Ramon Medina's Matagorda Island Discs

In our third installment, we present the picks of Linus Pauling Quartet guitarist and Free Press Houston music critic Ramon Medina. (Ramon had better hope that there's a variety of playback devices down there.) Here are his picks, both of tunes and formats:

1) Deer Tick: War Elephant (CD). Horribly underappreciated by many, but I haven't been able to put it down.

2) Fripp and Eno: No Pussyfooting (LP). This is best played loud — really loud!

3) Gay Marriage: Self-titled (CDR). If someone ever releases this as a 7" EP, I will rank it up with the Party Owls 7" as a Houston landmark.

4) Hearts Of Animals: Lemming Baby (CDR). My copy is long lost, still one of the most unexpectedly wonderful things to come out of Houston. I dream of a ­follow-up.

5) Jana Hunter: There Is No Home (LP). Laid-back, confident and droll — everything I love about Jana. 

6) The Minutemen: Double Nickels on The Dime (2XLP). The greatest double LP ever. Not one bad song in the lot, and it plays with energy and wit throughout.

7) Party Owls: Rock Out EP (7"). This is the holy grail of all music!

8) Really Red: Rest in Pain/Teaching You the Fear (CD). Confrontational, aggressive and even arty at times, this was the band that showed me that punk wasn't just something happening elsewhere, but right here in Houston. 

9) Reigning Sound: Time Bomb High School (LP). You can't be human and not love Greg Cartwright's ability to make rock and roll tropes rock or just rip your heart out.

10) Replacements/Paul Westerberg (mix tape) (K7). The godhead of all bands — at least everything through Pleased to Meet Me. Paul Westerberg's solo stuff may be spotty, but there are always some amazing gems hidden in there.

If they are serving martinis, then I'll have to add Jimmy Smith's The Sermon (LP or the Rudy Van Gelder remastered CD) as a bonus album. If you've done martinis at Warren's, you'll know what I mean.

(Want your own picks to appear in this space? Send them to [email protected]. You can write about your picks as much or as little as you want.)

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