Hidden new wave gems
August 10, 2005 1:48 PM   Subscribe

I love electronic pop/rock music with jittery singers (David Byrne), Talking Heads, Orange Juice, Bowie, Gang of Four, Sparks, Eno, Mission of Burma etc. Can you recommend something I might like that's been hidden under a rock from me? I want to hear something new (or lost) that is still something that I might, just might, like? I'm feeling a wee bit jaded at the moment...
posted by ClanvidHorse to Media & Arts (52 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Gang of Four
posted by caddis at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2005

wall of voodoo singer stan ridgeway did some interesting solo sutff along those lines. So did danny elfman of oingo bongo
posted by dong_resin at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2005

Oops, you already said that. Never mind.
posted by caddis at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2005

!!!, LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture come to mind.
I know there's lot's more...Devo?
posted by hellbient at 1:55 PM on August 10, 2005

Response by poster: LCD are great, Devo's Snowball is a magic song...

hey just talking is making it feel a wee bit better.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:56 PM on August 10, 2005

Dogs die in hot cars.
posted by fire&wings at 2:00 PM on August 10, 2005

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah sound like the second coming of the Talking Heads, so you might be interested in them. Hellbient's suggestions are good, too.
posted by 5500 at 2:00 PM on August 10, 2005

Response by poster: DDIHC are a local band of mine. Went to see them in Glasgow a few months back...

5500 and Hellbient thanks I'll check them out!
posted by ClanvidHorse at 2:02 PM on August 10, 2005

Brainiac and Six Finger Satellite both had "jittery" singers and could be described as electronic-y pop/rock (though more rock than pop). Bonsai Superstar and Severe Exposure would be good starting points, respectively.
posted by sad_otter at 2:04 PM on August 10, 2005

I don't think they were really electronic, but what about DNA? Arto Lindsay's in the dictionary under "jittery".

Hardly "under a rock", but
New Order?
posted by hellbient at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2005

I was a bit surprised not to see the Arcade Fire on your list.
posted by jjg at 2:14 PM on August 10, 2005

You could start digging through the Rough Trade catalog if you haven't already - Pere Ubu, The Fall, Red Crayola, The Raincoats, etc.

More old stuff: The Slits, , The Birthday Party, Thomas Leer, Wire, Tuxedomoon, Pink Industry, Indoor Life, Holger Czukay, A Certain Ratio, Dinosaur L
posted by p3t3 at 2:17 PM on August 10, 2005

Good call on Pere Ubu. What about Devo?
posted by Atom12 at 2:19 PM on August 10, 2005

Siouxsie and the Banshees
posted by thomcatspike at 2:24 PM on August 10, 2005

early XTC; tracks like Crossed Wires and I'm Bugged are super-spikey.
posted by scruss at 2:26 PM on August 10, 2005

Wolf Parade
posted by remlapm at 2:28 PM on August 10, 2005

the wedding present

(not to be confused with My Bloody Valentine, The Birthday Party, or any of those other holiday bands, though I like many of them even Christmas)
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 2:29 PM on August 10, 2005

And do The Monks count?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 2:32 PM on August 10, 2005

Dismemberment Plan
This Heat
Disco Inferno
CindyTalk (maybe not so much)
You might want to start with a few compilations like Mutant Disco, In the Beginning, There Was Rhythm or New York Noise.
posted by hellbient at 2:45 PM on August 10, 2005

The Tragically Hip
posted by fionab at 3:01 PM on August 10, 2005

Seconding Wall of Voodoo/Stan Ridgway, and early XTC (Probably the first two, White Music and Go 2 are most up your alley -- particularly if you like early Boingo, as the first Boingo record (post-Knights era, I mean -- Only A Lad) and that era was sort of like "Early XTC With A Horn Section"). But, Drums and Wires and Black Sea are also very good and might fit that style. (I'm also very, very fond of English Settlement, but that doesn't really have that type of vocal performance, so...)

