Monday, June 09, 2003

Ten More Years of These Six Albums

The re-issue of Pavement’s seminal Slanted & Enchanted (including fancy liner notes and a bonus disc of rarities and B-sides) to coincide with the album’s ten year anniversary has been a critical and financial success. Other indie-rock mile markers are fast approaching their tenth birthday, and their respective labels have announced plans to follow the S&E route. Here are six to keep your ears open for.

* Palace, There is No-One What Will Take Care of You (June, 1993, Drag City)
Re-mastering mid-fi indie-rock songs is futile at best, but this no-fi album sounds like it was recorded on a .4 track. Instead, Drag City offers a new 20-page booklet including special artwork and a typically cryptic but exclusive interview with singer Will Oldham – "It was the sinful, drunken dust vole who let loose the barbasol tears of my imagination" – that will make you fall in love with this album all over again.

* Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville (June, 1993, Matador)
Same songs, same order, same liner notes and absolutely no bonus material. However, the re-issue will feature a remix of "Flower" that makes it much easier to hear Phair sing "I want to be your blowjob queen." Advance orders for the album have already topped 100,000 copies.

* Breeders, Last Splash (August, 1993, 4AD)
Purists will insist this is alt-rock, not indie-rock, an argument that centers around the fact that it sold more than 28 copies. Still, the reissue will help fans forget all about "Title TK," the recent follow-up album that took nine years to complete – and really wasn’t worth the wait. Liner notes include a formal apology from Kim and Kelley Deal for wasting everybody’s time.

* Archers of Loaf, Icky Mettle (September, 1993, Alias)
Includes a Karaoke disc of the entire album so that you can sing along with all your favourite smash hit singles, including "Web in Front," "Wrong" and chart-topper "Plumb Line." Imagine the thrill of belting out classic sing-along lines like "Stuck a pin in your backbone / Spoke it down from there / All I ever wanted was to be your spine" or "She’s an indie rocker / and nothing’s gonna stop her / plumb line says she’s a bitch." Remember, with Icky Mettle Karaoke, you’re the star!

* Guided by Voices, Bee Thousand (June, 1994, Scat Records)
Using the same software algorithms that remove clicks and pops from old 78rpm blues records, the static and sonic imperfections of this four-track masterpiece have been removed in the re-mastering process. Also includes a bonus EP of 27 unreleased songs from the ever-prolific Robert Pollard, including a song about the making of Bee Thousand, a song about the song about the making of Bee Thousand, and you get the idea.

* Sebadoh, Bakesale (September, 1994, Sub Pop)
Includes a bonus DVD with every Sebadoh video ever made (three). The album itself includes "Happy Hug Kitten Rainbow," a song that was deleted from the original album because it contains no minor chords. The totally fucking stupid cover photo of a baby Lou Barlow peering into a toilet remains unaltered in the slightest.