Detective - whaddup, homez?
Visit - A Tribe Called Quest
Buy - The Low End Theory
Rodan - The Everyday World Of Bodies
Second-string, Louisville-based, post-Spiderland math-rockers in 12 minute track shocker.
This is an album that I bought after hearing a track of theirs on a compilation tape from good friend the Archdeacon of Pop - think it was from a Simple Machines 7"? Anyway, the album was a bit of a disappointment but this tracks still rocks a fat-one. Fantastic chunky guitars and some great drumming - golly, they seem awfully cross about something... Great pay-off moment at 8.00.
You know how people who read books with small print can suffer problems with their eyesight? Do you think that people who came of musical age in the late-80s/early-90s and listened to a diet of mumblecore bands like Bitch Magnet, Slint and Rodan will develop hearing problems later on in life? Think about it.
Visit - Rodan
Buy - Rusty (limited availability)
Or you could try eBay