Also -- Barnes and Barnes are excellent; they're most known as a Novelty Act, but their Amazing Adult Fantasy album is a new wave Lost Classic (and their just released after 20 years in the vault Kodovoner is also very, very good. Those ones are only available online now, via Cool CDs/Oglio Records, so... yeah. Definitely worth checking out. (And if you don't mind more comedic songs and an experimental production, check out Spazchow and Voobaha -- I prefer Spazchow, and that's a little more serious, anyway -- and both of those are also availablein stores, too.

And I cannot recommend M enough -- particularly The Official Secrets Act. If you can stand a self-link, here's a review of that record I wrote.

You may also really dig The Billy Nayer Show -- I love Cory McAbee's films, but his band is excellent, too. Autoharp lead! (And in a similar, but more folkish vein, Brian Dewan is someone to check out as well.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 3:06 PM on August 10, 2005

If you take Pere Ubu then what about Rocket from the Tomb
posted by stuartmm at 3:12 PM on August 10, 2005

The Rheostatics are wonderfully obscure and even more wonderfully wonderful. Plus, they've been around for years and have a substantial back catalogue (eleven studio albums, I think), so if you like 'em there's plenty to listen to. Their stuff often has the warbly eccentricities of the Talking Heads, which was why they came to mind.

I also got to see them live about a month ago. They did a fan-freaking-tastic cover of the Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime". God damn, I wish I had a bootleg of it...
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:06 PM on August 10, 2005

Gary Numan,
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:11 PM on August 10, 2005

Felt, The Apartments (hard to find)
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:14 PM on August 10, 2005

Red Crayola, Mayo Thompson, Faust, Neu!, CAN, This Heat, Circulatory System, The Dirty Projectors, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Quintron, Music Tapes, Optigonally Yours, Robert Wyatt, Silver Apples, Tall Dwarfs
posted by ijoshua at 4:47 PM on August 10, 2005

Oops, make that Optiganally Yours.
posted by ijoshua at 4:50 PM on August 10, 2005

Oh, you might also like Neil Young's infamous album Trans.

<snide>Pitchfork pans it, so it must be great, right?</snide>
posted by ijoshua at 5:01 PM on August 10, 2005

OOH, Trans is exquisite. (The story behind it [another self link] is really sad and beautiful, too.)

But yeah -- if you can find this album, pick it up. That goes for everyone.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 5:10 PM on August 10, 2005

Seconding Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The Arcade Fire.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:13 PM on August 10, 2005

Here are some jitteryvoice bands, some of whom are electronic pop/rock, all of whom are good:

Xiu Xiu
Long Fin Killie
The Pop Group
Rip Rig and Panic
Dean Roberts/White Winged Moths/Autistic Daughters
Gallon Drunk
posted by nylon at 5:13 PM on August 10, 2005

I forgot to mention that Dean Roberts, who I mentioned above, and who has an exceptionally jittery voice, has even done a couple of covers of Eno songs. There's Cindy Tells Me on the and the Black Moths Play the Grand Cinema album, and Rainy Day In June on the Autistic Daughters' Jealousy and Diamond album. Both of these works are painfully beautiful and should be heard by everyone in the world.
posted by nylon at 5:18 PM on August 10, 2005

Also: The Very Things. Their 1984 debut album, The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes, is hard-to-find, but truly awesome. Deranged English post-punk mayhem. With jittery voice.

Also #2: The Lemon Kittens. Everything they've done is both terrifying and brilliant.
posted by nylon at 5:48 PM on August 10, 2005

bloc party, obv.
posted by mookieproof at 5:49 PM on August 10, 2005

Franz Ferdinand
Televisoin Personalities
Richard Hell & The Voidoids
The Eternals
James Chance/James White/The Contortions
The Watchers (James Chance's backing band lately)
Erase Errata
The Rezillos
The first two Roxy Music albums

The compilation In the Beginning There Was Rhythm
posted by hydrophonic at 6:04 PM on August 10, 2005

belle and sebastien?
posted by stray at 6:54 PM on August 10, 2005

One amazing song...

