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More of My Favorite Music

 

Yet more of my favorite music...



Cult of the Psychic Fetus

Cult of the Psychic Fetus

Whipass psychobilly band with an "B" horror movie aesthetic. Sometimes called the "Godfathers of Gothabilly," these guys just plain rule. There's plenty of punk snarl in the music to go with the monster-infused rockabilly. "Dead Bride," "Don't Look in the Basement," and "Orgy of the Dead" are some of the best songs ever. I want "Dead Bride" played at my funeral.

 

Ghoultown

Ghoultown

Ghoultown is usually classed as gothabilly, but their music is totally unique. It's a weird but wonderful blend of punk, country, mariachi, and "spaghetti western" movie soundtrack. Accoustic guitars and trumpets compliment the electric guitars and drums. The band describe their sound as "Texas Hellbilly," and they dress like zombie cowboys. How cool is THAT?

 

The Cramps

The Cramps

Okay, so they're not exactly unknown, but I had to list them here. I adore The Cramps, and if I can introduce them to just one other person on the planet, I'll be a happy chick. The Cramps pretty kicked off the psychobilly style. Lux Interior's rubber-flexible voice and Poison Ivy's wicked guitar have reigned supreme for over 20 years. If you like crazed songs about American trash culture, weird sexual fetishes, "B" horror movies, and, uh, chicken, this band is for you.

 

Black 47

Black47

Excellent New York Irish rock band. Their music is often about "the troubles" in Northern Ireland, but they have songs about everything from American civil rights and politics to ballads about love and crimes of passion. Their bar-band rock sound works beautifully with the addition of traditional Irish instruments. How can you not like a band that writes songs like "I Got Laid on James Joyce's Grave"?

 

House of Freaks

House of Freaks

House of Freaks has not been together since the early 1990's, but they're still the finest Southern Gothic band ever to exist. HOF consisted of just two members, Bryan Harvey on guitar and vocals and Johnny Hott on percussion, but their sound was powerful, and their lyrics complex and haunting. In January of 2006, a pair of sub-human pieces of garbage murdered Brian Harvey, his wife, and two little daughters. They took not only a well-loved, happy family, but a brilliant musical talent. You can still buy HOF albums. "Tantilla" and "Cakewalk" are my favorites. If you've never heard them, do yourself a favor and listen.

 

The Tiki Tones

The Tiki Tones

Totally entertaining lounge/swing/tiki band with a surfy flavor. At least that's what they sounded like before lead guitarist Josh Agle turned into SHAG and left the band. Now they're venturing into some bizarre, spacy futuristic lounge territory, and y'know what, it's really good. Check out both their new and old stuff for some exotic and delicious musical flavors. By the way, if you can find anything by Josh Agle's early band, The Swamp Zombies, do it. You won't regret it.

 

Screeching Weasel

Screeching Weasel

Punk-o-rama baby! This is no wimpy-ass emo, this is old skool. These boys are the kings of 90's pop-punk. Their songs are filled with crazed energy, and their lyrics are often rude, crude and socially unacceptable (as punk should be). Crank it up and dance!

Laibach

Laibach

This awesome industrial dance band from Slovenia has been rocking for more than a quarter century. They spent their early years fighting oppressive Iron Curtain forces, refusing to be silenced. Their music is often still political in nature. Laibach's music has always been influenced by the bleak industrial coal town where they got their start, but they're sometimes playful and even humorous. Their stage shows are fantastic. And kittens like them.

 

The Rednex

The Rednex

The Rednex are a Swedish techno-country band. I mean, how freaky-cool is that? They had a big dance club hit in 1995, a techno version of the old western folk tune "Cotton Eye Joe." It got heavy rotation on MTV and especially Beavis and Butthead. Goofy and fun, this stuff is totally irresistable. Just try to listen to "Shooter" or "Old Pop in an Oak" without your butt shaking.

 

Tom Heinl

Tom Heinl

This guy is just freakin' hilarious. How can you go wrong with songs like "Peein' in an Empty," "Trailer Fever," and "Pinto Squire?" And he's not just funny--Tom's a terrific songwriter with a great voice. Do yourself a favor and buy his CDs so you can start singing along. Be sure to see him live if you can. Both times I've seen him play, I laughed so hard I turned inside-out and had to be put back together by a cosmetic surgeoun and a taxidermist.

Freakwater

Freakwater

Freakwater is the original "alt-country" band. They were making outsider country before the label existed. But is it country? Is it bluegrass? Is it honkytonk? I think it's something else entirely, something unique, wonderful, and damn good. Their music is often mournful, plaintive and dark. It's impossible to push it into the background--it demands your full attention. Freakwater grabs you by the guts.

 

The Greencards

The Greencards

Australian bluegrass? Hell yeah! Well okay, two of the members of this incredible trio are Aussies, and one is a Brit. Omigod, are they good! The Greencards play traditional bluegrass with an energetic pop flair. Lead singer and bassist Carol Young has a sweet, clear voice that's perfect for the material. Any fan of bluegrass or Americana should definitely check this band out.

 

Bobby Bare Jr.

Bobby Bare Jr.

The son of country great Bobby Bare is often dropped into the "alt-country" group, but most of his music is something unto itself. Many of his songs are indie-rock with a flavoring of 70's pop. Lately, he's even been recording some country. Wildly catchy guitar and clever, darkly funny lyrics, along with Bare Jr.'s unique and soulful voice, make for some fine listening.

 

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants

Again, not such an unknown band. But They Might Be Giants are just too wonderful for anyone to miss. This two-man indie nerd-rock phenomenon has been going strong since the 80's. Musically inventive and talented, Big John and Little John specialize in bizarre lyrics involving robot overlords, killer statues, evil family members, and hard science. They've branched out into songs for the playground set too--check out their site for kids.

