Five Songs, 6/27/2017

Something special for today! Our first Reader/Listener Q&A! All of the questions here are actual questions from reader/listeners of Five Songs! Let's get started!

Q:

OK, that was great! If you've got a question for me, eh, that seems unlikely. Here's some music, though.

Richie Hawtin, "User (02)-A2"

This is one of the most irritating albums (Decks, EFX & 909) in my collection. Not because of the music, mind you - it's techno, sometimes pretty minimal, mixing together a whole bunch of stuff. No, because of the tags on the songs. Because this is kind of a compilation (and kind of not), the tags on the songs on the album are credited to something like 20 different artists, instead of just Richie Hawtin. In particular, the featured artist on a track is listed as the primary artist. It's really annoying, and because of how Amazon handles it, means I essentially cannot listen to this album in one go.

And this is where I discover that Amazon has FINALLY added the ability to edit the tags on songs. And the heavens opened up!

Big Boi, "Ascending (Album Version)"

The "album version", of course, because clearly there's going to be, like, a dance remix of a one-minute album intro song. Mostly, I think Big Boi's solo work has been good, but clearly a couple steps off of Outkast's best work. The best one is the first, Sir Lucious Left Foot...The Song of Chico Dusty.

DJ Shadow, "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain"

It feels like I've mentioned DJ Shadow several times, but he hasn't actually come up on his own. In fact, we've heard this song remixed a bit before, by DJ Q-Bert. Anyway, Endtroducing..... remains the gold standard of DJ records, a fantastic listen that I still love. Although there is a bit of a peculiar association I have, as I got the album at about the same time that I was playing through Tomb Raider on the Playstation. I listened to the album, over and over while playing, because it's a great record, but there's part of my brain that will never not see pixelated early 3-D graphics when I hear this album.

Rancid, "Reconciliation"

Nuts-and-bolts punk from Rancid, from their debut album. This album was one of the most disappointing records I've ever bought. With Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman from the mighty Operation Ivy on board, I was hoping for more in that vein. But alas, no. Judged on its own terms, Rancid is fine, I just expected so much more.

In looking at the "previously", I see that I bitched about this last time. It's basically all I have to say about Rancid's first album, apparently. Operation Ivy was really good!

(previously)

The Jam, "Private Hell"

Part of the original punk movement in England, the Jam were heavily influenced by mod as well as punk. The thing distinguishing the Jam was that Paul Weller was a hell of a songwriter, and the three album run of All Mod Cons, Setting Songs, and Sound Affects is unmatched among the first wave of punk bands. This song comes from the middle of those records, and gives you a good idea of the sort of songs Weller wrote.