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April 1, 2011 11:03 AM   Subscribe

The New Garage Explosion: A full length documentary by VBS-TV

(music videos of some of the bands covered linked below, some NSFW)

The musicians, artists, writers, deejays and label owners that we talked to could only be united by a single common thread—their commitment to music that they enjoyed, on their terms, at whatever cost necessary (or, in some cases, unnecessary). We met nice, smart, funny people who love rock and roll, don’t traffic in B.S., and had the wherewithal to pick up a guitar (or complementary instrument) at some point in their young lives, put their face to a microphone, and manage to not think too hard about what was going to come out. With a nod to the genre’s founding fathers (bands like The Lollipop Shoppe and MC5), we travel first to Memphis to mind-meld with Magic Kids and to go head-to-head with Jay Reatard in the last interview he filmed before his death in January of this year. Next we hit Detroit, where watch The Dirtbombs wreck a bowling alley and talked to Dave Buick about the power of the hand-printed record.

We meander off on all kind of fun tangents with various garage luminaries, with a tip of the hat to the glorious unit of sound that is the vinyl record—especially the ones rare enough for an enthusiast to blow a month’s rent in exchange for one. Hear bands like the Black Lips, Davila 666, Pierced Arrows, and the Dirtbombs discuss the appeal of using a four-track, the freedom of recording in your bedroom, the perks of installing a vinyl-cutting machine into your den, and the unique satisfaction that comes from seeing your own record. We also get treated to wild, wonderful, and exclusive live performances from rippers like the Clone Defects, Vivian Girls, and Thee Oh Sees.

We step into the kitschy pink playhouse that is Oakland’s Down at Lulu’s, the record store-slash-vintage boutique-slash-hair salon-slash-lifestyle emporium owned and operated by Hunx and His Punx’s Seth Bogart and his business partner Tina Lucchesi. Here we address tough topics like how to negotiate the itinerant rock and roll schedule with petty worries like paying rent. Also, tour: is it work or play? We learn about important things like steering clear of “band rooms” in punk houses, and that you needn’t worry about the safety of your cat if a possum breaks into your house while you’re gone. This section’s exclusive performances include the Younger Lovers, Golden Triangle, and the Intelligence.

Also featured:
The Oblivians (later, the Reigning Sound)
Smith Westerns
Ty Segall
posted by Potomac Avenue (21 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I love me some garage rock, but I didn't even realize the last explosion was over yet. Garage is more like a sustained carpet bombing, especially as long as Billy Childish is still pumping out albums.
posted by Hoopo at 11:12 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Garage is more like a sustained carpet bombing ...

Yep - and when you've got Fred and Toody Cole in the mix, the proof of that is right in front of you.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:16 AM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was really hoping this was going to be video of a garage exploding.
posted by pencroft at 11:20 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

The New Garage Explosion

Don't scare me like that, I've got cases still pending on that last one.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:22 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was really hoping this was going to be video of a garage exploding.

when the garage explodes, you gottagetawaygottagetawaygottagetaway, heyheyheyheyheyheyheyheyheyheyheyheyheyhey
posted by Hoopo at 11:25 AM on April 1, 2011

Wasn't there already a new garage explosion about eight years ago, around the time of The Hives and Jet and the whoever and the whatnot? Is this a form of retro style circling back on itself in faster and faster loops?
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:33 AM on April 1, 2011

Is this the thread where we post random garage bands we like? Cool!

Fuck Knights, "Kristina" (NSFW)

Fuck Knights, "Teenage Wasteland"

Thomas Function, "Snake in the Grass"

Thomas Function, "Filthy Flowers"

Oh wait! Look what I found! A documentary about one of the great garage bands, Half Japanese:

Half Japanese, The Band That Would Be King, Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:34 AM on April 1, 2011 [5 favorites]

One of the interesting things about this doc was the total lack of time spent praising every corner of the history of garage, especially ignoring the 60s psych aspect of it, and the way they tried to loop in bands like Girls and Magic Kids who are much poppier than what most people think of as clang bang bang clang music. Musically the current sound is much more R&B 50s than Acid 60s, differentiating it from that early 2000s bubble.

