Recommend a cd for my brother

Or rather, for me to get for him. It’s for his birthday, but it’s going to be a late birthday present. [FTR: I am getting him a book which won’t be a late present]

Anyway, I want to get him a cd, but I’m not sure what to get. I’m kind of hoping to surprise him. I’m a bit fuzzy on what kind of music he likes. He mostly likes the same stuff I do, but I’m not sure how much.

Stuff that I know for sure he likes:
Dead Can Dance (his favorite band)- he also likes Lisa Gerard’s solo stuff
Tom Waits
the Mermaid Avenue album by Billy Bragg and Wilco- though I don’t think he likes their individual stuff as much
Peter Murphy
New Order
Joy Division
Husker Du
Big Star
Echo and the Bunnymen- more Ocean Rain than their other albums
David Bowie
My thought is to get him something that’s sort of a cross between Dead Can Dance, the Ocean Rain album, and New Order. Oh, and it can’t be an album where all of the songs are dark and depressing. I’d rather go for the mood of Ocean Rain.
It can have a lot of depressing songs, but I’d like some songs that are at least musically cheerful. Tom Waits is a good example- Raindogs has a ton of gloomy songs but it also has some that aren’t so gloomy.

I’ve considered getting him My Bloody Valentine’s first album, but I dunno. Or if nothing else, I can get him a Tom Waits album that we don’t have*.

But I’m really hoping to get something that he wasn’t expecting. Surely there’s something that fits my description that would work. Maybe synth-pop?
Any suggestions? Legal, free mp3 links would be good if there are any to go along with the suggestions. Otherwise I can find clips myself.

*Between him and me, we have:
Mule Variations
Real Gone

Tom Waits is my favorite artist! I suggest you get him Nighthawks At the Diner, and then you can share it. It is very early Waits, nothing at all like the later albums you guys have. They brought a live audience into the studio to approximate a live gig as best they could, only with better sound quality and a chance to perfect problems. Waits delivers plenty of hilarious inter-song banter and hipster dialogue between the songs, with material bordering on stand-up comedy. The songs are generally upbeat, jazzy, delivered in a rhythmic spoken word style like beat poetry. He is backed by a TIGHT jazz combo, and it’s clear he is having a good time on this album. I like to think that if I saw Waits live back in the ‘70s, I would have been treated to a show this good. I strongly recommend this album to any fans, especially if they got into his newer material and aren’t as familiar with Waits’ boozy, bluesy beatnik persona.

Of course, Small Change is another great album from this era, but Nighthawks is much more fun because of the live gig feel of it all.

I’d recommend Tears for Fears, The Hurting. I think its their best album so far. One of the songs is in the Donny Darko movie, actually the Donny Darko soundtrack is not bad as well.

I’d recommend:

Sparklehorse: “It’s A Wonderful Life” (Which has guest appearance from Tom Waits)
New Order: “Waiting for the Sirens” (just released)
Camouflage “We Stroke the Flames” (Greatest hits, band is a bit like Depeche Mode)
British Sea Power: “The Decline of British Sea Power” (Pretty much along the lines of Joy Division)
Galaxie 500: “On Fire” (Classic lo-fi CD that’s a must have for every collection)

I will second that suggestion. If you want to get a dvd instead, consider Down By Law which stars Waits along with John Lurie and Roberto Begnini.

Great movie! I rented it through Netflix, but I’ve never seen it for sale or rental anywhere else. Maybe Amazon has it. Hey, shouldn’t you be watching Secretary? :slight_smile:

Check out M. Ward. And start with End of Amnesia.

I’m also a big Waits fan and recently was turned on to this up-and-comer. Though not in the same genre as Waits, (no one is), I hear a little bit of influence in his music. And maybe a little Neil Young and Wilco as well.

Look into This Mortal Coil, It’ll End In Tears; any Cocteau Twins (go early, though); Slowdive, Just For a Day

How about some Bauhaus? Love And Rockets or Tones On Tail?

Maybe the first Electronic album?

Bob Mould, Poison Years; Sugar, Copper Blue

If he doesn’t have Loveless, get that. Otherwise, Isn’t Anything is cool, too. Ecstasy and Wine is good also, but may be harder to find and more expensive.

