If there was anyone I was into this year, it was Marc Bolan and his amazingness with not only glam electric rock T.Rex, but in his earlier days as a trailblazing acid-folk duo Tyrannosaurus Rex. When I got a double record of My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows and Prophets, Seers & Sages – The Angels of the Ages back in March for only $18.50--in good condition, no less--I pretty much walked out of there with a big wet mark on my crotch because I pissed my pants with glee. And don't even get me started on his pizazz. Talent and pizazz, all in one person? Stop it. You either have one or the other. But Marc Bolan said, "Fuck that" and kicked ass by keeping up with the times diligently. Seriously, being a badass folk musician and being a badass electric musician? Bob Dylan tried that shit and failed miserably. Unfortunately, Bolan gets no love. If it weren't for the 2001 release of Billy Elliot, one-third of this era who cares about music would know who the hell he is, probably.
How many times have I babbed about Stereolab within the past week? Don't even expect me to write a long passage about them like I just did on Marc Bolan. You know when people say, "Words cannot describe how I feel about...," and they don't really mean it, they're just being dramatic? Well, this is not the case. I literally cannot say a damn thing about them. All I can do is pop in ANY album of theirs and have people guaranteed to vibe to the musical geniusness that they're listening to. Just buy their albums. Do your soul a favor. Please. Pretty please.
I hate it when I tell people about Tim Buckley and they automatically say, "I've never heard his stuff, but I love Jeff Buckley." NOT THE SAME! Granted, Jeff had a voice out of this world, but papa--ohhhh, papa. He did not play. That brotha had a message to send, and he sent that shit well. Sure, he talked about broken hearts and being in love, but overall, he wanted people to fight the bullshit norm and overcome mental oppression. He was not happy with the Vietnam War, so he wanted people to revolt through his music. And boy, did he have a powerful voice. He wanted to make sure people heard what the hell he had to say, and I respect him for that, even over 30 years after his death.
And Reason 4:
Ah, the only current band listed (as far as original lineup goes). I got into Liars hardcore this year. I got on that Drums Not Dead bandwagon once it was cleared off from other bandwagoneers and really felt it. But when I went to Chicago this past July and walked into Permanent Records, it, ironically enough, left a permanent mark on me. I was thumbing through records and CDs and I was really groovin' to some sexy experimental dance song (imagine that) . I wanted to ask the clerk, but you know how it is when it comes to customers asking record store clerks about shit, i.e. "What, you don't know who this is?!" That whole deal. But it was so good that I fought my pride and went up and asked the clerk woman, and she politely answered, "Liars, the one before Drums Not Dead." I said, "Damn, and I figured it was them, but I had to double check. Damn, that sounds really awesome." And she smiled and nodded. It was a great revelation because then I started riding Liars like a horse. I could not get enough. I had to have all their albums from then on, starting with their self-titled album that came out in August. The fact that they have all that range is astounding to me. And the fact that they're coming to Atlanta on Valentine's Day is enough to make me swear off all pleasures in life because seeing them would be enough. And, of course, I break that vow as soon as the show's over, but that's besides the point.
So, in short, the only list dealing with this year's album I have is the one listed in the sidebar column to the right. All of 'em were enjoyable, yes, but 90 percent of the albums listed are from bands and musicians I had already praised earlier in my musical life, so talking about them would be moot because it's a given that I would like them. Follow?
In short of being in short, I really am glad I got into these four highlighted musicians, for they have soothed my soul this year.