I have a story to tell and a need to tell it. It’s large and significant. Its not a blog.
Its a concept record. It’s an examination of how I have lived my life and how life has had its funny way with me. Its personal, deeply. And its coming to a store near you. Assuming winter ever ends.
The effect of having an admission and having to wait countless weeks to even cobble together the most basic frames of it was a complete freeze. Its easy to lay back in Winter and sink into the browned out frozen precip that is in every direction you look in. I liked it to living in the film ‘Fargo’ but its much closer to being hunted in ’30 Days Of Night’. Barrow time knows no real time.
I love concept records. I think I was fed a steady diet of them growing up (I remember when ‘The Wall’ came out as well as all those Yes records…) which bloomed into a real voyeurs desire to have an idea whats behind the songs, the words, the feelings on display.
My Faves include…but not limited too:
Richard and Linda Thompson ‘Shoot Out The Lights’: Maybe the real predecessor of what will come from me, where a divorce becomes the third member of this particular record. Songs like ‘Its Just The Motion’ and ‘Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed’ were thumbnail sketches of a machine coming apart.
Vic Chesnutt ‘In The Cut’: The most effecting record Ive bought in some time. Its a suicide note. From start to finish. With ‘Flirted With You All My Life’ with referees to the traditional ‘Oh Death’ just the most obvious tell. This story…Vic’s story….in particular moves beyond the coolness of concept into a real pain. Cause anyone out there who believes they have something to offer the World…and the World is less than interested….we are Legion. We are one.
The Mountain Goats ‘Tallahassee’: My favorite record in sound, concept and musical dynamic. A story that was long coming, from when John Darnielle first started penning / sending tales of the mystical Alpha couple. They’re fate was writ in rough, crazy demos and in the tale telling of between song banter. Its depressing. There are no survivors. (note: ‘The Sunset Tree’ album is right close…)
Bob Dylan ‘Blood On The Tracks’: The Dylan divorce record. Specifically what cuts in this collection is the anger, the resignation, the highs and low of love and hope. One of the great F.U. songs sleeps in these selections, being ‘Idiot Wind’. If your not effected by the voice, the passion, the anger of the ‘blood on his saddle line’, you need stop listening to music and take up more television. This World is lost on you.
David Bowie ‘Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars’: I learned (stole) more from this record than all the others combined. In sound and creation and story. Ronson Forever.
Lou Reed & John Cale ‘Songs For Drella’: This factored in early on my alternate band set up obsession. Being not the MOST huge Velvet fan, I wouldn’t think this would appeal to me. But I find myself still singing it all the time. Plus a view of Andy Warhol from dudes who actually knew Andy Warhol. Its a strange record, a lot of space within the tracks….but something beautiful within these oddities.
Nice post. I do find concept albums appealing, as they are autobiographical in nature. 2 that are in rotation frequently are “S.F. Sorrow” by The Pretty Things and “Blows Against The Empire” by Paul Kantner. And I can’t say enough about early Bowie as well, so we’ll leave it at that.