Friday, March 23, 2007

MML: Indie Rock Classics Vol. 1 (1985-1986)

With nothing planned for MML or the MySpace Listening Room this weekend, the decision was made to feature a few classic favorites from my teenage years. These 3 songs are part of a growing folder I've been keeping on my computer desktop for far too long. They were gathered here and there on various blogs and online music resource-type places over the past year or so. Don't expect much of an in depth discussion or lengthy banter on my part this time. There will be links for you to explore in order to get information and maybe even a better idea of how indie rock evolved from it's raucous beginnings. This is only the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series of multi-classic features to come. The pictures might not be from the exact year of each track, but it might amaze you that all of these albums/singles were released within one year of each other. Plenty of you are familiar with the tremendous impact these artists have had on the current crop of indie rock bands, and might agree that this is a good place to start for those just finding out about this music. If nothing else, enjoy the energy and noisy guitars in store for you this weekend.

Hüsker Dü - Celebrated Summer (1985)

I suppose just about any serious music fan has an artist they consider to be "the only band that ever really mattered" and this one is definitely mine. I discovered Hüsker Dü as a teen during the early 80's and am almost certain the song Whatever from the 1984 double album Zen Arcade was the first song that left me in a complete daze. The song featured today is from the 1985 release New Day Rising and is a favorite among most fans. Hüsker Dü was a power trio consisting of Bob Mould (guitar, vocals), Grant Hart (drums, vocals) and Greg Norton (bass) that formed in 1979 and are credited by many in defining the genre of alternative rock. For the most comprehensive history and collection of anything Hüsker Dü, check out this wonderful website maintained by Paul Hilcoff. If you click the links above, you will find both Bob and Grant have active solo music careers, while Greg runs his own restaurant. Also, given some free time is available this weekend, head out and pick up an old Hüsker Dü record or CD. You can still find them at the "good" music shops.

My Bloody Valentine - By The Danger In Your Eyes (1986)

To be honest (please don't laugh), It was late 2002 when I bought my first home computer. Before that time, I had no idea anyone even remembered My Bloody Valentine here in the states. If someone had asked me if I was a fan of MBV, they would have received a blank stare in response. Once I started browsing various musician forums, it was the greatest thing ever to see numerous arguments regarding what equipment, effects and chords were needed to re-create that original shoegaze sound. The featured song here is from the 1986 single/EP simply titled The New Record By My Bloody Valentine. There is a nicely done My Bloody Valentine Myspace Fan Page as well as an MBV Fansite which I remember having more downloads and fun stuff last time I visited. In recent developments, Kevin Shields made a statement I keep reading about where he mentions leaning towards a reunion and new release. As much as I love this band, please don't let it be so. Sometimes past accomplishments are better left to rest.

Squirrel Bait - Kid Dynamite (1986)

By far the least known band I will mention this time, Squirrel Bait was recognized as another one of the best post-punk/ post hardcore bands around during the mid to late 80's. Their short history maintains a sort of cult status among plenty of music geeks including myself. This Louisville, Kentucky based outfit received enormous praise from other emerging bands at the time while also keeping a certain level of credibility within the hardcore/punk community. For the complete story, you can check out this Ear Candy article on the band. There is also a Family Tree that might give you an idea where the members of Squirrel Bait traveled musically after they decided to call it quits in 1988. Since that time, I've loosely followed the solo career of Peter Searcy. His music takes a completely different folk direction these days, but those vocals are still some of the strongest out there. For more of the old stuff, pay a visit to this Squirrel Bait MySpace fan page.


cuddlefish said...

Squirrel Bait :)

Anonymous said...

Best post in a while man. I'd like to see MBV do it again but I know what you mean. It would suck if they were as bad as Buffalo Tom this past sxsw.

When is Michelle going to start reviewing old brit bands again?

Your KY neighbor, JT

mp3hugger said...

Personally I'd love a new MBV record, the evidence in Lost In Translation shows Mr Shields is still on top of his game.

Hairy Palm said...

Squirrel Bait + Poster Children = Nirvana