i am always on the hunt for live music series online. it probably comes from attempting to initiate one myself. i recently came across LIVE @ 885FM which showcases live performances by upcoming as well as established INDIE ROCK acts in their studio out of CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. notable participants during pre-pandemic times include that of JOHNNY MARR, BOB MOULD, NADA SURF, BEST COAST, RODRIGO Y GABRIELA, ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER, JENNY LEWIS, INARA GEORGE (of BIRD & THE BEE), KURT VILE, BLITZEN TRAPPER and FIRST AID KIT.
obviously this is a take on the model spearheaded and popularized by the longstanding live performance series out of KEXP in SEATTLE, but honestly who cares? i love the fact that there are a multitude of radio stations (including KCRW in SANTA MONICA) providing quality, professionally recorded and mixed content of bands playing live.
we all win. especially when legacy radio stations have the pull to draw in first-rate talent, as is the case with 88.5FM.
its really cool the stuff that is being released on YOUTUBE these days. since 1987 the DUTCH television live performance series 2 METER SESSIONS has been film/recording/mixing one session a week of upcoming musical talent. as you can imagine, the variety and scope of these recordings has grown immeasurably over the years and there has been a slow trickle via their YOUTUBE channel releasing the more memorable performances.
everything from BURNING SPEAR, BECK and YEASAYER to SEPULTURA, NADA SURF and even NIRVANA.
definitely look these vintage performances up if you have the inclination. definitely worth the effort.
NADA SURF is easily one of the most underrated bands of the 1990s (right up there with FAILURE). while their more successful peers (WEEZER & GREEN DAY) rode waves of fame and disappointment, they just strode along consistently creating tuneful and emotionally resonant INDIE ROCK that continues to this day.
i really don't understand why they are not more wildly celebrated, but even so i'm still stoked that they have assembled an enviable staple of well-crafted and thoughtful songs well into middle age. they don't appear to be settling any time soon. i look forward to continuing to grow with their music as it continues to develop. see where frontman/songwriter MATHEW CAWS takes us.
collage by nacrowe
earlier this summer i did a DEER GOD RADIO show on a topic i am particularly passionate about, INDIE ROCK.
i've spotlighted several bands in this genre (LA LUZ, JAPANESE BREAKFAST, EL GUINCHO, GIRL IN A COMA, DRAB MAJESTY, GRAHAM COXON) with several more planned in the coming weeks (WARPAINT, LA VIDA BOHÈME, THE COATHANGERS, IRON REAGAN, ANA TIJOUX, BATTLES, LE BUTCHERETTES). i've also written several book reviews on this topic (GIRL IN A BAND, LOVE ROCK REVOLUTION, MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM) with have several more lined up (SET THE BOY FREE, THIS BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE, CLOSER YOU ARE, HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL). all due to the fact that this is arguably my favorite genre. for me what edges it above METAL and HARDCORE is the experimental aspect of it, the fact that like HIP HOP, it is a form that at its core challenges the musician and listener alike to seek new sounds. this fact makes it infinitely intriguing to read about and explore as people came to it from different viewpoints along gender, class, geographic, political lines that ultimately complicated and strengthened the fabric of the by definition open community.
looking back, this was one of my favorite playlists yet. i see this specific show as being a sister piece to a previous episode dedicated to 1980s HARDCORE, since both were concurrent scenes that supported and in many cases had a similar DIY ETHIC surrounding it. if anything, i see MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC as a community built on that same ethos of independence, integrity and passion.
if the artwork didn't clue you into the playlist, you can always catch that at the episode's page HERE. take it all in and enjoy this show. i definitely had fun with it.