Skip to main content

Posts

100 Albums: "Random Album Title" by deadmau5

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: deadmau5
Title:Random Album Title
Released: 2008
Genre: progressive house/trance


Random Album Title is the third album from Canadian house/trance maestro Joel Zimmerman under his stage name deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse" and not in any way related to Danger Mouse). He performs in a stylized mouse head helmet because after Daft Punk, that's what EDM artists just do anymore. His album titles all have bizarre names, like Album Title Goes Here, 4x4=12, and--a personal favorite of mine--W:/2016Album/.

Random Album Title was deadmau5's breakout record, largely on the strength of the single I Remember, which is just one hell of an earworm. I heard it during the club scene in the 2010 remake of GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo Wii and decided I had to know more about what was going on with whoever this artist was. I Remember was also the fifth single from this album, which just proves …
Recent posts

Out Now: "Autoimmune" in DreamForge Magazine

Hey y'all,

My story Autoimmune is in the new issue of DreamForge Magazine, which you can read with your very own eyeballs! The online version is paywalled, but if you're already a subscriber, click here.

And if you're not a subscriber, now through January 15th you can save $5 on a subscription.

]{p

100 Albums: "Watashi Wo Onigashima Ni Tsuretette" by Wednesday Campanella

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Wednesday Campanella
Title:Watashi Wo Onigashima Ni Tsuretette
Released: 2014
Genre: J-pop rap


Suiyōbi no Campanera, anglicized as Wednesday Campanella, formed in Tokyo in 2012 as a side project for label manger Dir.F. He met musician Kenmochi Hidefumi in 2011 and they named the band after the day of the week they practiced on. They met singer KOM_I, then a high-schooler with no musical experience, at a house party and invited her to join the band. He liked the way her voice clashed with his music. They've been putting out music constantly ever since. The rest, as they say, is art.

Whereas my other favorite female-led Japanese rap act draws influences from dub, funk, and classic hip-hop, Wednesday Campanella's music is more informed by J-pop and Euro-style EDM. Opening track Sen no Rikyu could have been written by Moby, meanwhile Demeter could be the theme song to a girly high school anim…

100 Albums: "Fire" by Electric Six

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Electric Six
Title:Fire
Released: 2003
Genre: sophomoric disco-punk


Electric Six is only one or two steps removed from being a novelty act. The man who sings and does the bulk of the songwriting goes by the stage name Dick Valentine, and that should give you a good feeling for the band's aesthetic. Their songs are mostly about--to the extent that they're about anything at all--partying, sex, and drugs, but generally on very silly terms. They found success with the single Danger! High Voltage (the slightly-NSFW video couldn't be embedded, but you should absolutely go watch it right now) that may or may not have featured a pre-fame Jack White on backup vocals. Sources conflict.

Fire is the band's only successful album, although they've kept going, releasing a total of 14 studio albums. I saw them in concert a few years ago and Gay Bar just about brought the house down. The soun…

100 Albums Supplemental: CDs On Tape

So here we are... closing out November with the final 100 album supplemental.

A few posts ago I mentioned that my dad used to put his vinyl albums on cassette. Well, today I want to talk about me putting CDs on tape.

I was obsessed with CDs from the time I was in middle school, and began collecting music aggressively through record clubs--I was a member of both Columbia House and BMG at different points in my life. But I never had a car with a factory-installed CD player until... well... about six years ago. Oh, I rigged up tape adapters and what-not, but as a teen and college student, mostly I would take my favorite CDs and put them on tape--and this was how I consumed most of the music I listened to. Gas was cheap in the late 90s, so I was in the car constantly. Not surprisingly, some of my favorite albums today are the ones I listened to over and over again in the car because they fit conveniently on a blank tape. Format, as they say, drives function.

Blank tapes were available in …

100 Albums: "M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull" by Jethro Tull

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Jethro Tull
Title:M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull
Released: 1976
Genre: classic prog


What do you do when you're a working band in England in the 60s and are so bad that you can't get booked at a club more than once? Obviously, you keep changing your name, and that's exactly what Ian Anderson's band did. Names were supplied by staffers at the band's booking agency, and when they finally got asked to come back, they were playing under the name Jethro Tull, after the famous 18th-century agriculturalist who perfected the horse-drawn seed drill.

Music. It's glamorous, yo.

For most of its history, Tull was mostly Anderson, who would play the flute while standing on one leg and wearing a codpiece, although Martin Barre was the guitarist for the entire period covered by this album. M.U. was the first proper greatest hits album for the band, containing only one new song called Rai…

100 Albums: "Boy King" by Wild Beasts

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Wild Beasts
Title:Boy King
Released: 2016
Genre: dreamwave art pop


We're following up The History Of Apple Pie with Wild Beasts, so welcome to English Synthwave week.

Boy King by Wild Beasts is one of those albums where I can never remember which is the band name and which is the album name. They're an English synthwave band who are rocking that 80s nostalgia sheen super hard. Boy King is the band's most successful album and also the last full-length album they recorded before breaking up in early 2018 to pursue solo projects.

The music is all compressed drums with sawtooth synth pads slathered with delay. Every now and then a guitar line wanders in and plinks out a few notes, as if unsure if it's supposed to be there or not. The sound is big and atmospheric and bright and danceable and vaguely dark and creepy. It's like someone watched the trailer for The Neon Demon and said…