Saturday, October 16, 2010

One of My All-Time Favorites

Mark Eitzel's West...

I haven't listened to this in at least a year, and I'm kind of kicking myself for it. It's been one my favorites for the 13 years(!) that it's been around, and now I've got to put it back in my rotation.

The whole record was co-written with Peter Buck, who is featured throughout on guitar. It also has perennial Buck collaborator Scott McCaughey on bass and keys and the stellar Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin on drums. (Those three were also in Tuatara together.)

Here's a track:

And wouldn't you know it? Even Pitchfork loves it!

I apparently recommended this record 2 years ago in the midst of praise for a then-new American Music Club album. And while that record holds up, if you only acquired one thing by Mark Eitzel, I'd strongly suggest West.


Eric said...

This truly is the quintessential Drischord Chlassic, maybe even moreso than the Screaming Trees album. Also, I love old school pitchfork reviews when they doled out 9.6s like it was going out of style. That was before they had to think as carefully about who they wanted to make famous and could just give good grades. They also weren't quite as concerned with their cred as they are today:

drischord said...

So you're saying the 9.6 is illegitimate?

drischord said...

The ultimate Drischord Classic would have to be one of these 4:

Jack Logan- Bulk
Dinosaur Jr- Where You Been
Screaming Trees- Dust
Fugazi- Repeater

This Mark Eitzel album is not quite on that top tier.

Eric said...

I'd definitely put West in there too. The key to a Drischord Classic is that it's something revered by you, but less acclaimed in the broader culture. I think Repeater gets a little bit too much acclaim to put it in that rarified group. (This is not a comment on the actual quality of the records in question, nor on what your actual true favorite albums. But the point is, you may love, say, Blood on the Tracks, but it's disqualified from being a Drischord Classic (at least as I have unilaterally defined it)).

Anyway, I don't think the 9.6 is illegitimate-- it's just from a time when their grading standards were different. Nowadays, they give a grade like that about once a year to whoever they want to make into indie superstars. If it came out today, I feel like they'd give it a respectable 8.4 or something like that.