In what's becoming a wonderfully appreciated feature of this world-renowned blog, we offer you MORE. There is no special trick. There is no scientific formula. I simply stare into space and ponder what albums have been denied their critical applause for TOO LONG. Who knows? Maybe someday you'll find YOUR album here! If it could happen to Dan Matz, it could happen to you.
Carry Me Over (Amish Records): This album came out in 2003 when no one was looking. Dan's played with Windsor For The Derby and with ex-Swans Michael Gira. Dan wrote and recorded this album while suffering through a winter in Buffalo, NY. It sounds like he's trapped in a cabin with his acoustic guitar and a young lady who occasionally plays the piano. Why it didn't sell a million copies is beyond me. Maybe because the truth hurts? Or maybe because it's on Amish Records and their promotional budget was noticeably smaller than that of Time-Warner?
The Bicycle Thief — You Come And Go Like A Pop Song (Artemis): They released this album twice. Both times it flopped. Well, it didn't sell much. But the songs still sounded pretty good. Now from what I understand, a lot of people don't like Bob Forrest, the main man behind Thelonious Monster and the Bicycle Thief. He must owe people money. Or maybe he's a big jerk! I don't know. I've never met him and I've never spoken with him. Yet I feel like I know him. Because these songs read like a personal diary from someone who isn't always a happy camper. "I'm 35 years old and I wash dishes in a restaurant," he sings at one point. I'm thinking, hey at least he's got a job!
The Doctor Came At Dawn (Drag City): I remember playing this album for a friend when it came out in the mid-'90s and he innocently asked me, "Are you playing this on purpose?" I took this to mean I was onto something. Granted, most of this guy Bill Callahan's albums can get pretty dull sometimes. But it's like a game of solitaire. If you're sitting around waiting for the cards to be dealt your way, it ain't gonna happen. You're not understanding how the game is played. But if you like lugubrious orchestrations and the feeling of being tied to stretcher bars like Lurch on the Addams Family, well, you're sure to love this album as much as I do. And on purpose!
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians — Element Of Light (Rhino):
This might be out of print again and soon reissued. Fact: no two Robyn Hitchcock fans love the same album. He's made too many and everyone's so particular to different ones. Some like the early work — Soft Boys. Some like the acoustic work — I Often Dream of Trains, Eye. Some prefer Respect or Luxor or you get the idea. None of which is wrong. It can't be. It's your opinion! I like this one because the album cover is white. Hitchcock is on the beach. And yet it sounds like snow is falling throughout "Winchester" and "Raymond Chandler Evening." When I told this to Mr. Hitchcock, he seemed puzzled. "Hmmn," he said. "That album always reminds me of May." See? I'm wrong again!
Life'll Kill Ya (Artemis): Before Warren Zevon officially died, he opted to keep making very good records. Which was awfully nice of him. We, as a people, weren't always as nice in return. Sure, we as a collective mass would scream for "Werewolves Of London," but we didn't always buy his new albums. A real shame because, as is the case with this one, they were pretty good! I'm currently reading his ex-wife's biography of the man she called Warren: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon and so far it's been a captivating read. And I've only got 300 more pages to go! And that's without a lot of pictures to speed up the pace! When I finish it next year, I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out. For now, check out this album and rock your life away!
- Amish Records