catapult magazine

catapult magazine




Jan 17 2003
11:48 am

alright, the “what’s spinnin” topic wet my whistle, but let’s cut the crap and get to the good stuff.

top five albums.

the criteria is whatever you want it to be. i personally have been thinking about this for a couple of days now and have decided that my picks will try and walk that middle ground between personal enjoyment and craftsmanship.

#5: pink floyd “wish you were here”

“dark side..” is probably the better album, but this one is no cream puff. the flow is nice and it never fails to hit me where it counts. (fav. track: “shine on you crazy diamond” all parts)

#4: neil young “after the goldrush”

he whines, he rocks, he thinks about having a yard sale. all the bases are covered. neil shows us that he can jam out (“southern man”) and get pretty (“birds”) all in the context of great song writing. (fav. track: “don’t let it bring you down”)

#3: cream “wheels of fire”:

the “in studio” half of the album keeps it lively by going from the avante (“passing the time”) to the blues (“sitting on top of the world”) to the downright silly (“pressed rat and warthog”) while the “live” half is a blues rock improvisational manifesto. oh yeah, and if i did drugs i’m sure the album cover would be really far out too. (fav. track: studio “deserted cities of the heart” live “spoonful”)

#2: the band “the band”

music americana at it’s very best. made by canadians. it’s folk-rock-progressive-country music and is an album that seems perfect in it’s flaws. a very hard thing to accomplish and type. the genius is that i believe that’s exactly what they were going for. (fav. track: “jawbone”)

#1: led zeppelin “led zeppelin”

anyone who knows me knows that zeppelin had to be #1 and with good reason. on this particular album they do exactly what it is i look for in music. they took a familiar base (the blues) and proceeded to screw it up i their own beautiful way. i firmly believe that good artists create and great artists steal. not to mention the band is powerful and tight like a tiger. (fav. track: “how many more times”)

well, there it is. i applaude anyone who was able to read the entire thing, and would love to hear what you come up with for this top five jive.


Jan 17 2003
12:35 pm

I miss our radio show sometimes Lopez…and gut rock.

I love your choices, particularly Zep and the Band in the respective 1 and 2, but since you got them, I’m going to go in a different direction for my top five (Classic Rock anyway).

#5. Tull: Thick as a Brick. It’s like Godot. The first half and the second half. You can get lost in both places and never get out and it wouldn’t suck.

#4. Van Morrison: Moondance. Van’s beautiful voice and songs more than make up for him being one of the ugliest men in the music business. (After the late Geddy Lee, and the late great Bonzo, R.I.P.)

#3. Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon. If Lopez doesn’t get it, I do.

#2. Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman. I can’t help it. I just love it so much. For a very long time it was number one. Lately though, I’ve been unfaithful to my Islamic friend…

#1. Traffic: Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. It blows me away. Everytime. The title track is by far the best, but all of the tracks can hold weight. I’ve recently learned that Low Spark was the first song ever played on FM radio—kind of an underground thing at the time.

Honorable mention outside of everything Lopez mentioned:
Wishbone Ash: Argus
U2: Joshua Tree
Dire Straits: Dire Straits
Alman Bros.: Brothers and Sisters
Zep II, III, Houses and P.G.
And Kind of Blue, Blue Train, and McCoy Tyner’s Inception as a start for Jazz.

How did you limit yourself Lopez? I’m impressed!


Jan 18 2003
01:54 pm

nice picks norb! although, i am a little jealous of your #1 pick. “low spark…” was, and still is, one of my favorite albums of all time. it’s certainly my favorite traffic album, but wasn’t able to squeak into the top 5.
thanks for playing
viva le gut rock!!!


Jan 19 2003
04:51 pm

Fine idea, Lopez. Good to see you!

5. Pulp — This Is Hardcore.
I don’t know if this belongs here, but I keep coming back to it. It’s amazing. My favorite for passionately singing along with in the car. (Fav track: I’m A Man. Best Lyric: "I am not Jesus, though I have the same initials.)

