Saturday, October 10, 2009

Since I Met The Devil I Ain't Been The Same

#7 Cure For Pain: Morphine. Morphine might be the best band that almost nobody knows about. It is very rare for a band to have a sound that is unique, just to them, but that is what Morphine was: a low-fi crooning sound with basically a baritone sax, a two-string (!) bass, and a snare drum. What you get is a very atmospheric, deep sound that just cuts right through you. Plus Mark Sandman's deep dark and mellow vocals leading the way. All their CDs are good, but this one is the best - with classics like Buena, Thursday, and the title track. It is all very sax-heavy - and that low, deep groove of the baritone sax is just a great sound. I saw them in concert once and the awesome sax player played TWO AT A TIME! Wouldnt believe it if I didnt see it.

Mark Sandman tragically dropped dead on stage about 10 years ago of a heart attack. Damn shame - they only got to make 5 albums.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Dead Lay In Pools of Maroon

#8 Ten: Pearl Jam. My senior year in college - I was never too far from this CD - it was everywhere. The Pearl Jam formula is familiar, heavy chords, a powerful singer, and songs about deadbeats and outcasts - but somehow they sounded more sincere, more urgent, emotionally deeper. This CD is a standout from start to finish, and some some of the lesser known tunes are some of the best - Porch, Once and Why Go are some of the best on here. Alive is the one that really stays with me the most - the last two minutes are an extended guitar solo by Jeff McCready that just makes me want to close my eyes and do the rocker back and forth head shake the whole time. It was hard to see how these guys could top this, and they never quite have - I cant say that any of their subsequent albums come anywhere close to this one.