Monday, November 15, 2010

This Is Vintage Now Review

This Is Vintage Now is an ambitious music project headed by David Gasten which in David's own words tries to "bring older styles to the current time in a way that connects with current audiences but is still non-obtrusive." Sounds good to me! I for one embrace looking to the past to create the future and music is such a living creature that it should be constantly revisited and refreshed.

According to their website, the objective of their first CD is to "showcase 'bicultural' Vintage-style artists that bring the sounds of the 1940's-1960's to today without compromising the original sound." Do they deliver? The answer is both yes and no and , of course, is complicated and based on personal preference as music usually is.

Beverly Kenney
The CD starts strong with a jazz track from Beverly Kenney "Tea for Two," which was actually recorded in 1955. Accompanied only by piano, Kenney's voice has a fragility on par with fellow 50s vocalist Helen Merrill, with a shot of Sheila Jordan and Sarah Vaughn thrown in. I agree completely that she is obscure enough to be "rediscovered" for this compilation, yet this track sets a high standard for the rest of the album as well.

On track 2 "Get On Up and Boogie", Big Jay McNeely immediately catches the listener with his question "Are you ready for some Boogie Woogie?!?" and jumps into a high energy audio assault of vocals, stride piano, guitar, bass, drums, conga drums and a pair of saxes. Like Kenney, McNeely has been making music for quite some time and helps to create the base on which the other tunes on the CD will be compared to, conscious or not. The contrast of this jump blues tune against the first really grabbed me and I started to look forward to the next tune.

The next song "Just One Dance" by Caro Emerald did not let me down and became my favorite on the compilation. The mix of jazz, torch song, and big band with dance pop is to me the essence of what This Is Vintage Now should be, a marriage of old and new in a way that supports each other. The short instrumental sax and piano jazz samples are perfectly blended behind a catchy vocal line to almost create a call and answer within the verse. The addition of a horn section over a pop band harkens back to Joe Jackson's successful crossover album Steppin' Out, however this tune is much more dance oriented.

Ilana Charnelle
At this point I am totally with this CD. Unfortunately, this is also where things start to falter. The next two songs, "Piece" by Ilana Charnelle and "Tears On My Pillow" by The Pharohs, are troublesome for various reasons. Ilana Charnelle is a strong, expressive singer, similar to Fiona Apple, and the song "Piece" is noteworthy with compelling lyrics, however it is awkward in the context of this particular compilation. It is not the sparseness of the instrumentation, voice and piano, because the first song on the CD is the same. It is more that the song has too much of an indie feel to it compared to the other songs. This is felt mostly in the melody line in the verse which tends to linger around the same note. The bridge section is closer to a "vintage" sound in that the melody and lyrics are on equal footing much more like a Tin Pan Alley song, however the bridge is only 16 bars out of essentially a 48 bar song. While I would agree that Charnelle's song is channeling a Janis Ian sound, this is really the only song on this CD to cover this type of genre and it really sticks out.

The Pharohs song is a perfectly acceptable cover of "Tears On My Pillow" however there are some pitching issues in the vocals and sound quality issues with the recording. There is also nothing really "modern" with this rendition that leads me to believe that it will be pulling in a new audience beyond those who already appreciate Doo-wop.

Moving on, "Similau" by The Waitiki 7 is nice blend of lounge, exotica and bossa jazz, with a little bit of gypsy thrown in. This tunes definitely makes me think of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters album in that it is fleshing out a jazz idiom with native flavor. The juxtaposition of vibes, flute and violin in the different sections of the tune outline each flavor and provide quite a bit of texture in a fairly short song (3:22) for this genre. I personally would have liked the quicker middle section to have been longer to allow the soloists to explore more.

David Gasten
CD producer Gasten's own band David Gasten & the City Kids is next with "The Deacon Don't Like It." Like the Caro Emerald tune above this song holds firmly to the objective of the This Is Vintage Now with a mixture of swing, jump blues and whiskey- think Tom Waits meets the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. The use of a shout chorus and a guitar that fills in for the absence of a horn section is effective, giving the song a firm swing feel to it. There is no solo section in this tune which is unusual, however the song does not drag on due to the switch in underlying tempo textures in each section of the 16 bar blues.

The next tune "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" is another track from the 50s by  vocalist Carole Creveling. Creveling is another talented but overlooked jazz singer that has a fluid, sing-songy sound similar to a younger Anita O'Day or even Rosemary Clooney ala "Come On A My House." She is backed by a combo of piano, bass and drums and has a sound typical of most female jazz vocalists at that time. What is atypical is that she was 18 when she recorded the album that the track comes from, according to an interview.

