Wednesday, April 4

On Stereolab, PJ Harvey, and my own ignorance

"Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn." -- Benjamin Franklin

Browsing through the used bin at Wuxtry the other day, I came across an interesting compilation for a mere $3. Titled Pop (Do We Not Like That?), it is a collection of artists released prior to about 1994 on the UK's Too Pure label. The artists that really grabbed my attention were a pair that I have never really bothered looking into -- Stereolab and PJ Harvey.

I have probably stayed away from Stereolab primarily because of assumptions I made about them. For some reason I had convinced myself that they were the sort of beep-beep-chirp-chirp electro-pop that generally annoys me to no end. I had largely ignored PJ Harvey because I had lumped her mentally with the riot grrrls and angry folkies that rarely interest yours truly. Perhaps there was some truth to those thoughts, but neither characterization appears to be entirely accurate. However, I'm ready to recognize the error of my ways.

So, dear readers, where do I go from here? What material from Stereolab and/or PJ Harvey should I seek out?

The tracks from Pop (Do We Not Like That?) that seem to have served their purpose, if only a decade late:

Stereolab - Super-Electric
PJ Harvey - Sheela-Na-Gig


Blogger jam said...

PJ's, "Stories From the City, Stories from the Sea," is a masterpiece. I'm not sure if she can do much better than that.

"Dots & Loops," is my favorite Stereolab record.

1:11 PM

Blogger AmyMeacham said...

I wish I had seen Polly Jean when she's played here; I wonder if I'll ever get the chance. I love her songs "Dress" and "Man Size." The videos I've found from her don't do her justice, I think.

1:50 PM

Anonymous James said...

I'm quite fond of Stereolab's 'Emperor Tomato Ketchup' myself. The Noise of Carpet is pretty brilliant.

3:12 PM

Blogger Ferdy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:02 PM

Blogger Ferdy said...

Maybe you'll like Stereolab's Peng! (1992) and PJ's Dry (92) and Rid of Me (93).
I prefer Stories From the City, Stories from the Sea, anyway.

7:04 PM

Blogger Paul said...

A lot of people are suggesting Stories From the City... but that's because it's probably her most accessible. Listen to her older material as you'll appreciate where that album is coming from a lot more. Is This Desire? is a good place to start. She's also #1 on my list of people I need to see live before I die. Good luck on that being fulfilled as she NEVER PLAYS IN THE U.S.

As far as Stereolab goes.... Emperor Tomato Ketchup is just essential listening. Nothing of their's has come close since, honestly.

10:31 PM

Blogger Rich said...

Nice. Thanks everyone for the pointers. I'll have to do some further investigation...

2:07 AM

Anonymous mike said...

PJ Harvey's "Rid Of Me" is raw, but good. Not for the faint-hearted. "To Bring You My Love" is also essential.

I like Stereolab's "Emperor Tomato Ketchup".

7:41 PM

Anonymous HOT FREAKS! said...

Stereolab albums (a good order of albums to dive into to):

"Dots and Loops"
"Emperoro Tomato Ketchup"
"Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements"
"ABC Music - The Radio 1 Sessions"
"Fab Four Sutre"

12:22 PM


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