Friday, July 21, 2006

Indie Rock Pioneers

Today we focus out attention on two bands that built the foundation for most of what is called "indie" rock today.

The Jesus and Mary Chain sounded like nothing ever before. Take a pinch of 60's surf rock, mix it with some 70's psychedelia and add a whole bunch of feedback and you've got a totally original mix. A lot of bands (Black Rebel Motorcyle Club, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana) owe a debt the the Reid Brothers. As they got older their records mellowed considerably and the animosity between the two boys grew (think the Gallagher's but thicker accents) it became obvious the JAMC wasn't going to survive to old age. Commercially their high point came in 1989-1990 with back to back albums Automatic and Honeys Dead but most bands name check their earlier work. Included here are two tracks; "Some Candy Talking" which was never put on any album but a signature tune and a concert staple (I had a friend in college who was obsessed with these guys and claimed that they were the loudest concert he had ever been to) and "Blues From A Gun" which is a modern take on the blues that only they could do.

(mp3) Jesus and Mary Chain -- Some Candy Talking
(mp3) Jesus and Mary Chain -- Blues From A Gun

Pavement was one of those bands when I was in college that you liked if you wanted indie cred. Everyone in the know namechecked them as a badge of hipness. In retrospect it was of kind of dumb. But Pavement can still be considered one of the best early indie bands of the 80's and 90's. Stephen Malkmus reached indie rock deity status with their album Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, which is absolutely brilliant, but I have chose to focus on an earlier record 1991's Slanted and Enchanted. Their style of punk ethos with a slightly tuneless we don't really care attitude made them easily accesible to anyone who wanted to form a band. I remember seeinf them live and being amazed that even when one of their amps caught on fire they stil played as if the sound was totally intended. Here are two tracks for your listening pleasure, I am particularly fond of "Summer Babe"

(mp3) Pavement -- Summer Babe (Winter Version)
(mp3) Pavement -- Conduit for Sale!

1 comment:

cbro said...

you gotta throw the Pixies in there too. Cobain has claimed all he wanted to do was write a Pixie tune. Soft/loud/soft. It's all right there.

Great call on JAMC. They just reissued a bunch of their cds.