Playlist
Blood Money is up there with Waits's best albums from the mid-'80s, veering as it does from sexy insomniac circus music to gorgeously heart-tugging lullabies to woozy zigzag bluesy romps to what can only be described as Oscar the Grouch singing out of tune on top of the soundtrack to an old French film. Blood Money's 13 songs were cowritten by Tom Waits and longtime collaborator and wife Kathleen Brennan for a Robert Wilson production of Georg Büchner's unfinished, protomodernist 1837 play, Woyzeck, about a Kafkaesque German soldier who goes crazy after doing medical experiments for money and kills his girlfriend after witnessing a perceived infidelity. The album's worldview is, necessarily, bleak. The lyrics are hilariously misanthropic, occasionally hallucinatory, and ring with the truth of Tin Pan Alley clichés turned inside out. "Coney Island Baby," in particular, is a grand statement, with Waits delicately croaking the lines "She's a rose, she's the pearl / She's the spin on my world / All the stars make their wishes on her eyes." The album's manifesto, however, is to be found in the title tune, as Waits spits out the words "If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man / You can drive out nature with a pitch fork / But it always comes roaring back again." Released at the same time as the lyrical, lovely Alice, the ragged and rhythmic Blood Money marks the return of one of our most gifted meta-singer-songwriters to the top of his game. --Mike McGonigal
Blood Money
Tom Waits
Misery Is The River Of The World
Year: 2002

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Fordlândia
Jóhann Jóhannsson
Miracle, Mystery and Authority (Bonus Track)
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures
Mind Eraser, No Chaser
Year: 2009

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

OUT OF PRINT,2 CD SET.MUST HAVE FOR UTOPIA FANS.
Oblivion, POV & Some Trivia
Utopia
Mimi Gets Mad

Amazon MP3

Charlie
Melt Banana
Giggle On the Stretcher
Year: 1998

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

So
Peter Gabriel
Don't Give Up
Year: 1986

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
Ben Folds Five
Do It Anyway
Year: 2012

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

This collection goes far beyond a simple career retrospective, with over 30 new songs (from Tom Waits's own versions of songs he gave to other artists, to pieces recorded in the garage with his kids). Also includes Tom's unique interpretations of songs by such diverse talents as the Ramones, Daniel Johnston, Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht, and Leadbelly. Each CD is sub-titled--"Brawlers," "Bawlers," and "Bastards"--to capture the full spectrum of Waits's ranging and roving musical styles. "Brawlers" is chock full of raucous blues and full-throated juke-joint stomp, "Bawlers" contains Celtic and country ballads, waltzes, lullabies, piano, and classic Waits songs, while "Bastards" is filled with experimental music, stories, and jokes. The limited edition deluxe package contains a bound 94-page booklet that reproduces Tom's lyrics in the style of a volume of old poetry, with 20 pages of never-before-seen photos.
Orphans
Tom Waits
Redrum
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Standards In Norway
Keith Jarrett Trio
Little Girl Blue
Year: 1989

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

New York guitar phenom walks tall in the blues tradition with this third album, jettisoning fiery riffs inspired by John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elmore James, and Albert Collins into the future with furious playing, a hard-rock sensibility, and a grizzled voice that owes a debt to Gregg Allman. Equally inspired by the Delta blues and the mid-'60s British blues boom, the young firebrand--who titled this CD after a Rod Stewart song penned while in the Jeff Beck Group--is able to fuse those two schools together, creating edgy blues rock. --Jaan Uhelszki
Blues Deluxe
Joe Bonamassa
Blues Deluxe
Year: 2003

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees
Jóhann Jóhannsson
Rainwater
Year: 2010

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Seven years passed between the release of Bone Machine and Mule Variations. During that time Tom Waits eschewed cutting another "conventional" (the term used loosely here) song collection, occupying his time with acting projects, a soundtrack (Night on Earth), a stage project (The Black Rider), and sundry smaller diversions. What's surprising about Mule Variations is how little he's strayed from the old Bone yard through the years. As with his Grammy-winning 1992 outing, Waits intersperses the tough and the tender, mixing exercises in creative noisemaking with tunes that fall on just the right side of maudlin. As with Bone Machine's "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me," "What's He Building?" is an experiment in word jazz that owes a debt to its creator, Ken Nordine. Waits has again assembled a crew of attuned sidemen (including Primus and steadfast backers Ralph Carney, Larry Taylor, and Joe Gore). And, as always, Waits and his wife-cosongwriter-coproducer Kathleen Brennan exhibit an uncanny ear for the arcane. In the end, Mule Variations is the aural equivalent of a salvage shop that, while largely familiar, still has a few secluded chambers and trap doors. --Steven Stolder
Mule Variations
Tom Waits
House Where Nobody Lives
Year: 1999

