Features

Criminally Underrated Music

Fred Armisen Shares His Favorite Unsung Albums. Go ahead, fan out on the ''Portlandia'' star and ''Late Night With Seth Meyers'' bandleader's picks.

Image credit: MATTHEW SALACUSE for EW

Fred Armisen photographed on March 5, 2014, at Other Music in New York City

Go ahead, fan out on the Portlandia star and Late Night With Seth Meyers bandleader's picks. ''This is the best list!'' he says. ''I always agree with my own tastes.''

1. Klark Kent
Music Madness From The Kinetic Kid, 1980
''This is actually Stewart Copeland from the Police. Such a good punk/new-wave album. I wish that he'd put out more records as Klark Kent, I would've bought them all.''

2. Rickie Lee Jones
Pirates, 1981
''Man, Rickie Lee Jones. She has a very New York sound, even though I think she's L.A.; it sort of sounds like she's talking. When I was at the School of Visual Arts, I saw the movie Subway and they threw 'Lucky Guy' in there, so that's how I got turned on to her.''

3. The Style Council
Our Favourite Shop, 1985
''When someone reinvents themselves, those first moments are great. Paul Weller was coming from the Jam, and he's in there deep.''

4. Wendy & Lisa
Wendy And Lisa, 1987
''They left Prince's backing band but kept making music. I like the sound of it. I like the look of it. It's positive and fun and very of the time.''

5. Lungfish
Talking Songs For Walking, 1992
''Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr. — all the bands from that scene get celebrated, and rightly so, but Lungfish defied all of that. The singer had this big beard and he was very charismatic and majestic. I was hypnotized.''

6. Paul McCartney/Super Furry Animals
Liverpool Sound Collage, 2000
''I mean, Paul McCartney is huge. He didn't have to do this. It uses samples of the Beatles — and he's a Beatle! But it's just really cool, very heavy, very experimental.''

7. Metallic Falcons
Desert Doughnuts, 2006
''A lot of bands try to be scary, but this really is spooky. It's got the right kind of blackness, mixed with the desert.''

8. Holy Sons
Survivalist Tales!, 2010
''It's melancholy without being too bittersweet. I remember listening to 'A Chapter Must Be Closed' as my time on SNL was coming to an end.''

Originally posted Mar 13, 2014 Published in issue #1303 Mar 21, 2014 Order article reprints
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