Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: The artists formerly known as YellowFever and punk veteran Todd Congelliere.
Listed: Deep Time + Todd Congelliere
Deep Time got its start in 2006 as YellowFever. Jennifer Moore and Adam Jones quickly built a reputation in their native Austin with a series of self-released CD-Rs and a kinetic live show recalling any number of early-K Records luminaries. With persistent touring and the vinyl release of their CD-Rs on Vivian Girls’ Wild World label, their profile steadily rose, attracting the attention of DIY incubator Hardly Art. Their new album, due out July 10 under the Deep Time moniker, keeps the scrappy charm of their early output intact while tightening up affairs — hitting with an newfound intent and precision only hinted at before.
1. Sonic Youth - Confusion Is Sex
Sonic Youth’s "Confusion Is Sex" was my introduction to unconventional music. The local video store had a Target Video of Sonic Youth playing in the Mojave Desert beating on their instruments in black and white with tracers. It was so eye-opening. Sonic Youth lead me to Glenn Branca, DNA, Sonny Sharrock, etc... Thanks, Sonic Youth!
2. Bob Dylan - Desire
Bob Dylan has so many great albums, but this one really grabbed me because of the southwestern feel. He takes traditional musical themes, rarely used in folk and rock-n-roll, and makes the transition look so easy. His phrasing is so loose and his band has no problem following him. Because of this album, I was able to see the power of traditional music, something I had been avoiding purposefully for most of my early 20s.
3. Albert Ayler - Love Cry
Similar to Bob Dylan’s Desire, Love Cry by Albert Ayler and company took traditional musical themes and used them in an unusual way. As with a lot of free jazz, especially from the mid-’60s to mid-’70s, the drums swirl in an abstract way and the instruments intertwine loosely. This style of playing amazes me because of how instinctive it is and how much concentration it requires from the players and the listener. Love Cry is produced so well, you can hear everything. Especially interesting is the harpsichord throughout.
4. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
This album is practically perfect. The songs, the order, the production. Pet Sounds made it clear to me that song structure is so important. I’ve spent so many days listening to this album over and over and over. It’s like going to music school; every time I listen to it I hear something new.
5. Nirvana - Nevermind
Before Nevermind I listened primarily to rap, gangster rap and hip-hop. It (Nevermind) is really the only mainstream music of my youth that I still listen to frequently. I took a big break from it and revisited it in my early 20s. It was almost more important the second time around because I was more aware of what a miracle it was to have them blow up in popularity the way they did. Their popularity really opened peoples eyes to underground music.
6. D.A.F. - Gold und Liebe
This album really shows how little you need to get your point across. The drumming and repetitiveness with catchy synth melodies make for excellent industrial fun.
7. Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Colors
Monk’s playing is always entertaining and inspiring. His rhythm section on this album swings so hard it’s really fun to listen to. I love the way he never plays it straight and how playful he is. Another really good Monk album is Monk’s Music because it features Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane.
8. DNA - DNA on DNA
DNA is fun because they are so fluid. They remind me of free jazz because of how the instruments interact, but still maintain structure somehow.
9. John Fahey - The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party and Other Excursions
John Fahey takes such a traditional format (acoustic guitar and traditional songs) and makes it something completely different. I feel like this album is the most experimental I’ve heard of his. I never get tired of it. "900 Miles."
10. Jonathan Richman - I, Jonathan
I like this album because it’s later in his career and he’s more creative than ever. Every song on this album is a winner. I especially like "That Summer Feeling." It’s so sentimental in a non cheesy way. He’s such a genuine character. The simplicity of the instrumentation really helps the songs and lyrics shine. I saw him a couple of weeks ago and he’s still got it. I think he’ll always have it.
It’s rare to see punk rockers age gracefully. Some become icons, others fade into obscurity and legend, some unwisely continue to release increasingly irrelevant albums, and then there’s the very few self-aware punkers, who continue on, and manage to carve out their own punk footnote. Todd Congelliere is just such a guy. The professional skateboarder got his start in 1989 with F.Y.P. (allegedly Damian Abraham’s favorite band ever), yet earlier this year, his long-running band Toys That Kill toured with Hot Snakes, Screaming Females and Mike Watt. As evidenced by his Listed choices, Congelliere grew up like most kids of his era going to “shows” rather than “concerts.” As he got older, he saw the punk scene get “jocky” and was slightly disillusioned, but tried to ignore his fears, remember what it was that he loved so much about his youth and channel that into his own music. In addition to his music, Congelliere also runs Recess Records, which will co-release Audacity’s new album, Mellow Cruiser with Burger Records on July 10.
1. Adam and The Ants
I always begged my dad to take me to see Adam and the Ants or Adam Ant (after he went solo) and never got to go. Sometimes I’m glad it worked out that way. It would been my first concert and it would be huge. I’m very happy that the first time I ever went to see a band play in front of people was 7 seconds at Fenders Ballroom. It was small and everyone looked out for each other. I think I spent my first 10 years going to shows and never went to a real "Concert". Regardless, I watch videos of Adam and The Ants and almost cry. They were really my stepping-stone for getting into punk. There was a point where my two heros were Darby Crash and Adam Ant. I found out later that they fucked each other. Whether that was a rumor or not, I got stoked when I heard that. 30 years later I still listen to them as if they are the newest hippest thing. WAY ahead of their time!
