YearEnders: Jason Cooley

My Pure Pop Top Ten Of The Year List
by Jason Cooley

Well, it was a better year for me this year than it was last year. That acne problem that kept threatening to explode on my face finally just packed up and went away to wreck some other kid’s complexion. Whew! Sophomore year has been a lot cooler to me than Freshman year, that’s for sure. On to the list…

(in no particular order)

Depeche Mode, Violator
This record is just killer, man. I know people talk a lot of shit about Depeche Mode, but Music For The Masses was a pretty great album and this one is even better, especially for the one-two punch of “Blue Dress” and “Clean” at the end. The CD single extended mix of “Personal Jesus” is awesome, too. 95 Triple XXX had this stupid thing where they put two new songs up against each other and people call in to vote for which one is good/bad. “Personal Jesus” went up against “Cherry Pie” by Warrant. Guess who won? Some dumb redneck chick said the breath-break on “Jesus” was “gay”.

Faith No More, The Real Thing
Where the fuck did this album come from? The CD says it came out last year, which is weird. “Epic” is already a goddamn…well, epic song, but then the rest of the album is epic, too. There’s a fantastic instrumental at the end called “Woodpecker From Mars” that blows my mind. I made a mixtape for this girl I’m trying to steal from my best friend and I’m having a hard time deciding which tune should close it out: “Woodpecker” or “Clean” from the aforementioned Violator. Apparently Anthony Keidis is angry with them for stealing his band’s funk-metal stylings. I keep forgetting that the Chili Peppers invented funk when they were swimming in their daddy’s balls.

Jane’s Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual
Goddamn! Finally, the new Jane’s comes out a few days after my 17th birthday! What an album! After I got it I took it over to my buddy Chris Lentz’ house and we listened to it on his back porch, particularly marveling at side two. The “erotic Jesus” part of “Three Days” had us rocking our asses off, happily.

Fugazi, Repeater
The new tape by Fugazi is just plain fucking awesome and that’s that. Nobody can or will deny it. “Shut The Door” and “Blueprint” are just…oh God help me.

Pixies, Doolittle, Bossanova, Here Comes Your Man CD single
So after a few months of trying to figure out who plays that “Wave all through the nation” song I taped off of WRUV last year, a TV ad for the new movie Pump Up The Volume had the song! I took the bus to Pure Pop to look at the soundtrack and there it was: “Wave Of Mutilation (U.K. Surf)” by The Pixies! Yay! A new band to get into. I initially ignored them because Rolling Stone kept pushing them on me, but alas, I have found The Pixies and they are great! Bossanova is their new tape and I listen to it a lot in my room with only Christmas lights on. It makes my room look like the cover. Fuck, everything this band does is awesome. They’re kinda edging Jane’s out of their position as my favorite active band…

Public Enemy, Fear Of A Black Planet
Wow, this tape is fucking insane! Some of it is impenetrable. It’s just soooo fucking dense. It came with a little fold out page with all of the rhymes. Jesus, Chuck D. is the greatest rapper alive. It starts with the holy fuck “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” (I wonder what 1995 is going to be like) and ends with “Fight The Power.” God fucking DAMN.

Sinead O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
I kind of fell in love with her last year when she sang “Mandinka” at the Grammys with the PE logo shaved into the side of her head, but when I saw the premiere of the video for “Nothing Compares 2 U” on 120 Minutes, wow. I really fell in love with her. Gorgeous, so gorgeous, especially her eyes. Mmmmmmm. Here I am, 16 years old, crying to a Prince cover. The rest of the album is pretty great, too.

Sonic Youth, Goo
Well, they’re on a major label now: Geffen. We’ll see how long that lasts. I don’t like Goo as much as Daydream Nation, but it’s still on the fantastic side of things. My favorite song off of this so far is “Disappearer”. It reminds me of when I lived in Manchester, NH and would ride my bike around various tall apartment complexes on overcast days. The video for “Dirty Boots” is pretty funny. I wonder if I’ll ever get to see them live.

The Velvet Underground, ALL
Last year I got New York by Lou Reed and dug it a whole helluva lot. I did some reading up on him and found this band he used to be in called The Velvet Underground. Everything is starting to make instant sense now. I know where so many bands are coming from, what inspired them, etc. It was this! Luckily, all their tapes are cheap as hell. I asked for them all for Christmas and got them except for Loaded, which I’m getting next. What an amazing band! How did I not pick up on them earlier instead of listening to all that hair metal? Fuck. I don’t really know where to begin with all of this, but I can say that “Sweet Jane” is now probably my favorite song of all time (it’s on a greatest hits thing). I’m still trying to figure out: is their drummer a boy or a girl? I honestly feel bad for not being able to tell.

Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks Soundtracks
This year has been the year of David Lynch. After four years of silence after Blue Velvet, he’s just suddenly all over the place. First Twin Peaks came along in April (on TV!!!) and rocked my fucking world weekly, and then Wild At Heart showed up in August to blow every movie I’ve seen so far this year out of the fucking water. The music is great, too. Angelo Badalamenti is a fantastic composer. The Twin Peaks soundtrack is creepy and awkward at times, but in a totally good way. The Wild At Heart soundtrack has some of his stuff, but also Chris Isaak’s AWESOME “Wicked Game”, Koko Taylor (she’s even in the movie! Wow…), Them! (with Van Morrison), and even some speed metal by a band called Powermad (they’re in the movie as well). Go, angriest dog in the world. Go.

