2005 National Recording Registry
April 17, 2006 4:17 PM   Subscribe

The Library of Congress has competed its annual selection of 50 sound recordings for the 2005 National Recording Registry. Nominations are being accepted for 2006.
posted by stbalbach (24 comments total)
No "Freebird?" :(
posted by keswick at 4:21 PM on April 17, 2006

I gave my spot to Sonic Youth.
posted by freebird at 4:30 PM on April 17, 2006

Daydream Motherfucking Nation.

Wow. That's awesome.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:35 PM on April 17, 2006

Great link! Thanks. I bought the LOC History of Jazz boxed set (it was about 10 CD's) years ago and it's great. I think I'll go upload it right now. I love listening to all this old stuff. The LOC's activities are money well spent, IMHO.
posted by bim at 4:37 PM on April 17, 2006

I love the sheer variety, from zappa to Beethoven and all points inbetween
posted by edgeways at 4:39 PM on April 17, 2006

45. “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers,” Firesign Theatre (1970)

Awesome. Personally, I would have picked "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?", but I'm still thrilled to see this. I hope they included a joint for some future researcher to smoke while listening to it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:40 PM on April 17, 2006

Daydream Motherfucking Nation.

testify! also psyched to see gil scott-heron and wendy carlos on the list.
posted by chupacabra at 4:50 PM on April 17, 2006

Sure, they pick the sell-out album from SY. (This is cool).
posted by klangklangston at 4:51 PM on April 17, 2006

Can you listen to these online? I'd love to hear that Faulkner speech at West Point.
posted by billysumday at 5:10 PM on April 17, 2006

The Library of Congress is my favorite government institution (thank you Thomas Jefferson). We are blessed with an excellent librarian (and his brother is an amazing guy as well). I think the recording registry is an important project. Too bad I won't be around in 100 years to see how these recordings are perceived then.

Nice post.
posted by caddis at 6:04 PM on April 17, 2006

What? They gave it to Jethro Tull instead of Metallica? Bullshit!

(seriously, where can I listen to these?)
posted by ColdChef at 6:34 PM on April 17, 2006

35. “Poeme Electronique,” Edgard Varese (1958)
43. “Switched-On Bach,” Wendy Carlos (1968)

I was about to snark about the list until I saw those ones.
posted by neckro23 at 6:51 PM on April 17, 2006

Man, I love Sonic Youth. But did they have to pick the most boring one (pre- A Thousand Leaves, of course. And yeah, I know, I'm gonna get it for this one...)?

I was struck by how many things on this list weren't in the National recording registry before, like Blueberry Hill, or Harry Smith's “Anthology of American Folk Music.”

It's also funny that Bluberry Hill is one song for one spot, and the Harry Smith anthology is, oh, at least a hundred songs in one spot.

Not that any of the songs in that series of recordings needs to be in there, it's just a funny criteria, is all.

But c'mon... Daydream Nation? Sister, guys, Sister.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 9:10 PM on April 17, 2006

I guess it's only been around since 2000. I guess if *I'd* only been listening to Sonic Youth since 2000, I'd think Daydream Nation was their best work, too. I'd also be a freshman in college.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 9:13 PM on April 17, 2006

Kids, kids. "Culturally, historically or aesthetically important," not "coolest" or "best from the band's career." Considering Daydream Nation is what people think of when they think Sonic Youth, I'd say it was the right choice. (Though I should say I don't have a leg to stand on here; I really have only been listening to Sonic Youth since 1998, and in fact I haven't even made it much further back than A Thousand Leaves.)

Also note that in a previous year, Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet was selected for inclusion. Writeups for all of the recordings in the registry.
posted by chrominance at 9:36 PM on April 17, 2006

Everytime some says Daydream Nation isn't the best album by anyone ever (except Miles Davis), god kills a kitten.
posted by Jimbob at 10:18 PM on April 17, 2006

What does God do when someone says Miles Davis is wildly overrated?
posted by keswick at 10:52 PM on April 17, 2006

He cries, keswick. He cries.
posted by Zozo at 11:18 PM on April 17, 2006

no Tsar?

fine, i'll settle for SY

next year i better see the Replacements in that shit or im moving to canada
posted by tsarfan at 11:52 PM on April 17, 2006

Wow, you forget that our (US) government actually does cool things on occasion. It doesn't make up for the 1001 other sucky things that they've been doing for the past six years but this makes me feel a little better about paying my taxes.
posted by octothorpe at 4:06 AM on April 18, 2006

Thanks for the list of writeups, chrominance. I was wondering what the hell the Modesto High School Band's 1930 version of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture was doing in the Register; now I (sort of) know:
This 1930 recording of the Modesto, Calif., High School Band is the only known recording made by a high school band participating in the National High School Band contests held between 1926 and 1934. Under the direction of Frank Mancini, Modesto High School placed third in the 1927 and 1928 contests, and second in 1929. An important educator and conductor who directed band programs in California area schools, Mancini was a former member of the bands of John Philip Sousa and Patrick Conway. Limited edition high school band recordings were once common, produced as fundraising tools for school bands and treasured as souvenirs by band members. However, few high school bands were recorded before the advent of tape recording and long-playing discs in the late 1940s.
Still seems like filler, though. But then I was never in a high school band.

I'd like to give a big shout-out to “Singin’ the Blues,” Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke (1927); “One O’Clock Jump,” Count Basie and his Orchestra (1937); “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” Jerry Lee Lewis (1957); “That’ll Be the Day,” Buddy Holly (1957); and “Dancing in the Street,” Martha and the Vandellas (1964): thanks for helping me through the highways and byways of life!
posted by languagehat at 5:46 AM on April 18, 2006

"in fact I haven't even made it much further back than A Thousand Leaves."

This is no snark, I swear: If you like Sonic Youth... ignore (I really mean this), ignore everything from A Thousand Leaves forward. Go back. Listen to Sister. Listen to Washing Machine. Listen to Evol. Listen to Confusion is Sex. Listen to Goo. Listen to Dirty. This isn't a claim that the band's "early stuff" is better - it's more like saying the Rolling Stones stopped putting out their masterpieces after 1974 (or thereabouts) or Neil Young ceased to put out his best work (consistently) after 1980.

And the reason I think Daydream Nation being the representation of Sonic Youth is bullshit is because it's the band's least challenging (sonically and musically) album. Sure, everything post-A Thousand Leaves may sound like an attempted "return" to that sound.... but all the albums surrounding it make up the bulk of what that band did best, and better than most other bands trying.

That being said... it's a great album. I have three copies (no kidding). I just like Sister a whole lot better.

Ok, Ending Sonic Youth Rant Now... Next time, I'll be speaking about why I think The Royal Tennenbaums isn't a great movie (I'm beginning to think I'm a downer at parties).
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:47 AM on April 18, 2006

In my book, there's something wrong with you if you don't like A Thousand Leaves.
posted by keswick at 11:04 AM on April 18, 2006

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