Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds - "Live at Luther College" While I have never been a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band except for a few songs here and there (the song "Two Step" being the most notable exception) when you strip away the manifold instruments that come along with the band and just get at the incredible songwriting of Dave with the added spice of Tim Reynolds virtuosic guitar playing you get something amazing. There is something new to love every time I come back to this, in my opinion, Dave Matthew's greatest album.
The Crystal Method - "Vegas" I will never forget the opening scene to oh so forgettable movie, "The Replacement Killers" with Chow Yun Fat and Mira Sorvino. The mysterious well dressed hitman glides up to the table of the bad looking guys in the thumping night club, lights flashing, and as the music builds, heslams a bullet down on the table and the beat drops, guns blaze, and a sixteen year old is hooked on techno. Hearing that song "Keep Hope Alive" made me track down the Vegas album and truly began my love for electronic music. Every track on that album is a masterpiece.
Dispatch - "Gut the Van" With so many cds to choose from it is difficult to pick which best represents, the band closest to my heart, Dispatch. It was a friend from high school that sent me an mp3 of "Elias". I don't think I have spoken to him since then but if you're out there Jerry, thank you. I have passed on the love to several others. Dispatch basically embodies the Platonic ideal of being in a band. Instead of try to describe the story here if one is interested I would recommend the associated "Gut the Van" DVD. The live performances on the dvd are spectacular and the interspersed interviews provide the enriching backdrop of the band's story. While they have unfortunatly split since then, I was lucky enough to catch them at the house of blues in LA in '01 I think it was. That was quite possibly the best show I've ever seen. I won't bother try to capture it in words. I can't. It just was. My roommate was there with me in the center of the crowd and he knows. Anyone else who saw them knows. If they're ever back together just go, and you'll know.
There are so many more amazing albums and even so much more to say about the above mentioned albums. There are so many new resources available for finding and being exposed to new music. KCRW.com and Pandora.com are two that deserve immediate metion but that is only the tip of the iceberg. There is just so much to talk about and experice with music. And now we have one more place to talk about and share music. Until I figure out how (or more realisically someone tells me how) to post actual songs that can play straight from the blog I will attempt to link to Amazon.com, or MySpace.com, or wherever the tunes can be previewed easily because talking about music is no substitute for experiencing it.
Just a quick note, I say no to Itunes as much as possible because the DRM stuff really annoys me but I am a big supporter of paying for the music. In case you're unaware, Amazon.com MP3's are DRM free, are typically $8.99 an album, and after downloading automatically show up in Itunes or whatever player you use so there is no added hassel.
Editor's Note: There is no editor. There is no proof reading. I understand a blog to be an unpolished work completed in the most expedient manner possible that still gets the message across. Comments and recommendations are greatly appreciated.