Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Cheeseburger and The Heavenly States.
Listed: The Heavenly States + Cheeseburger
The Heavenly States
The brand of rock played by Oakland trio The Heavenly States could just as easily be found shaking one of Dublin's dives as it could one of Williamsburg's, but this is not to say it is particularly ordinary. Indeed, in early 2005 you wouldn't have found The Heavenly States in either of these cities, but rather on a ground-breaking tour of Libya, where they became the first American band ever to play there. Lead singer Ted Nesseth's power-vox and Genevieve Gagon's equally powerful strings lead the hooks that bring their already catchy songs to life, and which surely captured the attention of both their Libyan audiences and those following from the United States. Their new record, Black Comet, recalls bands such ans Beulah and The Constantines, and will be out soon on Baria Records.
1. EZ T
The album Goodbye Little Doll is a fine distillation of the same spirits (and others) that inspired David Berman, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Conway Twitty but with a parallax political perspective and total heartbreak. Here is a talent for following thoughts, feelings and musical ideas to their extreme ends. Try the song :I Fell Down," where "Rain falls down like sheets of paper from the judge." Or "Goodbye Little Doll" where the protagonist is "throwing nickels at the sunset to buy some more time," when "these long, long days alone, they could've done damage. Now I‚m using this tape to leave myself a message."
2. Velvet Underground
Of course. Recently after a show in Cairo we were asked if we‚d heard of the bands Creed and Linkin Park. We countered with, "Have you heard of the Velvet Underground?" Sadly they had not. Travelers take note - always bring a few copies of White Light White Heat for people you might meet.
3. Harry Choates
Cajun fiddle music. Cajun opened up and freed from the accordion to spin long, sometimes lost lines suspended in thin air alongside ambiguous and often ambivalent lyrics.
4. Iggy and The Stooges
An assault on your attention that you invite -- to really listen to all that‚s happening in these performances requires a kind of attention so alien to what it takes to listen to today's dance pop. It can change you. Scarred music not following a formula that was calculated and executed perfectly by mental mathematicians. You know who I mean.
5. 80's SST
This selection awards us the freedom to attend to so many important records and artists at their most anxious and "now." In no particular order: The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du and Black Flag. Albums that changed the way I perceived the distance between making art and being an artist. These were all real people who just wanted to contribute links to the chain. There was nothing fantastic about these people. They were real people and everything that was remotely special about them was forced out of the ego and on to the tape.
6. Royal Trux and Neil Hagerty
Neil Michael Hagerty's innocence-humor slays us. How could so many wrong turns be so right. The live shows we've seen are among the best shows we've ever attended.
7. Will Oldham
Gorgeous assemblages of players and their musics channeled by and filtered through a wise and loving host.
8. Bill Callahan (Smog)
A drier surgeon of painful emotions there is not, but who generously twists that knife with some of the most beautiful melody, changes and stories ever crafted by any person. We're currently designing a computerized river that Bill can hang out by whenever he feels like a robot.
9. Alternative Tentacles, Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys
I would spend days after buying a DK record learning all the lyrics by heart. The only artist that never changed my opinion, he made me want to have one and I didn‚t before I heard him. He covered so much territory that if you hang around long enough in any subject you‚ll spot the ones you know you must fight to destroy. "Is my cock big enough? Is my brain small enough for you to make me a star? Give me a toot. I‚ll sell you my soul. Pull my strings and I'll go far"
10. The Frogs - records 1 and 2
We are stunned and encouraged by the amazing range and daring falling between these two records. The first a sunny, dense classical symphony of bubbles and feathers and the second, the will to take it all apart so the human mess can show through.
The ménage à trois of Joe Bradley, Luke Crotty and Christy Karacas are veterans in the Brooklyn rock scene, but relative newcomers when it comes to life outside New York City. After releasing a self-titled EP in 2002, the band has made the leap to Kemado Records (the new American home of Dungen, at least for one record). The band¹s new 12², Gang¹s All Here, is a tight blend of power chords, sloppy guitars and come-hither cat calls. The official release date is June 7th, but Cheeseburger are staging their release party on May 7th at the Pussycat Lounge in New York. The drummer Karacas is also a talented animator, drawing a short film for MTV as well as Atom Films.
Cheeseburger top ten record picks:
1. Neil Young - Tonight's the Night
A good hang-over record. The whole thing just reeks of that mid-70's L.A. the-dream-is-over-gimme-another-line vibe that I find irresistible. If the title track doesn't give you chicken skin there might be something wrong with you.
