Glen Phillips. Used to be the lead singer of Toad the Wet Sproket. His first solo album was named Abulum. He has a great sense of humor, and his music is enjoyable to listen to. Not the best recording, but part of the fun of being an audiophile is enjoying your system without tearing apart the way it sounds.
How obscure an album is I suppose is pretty relative.
One I would pick despite the fact that in the year of this record's release the main songwriter and singer in the band was voted Songwriter Of The Year in Rolling Stone magazine.
The year was 1991,the main man is Mark Eitzel and the band are called American Music Club.
The record is called Everclear(Alias Records).
It's arguably their most cohesive record,nice sparse arrangements,atmospheric pieces,passionate and extremely beautiful in places especially the last two tracks.
Downbeat it may be but in my book between '89 and '94 Eitzel wrote some of the greatest songs to be lost in relative obscurity.
A great representative record would arguably Songs Of Love Live by Mark Eitzel (Demon Records)
The band split in 1994 ,Eitzel went solo however they've reformed and have a new record out later in the year.
I'll give you 2 I guarantee will knock your socks off, The Masters of Reality, with Ginger Baker on Drums, And Gino Soccio , a Canadian Italian, with what I would call a post retro take it to another limit phase beyond disco that very few people have ever heard. Both Artists have great Sound Quality on their discs So your Rig will be peaking.
Taru Nakamura. Fine bassist.
Ramatam, only made two albums, the first, eponymous and the second, "In April Came The Dawning Of The Two Red Suns". Lead guitarist, April Lawton was one of the few female guitar slingers in the '70s and the first album features Mitch Mitchell, formerly with Hendrix. One more, Carmen, "Fandangos In Space". A hard rock flamenco outfit; you really can't make this stuff up.
Steve Denny of Oscuro. My favorite guitarist.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, and since I'm the only one who seems to metion this one in the forums here, the Vancouver BC singer/songwriter Richard Buckner. Wonderful songwriting, great voice, wonderful acoustic guitar playing. CD's: the self-titled accoustic CD would be a good place to start. Devotion and Doubt, and Bloomed. Great stuff! Also, from the same subject answer to the same question in another thread, Anouar Brahem, Le Pas du Chat Noir. Haunting and beautiful trio of oud, piano and accordian. Very unusual and beautiful. Never has failed to impress visiting audiophiles. Few seem to know of Brahem, but those who do are more apt to love his music. All of the above are excellent recordings as well.
On the more pop side of things, staying with a more hauntingly beautiful theme, I do like Lori Carson's (Golden Palominos) solo efforts. I don't know how many would consider that 'obscure', but I don't think she'd qualify as mainstream to most folks. Another great band that is on the fringe of obscurity is Over the Rhine. Their latest double-album "Ohio" is fantastic, as is "Good Dog, Bad Dog" in a "Cowboy Junkies" kind of way. I think they used to open for them.
Celtic female vocals and songwriting: Katell Keineg.
Jazz blues....hmm..."Achirana" - outstanding jazz trio, with accomplished musicianship with an improv kind of sound. Fantastic recording too! Blues guitar - Junior Kimbrough "Sad Days and Lonely Nights"...mesmerizing blues from this (former) Fat Possum label artist...down and out, soulful, gutwrenching blues.
Classical....I'm too green in this area to really know what is obscure and what isn't. My tastes are widely varied here too. I'll leave that one to those better versed.
Unclassifiable/Unusual - Gavin Bryars, "Jesus' Blood Never Failed me Yet." (you will love it or hate it)...74 minute tape loop with orchestra culminating in Tom Waits joining the hobo who's been singing in the loop the entire time. Hypnotic and moving. Laurie Anderson, "You're the Guy I want to Share my Money with" - great spoken pieces by Anderson, William Burroughs and John Giorno. Anderson is hardly obscure but this one is hard to find, but worth the effort if you like her work as well as having some real gems from Burroughs!
Soundtracks-"Tous les matins du monde" - outstanding reissue of the Jordi Savall scored film - If you like early music this is a must-have. "Before the Rain" by Anastasia -Macedonian fusion music with powerful male vocals.
A 1980 10 inch pressing of Nina Hagen Band "TV Glotzer," a blistering German-language remake of the Tubes' "White Punks on Dope," is at least as heavy as its source material, and "Wir Leben Immer Noch," a reworking of Lene Lovich's new wave classic "Lucky Number," makes the squealy original sound downright effete.
Two complete LP/EP catalogs of Australian band Toys Went Berserk purchased direct from their label back in the late 80s.
Here some I haven't played in 25+ years:
1970 Atomic Rooster with Carl Palmer.
1970 Crabby Appleton
1971 T.O.N.T.O.'s Expanding Head Band "Zero Time"
Viridan, I saw Ramatan in concert at Gaelic Park in the Bronx way back in 71 or 72.
Liquid Tension Experiment. A couple members of
Dream Theater along with Bass player for
King Crimson, and
Keyboardist Jordan Rudess (Juliard Graduate)-
now Jordan Rudess is IN Dream Theater.
