Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wood/Water


Although The Promise Ring couldn't get into my all-time favorite bands list with a battering ram and/or MacGyver, they made one album, Wood/Water, which is easily among my top five albums. All their other albums are pop/punk, which, granted, they were way ahead of all these clone bands, but this one is packed with somber, heart-felt, well-written, killer songs. It takes a few listens, and I must admit that, at first, I thought it was puss rock of the worst order. I even shelved it for quite some time. Then somehow, and thankfully so, it made its way into my car during the worst episode of my life: My divorce. I cried to these songs so many times that every time I hear one of them it's like talking to an old friend who helped me through trying times. As it turns out, the songs have more to do with the lead singer thinking he was going to die of brain cancer than it did a break up. Break ups, brain cancer, whatever the songs are about, the record means something to me, and probably always will.

How about you, seven readers? What album will always have a little place in your heart?

29 comments:

zen wizard said...

G@wd, I hate to admit it because I'm betraying my age and other factors, but during the summer when it first came out, Bruce Springsteen's "The Wild, The Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle" was almost perfect.

Nobody had heard of The Boss yet, and he just bitch-slapped us with that one. Everything was perfect: the songs, the production, the album as a concept, etc.

Dan said...

Right now I'm loving the hell out of the new Arctic Monkeys "Favorite Worst Nightmare".

Oh, and Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible" is awesome.

Funny how I only seem to like bands that begin with Arc.

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

Postal Service's "Give Up" and Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" always get me through the rough times and I can listen to them over and over again and they always make me feel better.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Two albums in particular - Shawn Colvin's first album "Steady On" and Patty Griffin's first album "Living with Ghosts" - remind me of some very emotional but good times.

"The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel gets me crying for similar reasons. but when I need a song to help me through something difficult, it is "Let It Be" by the Beatles, which is perhaps one of the greatest songs ever written. I want it played at my funeral (along with "Disappointed" by Morrissey, of course).

Nice post.

ADW said...

OK, I know i am a big freaking dork, but Sam Cooke's Portrait of a Legend is one of my all-time favorite albums. His voice could melt chocolate and he died so young, it just makes you wonder what else he had in him to record.

Fever Dog said...

You should take up the mantle of the "Musical Monday". Join us...

As for albums... it requires some more thought, so I will come back later.

ReckenRoll said...

The question is what album will always have a place in my heart, which is different from which album do I listen to on repeat when I just want to wallow in feeling wretched and maybe the self-indulgent pity party.

Wretched Pity Party: Fiona Apple, When the Pawn (Song: Love Ridden)

Album that will always make my Top 5 even though the band won't and holds a special place in my heart for a special time: Alice in Chains, Jar of Flies.

Drunken Chud said...

wow, tough call. i mean, the one right off the top of my head would be matchbox 20, mad season. i know, gay. shut up. what can i say, it came out at the right time, i was 21, drunk, in college, and i was in LOOOOVE. then i was 22, drunk, flunked out of college, and alone.

however, on the happier side, barenaked ladies "stunt" will forever be emplazoned in my psyche as a "it's going to be a great party" type of album. it was played almost continuously on our road trip from ohio to myrtle beach for spring break freshman year.

mostly though it's specific songs that have more meaning. i used to make a lot of mix tapes of everything i liked. everytime i hear the who "behind blue eyes" or "baba o'reilly" i get somber or pumped, respectivly. and metallica's "four horsemen" always has me in a fighting mood.

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Zen: I always thought I'd have a Boss phase, but it just never happened. I need to lock myself in a room and listen to Nebraska some day.

Dan: I've heard good things about the new Arctic, and even better things about their live shows.

Carrie: Maybe you and I should lock ourselves in a room and listen to Nebraska. (See my comment for Zen).

Cherry: I don't know Colvin or Griffith. Do they rock out with their socks out?

ADW: Did he do "don't know much about history .. . " Love that cut.

Fever: Hurry back, before I post again!

Reck: When the Pawn takes up a lot of space in the heart, what with the long title and all. Jar of Flies is an AWESOMELY depressing, shoot up heroin album.

Chud: It takes guts for a guy to admit to liking MB20. I admire that. I'll be sure to head for the exit if we're drinking together and 4 Horsemen comes on. "On through the dead of night, with the 4 Horsemen ride!"

zen wizard said...

It would be hard to argue with Sam Cooke, he just unfortunately was before the "Album Wave" of the Baby Boom and was more the "Singles Wave."

That is, in the time period prior to his death, the record industry and listener habits didn't focus so much on "whole, concept albums"--more, "individual jukebox singles."

The first album I can remember being an "album" was Revolver by the Beatles--which that is another one that had the presence of God in it.

zen wizard said...

I also don't know if "Nebraska" would be a good starting point for The Boss.

