Posted by: chartroose | April 3, 2009

Favorite Bands Meme – Part 5 – The Best of the Rest

I just can’t leave this alone!  There are too many great bands out there to simply do an A-Z compilation and leave it at that, so here are some of the rest of my favorites:

Placebo

“I feel very comfortable with the way I look, and I feel very comfortable with the kind of confusion that it creates in people’s minds.
~Brian Molko~

I was blown away by Brian Molko’s compellingly distinctive voice the first time I heard him sing, and as I learned more about the band, I grew to appreciate what they were telling the world:  that it’s okay to be an “alternative” person if you’re a man; that you deserve respect whether you’re gay or straight (or bisexual, like Molko); and that nobody has the right to make you feel guilty about the life you choose to live.

“…You’re too complicated, we should separate it.
You’re just confiscated, you’re exasperating.
This degeneration, mental masturbation.
Think I’ll leave it all behind,
Save this bleeding heart of mine.

It’s a matter of trust
Because
You don’t care about us…”
You Don’t Care About Us, 1998

And here’s a great Placebo video:

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The Bronski Beat

I can still remember the first time I heard “Smalltown Boy.”  Even though it’s a song about the isolation and heartbreak that young gay men had to suffer through back in the day, it spoke to me.  I’ve always been able to relate to gay men very well, because I feel that women and gay men are often marginalized and dismissed, or worse, cruelly mistreated by the teeming hordes of ignorant schlubs out there who must hate, hate, hate in order to feel like their pathetic little lives have meaning.

Anyway, these guys were brilliant, even though they only had a few hits.  Jimmy Somerville is still performing today.  Here are some lyrics from “Why” (1984).  It still makes me sad.

“Contempt in your eyes
As I turn to kiss his lips,
Broken I lie,
All my feelings denied,
Blood on your fist.
Can you tell me why?

You in your false securities
Tear up my life;
Condemning me.
Name me an illness,
Call me a sin,
Never feel guilty,
Never give in.
Tell me why?

You and me together
Fighting for our love
Can you tell me why?”

Here is a video of Smalltown Boy.  It was hard to find a non-remixed version.

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The Aluminum Group

I first heard the Navin brothers singing a song about a bicycle on NPR a couple of years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  They sort of remind me of a retro ’60’s harmonizing group like “The Association,” but their lyrics are a thousand times better.  These dudes are cooool, and they’re smooooth.  I love that jazzy, synth-pop sound!

Post-It™ (2008)

“…Happy with this lipstick?
Are you happy, are you glad?
Are your eyes like Cleopatra’s
And has history gone mad?
When you open up your compact,
It’s a question that you have:
Can follicles this wonderful
Be bothered or be asked?”

Here’s a video of “Headphones”

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Phoenix

Several of these guys from Versailles have been friends since they were young boys.  They started fooling around with music in secondary school.  Originally wanting to be a studio band, the members soon found themselves cast into the spotlight because of their inceasingly popular retro appeal, so they began touring in the nineties.

I enjoy listening to Phoenix, and I do it often because the band seems to enjoy experimenting with may different sounds, from synth pop to country to light jazz.  Their newest album is due out in May.

Their videos are copyright restricted, so I cant embed one in this post.  Blah!

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The Cure

Ahh, Robert Smith–a true legend since the late ’70’s.  I think of The Cure as the first emo band, and Robert Smith is the first (and the best) angsty goth singer to hit the big time.  He is the one constant in this ever-changing group of musicians, and he has never compromised on anything.

The Cure has been remarkably successful; selling almost 30 million albums over the course of Smith’s career.  My favorite album is “Disintegration” (1989).  Smith purposely used LSD while making this album because he felt that the band was becoming too commercial and he was getting too old to come up with new innovations.  The resultant album is quite extraordinary, and I still listen to parts of it when I’m in an Eeyore state of mind.

“..Oh I miss the kiss of treachery,
The aching kiss before I feed,
The stench of a love for a younger meat,
And the sound that it makes,
When it cuts in deep…
The holding up on bended knees,
The addiction of duplicities,
As bit by bit it starts the need
To just let go
My party piece.
Disintegration, 1989

Cure videos are also restricted, but I managed to find a fairly decent live performance.

