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Recs from Secret Dakota Ring

posted February 11, 2009, 6:12 am by dscanland | Filed Under Recommendations from the Celebrity Mind | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Secret Dakota Ring, Apollo Sunshine, Higgins, Rocketship Park, Homosexuals, Recommendations

Andy from Secret Dakota Ring gets his say in some great underground artists:

Rocketship Park
They made the best record of 2007, “Off and Away”. I believe Travis (SDR drummer and Serious Business Records head-honcho) started recording them and immediately offered to put out their record. This in my type of pop music: smart, gorgeous, interesting, well-played. Think Dylan, Wilco, Beatles.

Apollo Sunshine
I first saw these guys on tour with OK Go. They might be the best live band the country. A power trio bursting with talent, Apollo Sunshine make psychedelic-pop jammers that twist your brain into a pretzel. Sam Cohen’s guitar playing makes me want to quit playing or take lessons.

Another Serious Business gem. Head-Hig Kevin Fish takes us down a delicious modern-classic-rock journey. Amazing songwriting. Drummer Brian Kantor is also a badass.

Secret Dakota Ring drummer Travis Harrison throws in his two cents:

The Homosexuals
The Homosexuals were London’s kings of the arty D.I.Y. post punk movement of the late 70s and early 80s. Underground and uncompromising musical and political instigators, they left behind a body of work containing dozens of literal MASTERPIECES, songs that deserve to be canonized beside the Clash, Crass, the Jam, Wire, the Buzzcocks and the rest. Full disclosure, I play the drums for the reformed Homosexuals.

The Vitamen
These guys kicked up a shit-storm in the beginning part of this decade, earning the love of legendary rock scribe Bob Christgau and selling out rooms big and little. They’ve since disbanded but their brand of rock remains classic and still transfixes. Singer Jesse Blockton is the only man alive who manages to make dirty jokey lyrics seem all-knowing. He plays with his band, bassist Matt Hyams and drummer Dave Rozner, like a cranked up version of THE BAND, all telepathy. Someone please reissue these records and force the chaps to reform!

Kleenex Girl Wonder
Graham Smith is an unheralded pop genius whose first record Ponyoak stands as the finest post GBV testaments to DIY bedroom arena rock. Word is Graham has a new record in the can, the first under the KGW tag in awhile and I’m waiting with baited breath.

Boston Spaceships
I love Bob Pollard. The Boston Spaceships are his latest creation, a collaboration with exGBV bass slinger Chris Slusarenko and Decmberists pounder John Moen. I recently saw them at the Highline Ballroom in NYC where they played about 50 tunes from the Pollard songbook that have never before been played live. Amazing show. Their debut record Brown Submarine dropped only a few months ago and already the follow up is slated for early ’09.

These Serious Business power popper are like lady-Clash meets lady-Jam meets lady-Exploding Hearts. They’ve got big hooks and big hearts and sing some of the best lyrics in the rock game today. Great band and they’re new album Born in the Desert proves it.


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