Tonight I added a twist to Bring a Neglected Record to Work Day©. I also decided to bring along a record I had just bought and not listened to yet.
The BNRWD tonight was Darklands by The Jesus and Mary Chain. It'd been years since I'd listened to that, and I'm glad I dragged it out. It doesn't have as much of the trademark fuzziness that Psychocandy has, but it combines fuzziness and wall-of-sound with crisp, clear guitar parts. I stopped in my tracks when the song "April Skies" came on. I listened again and again, but it lost impact on repeat. Unfortunately, the rest of the album failed to excite me as much as "April Skies", but I'm still glad I put it on. I'll give it 2.5 out of a possible 5 saute pans.
Darklands isn't really what I was excited about, though.
The big-time excitement was surrounding one of my new purchases this afternoon. I went out to scoop up one of the Dandy Warhols' records, but I came back with two. Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia and Welcome to the Monkey House . It's the latter that got me all pumped up. Although it's a wonderful song, I'd just as soon throw out the ultra-polished radio single "The Last High". The rest of it is fantastic. And they seem to be doing something totally un-Dandy. Not so much juxtaposing of wah wah fuzzy guitars with jangly guitars. Now there's a lot of electronic sounds and heavy bass. A different path for them, but I really like it. I was already enjoying the album immensely, and when I got to the second to last track "Rock Bottom" came on, I was pretty damn impressed with their spot-on Love and Rockets impersonation. Little did I know, that song would be outdone. I was stopped in my tracks a second time on the night when the album closer "(You've Come In) Burned" came on. I said to myself -- HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS!!!! That's far and away the best song I've heard this week. Maybe this month. I'm serious. I almost fell down when it hit me.
I guessed correctly that listening to this album, and particularly the last song on headphones would be an entirely different experience. I am doing exactly that right now, and the third time through the song, I'm more amazed than each previous time I listened.
This record, which I will HIGHLY recommend to each and every one of you reminds me a lot of certain Stereolab records. Not that the Dandys sound anything like Stereolab. The similarity is that you have to be really patient and you will be handsomely rewarded. I've had to be ridiculously patient with Stereolab records. Sometimes it'll be one of their impossibly long songs like "Jenny Ondioline", other times it'll be the album as a whole, but there have certainly been moments where I wanted to give up on Stereolab. The investment of time and energy is well worth it for me when dealing with Stereolab. For example, when I bought Cobra and Phases... (and I remember the specifics of this), I had to listen to the record 17 times in a span of four days before I "got it". The whole record. 17 times. In the car, in the bedroom, in the living room, at work, then on the seventeenth time, on headphones. I was in fucking awe and covered in goose flesh. However, I didn't come here to write about Stereolab. Not tonight.
I did like this Dandys record the first time I listened to it, at work on a shitty made by your mama cd player. That isn't the analogy. Okay... To be honest, I don't remember where the analogy was. I suppose the point I wanted to make is that there's a big payoff for sustained attention to the individual songs. That, and that I would suggest to those of you who own this record to listen to it on headphones. It might make you see it in an entirely different light.
Please excuse my rambling and/or a failure to make a point.
The Dandy Warhols Welcome to the Monkey House