Like everything that starts out with a cult following and then gets accepted by the masses--e.g., the Ford Thunderbird and lambskin condoms--Bruce de facto of being wildly popular lost a little something in the transition from Jersey boardwalk to mega-stadium.

Which is not to say that Nebraska is not a good record...it just might not be his most accessible.

I would suggest go to Pandora and type in "Rosalita" and see if you like the stuff that comes up.

zen wizard said...

^ Actually, I tried it and you have to put "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" or you get a different "Rosalita" and it is not really that great when you do it anyway...

But, well, it doesn't cost anything...

zen wizard said...

^^Okay I just did it again, and this time it "ruled."

Maybe the computer was in a bad mood.

But it reminded me, another all-time classic is Get Happy! by Elvis Costello.

K.I.D. said...

Live's "Mental Jewelry". I don't even really like Live, but I loved/still love that album. Also The Jayhawks "Hollywood Town Hall" is pretty fabulous...I rarely listen to those two albums, but they are still special to me.

mysterygirl! said...

Don't laugh too hard, but the stuff that got me through high school was Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, assorted Tori Amos, Live's Throwing Copper. Then Radiohead, The Bends. Then Foo Fighters' The Color and the Shape, the two most recent Death Cab for Cutie albums, and Arcade Fire's Neon Bible. Wow, now that I've started, I can think of about 5 more albums that mattered a lot to me at various times in my life. Thanks for opening up way too many memories, Dr. K... :)

I should have just said New Kids and Tony! Toni! Tone!

Mighty Dyckerson said...

I'll always have a soft spot for Menudo's first album, Los Fantasmas.

Drunken Chud said...

don't worry, the horsemen actually makes me wanna fight assholes. while i myself am an asshole, you sir ken, are not. so, no worries.

Grad School Reject said...

Pearl Jam's first album - Ten

This album blew me away, and it was the first tape (that's right - TAPE) I remember liking completely, start to finish, on my first listen. Even now some of my favorite albums take 2-3 listens to really suck me in, but Ten hit me at excactly the right time.

Casey said...

Lynrd Skynrd's first one. Yeah, I know.

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

I'm in Chicago next week. Reserve the cabin and I'll bring Nebraska.

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Zen: You are setting a record for commenting on The Gancer! You evidently have an unhealthy, rock music obsession, like me. Awesome.

k.i.d.: I can see live as a good example of random bands. Blind Melon's Soup is another one for me. Everyone bought the first one, but Soup's way better. I'm putting that on now . . .

Mystery!: I still like to hear those Alanis songs, because they make me think of high school, not that high school was all that fun for me. The Bends kicks major ass in anyone's book who knows what the f they're talking about. Wasn't Tony, Tonee, Tone' spelled 3 different funky ways, like some combination of the way I just did it?

Dyk: The never really matched their first effort. Sad, really.

Chudly: Phew! I love me some Jump in the Fire too.

Grad School: I've always contended that 10 is the most engaging vocal performance a vocalist in the last 20 years. Then again, I contend lots of things.

Casey: It's okay to let your inner-white trash shine a little.

Carrie: Consider the cabin booked. Just don't pull a fast one on me and show up to the cabin with a Hasselhoff boxed set.

Steph said...

This will totally expose me as a flake and a musically challenged nobody, but the first Spice Girls album....loved it. Have it on my ipod.
*runs away*

RevRee said...

I have a special place in my heart for the group Blessed Union of Souls...

Although really very cheesey, it too helped me through a rough break-up back in the day.

"There's a light in your eyes that I used to see

There's a place in your heart where I used to be

Was I wrong to assume that you were waiting for me

There's a light in your eyes

Did you leave that light burning for me..."

5 of 9er said...

Although I am a super music snob... "Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac does the trick every time. Side A might be the best Side A ever. Ever.

Eve said...

PJ Harvey's Dry and Rid of Me, especially in the car. Ok Computer. Dave Matthews' Under the Table and Dreaming (so ashamed!) Revolver.

classyandfancy said...

Yo la Tengo's "Electr-o-pura". My bond with the album developed in high school and I find myself going back to it whenever I am in need of the comfort of a musical cocoon. Lucero's "That Much Further West" has a similar effect on me too.

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

I'm there. No Hasselhoff I promise. Maybe a little Neil Diamond but no Hasselhoff.

Mr. Shife said...

The Refreshments -- Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy. The very first album of one of my favorite bands that is now called Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Steph: I really DO wanna ziggy-zig-ahhhhh.

Rev: That's a pretty cool little stanza there, actually.

9er: That record was always spinning when I was a kid. Love it.

Eve: Fine choices if you ask me. I think I would have liked DMB if they hadn't gotten so big on the frat-boy circuit.

Classy: I plan on stealing that musical cocoon line when I'm a famous rock critic.

Carrie: What's wrong with The 'Hoff? I pray to the alter of Michael Knight

Shife: Those are some obscure choices from The Shifester.