PRINT December 2001


Bob Nickas


1. Rodney Graham, Getting It Together in the Country Is this the sound track to the new reality? Recorded two summers ago but lately on my turntable just about all the time, “Nature Has No Purpose,” “Champagne for Everyone,” “This Is the Only Living I’ve Got (Don’t Take It Away from Me),” and a beautifully resigned cover of Dave Mason’s “Feelin’ Alright” got me through the dusty days.

2. LiLiPUT A reissue of everything from ’78–’83; an eccentric, electric rush. Never underestimate four bored Swiss girls.

3. The Fall, The Unutterable Mark E. Smith stuttering all over the k on “Ketamine Sun”—one of life’s guiltier pleasures.

4. Shuggie Otis, Inspiration Information The long-lost soul classic, ca. ’74, as fresh as anything ca. now, with “Strawberry Letter 23,” one of the stone-cold pop songs of all time.

5. Fantômas, The Director’s Cut Henry Mancini and Bernard Herrmann never sounded as suave . . . or as sinister.

6. Dead Meadow, Howls from the Hills Note to Kenneth Anger: more music for Lucifer Rising?

7. The White Stripes, White Blood Cells “The Union Forever” actually channels Citizen Kane: “Well, I’m sorry but I’m not interested in gold mines, oil wells, shipping, or real estate. What would I like to have been? Everything you hate.”

8. Black Dice, Erase Errata The new No Wave.

9. Lord High Fixers In a dream, Curtis Mayfield and Phil Ochs turned the Art Ensemble of Chicago into protest punk, and the LHF were born.

10. Bob Dylan, “Things Have Changed” Performed during the Academy Awards, appropriately enough. Dylan is, after all, the new Brando.

Bob Nickas is a New York-based writer and curator.