Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recent Acquisitions: Pop Music Quiz (7-29-09)

A shitload of great albums crossed my path in the past two weeks that I couldn't resist, so let's have some fun with a fill-in-the-blank musical IQ quiz. Get your pencils ready. (Answers are provided at the bottom.)

1. Left Lane Cruiser, Bring Yo' Ass to the Table (Alive Records, limited edition orange vinyl, new, $8). People, buy this album so the band makes enough money to record their next album in a decent studio with a decent recording engineer. God knows, Freddie "Joe" Evans and Bren "______" Beck deserve a better recording that approaches the power of their live shows.

2. Arab Strap, Monday at the Hug & Pint (Matador, new, $8). The band takes its name after an album title by fellow Scottish band ________ but their mood is more dark and dour.

3. Pavement, Brighten Your Corners (Nicene Edition) (Matador, 4-LP reissue, new, $66). Even though they're my favorite band from ________, California, I hesitated buying this reissue, because I already have the CD and the vinyl version is so expensive. The vinyl edition has eight more bonus tracks than the CD and it looks so damn deluxe. Plus, it was the one Pavement album I didn't have on vinyl. It's right up there with Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain in quality and it's got the perfect driving song for rocky, "Passat Dream".

4. Stephen Malkmus and Jicks, Pig Lib (Matador, new, $12). What the fuck is a Jick? Is it short for _______ hick?

5. Big Star, Radio City (Ardent, reissue, new, $12). This album is full of great tunes with catchy pop hooks.  As catchy as the songs are, there's something off-kilter about them. If you can imagine intelligent but not quite human aliens came to record a great pop album, this would be it. Anyway it takes balls to name the band Big Star and title their first album _________.

6. Sparks, In Outer Space (Atlantic, $2). If Kraftwerk grew up in Southern California instead of Germany, they may have turned out to be Sparks. Songs like "Prayin' for a Party", "I Wish I Looked a Little Better" and "Dance Godammit" and guest vocals by ________ of the Go-Go's make this a fun synth pop album.

7. Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold as Love (Reprise/Classic reissue, mono pressing on 200-gm vinyl, new $25). This mono reissue is a relative bargain, I suppose, considering mint original mono pressings of this album sell for hundreds of dollars. Or it's possible that rocky is just plain ________.

8. Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced (Reprise, original stereo pressing, tri-color pink green and gold label, $10).  If Jimi is asking if I'm experienced picking up multiple copies of his albums, I would have to answer yes. Well, we know he's not talking about drugs, since the last line of the title song is "Not necessarily _____, but beautiful".

9. Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet (ABKCO, DSD-mastered pressing, new, $20). I've been buying the high resolution mastered reissues of the Stones catalog on Super Audio CDs since they're now out of print. But an even higher resolution format than the Super Audio CD is __________.

10. Rolling Stones, Their Satanic Majesties Request (ABKCO, DSD-mastered pressing, new, $26). Mick and Keith must've taken the leash off _________ on this psychedelic pop masterpiece. 

11. Rolling Stones, Get Your Ya-Ya's Out (ABKCO, DSD-mastered pressing, new, $20). This is the Stones' supposedly best live album, highlighted by a 9 minute version of ___________.

12. Rolling Stones, Aftermath (UK version) (ABKCO, DSD-mastered pressing, $14). This is the first Stones album without any ______  and the last to have different track listings on the US and UK versions.

13. Rolling Stones, Hot Rocks 1964-1971 (ABKCO, DSD-mastered pressing, 2-LP, $39).  I've wondered if I had owned this record in high school, would I have grown up to become a _______.

14. Love Is All, Play 5 Covers (Self-released, new $9). The songs I recognize are Prince's "Darling Nikki", Dire Straits' "So Far Away", and __________' "I Ran".

15. Bill Withers, +'Justments (Sussex, $2). On the album cover, Withers is holding a piece of chalk instead of the _________ he held on the cover of his first album, which he probably threw down a gully after he hit it big.

16. Fleetwood Mac, Kiln House (Reprise, $4). The Mac's first album after losing founding member _______ to an insane asylum is a curious one. It plays like a feud between Buddy Guy and Buddy Holly.

17. Morrissey, "Irish Heart, English Blood" (Attack, 12-inch single, UK pressing, $6). This is a single from his album __________. The sound quality is posh on this 12-inch single.

18. Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again (Atco, yellow label, $6). Even though Neil Young and Stephen Stills were in the band, more songs on this album were written by Richie Furay. Yeah, that's right, the same Richie Furay who later formed the band _____. It's like Lennon and McCartney letting Ringo do most of the songwriting for an album.

Answers: 1. Sausage Paw; 2. Belle and Sebastian (easy one!); 3. Stockton; 4. Jewish; 5. #1 Record; 6. Jane Wiedlin; 7. loco en la cabeza (or any variant); 8. stoned; 9. vinyl record; 10. Brian Jones; 11. Midnight Rambler; 12. covers (i.e., all original songs); 13. male prostitute; 14. Flock of Seagulls; 15. lunch pail; 16. Peter Green; 17. You Are the Quarry; 18. Poco

So how did you do? Rate yourself based on the number you got correct on the following scale:

18: You're a fucking cheater.
12-17: You will fall down a well. At the bottom of the well, you will find your soul mate.
6-11: You're average. Whether you find this tolerable says a lot about your character.
0-5: Maybe you should start giving a shit.

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