2. Fear - The Record
Half the songs on this one are kind of lame (don't bother with side 2 except "I Love Livin' in the city") and the other half are so obnoxious and mean-spirited I can only listen to them once every six months or so, but I dare you to find a finer song than "Beef Boloney".
3. Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Schmilsson
My uncle Thom was Hugh Hefner's butler in the early 70's. One time he made a sandwich for Harry Nilsson. Anyway, we like this one so much we decided to rip off the cover art for our new EP Gang's All Here which should be coming out soonish on Kemado Records.
4. Benji Cossa
For some freak reason, no one has offered Benji a record deal (at least not that we know of...) so you can't just walk into your local Sam Goodie and check the dude out. But lucky for us, the Coss has recorded something like six or seven hundred great tunes and i bet if you asked him nicely and bought him a beer, he'd make you a mix.
5. Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
It's hard to pick just one Alice Cooper record-the early stuff is all so fucking good-but with tracks like 'hello hurray' and 'elected' this one's a winner! When he busts into "GOD-I -FEEL -SO -STRONG!" In hello hooray with the drum/fireworks sfx or whatever in the background I just want to pump my fists into the air until bust out of your skin, jizz all over something or someone and start smashing stuff. Elected too-his voice is so powerful-the music so great-and the great tongue in cheek lyrics (why can't stuff be good AND funny anymore? nothing can make fun of itself anymore? so dumb) make sure you check out the video - Alice in a white tux wasted and a roller-skating monkey that lights their cigarettes! So awesome!!!!
6. Cheap Trick - In Color
Cheap Trick is so awesome. I love the 'Hello There' intro and the 'Goodnight' outré-so perfect-you've got the classic 'I Want you to Want Me' you got 'Southern Girls’ you got 'Come On, Come On’ followed by 'So Good to See You'???????? I mean, if these two songs back to back alone don't make you want to find someone to make babies with, nothing will This album is so ice cream, puppies, makin' out, doing it, getting wasted, dancing on the table, fucking, rock'n'roll all at the same time. This album is pretty near perfect the more I think about it.
7. Vince Guaraldi - Charlie Brown Christmas
I listen to this album almost everyday for one month out of the year and I can't imagine ever getting sick of it. I guess if you don't like Christmas you wouldn't really give a shit about these songs but there's some non-denominational numbers in here for all you non-believers. All the kids singing 'Hark! The Harold Angels Sing' is pretty damn good stuff in my book. Anyway, who doesn't like the 'Peanuts Theme'? Brian Gibson from Lightning Bolt used to be in a band in high school called Butt-Truck and they used to play that song and bridge it into 'War Pigs'.
8. The Pogues - Rum Sodomy & The Lash
The first time I heard this album it totally blew my fucking doors off. I actually didn't get past 'The Sickbed of Cuchulain' the day I bought it. I just kept playing it over and over and louder and louder until I got numb to the volume and then I'd wait an hour and put my headphones on and start all over again. I just loved how intense and dark it was but not in a brooding lame way. The guy raises his glass up from his grave and shouts to have another round for Christ's sake. I love how songs like 'The Old Main Drag' and 'A Pair of Brown Eyes' take you to the shittiest place you'd ever want to be.
9. Death From Above 1979 – You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine
This record is fucking kick ass. It’s like discovering a new band when you’re 14 or something-This record does not get old-not one bit-it remains every bit as intense as the first time you heard it-it’s so many great things at once-sexy, poppy, catchy, hard, heavy, intense, melodic, great beats-when I hear this record I just want to blow tons of coke and have sex. Actually, me and my studio-mate Bob went through this awesome phase of putting this record on and doing blow and drinking Vodka Redbulls-super fun times. I actually have a funny story about this band too-when we were at SXSW we invited people back to our hotel room to party-there was this dude with a bottle of wild turkey (I think) who was inviting people in our cab and I was all drunk and coked up and rude and I go ‘hey man-don’t go inviting the whole fucking place here!’ I later found out it was one of the dudes from this band! What a douche bag!(me I mean!)If you dudes ever read this-shit-I love your band! Ha ha ha!
10. Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
What can I say? You all know it. A true gem. 'Good Feeling' is the closest thing to a perfect song you've ever heard so what are you waiting for? You probably haven't listened to it in a couple of years so dig it out from that shoe box of tapes under your bed and pop it in. Oh, you don't have a tape player any more? Tough break. Well turn on the ballgame and maybe you'll get to hear the opening notes of 'Blister in the Sun'.
By Dusted Magazine