The Armstrong Family Circus

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Maineville • Ohio • USA

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Help, I'm stuck and I don't want to get out

Wednesday January 6th 2010

by Paul Armstrong


I suppose it's bound to happen one day (soon); I'll find myself stuck in a trend, a style, a place in time and will dig in my heels and happily concede defeat to time and aging. So, if you had to choose a single year in musical history to be "stuck" (and only listen to music from that year), which would it be for you? I know my answer ...


If I had to be stuck in any year in musical history I would without a doubt happily settle in 1993. A year that not only saw an astounding number of excellent records produced, but a time that helped shaped who I am. So here's a list of some of those albums that meant the most to me from 1993.


Radiohead — Pablo Honey
This started what has become a band I still admire and listen to religiously. By all accounts its not spectacular album, but a solid debut (and a smoke screen for what was to come later).


Smashing Pumpkins — Siamese Dream
Grunge my ass. This album is a tor-de-force; the pinnacle of the bands talents.


James — Laid
It will now become glarringly obvious that I (still) have a thing for UK bands.


Slowdive — Soulvaki
I can't believe this album is 17 years old. I'm ancient, but this album is nothing short of amazing.


Catherine Wheel — Chrome
There have been few albums that are able to pack not only an enormous "wall of sound", but also a nuanced, effortless, ethereal album that for me, stands the test of time.


Adorable — Against Perfection
I don't know how many people I've told about Adorable over the years, but not enough. A short lived, high energy UK pop band that still sounds as pitch-perfect as they did these many years ago. I'm embarrased at how much I still love this album (but not really).


The Flaming Lips — Transmissions From My Satellite Heart
The first album I heard by the band, mostly because of the single "She Don't Use Jelly", and much like Radiohead with "Creep", the band's talent was so much more vast than the one song that seemed to define them.


Nirvana — In Utero
Say what you will about "Nevermind" (it's all true), In Utero is the album that the band really wanted to make; and somehow more raw and aggressive (while tapping into the deep despair that clouded Kurt)


Bjork — Debut
How do you describe Bjork? Can you? Is it possible? I remember seeing the surreal video for "Human Behavior" and thinking how this was something entirely new. Bjork is talented beyond belief and her debut album only hinted at the varied, fanciful, mythical and mysterious world she floats in.


PJ Harvey — Rid Of Me
The first time I heard PJ Harvey I was suitably freaked out by her uncommon sound. She was seductive and haunting; singing a drama that at the moment I wasn't able to listen to; I've only come to appreciate the brilliance of this album much later.


The Ocean Blue — Beneath The Rythmn and Sound
I'm partial to TOB, since they lived not too far from where Sonya and I lived right out to college (and went to our church); this saw the band find a bright, refreshing ping to their already infectious pop sensibilities.





Comments for "Help, I'm stuck and I don't want to get out"

1991. Temple of the Dog, Ten, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, Badmotorfinger, too many to list.

1991 was a great year (seeing the end of metal and the ushering in of grunge); and I was a freshman in college. I had nearly as many all-time favorites from that year as '93.

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