 

7 Seconds of Love

7 Seconds of Love

Yes. These are the rathergood.com guys. The ones who brought you "We Like The Moon." But these adorable Brit boys are talented musicians as well. Of course, their music is funny. But it's also good. Just try to sit still while listening to "First Drink of the Day." (And if you don't laugh at the video of monkeys with beer cans, you're possibly dead.)

 

Pirate Jenny

Pirate Jenny

It's Pirate Core! No really! Pirate Jenny is an indie rock group that writes songs about pirates. No really! And they're good! They aren't a kid-friendly band, like Captain Bogg and Salty (who totally rock, by the way). The music is sophisticated, and the lyrics are complex and sometimes disturbing. Their albums weave stories about the wicked (and slightly insane) Captain Slaymore, Scabby the pirate, and other nefarious characters. Check 'em out, matey!

 

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Whipass Boston Irish punk band! Loud, raucous working-class anthems are their trademark. Their live shows are an audience participation free-for-all, where everybody sings along at the top of their lungs. Can I get an "Oi! Oi! Oi!" Pogue mahone, baby! Now let's all sing along with "Kiss me, I'm sh*tfaced!"

 

Tiger Lillies

The Tiger Lillies

Oh my. What to say about the Tiger Lillies? They are one of the most bizarre bands I've ever encountered. This three-piece ensemble features a foul-mouthed, accordian playing counter-tenor, a double-bass and saw player, and a percussionist who will pound on anything. They play dark, rude, and creepy gypsy-cabaret music. Better yet, they're responsible for the fabulous "junk opera" Shockheaded Peter. Go listen to them. I dare ya!

 

Supersuckers

Supersuckers

Omigod, I love the Supersuckers! It's rock and roll, baby! High-powered rock and roll with punk and psychobilly overtones. "Born With A Tail" and "Creepy Jackalope Eye" are two of the best songs ever. If you don't like the Supersuckers, there's just plain something wrong with ya.

 

Voodoo Glow Skulls

Voodoo Glow Skulls

This is an excellent, underappreciated band that meshes punk, ska, and traditional Mexican music. Singing in both Spanish and English, the Glow Skulls' music contains equal parts humor and biting social and political commentary (not to mention some of the fastest and fiercest guitars around).

 

Psycho Charger

Psycho Charger

Eek! It's horror rawkabilly! Or "rawkillbilly," as the band likes to describe themselves. Psycho Charger combines traditional rockabilly and gothabilly instrumentals with a splash of surf and snarling, punk/metal vocals. With songs about redneck zombies, grave-robbing aliens, and homicidal girlfriends, you really can't go wrong. Listen with your favorite monster.

 

Deadcats

Deadcats

High energy Canadian punk/psychobilly band. These guys rock so hard they nearly explode your CD player. Their live shows are famous for their insane fever pitch and the band's tendency to set things on fire. The Deadcats are the perfect top-40 antidote. They'll blast Britney Spears right out of your brain with a flamethrower.

 

The Deep Eynde

The Deep Eynde

One of my favorite gothabilly/psychobilly bands. (I know. I like a lot of gothabilly bands. Big surprise there.) These guys are extra-creepy, and extra-talented. Imagine the Misfits or the Damned transmitted through a channel that only plays old horror movies...

 

Mr. Badwrench

Mr. Badwrench

Badass psychobilly/retro-rockabilly band, steeped in horror and greaser cool. This is some fantastic music that rocks like a souped-up Ford flathead. Plus, these boys are CUTE. And they all drive wicked hotrods. What does that have to do with their music? Not a damn thing. Did I mention they were cute?

 

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult

This glam/punk/alternative/industrial band has been around since the late 80's, but they're still producing unique and whoopass tunes. Always experimental, often dancible, TKK creates excellent party music. "Sex On Wheelz" is one of my favorite "driving too fast" songs.

 

The Ghastly Ones

The Ghastly Ones

A horror/garage/surf band! Yes ma'am! Describing their sound as "spooky surf," The Ghastly Ones are damn good at what they do. Rob Zombie likes them (he produced their first CD) and they wrote music for a Halloween episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Could you ask for a higher recommendation?

 

Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets

This outrageously talented instrumental psycho/surfabilly group performs in Mexican wrestler masks. It just doesn't get much cooler than that. You may not think you've heard them, but you probably have. They've done a lot of work for TV and movies. If you're a fan of fine guitar (or Mexican wrestlers), this is the band for you. They do my all-time favorite version of The Munsters Theme.

 

9th Wave

The 9th Wave

This excellent, mostly instrumental East Coast surf band plays an amazingly wide variety of music. From hot rod to "spy core" to western twang, if it can be played on a gee-tar, they're playing it. They even have a few great horror-based songs. "Big Black Cadillac Hearse" and "Creepy Crawler" absolutely rule!

Rhapsody, a fantastic music service

The Rhapsody Digital Music Service

I admit, I feel a little weird about recommending Rhapsody, because, uh, I work for RealNetworks. But that's not why I think every serious music enthusiast should get Rhapsody. It's because I love the service, I'm addicted to it, and I've found more fascinating bands, artists, and even whole genres there in the past year than I've found on my own in the past ten years. Rhapsody has more than two million tracks, and they're always adding to the catalog. You can use Rhapsody to rip, burn, manage a portable device, share music with your friends--all kinds of great stuff. All I can say is that a subscription is SO worth it, for what you'll save on album purchases alone. Click the pic, baby...

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lorelei@psychenoir.com
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