Anna Minard, our city hall reporter, claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we're forcing her to listen to all the records that music nerds consider important.

The Soft Machine
  • The Soft Machine

I hate albums that sound like band practice. There, I said it. The Soft Machine starts with some woozy rock-band intro, little drum trills, voices slow and soft and hazy, notes held for a long time. It sounds like the 1960s. Within 60 seconds, they start doing annoying stuff. You know how when someone's doing an impression of a stuck record, they can be either really good at it or really bad at it? This fellow is bad at it. Also, is he saying "jive man" or "chive man"? Or both? Those are two really different things. They're just screwing around here for about a minute.

Another 30 seconds later, they roll up on a song, like they sort of tripped over it while they were staring around the room slack-jawed, and once they pick it up, they rule. The vocals are super-awesome; voices sound hollow and sort of processed but still warm and interesting. They repeat the same words A LOT. Over and over. The music is fine, it just gets stuck on itself like folded gum. There's an awful lot of noodling.

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