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Seven years passed between the release of Bone Machine and Mule Variations. During that time Tom Waits eschewed cutting another "conventional" (the term used loosely here) song collection, occupying his time with acting projects, a soundtrack (Night on Earth), a stage project (The Black Rider), and sundry smaller diversions. What's surprising about Mule Variations is how little he's strayed from the old Bone yard through the years. As with his Grammy-winning 1992 outing, Waits intersperses the tough and the tender, mixing exercises in creative noisemaking with tunes that fall on just the right side of maudlin. As with Bone Machine's "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me," "What's He Building?" is an experiment in word jazz that owes a debt to its creator, Ken Nordine. Waits has again assembled a crew of attuned sidemen (including Primus and steadfast backers Ralph Carney, Larry Taylor, and Joe Gore). And, as always, Waits and his wife-cosongwriter-coproducer Kathleen Brennan exhibit an uncanny ear for the arcane. In the end, Mule Variations is the aural equivalent of a salvage shop that, while largely familiar, still has a few secluded chambers and trap doors. --Steven Stolder
Mule Variations
Tom Waits
House Where Nobody Lives
Year: 1999

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Egyptology
World Party
She's The One
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

In a thrilling UK Garage scene, blighted only by a reliance on drippy soul cliché and tiresome braggadocio, The Streets' eminently quotable Mike Skinner may just be the voice to take it to the next level with Original Pirate Material. This debut is a staggeringly eloquent and fearlessly honest snapshot of gritty street-level existence, as experienced by an ordinary bloke. At first listen, the Birmingham-born Skinner's cheeky cockney affectations grate slightly. But for every line that makes you squirm, there are 20 that drop your jaw. "Has It Come to This?" is "A day in the life of a geezer," a seductive encapsulation of London lifestyle, presented raw as a bootleg, but bulging with sharp wit and feverish detail. "Stay Positive" weaves a fearful tale of heroin addiction, while "The Irony of It All" makes a beguiling case for legalization, presenting a fictional exchange between a beered-up, self-righteous lager lout and a fey student weed enthusiast. Original Pirate Material is a milestone, the real voice of British youth set down on record. Don't miss it. --Louis Pattison
Original Pirate Material
The Streets
Turn the Page
Year: 2005

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

In my humble opinion, Andy is the most innovative and exciting fingerstyle guitarist to emerge in years. Still in his 20's, Andy has developed a mastery of the 6-string guitar and the harp guitar that leaves me speechless. He is the most textural player of the instrument since Michael Hedges, and he creates sonic architecture worthy of the great modern composers for any instrument. - Don Ross
Art of Motion
Andy McKee
Shanghai
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Levitate
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
In The Low Country
Year: 2009

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

After taking five leisurely years to follow up on 1996's Pinkerton, Weezer are apparently on a roll. Arriving just over 12 months after The Green Album, Maladroit finds the Los Angeles power-pop band in the midst of a particularly fertile creative period. "Dope Nose," which is easily stronger than anything on the last album, flexes a sinister shout-along chorus and vintage Van Halen riffs, while the potent garage-punk blast of "Fall Together" wipes out any lingering discomfort over the thoroughly Sugar Ray-sounding "Island in the Sun." In a sense The Green Album was just a taster for this, the blissfully thunderous main dish. Sure, there are some deadpan emo moments ("Death and Destruction") littering the course, but mostly Maladroit is Weezer doing what they do best--inverting and embracing dumb rock stereotypes and somehow making them sound smart. --Aidin Vaziri
Maladroit
Weezer
Love Explosion
Year: 2002

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Out of print in the U.S., Originally released in 1995, this was The Finn Brothers' first album as a duo, although they spent years together in Split Enz. Initially, brothers Tim and Neil began working on this album years earlier, but the songs they had written were so good that Tim joined Neil's band Crowded House for the Woodface album, which consisted of many of the songs they'd written together. Tim left the band within a year of the album's release. Four years later, they sat down and tried to do it again. This low-key album was the result and contains some of their finest songs including 'Only Talking Sense', 'Last Day Of June', 'Angel's Heap' and 'Where Is My Soul'. Though not as polished as Crowded House, the tracks here are melodic and enchanting. EMI.
Finn
Finn Brothers
Last Day Of June
Year: 1995

