Broken Record #49

kristeen young

New York City musician Kristeen Young has got quite a CV. She regularly records with Tony Visconti, she's played with David Bowie and Dave Grohl and toured with Morrissey (who rather astutely described her as "Maria Callas, if not for the keyboard that she plays like a set of drums"). Her new single "NICE" is a serious take on modern day male celebrity told through a cavalcade of crunching bass musical shifts that would put Rick Wakeman to shame. Part Kate Bush, part Sparks, Young has a knack for writing odd songs that you can still dance to. Kristeen Young and her band hit London this month to play a residency (every Tuesday) at The Islington (see below for more info and links). Here she selects some of the albums in her record collection for #49 in our Broken Record series. Note that the selections seem to channel the eratic, unpredictabity of her music. Enjoy.

Under-rated Record

Majesty Crush - Love 15

Majesty Crush was a formative band for me. Seeing them is among my very first memories of seeing bands. I still play their music and people STILL ask me "who is THAT?" They were THAT phenomenal. David Stroughter was the best front person I've ever seen. He was mesmerizing. I remember seeing him on some unreasonably hot Midwest night. He was standing on stage in a plastic trench coat and latex gloves giving orders to the lighting person (I don't even think there WAS one). And it was fascinating. He WAS charisma. He died a couple of days ago. Facebook will not mourn him like Amy Winehouse or the guy that played the dad on Growing Pains, but he was THE BEST. This is real life; sometimes THE BEST no one (or hardly anyone) will ever know. I had a charming phone call with him once. I was too nervous to speak to him in person so I just hid in my room, stupid child that I was.
Only Physical Record I was allowed to physically listen to in the foster home where I grew-up

2nd Chapter Of Acts – The Roar Of Love

Only Christian records, mostly old, were allowed in this home. I liked 2nd Chapter of Acts the best, their early ones particularly. I’ll choose their Chronicles of Narnia concept record (because who wouldn’t really?), ‘The Roar of Love’.
Record that would make me feel good even if I was abducted tortured and kept in a cage in a Missouri basement

Prince - Controversy

Any early Prince album is transformative, but Controversy speaks to me the most. Probably because I find the lyrics to be the most wide-ranging of all of Prince’s album’s. The song, Controversy, probably influenced the lyrics of the song, ‘These Are the Things I’m Not the Most’, off my upcoming album, ‘Live At The Witch’s Tit’. 
Live Record that I lived in

Renaissance - Live at Carnegie Hall

A friend of my (foster/adoptive) parents gave this to me (because they’d heard my high singing voice) when I was a child and the album (more accurately, Annie Haslam) became a teacher to me. Growing-up, I vocalized to it countless times and would play it on endless loop, sitting in my St. Louis room in a St. Louis basement, whilst reading (the Chronicles of Narnia, most likely). I probably still live somewhere in this album.
Record that most resembles the wallpaper on the inner partitions of my mind 

Butthole Surfers - Psychic…Powerless….Another Man’s Sac (particularly Cherub)

Record that influenced my dissonant (attempted) piano style (grandfather edition)

Thelonius Monk (technically The Thelonius Monk Quartet) Monk’s Dream

Record that probably influenced my dissonant (attempted) piano style (rock edition)

David Bowie (Mike Garson to be exact) Aladdin Sane

Record that opened my mind to wider creative possibility

Missy Elliot - Miss E, So Addictive

Record with such a great programmed kick/hi hat combo that I still go crazy when I hear it

Aaliyah - One in a Million

Tribal Dance Record with best bass trombone part

Philip Glass - Akhnaten (specifically Funeral of Amenhotep)

Tribal Dance Record without a bass trombone part… (But could have in a future arrangement)

Bauhaus - In the Flat Field (specifically Double Dare)

Record with the best guitar playing of the past 20 years

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell

Progressive Record of the past 5 years

Kanye West - Yeezus

Mainstream Record of the past 5 years

Rihanna - Unapologetic (particularly Pour It Up)

Movie Soundtrack Record

Judy Garland - A Star is Born (specifically The Man Who Got Away)

best vocal/physical performance I’m constantly inspired by      
Record where every song sounds the same but I don’t care because it’s so fucking good

Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk

Those dissonant horns… Richard Butler’s voice breaks, crushes and smashes my heart completely.
Record that reminds me of my drug dealer boyfriend...

Dead Kennedys - Frankenchrist

...stealing his brother’s truck, and driving to San Francisco to meet Jello Biafra when I was 15