Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
The Dutch Rolling Stones, vintage post-punk and more in this week's Five Albums.
Each week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: obscure picks from across several genres by Wim aka Ramone 666 of music blog For the Sake of the Song.
It'd probably easier to pick 500 albums you should be listening to right now instead of five. So I just went for the top of my eclectic listening pile and took it from there.
1. Karen Dalton, In My Own Time (1971)
I've probably played the soulful In My Own Time more often than any other album over the last couple of years. Originally released without attracting much attention in 1971, it was re-released in 2006 to much critical acclaim, and with good reason. Said to be the subject of Bob Dylan and the Band’s “Katie’s Been Gone,” Sweet Mother K.D.'s mesmerizing voice can lure you in like the proverbial song of the siren. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Listen: “In A Station”
2. Various Artists, Rough Trade Shops Post Punk Vol. 1 (2003)
Call me an aging hipster for all I care, but I grew up on post-punk and often still pine for the adventurous spirit of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when creativity was running rampant, boundaries were few and far between, and political engagement was less a choice for punk bands and more of a requirement. This exemplary two-disc sampler features gems by Gang of Four, The Fall, and Wire, plus a whole riot’s worth of equally interesting bands you may not have heard of yet.
Listen: “Skank Bloc Bologna” by Scritti Politti
3. Archie Shepp, Attica Blues, 1972
Even if you're not that into jazz or the avant-garde, check this one out — Attica Blues has more in common with the hard-hitting funk and soul of Sly & The Family Stone or Funkadelic than one would expect from an out-there jazz cat like Shepp. "If I had the chance to make the decisions, every man could walk this earth on equal conditions…" Right on.
Listen: “Attica Blues”
4. The Outsiders, Strange Things Are Happening (1966)
Since I'm of Dutch origin, I'm obligated to smuggle in something from behind the dykes, and my answer is The Outsiders, who were more or less the lowlands version of the Rolling Stones. “Lying All The Time” has an intro to die for, but it's Wally Tax’s desolate vocals — check out his Amsterdam-accented English — that really steal the show. Foreign collectors have long paid top dollar for Outsiders vinyl, but the release of this excellent singles compilation means everyone can enjoy their so-called nederbiet.
Listen: “Lying All The Time”
5. El Camarón De La Isla, Cada Vez Que Nos Miramos, (1970)
Spain is my spiritual home: I lived there for five years and hope to return as soon as possible. Its national music, the transparently emotional flamenco, is always high on my playlists. You can't go wrong with the legendary El Camarón De La Isla, the gypsy vocalist whose funeral in 1992 attracted over 100,000 people. And in case you were wondering, yes, that is virtuoso guitarist Paco de Lucía flailing away in the background.
Listen: “Soy Grande Por Ser Gitano”