Amazon MP3

Released in 1981, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is a collaboration between ambient pioneer Brian Eno and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. On Ghosts, the two strong-willed musicians manage to come to a meeting of the minds, blending Byrne's herky-jerky funk with Eno's atmospheric sound sculpting. More than anything, this is a large album, intent on pushing itself to the front of the listener's consciousness. Abundant percussion (everything from booming tribal drums to eerie electronics) reverberates in the background while Byrne and Eno toss all manner of found sounds, field recordings, and radio broadcasts into the mix. What results is a groundbreaking album that introduced a generation to the dazzling possibilities offered by electronic recording techniques. Highlights include "The Jezebel Spirit," an electro-funk workout that uses a recording of an exorcism as its focal point, and "Very, Very Hungry," a mysteriously ethereal display of electronic percussion and large-scale sonic architecture. --S. Duda
My Life In the Bush of Ghosts
Brian Eno/David Byrne
New Feet
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Released in 1981, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is a collaboration between ambient pioneer Brian Eno and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. On Ghosts, the two strong-willed musicians manage to come to a meeting of the minds, blending Byrne's herky-jerky funk with Eno's atmospheric sound sculpting. More than anything, this is a large album, intent on pushing itself to the front of the listener's consciousness. Abundant percussion (everything from booming tribal drums to eerie electronics) reverberates in the background while Byrne and Eno toss all manner of found sounds, field recordings, and radio broadcasts into the mix. What results is a groundbreaking album that introduced a generation to the dazzling possibilities offered by electronic recording techniques. Highlights include "The Jezebel Spirit," an electro-funk workout that uses a recording of an exorcism as its focal point, and "Very, Very Hungry," a mysteriously ethereal display of electronic percussion and large-scale sonic architecture. --S. Duda
My Life In the Bush of Ghosts
Brian Eno/David Byrne
Help Me Somebody
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Dizzy Heights
Neil Finn
Impressions
Year: 2014

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Dizzy Heights
Neil Finn
White Lies and Alibis
Year: 2014

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Now that Beck has effectively exorcised his personal demons with 2002's hyperconfessional Sea Change, he can get back to the business of being a total fruit loop. We all know what that involves: videogame sound effects, random shouting in Spanish, and rhymes about popsicles and vegetable vans. And that's just the second track. Guero is like every Beck album condensed into one, a no-holds-barred collision of two-turntables and a microphone with the added bonus of guitars, bossa-nova beats, Jack White, lyrics about spaceships, and dumptrucks full of ideas all fighting to be heard above the ruckus. It's an exhausting and exhilarating listen with lots of peaks, such as the digitized power ballad "Broken Drum" and handclap-drenched folk freak-out "Farewell Ride," and more than enough to restore anyone's faith in Beck as one of the most chaotically inspired songwriters of our time. -- Aidin Vaziri
Guero
Beck
Emergency Exit
Year: 2005

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Now that Beck has effectively exorcised his personal demons with 2002's hyperconfessional Sea Change, he can get back to the business of being a total fruit loop. We all know what that involves: videogame sound effects, random shouting in Spanish, and rhymes about popsicles and vegetable vans. And that's just the second track. Guero is like every Beck album condensed into one, a no-holds-barred collision of two-turntables and a microphone with the added bonus of guitars, bossa-nova beats, Jack White, lyrics about spaceships, and dumptrucks full of ideas all fighting to be heard above the ruckus. It's an exhausting and exhilarating listen with lots of peaks, such as the digitized power ballad "Broken Drum" and handclap-drenched folk freak-out "Farewell Ride," and more than enough to restore anyone's faith in Beck as one of the most chaotically inspired songwriters of our time. -- Aidin Vaziri
Guero
Beck
Que' Onda Guero
Year: 2005

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Both is Aimee Mann and Ted Leo
The Both
The Both
No Sir

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Both is Aimee Mann and Ted Leo
The Both
The Both
Milwaukee

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

In 2011, an eponymous, self-recorded EP led to touring, and before long The Lumineers started attracting devout fans. They're drawn by songs like "Ho Hey" and "Stubborn Love," Americana-inflected barn burners in the vein of the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons. The roots revival has primed listeners for a new generation of rustic, heart-on-the-sleeve music. The Lumineers walk that line with an unerring gift for timeless melodies and soul-stirring lyrics.
The Lumineers
The Lumineers
Morning Song

