When you’re an influential musician, people tend to ask you what you’ve been listening to lately. Here at 5 for 20, we’re just as keen to find out what records loom large in our favourite artists’ memory banks. So, we’re asking folks for their top five records of the last 20 years.
Since the Constantines broke up in 2010, their most prolific member has been gifted songwriter Steven Lambke. As Baby Eagle, he’s released some remarkable records, including the recent Bone Soldiers, which fetaures his new band, the Proud Mothers and is out on You’ve Changed Records, the label he runs with Daniel Romano. Like others before Lambke, 5 for 20 triggered some sentimental stirrings within.
“Twenty years ago I was 13,” he says. “Twenty years from childhood, to adolescence, to pretend/grudging/discarded adulthood or whatever; playing in bands, not playing in bands, listening to a lot of music. Trying not to be nostalgic. Lots to look back on, lots to look forward to.”
Each One Teach One by Oneida (2002)
This album drops heavy; like a secret history and prophecy of rock and roll. “Sheets of Easter” is the big bang; it takes everything a rock song can and will be, collapses it to a point, and then explodes. It’s still expanding outward. A major work by one of the most inspiring and creative bands of our times. You’ve got to look into the light.
Red Medicine by Fugazi (1995)
A totally expansive vision of punk rock. Noisy, tight and groovy. It still sounds incredibly smart and exciting. Also, one of the best live bands of all time.
Bone Machine by Tom Waits (1992)
A mix of warm ballads and abrasive rock songs seemingly made with the fewest instruments possible – a distorted guitar, drum sticks and a gruff voice. When I first heard this at 15 or 16 it sounded impossibly strange.
Ode to Joy by the Deadly Snakes (2003)
This is the Toronto I was excited about at the time, and I’d like to cast my vote for its remembrance now.
Natural by Mekons (2007)
Bastard mix of kalimbas, ukuleles, group singing, apocalyptic visions and British folk(lore). And dub beats. I don’t know, but, I’ve listened to this record a lot. It manages to be both completely relaxed and an inspiring document of experience and resistance.
Dig Me Out by Sleater-Kinney; Love Is Love by Lungfish; Vision Creation Newsun by Boredoms; "Love and Theft" by Bob Dylan; And Out Come the Wolves by Rancid; And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out by Yo La Tengo; Automatic Midnight by Hot Snakes.
Baby Eagle & the Proud Mothers
5 for 20: John K. Samson of the Weakerthans
Wrath of Khanna: The Breakfast Club with Constantines
5 for 20: Tamara Lindeman of the Weather Station
Wrath of Khanna's album of the week: Dog Weather by Baby Eagle
5 for 20: Warren Ellis of the Dirty Three
Wrath of Khanna: The Breakfast Club with Andre Ethier
5 for 20: Lynn Perko Truell of Imperial Teen
on Apr 24, 2012