Our Mother the Mountain/Townes Van Zandt/The Late Great Townes Van Zandt -- Townes Van Zandt -- Holy shit, where has this guy been all my life? I'd best describe Townes as the Texan Leonard Cohen, and while he never could quite put together a perfect, 10/10 album (there just always seem to be a couple tracks that don't quite pan out), the man's got more great songs than you can shake a stick at. Throw him on the list of porto-alt-country giants that I love right alongside Gram Parsons. I have a feeling this guy's gonna become a new staple of my musical diet; speaking of recent Texas country discoveries...
Honky Tonk Heroes -- Waylon Jennings -- SO, so, so great! "Ride Me Down Easy" is a bit of a duffer, and the whole thing's a bit too short at 27 minutes, but that's about all the flaws I can find. Would possibly make my top ten country albums; the thing's a classic, and it easily earns its spot in the country music 'canon'.
Heroes -- David Bowie -- Still probably his best album. I really do think the sound is pretty damn novel, too; I know everyone likes to compare it to Low and Before and After Science and all that, and while yeah, structurally it's very similar, the bizarrely industrial post-punk/disco sound that Bowie and Eno work up on here is awfully unique. Find me another song that sounds anything like "Joe the Lion", please.
Tap Root Manuscript -- Neil Diamond -- Side 1 is among the most delightfully catchy, ridiculous early 70s soft-rock I can think of (I must say: if you've never heard "Coldwater Morning", you're missing out), but Side 2 is a whole other beast altogether: an attempt at a flowing suite of African music. by Neil Diamond. in 1970. None of it is really any good, of course (although "Soolaimon" is wonderfully over the top, and was something of a hit), but if you're in the mood for a cringey, patently ridiculous first take on Graceland, I can think of a worse way to spend 20 minutes. All in all, a campy good time.
Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina -- The Left Banke -- Not bad at all, and it goes down easy, but I don't really see much worth returning to here other than the two title tracks. I'll stick to Odessey and Oracle.
154 -- Wire -- Pink Flag is one of my favorite albums of all time, but I've never really completely warmed up to Chairs Missing. This one struck me as somewhere between the two; not all of these tracks are memorable, and the album does drag a bit here and there, but the highlights are pretty stunning. I speak primarily, of course, of "The 15th" and "Map Ref", which both stand strongly alongside "Mannequin" and "Outdoor Miner" as absurdly brilliant, fractured takes on pop.
Souvlaki -- Slowdive -- The last three tracks kinda bore me, but whoo, this thing's just about as good as Loveless all the way up to and including "When the Sun Hits"! It's a grower, but Eno's influence certainly shines through, and the thing's got atmosphere (and melodies!! geez!! listen to "Machine Gun" and try not to sorta-almost-tear up!!) to spare!
Let Love In -- Nick Cave -- The best album of his I've heard yet! Way less filler than Tender Prey, and quite a bit more melody than Skeleton Tree. "Loverman" is terrifying! "Nobody's Baby Now" is beautiful! "Red Right Hand" is glorious! "Thirsty Dog" kinda sucks! But it's a good LP! Where should I go next with Mr. Cave? I'm talking to you, Trung!