Welcome to the first "meeting" of the wookplus record club. Over at wook HQ, we have a bit of a music gap outside of the jamband world. We all listen to very different musical styles outside of the Jamband world. In the spirit of musical discovery, Kev and Llama are each going to present an album and tell us why we should listen to it. Then at the end of the month, Kev and Llama will publish their review of the other's album.
We are going to start with the musical genres that sparked this club; prog and indie rock. Llama is embarrassingly unfamiliar with prog rock, and well, Kevin was raising kids during the early aughts indie rock scene. So for both genres, we are going back to the basics and showcasing a genre essential.
So join us as we expand our musical horizons and talk about albums that we love. Who knows, maybe one day we'll take your recommendation. Our only goal in this club is to share our love of music with friends.
Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
We are going back to basics here and operating under the assumption that early aughts indie rock and "that shit hipsters listen to" are synonymous. With that in mind, I pick Neutral Milk Hotel's classic 2nd album, The Aeroplane Over the Sea. I truly believe that if you bought your first record player in the aughts, this album was one of the first ten in your collection. This album contains so many things that were fundamental to the hipster scene; overly lo-fi production, unusual instrumentation, and an incongruous musical template.
I discovered this record sometime around 2008. It was inescapable on Tumblr, like Goose is on Twitter, but outside of that niche of the internet, no one talked about this band. This album is like most other cult albums in that people either really love or really loathe this album. Jeff Mangum's vocal styling influenced small up-and-coming hipster bands like The Decemberist and Beruit. NMH's genre-hopping musical template can be heard on albums from popular indie bands like Bright Eyes and Arcade Fire.
This is the first album I thought of when we were discussing albums for each other to listen to. I hope he and you both enjoy this record. Or hate it while talking shit about handlebar mustaches I'm not the boss of you.
Genesis The Lamb Lays Down On Broadway
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was released at the pinnacle of prog rock, and I was surprised Llama had never dug in. Sweeping in its scope and, yes, uneven, it still stands as the defining statement for Gabriel-era Genesis. I chose this one because it has so many different textures, from avant-garde noise collages to straight-ahead rock. It is a blueprint for many bands that came after, making it alright to pursue the wildest stories while pushing the boundaries of what rock is. I also feel like it is an important album in understanding what Trey tried to do in many of Phish’s early, structured compositions.