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Old 02-03-2009, 01:51 PM   #16
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Personally I would start with Rings Around the World, because it's got a bit of everything (including Paul McCartney chewing vegetables for percussion). Also comes with a bonus EP of 6 more songs if you get the right edition (it wasn't very limited).

It's also in my opinion one of the Top 5 albums of the decade.

Actually, the most recent, Hey Venus, wouldn't be a bad entry point either.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:00 PM   #17
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If one were to give this band a listen, where would one recommend the other one start?
Album: Radiator, Rings Around The World

Compilation: The Songbook
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:18 PM   #18
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Yes, start either with Songbook, the singles comp. of the best singles band of this generation, or Rings Around the World--at once their best, most complete, and most representative album. All you're missing, on there, is a Welsh track. Otherwise, literally every single style of music with which the band has ever flirted (and they've done basically everything that can be done in pop music with largely 4/4 time signatures) is represented, on Rings. Laz understands. Not just a best of the decade contender, but probably one of the best 50 records I've ever heard. And that's a brutally conservative placement.

If you want to try individual songs, try out "God! Show Me Magic!," "Herman Luvs Pauline," "Night Vision," "Ysbeidiau Heulog," "Receptacle for the Respectable," "Slow Life," "Lazer Beam," and "Into the Night." You'll get a pretty good taste, there, with one song from each album.

Also, "Ice Hockey Hair" is the definitive Furries song, bowing out with the most impossibly perfect and spot-on coda in contemporary music:

"Now that you're here, tell me you're a non-believer."
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:21 PM   #19
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For some reason I thought Guerilla was your favorite IYS. Nice to know we're in agreement.

Songbook does have Ice Hockey Hair, though. Agreed again, one of the best recordings I've ever heard.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:28 PM   #20
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"Now that you're here, tell me you're a non-believer."
Funny that you mention that line. I always find it odd when I think about how much I like such a religious band like U2 and such a militant agnostic/atheistic band like SFA.

Run, Christian, Run FTW.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:40 PM   #21
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Thanks for the advice, all.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #22
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Funny that you mention that line. I always find it odd when I think about how much I like such a religious band like U2 and such a militant agnostic/atheistic band like SFA.
The reason that I like the line so very, very, very much is because of its double-meaning. As you very accurately put it, the band is militant (to say the least...if you've seen the video for "Run! Christian, Run!," then maybe "combative" or "brutal" are better words) in its atheism. This lends the line one of its readings.

At the same time, though, I love the fact that the coda (in the context of what the band felt, at the time, to be its best song; it lived a long life much like Beck's "Debra," being played for a while, at shows, and only being known as "That One Song That They Always Play Live" or "Family Band") is like a call-to-arms or a dare.

"This is us, this is our music, and we challenge you not to love it." It works the same way as the chorus in "Rings Around the World"--it fits both within the song's narrative and within the band's narrative. I absolutely love that shit, because when you're wrapped up in the song, you really just can't help but believe in them and their power to drench the world in sunshine. Just like how, when they're at their best, they draw rings right the hell around the motherfucking world.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:48 PM   #23
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Very well said, IYS. I haven't seen these guys live since Love Kraft, and I can't wait to have that communal experience again. You failed to mention how absolutely phenomenal they are in concert.

The Man Don't Give A Fuck live FTW.

Would you believe I had never heard of them until I saw them open for Pavement on their final tour? Instant convert.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:54 PM   #24
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Am I the only one that thinks that he should start with Love Kraft?

BTW - I don't understand militant (or even overly vocal) atheists. I can understand shout it from the rooftops religious people. They believe they have the one true path to enlightenment if not eternal salvation. That's something to get excited about.

Atheists? "Hey ya'll! We're all alone up in this bitch and life has no meaning and there is no hope." WTF?
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #25
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Well IYS isn't going to agree with you because he thinks LK and Phantom Power are both weak. Personally I think they're both lush, pop brilliance. I would say to NSW that if he's really into Brian Wilson-esque arrangements and stuff like that, try LK.

As for the militant atheists or agnostics, many of us are sick of religion having such a huge influence in the secular world, specifically the government.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:21 PM   #26
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And I would say who cares, you're fucked one way or the other.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:33 PM   #27
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Wonderful video: YouTube - Super Furry Animals -The Man Don't Give A Fuck-

Regarding Phantom Power and Love Kraft: Laz is right to note that I think these are the band's two weakest efforts. I think that Phantom Power, though, is a good album--a few spectacular songs, and nothing "bad." The politics get a bit muddled and, at times, silly, but the songs are between good and transcendent. I think that Love Kraft, though, is a genuinely poor record. I love two or three songs, and actively dislike the others. If it weren't a Super Furry Album, I wouldn't even have left it on my HD, after giving it a listen.

Regarding strident atheism: The arguments laid out by the band in the "Run! Christian, Run!" video are the same which I would and often do make--millions and millions of people, as recently as today, have been and still are being murdered, killed, executed, tortured to death, etc. in the name of one god or another. Renouncing religion wouldn't end all the world's ills, but it would get rid of all of the ills caused or motivated by religion.

The band is not, though, stridently pro-defeatism. It doesn't sound to me like you understand what atheism means, Dalton--it simply means that you're not theistic. They don't run around saying, "Nihilism or bust! Support it! No atheist ever killed anybody or did anything wrong!" Rather, they feel that far more bad than good has come of Christianity/organized religion, and that we should therefore move away from it and embrace...well, embracing stuff, rather than damning stuff. I think that anti-religion is probably the best way to classify them. I've never seen, heard, or read the band say anything bad about Christians or other religious people (nor, for that matter, anything good about atheists), but rather about those things which have historically and continuously and endlessly and undeniably happened, as a result of people carrying out what were believed to be religion-mandated actions.

The video makes specific references to the Salem "witch" trials, the Crusades, and dozens of other misguided mass murders in the name of a higher power. Pretty much the greatest hits. You've taken a world history class, in high school? You know where they're getting their ammunition.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #28
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I don't think anyone is going to confuse me with a religious person (especially on this board), but this particular argument against religion seems weak to me. If this is our standard by which we judge community institutions than both government, family, and community living in general would all be thrown to the wayside.

In my opinion the sins of religion (any of them) are no more egregious than that of any other aspect of human institutions.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #29
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I don't think anyone is going to confuse me with a religious person (especially on this board), but this particular argument against religion seems weak to me. If this is our standard by which we judge community institutions than both government, family, and community living in general would all be thrown to the wayside.

In my opinion the sins of religion (any of them) are no more egregious than that of any other aspect of human institutions.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:52 PM   #30
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If this is our standard by which we judge community institutions than both government, family, and community living in general would all be thrown to the wayside.
Hey, sorry about what I think was kind of a needlessly brusque reply, up there, Dalton. Something with Interference was and is screwy, and my post went up before I read it...and now I'm not being allowed to edit it. I'm just sorry if I sounded like a douchebag. Whether or not you agree with me, I still think that I did.

Ironically, though (and this is what I mean by muddled politics, which didn't just suddenly crop up in Phantom Power, but rather got harder to overlook), there is a soundbite and a bit of scrolling text which always plays during "The Man Don't Give a Fuck." It says...

All Governments Are Liars and Murderers

So, it seems that they agree with you!
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