Despite a brief flirtation with wider acceptance after complimentary words from Kurt Cobain in the '90s, The Melvins have always been one of the most consistently admired niche bands in the underground. Their uncompromising, sludgy punk was never going to make them millions unless they were going to go polish it up like Queens of the Stone Age, but that wasn't them. Rather, they've remained awkward, quirky and buzzsaw brilliant. They play Tucson this week, so main man King Buzzo lays it out on the five albums that changed his life.
With Spotlights on Wednesday, September 6 at 8 p.m., Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., $20-$23, 21+.
1. David Bowie—The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: I heard this when I was about 12 I guess and it was a mind blower. I'd never heard ANYTHING like it, which opened my mind to the idea that there just might be a whole world out there musically that had nothing at all in common with the dreck my Jr. High classmates were listening to.
2. The Who—Odds and Sods: Still one of my favorites from one of my favorite bands. A very strange album. I think it stands as the best pop-art record ever made. It would be interesting to hand a copy of Odds and Sods to any of the reviewers at Pitchfork and tell them it was a new album from an unknown band. I guarantee they'd call it gimmicky and give it a shitty review ... Unless of course it was the new Radiohead record, then they'd declare it the greatest album of all time.
3. Tom Waits—Blue Valentine: I believe this was recorded in the studio live to 2-track which considering the material is stupendous in and of itself. I never tire of this record. There's at least one song on here that makes my wife cry every time she hears it. I make sure to skip those tracks when we're listening together.
4. The Sex Pistols—Never Mind the Bollocks: A great album. I loved this from the first time I heard it in the '70s. Where I lived I was the only person I knew who'd even heard of these guys so it was a tough sell. I mostly didn't play it for anyone. That wasn't hard considering at that point I had zero friends. Ha!
5. Judas Priest—Unleashed in the East: This is the finest metal album ever made. Nothing comes close really. I fell in love with this at an early age and for good reason. Like I said, it's the finest metal album ever made.