Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Chicago post-punks Disappears and Philadelphia pop duo Reading Rainbow.
Listed: Disappears + Reading Rainbow
Chicagoís Disappears encapsulate that moment when post-punk first took notice of the power that soaring electric guitars can have. Drawing heavily upon the influences of Kraut and punk rock, plus an anachronistic love of vintage American gospel to boot, the band combine these elements into a minimalist homage to what was happening in the early-í80s shoegaze scene in the UK. Formed in 2008, the band spent much of its time in the studio, only to emerge a few times on self-released 7" singles and a live cassette/CD-R. In 2009, they signed to Kranky and have since put out two full length records, Lux and Guider. A chance meeting with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth proved not only instrumental in the band supporting Michael Rother on his Hallogallo tour (on which Steve played drums), but also to his eventual joining of the band following Graeme Gibsonís amicable departure. The band recently went into Shelleyís Echo Canyon studio and recorded five new demo songs (including a cover of Suicideís ďRadiationĒ), which are available on cassette from Chicagoís Plustapes or a limited, tour-only CD-R. The band will play an opening slot at this summerís Lollapalooza festival. For this weekís Listed feature, lead singer Brian Case clues us into some of the formative music that guides Disappears.
1. Television - Marquee Moon
I remember first getting this record right before a European tour with 90 Day Men. I think I bought it because someone said we reminded them of Television. I was only used to "punk" bands sounding like The Ramones or something so this really struck me. It still sounds so fresh and new to me, I get obsessed with it regularly.
2. Sonic Youth - EVOL
I remember my friend Chandler playing this record for me. Iím not sure I could drive yet, but it was fall in St. Louis and we were driving around on a Friday night or something. We used to drive with the windows open and the heat on, just meeting up in parking lots or someoneís house ó waiting for it to be an acceptable time to go to Dennyís and drink coffee and smoke. I donít think we talked much. The album really made an impression on us. It was right around the time Geffen was re-issuing all earlier albums so I think it was pretty new to Chandler, as well. When my wife was pregnant with our son, we listened to this record almost every night we went to bed. I hope Steveís not reading this.
3. The Fall - Room to Live
Itís pretty tough to pick one Fall record as almost all of them are essential in one way or another but Iíll pick this one as I donít hear about it too much. Itís got Mark [E. Smith] and Craig [Scanlon] on guitar, which is a good era for the band, and itís nice and short. Lotís of repetition, as well, which Iím pretty into.
4. Arthur Russell - Calling out of Context
I foolishly only listened to World of Echo forever, as I thought the rest of Russellís music was "too disco.Ē So this is a pretty recent one for me and Iíve really been enjoying it ó lots of space, but a little more backbone than some of Echo. Trying to get the guys to cover one off thisÖ
5. The Cure - Faith
I think itís a really cool step for the band, coming off of the first two albums. This one really slowed the pace down and injected some serious darkness into their sound. I like the idea of bands taking new directions with albums or trying new things. These tunes are moody and just as fresh as their earlier stuff.
6. Ike Yard - 1980 - 1982 Collected
I canít believe there isnít some huge resurgence of interest in these guys right now. They sound like dystopia ó seriously, itís like a Philip K. Dick book. I think they werenít No Wave enough to be in with that crowd and too dark for the new wavers. Being around for such a short time didnít help either, Iím sure. I think they are playing again ó Iíll get them to do ATP when we curate it.
7. Alice Coltrane - Journey to Satchandaninda
Such a beautiful record, we listen to this a lot in our house. The harp has never sounded better. Thatís an actual fact.
8. Wire - The Ideal Copy
Everyone always told me that "mid" period Wire was terrible, but they were so wrong. This record is the perfect next step from 154 (even if it came eight years later) and full of should be classic Wire tunes. "Madmanís Honey" is one of the best tunes these guys ever did. Iím hoping the next Disappears record touches on some of the things going on here.
9. The Smiths - The Smiths
This was the first Smiths record I ever heard, a friend in high school lent it to me. I think I listened to it like 10 times in a row or something and then went to Vintage Vinyl the next day and bought all four albums for less than $15. They are one of my favorite bands and the only one I actually hope reunites.
10. James Brown - Live from the TAMI show
Easily the best live footage of music that exists.
Reading Rainbow is a catchy power-pop duo from Philadelphia. Sarah Evertonís shimmery vocals (with just a hint of reverb) pair surprisingly well with the underpinnings of tight drum work and oh so deliciously crunchy guitar on their new full length, Prism Eyes, out on HoZac records.
