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100 Albums: "Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?" by of Montreal

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

Artist: of Montreal
Title:Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Released: 2007
Genre: indie glam dance-pop


of Montreal is one of my favorite bands to see live. Every time I've seen them it's just been a giant over-the-top dance party that was as weird as it was fun. The band is primarily the project of singer/composer Kevin Barnes and came out of the mid-90s Athens, Georgia pop scene--keeping in mind that this is the same college town that produced REM and The B-52's over a decade prior (both of whom have already been featured in this list!). of Montreal borrows a lot from psychedelic rock and glam, but their sound is pretty uniquely their own. of Montreal songs don't have chord progressions so much as they have sequences that modulate around. Barnes doesn't so much sing as strut around with lyrics. The music is infectiously danceable but resists sticking in your head. It's anot…

100 Albums: "Missile Toe" by Pspazz

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

Artist: Pspazz
Title:Missile Toe
Released: 1995
Genre: sophomoric christian surf-punk



This one is obscure enough that I can't even find a video for it. You're just going to have to take my word (or listen to some extremely low quality samples here) (or just do the minimal amount of googling required to download the thing for free). The 90s saw a surge in the Christian rock movement spearheaded by dc Talk's Jesus Freak and crossover success from Christian bands like Jars of Clay and Christian-influenced bands like Collective Soul. Riding this wave, a lot of Christian bands were marketed to parents of teens as wholesome alternatives to mainstream rock. Youth pastors would get promo CDs to share and one-sheets of an entire record label's catalog saying "if your teen likes Stone Temple Pilots, you should get them an album from Third Day." In 1995, my youth pastor heard this oddbal…

100 Albums: "The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill" by Lauryn Hill

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

Artist: Lauryn Hill
Title:The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Released: 1998
Genre: neo-soul hip-hop r&b reggae


Hill broke in the mainstream as a member of the Fugees, alongside Pras and Wyclef Jean. She was the featured vocalist on the group's most successful hit, a cover of Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly that blended the original soulful melody with hip-hop and reggae influences. After the group rocketed to stardom on the success of their album The Score, they immediately split up to pursue solo projects. Miseducation is Hill's only solo studio album, and is something of a minor masterpiece--a deeply personal record that features commentary on motherhood, race, and culture (while she is dedicated to equality, Hill's personal politics are, not to put to fine a point on it, reactionary). The ostensible main theme of the record is capital-L Love. As was trendy in late 90s hip-hop, the…

100 Albums: "Broken Bells" by Broken Bells

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

Artist: Broken Bells
Title:Broken Bells
Released: 2010
Genre: retro indie alt-funk... or, you know, whatever it is Danger Mouse does


Indie hip-hop producer/Wunderkind Danger Mouse has collaborated with a number of artists in this list. In addition to producing albums like Beck's Modern Guilt or Portugal. The Man's Evil Friends, he's also worked on collab projects like Danger Doom with MF Doom and Gnarls Barkley with Cee-Lo Green. One gets the impression that people just walk up to Danger Mouse and say "Hey, I loved The Gray Album, wanna work on something together?" and he keeps saying yes. Which, if that's the case, good for him! Broken Bells is another one of these projects, this time working with James Mercer of The Shins after the two met at a music festival. The combination is not as flashy as Gnarls Barkley, but Danger Mouse's retro-spaghetti-western sample libraries …

100 Albums: "Stankonia" by OutKast

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

Artist: OutKast
Title:Stankonia
Released: 2000
Genre: southern hip-hop


Born out of the Dungeon Family collective in the early 90s, OutKast was the group that broke the "Dirty South" sound into the mainstream. They paved the way for acts like Ludacris and T.I. and emerged at a time when the rap community was focused on a rivalry between the East and West coasts. The duo's sound was a blend of Antwan "Big Boi" Patton's more traditional MC style and André "André 3000" Benjamin's observational lyrics and funk-rock instrumentation.

Stankonia marked a stylistic change for the duo. It's more up-tempo and driving than previous records. The lead single B.O.B. (embedded above) is a six-minute anthem that runs at a break-neck pace with touches of techno, funk, and even a church choir. The album spawned additional singles in So Fresh, So Clean and Ms. Jackson. In the 90…

100 Albums: "Warp And Weft" by Laura Veirs

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

Artist: Laura Veirs
Title:Warp And Weft
Released: 2013
Genre: singer/songwriter alt-folk


This album came onto my radar by way of the Next Music podcast, which is where I discover a lot of new music, frankly. I'd heard of Veirs before--she'd been recommended by Vienna Teng on social media--but hadn't gotten around to actually listening. When I heard That Alice (embedded above), I knew I needed to hear more. That Alice, it should be noted, is not particularly representative of the record. It's an up-tempo rock number in the middle of a very low-key album. The opener, Sun Song, does a better job of setting the right tone.

Veirs' work here feels very restrained. Her vocal melodies are bright but she never belts. The guitars always feel very controlled, whether it's the gentle arpeggios of Ten Bridges or the electric thrum of America. She describes her lyrics as personal without bein…

100 Albums: "Gone In 60 Seconds: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"

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

Artist: Various
Title:Gone In 60 Seconds original motion picture soundtrack
Released: 2000
Genre: tunes for cruisin'


Summer 2000 saw the release of the Nic Cage vehicle (ahem) Gone In 60 Seconds, a goofy, okay-enough-I-guess action flick about professional car thieves that featured what we used to think of as impressive stunt driving before The Fast And The Furious came out a year later. I remember enjoying it well enough for a vapid summer blockbuster, and I remember that the biggest takeaway I had leaving the theater was that I very much wanted to own the accompanying soundtrack, and that is a decision I have never regretted. It was a blend of rock, EDM, and rap that was the perfect album to listen to in the car. Who knew?

The lead track and only single is The Cult's Painted On My Heart, a slow rock 90s power ballad in the vein of Our Lady Peace or Fuel. It's a solid starter, but for my m…