Amazon MP3

Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings
Keith Jarrett
La Valse Bleue
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

New York guitar prodigy Joe Bonamassa opened for B.B. King before he was a teen, but blues is just the springboard for the sound on this second solo outing. Bonamassa spotlights his songwriting this time, using his fluid and fiery guitar work to punctuate muscular melodies more akin to anthemic arena rock than basic blues. While Bonamassa's debut disc, A New Day Yesterday, featured a supporting cast of Gregg Allman, Rick Derringer, and Leslie West, the follow-up keeps the focus on his power trio, with drummer Kenny Kramme and bassist Eric Czar providing most of the accompaniment (although keyboardist Cliff Magness creatively colors around the edges). Bonamassa is indeed a certifiable fretboard phenom, consistently capable of startlingly effective solos, but he's also a strong singer, and that's what makes the collection of songs, a dozen of the 13 cowritten by Bonamassa, successful. The title track, complete with a sizzling solo, sustains a Southern blues-rock feel, but most of the other songs, such as the power pop "Unbroken," the hard-rocking "Sick in Love," and the retro "Never Said Goodbye," which features Bonamassa on mandolin, showcase his abilities in different stylistic settings. --Michael Point
So It's Like That
Joe Bonamassa
The Hard Way
Year: 2002

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

"Play with Fire", is The Reign of Kindo's 3rd full length record and 1st with newest member Danny Pizarro Jr. on piano. Newly relocated to New York City as a base, Kindo has released possibly their best record yet. The record starts out with "The Hero, The Saint, The Tyrant, and The Terrorist a song that screams "The Reign of Kindo" and would be a fit on any thier first two records. "Help It" has a killer bass line and sounds like every band member is having a musical conversation with one another, a perfectly in sync and melodic conversation. "Sing When No Ones Around" is more guitar driven than past records and the percussion kills when it comes in. "Dust" is a brilliant tune pulsing with rythym and slide guitar licks. Rare is it to find modern music that pinpoints the middle ground between a respect for past greats and a boldness to pave tomorrow. This is, quite modestly, the definition of The Reign of Kindo. Citing influences from Dave Brubeck to Ben Folds to Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto to John Mayer, there's not a degree of pomposity in this sound, just an honesty in the group's craft to blend such diverse influences into an identity
Play with Fire
The Reign Of Kindo
The Man, The Wood & The Stone
Year: 2013

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Listening to the high-energy, florid runs, quirky twists, and trademark whines that tattoo "Bouncin' with Bud," the opening track of Whisper Not, it's hard to believe that Keith Jarrett was still in the throes of chronic fatigue syndrome when his trio recorded this date in Paris in July 1999. This isn't the Keith Jarrett of moody ruminations we heard on his solo CD The Melody at Night, with You, released in the fall of 1999. Whisper Not is closer to the Jarrett who launched the Standards Trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock in 1983. The trio is still mining the songs of their youth, resurrecting "Poinciana," a signature song of Ahmad Jamal, an early Jarrett influence, and paying tribute to the bop masters with a rollicking take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" and a sophisticated excursion into Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight." The interplay between these three musicians has never been higher, operating at a level beyond intuition, playing inside each other's heads. --John Diliberto
Whisper Not
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette
What Is This Thing Called Love
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Listening to the high-energy, florid runs, quirky twists, and trademark whines that tattoo "Bouncin' with Bud," the opening track of Whisper Not, it's hard to believe that Keith Jarrett was still in the throes of chronic fatigue syndrome when his trio recorded this date in Paris in July 1999. This isn't the Keith Jarrett of moody ruminations we heard on his solo CD The Melody at Night, with You, released in the fall of 1999. Whisper Not is closer to the Jarrett who launched the Standards Trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock in 1983. The trio is still mining the songs of their youth, resurrecting "Poinciana," a signature song of Ahmad Jamal, an early Jarrett influence, and paying tribute to the bop masters with a rollicking take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" and a sophisticated excursion into Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight." The interplay between these three musicians has never been higher, operating at a level beyond intuition, playing inside each other's heads. --John Diliberto
Whisper Not
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette
What Is This Thing Called Love
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Strata
Steve Roach & Robert Rich
Magma
Year: 1990