11. Madonna, Justify My Love
It’s hard to talk about the song without talking about the video so fuck it, I won’t even try. Me and my friends heard this on the radio on our way to school on one cold fall morning, and I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but I wanted to beat off so bad for the rest of the day. Sexxxxxxxxxy sexy sex-sex. Then the video came out. Creeeeeeeepppy creepy creep-creep. Why does Madonna always hang out with douchebags (with the exception of Sean Penn)? This Tony guy looks like he got rejected from The Village People for looking too weird. But yeah, Madonna: SEX.

12. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mother’s Milk
I know this came out last year, but the Peppers came to play live in Burlington at Patrick Gym with the Violent Femmes in April. Personally, I thought the Femmes made the Peppers look like a bunch of poseurs, except for John Frusciante. Everything out of Keidis’ mouth was rehearsed. “I must be in Rome…cuz you all look like a bunch of Gods!” What am I, at a fucking Whitesnake concert? The high point of their set was Frusciante playing “Tiny Dancer” between songs. The Femmes played every song from their first album except for “Good Feeling”. They were just great. This should really be a Violent Femmes record, but they didn’t come out with one this year.


Honorable mentions:
Bob Mould, Black Sheets Of Rain
Iggy Pop, Brick By Brick
The Soup Dragons, Lovegod
Living Colour, Time’s Up*
House Party, soundtrack

*I really feel I should let you know that in hindsight, this record should actually be on the Dishonorable list. One of my biggest regrets as a music fan was being duped into singing along to the chorus of “Elvis Is Dead” when they played at Memorial Auditorium in 1991. I was a PC alt-rock sheepdick that night, and if I could go back in time I’d rip both myself and those guys a new asshole. What an insipid, ignorant, and race-baiting song that was. Since then I’ve learned that good music is good music and shitty music is shitty music no matter what the color of your skin is. The story of Elvis Presley is one of the most uplifting, saddest, and emotionally complex stories ever told. The story of Living Colour? They played crappy metal versions of James Brown and Talking Heads classics, sued the TV comedy show In Living Color for trademark infringement (that’s some solidarity, yo) and finally broke up when everybody realized they actually sucked. Now it’s reunion money gigs. People are still buying Elvis records. Living Colour records? Stick it up your Stain, Vernon.

Dishonorable mentions:
Vanilla Ice, To The Extreme
Prince, Graffiti Bridge
Roger Waters and Various Artists, The Wall Live In Berlin
Gerardo, Mo’ Ritmo

20 Years Later:

1. LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening

and in no particular order:
2. Jay-Z, Decoded (yes, it’s a book.)
3. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
4. Girl Talk, All Day
5. OFF!, First Four EPs
6. Curren$y, Pilot Talk
7. Chemical Brothers, Further
8. Ariel Pink, Before Today
9. Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record
10. M.I.A., ///Y/
11. Gorillaz, Plastic Beach
12. The Sword, Warp Riders
13. Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
14. Four Tet, There Is Love In You
15. Caribou, Swim

YearEnders: Josh Friedman of Black Beauty

Josh Friedman is a pure pop regular, creator of brittle, blackened sludge noise, family man and educator. His taste in music is some of the most truly underground you’ll find. Her are his “Tops of 10” – Apparently in no particular order

Sun City Girls-Funeral Mariachi
These guys are such an institution, I won’t even attempt to write anything about them. This album is wonderful

Endless Boogie-Full Head House
Top Dollar and the gang are back again and if you know these men from before it’s more of the same. Big chooglin’ riffs, growling vocals, and jam after jam after jam. It’s like the last 40 years never even happened.

Satan’s Satyr-demo cs
Duo from Virginia that brings blackened thrash metal with some psych/Stooges worship. Big downer vibes on this one, but you can’t help but nod your head.

Personal and the Pizzas-Raw Pie
Jersey’s finest, the equation is simple Ramones + Stooges + Weird Al + Pizza= Personal and the Pizzas.

Blood Brothers-First Blood Mix
Two guys mixed together the best songs and dialogue from all those awesome 80s movies that involve some young punk who gets his act together to kick some major ass. If you’re a male of a certain vintage this will warm your heard during these cold winter months. This has been the soundtrack to my family‚Äôs life for the past couple of months. It’s only a download:

This did not come out in this century and (unfortunately) has not been reissued, but I finally discovered it. It could have possible the worst album cover of all time, but the jams contained herein are gold. Summery tunes that have a bit of darkness around the edges, you can see why the mighty Mac picked these two.

Frieder Butzmann-I’m a Seven Inch Single 7″
German kook whose been at this for a while, dropped this little slice of heaven earlier this year. It tells about the life of a seven inch single. The backside is what else, a dreary lament about being the backside of a seven inch single and not “Nicole Kidman’s backside.”

White Fence s/t lp
This guy managed to cram a boatload of late sixties psych on this lp. It’s a ton of fun to listen to.

Umberto “Prophecy of the Black Widow” lp
This guy managed to cram a boatload of Goblin/Carpenter love on this lp. It’s spooooooky.

Garbo’s Daughter demo cs
The hottest thing since Cher went solo.

No Balls-everything
From the ashes of the Brainbombs comes No Balls. Tight pummeling riffs that wash over you again and again. If you like drone, but sometimes think things should be heavier, check these Swedes out.