TX Rock - The Wannabes, Mod Flower Cake (DejaDisc 1994)
"THIS IS A GREAT BAND WITH GREAT PERSONALITY!!!" mused a young Britt Daniel in his review of the sole LP by this Austin-via-Fort Worth quartet, whose feel-good Replacements rock is short on innovation but big on hooks. Let's give these local guys their due.
Hip-Hop/Electronic - Dynamic Syncopation, Dynamics (Ninja Tune 1999)
London producers Jonny Cuba and the Loop Professor put out one of Ninja Tune's few release to feature vocals. The actual rapping is, um, workmanlike, but the mix of trip-hop atmospherics and snooty BBC radio announcer samples is seductive.
World - Various Artists, Tropicália: Ou Panis et Circenses (Polygram 1968, reissued 1993)
Tropicália, Brazil's technicolor blend of psych rock, bossa nova, samba, and more, sprang from the turmoil of a nation under military dictatorship to become one of the glories of world music. This groovy, thrilling, radical compilation launched the careers of several giants of Brazilian pop, including Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and Gal Costa.
Jazz/Rock - Fontanelle, Fontanelle (Kranky 2000)
Jazz because these Portlanders work the noodlier end of the post-rock spectrum, though they're still closer to Can and Tortoise than electrified Miles Davis. Brushy drums, chiming keys, and meandering guitars interact to lovely effect.