Thursday, November 5, 2009

Indie of the '60s

Because this blog focuses on up and coming bands, I think it's important to have a well-rounded education in music. Even if all you ever want to listen to is black metal from Finland, it might be a good idea to give a quick listen to some old school R&B or bubblegum pop.

The thing is, I fear that people are forgetting about classic rock. The stuff our parents grew up listening to. The music you'll still find played on the radio because people love it. And with good reason.

Now, get ready to have your brain melted, because there's a movie coming out that might be right up there with "Almost Famous" in terms of wonderful music, amazing acting and the warm, fuzzy feelings it gives you. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is back as a controversial radio DJ (though not as Lester Bangs this time) in the upcoming film "Pirate Radio."

The film features an all-star cast (Tom Sturridge, Bill Nighy, Rhys Darby, January Jones, and so on) and is about a fictitious pirate radio station in 1966 broadcasting dirty, devilish rock 'n' roll music to the UK. Smashing tunes, pop culture references and hilarious dialogue will absolutely ensue.

On to the music. After all, that's what this blog is about, right?

Upon checking out the tracklist, I almost passed out from sheer joy. "These Arms of Mine" by Otis Redding, "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues and "Let's Dance" by David Bowie are just a few of the songs featured. If you're not familiar with these already, get familiar ASAP.

What seems great about this soundtrack is that it doesn't focus on the classic rock that everyone already knows. You won't find Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" or "All You Need is Love" by (duh) The Beatles - they're both too obvious and too easy. "Pirate Radio" features the music people don't bother checking out. The indie bands of the 60s and 70s, if you will.

If you think knowing every word to "Kashmir" and the multiple personas of David Bowie (even though I'll bet you really don't know all of them) is enough, think again. Get the soundtrack, see the movie (no doubt it will be wonderful) and try out something new.


  1. How are you judging "indie" by the terms of the 60s and 70s? Led Zeppelin's label Atlantic was an "indie" label. Pretty sure that, in the 1960s, Nights in White Satin was #2 on the billboard charts and #9 in the British charts. Also, Let's Dance was #1 in the U.S., U.K. and eight other countries. Thanks for gushing about how "indie" and "obscure" and "not-classic rock" artist like David Bowie and The Moody Blues are. Pretty sure you can check out all their tunes on any classic rock station in America that has broadcast in the last 15 years.

  2. In response to your comment, "Spazz", I'm definitely aware of the popularity of these tracks. But take a poll of people 25 and younger and I'm sure they're more familiar with Led Zeppelin than Otis Redding or The Moody Blues. Sure, they're on classic rock stations but they don't hold exactly the same weight as Pink Floyd or The Beatles in terms of generation spanning.

    Also, it may seem unbelievable, but I've met people who have asked me "Who's David Bowie?" So yes, popular then but currently, not as well known as some. Also, I appreciate your research.