This week's Top Five are from Left of the Dial Records, 1065 Pacific Coast Highway in Seal Beach, (562) 598-3666. The prized number-one spot this is awarded to David Bowie's iconic concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
5. The Walkmen, Heaven (Fat Possum)
Last month's release, Heaven, takes number five this week. The album, The Walkmens' seventh, combines the band's own contributions with those of contemporary indie folk band Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold and Morgan Henderson. The result, though admittedly not my favorite of The Walkmens' catalog, carries on the band's success this week.
4. Small Faces, Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake Reissue (Immediate)
Though basically inactive since the '70s, Small Faces should carry weight for those in the know about rock music at the time; the band definitely didn't earn much of a name for themselves relative to The Who or The Rolling Stones, the band members did play with those names; drummer Kenney Jones filled in for Keith Moon after he died in '78. The reissue of 1968's Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, a concept album that was too complex for the band to reproduce live, takes number 4.
3. Violens, True (Slumberland)
Violens are an anomaly in this week's list in that they're the only band formed in the past decade; since 2007, Violens have filled their listeners' ears with psychedelic, '80s-era dance-tronic visions reminiscent of M83. True is no different, though leaning more toward The Cure's side of musical throwbackisms.
2. Guided by Voices, Class Clown Spots a UFO (Guided by Voices, Inc.)
Released less than six months after their first post-2004 breakup release, January's Let's Go Eat the Factory, this latest album has apparently not suffered a market saturation. If any band could have pulled this off, it would have been Guided by Voices. Hell, it could have been on purpose; maybe Robert Pollard did this on purpose, leaving the second release for the true fans. If that's true, those true fans must shop at Left of the Dial -- it's selling.
1. David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust 40th Anniversary Reissue (EMI)
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I once knew a girl in college whom we all called Ziggy. I don't know how she got the nickname, but the David Bowie references followed her everywhere. Suffice it to say that the world will probably never forget about martian spiders, even now that they've gone forty years since being released upon us. From weird collegiate nicknames to that one dream sequence in The Flight of the Conchords, this album has become so symbolic that even people who have never heard of Bowie outside his Zoolander cameo will probably still vaguely recognize the name Ziggy Stardust.