The Paisley Underground -- A Mix

Between pulling out my old True West records for a post last week, and diving in to the brand new (and insanely trippy and jammed-out) Dream Syndicate album, I figured it was time to throw together a quick Paisley Underground mix for me and thee.

Now, the problem with genre signifiers like the Paisley Underground (see also Elephant 6) is that, as a non-insider myself, I have no idea the extent to which they're just media shorthands for a collection of bands which happened to share some musical influences and who occasionally worked or toured together. (I understand some of the folks gathered under this particular umbrella rejected the categorization.)  

Regardless, the bands generally lumped together as part of this movement were among my favorites back in the 80s, the sort of music I'd play constantly in my college radio days, their West Coast retro-psychedelic-jangle sitting comfortably alongside the Byrdsy/VU sounds of East Coast jangle-pop bands like R.E.M. and the Connells and Winter Hours.  While many of these bands didn't outlast the 80s, a few have been back making (great) music in recent years.  The Dream Syndicate has now released three fantastic studio albums, psychedelic drones and electric buzz that, in my opinion, are at least as solid as the albums from their initial run; the Long Ryders reunited last year for a terrific album of unabashed Americana, the endearing Psychedelic Country Soul, whose lead-off track "Greenville" could very well have been included on their last studio album from more than 30 years prior.  And the Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate, Bangles, and Three O'Clock teamed up for the clever fun of 3 x 4, with each of the bands covering songs by the other three.

Alas, David Roback, co-founder of the Rain Parade (and, later, Opal and Mazzy Star), passed away a few months ago, depriving the world of new work from one of the movement's central figures, though apparently he was in the process of readying Opal's long out-of-print recordings for re-release, so that will be nice.  (Unfortunately, the Rainy Day album, a low-key, DIY covers album featuring members of many of these bands, appears destined to remain out of print.)

Anyway, here's the mix I threw together.  I opted to stick with the bands' original work from the 80s, but you should definitely run and check out the post-reunion offerings noted above.  Enjoy!