Garage bands from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas may have stood in the shadow of those from Chicago and Detroit, but they forged an exciting scene nonetheless. Check out thirty garage classics from those states on this feature.
Florida garage bands of the sixties refused to be pigeonholed; instead, they represented a wildly diverse state through sounds that were alternately rustic, cosmopolitan, spontaneous, and refined. Check out some of the best of them in this introductory feature.
Texas bands of the mid-sixties frequently pushed beyond the generally-accepted boundaries of rock music, and what they created collectively was virtually unprecedented. Get acquainted with Texas Punk in this introductory article and playlist.
Garage bands from Chicago and the rest of the Lower Midwest carved out a unique style that reflected the region’s reputation as the crossroads of America. Explore their sound in this introductory feature.
Garage bands from New England forged their own unique sound during the sixties: one that often mixed jangly guitars, strong melodies, and melancholic lyrics to create miniature masterpieces. Explore the best that the scene had to offer in this introductory article and playlist.
With a potent combination of hooks, grittiness, and volume, bands of the Pacific Northwest created their own unique brand of garage rock in the sixties. Check out our crash course on this exciting scene.
All Stephen Malkmus has done since the dissolution of Pavement over twenty years ago is craft nine albums of generally-excellent quality. If you’ve missed out on his solo career, this playlist/article will help get you up to speed.
Though the frequent characterization as a “Pavement side project” is both misleading and reductive, Silver Jews’ connection to Pavement is central to both band’s legacies. Discover the work of Silver Jews’ leader, David Berman, in this introductory article/playlist.
From the beginning of electrified sound recording in 1925, to the recording ban ushered in by World War II, a wealth of remarkable music was captured by artists working in the so-called “country blues” style. From the mournful tones of the Mississippi Delta, to the folky strains of the Piedmont region, to the sparse sounds of Texas, a diverse and rewarding range of regional blues variants emerged. This feature seeks to collect just a handful of the many highlights of this rich era of American music.
Launched in 2004, the Numero Group’s flagship “Eccentric Soul” series captures some of the great lost gems of the sixties and seventies. Now at twenty-seven volumes, it provides an absolute treasure trove of soul deep cuts. Discover over two-dozen highlights of the series with our introductory playlist and article.
Split between outposts in Denver, Colorado and Athens, Georgia, the Elephant 6 collective combined sixties-inspired pop craftsmanship, freewheeling artistic experimentation, and homespun production techniques into an often-thrilling package. Discover the best of what the E6 scene had to offer with our introductory playlist and article.
Initially appearing as a more youthful update on the sophisticated chanson stylings of the previous generation, the yé-yé scene eventually incorporated the livelier motifs of garage rock and psychedelia. Discover the best of what the yé-yé girls have to offer with our introductory playlist and article.
Lee “Scratch” Perry was a musical giant – a producer, singer, songwriter, and general embodiment of human creativity. While Bob Marley will always be Jamaica’s most iconic musical ambassador, Perry was arguably its most visionary figure. From his emergence in the mid-sixties, up until the point of his death, “Scratch” was the mind behind many of reggae music’s most beloved recordings. Discover the most rewarding period of his career with our introductory article and playlist.
Few musical scenes have ever burned as briefly, brightly, or brilliantly as Brazil’s Tropicalismo movement. Essentially emerging in March of 1968 with the arrival of singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso’s self-titled second album, Tropicália would be effectively dead within a year. While most musical movements die out as a result of changing tastes and/or the arrival of shinier new objects of cultural intrigue, the downfall of Tropicália was a consequence of something far more nefarious. Discover the rise and fall of this most rewarding of scenes with our introductory article and playlist.
Like all quickly-emergent trends, the myriad films and soundtracks that arrived on the heels of ‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’ and ‘Shaft’ yielded both gems and bombs. In some cases, lackluster movies produced transcendent music – most notably the 1972 film ‘Superfly,’ and its corresponding soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield. In others, excellent tracks – often instrumentals – were hidden behind hackneyed theme songs. This playlist seeks to separate at least some of the wheat from the chaff of blaxploitation soundtracks, highlighting twenty songs that stand alongside the best soul music produced during the first half of the 1970s.
It’s the mid-twentieth century, and America is locked in an existential Cold War with the Soviet Union. At the center of this conflict of superpowers is the so-called “Space Race.” While the true origins of both nations’ thirst for space exploration were founded in purposes of both a defensive and offensive nature, the social, cultural, and economic implications of journeying beyond the Earth’s atmosphere created a level of excitement among the American people that is hard to imagine today. Everywhere one turned, they were bombarded with images of a future that had once seemed like science fiction, but that now felt so tantalizingly possible. Film, literature, television, advertising, and fashion reflected this fascination. Music was no different.
In terms of “kitsch-factor,” few – if any – genres in the history of popular music can compare to exotica. Arriving at the peak of post-war affluence, exotica was an often-fascinating blend of high concept and low – or at least questionable – taste. While its main practitioners were undoubtedly gifted songwriters, arrangers, and performers, even the genre’s finest exemplars mixed inspired soundscapes with a worldview that was short-sighted at best, and exploitive at worst. Still, no examination of American pop culture of the mid-twentieth century would be complete without at least a cursory glance at this intriguing – and often charming – fad.