Get him the Lost in Translation soundtrack. Seriously. His tastes mirror mine, and the Lost in Translation soundtrack is one my all-time favorite CDs.

How about The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands? It’s less harsh than their first album, Psychocandy but, in my opinion, as good. I’ll also suggest The Magnetic Fields’ The Charm of the Highway Strip, a sad (but not depressing) stab at country from one of the most brilliant men to ever touch a synthesizer (or a notepad, for that matter).

You people all suck! You’re too good at this and it is going to be a tough decision!
Thanks, everyone. I want to get him at least two cd’s now, but I don’t want to go overboard on the presents because that’s a bad thing. I did already get him a book. It was that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell book, so it wasn’t a cheap paperback either.

I’ll look into the stuff. I might go with Nighthawks at the Diner, but I’d rather get him something he’s totally not expecting.

I loved the music in Donnie Darko. I don’t know if I’d get the soundtrack though, because I know most of the songs in the movie.
I’ve thought about getting him a TFF album, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll consider getting him that one.

I’m a bigger New Order fan than he is, so I might skip that one. I have the British Sea Power one. He hasn’t listened to it yet. It’s a bit abstract for my taste, but it grows on me every time. The other ones I will look into when I get home.

I looked that up on Amazon, and it looks really cool! I’d rather get a cd though, because that’s something you can listen to a lot anywhere while movies don’t quite have the same value. I would love to get the movie and a cd, but that would be going overboard. I might get it for myself though.

I’ll check him out when I get home. Sounds promising.

I just looked them up on AMG. I was a bit hesitant at first, because the name sounds like a metal band, but they look really promising from AMG. Seeing who’s mentioned in the categories “similar artists”, “influenced by”, “performed songs by”, and “see also”, make me think this could be a major bingo.
I’ll have to look them up more in depth when I get home.

The Cocteau Twins- they would be great, but he’d be expecting that.
Bauhaus- I have a few Bauhaus albums, I like them a lot. I don’t think he’s into them as much though. He doesn’t quite has as much of that sense of humor. I like Peter Murphy’s solo stuff more, he does great pop songs.
Love and Rockets- I have their DVD. I think they’re kind of disappointing.
Tones on Tail- I like them, but probably not his thing
Bob Mold and Sugar- Maybe for myself, but not what I’d get him.
Loveless- Oops, I thought that was MBV’s first album. I guess not. That’s what I meant. I have it downloaded (yeah, I know) and have considered getting it for him.

Sounds promising. I’ll listen to some clips when I get home.

The Jesus and Mary Chain would be a good choice, but I’ve kind of ruled them out because he’s not as familiar with them as I am and might think I was getting it because I like them, not because I thought of what he’d like. I’ll check out the Magnetic Fields though.

Thanks again, everybody. (You bastards! This is going to be such a tough choice!)

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: It is on the way from Netflix. I will probably watch it solo, as everytime I am at my friend’s place we end up not watching TV. (poor poor pitiful me)


He likes Husker Du and Big Star??? My two favorite bands EVAR!!!

*swoon * Is he single?

Ahem, anyway, depending on which half of the Husker Du songwriting he preferred: I can’t say that I have ever been a big fan of Bob Mould…in general. Some of my favorite Husker songs were his…but after that…I really enjoyed the first half of Sugar’s second album-File Under Easy Listening… The cool part about it is you can get this album for, like, less than a dollar. I hated Copper Blue. “See a Little Light” is a good song, but I didn’t care about the rest of Workbook.

But if he prefers Grant Hart (which would make him a very smart man) I would highly , highly, highly recommend Nova Mob’s first album “The Last Days of Pompeii”…damn near perfect in my opinion. Both of his solo albums, Intolerance and Good News for Modern Man, are great also.

Chris Bell’s solo album is essential.

How does he feel about Mission of Burma, the DBs and the Pogues?

Based on the artists you mentioned, I would recommend something by Tindersticks, probably Curtains or Donkeys.

I hope that helps.

