Hey, hi, go listen #4
Strap in for another splendid trip through music-land with a brand new set of recommendations! Covering albums from 1987, 1989, 1996 and 2001, let's unofficially dub "Hey, hi, go listen #4" the trip-down-memory-lane-edition. There is nothing more fun than hearing how certain albums have made a lasting impact on our younger selves and deserved their heavily anchored spot on our nostalgia playlists. Enjoy!
Recommended by Theo Ploeg
Last month, I rediscovered this classic hardcore rock album by Gang Green. It was my soundtrack when I turned 18. ‘You Got It’ is Gang Green’s sophomore album and their first for major Roadrunner. I don’t care much for the other albums by the band. ‘You Got It’ is just a fortunate come together of everything that makes Gang Green great: juvenile recklessness, societal critique and simple lightning speed rock
To be honest, those are the elements I desperately need in this post-covid19 period. To really change things, we have to embrace recklessness. Fuck everything and just do what you think is right. Like Gang Green states in ‘We’ll Give It To You’: “If You Hate Your Parents And Hate School, Then Party With Us Cause There Are No Rules”.  The juvenile elements are more tricky. For me, they amplify not taking things so seriously. Like in ‘Sheet Rock’: “My Life’s So Complicated, although I’m not sexually frustrated. sometimes I don’t know which one is worse”. 
Cringe, parody? Perhaps, but on ‘You Got It’ Gang Green manage to stay on the thin line between being childish and (too) serious. The album is the perfect antidote to over-intellectualization, over-identification and theoretical blindness. “Kids Have The Power, The Power To Rock”, and that is exactly what we need. As Gilles Deleuze stated: “There is no need for fear or hope, only to look for new weapons. ‘You Got It’ is a sonic weapon.
Recommended by Dave Debany (Graveyard of the Atlantic)
Winter ’95 was dark and tough, one I mostly spent snowed in alone in my dorm room. One ray of warmth was my tiny college’s radio station, and even though WRFT was a glorified PA system, some days going to my DJ shift was the only thing I left my room to do. I’d bury myself in what was, back then, an infinite selection of classics, early releases, and rarities. 
In early 1996, a CD arrived from an unfamiliar label, with a band name that we weren’t sure was even a word—Varnaline. The cover grabbed me first, its monochromatic blur mirroring the landscape and my headspace. The title—Man of Sin—read like a stoic confession. It sounds cold, too, kicking off with buzzy, tape-saturated guitars and drums that could have been recorded with a mic dangling from the ceiling, fronted by an aggressively percussive acoustic guitar and Anders Parker’s gruff, elastic drawl.
It was the lyrics that hooked me, though, simply stated but enigmatic enough to beg me to apply deep meaning: “One more little notice and this time things are real” … “I want you but you don’t know” … “Have you ever tried to run, only to find that you haven’t moved?”
I spent hours that winter wandering at night alone in the woods on campus with Man of Sin as my constant companion, and it still evokes in me the deepest winter, the weight of its aching collapsing the frozen layers of snow as I wander still, relief as visible as the orange, February night sky but far out of reach.
Recommended by Brian Sendrowitz (Beat Radio)
For the Birds by the Irish band The Frames was a record that felt like it magically descended into my world in 2001, and made a deep and meaningful impact on me and my group of musician friends. I remember driving around listening to a burned CD-R I’d been given in my silver Saturn SL1. It’s hard to disconnect the album from my experience of that time and place, and from my own thoughts about how music was shared then as compared to now. But it’s the music that is more important to talk about. I didn’t know much about the band at first. I think I vaguely knew they made the record at Steve Albini’s studio in Chicago. Initially, the immediacy of the music was almost too much. At the time my approach to music always hovered between two extremes. I grew up loving a lot of heavy guitar-based bands, and then I came of age as an artist playing solo acoustic folk music. I was trying to move away from that at the time. The Frames did what I thought was impossible. They captured the intimacy of what I loved about songwriter music and with the raw power and catharsis of huge feedback-drenched breakdowns. Vocals were sung barely above a whisper, impossibly close-mic’d.  Violin wailed above fuzzed out crescendos. There was a sense of dynamics on the record that feels entirely lost now in music. The songs were full of longing, despair, and romance. They walked a tightrope. I remember the first time seeing The Frames live at The Mercury Lounge in NYC that December.  All my friends were there. The music was so visceral and intense, and beautiful. Glen Hansard’s between-song banter was impossibly charming. I remember feeling like, goddamn, how can anyone be this fucking charming and engaging on stage? I realized the band had an entire catalog of incredible songs beyond For the Birds.  Some of the tunes were bona fide anthems that seemed like they could fill a stadium, not just the 250 capacity room we were in. Maybe in Ireland they did? Of course Glen’s solo career would eventually grow to that kind of scale worldwide. But at that moment, in 2001, it felt like we were in on an incredibly powerful secret.
Indigo Girls | Indigo Girls (1989)
Recommended by Em Kirby (Uncle Emmington)
Whenever people ask me for album recommendations, I almost always tell them that they should listen to Indigo Girls’ self-titled album. It fits pretty much every requirement I could ask for in a record: full of clever lyrics from both Emily Saliers and Amy Ray, beautiful harmonies (including some from R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe on the haunting track “Kid Fears”), and potent emotions. I’d like to think these elements have the potential to create a cozy and immersive atmosphere for any listener, but it’s impossible for me to separate my own listening experience from my nostalgia. A lot of the artists that comprise my music taste are hand-me-downs from my parents, and putting on these songs is like slipping on a comfortable sweater. When people talk about “no-skip albums”, this is always what comes to mind first, because I truly adore every song and think they work beautifully in sequential order. Some songs are fast and energetic (the duo’s biggest hit “Closer to Fine”, “Tried to be True”, “Land of Canaan”), and others are much slower and relaxed (“Love’s Recovery”, “History of Us”), but none of them could really be described as quiet. The vocals are emotive and soaring at every turn, demanding your attention. Throughout it all, though, there is a contemplative and reflective tone. The girls look inward and outward. They are scorned and guilty. They are joyful, mournful, terrified. If you like folky tunes and music that explores both queer and religious themes, I really can’t recommend this project enough. 
Recommended by Rafael Baggio
Brazil had and still has an amazing, diverse and prolific underground music scene. During the 90s, the underground scene in Brazil was at an all-time high! Although things were mostly DIY, we had a lot of concerts, many venues, a loyal public and plenty of amazing bands.
Let me introduce you to one of my favourite bands of all time: Garage Fuzz.
Garage Fuzz is one of the most influential bands of the Brazilian underground scene with over 30 years of history. The band was always known for impeccable live performances, melodic guitar riffs, and the powerful voice of its longtime front runner Alexandre "Sesper" Cruz. Alexandre recently left the band and was replaced by the super talented Victor Franciscon (former Bullet Bane), who carried the great responsibility of replacing Alexandre with excellence, allowing the band to continue its amazing legacy.
Check this live performance for their latest album "Let the Chips Fall" and let me know what you think…
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