Hiatus

Observant readers have probably noticed by now that we haven’t posted any new recommendations for the last few days. We’re sorry about that. All three of us are having a tough time balancing school and/or work with T4B.

As much as we really don’t want to do it, we’re putting the site on hiatus for a while.

If you’re still hungry for new music, here’s a couple of sites you can use. Personally, I’m into AllMusic and Rate Your Music. Alex is really into The Needle Drop (Anthony Fantano). And as always, Reddit’s got your back with an obscene amount of subreddits. It’s up to your judgement to determine which of those subs are worth your time, though.

As always, stay hungry, even if we’re not the ones serving you the food.

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Sketches of Spain – Miles Davis (1960)

Sketches of Spain - Miles Davis (1960)

I love Kind Of Blue, and Miles Davis’ follow up Sketches Of Spain, is just as good. What started off as a normal jazz album with one jazz version of a classical Spanish composition turned into this interesting mixture of jazz and classical music. I can’t really call this “fresh” or “new” seeing how the album is 54 years old, but I but it was “fresh” and “new” in 1960. Considering  that Kind of Blue had came out only 11 months earlier, this was a huge stylistic change for Miles. Although, Miles wouldn’t be Miles if he stayed the same.

Choice Cut: Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio)

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Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes (1983)

Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes (1983)

This is one of those quirky, dry, self-conscious alternative rock albums that give me a reason to appreciate that the 1980s happened. It’s weird and, to some, unpalatable – but it’s also catchy at the same time. That’s a hard thing to pull off unless you’re the Pixies or maybe early 70s Brian Eno. My choice cut here does a great job explaining the feel of the album as a whole.

Now a non-sequitur: imagine my surprise when I found out Gone Daddy Gone from the first album we ever reviewed was a cover from this album.

Choice Cut: Blister in the Sun

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Sandinista! – The Clash (1980)

Sandinista! - The Clash (1980)

The common criticism of Sandinista! is that it would’ve been better pared down to a double or single album. The Clash’s best album is contained in here (check out Joe’s excellent rapping on The Magnificent Seven, or the breezy pop/protest song Washington Bullets – which turn the album’s title into something incredibly catchy) and even at its worst, it’s still really interesting. Most of the throwaway stuff is buried way deep on side 6, which consists largely of dub versions and remixes of earlier songs. Removing those weaker tracks may improve the overall quality, but then it wouldn’t be the same – the sprawl is part of the package! “I stand proud of it,” Joe Strummer once said of the album, “warts and all.”

Choice Cut: Police on My Back

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In The Court Of The Crimson King- King Crimson (1969)

In The Court Of The Crimson King- King Crimson (1969)

ITCOTCK  is sort of a one hit wonder, but in album format instead of single format. To be fair to King Crimson, I’ve only listened to two of their other albums, but the rest of their stuff doesn’t seem to come close to ITCOTCK. That’s kind of why of why ITCOTCK is so amazing. The lineup that they had when they recorded ITCOTCK had some sort of chemistry that no other lineup could really come close to. ITCOTCK is a progressive rock masterpiece one hit wonder, but I couldn’t tell you an exact reason why.

Choice Cut: I Talk To The Wind

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Paranoid – Black Sabbath (1970)

Paranoid - Black Sabbath (1970)

The strongest Black Sabbath album by a mile if you ask me. They’ve got a lot of good albums, and this is coming from a guy who’s not a huge metal fan. Seldom does rock come with riffs on this level. I played the title track in my Camry with the volume all the way up and the car actually melted ($100% true story). I haven’t heard so much raw power in an album since Raw Power. Even the slower, quieter Planet Caravan works really well, advancing the dark atmosphere of the album as a whole.

Choice Cut: Iron Man

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Paris 1919 – John Cale (1973)

Paris 1919 - John Cale (1973)

This is basically a concept album, but not in the same way as, say, Tommy. It’s a portrait of a specific point in time and space, specifically Paris 1919. Not all of the lyrics are based on that, but it is a fitting soundtrack for that era. It’s layered, intensely personal, and absolutely beautiful, with A Child’s Christmas in Wales perfecting symphonic art rock and the title track expanding on the Velvet Underground’s later sound. Plus Cale’s voice, ragged and touching throughout, is an asset – it makes me wish he’d sang more with the Velvets, but I’ll always have his solo work.

Choice Cut: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

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