by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting folks to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Aaron Schubert and Gareth Lukes, the coffee, music, and apothecary connoisseurs behind the soon-to-open Lukes General Store on the DTES.
Beastie Boys – Check Your Head | LISTEN | Narrowing down my all time favourites to a top three is a difficult, so I’ve decided to focus on the records that have had the biggest effect on me while also standing the test of time. Check Your Head best exemplifies this criteria. When I first heard it at the age of 16, it energized, inspired and informed me in a way that no other record had before. I love the seamlessness and ease with which it crosses through the realms of Hip Hop, Punk, Funk and Jazz. The fantastic instrumental skills of MCA (Bass) Adrock (Guitar) and Mike D. (Drums) along with honorary member Money Mark (Keyboards) were really showcased for the first time on this record.
Sloan – One Chord to Another | LISTEN | No question in my mind — this is one of the greatest Canadian records of all time. Never gets old, never gets tired. The day I found it on vinyl was a happy, happy day. I still get excited when I see it in my apartment and remember that I have it. I believe it was recorded on a 4 track which is impressive considering how good it sounds. Its got 60s pop elements and some fantastic horns. There isn’t a weak song on the record and its tough to make a call on which of the four member’s songs are the best. Lyrically amazing as well. “I’m writing Young and Gifted in my autobiography. I figured who would know, better than me” [from Autobiography]
Al Green – Gets Next to You | LISTEN | Al Green at his most raw, raunchy and soulful. The Hi Records studio band is on fire on this one. The horns are sharp, precise and perfectly arranged while still dripping soul. The guitar playing is a perfect combination of funk and twang. The rhythm section is mean. It’s just a perfect record to me.
Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! – Live at ‘The Club’ | LISTEN | This is by far the best live record I’ve ever heard. Between the drunken patrons being overzealous, the insane musicianship and the undeniable soul of this record, I’ll never get bored of listening to it.
John Frusciante – To Record Only Water For Ten Days (2001) | LISTEN | I remember ordering this record from HMV when it first came out and assuming it was going to be like the Red Hot Chili Peppers which my 13-year-old self was quite excited about at the time. Instead, it turned out to be filled with beautifully reverbed guitars, poorly recorded analog drum machines, lyrics that still confuse me and some instrumental tracks that made me feel something I hadn’t felt before. This record was at least 10 years before it’s time.
Neil Young – On the Beach (1974) | LISTEN | This has to be my favourite driving record, which is somewhat odd since there are several slower songs on it. I think it’s just the atmosphere and lyrics which make me feel like I’m in a movie…and that can’t be bad.
by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Emily Molnar, a dancer, choreographer, and the current artistic director of Ballet BC. To see her work in motion, visit Ballet BC’s website.
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue | LISTEN | “A classic for jazz lovers like myself, I never tire of hearing this inspired album. Although supposedly not a one take improvisation (as often claimed) one is mesmerized by the uniqueness of the playing and the deep sense of craft, freedom and intimacy.”
J. S. Bach – Sonatas and Partitas | LISTEN | “A world without the genius of Bach is not one I could live in. The transcendent brilliance and counterpoint of his musical structures continue to inspire new perspectives in my thinking and experience of the world. These partitas and sonatas are some of my favourite pieces of music. There are many recordings I Iove and own. The one I am listening to at the moment is a more contemporary interpretation by Gidon Kremer.”
Nina Simone – Finest Hour | LISTEN | “The voice of Nina Simone for me speaks at the depths of being human. This album is an arresting collection of some of her most popular songs. It is one I hold dear and have turned to for years.”
by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. It’s harder than you think! Today we hear from chef Andrea Carlson, co-owner of the celebrated Burdock & Co. eatery on Main Street and resident CSA box curator at Harvest Community Foods in Chinatown.
Tom Waits – Rain Dogs | LISTEN | “Tom Waits has been an early favourite for his quirky variety of music. Rain Dogs is a fave as it’s a prime example of his vocal style and lyrical imagery. Reminds me of my youth…”
Oliver Schroer – Camino | LISTEN | “A Canadian musician who I first came to hear on a CBC interview with Sheila Rogers. He and his music were really captivating and we had the good fortune to see him that same summer at the Folk Music Fest at Jericho. I heard him interviewed again a year or two later – I believe about his album Camino – which was recorded in churches along the Camino de Santiago trail. A very hauntingly beautiful album.”
Bocephus King – Joco Music | LISTEN | ”A great album for a road trip – packed with excellent musical talent from our area. Can’t recall how I discovered BK … but have had great opportunities to see him play at Tofino’s Legion and the Railway Club.”
by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from local visual artist, musician, and producer Eli Muro. To see beautiful works by this jack of many trades, visit his website here.
Bill Withers – Still Bill | LISTEN | “Bill Withers is one of the most honest musicians I have ever heard. His topics are so real and he’s not afraid to make music about harsh realities. Yet at the same time he can make a song like “lean on me”. I feel like he’s giving me life advice when I listen to this album. “Still Bill” is the full spectrum of good honest soul music and real talk, a lot of the songs on this album have had the ability to make me cry.”
