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Know Your Product: Pelican 

Stars Pick Their Top 5! This week: Pelican

click to enlarge Pelican: Four beards and a starry sky.

Kenneth Thomas

Pelican: Four beards and a starry sky.

Since the turn of the millennium, Des Plaines, Illinois, post-metal quartet Pelican has gone out of its way to create atmospheric, dense music that is often lazily categorized as stoner rock or doom metal, but in truth transcends all of that. Yeah, the mostly-instrumental tunes are sludgy as all hell. But these are extended desert jams—challenging, innovative and technically impressive music that pushes all of the boundaries and then, when you think you're getting a grip on what they're about, pushing them back again. Simple Sabbath disciples they are not. That mentality is reflected in the five albums that changed the life of guitarist Dallas Thomas ...

With Inter Arma and Spirit Adrift on Thursday, August 24 at 7 p.m., Club Congress, 311 congress St., $15, 21+.

1. Jimi Hendrix—Band of Gypsys

My first memories in life are hearing this record. It will always be fused in my subconscious somewhere. Not much else to be said about it. If you haven't listened to it in awhile you should ...

2. Neurosis—Times of Grace

I feel that this is one of the heaviest and best-sounding records of all time. The standard to which all heavy bands should strive.

3. Philip Glass—Koyaanisqatsi

This record really inspired me to learn more about music theory and think outside of the guitar. It shows how much mileage you get just standard modes, melodies and repetition.

4. The Jesus Lizard—Lair

Duane Dension is one of my all-time favorite guitar players. Every time I listen to this record it makes me want to go practice. The tones, arrangement and intentional musicianship are undeniable. Few bands can be a musical and mean as these guys were ...

5. Angelo Badalamenti—Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Had this on tape back in the '90s. This is the perfect soundtrack for night and long drives through the desert. For me it transcends the show ... It is a great education of how music can set a certain mood and keep you there.


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