The Cut-Out Bin #6

by PopMatters Staff

This month, Conor Oberst's philosophical investigations, how Too Much Joy was cursed with comedy, and a humble offering from Styx's Dennis DeYoung.

The Cut-Out Bin #6
[19 May 2006]

In the old days of LPs, the cut-out bin was a trough of music-business effluvia, a collection of has-beens, misfires and record-label miscalculations. But if you were tuned out of musical trends, and had adventuresome tastes and could suspend judgment—or if you were just cheap and constrained to bargain shopping—you could dredge up some surprising finds from the mishmash, gems that could be treasured all the more for the improbability of your ever having stumbled upon them or for the independence it took to embrace them even though they had been ignored or reviled. In that same spirit, PopMatters writers share some of their finds, making the case for worthy-but-neglected discs rescued from the Cut-Out Bin of culture. May it inspire some searches of your own.

Rob Horning

Check out the previous installments of the Cut-Out Bin:

#5: George Michael demands the impossible with Listen Without Prejudice, John Phillips’s mid-‘70s muse, and sweet suffocation from the Carpenters. [go to feature]

#4: Raunchy Minnesota country punk from Tulip Sweet, the Psychedelic Furs late-career resurrection, and why Dexy’s Midnight Runners should not be seen as one-hit wonders. [go to feature]

#3: Fin-de-siècle paranoia from Archers of Loaf, Loverboy’s mall-friendly poodle rock and Roger Waters’s vision of how Live Aid may have prevented nuclear annihilation. [go to feature]

#2: Holly Beth Vincent, bluesy belter Genya Ravan, and the sublime idiocy of The Lost Boys soundtrack. [go to feature]

#1: Post-Bunnymen guitar pop by the Wild Swans, the quintessentially quirky Canadian songwriter Jane Siberry, and soft-rock sleaze from ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch. [go to feature]

Dennis DeYoung, Desert Moon (1984)
by Scott McLatchy

Mock Styx’s keyboard-playing frontman as a second-rate Elton John with an unfortunate taste for both bombast and treacle if you must. But his solo record resounds with something even rarer than good songs: humility.

[Read Essay]

Bright Eyes, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005)
by Sarah Feldman

Generally viewed as a less-than-stellar offering from an otherwise promising young songwriter, the neglected cousin of I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning is actually a challenging meditation on the dual nature of time.

[Read Essay]

Too Much Joy, Cereal Killers (1991)
by Patrick Schabe

A classic album from a punk power-pop band that made the mistake of making listeners laugh.
[Read Essay]

//Mixed media

The Last Gunfighter: Songwriter Guy Clark Passes Away at 74

// Sound Affects

"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.

READ the article