Camel: Moonmadness (vinyl). Mid 70's progressive rock featuring the keyboards of Peter Bardens and the melodic guitar of Andy Latimer. One of the best progressive rock albums of all time.....but which came out at a time when short FM pop tunes had taken over the airways.
Aside from my wife's music (you can find in japan or at times on Amazon in America) [ search on Nami Sagara or Eccentric Opera), I love:
Iva Bittova (her first one) with Pavel Fajt (RERE 117 mcd) There is no title to this cd.
at least this is the way I feel today. I have over 2,000 cds and will never part with about a hundred of them.
Richingoth -- like your recommendations very much. If you like Nina hagen and lene Lovitch, do absolutely search for The Eccentric Opera from Japan.
I do not know the three cds (LPs) you have not played for 25 years...i will be happy to buy them...if you want to, please email me separately. I will look for them at amoeba records in san francisco anyways....bibibi
The Burns Sisters should have gotten more recognition. Check 'em out.
I'd have to say:
Those Bastard Souls -- Debt & Departure
Burton Garr - "Mighty Long Road"
A few years ago, my friend Charles was visiting New Orleans record stores and this disk was impressing everyone. He brought me a copy and I have been playing it ever since. If Burton was younger, blond and tall he would be a super star. The songs are some of the best crafted blues I've ever heard. True poetry. Burton can sing and play with the best. The band is outstanding and the recording is excellent. I often use it as a test disk for evaluating gear. It is a must have!
A couple of unknowns (at least to me) that I've just recently begun listening to:
The Damnwells (think Blur meets Paul Westerberg meets Stereophonics)
Kim Richey "The Collection"
Here are a few of many LP/EP's 12 and 7 inch singles that I purchased new and were played on WNYU college radio way back in the 80's.
Alien Sex Fiend 'Smells Like Sh*t' (b/w Impossible Mission EP, 1987)
Bat Cave 'Young Limbs' (complilation LP featureing Sex Beat, 1983)
Camouflage 'Voices & Images' (German Import LP, 1988)
The Iguanas 'Iguana'/'Living In A Vacuum' (from Topeka,KS 7in.)
Static Cling 'Fire In the Cockpit'/'Brady Bunch' (from Rochester,NY, 7in.)
James Ray and the Performance 'Texas' (12in import)
Pocket Fishermen 'Amy Carter' (from ?,Texas, 7in.)
Opal 'Happy Nightmare Baby' (precursor to Mazzy Starr, 1987)
Waldo The Dog Faced Boy 'Wood' (Desert,Heat,Eternal one of my favorites, 1987)
APB (from Scotland, four 12in imports/LP, 1982-85)
Numb 'Numb' (import, 1988)
Spacemen 3 'Performance: Live at the Melkweg 6/2/88' (import, 1988)
Test Dept. 'Terra Firma' (import, 1988)
Time Zone 'World Destruction' (Afrika Bambaataa/Johnny Lydon, 12in. import, 1984)
We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It 'Bostin Steve Austin' (also 2 12in. all imports)
Liquid Sky (orginal motion picture soundtrack, 1983)
For pure pop heaven and luscious instrumentation:
The Chills "Submarine Bells"
Eric Matthews "The Lateness of the Hour" & "It's Heavy in Here" How this guy has not yet become the next Burt Bacharach I just don't know. A brilliant composer, trumpet player, and singer.
Anything by Bill Nelson (formerly of Be Bop Deluxe)
harry nillson: the point.
its a love / hate album. my wife runs from it. bob crump still bursts out in song sometimes over it.
Saw some live music yesterday afternoon headlined by Los Lobos. But--- Two other acts brought the place down: Eilene Ivers and Immigrant Soul and the subDudes.
Immigrant Soul is an Celtic/Afro-pop/Cuban band with pipes, guitar, bass, percussion and Eilene Ivers on the fiddle. She is amazing! People were dancin' their faces off. What can I say about the subDudes? Been around for years, always just under the radar but great.
Catch Immigrant Soul if they come through your town. We were at a natural grass amphitheatre, surrounded by woods on the shore of a nice lake for swimming. Beautiful summer day amazing music, small appreciative crowd. What a day with my wife and kids! Perfect fathers day 1 day early.
PS: It was the Bridgeton Folk Festival
Two incredible bands, each from a different time, that seem to be relatively well known in Europe but just never caught on in the US...
Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction: Tattooed Beat Messiah (1988)
Freak Kitchen: Move (2002)
Freedy Johnston, "Can You Fly"
Just a criminally overlooked record from the early 90s. The songwriting is just unbelievable.
No joke. Freedy Johnston is a brilliant songrwriter.
You might as well blow your own horn as well. The Silos self-titled album is as potent today as ever.
I listen to a couple of CDs from Claude Bolling and Jean-Pierre Rampal named "Picnic Suite" and "Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano Trio No. 2". These are two terrific CDs full of flute and piano, just super melodies. Just go to Amazon and search for these and play the first track from each... you'll see what I mean. Anyone else own these, or know of these musicians?