This, ladies and gentlemen, is how to make an album

This is by no means exhaustive, and most of these albums probably won't make the cut. But off the top of my head (or rather, from the little sheets of paper I've been scribbling album names on for the past few days):

The only criteria so far, mind you, is that I don't hate any of the songs on the album. Right now, the list probably reflects my favorite albums more than anything else. There are a few newer albums I'm still debating about whether or not to include.

Less Than Jake: Hello Rockview. One of my favorite albums of all time.
The Magnetic Fields: Holiday; Get Lost. Much more authentic than the later albums, if not more inventive. If TMF have a "sound," this is it.
Against Me!: Reinventing Axl Rose. One of the best contemporary political albums ever. Hard to live up to.
Bouncing Souls: The Gold Record. Maybe Anchors Aweigh. They're so different that it will be hard to compare them.
The Distillers: Coral Fang. Except Deathsex, I hate that song. Otherwise really good.
The Good Life: Album of the Year. A really solid album, conceptually, and well-produced.
Kimya Dawson: Remember that I Love you; Hidden Vagenda. Probably the latter, although the former is amazing, as well. Bonus points for title creativity.
The Chinkees: Peace through Music. Well-presented and executed.
Mike Park: For the Love of Music. Also a really good political album.
Nina Nastasia: On Leaving. I have to have it on the list because I listen to it so much.
Ratatat: ST. See above.
Nirvana: In Utero. If you do not understand, you never will.
Regina Spektor: Begin to Hope and Soviet Kitsch. One or the other. I've come a long way with both. More later.
Streetlight Manifesto: Everything Went Numb. Solid, fast, clear, and almost elegant.
Strike Anywhere: Change is a Sound. Who knew screaming could sound so good?
This Bike is a Pipe Bomb: Dance Party with.... Danciest album ever. Is that a word? It is now. I have this album on beautiful green marbled vinyl.
Tracy Chapman: ST. Social commentary, and that great acapella song about domestic violence. Man.
Band of Horses: Everything all the time. Haunting.
Weakerthans: left and leaving. I haven't listened to it in awhile but it is overwhelmingly good.
Young Marble Giants: Collasal Youth. One of the best albums of the 80's. Influenced too many of my favorite bands not to be on this list.

In other news:

Lou Reed has narrated a Tai Chi video.

And The Shins announce a few tour dates. Notice the words "arena" and "civic auditorium." Seriously, though, check out their website. It's kind of cool looking. And I like libraries very much.


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