Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
CAN Tago Mago (United Artists)
Can! What? Named after a verb meaning "know how to" or "be able to" and/or a noun meaning "a usually cylindrical receptacle,"* Can are what is known as "krautrock," a sort-of genre that's just a name for late-'60s German rock. The first important thing about Can, if you are a music dummy, is that people think they're important. For instance, at least half the bands I've written about for this column famously love Can (Siouxsie and the Banshees, Suicide, PiL, Brian Eno).
Also, let's talk about this album cover. IT IS SO GREAT! The typeface, the curlicue brains, the speech bubble, the big orange head... amazing.
The album begins with little wormy guitar tickles, then a psychedelic waowmp intro. I can't tell if/when they are speaking English. But I do think that drums are the centerpiece of krautrock. In fact, there is an 18-minute song on this album that is basically just drums. There's some rock piano, of which I heartily approve. Also, at some point, they sing about a snowman. I swear.