I had to do some driving this weekend, and I took the trip as an opportunity to listen to some bands that will be at Coachella this year. I was able to listen to six complete albums, which were, in the order I listened to them:
The Good, the Bad, and the Queen - The Good, the Bad, and the Queen
The Fratellis - Costello Music
LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
Against Me! - Reinventing Axl Rose
The Jesus and Mary Chain - 21 Singles
Regina Spektor - Soviet Kitsch
The order that I enjoyed the albums is as follows:
2. Regina Spektor
3. Jesus and Mary Chain
4. LCD Soundsystem
5. Against Me!
6. The Good, the Bad, and the Queen
The only album that I had listened to previously was Regina Spektor. All of the other albums I was listening to for the very first time.
Fratellis - I could tell right off the bat that this was going to be my type of album. The first song, 'Henrietta', doesn't waste any possible rock time - it is immediately catchy and fun. After being mostly put to sleep by The Good, the Bad, and the Queen, the Fratellis were just what I needed in order to not get into a horrible car accident. This band has just shot up onto my list of must-see acts at Coachella. And if you need any further proof of their awesomeness, it is rumored that they are named after the bad guys from the movie 'The Goonies'.
Regina Spektor - I listened to her first album, Soviet Kitsch. She has a new album, 'Begin to Hope', that I've not heard yet. I've listened to Soviet Kitsch a few times before, and I think it's a quite good album, especially the first half of it. I tend to listen to the first halves of albums more than the second halves, because I usually start an album from the beginning, but then most times I won't get through the whole thing before I'm interrupted, so I always end up knowing the first half better than the second. I think the first half of Soviet Kitsch is knock-your-socks-off good. Regina Spektor's voice is amazing. The musical accompaniment is generally pretty bare, but it works well.
Jesus and Mary Chain - I liked this band more than I thought I might. The first few songs on 21 Singles are crazy - there is so much noise going on that you can barely make out the pop songs hidden underneath it all. The best way I could describe it is that it's sort of like the Stone Roses playing at your high school shop class, when all the saws are being used. At first I was turned off by all the noise, but then I started to like it. But once you get to track 4, the noise pretty much goes away and you're left with more standard sounding songs. I still like 'Head On' the most, probably cause I've heard the Pixies version so many times. 'Just Like Honey' is another really good song.
LCD Soundsystem - This album had some tracks I liked, but overall I think I'm just not that into electronic music. I used to listen to electronic music more back in the late 90s - some of my favorites were Orbital, Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, and The Orb. But I pretty much stopped listening to electronic music around the turn of the century, at which time I switched over mostly to pop/rock. Nowadays I find electronic music a bit too repetitive, and generally not catchy enough for me. I have never seen electronic music performed live. It seems like it would be awfully boring. What does the audience do, are they all dancing? Cause I don't dance.
Against Me! - I was hoping to like this album more, since I've heard a lot of good things about this band. Furthermore, I got this album from my friend Carrie, and she's got good taste, so I know this album must be good. But upon first listen, there were no tracks that stood out to me. It was a nice change of pace for the car ride, since this was the only album that was punk-ish, but I'll have to listen to it more to determine whether I like it or not.
Good, Bad, and the Queen - I had high expectations for this album. This band is a project of Damon Albarn, who was the vocalist for Blur, and also the Gorillaz. I always favored Blur over Oasis (as soon as I heard the song 'Girls and Boys', that settled the debate for me), and I think the Gorillaz are good too. But upon first listen to this album, I was just waiting for it to be over. I thought the first and last tracks were the most interesting, but only mildly so. I'm not sure what genre you would classify this as - I don't think it's pop, since there's really nothing catchy about it. And it certainly doesn't rock. I'll have to give it some more listening time, and hope there's something redeeming about it.