I am unabashedly a fan of Seattle’s choral-pop quartet, Ephrata. Their music stirs every bone in the body and makes the mind wander to distant places. It is euphoric. It is stunning. It is fun. It is what music should be. As they prepare to release their second EP this spring (possibly as early as next month), they provided two lists as part of the Artiste 5 – the musicians and albums that changed how they perceive music and their favorite greasy spoons (I want to know what’s in a Brady’s takeout container, and I want to hang out at Skadi’s place on the weekend).
Like their music, the lists are pretty amusing. Enjoy reading them below. As you read them, check out some tunes, which are scattered in this posts, and you can also purchase their music on Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon. You can also check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter when you’re done.
Musicians or albums that changed how you perceive music:
- Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs
- Swamp Dogg, Rat On
- Quixotic, Mortal Mirror
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads
- Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom of the Opera – This was the first album I ever loved. I remember waking up to my mom blasting it through the house one morning as an itty-bitty child and thinking, “What IS this?” I’d never heard opera that rocked, and I just busted down the stairs in my nightgown singing along. It also turned out I was pretty great at imitating the sounds of opera, so that was when I began to be a singer.
- Frank Zappa
- The Minutemen
- Jonathan Richman
- King Crimson (’73-’74) – Dark, long, and intricate. Their noise inspired my first band in high school, a prog-rock band called the Vermicious Knids. Yeah, we were totally popular…
- Camera Obscura, My Maudlin Career
- Wilco, Summer Teeth
- Sharon Van Etten, Epic
- Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
- Ladysmith, Black Mumbazo – I listened to them as a kid all the time. Voices transcend all languages and cultures, the power of the human voice is a wonder.
- Brittle Stars, Brittle Stars
- Geinoh Yamashirogumi, Akira Original Soundtrack
- Slayer, Seasons In The Abyss
- Bugskull, Snakland
- Queen, Queen II – I got this record when I was like 11 years old, and I still have that disc. It’s full of harmonies, heavy rock riffs, beautiful ballads, and it showed me all the possibilities that a rock band can showcase within one album.
Favorite greasy spoons:
- Hot Doug’s in Chicago (R.I.P.)
Arancini Bros in NYC
- Zippy’s in Seattle
- Shanghai Garden in Seattle
- Apple Pan in Los Angeles – This is one of those old-school holdovers that hasn’t changed since the 50s. They have like three items on the menu, and there’s always this one guy working the counter who looks like a convict from Central Casting. It’s all part of the experience!
- Dick’s in Seattle
- Roxy’s in Seattle
- Big Mario’s Pizza in Seattle
- Brady’s takeout containers on Sunday
- My kitchen on weekends (i.e. bacon, cheese, cheese, cheese)
- There’s a tiny place in Grand Island, NY (near Niagara Falls) called Violas Subs. They make the best sub sandwiches in the known universe. Once when my family was in town, we asked them for a container of the herb oil they dump all over the sandwiches. That thing was treated like gold in the fridge for months!
- Paseo Carribean Restaurant in Seattle
- Dick’s Burgers in Seattle
- The hot dog stand outside of Neumo’s in Seattle
- Voodoo Donuts in Portland
- Lucy’s Fried Chicken in Austin, TX – Come on guys, how can you not include Lucy’s???!!! We ate there like 5 times when we were down there for SXSW. We couldn’t stop going back. Everything on the menu was completely delicious and devourable. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.
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