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Last Active 11-19-17 5:21 pm
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07.02.17 plane recs 2017 06.12.17 plane
12.23.16 2016 12.28.15 2015
10.22.15 Of All Time, Circa 201512.02.13 2013
01.02.12 201105.02.11 Of All Time, Circa 2011
12.07.10 2010 06.20.10 2000s
12.17.09 2009

Of All Time, Circa 2011

27 - 21: Honorable mentions, in alphabetical order. Everything else is in order like a fucking rboss. Recommend me metal, kids, I don't feel like I've found what truly grabs me.
27The Avalanches
Since I Left You

No words for this. As perfect as any album on this list.
26Avey Tare
Down There

Team Avey all the way. As good as Person Pitch, but I'll give the spot to one of the most consistent albums I own.
25Built to Spill
Perfect from Now On

My break-up album. Can't even listen to it now. So fucking beautiful.
24Guided by Voices
Bee Thousand

2008 4ever
23Modest Mouse
The Moon & Antarctica

Beside 'Microcastle,' the album that so soundly resonates within me and speaks so many truths it can make me
22The National

Karen, I am not taking sides. Don't think I'll ever do that again; I'll end up winning and I won't know why. An album I
quote daily. Applicable to anything.
Full Circle

To quote myself: "Full Circle, in which Towers consider genre-bending metalcore as something to aspire to. Towers are
not only successful, but should become the new standard. Leave any and all metalcore hang-ups at the door."
20Modern Life is War

'Witness' was my first instant classic thanks to Sputnikmusic, but I wouldn't know it for years. Hardcore had been up
to this point a largely muddled aesthetic that I saw little variation in, though I cannot exactly say why Modern Life is
War stole the show amongst more credible, easier targets. There is just something exhilarating about this anthemic
and assured work that so fully transmutes something restless and youthful. Here we pray witness to something
eternal, that confirms and idolizes hardcore with as much detail and care as an homage to the forebears that MLIW
assimilate, but by which they produce something gorgeous and full of self-truths, a cathartic bit of hardcore for
hardcore's sake (check "D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S." immediately) that ultimately plays as more.
19The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds

Over 30 years after its release, the true sadness to 'Pet Sounds' is no longer a secret. On the outset, the Beach Boys
offer pop music that is euphoric and soothing as a cooling balm, experimental only for nuance and to pull our attention
around the frame: from Wilson, to the bass lines, to the animal noises. What really makes 'Pet Sounds' a classic that
has survived this long, and perhaps left unmatched for its accomplishments, is that sadness breathed into every word.
'Pet Sounds' is an album to reflect on internally even as it provokes us to move forward and up.
18The Olivia Tremor Control
Dusk at Cubist Castle

So it is 1994 and indie rock is musty, a bit grimy, full of irony and humor, or, like, the complete opposite. One must
come to understand 'Dusk at Cubist Castle' as the scene's true alternative: the overt Beatles influence that threatens
to derail the first listen of "The Opera House," until "Frosted Ambassador" says otherwise; the 4-track production
that balloons around each divine hook; the skittish experimenting with ambience and freak folk that ends up being as
compelling as the album's melodious brethren. There's a larger motive to 'Dusk' and it appears in the title. The
unrealized film script? Each wasted sunny day spending your last dollar downtown at a restaurant, and 'Dusk' is its

Some classics are dependent on mood and place, sometimes even the time of the day they are played. 'Untrue' is
such an album. Burial splays his quickly written sophomore effort with the darkest shades of blues and greys, and
swallows them whole in inky black. This is late-night drunk music, surely, or for taking the metro into the city, but
what makes 'Untrue' so vivid is its personality. Namely, that it has one. Even back when Burial's identity remained
concealed, there came something desperate and longing from within the clatter. A human heart provided these tracks
(dubstep, even, 'Untrue' as the true gait of 2-step and UK garage music fused) and they ring as loud as its computer.
16Panda Bear
Person Pitch

Person : Pet :: Pitch : Sounds (see: #19)
15Off Minor
The Heat Death of the Universe

Emo as a whole-- from its early incarnation to its current state-- has a lot of explaining to do, but Off Minor need no
such lambasting. 'The Heat Death of the Universe' does exactly what needs to be done with the resources provided.
Off Minor play it messy and emotive, like they are burning the verses from both ends. When the fire meets in the
middle, we get such transcendence as "The Transient," which is really nothing more than what it is at the surface.
Like the best of any genre, Off Minor create a fantastic case for what a few cringes can do for the truth of a piece,
snaking in head-turning mood changes that only startle for how naturally they evolve. Nothing more than what it is,
and shouldn't be treated as any less.
14Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Undeniable. Everything fits. The end.
13Brian Eno
Another Green World

