Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Alt-Rock Desert Island List

The best "alt-rock" albums of the last 25 years, that I still listen to...

For hearing something ageless


The Pixies, Doolittle (1989)
Smashing Pumpkins, Gish (1991)
My Bloody Valentine, Loveless (1991)

For a cloudless freezing cold day in February


REM, Automatic for the People (1992)

For running anywhere any time of year


Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream (1993)

For reflecting on what it felt like to order CDs by mail in one of those buy one, get 11 FREE deals in the mid-90s, flashbacks to freshman year...


Weezer, Blue Album (1994)

For pretending I was part of the "scene" in the 90s (instead of listening to 106.5 at my bedroom at home and recording cassettes of songs that came on the radio, having never heard of any of these bands until well after high school...)


Superchunk, No Pocky for Kitty (1991)
Archers of Loaf, Icky Mettle (1994)
Modest Mouse, Lonesome Crowded West (1997)
Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out (1997)

For driving down a winding mountain road in Carolina in the late summer


Radiohead, The Bends (1995)

The one that locked down this band as my favorite of late high school/college


Radiohead, OK Computer (1997)

For singing along in the car on a sunny day in August


Hole, Celebrity Skin (1998)

For hearing f'ing brilliant songwriting


Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)

For driving on the New Jersey Turnpike on a cold dark night


The Flaming Lips, Soft Bulletin (1999)

For running through my old Adams Morgan/U Street 'hood on a muggy, soupy late summer day


Modest Mouse, The Moon and Antarctica (2000)

For driving through the woods just before the leaves change colors in the fall


Radiohead, Kid A (2000)

For driving/walking by old Tobacco warehouses in Durham NC on a hazy summer day


Radiohead, Amnesiac (2001)

For having an existential crisis while being stuck in traffic on I-95 during the holidays


The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

For walking through the Lower East Side


Interpol, Turn on the Bright Lights (2002)

For driving fast in busy traffic on the Garden State Parkway


Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell (2003)

For falling asleep on a long airplane ride


Radiohead, Hail to the Thief (2003)

For walking the streets near Dupont Circle in the spring after work (i.e. to happy hours)


New Pornographers, Electric Version (2003)
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand (2004)
New Pornographers, Twin Cinema (2005)

For doing anything in the snow


Arcade Fire, Funeral (2004)

For being jaded living in DC during the W Bush presidency


Green Day, American Idiot (2004)

For peering out the window of a train from London to Paris


Sigur Ros, Takk (2005)

For turning a treadmill into a space shuttle


Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene (2005)

For wishing I lived in Brooklyn for one year in my early 20s


LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (2007)

For a frantic run around my office campus after a crazy day at work


Dinosaur Jr, Beyond (2007)

For an insanely hot summer day where the air looks like it is melting the asphalt


Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours (2008)

For a 10 mile run on the Tobacco Trail through the suburbs...


Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (2010)

For reminding of last year's Hopscotch Fest


Marnie Stern, Marnie Stern (2010)
Future Islands, In Evening Air (2010)
The Everymen, New Jersey Hardcore (2012)

For running/hiking through the woods in the spring when everything comes back to life


Morning Teleportation, Expanding Anyway (2011)

For running/hiking on a trail dodging rocks and roots in the early fall


Reptar, Oblangle Fizz Y'all EP (2011)

For head banging in my office at home when I need a break from thinking


Fucked Up, David Comes to Life (2011)

For an afternoon hanging out at the beach in the Carolinas


Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls (2012)

For a late evening drive on a quiet highway just before Christmas


Youth Lagoon, Year of Hibernation (2012)

For driving in the drizzle on an afternoon in the middle of May


Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt (2013)

For running on the beach at low tide on a hazy late July morning


Sky Ferriera, Sky Ferriera (2013)

For hearing something culturally significant


Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014)

If I ever have indie-rock karaoke night, cause I love impersonating Sam Herring...


Future Islands, Singles (2014)

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