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Aural archaeologists Rich and Steve Roach delve deep into the strata of the primordial mind in this acclaimed 1990 collaboration. They forge a symbiotic artistic alliance where their signature sonic motifs are generally abandoned for the sake of a collective sound. Implementing their combined arsenal of synths, samplers, flutes, drums, and steel guitar, the duo creates a variety of moods and atmospheres--serene ambiences ("The Grotto of Time Lost"), ritualistic, rhythmic invocations ("Fearless"), intense dark ambient spaces ("Magma"), and surreal, bubbling soundscapes ("Persistence of Memory [For Dali]"). As with their other works, the composers utilize a balanced blend of organic and electronic instrumentation in an exploration of the human psyche that is simultaneously primal and cerebral. This album was a critical and commercial success, remaining on the Billboard New Age charts for several months after its initial release. --Bryan Reesman
Strata
Steve Roach & Robert Rich
Magma
Year: 1990

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

What a return to form for Rundgren! Arena's baker's dozen, one-word-named tunes are from another time entirely: thoughtful, intense and expertly crafted rock songs that straddle the line between pop and prog. Rundgren continues to make music that pushes the envelope of his best work, regardless of current musical trends. The great songwriter and genius producer of Cheap Trick, the Runaways, Meat Loaf, Hall and Oates, and XTC is neither resting on his laurels nor performing his greatest hits at the Kansas state fair--although he did assume Rix Ocasek’s mantle with the New Cars, but that's something else entirely. The album title is ironic. Music like this hasn't been an arena draw in twenty-plus years. --Mike McGonigal
Arena
Todd Rundgren
Gun

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Radiance
Keith Jarrett
Radiance, Pt. 10
Year: 2005

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Head Down
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Echoplex
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Discipline
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Letting You
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Seeds
The Seeds
Pushin' Too Hard
Year: 1966

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Seeds
The Seeds
Pushin' Too Hard
Year: 1966

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Only was Tommy Emmanuel's first all acoustic album. Armed with 'only' his acoustic guitar, Tommy blasted the boundaries of the acoustic genre with a musicality and passion that arguably eclipses his command of the instrument. Only is a deeply intimate encounter with one of the world's great performers, and a technique that guitar enthusiasts, critics, and peers of the world stage describe as 'frightening'. This Special Edition Includes Bonus Tracks of previously unreleased recordings. Remixed & Remastered by the original engineer/producer.Best Fingerstyle Guitarist in Acoustic Guitar Players Choice Awards 2008!
Only (Special Edition) [Remastered]
Tommy Emmanuel
The Hunt
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3

Even John Hiatt's most ardent fans weren't ready for this masterpiece to be dropped in their laps in 1987. Hiatt had spent most of the 70's and 80's playing pick-a-style, bouncing from southern country rock to Elvis Costello redux and back again. With Family, though, he pared away every bit of excess and delivered his best set of songs with the understated, impossibly tasteful backing of Nick Lowe on bass, Ry Cooder on guitar and Jim Keltner on drums. Hiatt's sober, uncompromising examination of his previously drunken life was breathtaking; producing instant classics in "Have a Little Faith in Me" and "Thing Called Love." Family remains a landmark of adult album rock. --Michael Ruby
Bring the Family
John Hiatt
Tip of My Tongue
Year: 1987

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Nirvana made a lot of things irrelevant when Nevermind was released in 1991. Among the most unfortunate casualties caught inside the blast radius were the B-52's. Just two years prior, they had released their very first mainstream breakthrough album, Cosmic Thing. This album was featherweight, sun-kissed, playfully pansexual and, most importantly, danceable. Tracks like "Love Shack" and "Roam" reminded us there could be fun without responsibility. Alternately kitschy and lazy (I still insist that "Deadbeat Club" was a slacker anthem long before Beck's "Loser"), Cosmic Thing took the B-52's signature Trekkie-camp sensibility and slowed it down just enough to click on MTV and portable radios wonderfully. And let's be honest, anyway: would you rather road-trip to Kurt's sad refrain of "Well, whatever, nevermind" or Fred Schneider belting out, "The whole shack shimmies!!" at the top of his lungs? On second thought, don't answer that. --Todd Levin
Cosmic Thing
The B-52's
Love Shack

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Dizzy Heights
Neil Finn
Flying In The Face Of Love
Year: 2014

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Corona Radiata
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Lights in the Sky
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Echoplex
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store