Music Bank

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The Janitors

Posted on Apr 12, 2024 in 00s, ALTERNATIVE, Experimental, Post-rock, Psychedelic

Stockholm outfit The Janitors have been a formidable presence on the European underground since they formed back in 2004. Channeling the freewheeling spirit of Hawkwind with equal smatterings of Sabbath and Spacemen 3, the band are masters of taking hold of a gnarly fuzzed out groove and beating it within an inch of its life. Probably not for the faint of heart, their druggy wig-outs are totally relentless and unforgiving…

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The Vernons Girls

Posted on Apr 4, 2024 in 60s, ROCK/POP

The Vernons Girls were an English musical ensemble of female vocalists. They were formed at the Vernons football pools company in the 1950s in Liverpool, settling down to a sixteen strong choir and recording an album of standards. As a 16-piece vocal group, the Vernons Girls appeared on the ITV show ‘Oh Boy!’ with the house band between 1958 and 1959, and made a series of relatively successful singles for the label Parlophone between 1958 and 1961…

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Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci

Posted on Mar 28, 2024 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Folk Rock, Indie, Psychedelic Folk

Sounding like a bizarrely sweet and whimsical cross between progressive rock, psychedelia, and pure pop, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci were one of the most original and distinctive bands to emerge from the vital post-Brit-pop Welsh scene of the mid-’90s. Gorky’s music followed unconventional time signatures and structures, as well as instrumentation (boasting everything from droning moog synthesizers to slurring trombones and steel guitars) and melodic patterns…

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Justin Currie

Posted on Mar 23, 2024 in 00s, Power pop, ROCK/POP, Singer/Songwriter

Singer/songwriter Justin Currie was born in Scotland on December 11, 1964. As the bassist/vocalist/chief songwriter for Scottish folk-pop outfit Del Amitri, the Glasgow native released six full-length records between 1982 and 2002 before embarking on a solo career. Currie’s proven gift for infectious melodies paired with wry, earnest, and occasionally barbed lyrics carried over to his solo work as well…

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Robert Forster

Posted on Mar 18, 2024 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie, Singer/Songwriter

Although commonly considered the darker, artier half of the creative force of the Go-Betweens — the Lennon to Grant McLennan’s McCartney, as it were — singer, songwriter, and guitarist Robert Forster has a knack for crafty pop songs along with the brooding ballads he contributed to the Go-Betweens’ albums, while his solo career — that began with 1990’s Danger in the Past — blended a healthy mix of both styles…

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Etta James

Posted on Mar 12, 2024 in 60s, BLUES, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, SOUL

Few female R&B stars enjoyed the kind of consistent acclaim Etta James received throughout a career that spanned six decades; the celebrated producer Jerry Wexler once called her “the greatest of all modern blues singers,” and she recorded a number of enduring hits, including “At Last,” “Tell Mama,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and “All I Could Do Was Cry.” At the same time, despite possessing one of the most powerful voices in music, James only belatedly gained the attention of the mainstream audience, appearing rarely on the pop charts despite scoring 30 R&B hits…

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Ben Folds Five

Posted on Mar 8, 2024 in 90s, Power pop, ROCK/POP

Led by the pop-minded prowess of their namesake frontman, Ben Folds Five dispelled any misgivings about a band’s ability to rock without guitars. Calling themselves “punk rock for sissies,” the Chapel Hill natives were often grouped with the nerd rock movement of the mid-’90s, although their debt to jazz music — not to mention Ben Folds’ acerbic spin on the classic pianist/songwriter tradition — ensured the trio a long-lasting legacy after their split in October 2000…

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The Triffids

Posted on Mar 4, 2024 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie

Australian folk-pop band the Triffids was formed in Perth in 1980 by singer/songwriter David McComb, his guitarist/violinist brother Robert, and drummer Alsy MacDonald. Although chiefly influenced by the Velvet Underground, McComb’s songs also drew heavily on the stark desolation of his rural upbringing, incorporating elements of country and blues to paint haunting portraits of isolation and longing…

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Jesse Belvin

Posted on Feb 27, 2024 in 50s, Doo-wop, Rhythm & Blues, SOUL

While not nearly as well remembered by the general public as either Sam Cooke or Otis Redding, singer Jesse Belvin was in many regards a performer of equal stature whose career was also cut far too short by tragedy. At the time of his death, Belvin was moving in the much the same direction as Cooke (he was even on the same record label, although signed earlier), and was scoring and writing hits long before Redding ever cut a record…

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Manic Street Preachers

Posted on Feb 20, 2024 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Britpop, Post-punk, ROCK/POP

Manic Street Preachers emerged at the dawn of the 1990s as a fiery rebuke of the placid state of British indie rock, a scene that grew to favor the swirling solipsism of shoegaze and the neo-psychedelia of acid house. Inspired by the provocative punk of the Clash and the heavy glam of Guns N’ Roses, the Manics wedded leftist politics with arena-filling guitar riffs, a combination that made them irresistible to the British rock press of the ’90s…

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