steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

ten crucial records
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dust wind tales' stephen kent's ten crucial records

With a growing discography of hand-crafted releases by the likes of Mark Bradley, Guanaco, Hourglass Drops, and several others, Stephen Kent's Dust Wind Tales imprint is one of those titillating relics of the underground CDR scene. Since his inaugural compilation, The Dusty Tales -- which mined a glorious assortment of obscure gems from the nether regions of bedroom music -- Kent has been actively putting out experimental and unusual music he believes in. And believe me, the world is a better place for it. Kent also records under the name The End Springs, and has issued a few sparse releases here and there -- including a split cassette with The Wolf Tracks on weird-music mega-conglomerate Not Not Fun.

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"Ten Crucial Records" By Stephen Kent  (Dust Wind Tales & The End Springs)

(In no particular order)

"Tindersticks II" by Tindersticks

An amazing album. Purely for the fact that it features the track "Tiny Tears." If I had to only listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be "Tiny Tears." The whole album features the most beautiful strings I have ever heard. Around the time the album came out I donít believe a lot of people understood what Tindersticks were trying to do and you have to really listen. This album, for me, is the best theyíve done.

"Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" by Pavement

What defined the "indie" scene in the UK around the time of 1994 for me (even though Pavement are American). Reminds me of being 19. Pavement were an incredible band. When you heard one of their songs you knew it was them. Killer melodies & a roughness that grabs you & beats you down. "Silence Kit" is an amazing opener, with "Fillmore" Jive ending it in a classic fashion.

"The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion" by The Black Crowes

An album that I discovered while at college when I was 17 and one I listened to constantly for four years. I became obsessed with the Black Crowes and through them discovered so much amazing music, including Nick Drake, Gram Parsons, Big Star and many more. This album is them at their best. Amazing tunes with a killer smokey hippy vibe. I learned a lot about open guitar tunings too through this album and Rich Robinson. Good to see them back to their best with "Warpaint".

"The Stone Roses" by The Stone Roses

The best debut album EVER! I could even go as far as to say the best album ever. The Stone Roses defined an era in British music. They created a scene with the music, the attitude and the clothes. Each song is amazing and fits perfectly with each other. Four amazing musicians creating the feeling that anything can be done. John Squire, for me, is one of the greatest guitarists to ever come out of the UK. From start to finish this album will grab you and never leave you, especially "I Am The Resurrection". You MUST own this album.

"Preemptive Strike" by DJ Shadow

Might look a little out of place on this list but definitely deserves to be here. DJ Shadow creates such amazing sound sculptures from what has gone before that they canít help grabbing your soul. Of all his albums this was the first I heard and I became instantly hooked. "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 2)" is the killer track on the album and when I first heard it it scared me to death (I listened to it stoned, in the dark and with headphones on!!). Perfect music to get stoned too and escape!

"School of The Flower" by Six Organs of Admittance

For me Ben Chansy has to be one of the most gifted guitarists and songwriters around today. This album is what caught me when I wasnít looking. His use of melody and rhythm reminds me of old England and "Eighth Cognition / All You've Left" is a killer opener! If you play guitar you MUST get this album and everything else heís done.

"Pink Moon" by Nick Drake

The greatest acoustic fingerpicking guitarist of all time. This is pure beauty and Nick should be remembered forever. Enough said!

"GP" / "Grievous Angel" by Gram Parsons

Iíd heard so much praise for Gram Parsons before I heard these two albums. At first I found his voice to clean and pure, not like the rough country voice I prefer. But after listening to more I discovered that this is part of what makes Gram so good. His phrasing and melody, as well as his song writing, is so perfect. A guy ahead of his time. I have to include both GP and Grievous Angel as they simply belong together.

"Rejoicing in the Hands" by Devendra Banhart

After hearing the "Golden Apples of the Sun" compilation put together by Mr Banhart for Arthur magazine I became hooked with the vibe and spirit of the music of this man. This album didnít come out if my cd player for months. You hear the influences but he breaths new life into them and draws you in. The music and guitar is soft and simple but so beautiful. Again I have found so much amazing music through Devendra and also some very good friends (You know who you areÖVM & GG!)

"The Soft Bulletin" by The Flaming Lips

Letís get serious. The Flaming Lips fucking rock. At their best they beat everyone hands down. "The Soft Bulletin" is them morphing into a new, gentle but so more powerful band. This album is so uplifting and gives a feeling of hope. "The Gash" has to be one of my favourite songs and contains the best line ever in a song -- "Will the fight for our sanity be the fight of our lives?" I think that sums up life for a lot of people.

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