"Another Girl, Another Planet"
by the Only Ones
posted by Methylviolet at 7:24 PM on August 10, 2005

Arcade Fire
Wolf Parade
Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah! (= talking heads)
LCD Soundsystem
x1000 -> Dismemberment Plan

The Most Serene Republic
posted by Quartermass at 7:30 PM on August 10, 2005

mookieproof beat me to Bloc Party. Dammit they're good. Oh if you're looking for some out of this world pop/rock - not necessarily electronic - TV on the Radio - making songs that are completely unconventional but totally rock.
posted by jur777 at 7:34 PM on August 10, 2005

in 2002 there was a dance single released that gives you exactly what you want ... X-Press 2 f "lazy" with david byrne on vocals

it's pretty good
posted by pyramid termite at 8:59 PM on August 10, 2005

"Lazy" also appears as a bonus track on the US version of Grown Backwards. (And it's awesome.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:16 PM on August 10, 2005

Jello Biafra's vibrato in The Dead Kennedys' "Buzzbomb" is just what you're looking for, methinks.

The rest of the album, Plastic Surgery Disasters, is fucking phenomenal as well.
posted by saladin at 9:36 PM on August 10, 2005

The Feelies, especially "Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness," from their first album, Crazy Rhythms, which features "manic melodies, jittery rhythms, and opaque lyrics." (The album cover probably inspired the cover of Weezer's first album.)
posted by kirkaracha at 10:32 PM on August 10, 2005

Right. There's some good ones here (and some crap suggestions— Belle and Sebastian? I like 'em, but clearly wrong), but I'll add a couple more.
It sort of depends what you like about the Talking Heads, when you like 'em from, and how far out you're willing to go.
Like, if you like the angular and sparse '77, you should be looking toward people like Mark E. Smith and The Fall (and Pavement, who ripped 'em off. Did you know that you get indie cred just for making that allegation, even if it's pretty laughable on its face? You do now). Get "Our Nation's Saving Grace." The Fall has a ton of albums, and nearly five or six of them are good. Along with that, look to bands like Need New Body and Thunderbirds Are Now! in the "spazzcore" genre. If you like Brainiac, try Enon. They're like Brainiac, only they've replaced the hardcore punk with japanpop.
If you like the more expansive mid-period Talking Heads, with their African percussion, you might want to try early Golden Palominos (with Feelies drummer Anton Feir) and current band Deerhoof (the Milkman album is really ace). TV on the Radio are a good side-bet too, though they're not really what you'd call "twitchy."
If you like the later period Talking Heads, well, there's Luaka Bop...
Others you might be interested in: Japan, Captain Beefheart, Ween, Stylex, Swell Maps, Gun Club, The Jam, Roxy Music (only with Eno), The Teeth...
posted by klangklangston at 11:58 PM on August 10, 2005



Family Fodder

This Heat

I've tried to pick some obscurities that haven't been mentioned already (apologies if they're repeats).
posted by coach_mcguirk at 1:50 AM on August 11, 2005

King Crimson: specifically Discipline and Three of a Perfect Pair from the early 80s. Maybe Beat as well, but I recall not liking it as much.
posted by Sparx at 3:20 AM on August 11, 2005

posted by ikkyu2 at 8:07 AM on August 11, 2005

Thomas Dolby.

The Golden Age of Wireless has the hits, but I like Astronauts and Heretics too.
posted by barjo at 9:51 AM on August 11, 2005

With Dolby, I've always been really fond of Aliens Ate My Buick, actually, but Astronauts and Heretics has some great stuff -- "I Love You Goodbye" is one of my favorite songs ever.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:01 AM on August 11, 2005

Response by poster: Hi. thanks for the posts. I live in the UK so a lot of the bands are already well known to me: Bloc Party, The Fall, Rezillos, Franz etc. but others I look forward to hearing...

I agree wholeheartedly about XTC they are great....
posted by ClanvidHorse at 11:28 AM on August 11, 2005

one last hidden new wave gem:
Dopplereffekt - Gesamtkunstwerk (think Kraftwerk and Adult.)
posted by hellbient at 9:40 AM on August 12, 2005

Joy_Division/Unknown Pleasures
posted by thomcatspike at 4:35 PM on August 16, 2005

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