Nas – Illmatic | LISTEN | “Hip Hop was the first genre of music that I fell in love with, and “Illmatic” was on repeat for most of my adolescence. Nas came out in the “golden age” when hip hop was new and exciting. He was just making the kind of music that felt natural to him. Now when he tries to make a pop song for the radio or something it sounds forced, but this was his first album where he’s just being himself, which is why I think it’s such a classic.”
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma | LISTEN | “This album blew my mind. It’s everything I love: hip hop, jazz, electronic and experimental all in one package. Flying Lotus seems to have no boundaries, he just goes everywhere with his art. The string arrangements by Miguel Atwood Fergussen are next level and I think the balancing of subtle atmospherics and intense complexities are just perfect.”
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Theo Lloyd Kohls, owner of The Dunlevy Snackbar, which is open Tuesday through Saturday evenings on the DTES for all your snacking/sipping needs.
Pulp – Common People | LISTEN | “In middle school, JC [lead singer Jarvis Cocker] was my JC.”
Serge Gainsbourg – Initials BB | LISTEN | “I was 18, she was 24, EYES WIDE OPEN.”
Gil Scott Heron – Winter In America | LISTEN | “A Father, a Sage, an Artist. Bless your soul.”
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Louise Burns, Jeff Mitchelmore, and Murray Mckenzie of local band Gold + Youth, which is slated for the Pecha Kucha stage on January 30th. Their debut album, Beyond Wilderness, was released last May on Arts & Crafts Records. Have a listen here.
LOUISE BURNS | Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love| LISTEN | “I first discovered Kate Bush during Christmas holidays in England just over a decade ago. Her voice completely threw me: I couldn’t identify or compare it. I asked my uncle who she was and quickly got to work on Napster (haha). I soon discovered Running Up That Hill, the song that I consider the gateway Kate drug, and that was it. I was a fan. Hounds of Love is almost like a concept pop album, with imaginative and cinematic tracks that weave throughout her mightiest hits, including the aforementioned and the album’s title track. Sensual but tough as nails and really, really out there. Fun fact: it was recorded at Kate’s family’s country home and features Youth from The Killing Joke on bass. Madness and magic.”
JEFF MITCHELMORE | New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies | LISTEN | “This album is a personal and collective favourite of the band. From start to finish, the mood, simplicity and the space that it creates never tires. A couple of standout tracks include the first on the record and probably the most well-known song, Age of Consent, and the simple yet brilliant Your Silent Face. This record was also a big influence for us when we began writing Beyond Wilderness. I think we wanted to capture some of its moodiness and it taught us that every part must serve a purpose.”
MURRAY MCKENZIE | Depeche Mode – Music For the Masses | LISTEN | “Even if you never got past opener Never Let Me Down Again, this record would have a good shot at changing your entire outlook on music. But, of course, the rest of it is outstanding, too. The cold and synthetic textures here are a world unto themselves, so much so that we sometimes overlook the pop brilliance of it all. Depeche Mode, more than any other, is the one band that the four of us can always agree on.”
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Zach Berman, the co-owner of The Juice Truck, which you can regularly find parked at Abbott & Water in Gastown dispensing good health with a straw.
“This was way harder than I thought…too many good records that inspired different times. Alas, here we go.”
Neil Young – Harvest Moon | LISTEN | “This was our dinner time album growing up. Everyone has an album like that. There’s just something comforting about a good nostalgic album.”
Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary | LISTEN | “My favourite contemporary Canadian band and probably my favourite album during university. It’s too bad they broke up. Everything they did was brilliant.”
Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney – Ram | LISTEN | “There are a few Beatles albums (and subsequent solo albums) that could be here. If Tom Waits was a Beatle he would have made an album like this. ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’ and ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ are two songs I never get tired of listening to.”
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today, we hear from bassist Daniel Knowlton of local band The Gay Nineties. The group is getting reading to go on a lengthy tour, so head down to The Electric Owl this Thursday night to hear them play before they go on the road.
Neil Young – Harvest Moon | LISTEN | “This album plays so beautifully from start to finish. The title track is what pushed me to learn to play harp as a street musician in my early 20′s. Harvest Moon is a perfect musical translation of the Canadian landscape. Could it be any more Canadian? No. It could be none, none more Canadian.”
Joel Plaskett & The Emergency – Truthfully, Truthfully | LISTEN | “Truthfully, Truthfully is a heavy rock and roll album with some really great tender moments and a great pop sensibility. This is the first contemporary album that didn’t leave my CD player for months at a time. As a musician, I am greatly influenced by his vocal performance in these songs.”
The Beatles – Rubber Soul | LISTEN | “The Beatles went from singing about ‘I’m so happy to be in love’ or ‘I’m so sad because I’m not in love anymore’ to ‘Stop war everyone, while I get really high in bed all the time’. Rubber soul was the start of this transition. McCartney’s bass playing on this album is boss.”
