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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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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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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Low – David Bowie (1977)

Low - David Bowie (1977)

“I’m gonna review Heroes. …Dammit, Ian! Okay… I’m gonna review Station to Station… Dammit, Ian!” T4B problems. The struggle is real.

This is a powerful testament to how much we like Bowie. He was always doing weird experimental stuff, switching up his style, and trying new things. We’re all about that. Low is essentially an album in two parts: the more “traditional” opening seven and the instrumental closing four. The opening seven are a mix of sounds appropriate for an arcade, 50s piano, rock riffs, and Bowie vocals. The instrumental tracks opened a rabbit hole to be discovered further later.

Choice Cut: What in the World

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Agaetis Byrjun – Sigur Ros (1999)

Agaetis Byrjun - Sigur Ros (1999)

Translated from its native Icelandic tongue, “agaetis byrjun” becomes “a good beginning.” Appropriate! Want to talk stark, unfettered beauty? Want to talk rich instrumentation and incredible (if unintelligible to my English ears) vocals? This album is your conversation piece. The album art shows a picture of a fetus in the womb, and I have to wonder if that’s what they had in mind when making this album. I know I’m really grasping here, but I think if you got some decent headphones, sunk into a really big beanbag chair, and listened to this, you might just feel like the album art. Leave yourself an airhole if you try that, though.

Choice Cut: Svefn-g-englar

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Since I Left You – The Avalanches (2000)

Since I Left You - The Avalanches (2000)

An impressive album – the best I discovered in 2014. I want to gush. I’m really tempted to gush. Made from around 3500 samples from vinyl records, this is a veritable epic of a record. Since I Left You boasts an extremely diverse palette of sounds that somehow fraternize into a single, cohesive unit. I’d argue it’s magic. A common, and somewhat warranted, criticism of electronic music is that it doesn’t sound “alive” or that it sounds “sterile.” This album is my rebuttal. It feels not just alive, but young and healthy. It’s genuine and familiar, and yet simultaneously exotic.

Choice Cut: Live at Dominoes

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Slanted & Enchanted – Pavement (1992)

Slanted & Enchanted - Pavement (1992)

I hated this album when I first heard it. With a few years and added musical maturity, I’ve recently listened to it again. The jagged, uneven hooks and desperate vocals (“I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’…”) push away casual listeners. Summer Babe is a perfectly amicable radio hit, but by the time you get to No Life Singed Her, you know what you’re in for. If you can handle that, you’re in for ugly beauty. To anyone who’s intimidated by this album, I suggest listening to it three times. I think it takes three listens to truly start appreciating a complex album.

Choice Cut: Jackals, False Grails: The Lonesome Era

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