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5 more college rock albums for your inner indie snob
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Visit the archives at www.dailytexanonline.com for entries 25 - 11.



10. Modest Mouse

The Lonesome Crowded West

Up, 1997

"My brain's a cliff, and my heart's the bitter buffalo."

Long before Isaac Brock and co. floated on to top 40 success, Modest Mouse wrote songs about three subjects: Jesus, driving and drunken debauchery. And, because of their age (all members were under 23 in '97) and the fact that they had been endlessly touring for most of their lives (on a long drive for someone with nothing to think about), this album takes those three unrelated themes and pounds them into the perfect soundtrack for a road trip out west.

Sprawling, decadent and sentimental, Lonesome Crowded West is a view from the passenger seat: Nothing repeats, nor does anything end precisely. One minute there's a fiddle solo, then a turntable, followed by a tempo change and an epic jam. The meaning comes from what you make of it, so even if you're building nothing out of something, only a sad, sappy sucker could find it boring.

- J. Ridewood


9. My Bloody Valentine

Loveless

Sire, 1991

My Bloody Valentine's Loveless marks the point where pop music came closest to pure art, in the vein of the great painters and sculptors.

Yes, pure artistry is the only description for the wall of swirling guitars and awe-inspiring production that completed the arc of shoegazer music begun by the Jesus and Mary Chain. A cripplingly difficult record for some, to those who can appreciate its beauty, Loveless has become a testament to the power of pop to reach transcendent heights. Tracks like "When You Sleep" are still to be found in artsy, dreamy films to this day.

- John Bradley


8. Weezer

Pinkerton

Geffen, 1996

Weezer's central figure, singer Rivers Cuomo, wrote most of Pinkerton while attending Harvard. Generation X shunned his deeply personal offerings. Following the underdog platinum success of '94's Weezer (the blue one), Pinkerton was a colossal commercial flop. So much so that, after critical shellackings, Cuomo became a recluse and refused to perform its songs until 2002's Enlightenment Tour.

This raises a key central question: To what extent is this a college album, if Cuomo's academic peers weren't into it? After all, Pinkerton's legend grew in the late '90s as alienated high school kids latched on, and as AOL Instant Messenger and LiveJournals became the premier word-of-mouth buzz builders. Pinkerton was lost treasure; a relic dug up years later and hailed as a defining masterwork.

I guess this means it's a generational college album; one of the few on this list we had the taste buds to pick up on rather than having older sisters tell us it was cool. I guess that means Cuomo's anthems about shunning procreation, fumbling love and jonesing for Asian women are all that more important.

- Ramon Ramirez


7. The Pixies

Doolittle

Elektra, 1989

While Surfer Rosa featured several of the Pixies' most instantly memorable tracks (see "Gigantic"), Doolittle remains their single defining statement. Propelled by the mad-pop genius of Black Francis, the Pixies crafted a truly original sound over fifteen tracks that hint at eclectic pop perfection. Timeless tracks like "Debaser," "No. 13 Baby" and "Gouge Away" have set the standard for countless Pixies disciples, many of whom appear elsewhere on this list.

As a profound influence on bands as disparate as Nirvana and Radiohead, the Pixies' influence looms over all modern alternative rock. It really doesn't get any better than this.

- Zach Ernst


6. Sonic Youth

Daydream Nation

Enigma, 1988

The very moment the punks became artists can be traced back to 1988, when Sonic Youth released their masterwork Daydream Nation, a startling original piece of post-modern rock magic. From the beginning riffs of opener "Teen Age Riot," to the surreal refrains of "Cross the Breeze," to exploding amps in "Providence," it was clear that punk kids had grown up.

With tracks like "Hey Joni" and "Candle," no wonder the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry alongside the works of famous 18th-century composers. Daydream Nation is a modern classic written by post-modern geniuses.

- JB
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