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Julian Cope's "Album of the Month"
May 30, 2012 6:24 PM   Subscribe

Julian Cope's "Album of the Month" series brims with personal, passionate, and often mind-expanding writing about records like James Brown's The Payback, Nico's The Marble Index, and a bunch of stuff you've never heard of. (previously)

I especially enjoyed his survey of Miles Davis's mid-70s electric music - for which he coins the term "meditational funk".
posted by Trurl (25 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for this, Trurl.

Classic.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:37 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


One road trip many moons ago, the album version of The Payback was played on repeat for several hours. That groove is seared into my very core. The musicians that Brown fielded for that song weren't as proficient or as innovative as the likes of Collins or Stubblefield, but damn if Brown didn't keep them humming like a proper funk engine should.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:11 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The review of the Tractor album was fantastic. Thanks for posting.
posted by arcticseal at 7:17 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has Mr. Cope heard of this new thing called a "period"? He may want to sprinkle a few into those sentences. Once you've gone to the [] level of the paranthetical it's really time to consider a new sentence.
posted by spicynuts at 7:28 PM on May 30, 2012


Ohhhhhh yes, electric eels.
posted by mintcake! at 7:35 PM on May 30, 2012


Awesome! I could have sworn he stopped doing these. I stopped checking the webpage after a while. Looks like I've got some catching up to do!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:38 PM on May 30, 2012


In addition to shining a little light on an incredible band/album well worth checking out, his article on Monoshock's Walk to The Fire is a must-read for the quasi-smackdown his purplish prose gets at the end from Monoshock frontman head shaman band member Grady Runyan.
posted by anazgnos at 7:48 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


ugh, too many strikethroughs. edit window:

Monoshock frontman head shaman band member Grady Runyan.
posted by anazgnos at 7:49 PM on May 30, 2012


Has Mr. Cope heard of this new thing called a "period"?

Mr. Cope has evolved far beyond the "period."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:14 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does this make me want to listen to 'The Marble Index' again? He does make it sound convincing...
posted by ovvl at 8:31 PM on May 30, 2012


LOL..I cannot even begin to describe this Kim Fowley "Outrageous" album. Cope's description is one thing...listening to it or the first time is a thing altogether...unique? Bravo, Mr. Cope.
posted by spicynuts at 9:07 PM on May 30, 2012


The Archdrude is my favorite rock 'n roller of all time, an opinion I think I share with maybe a couple dozen British people ten years older than me. On the other hand, I feel that there are many more people who have (sometimes grudgingly) accepted him as a man of influential taste. It is pretty amazing how right on he has been about the brilliance of many things uncool and obscure. A real head, he is, and a shame that many have dismissed his own music based on just World Shut Your Mouth and Charlotte Anne (which are actually terrific and just happened to be produced during the 80s).
posted by snofoam at 9:18 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


World Shut Your Mouth is a god damn great pop song and I will physically shut anyone's mouth who says otherwise.
posted by spicynuts at 9:32 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, there is an interesting juxtaposition between Copey and the subject of Trurl's last post, PiL. Both regressed from very excellent post-punk work to a mainstream alt rock around the mid-80s. Cope snapped himself out of the rut with two acid campfire bootlegs that he snuck into stores himself before producing two of the best albums of his career, then went on to make a handful of eccentric pop records, several instrumental meditational funk records, some ambient electronica, a half dozen records of Stoogesish sludge, and most recently some militant/megalithic folk protest records. Uncompromising and true to his muse, he's an inspiration. (and for the sake of brevity, I glossed over stuff like the ambient metal album and the cd of him breathing.)
posted by snofoam at 9:34 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh. I guess Odin isn't just him breathing, and I was probably thinking of the Lou Reed record. I think it's the only record of his (Cope's) I don't have (and I don't have the record of Lou breathing, either). Still, it is a single, 73-minute track that I would imagine is about as radio-friendly as an album of him breathing.
posted by snofoam at 9:46 PM on May 30, 2012


Also, more relevant to the post, I do look forward to his Address Druidion each month, and his description of records he loves is sometimes, as a piece of art, more enjoyable than the records he is reviewing.
posted by snofoam at 9:48 PM on May 30, 2012


A few years ago I posted an AskMe looking for some crazy psych rock, and I heard Cope's name mentioned over and over again. As it would happen, he was my favorite discovery from a thread full of amazing recommendations. In my favorite records of his he blends pop and squelchy psychedelia better than just about anyone. And when I say psychedelia I mean it, the guy somehow evokes the exact experience of a heavy dose of chemicals. You can feel every cold sweat, every churning of the gut, that pervasive, humid dissociation that always seems to color things. "The Tower" in particular is the kind of song that runs through your head on repeat as you sit on a moonlit beach at 4am, goggle-eyed staring at lizards on an outhouse wall.

So, like, I'm pretty glad to see him on the blue, is what I'm saying.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:54 PM on May 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


And snofoam, while I'm here, and while you're here, I should probably ask you: I've listened to most of Cope's most popular releases, but the guy's got a ridiculously large back catalogue so I don't even know where to begin delving into his less well-known stuff. If I loved the vibe of Jehovahkill and the songwriting of Peggy Suicide and St. Julian, what would you suggest I check out in terms of his more obscure albums?
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:02 PM on May 30, 2012


Oh snap, Monoshock and Liquorball! I feel like I'm reading Jay Hinman's stellar Superdope zine back in 1993-95 all over again. Do yourself a favor and snag .pdfs posted by the great writer himself.
posted by porn in the woods at 10:21 PM on May 30, 2012


Oh Cope, I've loved him ever since I first saw "Reward" on a dodgy eighties pop clips compilation dvd fronted by Paul Morley.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:37 PM on May 30, 2012


I adore Julian Cope.

That is all.
posted by Decani at 10:45 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Melvins are a sect diabolick, a gateway, a divine portal between innumerable worlds, an outrageously confident and worthy cosmic interface between punk, post-punk and Sabbathian heavy metal, a gateway between accepted classic dark rock Kiss/Alice/Green Manalishi-style and the far flung future (ie Now, motherfuckers)."

After seeing The Melvins live last week-end I wholeheartedly agree.
posted by SageLeVoid at 6:03 AM on May 31, 2012


One Second Before Awakening, if you like that stuff, you would enjoy Kilimanjaro and Wilder by The Teardrop Explodes and all the other regular Julian Cope records through Interpreter (WSYM, Fried, My Nation Underground, Autogeddon, 20 Mothers, Interpreter). Also the Skellington and Droolian self-bootlegs.

In the post-Interpreter period, I think An Audience with the Cope and Rome Wasn't Burned in a Day are the closest to the Cope you're familiar with and more tuneful than most of his other recent stuff.
posted by snofoam at 6:22 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always used to get Julian Cope confused with Jules Holland. That's probably some kind of hanging offense, right?
posted by spicynuts at 7:35 AM on May 31, 2012


As a fan of this era of Miles Davis, arrived at by the most circuitous route of having the Agharta record introduced to me as an example of Tadanori Yokoo's graphic design, I loved the meditational funk review. The Melvin's LYSOL review is also great. I have a feeling just about all of his are, I'll definitely be reading more. Thanks.
posted by safetyfork at 9:55 AM on May 31, 2012


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