Next in line is an interesting tune by Blake Jones & the Trike Shop called "If Hawthorne Were Foggy." The title itself is enough to warrant a listen, but the actual song is a delightful mix of ethereal wordless vocals, expressive surf guitar, talkative bass and bouts of glockenspiel. It's as if Brian Wilson and Duane Eddy decided to cover a Sean Lennon song at a circus. The lack of percussion in this song just adds to the amorphous feeling of floating through a dream, however the echo on the guitar adds a sinister sense of excitement as you half expect a zombie clown (courtesy of the glock). I love it and fits perfectly within the theme of this CD.

The Necro-Tonz
The final song on the compilation is“Fare Thee Well (And Go To Hell)” by The Necro-Tonz. Billed as Halloween jazz/swing, the group is a combo with vocals and sax that teeters on the brink of a rockabilly shuffle sound. There is something restrained about this particular recording that I can't quite place my finger on. It's as if everyone but the sax player is holding back or is fatigued from a day of recording. I keep expecting more as the song goes on and it never quite gets there. I would have especially liked to have heard more from the vocalist who has a powerful and expressive voice, perhaps some scatting. Overall this tune fits within the objective of the compilation yet is unremarkable in defining a new vintage sound in and of itself.

As I mentioned, the project is very ambitious as there are an incredible amount of genres just within the compilation's chosen eras of the 40s-60s, opening the door to thrill or disappoint listeners. Overall I was pleased with This Is Vintage Now and I would recommend it to anyone that appreciates a wide range of historical music genres, with a special affinity for swing and jazz.

This Is Vintage Now
Coming soon!
For more information contact David Gasten at DavidGasten at yahoo dot com 

Friday, November 5, 2010

19th Century Stage Music

pic from
In the 19th century, Melodrama quickly became the most popular theater genre. The use of music to heighten the drama was the key ingredient in Melodrama's rapid popularity as audience members could relive their theater experience at home by performing or listening to favorite songs from a show. Audiences also delighted in the use of special effects, such as simulated natural disasters like fires and earthquakes, or fancy spectacles involving large casts and animals.

Listening: Reviews:
Home, Sweet Home (Bishop), CD1, #13 from Recordings for An Introduction to America's Music

Home, Sweet Home is one of the most popular songs of the 19th century and took the place of Yankee Doodle Dandy as the most favorite at the time. Taken from the1823 opera Clari, this melody of the piece was written by English composer Henry Bishop, but the words were written by American author John Payne. Payne started as an actor in his youth and began to tour, which caused him to spend much of his life abroad. Many believe that this is where he got the inspiration to write such sentimental lyrics that captured the hearts of any who heard the song. There is a detailed account here of how accutely the song would affect listeners, particularly in the military.

The song itself is written in a simple style of verse and chorus and the tune was reportedly based on a Sicilian Air from a book of airs that Bishop had edited in 1820. However, a subsequent lawsuit forced Bishop to admit that he had written the tune himself. The languid melody lends itself well to singing and allows the performer to express their emotions easily. The song also propels itself towards the downbeats of every other measure which also supplies a steady undercurrent allowing for group singing.

click for larger image

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Early Band Concert Music

pic from
Prior to the mid 19th century, brass bands were utilized mostly in the battle field as the brass instruments were heard more readily and their clumsiness did not lend very well to a more refined dance sound as woodwinds and string instruments did. However, post Civil War the quality and sophistication of brass instruments grew and many concert bands were formed. Concert music encompassed much of the popular music of the day and dance music was most definitely included.

Listening: Reviews:

Helene Schottishe, CD1, #20 from Recordings for An Introduction to America's Music

Written in the 1860s by Walter Dignam, the Helene Schottishe is a light and precise arrangement based on a dance form called the Schottishe. Similar to a polka, the Schottishe is a combination of steps and hops, which is apparent in the music that accompanies the dance. Accents within the song, such as staccatos, indicate where dancers would hop in a manner similar to earlier European court dances. As such the dance is most likely done by the middle to upper class in a ball setting.

This particular arrangement is for a concert band of 12 instruments: cornets, saxhorns and percussion. In an ABAC form, which is repeated twice completely, the music is purely to accompany the dance and is very balanced in sets of 8 for each section. The song is highly repetitive and predictable, therefore not making it very artistic. There are some dynamic contrasts within the music which happens mostly when a solo instrument is highlighted playing the melody. The instruments play crisp and sharp and the downbeat is accentuated in order to be clear to the dancers. At the end of the tune there is a slight ritard, which is where the dancers would most likely bow to each other.

To view an example of a Schottishe dance click on the video below

Friday, October 15, 2010

Early American Parlor Songs

Jeanette MacDonald pic from
Parlor songs are popular songs that meant to be performed in the home, specifically in the parlor which often was where a piano was kept. The songs were printed as sheet music and gained popularity as the number of households with money to purchase the music grew.