Brian Eno is the coolest motherfucker around. 'Another Green World' isn't his only classic but it is ultimately his
strongest. There are five traditional pop songs, placed across the length of the album to balance out the rest of the
album, steeped in ambient tones and instrumental passages. That these end up being the best part of the album
experience, to say nothing of how one can begin to break this longplayer pop masterpiece into mixtape form, proves
Brian Eno's gift as a songwriter. Real cool motherfucker.
12Grizzly Bear
Yellow House

There are few albums like 'Yellow House.' People live and breathe in this beast, accentuated by Grizzly Bear's studied
use of space and real world noises to convey a place. The songs themselves, from "Easier" and "Knife" to "Plans" and
"Colorado," reverence patience and nuance until even the smallest moment, when listened to _just right_, hits as hard
as a mallet.
11Talk Talk
Laughing Stock

The definition of easy listening. 'Laughing Stock' is as much pop as post-rock or anything else it is deigned. Fuck that; it
as much everything as it could ever be.
10Sonic Youth
Daydream Nation

Oh boy. 'Daydream Nation.' The 4-LP re-release provides a booklet that breaks down the mythology behind 'Daydream
Nation,' and it has a funny way of making better even as it purports to demystify the sprawling, confusing anecdotes.
Basically, a bunch of kids care to get drunk and get rowdy (silver rocket = vodka), to feel something or everything.
Especially a hangover. We are the youth of a hangover nation, and Sonic Youth's spiked alt. rock captures that as
heavy, dissonant and poignant, often all at once. "Does fuck you sound simple enough?"
9James Blake
James Blake

The future.
8 Storm and Stress
Under Thunder and Fluorescent Lights

Fair warning, I suppose: Storm and Stress is not for everyone. They are, ahem, "post rock," but what does that even
mean? There's more jazz influence here than your typical showboating crescendo, but that is only part of it. 'Under
Thunder' is improvisational music that treats the voice as an instrument and space as a canvas, and appears to deny
any logic or rhythm. That thought is swept aside with familiarity. One will find music that laughs in the face of
controlled chaos, because for all its groove and cluster, it is neither controlled nor chaos. It is music to be felt, as
stupid and sincere as that sounds. Notable for being an earlier work of Battles guitarist Ian Williams.
7King Crimson

The gods of progressive rock make a crunchy album that goes down like gelatin.
Public Strain

'Public Strain' is one of the reasons I've made this list here, but the one I've had the most trouble grasping. It resides in
my headspace as a thin layer of dust, collecting each new particle with the calm precision of its own sound. "Calm"
being relative, but not "precision," because if there's anything less calm and more precise than "Heat Distraction" I need
to hear it now.
5Animal Collective

'Feels' effectively got me "into" music and led me here to Sputnikmusic, and one of the few albums I can remember
exactly when and where I first heard it. Animal Collective exist to make music of their human experience, to
genuinely attempt to understand it without outright accepting it. The universal truths they stumble across I can only
assume is accidental, a product of an overproductive creative team that bounce about their subconscious desires. We
get works as different as 'Sung Tongs' and 'Strawberry Jam,' or we get 'Feels,' an album so full of life and its
promise that one almost forgets that five of the nine songs barely outpace "meandering." Freak-folk is as perfect a
description as any.
4My Bloody Valentine

Mood as music. Breathtaking, pink-hued shoegaze as mood. Put this on full blast and it practically comes out of the

There was no connecting my actions with words / in the bright sunlight / the movement of white birds / the car ride
home / blinded again / the light would not focus / the light would not bend / there is no use calling / I know what you'd
say / over and over it ended today / words lost their meaning and could not explain / why the subject was always just
out of frame

Don stepped outside / It felt good to be alone / He wished he was drunk / thought about something he said / and how
stupid it had sounded / he knew he should forget about it / and decided to piss, but he couldn't / It finally came / he
took a deep breath / it made him feel strong and determined / to go back inside
Liquid Swords

Just the best. I know every word. Each sample furthers the story; each story furthers the theme; each theme is
matched to its sample. The album proper ends at 'I Gotcha Back,' with 'B.I.B.L.E.' being our end credits fade out, to
lighten one heavy, twisted work of bravado. GZA is a lyrical master, RZA is his musical complement, and everyone
else sounds excited to be steeped in something timeless and modern. I'll give the quote to Killah Priest, who speaks
of something cinematic: 'I judge wisely / as if nothing ever surprised me / lounging between two pillars of ivory /
I'm lively / my dome piece is like building stones in Greece / my poems are deep from ancient thrones I speak / I'm
overwhelmed as my mind roams the realm / my eye's the vision / memory is the film'
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