The B List: Wade’s Favorite Fall Albums

9. Dave Matthews Band-Under The Table and Dreaming

The tracks on this record fall like leaves from a tree in the front yard. I don’t think I ever skipped around from song to song, but rather, ingested the album in its entirety every time. This record changed the face of pop music and put a bartender from Virginia on the proverbial map for eternity. If for some reason you have been living under a rock (or table) and haven’t heard this gem, GET IT TODAY. You’ll be happy come September. Fall Mix Disc Track: Best of What’s Around

8. Pearl Jam – Ten

Finally skating into some heavier territory, this album was released August 27, 1991, which lends itself to plenty of fall listening. Like Under The Table and Dreaming, this record would also change music as we knew it and offer a completely original look into new landscapes of rock. Jeremy’s dark video complemented the dying trees, and Black signaled a departure to the bitter cold of winter. Still on constant rotation year round, though brutally repeated in the fall. Fall Mix Disc Track: Release

7. Bill Frisell – Gone Just Like A Train

Going a bit off the radar here, but for good reason. This gem from 1998 showcases the very core of Bill Frisell’s legendary tone and flow as a guitar player and compliments the array of colors prevalent in the fall. From the psychedelic reaches of Egg Radio to the album’s amazing title track, this record is great for a drive through New England whilst sampling the other great part of the fall in the Northeast…HARVEST! Also, in my very humble opinion, this is the greatest fucking album title ever. Deal with it. Fall Mix Disc Track: Gone, Just Like A Train

6. Counting Crows – August And Everything After

Say what you will about the downhill progression of this band, they started with a record they just couldn’t out do. Also released in the fall, the band got the support they needed from the two worst songs on the album (Mr. Jones, Round Here) and treated the consumer to an incredibly well crafted pop rock diary entry that spoke to the hopeless romantic in all of us. Insightful and crushing lyrical content layered with brilliant, poppy musical arrangements made this record hum. Fall Mix Disc Track: Raining In Baltimore

5. Ani Difranco – Out of Range

The mere timbre of this record makes me think about the homecoming game, soccer practice, and of course, making out with your girlfriend after said soccer practice. If you didn’t know a girl in high school who listened to Ani, well, you didn’t know any cool girls in high school. Clocking in at a scant 45 minutes, the mere length of this record makes you want to play it over and over. Funk and poetry play nice with ballads and feminism. The absolute, end all beat all anthem on here is You Had Time. Listen closely to the intro and see if you can tell when the guitar stops and the piano starts. Classic. Audio. Bliss. Fall Mix Disc Track: You Had Time

4. Smashing Pumpkins – Gish

Where do I even begin with this one? Certified platinum. Hand crafted by Butch Vig at Smart Studios. James Iha buys his first Gibson for the recording. Sells 100, 000 copies in the first year…and I haven’t even spoke of one song yet. Please, please, please seek out the album Rolling Stone described as “awe-inspiring” with “meticulously calculated chaos”. If Rhinoceros doesn’t sound like falling leaves to you…go to the Otolaryngologist for a check up. Great Tidbit: This album was originally going to be titled “Fish” but changed it to “Gish” to avoid comparisons to jam giants Phish. No Shit. Fall Mix Disc Track: Rhinoceros

3. Radiohead – OK Computer

As much Bitches Brew as it is Dark Side of the Moon, this pre-apocalyptic harbinger of depression is the audio equivalent of chlorophyll draining from the color of your emotions…in short…dark and trippy. This record pushed Radiohead to the forefront of pop culture and demanded the attention of the lackadaisical listener. As popular as this record is, it’s amazing to me how much it makes fun of that very concept, and humanity in general. Go grab yourself a huge slice of Irony Cake and throw in OK Computer, just be ready to cry a little. Fall Mix Disc Track: Exit Music (For a Film)

2. Ben Folds Five – The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

One of the great concept albums of all time that just screams transition. Quite fitting this would be the last release from this North Carolina anti-power trio. Where do you go from here? The heart wrenching opening piano lines of Narcolepsy (still in Ben Folds’ rotation) begin the tale of our subject and meander through Your Redneck Past. The story line is always present and each song is a chapter worth investigating and reinterpreting. The protagonist comes face to face with personal demons, family issues, and the inevitable factor of change. If you are going to check out any album from this list….I do hope this is the one. Fall Mix Disc Track: Don’t Change Your Plans For Me

1. Phish – Billy Breathes

Steve Lillywhite, the time in their career when they wrote the album and Bearsville Studios combine to make the fall opus known as Billy Breathes. A complete sonic departure from their previous studio efforts, BB thrives on the environment of Bearsville and the pressure the band was getting from its ignorant and brutal fan base at the time. Jerry had passed, and the audience was growing for the boys from Vermont. The first mutterings of “mainstream” were starting to spread and lot tension was at an all time high. Come October 15, 1996 those fans would eat crow as Phish would release their most mature sounding record to date. Songs that were long in rotation (Free, Theme From The Bottom) sounded like actual rock songs and new arrangements (Swept Away, Steep, Bliss) had the rustic flair of the surroundings they were recorded in but maintained the psychedelic overtones the band was popular for. The fall, for me, will forever be emotionally charged by the release of this record and its woodsy, sonic charm. Phall Mix Disc Track: Bliss

That’s Wade’s list, let’s see what you can come up with…

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