It's also about lifestyle in a way that almost no rock doc I've seen has been--how do these folks live and thrive and keep making music in an industry that has died, often in places where all industry has died. Well made stuff, in my humble O. You guys should watch it, it's about an hour long :p
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:36 AM on April 1, 2011

Thought this was going to be about future garage / post-dubstep. Oh well, cool anyway.
posted by azarbayejani at 11:44 AM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

+1 for Snake in the Grass! My favorite of the recent wave though is The Hospitals, RIP. Here's a documentary about shopping.
posted by Hubajube at 11:44 AM on April 1, 2011

Srsly azarbayejani.

I would rather hear more soulful, skitterey MJ Cole/Artful Dodger/Craig David revivalisms than yet another batch of indie garagers (whom, btw, never actually left in the first damn place)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:56 AM on April 1, 2011

White Mystery. It's like if the White Stripes brother-sister schtick was real. And better.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:29 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Senor Cardgage, I'm all for having them both. I mean it's not like Jay Reatard would've made 2-step otherwise. And never actually left or not, there sure is a lot more of this being made now than 5 years ago.

Blank Dogs - No Compass
Eat Skull - Oregon Dreaming
posted by Hubajube at 12:40 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was a college radio music director back in 2002/3, and between me and another guy, we listened to everything that was sent to our station. Every week, we'd go through about 200 submissions, and pick the best 15-20 albums and EPs from the bunch. For some weird reason, in early Spring 2003 there was sudden uptick in garage rock. One week we had a submission or two, and thought "awesome, some good noisy stuff, enough repetitive indie crud." Next week, twice that many. "Kickass, more garage rock!" And it seemed like for the next month or two, a good third of the submissions were shades of garage rock. Most of it was from promotions companies, but they served a wide range of labels and self-supporting artists. It was seriously weird.

Sadly, I can't recall any band names or releases from that time. The only thing that comes to mind is Rotten Apples (the YT intro says 2004, but I think it's a re-release, as AMG lists a 2002 release date on another label).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on April 1, 2011

And it seemed like for the next month or two, a good third of the submissions were shades of garage rock. Most of it was from promotions companies, but they served a wide range of labels and self-supporting artists. It was seriously weird.

It's because Preponderance of Indie Groupthink + low technical barriers to entry = Magiska being clogged with redundant, flavorless, soundalike detritus.

After the legend of Bon Iver it was a shitload of bad beardy indie folk.

After She & Him (and the long long naps they cause) it was a metric fuckton of Girl + Guy twee vanilla folky pap.

After Memory Tapes/Neon Indian/Toro Y Moi its a neverending stream of unremarkable and wholly inconsequential Chillwave "tapes"

And now its shoegaze , shoegaze, shoegaze!

Mind you, I love acts from all of these genres, but it is fucking dire to see such rapid and rampant poseury every time I look around online for new stuff.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:39 PM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

Here's my favers, Christmas. From Olympia. and I'm in another band with two of em

Live at Helsing Junction (like, a K records mini doc)
posted by special agent conrad uno at 3:04 PM on April 1, 2011

One of the dudes behind this runs Yeti Magazine and wrote the 33 1/3 book on Loveless. I'm glad the final bit is up, I'd forgotten about this.
posted by sleepy pete at 6:03 PM on April 1, 2011

saw Magic Kids at a festival and they were SO BORING. Wavves and Best Coast were ok.
I remember the White Stripes/Hives/Strokes/Vines wave. Saved music for me.
Anyone heard or seen Jim Jones Revue? Kinda rockabilly garage and SO MUCH FUN. better live
Indie is getting so bloodless and boring. The pendulum is going to swing back to rock. It has to.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:05 PM on April 1, 2011

for Aussie garage, check out The Pink Fits and Mink Jaguar
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:06 PM on April 1, 2011

Garage rock totally took over Atlanta after 2001. Some of that was chronicled in the doc We Fun, featuring bands like the Black Dice and Deerhunter. The networks and cliques that scene created still hold sway around here. The kids who used to put on house shows are now running venues, the kids who were blogging are now writing for the weekly papers. And as a musician who is not in a garage band, I gotta say it kind of blows.
posted by Maaik at 8:40 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

The pendulum is going to swing back to rock. It has to.
Let's all stop paying attention to the fickle pendulum of cool.

I look forward to the next 'explosion' when we can stop looking down on musicians who are skilled on their instrument. I like to practice, it is fun! It feels like the musical equivalent of high school jocks who pretend to be stupid so that no one will think they are nerds. (i really like garage bands, btw)
posted by palacewalls at 10:53 AM on April 2, 2011

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