Friday, October 7, 2011

Rain Parade--Emergency Third Rail Power Trip

I've also been listening to a lot of Paisley Underground (The Dream Syndicate, Green on Red, etc.) records to help me cope with the stress of school. If Girls were the downer to help me unwind at the end of each long day then The Rain Parade are the stuff that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. In case you've forgotten about this group, they were the best of the shimmering, jangly pop-psych that came out of the LA music scene in the early 80s. They didn't sell as many records as The Bangles (the most popular Paisley Undergound group), but I'd say they had the most talent and stand up better today than any of the other groups including The Dream Syndicate. If you haven't heard of The Rain Parade, think Nuggets, Seeds, Byrds, Syd Barrett-era Floyd, Revolver-era Beatles inspired "neo-psych" of the early 80s. I think this is a fitting description the Paisley Underground movement in general, but The Rain Parade were the best example of this sound. I couldn't decide which of their albums to post, because they're all so good, but frankly, I really like the cover of this one so that's how I decided. I highly recommend tracking down Explosions in the Glass Palace if you're into this record. Especially if you like the darker, VU inspired "No Easy Way Down" video below. Stand outs include "I Look Around", the "She Said She Said" inspired song that was probably their only hit. I'd say I wish these guys were still together, but Steve Roback left the band to form Opal which eventually morphed into Mazzy Star and what would the world be without Mazzy Star? This may be weird to hear, but Hope Sandoval is probably one of my top 5 favorite vocalists, songwriters, frontmen/women of all time. I don't think I've gone two days without hearing her voice for at least 3 minutes in years. If you don't agree, you should track down some of her solo records or some Mazzy Star records and give her a second chance. Or just wait...I'm sure some of them will pop up here eventually. Anyway, Rain Parade is quite good too. Enjoy.

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