So, this is a list of our CURRENT most influential albums. Stuff weíve been listening to a lot recently that weíve been absorbing both consciously and subconsciously. Youíll see weíve obviously been listening to a lot of í90s rock, but one thing always remains the same: The vast majority of our favorite music now and forever will be always be guitar based.
1. Wipers - Youth of AmericaTwo of my current favorite songs are included on this album: "Taking Too Long," which sounds almost like a Stereolab song the way the guitar and piano layer over themselves, and "Can This Be?" which inspires me to learn guitar like no other song I have ever heard. Itís also the best example I can give to demonstrate how a really up-tempo, guitar-driven rock song can also be beautiful (something we strive for whenever possible).
2. Yo La Tengo - Painful
Can there be a better example of a band to look up to than Yo La Tengo? I wish we could intern with them. (Also, Iíve never met a single person who doesnít love them.) Holy shit, this album is so amazing. All of their albums are perfect, so itís hard to pick out just one, but weíve been listening to this one the most recently. They have this way of achieving the ultimate balance of mellow, beautiful singing with some of the best guitar solos and feedback ever (e.g. "From a Motel 6"). This has been the most I have ever gushed about a band ever.
3. Sonic Youth - Goo
I love this album to the point of owning a shirt with the cover on it that I wear too much. Sonic Youth brings No Wave noise and punk together with pop music like no one else. Again, much the same way I wish we could intern with YLT, I wish we could do the same with them ó and itís also hard to choose just one of their records. But Goo has a special place in both our hearts and is the perfect embodiment of their skill of putting experimental loud punk together with pop. I mean come on, have you heard "Mildred Pierce" or "Disappearer" recently?! (Actually, if Rob and I had a "song" it would definitely be "Mildred Pierce.")
4. X - Los Angeles
We recently saw a video on YouTube of Exene and John Doe practicing acoustically together and figuring out harmonies, much the same way we do. It was really awesome and inspiring to see another band we love working the same way as us. Weíve been blasting Los Angeles in the car a ton since we re-watched "The End of Western Civilization" a couple months ago, in which they show a lot of very amazing footage of X playing live and have excellent interviews with them.
5. The Velvet Underground - Loaded
I remember being weirded out by this record a long time ago before I ever really heard it. I thought VU jumped the shark with this album since Moe Tucker isnít even on it. I was so wrong! "Rock & Roll" is definitely one of my favorite VU songs of all time, and "I Found a Reason" and "Oh! Sweet Nuthiní" are some of Lou Reedís most beautiful songs.
6. The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
OH MY GOD, can I ever express how obsessed I was with SP when I was between the ages of 12 and 16?! (So obsessed, I referred to them as ďSPĒ and ďThe PumpkinsĒ in everyday conversation.) This was the only album of theirs Rob owned when he was younger and weíve been bonding over it big time this past week. I always knew and respected the genius of this record, and Robís recently come around to also accept it as truth. The guitar solos are sooooo wanky, but soooo perfect! The finest use of the Big Muff pedal there is, and ever will be.
7. Nirvana - Incesticide
Even though I was quite into Nirvana during my preteen and teenage years, I never listened to Incesticide ever. I just never owned it. So maybe thatís why I am so into it now, because itís the newest sounding of all the Nirvana records to me. All I can really say about this is that itís catchy and grungey/angsty at the same time, which I personally value a great deal. Also, Dave Grohlís drumming skills are amazing.
8. Glenn Branca - Lesson No. 1
The song "Lesson No. 1 for Electric Guitar" alone is so incredible, it can carry an entire album. So amazing. Makes me wish we could have our own guitar orchestra at our disposal ó an idea cheesy in theory, but one Glenn Branca executes perfectly.
9. 100 Flowers - 100 Flowers
100 Flowers/The Urinals are up there in my favorite band of all-time list because I never get sick of their albums. Our copy of 100 Flowers on vinyl is also the most money Iíve ever paid for a record ($60), which I know is nothing to some hardcore collectors. Catchy punk and really good harmonies are what makes this so great. It occurred to us finally to download it so we were able to listen to it away from our turntable while we were on tour. "Californiaís Falling into the Ocean" is still my favorite!
10. Mission of Burma - Signals, Calls and Marches
The songs on this album are so uniquely Mission of Burmaís sound, but are all still so diverse and dynamic. This is the epitome of post-punk to us and still sounds fresh today. "All World Cowboy Romance" blows my mind.
By Dusted Magazine