4. Radiohead — OK Computer
Not a bad moment on the whole record. Kid A is conceptier and excellent in its own way, but this is pretty close to perfect. (Fav track: Let Down)

3. U2 — Achtung Baby
Politics, belly dancers, irony, excess, and it rocks. Back in the day, I listened to this tape so much it broke. (Fav track: the best is probably One, but I like Acrobat)

2. Smashing Pumpkins — Siamese Dream
So Billy’s a meglomaniac. It works. Tightest. Album. Ever. Mellon Collie’s good, but too much fluff and a sort of a dumb name. (Fav track: Soma)

1. Tom Waits — Big Time
This is my desert island disc. Can’t quite pin down Tom’s genius. He just makes you listen. This is a live disc and he’s at his best in performance. (Fav track: Johnsburg, Illinois. Try to listen to it without getting a lump in your throat. And it’s only a minute and a half long! Best lyric: “And a love like ours, my dear, is best measured when it’s down.”)


Jan 21 2003
03:33 am

Will no one else play the jive? Come on. It’s easy. And fun!


Jan 21 2003
05:57 am

Okay, you talked me into it.

5) Tool – Lateralus – I like songs that are over 8 minutes long. I like songs that don’t have any words until 4 minutes in. I like albums where the songs go togather well. I like songs that are complex. I like really good drummers. I like this album. Favorite song: Ticks And Leeches

4) The Clash – The Clash – I also like songs that are under 2 minutes long. I like groups that sound like they have no talent but actually do. Favorite song: Complete Control or White Riot

3) Radiohead – OK Computer – Like Jasonvb, I had to include Radiohead on my list. I also easily could have put Kid A on here. I can’t explain what was running through my head the first time I heard “Fitter Happier.” Favorite song: Paranoid Android

2) Rush – Moving Pictures – It seems that most people are either pro-Rush or anti-Rush, there is no in between. I like this album for the same reasons I like Lateralus. If you’ve never listened to this one, you are missing out. Red Barchetta, YYZ, The Camera Eye, and Vital Signs are some of my favorite songs of all-time. Favorite song: The Camera Eye

1) Led Zeppelin – House of the Holy – Rock, blues, funk, reggae — all on one album. Favorite song (as of today): The Ocean.


Jan 21 2003
08:45 am

ok, this is way too hard, but I’ll give it a shot… I won’t rate them, but I’ll pick 5 of my favorite at the current time (my favorites have been known to change from time to time). I’m not quite sure what my criteria is here. It’s not necessarily the albums I like to listen to most. Nor is it necessarily the albums that I think had the biggest impact on music. Well, anyway, it makes sense to me. In no particular order:

miles davis: kind of blue. Yeah, I know, It’s a bit cliche to pick this album, but it really did turn me on to an entirely different understanding of music.

Tom Waits: sorry, I can’t settle on a particular album, but the guy deserves to be here, maybe 2 or 3 times.

elvis costello: see description for tom waits, above.

The following two may be a bit of a ‘passing fad’, only time will tell, but right now they’re right up there for me:

godspeed you black emperor!: Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven. While definitely not the kind of album you plop in the cd player day after day, it’s absolutely fantastic. Puts me into a different state of mind.

Destroyer: Streethawk: a seduction. I can’t get enough of Dan Bejar, what can I say? The guy is amazing.

Alright, I can’t limit myself to 5. Honorable mention:
arvo part: te deum (no matter how often i listen, I still get tingly skin)
Flaming Lips: Soft Bulletin (incredible instrumentation)
sparklehorse: good morning, spider. (pretty much the same reason I love destroyer)
pavement: slanted and enchanted (disjointed and gritty, but there’s some real gems in there)
afghan whigs: 1965 (beautiful, dark, and intense)
Beatles: white album
mingus: mingus ah um and the black saint and the sinner lady


Jan 22 2003
09:32 am

I apologize in advance….this is going to be long….you have struck a chord!

My “Fav Five” have mostly to do with the fact that I can put them in the player and not take them out for weeks at a time listening to them over and over and never tire of them. I can’t say that I have any great “favorite” but these are the albums that really saturate my brain and offer me the pleasure of discovering new musical and lyrical depths hidden in the tracks every time they are transduced into the electrical impulses read by my small and insignificant brain.

