Saturday, May 31, 2014

Side Projects : College Radio Edition

In those heavy touring days of the mid 80's, musical collaborations and deep friendships bloomed between members of different bands. Here are some of my favorite results.

On 1984's Rainy Day, members of LA's Paisley Underground bands like The Bangles, Rain Parade, and the Dream Syndicate get together to pay tribute to the music that inspired them. The covers of Buffalo Springfield's "Flying On The Ground is Wrong" and The Velvet Underground's "I'll Be Your Mirror" are especially nice. Susanna Hoffs still records albums of well chosen covers these days with Matthew Sweet.

In 1991 two of my favorite Australian songwriters, Grant McLennan of the Go Betweens and Steve Kilbey of The Church,  released the first of two albums they made as Jack Frost. This is the kind of  intelligent well-crafted pop that got washed away by the great grunge tsunami of that time. 

In 1985 Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Keith Streng of the Fleshtones released an EP as Full Time Men. The single "I Got Wheels" makes  my list  of the "5 All-Time Catchiest Peter Buck Guitar Riffs". Buck was also busy at the time producing bands like The Fleshtones and The Feelies as well as knocking out that distinctive riff in The Replacements's breakthrough "I Will Dare".

Here's one where the concept sounds just a bit better than the music. Snakecharmer finds P.I.L bassist Jah Wobble, U2's The Edge, Magazine's Ben Mandelson and Can's Holger Czukay combining forces to make alternative dance music.Very much of its time.

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