2. 7 seconds
I first heard 7 seconds at the town’s only local skateboard ramp (at the time) in 1983. The song was "Wasted Life Ain’t No Crime" off of the We Got Power compilation. I thought they we’re singing "wet boys wet boys wet boys wet wet wet wet boys". Seriously!! Back then hearing all the stories of violence going on at punk shows and cops chasing Black Flag, I had a weird impression of punk rock. I thought it was much more nihilistic than it actually was. Whether or not that had anything to do with my misinterpretation of this song remains to be seen. But I really thought the song was about boys having so much sex that they were always wet. Disgusting as that may be, I immediately tried to hunt down anything I could get my hands on by the band. It was fast and raw and it spoke to me like mad! This was the first band that I would collect everything I could find on them: Records, zines with their interviews etc etc. Finding out that they weren’t shitty perverts and actually very positive, spoke out against sexism and racism was a real trip! I learned more from them then I learned in high school. I’m totally serious!
3. Born Against
I was obsessed with hardcore in the ‘80s. It was aggressive music and had a great purpose. I learned so many life lessons from it and will always appreciate that. But later I started to hate the shit out of it. It turned into a metal, mosh, jock-off and had me questioning whether I still enjoyed going to shows. I felt like the place where I always felt like I finally belonged turned into a wrestle boys club. So I stopped going to shows for a couple of years. I started caving in to the classics that I avoided for a long time, like the Sex Pistols, Clash etc (which was life affirming in itself!). I didn’t stop searching for good hardcore though. The few year drought ended when I first heard Born Against’ "Mary & Child" on the Forever 7" compilation. I couldn’t really tell what kind of music it was. I first just pegged it as metal but it was more Sabbathy than metal and I never considered Black Sabbath "metal". The lyrics were insanely thought provoking and poetic. Through BA and their Vermiform label, I was turned onto great new HC that was free of the Nike’s and sweatpants.
4. Screeching Weasel
Our local record store, Peanut Records, started declining in the ‘90s. They we’re stocking more hair metal than punk AND they ripped me off when I went in there to sell some records to get a new one. I sold them the first Bad Religion 7", 1st Adicts LP, and 3 rare sex pistols records for $13. The next week they were on the wall for an average of $60 each. But I’ll always remember finding a "promo-dog earred" Screeching Weasel- My Brain Hurts LP in the $1 bin. I guess it wasn’t out yet and Lookout Records still sent promos in the LP format, where they’d cut the corner. I heard SW before but it never tugged on me too hard. But, since I pretty much tried anything on Lookout I picked it up. This didn’t leave my turntable for weeks! People that blow SW off as a Ramones rip off band really need to pay attention to this album. Lyrics ranged from "Go fart in a puddle" to the thought provoking Science of Myth.
5. Dillinger Four
Sometimes I think that D4 kept me around. In the late ‘90s I was starting to get very disillusioned with my band, FYP, and just punk rock in general. I felt like it was this huge annoying cul-de-sac where you couldn’t find any parking so you kept circling the area until you ran out of gas. Then we toured with D4 and realized that punk was for adults too. Powerful, melodic and funny!! I love everything they’ve done. Their first album not only stands the test of time it appreciates like wine.
6. The Arrivals
D4 and The Arrivals give me a hard on for the Midwest. When most of your friends have babies, midlife crisis’, or get lost in opiates when they hit the age 30, you got The Arrivals! It gives you hope when you thought you were too old for that shit! Me and Isaac still talk about "movements" starting with music. It might sound ridiculous and be way off base but hearing the latest Arrivals album, Volatile Molotov, makes me believe it all. Age is a number and that’s all.
Like most people who have heard it, I loved Wire’s Pink Flag when I was young. I’m not ashamed to admit that Minor Threat’s version of 12xu turned me onto the band. But I never, really, really loved them until I got into their second album Chairs Missing. It’s much slower and weirder, which is hard to digest when you’re young, but it puts me in a total trance for 40+ minutes. "Outdoor Minor" has one of the most epic orgasm endings a song could have. When our band has a long drive this is played at least twice.
8. Jesus & Mary Chain
When I have conversations about top 3 bands I usually say something like "The Beatles, The Pogues, and Jesus & Mary Chain". The reasoning for this is due to their catalogs. In my opinion, JAMC did not make one bad or even mediocre album. When a band makes 5 or more albums that’s a hard feat to accomplish. Darklands is my favorite. It’s dark and heartbreaking. It also showcased their massive guts since it sounded nothing like their debut that made them king shits of fuck mountain.
9. The Pogues
They actually did make some shitty/mediocre albums but their first 3 are 3 of my favorite albums ever! Not one December goes by without me being completely obfuckingcessed with The Pogues. I dunno what it is, but i’ll play nothing but the Pogues in the winter time. They turn me into an emotional baby. I literally tear up while driving or riding my bike with headphones on. I contemplate professional help but then spring comes and saves my ass. Shane M is one of the greatest songwriters/poets of our times, but even the traditional Irish songs are their own. They put intense fury into something that might be considered hokey to some. “Poor Paddy” is a Pogues song not a traditional folk song regardless who wrote it. Sorry Carl!
10. Fats Domino
I rarely yearn to meet someone, not because I don’t care to but because it’s just awkward. It’s like, what do you say if you had a chance to meet this hero you look up to? "Hey I like the song Blue Monday Mr. Domino". Doesn’t sound like I’d walk away from that feeling good. Plus meeting people who make art that you love can be an inverted revolver at times. Why would I want to ruin that? But Fats seems like such a down to earth guy and he also happened to more or less invent rock n roll to me. One of our dogs is named after him. So Fats, tell me when and where I can tell you how good “Blue Monday” is.
By Dusted Magazine