  1. Toad The Wet Sprocket – Fear
    Ever had a song that just stays in your head for days on end? Imagine having a whole album!!! That is Fear. Fear is a treatise of the uninvited, sometimes self inflicted guest that we as humans wrestle with as we trek through life. Fear of failure, fear of dying, fear of loving, fear of living…it would seem that Toad really tried to touch on every aspect of its infiltration into our lives. Glad to see they are back together and working on a new album!
  1. Vigilantes Of Love – Audible Sigh
    The name pretty much wraps it up. Bill Mallonee never ceases to amaze me as a songwriter. His unabashed declaration of what is real is haunting, and his verbal imagery of his own emotional state, as well as others (both imaginary and in close proximity) causes the listener to truly reflect on the pain and pleasures of life.
  1. Bruce Cockburn – In The Falling Dark
    Probably Bruce Cockburns most obviously spiritual album. Very acoustic in nature and positive in outlook. Truly a folk album of the 70’s.
  1. The Choir – Circle Slide
    Until recently, always considered my number 1 favorite album. The dreamy music and artistic mastery of lyrics constantly amazes me (obviously The Choir as well seeing as they chose to completely redefine their sound rather than attempt to top the Circle Slide). Each song seems to flow into the next offering a glimpse into the mind of the writer as they deal with the issues of salvation, mercy and grace in a very poetic yet realistic manner. It would seem that The Circle Slide is a culmination of thought processes expressed in previous albums such as Chase The Kangaroo and Wide Eyed Wonder.
  1. Kevin Gilbert – The Shaming Of The True
    Definitely bumps all other down the ladder a rung or two. Kevin Gilbert writes himself into the story of Johnny Virgil, an up and coming artist who longs for stardom in the music biz. The opening song, Parade sets the stage:

My name is Johnny Virgil, I play this here guitar,
I play it for myself.
Got a heart that’s full of music. A head that’s full of songs
Got a love for nothing else.
Gonna take a look around me Parades are marching by
Of the people who have made it who are never gonna die

The album takes you through the roller coaster ride of the record industry and the rise and eventual destruction of Johnny, as he is used and abused by the labels and uses and abuses every vice found to man. Without going into an in depth analysis of the album, there are several climaxes during Shaming. There is the climax of his career with Number One Smash , the all out pinnacle of his musical career that drives the masses wild. There is the climax of his drug induced retirement found in Fun (Kevin Gilbert wrote all of the tunes on Sheryl Crow’s – Tuesday Night Music Club but was only given partial credit for a handful of them…get it? All I Want To Do Is Have Some Fun…). But the most interesting climax is that of his emotional state found in Ghetto Of Beautiful Things:

I just wanted to work with my hands
See something go from A to B
And somehow I ended up in the Ghetto of Beautiful Things
In the Ghetto of Beautiful Things

The ending song is aptly titled Johnny’s Other Song. The song finds Johnny, years later looking back at his life and advising those who are looking to follow in his footsteps:

My name is Johnny Virgil
I used to be a star
It was a long long time ago
Sometimes I hear my records
In the wee hours of the night
On the oldies radio
People sometimes ask me
For the secret of success
I tell them what I know
Believe in what you’re doing
Remember who you are
And who knows where you’ll go

Sorry to get into such a rant about the album…but it is one that deserves a lot more space than this…just as the artist Kevin Gilbert who eventually took his own life after being destroyed by the industry.

For more info check out

Honorables: (in no particular order)

Aimee Mann – Batchelor # 2
Yes – Big Generator (Yes…I know I am a geek)
Mark Heard – Satellite Sky
Porcupine Tree – In Absentia
Victoria Williams – Loose


Jan 22 2003
11:10 am

ByTor, would your name have anything to do with your RUSH influences?

Off the top of my head…

5) Rachmaninoff “All Night Vigil” Robert Shaw Chorale edition

4) Books and Comics “Sunflower Mayhem” — I played this one until the tape broke. Or maybe it was a cheap tape…

3) Mercy Me “Almost There”

2) Jussi Bjoerling and Robert Merrill in the Pearl Fisher’s duets

1) Third Day “Come Together”


Jan 22 2003
11:54 am

Books and Comics!!! I haven’t thought about Sunflower Mayhem or Bungalow Chimichanga in years! Robs finest musical works…So where is Dover?


Jan 23 2003
05:58 am

Enough of this obscure, hip music. Time for someone with more mundane tastes to weigh in:

1. Mozart’s Requiem – Academy and Chorus of St. Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner
I can’t understand a thing they’re singing most of the time, but I’ve yet to hear the solemnity and majesty of God expressed in song better than this. My top pick of all time.

2. Mary-Chapin Carpenter – Come On, Come On

3. Any album by the Gipsy Kings
Brings out my Latin side.

4. Chris Isaak – Forever Blue
Moody, wailing, kind of sexy in a way I won’t analyze, perfect for people recovering from break-ups.

5. Indigo Girls – Indigo Girls
I don’t think they’ve done anything as well since this album. It was unlike most music of its time and the best of so-called empowering chick rock.