Music Article

12 CDs You Gotta Get

Jason Lee lists 12 must-have CDs. The former pro skater urges you to get albums by Cocteau Twins, Midlake, Nick Drake, and more

1 COCTEAU TWINS Blue Bell Knoll 1988 (4AD) ''When I was 18 (1988), my girlfriend gave me this CD for my birthday. She was way ahead of the curve when it came to music. I wasn't. It's still my favorite album of all time.''

2 MIDLAKE Bamnan and Slivercork 2004 (Bella Union) ''A five-piece band from Denton, Texas, that makes incredibly amazing music. There hasn't been a week since I've had the CD that I haven't listened to it, and I got it over a year ago.''

3 NICK DRAKE Bryter Layter 1970 (Universal) ''A genius, a real genius. It's sad to think that with how good he was, and for so long, it would take a VW commercial, of all things, to bring him to the public eye.''

4 MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue 1959 (Columbia/Legacy)''Like a great, classic film. And as with great, classic films, all you want to do is watch them over and over.''

5 EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place 2003 (Temporary Residence)''Another Texas band. Triumphant, classical-like compositions that would make the likes of Beethoven proud.''

6 INTERPOL Turn On the Bright Lights 2002 (MATADOR) ''When this came out, being the skeptical dude that I am when it comes to 'what's hot,' I didn't bite. A long time later, I bought it. Am I happy that I did? Absolutely.''

7 BECK Sea Change 2002 (DGC/Interscope) ''I don't want to label this one as just a great road-trip album, but it has that quality, especially 'The Golden Age.'''

8 BOB DYLAN Desire 1976 (Columbia) ''Speaking of great road-trip albums, this is a great piece of music to listen to while driving somewhere through the desert on a hot summer day...with the windows rolled down.''

9 RADIOHEAD Kid A 2000 (Capitol) ''As much as I like OK Computer, Kid A grew on me the way no other Radiohead album had.''

10 GRANDADDY The Sophtware Slump 2000 (V2)''The opening track, 'He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot,' absolutely blew my mind when I first heard it. It was from this track that my wife, Beth, came up with the name Pilot for our son.''

11 SIGUR RÓS Agætis Byrjun 2001 (Pias) ''The singer plays the guitar with a bow and sings in a way that you'd think he was female. A beautiful and very unique sound.''

12 BJORK Vespertine 2001 (Elektra) ''It's very simply a perfect album from start to finish, and one that somehow makes me envious. I mean, how can one be that good?''

The pro skater-turned-Almost Famous star's new sitcom, My Name Is Earl, premieres on NBC on Sept. 20.

Originally posted Aug 26, 2005 Published in issue #837 Sep 02, 2005 Order article reprints