Friday, March 30, 2012

Time To Get Manly 64: Vic Chesnutt - Left to His Own Devices

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Vic Chesnutt - Left to His Own Devices

Though Vic Chesnutt's inclusion on this list of manly records is another one of a handful of pleasant surprises, Left to His Own Devices is a weird choice. But really, almost any record from his career would do the trick. After a car accident left him paralyzed and wheelchair bound in his late teens, Chesnutt learned to adapt so he could still play guitar. Listen to the beautiful, a cappella closing song, "I'm Still Alive" for some gritty-yet-optimistic realism the next time you need strength and inspiration to forge ahead in tough times.

Time To Get Manly 63: The Who - Who's Next

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



The Who - Who's Next

Before becoming New York and Miami's most renowned crime scene investigators, the Who were one of the most renowned rock bands of the 60's and 70's. It's true! Who's Next is sandwiched between Tommy and Quadrophenia in the Who's discography. In addition to being one of the band's finest records, it is also obviously more manly than Tommy and Quadrophenia seeing as it doesn't have the word "opera" associated with it.

Time To Get Manly 62: Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine's debut album proved to be the perfect soundtrack for throngs of angry young men looking for somewhere to focus their overflowing testosterone and angst. After being indoctrinated by Rage's leftist views, these revolutionaries then took to the streets malls of America. There they bought Che Guevara T-shirts and brooded angrily over their Mrs. Field's cookies as they waited in vain for a mall cop to fuck with them. To call this record a "face melter," no matter how accurate, seems wholly inappropriate considering the whole "self immolation" thing. But it totally is.

Time To Get Manly 61: Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life

It's hard to believe that Songs in the Key of Life was record number eighteen for Stevie Wonder. Most artists, if they even manage to reach album eighteen, are comfortably settled into the "washed up and embarrassingly mediocre" period of their career. Not Mr. Wonder. He decided it was probably time to go ahead and release his best record ever. Which is saying a lot since he'd been virtually unstoppable since the release of 1972's Talking Book. Of course, all of this was just warm up and prep for Wonder's true masterpiece: "I Just Called to Say I Love You." 



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time To Get Manly 60: Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!

Do you think people, in general, are willfully ignorant sheep? Are you frustrated by the injustices, pain and all around absurdities of love and relationships? Do you use caustic sarcasm and wry observation to wall off your real vulnerability from those around you? Can you pull off these shoes? If you answered yes to all four questions, there are two things you should know. The first is, get yourself a copy of Look Sharp! immediately. The second is in your dreams could you pull off those shoes.



Time To Get Manly 59: Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville

I was wondering when we'd see some vaginas on this list, and I have no qualms with the first "lady parts record" being Liz Phair's amazing Exile In Guyville. I do take issue with Esquire's glibly sexist write up: "Liz Phair can make you feel ashamed to be a man. And to want to make it up to her." I hope Ms. Phair takes whoever wrote this, rolls them up in plastic, tosses 'em up and pumps them full of lead. I wouldn't put it past her - I hear she's a real cunt in Spring.




Time To Get Manly 58: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

It seems reasonable for each and every man's record collection to feature Pet Sounds, since it has been called "the greatest album of all time" about a bajillion times. Incredibly, it was created by an all-consumed musical madman who actually set out to make the greatest album of all time. Talk about accomplishing your goals! Sure, Brian Wilson then basically went insane and sat in a sandbox in his bathrobe for years after that, but perfection comes at a price, people.

Time To Get Manly 57: Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.




Jay-Z's 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt is considered the blueprint for a new era in rap and hip-hop. This is, of course, confusing since he also released an album in 2001 called The Blueprint and then followed it up the next year with The Blueprint 2: Revenge of the Fallen. He got tired of the whole "Blueprint variations" thing for a few years, but then remembered "everybody loves a trilogy!" and called his 2009 album The Blueprint: Dark of the Moon. All three Blueprint albums were directed by Michael Bay, but only the first two featured Megan Fox.



Time To Get Manly 56: Van Halen - Fair Warning

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Van Halen - Fair Warning

To supplement my very rudimentary Van Halen knowledge, I consulted a Van Halen expert about this selection. He was puzzled over the choice of Fair Warning over better-known Van Halen albums like, for instance, 5150. I have a sneaking suspicion that Esquire picked this record specifically because no list of "must have" albums for men would be complete without at least one record featuring unironic cowbell. The whole "Eddie Van Halen is a guitar God" thing probably factored in somewhere too...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time To Get Manly 55: Metallica - ... and Justice For All

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Metallica - ... and Justice For All

Metallica is an obvious choice for every man's record collection. So much thrashing! So much shredding! So much other violent-sounding music related terms! Whether Justice should be the one Metallica album every man should own is a little less clear. Justice was a huge commercial hit and features the song "One" which, due to the eerie and epic video's heavy rotation on MTV, served as an introduction to Metallica for many. I get that. However! I don't want to get too technical or academic about this, but I think I speak for Metallica scholars far and wide when I say that although Justice kicks assMaster of Puppets kicks major fucking ass.





