Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Sixties, Eighties style

Okay, this Wednesday I figured I'd break from French music and posts some YouTube clips of bands from the good ol' YEW ESS AAY!

One of my favorite bits from an old issue of Daniel Clowes' Eightball comic where he was giving predictions of the future. One of his prognostications was that rather than have anything new, nostalgia for past decades would just rehashed endlessly. He illustrated this with an amusing fight between a guy who liked the Seventies version of the Fifties (Like "Happy Days") and a guy who prefered the Eighties version of the Fifties. (Like the Stray Cats)

I'm as guilty of this as anyone...but hey, it's fun! So I figured I'd post some examples of the Sixties as interpreted by the Eighties. It's weird to think of the juxtaposition of the two decades, as the Eighties seemed on some level like a refutation of the Sixties. It's worth remembering that inbetween New Wave, Hair Metal and Early Rap there was also a fair amount of 60's nostalgia. Tie-Die and paisley shirts made their brief comebacks, the Monkees reunited and the Grateful Dead finally had a hit single. Here's some examples of bands that made new music with an Aquarian twist, known under the all encompassing monker "The Paisley Underground":

First up, The Three O'Clock. These guys started out as a somewhat punkier outfit called The Salvation Army...until the well known charity group called foul. The band gradually developed a more psychedelic pop sound, sort of like the Lemon Pipers but with modern synthesizers. Like their contemporaries The Bangles the got a major labeol deal and had Prince writing them material. Unlike The Bangles, this effort (Which lacked a lot of their signature sound.) totally tanked and the band broke up. Check out lead singer Michael Quercio's bitchin' Partridge Family outfit. (He actually looks a bit like a teen idol version of "Z-Man" from the movie BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS.)

Next up is The Long Ryders. These guys were an example of the "Roots Rock" movement of the time that drew inspiration from bands like The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. The band seemed poised for a larger audience, but took a hit authenticity-wise when they and fellow roots rockers The Del-Fuegos appeared in a series of Miller Beer commercials ("Miller's made the American waaaaay!") and they too disbanded before the decade's end. (Although they have recently reunited for some gigs.) Watching this vid, I can see they have the Peter Tork mop top hair shake down to a science.

Finally, representing the Garage Rock Revival, we have The Chesterfield Kings. Unlike the two preceding bands, The Chesterfield Kings never had a major label record...which ironically may be why they never broke up. Bands like these paved the way for the plethora of "The" bands of recent years, too bad they never saw all that cash.

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