mudcub (mudcub) wrote,

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Music You've Never Heard #46 To #50

46. Stakka Bo

Their hit was "Here We Go". Blink and you might have missed it. Though the song had a minor resurgence in a few films, usually in a montage sequences where the lead character falls in love or starts to exercise. What I thought was a stupid one-hit song (also see Len or Stereo MCs) turned out to be several albums of really thoughtful art rock with a beat. The guy behind the band, Swedish Johan Renck, has become a great film director. There's a lot of talent behind this stupid song, kind of like the Buggles.

47. Steeleye Span

Ok, now I've lost the point of this thread, and I'm just writing about bands I like. I hope you've heard of Steeleye Span. I initially bought their CD, because I thought it was a pun on "Steely Dan", and I really like Aja at the time. Little did I know that there was some amazing synchronicity in the works. I was just getting into renassiance fairs, and Steeleye Span were the masters of rock and roll english ballads. I have literally transcribed entire albums by this group - writing down the notes for each part, vocals, bass, and drums. The soul-lifting "Gaudete", for example. I can sing you entire albums worth of songs.

A few years ago, when asked what my favorite rocks bands in the world were, I would answer Steeleye Span, the Waterboys, and The Pogues. Even though I have heard a lot of music since then (today I would add XTC and Oingo Boingo and my favorite bands for starters), the celtic tattoo on my left bicep reminds me of the holy trinity. The music that I loved in college, that still beats strongly through my heart.

48. The Story/ Jonatha Brooke

I was at the Coachella music festival last weekend, and I lamented the fact that harmony is dead. So many bands had a single lead vocalist (or often, "lead tuneless-screamer"). Where has the art of harmony gone? Much less melody. And even if two guys sing together, it's usually "1-3" tracking, where they are singing the same line two notes apart.

Jonatha Brooke did something a bit different with her band, The Story. She and Jennifer Kimball create complex tuneful music, with intricate vocal lines wrapping around each other. Not afraid of dissonance, this was music like I had never heard: two women sounding more angelic than two guys ever could. But Jonatha's solo stuff also has meat - there are hard-rocking songs, but always always eminently singable. Jonatha's song "What You Don't Know" is the theme song of Josh Whedon's "Dollhouse" TV show, if you're a geek and need another point of reference. I'm a little sad Jonatha's solo stuff has no harmonies, but that just means I can sing a long and pretend I'm in the band.

49. The Suburbs

I knew the lead singer, "Beej" aka Blaine John Chaney. Or at least my dad did. He worked in a garage where my dad was an apprentice, learning to fix Porsche cars. This was a lengendary Minneapolis band, making incredibly original new wave thrash music. Their concerts were legendary, and several songs like "Love Is The Law" and "Rattle My Bones" became instant classics of the eighties. A shame that the band really went nowhere outside of the Twin City metropolitan area. But I was always proud of the fact that my hometown could produce such incredible never-before-heard music. And never heard again.

50. Superdrag

The band got together, had a minor hit in the nineties with "Sucked Out", saw their promising career fade, the lead singer started to drink, they broke up, and now they're back. But not as a one-off reunion tour. It looks like the original lineup is back to making tuneful poppy guitar rock. I am so happy. It's almost the exact same story as "Nada Surf", who Superdrag toured with a decade ago. Where are the new popwer pop bands of the new millenium? I'm still stuck on three chords and the truth, and I haven't heard anything recently I could bang my head to in an ironic way.

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