Time To Get Manly 54: Ray Charles - Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.




Though Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music sounds more like the title of a doctoral candidate's dissertation than that of a pop record, the contents here are anything but dry and academic. Ray Charles not only proved that he could basically sing anything with this record, but for a black artist to record country songs in the early 60's was downright revolutionary and barrier breaking. Pretty much perfect from start to finish.

Time To Get Manly 53: Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark

If you like country-tinged Southern guitar rock and you don't like Drive-by Truckers, than the only logical conclusion is you flat out refused to listen to anything new after the terrible Lynyrd Skynyrd airplane crash of 1977. And that's understandable. However, Drive-By Truckers have been prolifically releasing all-American rock masterpieces since the late 90's. Brighter Than Creation's Dark is a good place to start, but Skynyrd fans need to get Southern Rock Opera as well.



Time To Get Manly 52: Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys

No list of "must own" men's albums would be complete without Jimi Hendrix. I get that. I mean, the man's considered the greatest guitar player of all time. Every man wants to be able to play guitar like that or at least be able to play pretend guitar like that. And there's more guitar noodling on Band of Gypsys than you can shake a plastic Rock Band guitar at. Not to speak ill of the legendarily dead, but I personally find this much wankery exhausting. I want to take a nap now.

Time To Get Manly 51: Pearl Jam - Ten

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Pearl Jam - Ten

Pearl Jam is undeniably a man's band. Eddie Vedder's marble-mouthed, growly style gave voice to "feelings" that men have about things like love, death and being sad in a way that other Seattle bands never seemed to manage. Most likely because, even though his lyrics weren't as good as Kurt Cobain's, you could at least understand more of them. This is also a band that named their album after the jersey number of their favorite basketball player. Probably after finding out Sports, their original album title choice, had been snagged by that bastard Huey Lewis back in 1983.




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Time To Get Manly 50: Hank Williams - The Unreleased Recordings

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Hank Williams - The Unreleased Recordings

This hefty Time Life collection (yup - manly Time Lifefeatures over 50 slices of prime Hank Williams recorded for a Mother's Best Flour Company sponsored radio program. I would say more, but I just listened to 54 Hank Williams songs in a row. I don't even know how I'm still standing. I'm like, one-sip-of-moonshine-away from blackout drunk. There should be a warning label on this sonofabitch. I'm suing Time Life. *passes out*





Time To Get Manly 49: The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die

How to become a hip-hop conspiracy of legendary proportions in seven easy steps:
1. Call your first record Ready to Die. 2. Pepper the record with eerie foreshadowing about your inevitable demise. 3. Watch that shit blow up and make you world famous. 4. A few short years later, "die" in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. 5. Fifteen days after that, posthumously release a second album called Life After Death. 6. Thumb your nose at the haters. 7. Enjoy your anonymous life of luxury in New Zealand with your secret best friend Tupac Shakur - you've earned it!

Time To Get Manly 48: Slick Rick - The Adventures Of Slick Rick

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.




The only thing Esquire says about The Adventures of Slick Rick is, "This is how you tell a story." Which I suppose is true. If, for instance, that story is about the life of a misogynistic, violent piece of human garbage who runs his mouth at breakneck speed. But enough about Rush Limbaugh, let's talk about Slick Rick. What a character! The opening track "Treat Her Like A Prostitute," plays out like relationship advice from a hateful Ann Landers with an eye patch. The album closer, "Lick the Balls" is an immature rip off of LL Cool J's "Rock the Bells." Everything in the middle reinforces these enlightening bookends. Considering the subject matter, this record is manly. But in all the wrong ways. Guys, you can do better.



Time To Get Manly 47: Pixies - Doolittle

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Pixies - Doolittle

I worshipped the Pixies in my formative years, and Doolittle was my Old Testament. Like a devoted disciple, I spent many (pre-Internet) days trying to decipher the lyrics to darkly obtuse songs like "Debaser" and "Dead" and diligently scribbling my findings into the margins of spiral Mead notebooks. Which is probably why my parents worried about my mental state. But you don't have to be an obsessive, sexually confused teenage girl to love Doolittle. You just have to like a healthy dose of obtuse violence and depravity mixed into your perfect pop songs.





Monday, March 26, 2012

Time To Get Manly 46: Pink Floyd - Animals

I randomly ran across a list of what Esquire magazine claims are "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." In this series of posts, I'll explore these manly, manly sounds.



Pink Floyd - Animals

I'm not saying you can't listen to Pink Floyd's Animals sober, but considering the sprawling scope of this Orwell-inspired take down of the capitalist machine, I can't imagine Roger Waters ever considered anybody would. I'm surprised the record didn't come complete with a "build your own pig shaped bong" kit. Animals was released in between Wish You Were Here and The Wall. If you like both those records and are trying to get the attention of a girl who lists Animal Farm as her favorite book, you could do a whole lot worse.

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