Music Bank

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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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Young Jessie

Posted on Feb 13, 2024 in 50s, Jump Blues, Rhythm & Blues, SOUL

The Los Angeles R&B vocal group scene of the 1950s was a fairly incestuous one — members flitted from one aggregation to the next, often sporting several connections at the time. Young Jessie was a member of the Flairs, Hunters, and Coasters, as well as scoring a solo West Coast hit with his 1955 rocker Mary Lou. Obediah Jessie was a Los Angeles high-school classmate of Richard “Louie Louie” Berry. The two put together the Flairs and debuted on the Bihari Brothers’ Flair label in 1953 with She Wants to Rock…

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Chris Difford

Posted on Feb 6, 2024 in 00s, ROCK/POP, Singer/Songwriter

After the break-up of Squeeze in 1983, Chris Difford continued writing songs for artists such as Jools Holland, Helen Shapiro, Elvis Costello. He has also written lyrics for music by Jools Holland, Elton John, Wet Wet Wet and others. He launched a solo career in 2003 with his album ‘I Didn’t Get Where I Am’…

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Taylor Swift

Posted on Jan 30, 2024 in 00s, ROCK/POP, Singer/Songwriter

Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomena: a superstar who managed to completely cross over from country to the mainstream, becoming an enduring pop culture icon and conquering the world in the process. Swift shed her country roots like they were a second skin, revealing that she was perhaps the savviest populist singer/songwriter of her generation…

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Joe Jackson

Posted on Jan 23, 2024 in 70s, New Wave, Post-punk, ROCK/POP, Singer/Songwriter

Arriving in the middle of the rush of angry young men during the late 1970s, Joe Jackson swiftly established himself as one the great unpredictable talents to emerge during rock’s new wave. Initially playing nervy, punk-inspired pop/rock — his breakthrough single “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” married a smooth melody with barbed lyrics, the racket of “I’m the Man” rivalled the Clash — Jackson branched out into reggae and jump blues before settling into the sophisticated songsmith of Night & Day…

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