It's getting to that time of year where people are making their lists and checking them twice and figuring out that for all of their aspirations of naughtiness they turned out to be nice (and predictible, again!) for this year. And with great gravity and ceremony and so on, all sorts of publications and radios and tv's will wax unwittingly without lyric despite themselves about the things their listening committees, producers and not least of all record plugger friends have told them to like this year.
Alex V. Cook is coming back. Don't call it a comeback. That's right, the original and still outsideleft supreme being of all things music, Alex V. Cook is coming back this week, as ever without a committee, without hearing aids or record plugger friends, Alex will be here to guide you through his and consequently your essential holiday music purchases because you won't have them already. No pressure on Alex then. Ten years since we met, a space needle career for Alex that has seen the publication of two books (with a third on the way), ten tons by weight of the most unique perspective in rocknroll criticism and now... his dabbler bar band the Rakers.
Alex has owned our music section from his very first column, Do Yourself A Favor Be Daniel Johnston's Savior, with that statement, Alex became the one and rightful heir to Lester Bangs' fitful legacy. It only took about half a dozen columns to propel Alex into a stratosphere somewhere way above our paypal-scale but he stuck around and is still around as he says "You gotta dance with the one who brung ya to the dance." Meanwhile his career his seen him contribute to The Believer, The Oxford American, The Rumpus, HTMLGIANT, Front Porch, DownBeat, Paste Magazine, Hails and Horns and The Wire and more.
We asked him for a couple of his outsideleft faves and why...
The Drive By Truckers Sit their Narrow Assess Down
- a review the Drive By Truckers The Big To-Do
The drinking man's thinking-man's-band finds their heaviest moments in a sober look at life
Fordlandia, Hubris Art Duty
- a review of Johann Johannson's Fordlandia.
I can see Ford's hired thugs beating the workers into submission as clapboard houses, Main Street in exile, burn to the barren ground.
Appetite for Reduction
- a review of Orthrelm's OV
A minute by minute account of a great and successful album as alex says really exceeded the bounds of a reasonable record review
Robert Mapplethorpe died for somebeody's sins but not mine
- a review of Patti Smith and Kevin Shields The Coral Sea
...maybe the greatest pull quote ever "You can't effectively whip a guy with a whip up his own ass"
Don't miss Alex V Cook's records of the year sometime this week in outsideleft.