Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
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.


  • 1
I do need to pick up some Steeleye Span...I know they have ties and are similar to Fairport Convention.

I thought Gaudete was a Gregorian chant, or a madrigal? We sang it in Philandros, I think..... I know I've performed it SOMETIME!

I thought she was saying, "Steel Ice Band", when Susan Whatsename (mighta been Byers... the ONLY harpsichord major at BU, she'd always remind you) mentioned them, back in '73(!). Do they do a version of, "Fire and Fleet and Candlelight"? Susan would sing that in the dorm, with her eyes rolled nback, like she was having a seizure! I only knew the Buffy Sainte Marie version, so if I sang it, too, it was dreadfully dissonant!

Pissing her off was it's own reward!

"Fire and Fleet and Candlelight"? Nope, that's not them. They've done lots of other great stuff, though.

Au contraire mon frere

The Suburbs EP (Twin/Tone 1978)
In Combo (Twin/Tone 1980)
Credit In Heaven (Twin/Tone 1981)
"Music For Boys" (Twin/Tone 1982)
Dream Hog EP (Twin/Tone 1982)
Love Is The Law (Mercury/Polygram 1983)

all of these, in the original vinyl are in my record collection

there have been others on your lists, but these guys were part of my high school soundtrack

Re: Au contraire mon frere

St. Cloud State! No fair! Yer a local... that doesn't count {grin}

Re: Au contraire mon frere

mine, too :-)

Just the one Steeleye Span? Not 'Now We are Six'? tsk tsk

No! I own 'em all... icluding some rare stuff, Sir!

I think we got the point after a minute or so into the clip. There is such a thing as over-cow - I mean, kill! Uggh.

I definitely need some Steeleye Span. I’m definitely getting more into folk music, as evidenced by a recent weekly playlist which included albums by Jean Ritchie, Clannad, Gryphon and Lesley Duncan. SS would fit into that grouping quite neatly.

I remember distinctly seeing the video to the Suburbs’ “Love Is the Law” on MTV back in the day when they used to show music of all stripes and genres (well, music at all, really).

Oh, and don’t forget this video. I get a little “extra” enjoyment out of it that’s not strictly musical:

Darlin', I've been listening to Steeleye Span since, oh, 1982, at least. I think I have every album up to Babylon. Check out the albums that Maddy Prior has done with June Tabor, Silly Sisters and Silly Sisters: No More to the Dance. Then check out June Tabor's An Echo of Hooves and also Airs and Graces for some of the best traditional British folk music ever. She's considered one of the best interpreters of the Child ballads alive. Also, her first album with Prior (Silly Sisters) is considered to be one of the best examples of traditional folk music ever recorded, sort of the standard to which everyone aspires. Talk about amazing harmonies.

When Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball formed The Story, they were a local Boston band, and I think I saw them perform 8 or 9 times at local venues. After their second album, Jonatha decided to go solo. I still like her music, but I miss the tight harmonies they used to produce. Jennifer still performs sometimes around Boston.

  • 1