Well, I like both bands more than he does… and I’m single…

He’s less familiar with Husker Du than I am, and I’m not too familiar with them. I have New Day Rising and I have downloaded Zen Arcade. I’ve been meaning to buy ZA but I haven’t seen it at any actual stores. Neither of us have really looked into who wrote which songs, we’re both pretty new fans of the band.
Usually I really get into a band and get him into them. I wasn’t too impressed with Husker Du when I first downloaded ZA because I didn’t like the voice, but it’s grown on me, as has the singing. So I got really enthusiastic about them and made him listen to them.
I used to like The Replacements more than HD, but now I think it’s tied. I like them both more than the Minutemen- I don’t like the singer for the Minutemen. He likes them more than I do.

I can’t tell you about him right now, but I’ll look on AMG at some of the songs and who wrote them…
My favorite from my cursory listening of Zen Arcade is Chartered Trips. I love that song. 't looks like it was written by Mould. I LOVE that song. That was the one that convinced me I liked them.

I’ve only had New Day Rising for a few weeks, and haven’t given it many listens, however I know I really like I Apologize, and I’m pretty sure I also really like The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill. So that’s two for Mould, and one for Hart.

I have Chris Bell’s album downloaded. I really need to buy it. I’m slowly buying all the music I’ve downloaded (except for the music I don’t like, natch). I haven’t seen it though and don’t want to buy it online, because if I buy one cd online I’ll probably end up buying fifteen cds.
I fell in love with I Am the Cosmos several months ago and over-listened to it, so it’s a bit lower on my list of cds to buy.

Mission of Burma- I bought their recent best of cd not too long ago, and like it. He hasn’t listened to it yet.
DBs- I got the twofer of their first two albums for christmas. I was actually unimpressed at first, but it’s grown on me. I don’t think he’s listened to it much.
Pogues- I don’t think I’ve heard any of their music, and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t either, but I’ve been thinking about checking them out.

Well, it technically doesn’t help because I got him a different cd (I’ll mention that in a follow-up post in a minute). But thank you for mentioning them, I think I’ve heard of them before but have forgotten.

Oops, the “And I’m single” in the above post should be in smaller letters. I forgot to preview. When it’s in bigger letters, it comes off as forceful, which isn’t what I wanted.

Anyway, I got a cd for my brother today. Before I say which one it was, I’m gonna do some rambling.
I have a bad habit of procrastinating, even on things I want to do, so I never got a chance to check out all the stuff you guys mentioned. But I’m gonna bookmark this thread for future reference (like christmas :slight_smile: ). Plus, all of the stuff here I’d like too, so I’m gonna look them up for myself.

He wanted to spend some birthday money at Best Buy today, and I figured I’d go along with him. I have mixed feelings about their music selection- it’s both good and bad at the same time. I can find a lot of stuff that I like, but there’s a lot of stuff that I’d like that they don’t sell there.*
I decided it would be a good time to get him his cd, unfortunately most of the recommendations weren’t there, so it wasn’t exactly a fair choice, but I’m pleased with what I got.

So we went to Best Buy, and I got five cds for myself:
Iggy and the Stooges- Raw Power
Elliott Smith- Either/Or
The Streets- A Grand Don’t Come for Free
Paul Westerberg- Folker
New Order- Waiting for the Siren’s Call

The only one I’ve listened to is Folker. It’s not bad, but not great. That’s about what I was expecting. I heard the song Folk Star on Radio K several months ago, and thought it was brilliant. I didn’t know who it was, so I emailed them and when I saw in the reply that it was Paul Westerberg, I was really surprised. Most of the album reminds me of Neutral Milk Hotel, but not quite as compelling.

My brother got two anime dvds. He also said he wanted to get a cd, so I steered him toward Tears For Fears’s Songs from the Big Chair.
I also got him his cd:

The Lost in Translation Soundtrack

*Side note: Lately they’ve been selling Big Star’s #1 Record/Radio City there. Which is bizarre- who the hell would buy it? I don’t get it. It’s not like they’ve recently reunited, or been namedropped more than usual (I think), and they’ve added it recently. I bought my copy at Barnes and Nobel last January, but B&N has a lot of cult cds like that that don’t sell well, not like Best Buy.