Ok, I’ve always had an obsession with black, maybe it’s the hairdresser in me, maybe it’s the female (we learn early that black is THE universal flattering color for all-(It hides, shapes, cloaks us in mystery or some such) and so from this stance, it’s not strange at all for me to want to put together a playlist that actually is the “little black dress” of the underground. Not to say all of these bands haven’t made a name in some form or fashion (hello, the Black Keys are now filling stadiums) but this, in my opinion, is the blackest of the black in the most compelling way- Here you will find the dark, the gritty, the snarky, the sullen, the sad, the contemplative-every incarnation of black one can imagine. And while I consider myself a happy person, generally speaking, I love to seek out a little dark, just to remind me of what the lighter side feels like. So…here’s my dark side, in the form of a playlist. Enjoy. :)
1. If You Won’t Let Go- The Black Hollies- I am a fool for some garage rock. I dig the sizzlin’ guitar licks combined with a groovin beat. I hear this and imagine acid flashbacks I’m too young to remember. Images of 60’s anti drug propoganda swirl thru my head as I twist in my socks on the wooden floor.
2. 666 Conducer- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- Does it get any darker than these sullen guys who rock a mean, droney guitar? So dark, but so good. So deliciously bad, good. Reminiscent of the old Jesus MaryChain.
3. Hypno Switch- Black Rabbits- I don’t know much about this band except my friends @MusicSavage put it on one of their comps and I really dig the groove-y garage-y dark rock n roll sound. I’d like to find out more. They are on my list…Thanks @MusicSavage! Long live passionate music bloggers! Folks like me would be lost!
4. Science Killer-The Black Angels- This Austin band brings psych rock to a new all time high…I love love love the long instrumental intro and for some reason I listen and conjure up images of Grace Slick back in the day.
5. Shangri-La Indeed- The Black Whales- This song has everything i dig- a driving beat, great vocals-an awesome all around driving the countryside song, windows down, hair a blowin, and going atleast 10 over the speedlimit.
6. Black and Milds- Cataldo- The word that comes to mind here is…raw. I simply love the open, conversational aspect of Cataldo’s music. I always find myself listening closely, wondering who i am listening to, wondering about their story, and wondering if our stories are similiar. I can’t help but to think somehow, this very song was written for me, for any of us who have loved and lost, or loved but always wondered “what if” because that’s the thing with life, even when we win the lottery we still catch ourselves wondering about different outcomes.
7. Remember When (side B)- The Black Keys- Here’s some older stuff for ya, I love how the Keys just rock down the house. How two people can make so much noise and make it so damn good is beyond me. It’s fuckin epic. No other way to describe it.
8. Black Hair- The Romany Rye- This band hits me on the soul level. “I want to be the black dress you wear out tonite” - If a man sang this to me, I’d probably melt because somehow I might believe he really had the power to understand what makes me tick.
9. Black Postcards- Luna- One of my favorite bands in the history of EVER, how could i leave this song off the list? “If I had to do it all again, i wouldn’t” Dean, frontman wrote a great autobiography with the same title that is certainly worth your while to read.
10. Black Eyeliner- The Upside of Down- This band is another associated with the resurgence of psyche-rock- I’ve dug every single album they’ve kicked out, and long to see them someday in the flesh…
11. Grandma Airplane- Black Lipstick- Something about this band reminds me of a male fronted Stereo-lab. A wonderful combination of gnarly rock and a bit of electronica. I feel plugged into something awesome when I’m listening to Black Lipstick.
12. Gracely- Black Brick- a lovely quiet song. It skips along innocently, vocals are so gentle that it might be the breeze whispering to you…Soft and quiet but certainly interesting because somehow it brings you somewhere you didn’t know you were going. Black yes, but you remember…you went there happily…
13. Manipulation- The Black Angels- *Just add Acid. Kidding. Well, sort of. This is one of those trancey, trippy tunes that they do so well that you could have been a tee-totaler your whole life and swear the walls are breathing if you get caught up in this tune. I. LOVE.
14. Black Water- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros-I’ve always loved the “large” sound of ES&MZ. I really like how this tune seems to reach back into time and makes me want to sway in time with some mythological sweetheart.
15. Killing the Light- BRMC- another one from the princes of darkness. I love the high falsettos and the brutal bassline. Also there’s some great “oohs” in this song…Damn. LOVE.
16. Black Sand- Jenny Lewis- This woman has the voice of an angel. I’d fall inlove with her on the black sand, or on the white sand, or hell- no sand needed. She’s a one woman concentrated dose of pure awesomeness.
17. Mercy- BRMC -Yes, I love these guys, and that’s why they wound up 3 x’s on this comp. They have so many facets- earlier records w/super distortion but can definitely pull out the jams when stripped down. I love that they are unplugged in this and don’t sacrifice badass one bit.
18. The Hair Song- Black Mountain (so I’m a hairdresser. i couldn’t help it.) No, but seriously, this is a great fucking song. Black Mountain is one of those bands I really feel like I need to see more of/know more about. This song reminds me to do just that. Anyone have suggestions for me?
19. Blackbird- Elliott Smith- Mr. Smith covering a beloved Beatles tune? Yes, please. Elliott Smith was a genius guitarist, songwriter who mastered the art of delving into the darker side of human nature. So much in this man’s catalogue reckon with. This is a live recording taken from somewhere (sorry I don’t have more info than that) but it’s certainly worth a listen if you are a fan of either him or the Beatles.
20. Black Mirror- The Arcade Fire-“Neon Bible” was an amazing album in my opinion, that didn’t get near the acclaim that “suburbs” did and I feel was every inch as deserving. This tune in particular always resonated with me. I love the energy and the build, and also, it Seemed like a strong place to end the comp of darkness…looking into a Black Mirror…:)
(To download this in a handy zip file, just click on the red tag at the bottom labeled “source”)
all music is for sampling purposes only-the point is… if you like what you hear please support these awesome artists and BUY their albums, SEE their shows and SUPPORT their merch! (did you know that most bands make the bulk of their money on their merch? Get a tee shirt for godsakes! You can never have too many! :) Do your part and spread the love!