Little Richard -> "Exile"-era Stones -> The Clash -> ?
April 1, 2012 10:45 PM   Subscribe

Little Richard -> Exile-era Stones -> The Clash -> ?

I'm looking for, you know, rock and roll.

Loose, but not dumb or too-stoned-to-play (e.g. not the Ramones or anyone who thinks they're the second coming of the Velvet Underground). Raucous, but not harder-than-thou (e.g. not Mötorhead or the Dead Kennedys). Energetic, but not all tense and frantic (e.g. not the Talking Heads or any of that mid-2000s dance-punk). And ideally not a straight-up novelty/revival act (e.g. not the Squirrel Nut Zippers or Brian Setzer).

What's been recorded after 1980 or so that fits the bill? Is there anyone worth paying attention to who's recording or touring now with this sort of music?
posted by nebulawindphone to Media & Arts (46 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Ted Leo maybe?
posted by blixapuff at 10:51 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Hmm. Maybe. The stuff I've heard of his (not much, FWIW) is way catchy, but it doesn't make me want to shake my ass like an idiot.

Maybe that's the criterion here. Does it inspire behavior that could be described as "boogieing"?
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:57 PM on April 1, 2012

The Bevis Frond
posted by flabdablet at 11:00 PM on April 1, 2012

while their overall palette is pretty broad, wilco definitely their moments of rock and roll. check out being there.

for my money, the bends by radiohead is as great a rock record as has been made. again, they do lots of stuff (especially now), but that record is just straight up rock.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:00 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

foxboro hot tubs!
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:00 PM on April 1, 2012

Does it inspire behavior that could be described as "boogieing"?

The Clash part of this is throwing me off. I’ll ignore it.

Reef - Glow album
Primal Scream - singles - Movin on Up, Rocks, Country Girl
posted by bongo_x at 11:08 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Perhaps this answer betrays my ignorance, but does Kings of Leon fit the bill?
posted by Happydaz at 11:11 PM on April 1, 2012

Seconding REEF. Can't believe I didn't think of it first.
posted by OHSnap at 11:11 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: I absolutely love The Bends, and The Bevis Frond and Foxboro Hot Tubs bot sound like pretty good punk-pop. But neither one is really what I'm looking for here.

Maybe I'm just doing a bad job of articulating what I'm trying to find. There's this echo of 40s/50s-era rock and roll, the rhythmic feel or whatever, that you hear in songs like these but that seems to be missing in more recent rock bands that aren't just total nostalgia acts. Where can I find that?
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:12 PM on April 1, 2012

"Worth paying attention to" is debatable, but The Black Crowes based their sound almost entirely on the Stones' "Exile..." era.

And then there are the White Stripes.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:12 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

OP: So do I summarize correctly that you're looking for current rock bands that are informed by 40s/50s roots music?
posted by OHSnap at 11:18 PM on April 1, 2012

Also; Not newer than 1980, but if you’re not familiar you might want to check out Faces.
posted by bongo_x at 11:30 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: OHSnap: Yeah, that seems fair. And I guess more specifically, stuff informed by the Little Richard/Chuck Berry vein of things rather than say by Sam Cooke or Muddy Waters or Mahalia Jackson. It can be a pretty loose connection — I mean, obviously, nobody's going to mistake The Clash for Little Richard. But I do hear hints of that early rock and roll in their sound, and I'm wondering if that thread continued and kept developing anywhere or whether it just sort of petered out or stagnated in the subsequent decades.

Going to sleep now! Really! I swear!
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:33 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: On non-preview, Faces also seem to be in the right ballpark. ACK! REALLY GOING TO SLEEP NOW!
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:34 PM on April 1, 2012

I'll throw out one of my favorite Canadian bands, The Tragically Hip. When it's time to rock they still know how.
posted by cliffster99 at 11:37 PM on April 1, 2012

Jay Reatard etc
posted by kelseyq at 11:38 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Many of Jon Spencer's incarnations fit your bill, if I am understanding you correctly.

Also, The Jim Jones Revue.

Aw yeah.
posted by Decani at 11:44 PM on April 1, 2012


There is no other answer. He's big on Rock and Roll, and it's predecessor, Country.

(OK - The Cramps live, but now that Lux has passed away, you'll never have that pleasure. My two BEST concerts ever, their show in 1986 at The Ritz in NYC was EPIC + I saw them again in San Diego in 2002, almost exactly as good. You deserved to miss this excellence due to...)

...Your statement about the Ramones. THEY. WERE. AWESOME. You just don't "get it."

Come to think of it, Iggy Pop is even better for Rock and Roll than Elvis Costello, but maybe doesn't have quite the "Tutti Fruiti" flavor you cited.

I saw Chuck Berry perform at The Ritz in NYC in 1988. Now, that's Rock and Roll.
posted by jbenben at 11:54 PM on April 1, 2012

I totally JUST found this:

Search for a band in the box, click on the record symbol and then "expand" and pretty soon you have yourself a custom music map.

There went my work day.
posted by OHSnap at 11:56 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

They might be a little too minimalist and "tight", but I'd think Spoon (specifically Girls Can Tell and Gimme Fiction) would work.

Maybe a little too loose: Very early Urge Overkill, like Americruiser or Jesus Urge Superstar.

They're mostly mining the pre-Exile era Stones sound, but the Brian Jonestown Massacre? Try Take it From the Man! or Give it Back!

Possibly the New Pornographers?

The National?

