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December 31, 2004 7:24 AM   Subscribe

"11. Wilco — A Ghost is Born: Wilco is a band for people who think they are intellectuals about music, the Wilco man is always unhappy so his songs start very quietly in order that people don't wake up with a start. It is all for nothing because halfway through someone will play a guitar solo with a chairleg." Shelley Winters, of Scary-Go-Round, reviews the Top 20 albums of the year as picked by John Allison (the creator of Scary-Go-Round). (Oh, and the rest of the archive is worth a gander too, as is John Allison's previous strip Bobbins.)
posted by Johnny Assay (25 comments total)

 
Fair enough summary of Wilco, though the album was truly, to borrow a word from Jeff Tweedy, cock. Cock in the best way.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:54 AM on December 31, 2004


I think A Ghost is Born, could have been a little more cock. But don't get me wrong; it was still cock.
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:00 AM on December 31, 2004


This is cute. And oh, wow! The Tain at #3! This utterly makes my day. Love that EP, and man oh man, do I love that band.
posted by kittyb at 8:08 AM on December 31, 2004


What the hell is this critical fascination with Animal Collective? I don't understand how anyone can even listen to "Sung Tongs."
posted by ph00dz at 8:14 AM on December 31, 2004


I don't get it. Are those supposed to read like record reviews written by a 9 year old?
posted by psmealey at 8:20 AM on December 31, 2004


Psmealey, they're reviews by the chipper British girl you see at the top. She is a character in one of the best comic strips on the web, Scary Go Round (a Sequel to Bobbins, as Johnny said).

The characters each have their own specific dialogue traits, all of them hilariously dry, and they never, EVER open their mouths to speak.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:29 AM on December 31, 2004


Cool. Thanks for the explanation, I'll have to check that out.
posted by psmealey at 8:32 AM on December 31, 2004


ph00dz, what's wrong with you? Everybody loves music that goes "meeow ... kitties! meeow ... kitties!". It's demented psych-folk at its best.

And if you though that ST was unlistenable, you shoulda heard their first album.

Apart from ths music critique, SGR earns no interest from me. It's just yet another web comic not good enough to hit paper.
posted by scruss at 8:41 AM on December 31, 2004


I was a little pleased to see the Arcade Fire on this list. I've been listening to them constantly since I read
Tiny Mix Tape's awesome review of Funeral as the top album of the year. After hearing the hype about their live shows I'm ready to head up to DC to check them out at the end of January. Has anyone else heard of them or seen them? They are sublime.

I don't know about the Decemberists or the new Wilco album but I'll be checking those out shortly.
posted by daHIFI at 9:11 AM on December 31, 2004


daHIFI: The Arcade Fire seems to be at or near the top of just about every hipster/indieish/whatever list that I read. They have huge buzz in some audience groups.

Apart from this music critique, SGR earns no interest from me. It's just yet another web comic not good enough to hit paper.

Oh dear. That's unfortunate. SGR is better than the vast majority of the drivel they put in my local paper, or any other daily I read. Hell, The Family Circus is still in there every day! I hardly think that whether a strip gets paper printings is a fair indicator of quality. But enough beating of a horse that has been beaten here before...
posted by synecdoche at 9:18 AM on December 31, 2004


I would read SGR over what's in my paper every day. But it's not updated at that rate, and not presented in a workable format, so nevermind.

"Look right, John Kerry and Lionel Richie can run together."
"They are runners with the same night. And with the same shaped face! An ebony and ivory deal that America will love!"
"If we get Lionel into power, he'll build that sky city for us no messin'."
"Sky city be the zenith of US tax dollars workin for the common man."
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2004


I didn't read Scary Go Round on purpose for like two years, because John Allison said something I perceived as rude to me on the old Achewood message board and I wanted to cut him cold. This was a mistake, as the strip is awesome and John probably wasn't being rude anyway.

Also, I agree with him on number one.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:34 AM on December 31, 2004


See... the Firery Furnaces, same way.... I download just about everything that Pitchfork recommends, and I can't for the life of me understand the appeal of those guys, either. The Arcade Fire is only worthwhile if you've played your Pixies stuff to death.

Oh well... the album of the year is clearly The Thermals "FUCKING A"
posted by ph00dz at 9:41 AM on December 31, 2004


"It is like Crowded House with more songs about hygiene." Hah! (And I like that Finn Brothers record.)
posted by kindall at 9:41 AM on December 31, 2004


I do enjoy me a good Scary Go Round.

(it's certainly more entertaining than Garfield)
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:58 AM on December 31, 2004


...but on one song she [Loretta Lynn] just mumbles on and on and sounds like DJ Shadow's Grandma.

Ok what track is this. I'm gonna have to listen to this one.
posted by euphorb at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2004


The Loretta Lynn track in question is "Little Red Shoes." It is actually quite excellent.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:47 AM on December 31, 2004


This is really sweet. And the comic is a cut above most webcomics. Thanks for the link.
posted by chicobangs at 1:49 PM on December 31, 2004


I didn't read Scary Go Round on purpose for like two years, because John Allison said something I perceived as rude to me on the old Achewood message board and I wanted to cut him cold. This was a mistake, as the strip is awesome and John probably wasn't being rude anyway.

Man holds a grudge. Man, if I couldn't read the web site of anyone that was rude to me on a message board, I'd have to sell my computer.
posted by Capn at 2:30 PM on December 31, 2004


ph00dz: I dig me some Arcade Fire and yet am ambivalent at best about the Pixies.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:24 PM on December 31, 2004


Man holds a grudge.

I've mellowed a tad.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:33 PM on December 31, 2004


DJ Shadow's grandma... that's funny.
posted by squirrel at 7:51 PM on December 31, 2004


There's some excellent albums in that list - nice to see Matthew Sweet's 'Kimi Ga Suki' in there. His follow-up 'Living Things' was possibly the most disappointing album I heard this year. The Charlotte Hatherley album was pretty good as well, but I love the Wilco album; album of the year along with Mindy Smith's 'One Moment More'.

Am I the only person not to 'get' Franz Ferdinand?
posted by TheDonF at 3:29 AM on January 1, 2005


TheDonF: Probably. Try listening to the Scissor Sisters cover of "Take Me Out," it will help.

Why is it that covers of songs sometimes tell you more about the original band than, well, the originals?
posted by esperluette at 7:25 AM on January 1, 2005


I'll admit to not getting Franz Ferdinand neither.
posted by chicobangs at 11:00 AM on January 2, 2005


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