Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Album Draft | Tenth Round | 3rd Place

I'm a little behind on things. So, what should have been two posts is now going to be one.

In the tenth and final round of the album draft, I took the unreleased mp3 files of Ironpaw which is the former band of one of the other people in the draft. I was thinking of taking N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton or Dexter Gordon's Go since I didn't have a hip-hop or pure jazz album in my list.

However, I decided to go with Ironpaw because I wanted to make a statement about the universal nature of music. The goal of the draft was to select ten albums that best represented the art form of music. Well, a large part of music is the fact that it's everywhere. There are instruments in every home and only pointing to the elite few with recording contracts distorts the overall view of the art of music. So, I thought selecting some good tunes from home recording sessions of someone in the draft, would support that point.

The other part of the reason why I liked this idea is that I like Ironpaw's music. It's mainly guitar and ukelele driven music with a slew of other instruments twirling around the main melody. It all feels very Elephant 6 inspired. Unfortunately, Alex & Ryan, the two guys in the band (in the picture), have decided to go their own way. But if you want to hear what Alex (the one who competed in the draft) is up to these days, you can check out his myspace site.

Ironpaw | Science
Ironpaw | Elephant
Ironpaw | Haley
Ironpaw | Mia Clarke
Ironpaw | Anonymous
Ironpaw | Exclamations

My final list was:

1. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
2. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
3. Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club
4. Otis Redding - Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul
5. Koop - Waltz for Koop
6. The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
7. The Who - Live at Leeds
8. The Swan Silvertones - The Swan Silvertones/Saviour Pass Me Not
9. Alton & Hortense Ellis - Studio One: Alton & Hortense Ellis
10. Ironpaw - Various Unreleased mp3s

My pick was the last pick in the whole draft. The judges then started working up their ballots. Ultimately, I came in 3rd (out of 25). Here were the top five lists (there was a tie for fifth):

First Place
1. The Beatles - Abbey Road
2. American Graffiti - Soundtrack [Compilation Pick]
3. Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
4. Fela Kuti - Zombie
5. Bob Marley and the Wailers - Catch A Fire
6. Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
7. Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan - In Concert
8. Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan - In Session
9. Moby - Everything is Wrong
10. Sergio Mendes - Brasileiro

Second Place
1. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
2. R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant
3. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
4. Bob Marley - Exodus
5. Celia Cruz & Tito Puente - Tito Swings, The Exciting Lupe Sings
6. Patsy Cline - The Patsy Cline Story
7. Kanye West - The College Dropout
8. Elmore James - The Sky Is Crying
9. Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five
10. Ella Fitzgerald - Ella At Juan-Les-Pins

Third Place (mine)
1. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
2. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
3. Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club
4. Otis Redding - Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul
5. Koop - Waltz for Koop
6. The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
7. The Who - Live at Leeds
8. The Swan Silvertones - The Swan Silvertones/Saviour Pass Me Not
9. Alton & Hortense Ellis - Studio One: Alton & Hortense Ellis
10. Ironpaw - Various Unreleased mp3s

Fourth Place
1. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
2. Pulp - Different Class
3. Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain
4. The Doors - The Doors
5. The Girl from Ipanema: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook [Compilation Pick]
6. Astor Piazzola - The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night (Tango Apasionado)
7. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
8. Primal Scream - Screamadelica
9. A Bing - Erhu Legend
10. Mouse On Mars - Idiology

Fifth Place (tie)
1. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico
2. Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
3. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
4. The Stooges - Fun House
5. Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
6. Kraftwerk - Autobahn
7. Eric B. & Rakim - Paid in Full
8. Gang of Four - Entertainment
9. Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
10. Can - Tago Mago

1. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
2. Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers Vol. 1
3. The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
4. Prince & The Revolution - Purple Rain
5. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
6. Minor Threat - Complete Discography
7. Queen - A Night at the Opera
8. Honky Tonk Heroes - Waylon Jennings
9. Al Green - Call Me
10. Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking

In the end, it was a fun exercise to go through. It certainly exposed me to some albums I had never heard of before and that I had forgotten. But more importantly, it was fun.

8 comments:

chad said...

Yow. The list in second palce is awful. Poor aliens.

K. said...

Hmmm...Kanye's college dropout gets a 7th round selection and no NWA? The person that wins takes a compilation in the second round?