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today, we hear from Bob Rennie. Most Vancouverites know him as a real estate marketing legend (he’s been at is since 1975), but he’s also one of Vancouver’s leading supporters of the arts. He sits on Emily Carr University’s Board of Governors and chairs the North America Acquisitions Committee (NAAC) at the Tate Museum of Modern Art in London. The public can check out his own Rennie Collection in Chinatown’s Wing Sang Building two days a week. Have a listen to the foundational sounds of…
Beck, Bogart & Appice – Superstition | LISTEN | “Very fond friendship memories of youth and camping.”
Simon & Garfunkel – At The Zoo | LISTEN | “Describes life…animal farm-ish.”
David Bowie – Young Americans | LISTEN | “My ex-wife and I loved this song when we were 18!”
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today, we hear from Reid Stewart, one of the founders of local liftestyle/clothing brand Lifetime Collective.
Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps | LISTEN | “Driving through Montana with my Dad at the age of 6.”
Fugazi – Repeater | LISTEN | “Having been a huge fan of Minor Threat, listening to Fugazi was new. It was different from Minor Threat and really made me start listening to all aspects of this new band’s music. Change is good.”
Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation | LISTEN | “Absolute creative force and one of my all time favourite bands. Always inspiring to me. I like how they push boundaries and move their music forward.”
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today, we hear from Edo Van Breemen, a classically trained composer, songwriter, electronic music producer, and member of six piece band Brasstronaut.
Massive Attack – Mezzanine | LISTEN | I bought this record on a trip through Europe immediately after graduating high-school and it instantly cemented my combined infatuations with rap, reggae, and 90′s alternative rock. The discovery of ‘trip hop’ drastically changed the way I listened to music, and was heavily responsible for influencing my path into the world of computer-based production.
Peter Gabriel – So | LISTEN | No other album could come close, in terms of timelessness, to serving as a nostalgic soundtrack for wildly different periods of my life. I can remember a day as a child thrashing around in the back seat of our family Mitsubishi in Florida, listening to Sledgehammer, while driving through the Everglades. I also recall an afternoon several years ago driving through Canmore with my band, blasting “In Your Eyes”.
Radiohead – Ok Computer | LISTEN | This album taught me how to take songs written on the piano, and apply them to the context of a band. I learned to play Karma Police one afternoon and from then on was able to develop an intuitive understanding of how to arrange drum, bass, synth and guitar parts. This knowledge was fundamental in developing my first band, “The Clips”.
This Friday’s Pecha Kucha will showcase the hidden heroes of the local film industry take the stage. The speaker line-up – which includes Edo – sees great range of locals who have plenty of insights to share. In addition to speaking that night, Edo will also be playing, as Brasstronaut is the opening musical act. We got in touch with him through our friends at Secret Study, the cool outfit of music specialists who, among a great many things, connect established and emerging musicians with events and venues around town…
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today, we hear from photographer, tech savant, visionary polymath, able fisherman, and all around awesome fellow Kris Krug…
Beastie Boys – License To Ill | LISTEN | My first tape. Their first tape. The start of a long and glorious relationship culminating in hangin’ out with them at the ‘Free Tibet’ concert in Golden Gate Park.
Flaming Lips vs Kleptones: Yoshimi Battles the Hip Hop Robots | LISTEN & LISTEN | Either project stands alone as a good choice but together they epitomize the best of remix culture and the genre-smashing bootysex of modern music.
Paul Simon – Graceland | LISTEN | I remember being the only guy showing up to the snowboard mountain parking lot not blaring Pennywise or Stone Temple Pilots over his speakers. Fave song: Gumboots.
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today, we hear from Deandra Vaughn, owner of the Fraserhood’s Heartbreaker Salon…
Well this was hard! Finding albums that “anchored” my musical tastes was nearly impossible since it’s artists like Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan, Levon Helm, Jason Molina, Will Oldham and Nirvana who would fill those spots, but I don’t have ONE album to pick as the definitive. So here are the records that I feel truly stand on their own and were instant classics for me.
Ladyhawk – No Can Do | LISTEN | On repeat.
Fever Ray – Fever Ray | LISTEN | Every song is good.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Full Moon Fever | LISTEN | I don’t know a single person that doesn’t sing along when this album is on.
Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today, we hear from Craig Pierce, owner of Railtown’s awesome Union Wood & Supply Company. In addition to being a superb craftsman (he made – among other things – the gorgeous, bum-embracing barstools at Wildebeest), he’s also a pretty righteous dude.
Ice Cube – The Predator | LISTEN | The perfect balance of angst and humour for a teenager. It built the foundation of my forever love of hip-hop.
The Walkmen – Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone | LISTEN | Gritty and raw, this album feels like it just woke up from a long night in NYC’s LES.
The Cave Singers – Invitation Songs | LISTEN | Inject your brain with some folksy Pacific Northwest vibes. Great guys with great energy live.