From the press release: “Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken says, “‘Meet the Beatles!’ was a call to arms to an army of musically-inclined kids across the nation. There was no turning back after hearing this LP and seeing the Beatles on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show.’ We were instantly hipped to the fact that there can never be anything cooler than playing in a rock n roll band.”
Have a listen to my favorite Smithereens track off their 1988 album Green Thoughts.
Joanna Newsom :: Ys
A divisive artist, Joanna Newsom’s brand of 21st century folk music arrived seemingly fully formed on her debut — 2004’s critically acclaimed The Milk-Eyed Mender. A classically trained harpist, Newsom’s cross to bear, in terms of audience acceptance, is that of her singing voice. And how to describe that voice to the uninitiated — a blend of stammering childlike whimsy, coupled with Victoria Williams, perhaps? Without a doubt, it is the definition of “an acquired taste.”
On the back end, the album’s pedigree is strong one with Steve Albini manning the boards, famed Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks handling the arrangements and mixed by the brilliant Jim O’Rourke. Admittingly none of the above matter unless the source material stands up which it does. A five song concept album Ys grows leaps and bounds from its predecessor in terms of both taking chances and genuine artistic growth. In terms of immediate likeability the two are not mutually exclusive, so one can expect Ys to be a creeper of an album. Don’t expect to grasp its eclectic nuances in one (or five) sittings. But as any music lover will tell you, that is usually the litmus test for a great album.