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Red Red Meat

Bunny Gets Paid (Deluxe Version)

(Sub Pop)

15



Red Red Meat
Bunny Gets Paid (Deluxe Version)



On the heels of the scuzzy rock of Jimmywine Majestic, Red Red Meat meshed earthen sawdust with cool pixels and created Bunny Gets Paid. Like its predecessor, this album isn’t afraid to clutter, but it also stretches out in space and breaths deep. But for all the quiet around the buzz and yaw of Tim Rutili’s guitar on “Carpet of Horses”, there’s the beyond-grimy fuzz of “Oxtail” or the confusion of voices on “Sad Cadillac”. Bunny Gets Paid is so top-to-bottom stunning because it resists cohesion, rather than giving into it. Despite its nods to Americana and blues, to call this sound anything but Red Red Meat won’t do. This isn’t music to be all-the-way understood, necessarily. It is music to be deeply felt. And if you sift through the machine noise and dust motes, Bunny Gets Paid reveals something brilliant. It’d be easy now to see this reissue as some sort of genesis story for Rutili’s new band, Califone. But this album is not merely preamble. It is, in and of itself, a daring and heartbreaking statement, and one of the finest rock records in a decade that had no shortage of them. Matt Fiander


 

 



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Tim Buckley

Live at the Folklore Center (March 6th, 1967)

(Tompkins Square)

14



Tim Buckley
Live at the Folklore Center (March 6th, 1967)



Largely known to the post-internet generation as the father of Jeff Buckley, Tim actually enjoyed a much longer and more productive career than his son, although his was also cut short due to tragic and mysterious circumstances. This Tompkins Square recording captured Tim between the release of his eponymous 1966 debut and his classic sophomore record Goodbye And Hello. And when I say this find captured Tim, I mean it captured him. Though this performance was essentially a bootleg recorded by bookstore owner on a field recorder [you can actually hear Tim’s incredulity about the set-up in the opening track], it was remarkably mastered. Sure, a few tracks contain unwanted coughing from some of the 35 people in attendance that night, but the guitar rings clear and vibrant under Tim’s soaring vocals. This record is a slice out of time, when Tim was a folk-rock prodigy some years before his regrettable sex funk phase, which thankfully was not left forgotten by history one spring night in the Greenwich Village. Alan Ranta


 

 



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The Jesus Lizard

Head / Goat / Liar / Down

(Touch & Go)

13



The Jesus Lizard
Head / Goat / Liar / Down



The only one who likes your sorry ass less than the Jesus Lizard does is Steve Albini, and he produced their records, so welcome to the jungle, you mouth breather you. Recorded before the band jumped ship to Capitol and Albini told them to go piss up a rope, Head, Goat, Liar and Down catch the Chicago hooligans when they were defining post-punk in the wake of Big Black and making some of the leanest, meanest rackets in recorded history. With Albini back in the engineer’s chair and Bob “Rusty” Weston joining him to remaster these great-to-seminal releases, the music sounds, at last, exactly how it should. There’s more meat in the bass, more pop in the drums, and Duane Denison’s wily guitar parts just sock the listener in the face. Vocalist David Yow still sounds like a raving lunatic in the thrall of a psychotic break, but what else is new. Goat, the arguable flagship of the catalogue, offers the most bang for your buck; its levels have been punched up to those of Liar, and it includes a live version of “Seasick” that bests the original, not to mention a revitalized “Mouth Breather”, maybe the finest song ever to fall under the dubious “pigfuck” genre. Fans, newcomers, fasten your seatbelts and don’t say we didn’t warn you. Mike Newmark


 

 



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The Beastie Boys

Paul’s Boutique / Check Your Head / Ill Communication / Hello Nasty

(Capitol)

12



The Beastie Boys
Paul’s Boutique / Check Your Head / Ill Communication / Hello Nasty



The Beastie Boys eventually grew up; so did we. It happens. These reissues are not only inexorable reminders of how quickly time has passed, but how incredible this music was—and remains. That these brats would mutate into respectable musicians (and citizens) was anything but a safe assumption circa 1987. When these clown princes of rap-rock were fighting for their right to party, it was simply inconceivable that they might eventually create mature, worthwhile music. But, defying all expectations, they hastily put away childish things and got busy making a trio of albums that are, at worst, excellent and at best, masterpieces of a kind. Paul’s Boutique remains the critical favorite and cult classic, but Check Your Head and Ill Communication are unpretentious back-to-basics workouts, managing to be greater than the sum of their mashed-up parts. The Beastie Boys’ legacy could be the way they successfully celebrated (and name-checked!) their myriad, mostly obscure musical heroes while making it cool (even imperative) to ground contemporary music in a more authentic sound. Grunge tends to get the credit, but the Beastie Boys were quite possibly the most influential group, pound for pound, in terms of the sound and DIY ethos that ultimately defined the ‘90s. Hello Nasty is an uneven, but amiable cherry on the creative cake the Boys baked, sampled and smoked during their (and our) formative years. Sean Murphy


 

 



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Company Flow

Funcrusher Plus

(Definitive Jux)

Review [13.Sep.2009]

11



Company Flow
Funcrusher Plus



Funcrusher Plus plays like a manual on how to break away from a sound. The first five or so tracks are all mid-‘90s, east coast grime, with stark beats and harsh stories. But then there’s the paranoid pulsing of bass on “Silence”. And then El-P unleashes a raspy attack on “Legends”, and you’ve officially left New York for Planet Def Jux. Big Juss and El-P never look back, either, tangling their head-spinning word play over defiantly weird beats that are stripped-down but populated by off-beat pianos, chillingly spare blips, and staggered snares. The result is a huge, inventive, and irrepressible album that set the stage, intentionally or not, for nearly all the underground hip-hop that followed it. Funcrusher Plus is an interesting document because it shows El-P’s influence. But that wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t so brilliant in its own right. Matt Fiander


 
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