Carolina Chocolate DropsDurham bluegrass trio Carolina Chocolate Drops is comprised of vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Dom Flemons, Justin Robinson, and Rhiannon Giddens. In the mid-aughts, the Drops found their way under the guidance of Americana fiddler royal Joe Thompson. With five releases to collect, get started with "Kissin' and Cussin'," from the 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig.
Buy: Amazon.comGenre: Bluegrass/Folk
Artist: Carolina Chocolate Drops
Song: Kissin' and Cussin'
Album: Genuine Negro Jig
SlowdiveShoegaze quintet Slowdive was founded in 1989 by U.K. school friends Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell (vocals/guitar). Nick Chaplin (bass), Christian Savill (guitar), and Ian McCutcheon (drums) would fill out the pack. (Simon Scott and Adrian Sell also took turns on drums.) Slowdive issued over a dozen recordings until its disbandment in the mid-'90s. Halstead, McCutcheon, and Goswell went on to form Mojave 3. Collaborations/shared stages include Brian Eno, Blur, and Catherine Wheel. Enjoy Slowdive's "haircut cool" title "40 Days," from their 1993 release Souvlaki.
Buy: Amazon.comGenre: Alternative
Song: 40 Days
The HoneycombsBritish pop ensemble The Honeycombs was founded in London, 1963, by Denis D'Ell (vocals, harmonica), Martin Murray (guitar), Alan Ward (guitar), and siblings John (bass) and Honey Lantree (drums, vocals). Peter Pye replaced Murray in '64. After making their bones on London's club circuit, the band hooked up with burgeoning songwriting team Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley (Lulu, Elvis). Shortly thereafter, the eccentric and brilliant producer/writer Joe Meek put them in the studio, and they debuted to international acclaim. Another album followed, but by 1967 the project had concluded. Rediscover the Meek-ified 1964 hit "Have I the Right," from Have I the Right--The Very Best of the Honeycombs. Buy full album.
Buy: Amazon.comGenre: Brit Pop
Artist: The Honeycombs
Song: Have I the Right
Album: Have I the Right--The Very Best of the Honeycombs
Trashcan SinatrasGlaswegian six-piece rock-pop ensemble Trashcan Sinatras is Francis Reader, John Douglas, Paul Livingston, Frank DiVanna, Stevie Mulhearn, and Stephan Douglas. Founded in 1987, the band has issued a handful of albums to date, all with a meticulous and satisfying attention to detail. Collaborations include Grant Wilson, Stevie Mulhearn, Jody Stoddart, and Eddie Reader. Download "Should I Pray?," with the added treat of the silver-throated Carly Simon, from their 2010 release In the Music, produced with Andy Chase of Ivy.
Buy: Amazon.comGenre: Rock/Pop
Artist: Trashcan Sinatras
Song: Should I Pray?
Album: In the Music
The Pernice BrothersArtful pop-rock unit The Pernice Brothers is captained by multi-instrumentalist/writer Joe Pernice, with Bob Pernice, James Walbourne, and Ric Menck rounding out the current lineup. Joe made his bones in the mid-'90s with Scud Mountain Boys, which released three albums before disbanding in 1998. Soon after, he founded The Pernice Brothers. At the century's turn, they recorded on Joe's Ashmont label, founded with manager Joyce Linehan in 2001. Pernice published his first novel It Feels So Good When I Stop (Riverhead/Penguin) in '09. With a dozen-plus Pernice-graced recordings to acquire, get started with"The Loving Kind," from 2010's Goodbye, Killer.
Buy: Amazon.comGenre: Pop/Rock
Artist: The Pernice Brothers
Song: The Loving Kind
Album: Goodbye, Killer
Johnny ThundersPunk titan and glam guitarist Johnny Thunders was born John Anthony Genzale Jr. in Queens, New York, 1952. Co-founder of the New York Dolls, Thunders took flight in 1975 and founded The Heartbreakers with fellow refugees Jerry Nolan (ex-Dolls drummer) and legendary bassist Richard Hell (Television); The Heartbreakers released two albums. By the late '70s, this hardscrabble rocker went over the pond and played in Gang War with Paul Cook and Steve Jones (Sex Pistols). On the heels of punk, Thunders embarked on his solo career and released his freshman collection in 1978. Collaborations include Malcolm McLaren, Chrissie Hynde, and Sid Vicious. Johnny Thunders passed away in 1991. Remember him with "You Can't Put Your Arms Round a Memory," from his 1978 album So Alone.
Buy: Amazon.comGenre: Punk/Glam
Artist: Johnny Thunders
Song: You Can't Put Your Arms Round a Memory
Album: So Alone