I love Kanye as much as the next guy but its too contemporary in my opinion to be going in the 7th round in a BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME draft. Ben Folds Five? No thanks.

I thought your list was worthy of the No. 1 in comparison Murph. As you know I think you were weak in the Jazz, Reggae and Hip Hop but made up for it with your knowledge of alternative/indie music. Koop's album while a good album for the trip-hop downtempo scene I didn't think was a pinoeering album of that genre. I prefer Fila Brazillia's Brazillification or The Future Sound of London's Lifeforms. Hey thats just my opinion.

I think the statement made by selecting the mp3 file cd as your last choice was a great one. Was interesting to watch thanks for including me.

Take care dude. Great idea the draft thing I think is cool brings up discussions about music which I love.

All a matter of taste when it boils down to it.

Flatlander said...

chad,

I half-agree. I like his first three picks but wasn't crazy about the rest. I thought taking Elmore James when Howling Wolf and John Lee Hooker were still available was a poor choice.

K,

Regarding Koop, I agree it isn't ground breaking. However, I think it's a good example of what electronica has progressed to and it also as elements of jazz in it which my list was lacking. So, it covered my ass in two areas and with only ten albums to showcase the entire art form of music, hybrid albums were more valuable.

Flatlander said...

k,

Also thanks for your help during the draft. Reminding me of Otis was huge.

cj howareya said...

Not to quibble, but (well, it's quibbling -- let's face it..)

It really wasn't a "Best albums of All Time" draft -- it was an "If only 10 albums could survive in a time capsule to represent the art form, which would they be?"

It was an apples and oranges excercise because it was basically using a specific form -- the album -- to represent the only music that would last.

And my first place pick -- the second list -- is far from my favorite. But it seemd to be the best blend. I'd have taken Innervisions or Talking Book; I plain dislike REM; I agree on the Wolf/Hooker v. James; Kanye's just an iffy choice; and Ben Folds is basically a waste of a pick after REM (even though I dig that record).

But in the end it became a bit mathematical since so few lists were as varied as I was hoping.

But picking Patsy Cline, Ella and Celia Cruz was a perfect example of diversity + quality I was looking for.

And since I'm here, Ironpaw and Koop weren't great picks for me. Ironpaw was a spot that could have been taken by some other truly genius low fi artist; Oldham, Elliot Smith, hell Joanie Mitchell. And I hate Joanie Mitchell.

And while I quite like that Koop disk, I just don't think it's that strong musically. It's a great groove / vibe-based disk, but something like Mingus or Portishead would have been more interesting to my very, very particular ears.

The Ellis disk is also heavily soul flavored, so that didn't represent as much variety as it could have.

Taste-wise though, only a few lists would compete with yours for time on my stereo.

So truth be told, the end was a bit of a let down for me. The winning list I placed second, but again I don't really like it all that much. The Pistols? Moby? Fela Kuti? meh.

Oh well.

Flatlander said...

cj,

I think all of the problems with the draft were that you, Bob, Kelly, minorthreat, Obie and Nico were not in the draft. Obviously, four of you guys were judges and we needed to have judges. So, there isn't anything that can be done about that. And I think Nico and Obie were too busy. Plus, I think Nico said he was fried from some other drafts.

But if you add all of you guys into the mix and it would have been a very different draft.

Plus, the absence of all you guys opened the door for a few folks that have more narrow tastes to participate. The number of indie/alternative albums that were taken was crazy.

I don't know if they weren't listening to what you guys where looking for, didn't care or didn't know of enough albums to create a varied list.

Regarding the Ironpaw pick, it was a gamble. Plus, it was a fun way to get a little exposure for his tunes. I also didn't want to take another known indie/alternative act since I already had J&MC and Magnetic Fields on my list. Taking a third would have made my list look a lot like the others. If anything I would have taken a hip-hop or jazz album.

ryan d said...

interesting! about the whole 'going separate ways' thing... alex and i still collaborate just as much (although we live far apart) and the two parts of ironpaw were totally heterogeneous anyways. thanks though, it's weird that i came across this.

Anonymous said...

Minor comment:

Celia Cruz & Tito Puente - Tito Swings, The Exciting Lupe Sings

is not by Celia Cruz. It is by La Lupe and Tito Puente