Music Bank

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Green on Red

Posted on May 11, 2022 in 80s, Alt-country, ALTERNATIVE, Americana, Country Rock, Indie

Always wary of their paisley underground tag, it was only Green on Red’s debut EP that leaned on the psychedelic sounds of the ’60s before they traded it in for a boozy, all-American sound. They have been credited as latter-day forbears to the No Depression sound forged by Wilco and Son Volt. Singer and songwriter Dan Stuart, Chris Cacavas (keyboards), and Jack Waterson (bass) formed their first group in Tucson, AZ, in 1979. After the band relocated to L.A., drummer Alex MacNicol joined up and Green on Red released their debut EP on Steve Wynn’s Down There label in 1982…

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The Blue Aeroplanes

Posted on May 1, 2022 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie, Post-punk

The Blue Aeroplanes are an art rock group from Bristol, England, that has drawn comparisons to critically acclaimed rock bands like the Velvet Underground because of their eclectic style and the songwriting sensibility of group leader Gerard Langley. The original core of the band included Langley’s brother John on drums, Nick Jacobs on guitar, and multi-instrumentalist Dave Chapman. However, personnel other than Langley has varied, and (on both records and in performances) they have always been augmented by a large cast of semi-regular sidemen…

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Guitar Slim

Posted on Apr 25, 2022 in 50s, BLUES, Rhythm & Blues

No 1950s blues guitarist even came close to equaling the flamboyant Guitar Slim in the showmanship department. Armed with an estimated 350 feet of cord between his axe and his amp, Slim would confidently stride on-stage wearing a garishly hued suit of red, blue, or green, usually with his hair dyed to match! It’s rare to find a blues guitarist hailing from Texas or Louisiana who doesn’t cite Slim as one of his principal influences: Buddy Guy, Earl King, Guitar Shorty, Albert Collins, Chick Willis, and plenty more have enthusiastically testified to Slim’s enduring sway…

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Emmylou Harris

Posted on Apr 8, 2022 in 70s, Alt-country, Country Rock, COUNTRY/FOLK, Singer/Songwriter

Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, few artists had as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. She traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of “cosmic American music” passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons, which made a profound mark on both country and rock. Beginning as a folk singer in New York City, Harris released her first album in 1970, only to see it disappear with the bankruptcy of her record label. But a year later, she was playing a folk club in Washington D.C. when Chris Hillman saw her perform, and he recommended her to his former bandmate Gram Parsons…

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Richard Buckner

Posted on Mar 31, 2022 in 90s, Alt-country, Americana, COUNTRY/FOLK, Singer/Songwriter

This husky-voiced country-folk singer/songwriter is very much in the mold of the Lubbock, Texas, school of mavericks, including Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Richard Buckner is actually based in San Francisco, but the Lubbock connection is no accident. His debut album, Bloomed, was recorded in Lubbock, for one thing, with producer Lloyd Maines, who has also worked with Hancock, Allen, Joe Ely, and Uncle Tupelo…

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Don and Dewey

Posted on Mar 24, 2022 in 50s, Rock 'n' Roll, ROCK/POP

Wailing in tandem like twin Little Richards, Don & Dewey cut numerous blistering rockers for Specialty from 1957 to 1959 without registering a single hit, only to see other acts revive their songs to much greater acclaim. Don Harris (b. 1938) and Dewey Terry (b. 1938) were born and raised in Pasadena, CA, joining a group called the Squires and recording for Vita before branching off on their own. Their Specialty output included the savage rockers “Jungle Hop,” “Koko Joe” (written by Sonny Bono), and “Justine,” the latter pair later covered by the Righteous Brothers…

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The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Posted on Mar 18, 2022 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie

The ever-evolving musical vehicle for notorious psych-rock brain trust Anton Newcombe, the Brian Jonestown Massacre has endured numerous phases and iterations since arriving in the mid-’90s, becoming something of an independent institution in the process. Early highlights like 1996’s Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request showed Newcombe’s propensity for melding late-’60s psychedelia with textured shoegaze, while later standouts like 2015’s imaginary soundtrack Musique de Film Imaginé took a more cerebral and experimental approach. Undoubtedly, their most visible period followed the release of the 2004 documentary film DIG!…

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Game Theory

Posted on Mar 8, 2022 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie, Power pop

A singularly intelligent and imaginative pop band, Game Theory attracted little more than an enthusiastic cult following during their original lifespan of 1982 to 1990. But the band’s hooky yet unconventional melodies, literate and often witty lyrics, and crafty approach to arrangements and aural montage set them far apart from their peers, and Game Theory proved to be strongly influential long after the group broke up…

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The Walker Brothers

Posted on Mar 2, 2022 in 60s, ROCK/POP

They weren’t British, they weren’t brothers, and their real names weren’t Walker, but Californians Scott Engel, John Maus, and Gary Leeds were briefly huge stars in England (and small ones in their native land) at the peak of the British Invasion. Engel and Maus were playing together in Hollywood when drummer Leeds suggested they form a trio and try to make it in England. And they did — with surprising swiftness, they hit the top of the British charts with “Make It Easy on Yourself” in 1965. “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” repeated the feat the following year…

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The Turtles

Posted on Feb 24, 2022 in 60s, Folk Rock, ROCK/POP

Though many remember only their 1967 hit, “Happy Together,” the Turtles were one of the more enjoyable American pop groups of the ’60s, moving from folk-rock inspired by the Byrds to a sparkling fusion of Zombies-inspired chamber pop and straight-ahead, good-time pop reminiscent of the Lovin’ Spoonful, the whole infused with beautiful vocal harmonies courtesy of dual frontmen Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman…

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