Let’s Hang Celebrates Record Store Day 2012
Album Covers I’d Like to Hang In
By: Beth Weidl
Guided By Voices “Bee Thousand”
Is he a wizard, or just regular guy in a hat? The answer could lie just out of the blue frame where he stands. But much like the miniscule, near-perfect songs this album contains, it keeps me interested, keeps me wondering, and goes no further. There’s no need for excess here – to expand upon those undoubtedly panoramic mountains would probably have me examining the magical mystery stuff of life, but today, that’s not why I’m here.
Neutral Milk Hotel “On Avery Island”
There’s no better setting for Jeff Mangum’s dizzying musical odysseys, so grab some cotton candy and ride your heart out at the loneliest carnival on earth. It’s not quite funhouse-clown creepy. You wouldn’t want to bring your family, either. The best word you can think of to describe it is “crooked.” But you still feel like you need to go. At some point in your life, you need to see it for yourself. The rollercoaster might actually drive you into the ocean, and you’re just curious enough to find out. You can leave anytime, you just don’t want to. In fact, when the night hides the watercolored tent tops, you’re already thinking about how you’re going to get back here.
Beach House “Devotion”
The party looks boring, but I have been wanting a piece of that cake for four years.
Bruce Springsteen “Nebraska”
To say I want to hang with The Boss is possibly the greatest understatement of all time. And in all honesty, I think I’d personally rather have our time be spent on the Born to Run cover. I’d replace Clarence (although, who could?) so that when you flip the album over, you see that he’s grinning at me—all leather and working class swagger. But I had to choose Nebraska. To me, it oozes not only the quintessential Springsteen-ness that makes me want to hang with them in the first place, but also is the embodiment of what it means to hang in a larger sense: a lonesome stretch of road. Maybe you have company, maybe you’re counting fence-posts, maybe you’re alone with your thoughts or so bored with your thoughts that you tune them out with the first radio station that comes in clear. But we don’t know what’s going on in this car, in this moment, in Nebraska. Or wherever. The only thing you can tell for sure is that you’re going somewhere. This is what we do when we hang. Asking “where is this going?” and seeing if we can come up with an answer before we get there. Any good Midwesterner knows the impending journey depicted on the cover of Nebraska too well: sky out the window, nothing ahead of you for miles. Presumably there’s nothing much behind you, but The Boss would tell you not to look back and find out.
Van Morrison “Astral Weeks”
There’s not much to this besides that it looks like the drunk Irish genius Instagram filter, but how else are you ever going to be as cool as Van? Unless you come across the stunning maroon suit from The Last Waltz (and if you do, we are definitely singing “Caravan” at karaoke together), you’re not.
The Smashing Pumpkins “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”
I’ve wanted to hang in Billy Corgan and company’s turn of the century space-fantasy ever since I saw the “Tonight, Tonight” video for the first time when I was “too young to be watching that MTV filth.” (Hey mom!) Honestly, not a lot has changed since then. I still want to ride in a paper-mache rocket and play ancient instruments. I still want the sun and the moon to quiver like they’re hanging from strings above a soundstage and wink at me as I fly by them. I still want to wear ridiculous pseudo-Victorian clothes and be able to ride on clouds and pop out of stars and breathe underwater. Don’t you?
Panda Bear “Person Pitch”
“Hey Fox, throw me a beer.”
“Heads up, Llama!”
“I’m SO glad we skipped class today.”
“Yeah, me too!”
“Why is almost everyone in here wearing a hat?”
“Dude, it’s a par… oh my god. Is that Kirsten Dunst?”
“Right in front of me! In the red hat!”
“I don’t think so, man.”
“No, that’s totally her. KIRSTEN!”
Aren’t hot tub parties the best?
R. Kelly “TP.3 Reloaded”
I don’t have much to add besides just mentioning this one. I know Kellz can be polarizing, so if you don’t already want to stand atop a glorious mountain with the certified king of R&B, I’m not sure I could explain to you why I’d want to, anyway.