Dusted Features

Listed: Jeff Parker + Metropolitan

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Features

Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Jeff Parker and Metropolitan.

Listed: Jeff Parker + Metropolitan

Jeff Parker

There have been very few seamless collaborations between Chicago's various "scenes" and ever fewer successful crossovers, however guitarist Jeff Parker bucks this trend entirely. Through primarily a jazz guitarist (Parker has released solo albums on Delmark, Atavistic, and, most recently, Thrill Jockey), he also licks his chops in Tortoise, and has been a session guitarist on some of the finest albums to emerge from Chicago in the past ten years. His sound is unmistakable, spastic and unpredictable, yet at the same time precise and refined. While the media of the present hasn't quite figured out how to pigeonhole him just yet, history will certainly reflect that he is one of the more noteworthy guitarists of his generation. His new album, The Relatives, a jazz record featuring collaborations with a number of his local associates, is now out on Thrill Jockey.

1. Jackie McLean asking me and Chad Taylor for a light in Ireland, 1997.

2. The Genius's (GZA) line during his 2nd verse on "Liquid Swords", from the LP Liquid Swords - "'cause n****z styles are old like mark five sneakers/Lyrics are weak like clock radio speakers".

3. Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Alvin Stoller's version of "These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)", rec. 1952, Verve Records.

4. Masayuki Takayanagi - Lonely Woman
some brutally honest improvisation, which is hard to come by and should be deeply appreciated, especially these days.

5. Hearing Tortoise at The Empty Bottle, July 4, 1995.

6. Awakened from slumber by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie playing "Bebop" and having an epiphany, 1985.

7. Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden and Al Foster at The Regattabar, Boston, Mass., 1987.

8. Sonic Youth at The Reading Festival, 1998.

9. Francis Bacon exhibition - Dublin, 2000.

10. Ornette Coleman 4tet and Prime Time at The Channel - Boston, 1987.

11. Being interviewed by George Lewis, my old apartment - Chicago, 1999.

12. Otis Redding's version of "Chain Gang".

13. Sun Ra - "Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy"

14. My father, Ernie Parker taking me to see Gil Scott-Heron - Norfolk, Virginia 1976.

15. Hearing Mike Watt recite the Buddy Rich tapes word-for-word - England, 2004.

16. Seeing Beans slay hecklers, Tortoise/Beans US tour, 2004

17. OOIOO live at The Empty Bottle - Chicago, 2004.

18. Eleventh Dream Day at Lounge Ax - January, 2000.

19. Hearing Mad Professor blow up the PA in 5 minutes with Lee Perry at the Cubby Bear - Chicago, 1997.

20. Kraftwerk and Black Sabbath - Roskilde Festival, 1998.

21. Bourbon-drenched "philosophical debates" with Rob Mazurek (or anyone, for that matter).

22. Tar Babies - Link In A Chain.

23. The Designer (Casey Rice) and Derek Bailey - Chicago, 2001.

24. Dusty Radio 1390 (R.I.P.).

25. My VHS tape of Steppin' At Club Seven.


Metropolitan formed in 1998, at the tail end of indie-rock’s golden era. While the rest of the underground has moved on to more fashionable backbeats, this D.C. trio have stayed faithful to the sounds of their childhood. John Masters (guitar, vocals), Shyam Telikicherla (bass) and Saadat Awan (percussion) could easily be mistaken for a seminal Matador or Flying Nun band, a welcome respite these days. Velocity Girl and the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience meet the Jesus and the Mary Chain – not a bad combination. Metropolitan’s third album, The Lines They Get Broken was released April 5th on Crank Automotive.

1. The Tube Bar - Deluxe (Teenbeat - 1991, CD)
I can't even imagine how many times I've revisited this classic disc of prank phone calls. Kudos to Mark Robinson for putting out a good quality copy of these legendary tapes together on disc before the masses got to it. The brilliantly childish calls that a mysterious stranger makes to Red, fabled owner of the Tube Bar, are totally timeless and have inspired everyone from Matt Groening to the Jerky Boys.

2. Todd Barry - Medium Energy (2001)
I have been a fan of Todd since I saw him open for Yo La Tengo a few years back, but only just recently got hold of this disc. The tracklisting is 55 (jokes) long, due to the fact that Barry has a knack for really punching out quick and hilarious little anecdotes. I can't say I know of any other comedian out there that makes jokes about Wilco, Fugazi, and Ted Leo.

MF Doom - MM..Food? (Rhymesayers, 2004)
Lots of critics ranked the Madvillain disc (the collaboration between Doom and Madlib), at the top of their 2004 year end best lists, but I think this Doom solo joint should have taken top billing. Simple one riff samples combined with Doom's barrage of catchy rhymes is uncomplicated and outstanding, and I highly recommend this overlooked gem. I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of his heavy discography and I'm really excited to keep digging.

1. Static - Flavour Has No Name (City Centre Offices, 2003)
This is an amazing album, the perfect blend of minimalist electronic music with a little pop; my favorite purchase from last year. The music is perfect, the vocals are perfect, and the drumbeats are perfect. Wow, it is as good as it gets.

2. Styrofoam - Nothing's Lost (Morr Music, 2004)
I was surprised to see my friend Ben singing on this one; varied guest vocalists make this quite a diverse album. It's got some of the best song writing I've heard in a long time.

3. SND - Tender Love (EFA, 2002)
This is where I get a lot of my weird ideas for beats, minimalist electronic music. The less is more thing works for this record, no mistakes, and no odd sounds; just a wonderful and concise recording.

The Beatles - Revolver (Capitol, 1966)
Really I'd have all the Beatles albums represented, but this one always feels like it was the right mix of experimenting, true rock and jazz like pop to me.

2. Echo & The Bunnymen - Ocean Rain (Sire, 1984)
This is a classic for me. It's dark and layered and the guitar tones are amazing. A lot of my melodic bass line ideas have been directly inspired by the feel of this album.

3. Radiohead - OK Computer (Capitol, 1997)
Not the most original choice I suppose, but it's one of a few records that I always have with me when I travel and one of a handful I can listen to from start to finish without skipping through songs -- no filler on this album for me.

By Dusted Magazine

Read More

View all articles by Dusted Magazine

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.