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Posts Tagged ‘xtc

Mood: So sick of writing this #$%^*& blog
Music: The Minutemen-Paranoid Chant

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I love music. I like talking about it and writing about it and wallpapering my bathroom with it whenever I can.  I’ve been thinking of this post for a while now and I have a lot of questions.

Why do I like the music I like?

What sorts of songs move me and why?

What makes a great album great?

Should I buy a monkey?

Is it legal to keep a monkey in the house?

If I brought a monkey home, would it throw monkey feces at my kitty?

These are all important questions to ask yourselves, Internets. I’m going to try and help you with some of them, but you’ve got to do the rest on your own…there’s no substitute for good, honest work.

Monkeys aside, these aren’t the most artistically challenging, or earth shattering of Music’s albums, but they always make me happy and I sing along whenever one of these albums comes on.  And sometimes, as you’ll soon learn, these songs literally make me weep with joy.

So, in the spirit of musical devotion and charity, I offer you, in no particular order, the five albums that I like best in the world.


I love, love, love XTC and I’m not sure that they get the credit they’re due here in Magic America…or even the Magic United Kingdoms for that matter. They don’t tour or perform live at all due to paralyzing stage fright and I think that’s hurt their popularity. I’m sure the fact that they broke up a few years ago doesn’t help either.  They have a lot of great (and some not so great) albums, but this is far and away my favorite.

Skylarking uses the framework of the season cycle to examine the important events in a life. It starts with young lust and romantic love in the summer and moves through cosmic introspection and death in the winter.

This album is so good, but the why defies description. It’s like they perfectly captured the warmth of the Sun and stolen kisses and the smell of summer grass and fear and bumblebees and jealousy and the end of a holiday and regret and apples and mortality in a jar and transformed them into beautiful, little songs.

I love this album so much that I’m literally getting the weepies from thinking about it.


Remember that time you fell in love with the lead singer of your band? Remember how wonderful it was to be young and with your love every day? Remember how band practice and live shows instantly got more fun?

Remember that time you broke up with him? Remember how sad he was? Remember how everyone in the whole fucking world knew that you two had broken up because you were in a well-known indy rock band? Remember how you were asked about it over and over again in interviews? Remember how awful band practice and shows got to be after that?

Remember that time after the breakup when he came into practice and said, “hey y’all, I just wrote a bunch of new songs for the next album!” and of them was about you and your dead relationship and how much he loved you and how badly you’d hurt him?

No? Well, me neither, but this actually happened to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance. Laura (the bass player and the one on the album cover) broke up with Mac (the singer/songwriter) sometime before Mac wrote the songs on Foolish.  I know, right?

I figured this out one day when I was working at a summer camp in college. I was sitting on my bed, listening to “Saving My Ticket”and it clicked together like Lego. I listened to it again from the start and cried for the rest of the album.  It’s not immediately obvious from the lyrics, but it’s like you can hear the giant, girl-shaped hole in his heart–it’s so raw and naked. The songs are crushingly sad, but they’re also smarter and rock harder than anything else that came out that year. I’ve been listening to this album on and off for almost 15 years and it still move me, every time.

Ben Folds Five-Ben Folds Five

The first time I ever heard a Ben Folds Five song (Jackson Cannery, maybe?), I was sitting in a Ft. Gordon AIT barracks in Augusta, GA, listening to some local radio. I’d like to think we were some of the first people to hear BFF due to our proximity to their North Carolina home, but who knows.

I don’t recall a lot of good music from the early/mid Nineties, but this album sounded like it was straight from Mars. It’s smart, funny, and band geeky weird and I instantly fell in love with Mr. Folds. The good songs on this album are more fun, exuberant, interesting, and sing-along-y than any other album I own.

Oasis-(What's the Story) Morning Glory?

Ok, I realize some of you may have “opinions” about Oasis and whether they’re a “good” band or not. Frankly, I don’t care and I suggest you take your hatred of Oasis and shove it up your bum shoot. I like this album, ok? I know every word to every song and sing along to it at least once a week. So there.

I’m not going to deconstruct the album or explain why it’s so good. It’s like the blue sky on a summer’s day or making out with that hot guy from Calculus class the first time. It’s just…right. Unfortunately, non-Morning Glory Oasis mostly stinks like Continental cheese, but whatevs. I’d much rather have one great album and a bunch of stinkers than a load of Creed any day.

The Smiths-Louder Than Bombs

The Smiths are pretty fucking close to my favorite band in the world, ever.  Like you, I was a troubled, too-smart, well-read misfit and Morrissey touched me in a way no other fey, asexual, Oscar Wilde-y Englishman ever had. The Smiths taught me how to be arch and clever (and wrap it up into an adorable, poppy package), but they never did much for my heterosexuality.

I love all of their albums. This isn’t really an album, more of a compilation with some new songs thrown in.  However, this is the The Smiths album I would take with me to the South Pole…or into outer space (the desert island thing is cliché and over, people).

Still unconvinced?

Young bones groan
And the rocks below say :
“Throw your skinny body down, son !”
But I’m going to meet the one I love
So please don’t stand in my way


Sing me to sleep
Sing me to sleep
And then leave me alone
Dont try to wake me in the morning
cause I will be gone
Dont feel bad for me
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I will feel so glad to go

Check and mate, Internets.

And now, dear friends, I encourage you to respond in kind with your own five, happy-inducing albums of music.

an introduction

Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.


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October 2021