The first week of college is here, so the Observer staff is providing you with some tips to get your through the first week/month/year.
My freshman year of college, my roommate used to play Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers every night as she went to sleep. And not just start to finish. On repeat. I liked that album at the time, but the repetitive bwamp-bwamp of the bass in her speakers every 10 seconds was maddening. When I wasn't tripping over her Graffix bong, I was fighting tooth and nail against her bringing a ferret into our dorm room.
Those were the days. As I got older, my tastes became more obscure and unwieldy, and I found myself voluntarily listening to music that would have turned even the most patient roommates into a white-hot firehose of rage. Here are a few albums the Observer staff recommended, in case you want to do the same, because college is all about connecting, right?
The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack Basically the soundtrack to any musical is a good bet. In fact, so is any movie soundtrack from the late '90s.
Crass, Stations of the Crass A few years ago, the Guardian posed a question: Could Crass exist today? Well, songs about class warfare never go out of style. The UK anarcho-punk group's music is certainly an acquired taste, but isn't freshman year when you're supposed to be angst-ridden and mad at the world? Or is that senior year? Either way, this album will test the waters, especially the track "Shaved Women."
Red House Painters, Songs For a Blue Guitar Something about Mark Kozelek's sad-guy voice on this album, and the mid-tempo nod of every song, makes one want to rip a phone book in half with their teeth. Very "college."
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Spin Doctors, Pocket Full of Kryptonite If you are a freshman playing this album in 2012, chances are your roommate was born roughly three years after this came out, and has no idea who the Spin Doctors are, so you're in the clear.
Sleigh Bells, Treats Hey, have you heard that one Sleigh Bells song? This joke also works with the Black Angels.
Any album by Anal Cunt So many great albums to choose from, so many great song titles. A typical AC song is usually no longer than a minute, perfect for the diminished attention spans of today's youth. Their 20-second opus, "Everyone in the Underground Music Scene Is Stupid," is essential listening, and will prep you for the real world.
What are your recommendations?