Saturday, February 10, 2007

Friday Night Videos

90's Britpop

It would have been just as appropriate to title this early 90's Britpop as nearly all the best music and the coolest scenes happened well before '95. The first explosion was the Madchester sound that got its start in the late 80's. Chimey psychedelic guitars, swirling Hammond organ sounds, lazy drummer dance beats, and sugary vocals. There wasn't an album review to be found that didn't contain one of these four descriptions. The five biggest bands of the scene, and ones people will always confuse with one another, the Charlatans (UK) with "The Only One I Know," Stone Roses "I Wanna Be Adored," Inspiral Carpets "Bitches Brew," Happy Mondays "Kinky Afro," and James with "Sit Down."

Not quite Madchester, but close. Soup Dragons with "I'm Free," The Farm "All Together Now," Jesus Jones "Right Here Right Now," and Trashcan Sinatras with "Bloodrush."

A worthy successor to the Madchester bands were the shoegazing bands. Basically a thicker, less dance and more brooding version of the earlier sounds. One of the best images of what shoegazing bands are all about is Swervedriver's "Duel." Distorted power chords, lazy vocals, mopey power-pop - all while tripping out in a meadow.

A few other typifiers of the genre, Adorable's "Sunshine Smile," Ride's "Leave Them all Behind" (with a mini interview to start the clip), and the lesser known Revolver with "Cradle Snatch."

The more pop friendly of the shoegazers, Catherine Wheel's "Show Me Mary" and Eugenius' "Blue Above The Rooftops," with I think the only video I've seen with the title tags throughout the entire song.

The Verve was probably the most popular of the bunch, scoring the biggest hit, and probably the death knell for the scene with "Bittersweet Symphony."

From their earlier days, "Blue."

Both featuring dreamy female singers, My Bloody Valentine and Lush were two of my favorites of the genre. The first is the guitar experimental MBV with "Only Shallow," the second the ethereal Lush with "Deluxe."

In light of all the outstanding music pouring out of Britain, it became common to label any good band as not only the previous genre killer, but quite possibly the next Beatles (good luck on that one). Here's some bands that were good but nowhere close to the hype that they were saddled with. Suede's "Metal Mickey" and Pulp's "Common People."

Blur with "She's so High" and Oasis' What's the Story Morning Glory. Blur vs Oasis? Blur, I guess.

Spaceman 3, Spritualized, solo, here, there, sometimes neither. Jason Pierce was Britain's J Mascis, only more space-like. Here's the beautifully haunting "Let it Flow."

Another spacey hit, Mansun with "Wide Open Space."

A little more upbeat, Ash with a couple of tunes featured on movie soundtracks. The first one is the title track from the movie A Life Less Ordinary, the second one "Jack Names the Planets" from the movie Angus.

Without question the kings of 90's Britpop, Radiohead with "Stop Whispering," "Just," and "My Iron Lung."

In case you haven't tired of Thom Yorke's voice yet, here he is teaming up with UNKLE
and DJ Shadow for the Radiohead sounding "Rabbit in Your Headlights."


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