Unjustly Obscure Albums – Vol. 10

Suburban Light by The Clientele (2000)

Essential tracks: “Reflections After Jane” & “We Could Walk Together

“Even as the Clientele‘s hazy, soft-focus indie pop suggests the influence of virtually every musical ancestor worth acknowledging, the band’s pastoral beauty nevertheless conjures a dreamscape entirely its own; fusing the heady otherness of psychedelia with the gentle caress of folk, Suburban Light swirls and settles like gold dust. Like the artist Joseph Cornell, the titular subject of one of the disc’s most memorable songs, the Clientele assemble and juxtapose found fragments (collected from forebears like LoveNick Drake, and Donovan) and transform their source materials into something magical and new; although the record’s 13 cuts assemble various singles and scattered recordings, the finished product hangs together with a clear sense of purpose and scope. While Alasdair MacLean’s plain-spoken, heartfelt vocals and subtle guitar arpeggios are the focus of the record, it’s impossible to underrate the thoughtful, always supportive bass playing of James Hornsey and drummers Daniel Evans and Howard Monk. Together they create a haunting, poetic, and rich sound that’s unlike any indie pop being created by their contemporaries. Suburban Light is a brilliant introduction to the band, and over repeated listens, the songs grow both more distinctive and more interconnected, boasting a richly nuanced intricacy as intoxicating as it is elusive.” – AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny


Dylan at 76

In honor of Bob Dylan’s 76th birthday, I present 76 of his greatest tunes…

Spotify Playlist

House of the Risin’ Sun
Song to Woody
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
In My Time of Dyin’
Man of Constant Sorrow
Blowin’ in the Wind
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Girl From the North Country
Masters of War
It Ain’t Me Babe
My Back Pages
Chimes of Freedom
All I Really Want to Do
The Times They Are A-Changin’
With God on Our Side
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Boots of Spanish Leather
Only a Pawn in Their Game
One Too Many Mornings
Mr. Tambourine Man
Subterranean Homesick Blues
It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
She Belongs to Me
Maggie’s Farm
Like a Rolling Stone
Desolation Row
Ballad of a Thin Man
Tombstone Blues
Queen Jane Approximately
I Want You
Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
Visions of Johanna
Just Like a Woman
Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands
One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
4th Time Around
All Along the Watchtower
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
As I Went Out One Morning
Lay Lady Lay
Peggy Day
All the Tired Horses
The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)
If Not for You
New Morning
The Man in Me
Watching the River Flow
Mr. Bojangles
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Forever Young
Tangled Up in Blue
Shelter from the Storm
Simple Twist of Fate
Idiot Wind
One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)
Changing of the Guards
Gotta Serve Somebody
Man in the Long Black Coat
Most of the Time
Not Dark Yet
Love Sick
Things Have Changed
Thunder on the Mountain
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
Duquesne Whistle


Dreamy folk rock out of my sweet home Chicago. This is music that grows on you like a vine as songs evolve into multi-instrumental soundscapes of reverie. Listen to their debut album, Light Upon the Lake.  You’ll feeler cooler in no time.

Dylan at 75

“Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”
Mr. Tambourine Man

Of all the artists who have walked this earth, none have spoken to my core as profoundly as the Midwestern troubadour known as Bob Dylan. He is easily my favorite poet, able to paint masterpieces with words both down-home and surrealistic.

Dylan has always epitomized Caucasian cool, his nonchalant approach to fame seeming more and more quaint as the American pop cultural landscape has become overrun with “look at me” types. While he continues to churn out albums as a senior citizen, it is the young Dylan, wise beyond his years, hair growing in a million different directions, that will be venerated for decades to come.

May the bulb that illuminated his mind continue to shine a little light on us all.

Dylan at 75 Playlist