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The Prodigy

Once again, it’s back to electronica, but not your everyday brand of electronica.  The Prodigy guys are in a class by themselves, because their music is a blend of rock, punk, hardcore, speedcore and metal all rolled into one.  They refuse to perform in the U.S. now, due to the fact that their 1997 album (The Fat of the Land) containing the controversial single “Smack My Bitch Up,” was banned by some of our larger retailers.  There was also an incident during a Beastie Boys concert where the two bands got into an argument about playing the song.  The Prodigy played the song anyway and offended our morality police.  Personally, I don’t care about the silly lyrics, which are just used to back up the beat anyway.  Cripes, this is electronica, folks!

Here’s “Firestarter” for you to enjoy:

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The Smiths

I remember being so angry with Morrissey when this phenomenal group broke up that I wanted to track him down and scream obscenities at him.  How dare The Smiths split!  Who did Morrissey think he was, wanting to go solo and leave his bandmates (like the awesome Johnny Marr) behind?  He had become too big for his britches, and it was a terrible shame because they were one of the best British bands to ever gain recognition in the U. S.  Their lyrics are often bleak and depressing, but if you think about them for awhile, you realize that many of them are tongue-in-cheek–biting and humorous.

Here’s an example:

“Hand in glove
the sun shines out of our behinds…”

And another:

“I would go out tonight
but I haven’t got a stitch to wear
this man said “It’s gruesome
that someone so handsome should care…”

And another:

“Frankly, Mr Shankly, since you ask
You are a flatulent pain the ass.
I do not mean to be so rude
But still, I must speak frankly, Mr Shankly,
give us money.”

There are stupid restrictions on The Smiths, too, so here is a fan vid:

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Responses

  1. You have excellent taste. I love what you wrote about Placebo in particular. And the fact that Moz has a sense of humour is so often misunderstood.

  2. […] chartroose added an interesting post on Favorite Bands Meme – Part 5 – The Best of the Rest « Bloody Hell …Here’s a small excerptI was blown away by Brian Molko’s compellingly distinctive voice the first time I heard him sing, and as I learned more about the band, I grew to appreciate what they were telling the world: that it’s okay to be an “alternative” person … […]

  3. Thanks, Nymeth!

  4. I have appreciated this music education class, thank you. I’ve only heard of The Cure and The Smiths, so I’ll go listen now to your recommendations.

  5. I must say I liked The Aluminum Group the best. Very nice.

  6. Morrissey’s lyrics are some of my favorites.

    And I LOVE Placebo. Molko’s voice sends shivers down my spine (nice ones).

  7. wow…you have such esoteric tastes! like care, i haven’t heard of any of these bands with the exception of the cure and the smiths…i’m a child of the 80s…maybe i’m too old for the other bands??!? i love the cure though…pictures of you is my favorite.

  8. […] M-E-C – Music News added an interesting post today on Favorite Bands Meme – Part 5 – The Best of the RestHere’s a small readingI just can’t leave this alone!  There are too many great bands out there to simply do an A-Z compilation and leave it at that, so here are… […]

  9. God, I love the Cure. Just reading those lyrics makes me want to go find someplace where it rains and veg out and get depressed and listen to that gorgeously dark album.

    And the Smiths…love them, too. I think I need to go back through your posts and get some new music! 🙂

  10. actually the prodigy was on a small tour in the u.s. just now and they will return for a full on tour in may in the u.s.

  11. Some nice choices there. Ah, placebo. Ah, bronski beat (but most particularly Jimmy). Ah, the prodigy. I must admit I found the song ‘smack my bitch up’ a little dubious, but I rather suspect that Prodigy were deliberately being controversial as much as anything else.

    After all, it was the prodigy (with PWEI) who said – if you’ll excuse the anglo-saxon – “Fuck ’em, and their law

  12. This proves how out of it I am. The only one of those bands I’ve heard of is The Cure.

  13. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  14. I’m so in the mood for The Smiths right now.

  15. I listened to The Cure obsessively when I was a teen, only stopping to listen to Depeche Mode, Danzig or Samhain. That was pretty much it, lol. I’ve never heard of any of the others, but I really like “headphones,” I’ll have to check out The Aluminum Group on Rhapsody. The Prodigy is definitely cool, too.

    BTW, I’ve given you an award I think you’ll have to chuckle at 🙂 Bring on the Zombie Chickens!!!

  16. I like these late additions. There is so much good music out there that it is hard to make choices.

  17. I love you all! And pinhead–is The Prodigy coming to Colorado? I must run and check it out immediately!

  18. I’m going to do another one of these posts. Let’s keep this one going!


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