Band of Horses?
posted by LionIndex at 12:02 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

seconding the Faces, if you don't mind the '70s instead of the '80s. If you like them, possibly consider Humble Pie as well (Faces and Humble Pie came out of the same '60s band, namely the insanely cool Small Faces, which might really be up your alley as well, but then we're really getting far afield from current stuff).

Other than that, I keep thinking of the Jim Carroll Band's first album, Catholic Boy. It's from 1980, so just in under the wire, time-wise.
posted by scody at 12:46 AM on April 2, 2012

Imelda May: Mayhem
posted by spasm at 12:46 AM on April 2, 2012

King Tuff

The Dirtbombs

Black Lips

And, though it's WAY more metal than what you're looking for, I just have to mention a band that's making me very happy these days, Kvelertak. They do this rock'n'roll/black metal/punk thing that really scratches my itches.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:18 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: OK, I swear I’m going to bed too, but this is right up my alley;

If you want it 80’s style there’s;
The London Quireboys (wanted to be Faces)
The Godfathers (sort of, but I like them so much I’ll put them in here)
The Georgia Sattelites
Hanoi Rocks (hard to find much on youtube)
Jason and the Scorchers
and others, there was quite a lot of this in the 80’s.

Izzy Stradlin
New York Dolls
Johnny Thunders (can’t find any good clips, it’s too late)

Here’s some clips from my earlier posts;
Scream (possibly the most Rock video ever, many years too late)

I think you’re seriously misinterpreting The Ramones and especially Motorhead though. Those are some straight up Rock and Roll bands, their songs are basically what you describe, just louder. Ramones are more 60’s pop radio, but Motorhead ARE Little Richard (I can’t even imagine putting Motorhead and the Dead Kennedy’s in the same ballpark).
posted by bongo_x at 1:32 AM on April 2, 2012

Best answer: Gaslight Anthem on the '59 Sound

in the "too stoned to rock" category (which you're discarding a little too easily IMO): Supersuckers
posted by gijsvs at 1:41 AM on April 2, 2012

Wild Flag are touring the East Coast right now and I think they fit all those criteria, but I find them more '70s than '40s, personally. the band is made up of members of Sleater-Kinney, Helium and the Minders and they put on an amazing live show - Carrie Brownstein in particular reminds me a lot of Patti Smith in her heyday.
posted by dropkick queen at 2:45 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hm. The Black Keys? Detroit Cobras?
posted by corvine at 5:04 AM on April 2, 2012

Dude, I got your back. Check out these labels (some are more littered than others with bands that tread that "nostalgic/revivalist" ground):

Crypt Records
In The Red
Sympathy For The Record Industry
Fat Possum
Yep Roc

Also, for an exhaustive account of the scenes that spawned all these labels and their bands, written by Somebody Who Was There, read We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001.

Also, you're crazy to posit the Clash as the third band in your continuum, while slagging off The Ramones. But I digress.
posted by Rykey at 5:36 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Drive by Truckers
posted by AugustWest at 6:14 AM on April 2, 2012

Best answer: Maybe Stephen King's old favorite band from the late 1980s, The Rainmakers? (Let My People Go-Go is pretty representative.) Apparently back together and playing gigs in Kansas and environs, but I have no idea what they sound like today.

Also mildly surprised that nobody's mentioned The Replacements (especially Pleased to Meet Me) but maybe that's too obvious?
posted by Joey Bagels at 6:45 AM on April 2, 2012

LionIndex got there first, but Spoon is widely revered, and criminally underrated, prolific, and active.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:50 AM on April 2, 2012

Jack Logan
Charlie Pickett
posted by davebush at 6:53 AM on April 2, 2012

I'll just throw it out there -- Southern Culture on the Skids: "Daddy Was a Preacher But Mama Was a Go-Go Girl."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:59 AM on April 2, 2012

posted by John Cohen at 8:07 AM on April 2, 2012

Also mildly surprised that nobody's mentioned The Replacements (especially Pleased to Meet Me) but maybe that's too obvious?

Seconding that! Their first full-length, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, is a blistering, trashy rocknroll masterpiece. One of my all-time top ten favorite rock records.
posted by Rykey at 8:34 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Mekons
The Ponys
posted by hydrophonic at 8:58 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

So many good suggestions so far.

I'll add:

Nick Lowe
posted by humboldt32 at 11:29 AM on April 2, 2012

Best answer: King Khan and the Shrines
posted by camneely at 12:13 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

They kind of walk the borderline of 60s soul retro/novelty, but they do it good enough that it might not matter: Fitz and the Tantrums
posted by LionIndex at 12:20 PM on April 2, 2012

I was thinking Rockpile. humboldt mentioned Nick Lowe, he was in this band.

When it comes to proto-90s garage revival, you can go no wrong than early Makers. Check out Howl, All Night Riot, and Shout On!/Hipnotic. Their later stuff is too glammy for me, but the older garage rock records are great rumble music.
posted by Allez at 7:27 PM on April 2, 2012

Social Distortion--commence with the ass-shaking. They've been around forever but are still putting out new music and touring--saw them open up for Foo Fighters last fall and they are still great, although really they are a better band to see as a headliner a small sweaty beer-soaked club than as an opening act in a mega-arena.
posted by drlith at 7:47 PM on April 2, 2012

Seconding the White Stripes.
posted by doctord at 7:06 AM on April 3, 2012

I would second Black Lips.
posted by the foreground at 1:48 PM on April 3, 2012

Detroit Cobras!
posted by dgeiser13 at 4:17 PM on April 3, 2012

Riffing off the Mekons, try The Waco Brothers.

Most of their stuff has been released by Bloodshot Records.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:11 AM on April 15, 2012

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