"Another Blog on the Fire" Michael Dashiell
Contact Mike at email@example.com
Michael Dashiell (that's me) is editor of the Sequim Gazette. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Western Washington University, has worked at the Sequim Gazette for about 10 years and enjoys writing — occasionally. He and his wife Patsene live in Sequim; their two daughters are in college. He will write about anything, but particularly enjoys sports, arts, breaking news and news-of-the-weird. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
So here’s a small departure from the sports world.
I posed this question in the newsroom the other day: What are the strangest/oddest/most obscure albums in your music collection? (Then I had to explain what an album is to our 25-and-young crowd … you know who you are.)
Of course, as soon as I did that, the newsroom folks asked me, too. I originally asked because my wife and I had just gone through all of our CDs to weed out all the music we don’t listen to any more. Our theme this year: Simplify. That means getting rid of all the junk we’ve accumulated for years and years. It’s tough living with a pack rat. Ask my wife. Or me.
Anyway, I immediately delved into my collection and found a few. Most of the ones I’d pull from the shelf as exotic belong to Patsene, but I did find enough, I think, for a decent top 10.
10. “I’m Your Biggest Fan, Vol. I”
A Tooth and Nail compilation. I listened to this one so much, I think I made the disc thinner from excessive play. It’s got some great tracks from such wonderbands at Blah, The Inklings and Thee Pirates.
• Favorite track: Besides the opening clip — “I hate punks! I want to grab their ears and puke in their faces!” — is Spesial Guest’s “My Life.”
9. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “Long Walk to Freedom”
Those of you who got to catch them in Port Angeles a few years back know who I’m talking about. Some of you recall the band name from their work with Paul Simon on various projects. Awesome harmonies and amazing rhythms that truly have to be appreciated live.
Favorite track: “Amazing Grace/Nearer My God to Thee.” Features Emmlylou Harris.
8. Soundtrack to “Godmoney”
Obscure because I’ve never seen the movie. Can’t find it. Bought the disc because I liked most of the bands listed and took a chance. Usually when I do that — buy an album without hearing any of it — it’s a disaster (see: second albums from Gin Blossoms, Candlebox, or anything Everclear has done). This one? Lots of good stuff, from Rollins Band and MxPx to Slick Shoes.
• Favorite track: “Lucky” by the Descendents.
7. Kraftwerk, “Trans-Europe Express”
A 1977 groundbreaking techno band from Germany, the first in a long line of German-influenced music in my collection. Why did I buy this? I heard them mentioned in a line from “High Fidelity,” one of the best movies of all time.
• Favorite track: “Europe Endless.”
6. Ninety-Pound Wuss (Self-titled)
Punk band from Port Angeles released in 1995. Heard them while living in Bremerton. Great energy. How can you not listen to a band that has a guy picking his nose on the album cover? (… awkward silence ensues…)
• Favorite track: “Responsibility.”
5. Mike Barnet, “Bourgeois Backlash”
Barnet is a friend from high school (Central Kitsap) who has done some great guitar-rooted albums; see “The Art of Drowning” and “Live at Fierro’s.” A frequenter of the Bremerton and Port Townsend music scenes for a time, he went totally techno while keeping the folk foundation here … great stuff, but a departure if you’ve heard his other stuff.
How did I end up with this German rap/punk CD? Not really sure. My stepdaughter Chelsea spent a year there on a student exchange, so I probably picked it up there. The band name means “Fat Bread.” The album means “On Days Like This.” It’s actually a four-song extended single release.
• Favorite track: “Was In Der Zeitung Steht” (“What’s In the News”)
3. On a Bad Trip, “Angry Kids”
The third in my German album triumvirate. It was made by this kid Eike, one of Chelsea’s friends, who plays in a hardcore German punk band. They sing in English, although I’m not sure all of them understand what they are singing. One thing they do understand? Cursing.
• Favorite track: Still looking for one. OK, maybe “Meat Free Youth.”
2. Monsters of Rap (compilation)
Sir Mix-A-Lot. Young MC. Tone Loc. C+C Music Factory. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. If it’s a cheesy 1990s rap song, this album has GOT IT!! Yep, I’m a product of those lame days. Ugh.
• Favorite track: “Scenario,” A Tribe Called Quest
1. Wesley Willis, “Fabian Road Warrior”
If you’ve never heard of the late, not-so-great Wesley Willis, well … consider yourselves lucky. Willis was a Chicago-based “artist” who despite being diagnosed a chronic schizophrenic developed a cult following for years. The dude used this simple synthesizer and sang simple, obscure songs about basically nothing, peppering them with obscenity and randomness.
He fronted a punk band for a while but was, um, at the top of his game as a solo artist. He released like 50 albums before he died in 2003 at the age of 40 after a bout with leukemia.
Why did I hold on to this album? I have no idea.
• Favorite track: “Shoot My Jam Session Down.”
Wow. That was painful. Anyone else got a top-10 obscure album list out there? Top five? Top two?