Category: Music

The Big Express” by XTC (No. 82)

XTC‘s The Big Express pulls into the top 100 station at number 82. Roughly in the middle of the band’s discography, The Big Express successfully melds the awkward New Wave-y XTC nicely with the more lush, Beatlesque XTC to come. Picking my favorite XTC album or albums is sort...

“Hallucination Engine” by Material (No. 83)

Today’s pick, Hallucination Engine by Material is a bit of a sharp departure from the likes of The Who, L7, Rollins Band, and the rest of the list so far – excepting, perhaps, Steven Jessie Bernstein. Where I mostly go for straight-forward classic rock, hard rock, or alternative, Hallucination Engine...

“Weight” by Rollins Band (No. 84)

If you ever need an album to derive inspiration from at the gym, Weight is your friend. The Rollins Band’s 1994 Weight is the Rollins Band at its most accessible, but losing none of its hardness. “Disconnect” starts relatively placidly, Rollins speak-singing about wanting to get away from the...

“The Minus 5” by The Minus 5 (No. 85)

The Minus 5 may be one of the best bar bands ever assembled. Made up of a rotating cast of alt-rock heroes like former R.E.M.’er Peter Buck and drummer Bill Rieflin, and headed by Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows, the self-titled The Minus 5 is a loose,...

“Hollywood Town Hall” by The Jayhawks (No. 86)

The Jayhawks are usually categorized as “alternative country” or “country rock,” but neither label suffices to describe the band at its full power. Hollywood Town Hall, released in while founding member Mark Olson was still with the band, is definitely a snapshot of The Jayhawks operating on all cylinders....

“Dreamboat Annie” by Heart (No. 87)

Before I owned this album, I’d happily empty my pockets of change – or beg my parents for a quarter – to put “Magic Man” on the jukebox. To this day it feels a little like cheating* that I can just play “Magic Man” any damn time I want....

“Tommy” by The Who (No. 88)

What can I say about The Who‘s Tommy that hasn’t already been said? Since its release in 1969, Tommy has been written about nearly as much as Sgt. Pepper. Tommy was a peak moment for a band that has had enormous impact on rock and roll, and broke new...

“Singles – 45’s and Under” by Squeeze (No. 89)

This isn’t exactly in the “going uphill to school both ways, in the snow!” territory, but here’s something kids today can’t relate to: buying an album, cassette, or CD in its entirety without hearing more than one or two cuts. But that’s exactly how I built most of my...

“Red Sails in the Sunset” by Midnight Oil (No. 91)

Midnight Oil’s breakthrough in the United States came with “Beds Are Burning,” off Diesel and Dust. That’s a fine album, as are many in Midnight Oil’s catalog, but Red Sails in the Sunset is the album I reach for most often. Sunset preceded Diesel by three years, and while...