Guided By Voices

Propeller

Scat Records

The story of Guided By Voices spans twenty years, 22 albums, and too many songs for me to count right now. You see, kind of like with the Ramones, each album contains an average of 25 to 30 short songs-only instead of clumsy three-chord punk stuff, GBV songs are quick towel snaps of warm rock music to get your ass in gear. These dudes are indie legends, and this album in particular is important because, well, the band called it quits last year, so no more new music out of them. However, Propeller is a reissue of a 1992 album that only got 500 pressings (each sold with its own unique, hand-done cover art). In other words, it’s doubtful that you’ve already heard it, and it represents the old days which, when it comes to bands that have been around for twenty years, are very often the good days. Check it out!-J.S.

 

Cat Power

The Greatest

Matador Records

I always thought I didn’t like Cat Power because I don’t really go for a bunch of overly sentimental, ultra-mellow, piano-ballad-type stuff. However, maybe I was yapping about my idea of what Cat Power is instead of what it really is, or maybe this album’s just different. Either way, The Greatest gets a fair listen out of me at least once a day as of late-and that includes foot tappin’ when the jazzy shit kicks in and a slow nod to the truth of it all when things slow down and get a little bit sad. This Chan Marshall lady who’s the heart and soul of Cat Power might be crazy (or so I’ve heard), but she’s got a big voice that sinks its teeth into some things that you might not have admitted to yourself needed biting into.-J.S.

 

Encore This!

Psst! Come over here-yeah, you! Can we talk about something? It’s encores, and how much I hate ‘em, and how completely meaningless they are these days. The way I see it, encores used to be earned: After an exceptionally good show during which the artist whipped people up into an absolute frenzy, they’d get a standing ovation, and the seething crowd would subsequently demand their presence back on the stage this instant with yelps, claps, and stomps. Then the artist would say to him/herself, “wow, I didn’t expect this-I guess they really like me!” And they’d humbly shuffle back out onstage to rock the crowd the f-k out for another few cuts.

However, the present encore is nothing more than a formality-and I hate formalities! Bands do one whether or not they played good and whether or not they were asked back out there-it’s a goddamn given. Seriously, there’s some standard amount of time you stay backstage-long enough to pound a beer, or call your girlfriend, or watch the end of the game-and then it’s right back out there to play the rest of the set every single time.

Listen, I got no beef with good music, I don’t even have beef with bad music, all I’m asking is for bands to just play the music they’re planning on playing and then call it a night. Is that too much to ask?-Jennifer Sherowski

 

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Metric rocked out and then cut out-now that’s what I like to see. Photo: Sherowski

 

Brain Lozenge

Brain Lozenge is a little slice of heaven right here in the Sounds column. Sometimes we review old stuff, sometimes new-maybe a CD, a DVD, or what the hell, even a book. Whatever it is, it’s guaranteed to soothe your mind … thus, the name.-Chris Coyle

 

Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Return To The 36 Chambers

Elektra Records

The first time I ever drank a beer, it tasted like someone had pissed in apple juice. My friends told me, “The taste grows on you.” This always amazed me. That goes right up there with, “This is gross-taste it!” in the “go f-k yourself” list. Why would you continually put something in your mouth that tastes like crap until you got used to it? I’m pretty sure dog shit tastes bad, but I’m not going to repeatedly eat it until I enjoy the flavor.

Yeah, people sometimes get mad when I don’t like certain foods they like. Say, for instance, ciilantro-don’t like it. If I bring that up in mixed company, I may as well have said I work for the IRS. Looks of disgust reign down upon me like I was a fart at a germaphobe convention. But again, why should I force myself to eat something I don’t like?

When I first heard this record, it was the equivalent of audio cilantro-I thought it was awful. Yet for some reason, unlike with my leafy green nemesis, I continued to partake. Fast-forward to present day, and the thought of life without this album would be as painful as life without beer-good god, don’t even joke about that.-C.C.

 

Josh Dirksen’s “Songs That Remind Me Of Good Times” Playlist

1. Adam Sandler, “The Goat Song”

2. NOFX, “Stickin’ In My Eye”

3. Primus, “Frizzle Fry”

4. The Beastie Boys, “Paul Revere”

5. Frank Zappa, “Titties And Beer”

6. Anthrax, “Caught In A Mosh”

7. The Vandals, “The Legend Of Pat Brown”

8. The Descendents, “Sour Grapes”

9. Judas Priest, “Diamonds And Rust”

10. Neil Diamond, “Solitary Man”

 

Photo: Chris Owen