Too Much, Too Early, Too Late


These artists have way too many releases and don’t have a compilation that’s worth beans, or I am familiar but they have a lot of early material that they put out and it’s not worth the while to go back and listen to the low-fi and badly recorded stuff ,or they put out product after they were relevant and reunited for sweet nostalgia cash.

ADAM ANTStrip was a waste of time, Vive Le Rock wasn’t any better, and then somehow he got Top 40 tracks without being relevant at all.

AEROSMITH – From 1979 to 1985, they released ONE decent track (“Lightning Strikes” – with the imposter guitarists). Then after 1989, when they went whole hog with hired gun songwriters and Top 40 visions, they were cartoons of themselves. Sad.

AFI – I’ve decided to review their three well-known-to-outsider albums, and leave the rest for all y’all to figure out the rest.

AGNOSTIC FRONT – They left, and they came back. When they came back, it was for the right reasons, but most of their later records are interchangable.

BLACK FLAG – Don’t come at me with your fake Black Flag, Greg Ginn.

BLACKFOOT – They kept at it for a long time, and Rickey Medlocke is still hitting the stage (in Lynyrd Skynrd, but still).

BLUE CHEER – When they switched from ear splitting proto-metal to hippie-dippie crap, I bailed. They reunited as well. Their first 2 1/2 albums are must haves to split your brain in two, but nothing more. Then they reunited, kinda, and released albums in the heavy mode, but by then they were old and in the way.

THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE – They released a compilation in 2004 and a singles collection in 2011 and that’s not nearly a representative slice of their (his) output.

JOHNNY CASH – He cranked out one or two albums a year. Past the 60’s until Rick Ruben showed up, they were spotty at best and rote at worst. I won’t be covering those in full.

THE CIRCLE JERKS – Their career was so inconsistent, and they’ve come in and out of existence for years. Best thing is to stick with the debut.

DEEP PURPLE – Their early stuff is spotty at best, and then they just kept making albums so they could tour after their reunion with diminishing returns. Really, anything without Blackmore AND Gillan should be looked at warily.

DIRTY PROJECTORS – Experimental lo-fi one-man bands have a tendency to throw out a lot of experiments early on just to see what sticks and what’s just bad. Case in point…tread lightly here.

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS – A surprise that their first reunion record wasn’t horrible, but without key members from the glory days it became an exercise in cash grabbing.

DRAKE – His albums are so long, and there’s so many of them, and it’s just best to find the tracks you like and put them in a catalog instead of trying to sift through EVERYTHING. He’s definitely trying to maximize streams, but at what cost, man? At what cost?

THE DYNAMIC SUPERIORS – The longer they went, the more desparate they got.

GIN BLOSSOMS –  They were a spent creative force after album two. Post reunion? Gack!

GUIDED BY VOICES – I’ve kind of given up on keeping track of all of Robert Pollard’s bands and incarnations. Box was a decent idea for their early work but it’s still a lot to chew through. After a hiatus, he started up again and has side projects and man there’s a lot of songs in that dude, and it’s hard to deal with all of it.

MERLE HAGGARD – Another country artist that cranked out a lot of albums, and as time went on they were beset by filler.

JANE’S ADDICTION – There was no need on earth to reform them. Well, money was a need probably.

JAMIE LIDDELL – Seven albums with no best-of and no real way to access without diving full-on. I dunno man.

LITTLE FEAT – Again, a surprising reunion, but without Lowell George’s songwriting and quirkiness the band soon became afraid to deviate from their past. I doubt many people that liked them in the 80’s and 90’s ever heard their first two albums.

LONE JUSTICE – We can all agree that Shelter doesn’t exist, right?

LYNYRD SKYNYRD – Seriously, the band died in the plane crash, no matter how many relatives you put on stage.

THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS – Their last album is contractually obligated ick.

MODERN ENGLISH – When original members start to leave, and the band is reduced to just a couple of die hards and session guys wanting quick cash, you know you’re in for trouble. And then when the original band reforms for reunions, there’s even more trouble.

MOGWAI – They need a streaming compilation. I missed the boat early, and am having issues trying to find the sweet spot where I can dive in a figure them out.

MOUNTAIN GOATS – He recorded some lo-fi folkie stuff that’s a cut above almost everything here, but my tolerance for lo-fi bedroom recordings is quite low. Miniscule in fact.

WILLIE NELSON – I reviewed (or will review) the albums that made some sort of true artistic statement in his peak. God bless him for keeping his fire, and God damn his early record companies for foisiting Nashville goop and filler tracks on him.

PORCUPINE TREE – I’ll admit I didn’t really get them (him), but there’s a lot not to get here. L-O-N-G tracks and psychedelic / prog / space rock of sorts. You need patience, and nine or so albums is too much to be patient about. They do have one compilation but that’s from their really noodly phase.

THE RESIDENTS – They’re brilliant conceptually, but going back to try to get a representative catalog by them is a fool’s errand since they morphed so many times and had so many styles and motifs. I’d maybe start with The Commerical Album.

TY SEAGALL – Another artist that’s always releasing records. Twelve credited to him in 13 years, plus other collaborations, releases in specific formats, singles, and what not. What’s a Seagall novice to do?

STARS – Eight albums, EPs, and singles. No compilations. Somehow related to acts that I’m wary about anyway (Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire). I’ll tiptoe. Maybe.

THE TOADIES –  When your debut has one fantastic song and a bunch of mediocre ham-fisted alterna-rock, and the record company rejects the second, for once the record company may know what they’re doing.

WIZ KHALIFA – The man has 24 mixtapes he’s put out, plus his albums, plus his singles, plus his collaborations and guest appreances. I’ve picked FOUR tracks, for now. We’ll see.

FRANK ZAPPA – With so many albums, both released during his life and posthumously, you can’t cover them all. When I’m done with this collection, I’ll have reviewed a lot of the major touchstones in his career.