Michael Rosas

Member of Costa Mesas Smile (www.smilemusic.com)

Photo by Jeanne Rice> The Egyptian Lover, On the Nile. "His camels will bring you home, if that's what's on your mind. But he's sure that if you see his pad, you'll want to stay and have a funky time. I think I was 10 when I bought this album. I was obsessed with it. It has the greatest breakdance beats and voice synthesizers I've ever heard, a cross between Kraftwerk and Grandmaster Flash. I don't know what I was doing listening to this back then because with all of that X-rated panting and heavy breathing, songs like 'Girls' and 'Egypt Egypt' make me blush."

> Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs. "I love his voice. Sometimes it sounds like he's making the songs up as he goes. 'Terrapin' is a great love song. 'If It's in You' is pure, beautiful nonsense. I wish I could write songs like that."

> France Gall, Box Set Vol. 1-4. "A French pop extravaganza! The songs have some of the catchiest melodies and most creative arrangements I've ever heard in '60s pop music. Serge Gainsbourg wrote a lot of her hits. The bass line in 'Laisse Tomber les Filles' is so fantastic that I couldn't resist ripping it off for a Smile song called 'Instant Brain Damage.'"

> Deep Purple, "Space Truckin" from Made in Japan. "This is the 20-minute-long live version featuring one of the most insane improvisational freak-outs ever set to tape. It makes me feel like my brain is melting and oozing out of my ears. God, I love rock & roll."

> The Rondelles, Fiction Romance Fast Machines. "A little new wave, a little garage. Juliet, Oakley and Yukiko know how to rock me just right. I love everything about the Rondelles."

> Drive Like Jehu, Drive Like Jehu. "They were compared to Slint and Fugazi, but I really believe that Jehu invented a completely new style of music with their debut. It came out almost 10 years ago, and it remains leagues beyond anything ever released by the truckloads of groups that have imitated them. 'Caress' is one of my favorite songs of all time. I listen to this album almost every day."

> Leonard Cohen, Songs of Love and Hate. "It's such a dark and dramatic album. The lyrics are absolutely perfect, and his voice is breathtaking. Every time I listen to this album, I find myself hanging from every word he sings. 'Dress Rehearsal Rag' is my favorite."

> Camera Obscura, Live. "Camera Obscura are one of the most intense California groups I've heard in recent years. Please see them while you still can."

> The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground. "It's my favorite VU album, one I could not live without. John Cale wasn't in the group at this point, so the noisy guitars and violin that play such an important role on 'Andy Warhol' and 'White Light/White Heat' are gone. Instead, Lou Reed's voice is really loud in the mix, and the musical arrangements are really stripped-down. This album influences almost every musical thought I have and always puts me in a good mood."

 
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