Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Chris Nieratko and Blitzen Trapper.
Listed: Chris Nieratko + Blitzen Trapper
Writer Chris Nieratko is the former editor of the defunct Big Brother Skateboard Magazine, which spawned the global phenomenon Jackass. His monthly self-absorbed columns documenting his crazy sex-, drug- and alcohol-induced adventures from Vice and Bizarre have recently been collected in a book called Skinema (Vice/MTV Books), which can be order at Chrisnieratko.com.
1. Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele (Razor Sharp Records)
I don't have a father and I always thought that Ghostface would make a super-swell dad. I could just picture him taking me to Chuck E. Cheese for my birthday and swimming in the plastic-ball pit and playing Whac-a-Mole with me. I interviewed him once and asked him if he would be my pretend dad. He said, “YES.” He also said it was OK to call myself Chrisface Killah.
2. The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come
I love Morrissey. What can I say? I'm a sucker for classically handsome men, not that I'm gay, and not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just a look and an attitude and a swagger that I think is lacking in most men in my generation. This album makes me want to wear sweaters, drink wine, and hold someone.
3. Elvis Presley - EVERY SONG/RECORD EVER!
Elvis is another example of a handsome man with a voice that could melt ice. I'm completely infatuated with Elvis as an American icon and a musician, so much so that I went and bought a 1960 Cadillac DeVille for my wedding and had the caterers make me a five-foot-tall Elvis-bust ice sculpture and also re-create Elvis and Priscilla's exact wedding cake, right down to the pineapple filling.
4. Nirvana - MTV Unplugged
I was a big Nirvana fan, and the sadness in Cobain's voice on this live recording is still eerie to me every time I listen to it. I went through a love/hate thing with Cobain after he killed himself. As a result of his “example” two of my young sister's pals shot and killed themselves in their basement. They were 12 years old.
5. Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies (Side One Dummy Records)
There is a song on this disc, “If I Ever Leave This World Alive,” that kills me. Four years ago my good friend Chris Marshall died of a drug overdose. I loved him dearly and had many a wild adventure with him. The night we buried him I went to see Flogging Molly, still in my funeral suit. I cried as I asked my friend/accordion player Matt Hensley if he would play the song in Chris's honor. Dave King opened the show with it, offering it up to my friend. I soaked my shirt with my tears and left when the song was done. After all this time, it is the only song on earth that can bring me to tears at the sound of its first note.
6. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Live 1975-1985
I have more Jersey pride than is healthy for one man. I eat, sleep, and bleed New Jersey. Me and my partner opened a skateboard shop called NJ Skateshop that sells tons of pro-NJ tees. There's a recording of Tom Waits's “Jersey Girl” on this disc that makes me giddy. I like Tom Waits but I love Bruce and he kills it on this one. I wish he'd redo a studio version. I married a Jersey Girl and she makes everything better just thinking of her; same goes for this version of the song.
7. Johnny Cash - At San Quentin
I have a life full of regrets that I'll take to the grave and within those regrets are subheaders and there is an entire folder dedicated to musicians I regret not taking the time to see live before they passed. My friend Noah Uman knows more about music than anyone I've ever met in my life and in the early '90s when Cash was playing small clubs in Manhattan. Noah urged me to go see the Man in Black perform but I was too busy chasing skirts and booze to heed his words. Now I live with the regret that this disc is as close as I'll ever get to enjoying Cash firsthand.
8. Britney Spears - In the Zone (Zomba Recording)
My wife is an award-winning dance teacher/choreographer for kids ages 3 to 17 and she is also a sexy momma. Like most people in a specialized profession she doesn't want to go home and work more: the plumber doesn't want to have to snake his toilet, the masseuse doesn't want to rub down her husband, and my wife has never been very good at giving me sexy lap dances at home. I think it's happened twice in five years. Well, a few years ago she choreographed a dance to Britney Spears's “Toxic” for her end-of-the-year school recital and I swear to you, in my eyes, it was pornographic. I had never seen my wife move like that. It made Flashdance look like the square dance. The thought of her gyrating like she did is burned into my psyche. I'm not in any way a Britney Spears fan (I actually have a crush on Christina Aguilera) but “Toxic” gives me an instant boner every time I hear it.
9. Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True (Rhino Records)
I had to break up with my second-favorite Elvis for a while. I moved out to L.A. in 2000 with a girl who I did not know was supposed to be on heavy antipsychotic drugs. It wasn't until I came home from work one day and found our front door wide open and her lying in our bed blue as the afternoon sky from ingesting too many pills in a half-assed suicide attempt. I was able to dislodge some of the pills from her throat and induce vomiting. Tears rolled down my face as I called 911; all the while “Watching the Detectives” blared from the stereo. It's taken me a while to mend my relationship with Costello after that but we're good now.
10. Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction (Geffen)
In 1989 I spent the summer with my older brother, Dave, in Portugal. It was the summer of Chris, when the boy became a man: I was drunk every night and touched the inside of a woman for the first time. And this album was our sound track. We played it all day, every day for two months. At a small record shop in Aveiro we found a copy of the record with the original Robert Williams drawing on the cover for $2. We were children without a care in the world and we ruled the universe.
Blitzen Trapper is the latest band to self-release a highly anticipated album. We won’t go into the details of the other acts who have done that over the past couple years, but rest assured these guys are better than the other big name that comes to mind. The Portland collective has some Animal to them, but tend to play things a bit poppier, almost like a scatter-brained Grandaddy. Look for a fashionable label to swoop and release their next record. For now, they’re going it alone with Wild Mountain Nation, due out June 12. They were kind enough to take part in this week's Listed.
1. Merl Haggard
An old master whose live performance is still a might powerful and full of worth, last of the great motorcycle cowboys.
2. Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia
Definitely one of my favorite of the 80's indie/punk/noise records. Check out Cotton Crown.
3. Book of Daniel
Probably my favorite book of the Old Testament. The last half of this prophetic poem has the most beautiful wild dreams and visions.
4. George R.R. Martin
Rad D&D style fantasy fiction with dragons and wolves and people who name their swords things like Ice. Includes brutal violence and dwarves. You can't beat it.
5. Alias (TV series)
In my opinion, some of the best fighting sequences ever. And the back story is bizarre.
6. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
This album is a mind blower. Feels like they're coming in where Stereolab left off in '98 but adding the rock.
7. Bob Dylan - "Shelter from the Storm"
I love this song. Can't get enough. Not sure which record it's from but the words are definitely in the right place.
8. Early Bee-Gees - Horizontal/Idea/Odessa
60's BeeGees music is so like, crazy. A little psychedelia, some country, loads of thick harmonies and winky guitars, must be heard to be believed.
9. Larry McMurtry
Writes great western fiction. Cowboys, indians, guns, whores. What's not to like?
10. Firefly(TV series)
This show has the best soundtrack ever and loads of gun fights, horses and spaceships. Find the episode where they transport a herd of cattle through space to another planet.
By Dusted Magazine