The appeal of parlor songs lay in their ability to capture deep emotion through a melody that was pleasant and easy enough for the novice to sing. However, if one chose to sing the song in public one was expected to have a better than average voice and the ability to express the desired emotion the song portrayed. In the article "The Performance of Parlor Songs in America, 1790-1860,"  Nicholas Tawa gives contrasting reviews  that highlight the performer's ability to capture the sentiment of the parlor song, including a review in a Boston newspaper that reports a singer as having "no soul" due to the nature of her over-ornamentation:

For example, because Angelica Catalani's performances of songs stressed her virtuosity through runs, cadenzas, and other rapid ornaments, and because she sang all her songs in a similar manner, a Boston audience judged her to have no "soul." Her singing seemed merely a "tissue of embroidery," John Rowe Parker, editor of the Boston Euterpeiad, writes, and adds: "All this was said around me." On the other hand, a skilled ballad-singer, Clara Fisher, "on one occasion" was able to sing "what was intended to be a ludicrous appeal to sympathy with such wonderful truthfulness of suffering, that a majority of the audience was overcome with tears."

The charm of the parlor song is how it leveled the playing field between professional and amateur. One does not have to have exceptionally high technical skills to master a parlor song. In fact, many of the preferred "ballad-singers" at the height of popularity of the parlor song were singers who were unable to excel in more challenging genres, as shown in the article excerpt above.

Listening: Reviews:

Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair (Foster), CD1, #17 from Recordings for An Introduction to America's Music

This strophic piece was written by Stephen Foster, one of the most popular and prolific writers of parlor songs in the 19th century. The song is typical sentimental fare- the singer is longing to see their love who is no longer near, most likely dead. In this recording there are two female singers accompanied by an autoharp or dulcimer. The fact that the song is written from a man's point of view is of no matter as the singer is merely a vessel of the emotion of the song, as mentioned above. The accompaniment and vocal harmonies are fairly simple and defer to the melody, as they should. The singers' voices are pleasing, however the second singer has a strident tone to her voice and adds a bit too much personality in the form of slurs which can be distracting.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Early American Patriotic Song

pic from
As America was nearing a Revolutionary War, it was eager to remove itself from England in every possible way. Music was one of the easiest ways to do this. American composers, like William Billings, had already been attempting to establish a national sound in art music by shunning established rules and creating a new sound. However, not all English tradition was discarded when American lyricists began to write distinctly patriotic words to fit with popular English tunes; a sarcastic kick in the face to England and one that was not missed. The English would often reply with new lyrics to answer and a battle of musical wits began.

Listening: Reviews:

The Liberty Song (Dickinson), CD1, #6 from Recordings for An Introduction to America's Music

One of the first patriotic songs to gain popularity was The Liberty Song with words written by John Dickinson in 1768.The words were sung to the tune of Heart of Oak, which was the British Royal Navy's anthem. Dickinson wrote the words in response to another round of taxes being levied against the colonies by Britain.

Dickinson may have written the piece in response to recent events, but a quick comparison of the lyrics of his song against the original lyrics of Heart of Oak written by Boyce will show that he also incorporated a reaction to them as well:

Heart of Oak                                                         The Liberty Song
Come cheer up, my lads! 'tis to glory we steer,          Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
To add something more to this wonderful year;                    And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call
To honour we call you, not press you like slaves,                No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim,
For who are so free as the sons of the waves?                      Or stain with dishonor America's name

Heart of oak are our ships, heart of oak are our men;              In Freedom we're born and in Freedom we'll live.
We always are ready, steady, boys, steady!                         Our purses are ready. Steady, friends, steady;
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.                      Not as slaves, but as Freemen our money we'll give.

Dickinson seems to playing off of the original lyrics in referencing the idea of freemen and slaves and he makes a nice turn of the phrase "steady, boys, steady" by changing "boys" to "friends" which shows a deeper feeling of unity, as well as a sense of choice as opposed to duty.

The song is in a two-part form with a verse and a chorus in between. Often the verses would be sung by a leader(s) and the repeated chorus sung by a group of voices in unison in response to each changing verse. The song has no instrumental accompaniment. Although the song is sung in a steady rhythm, most likely left over from the original tune's use for heaving on the sea, it was most likely sung in a bar or tavern to rouse the spirits and gather like-minded men together. This could be an easy way for those who were revolution supporters to find others who felt the same quickly by starting up a chorus of the song to see who would join in.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rockabilly- Hillbilly Casino Live

pic from

I recently went to see the band Hillbilly Casino play at Frank's Power Plant on Sept. 9th and they were amazing, as usual. If you aren't familiar with the band they are a powerhouse quartet of vocals (Nic Roulette), bass (Geoff Firebaugh), guitar (Ronnie Crutcher ) and drums (Andrew Dickson) that according to their own website bio "blends elements of honkytonk, rockabilly, psychobilly, and straight up rock and roll."  I will be writing more about these genres in the coming weeks, but you can get a head start on rockabilly by reading one of my previous posts.

Singer Nic Roulette is also a huge hip hop fan (as well as a fantastic trained tap dancer) and often throws in a few verses of some old school rap to mix it up now and then. The very first time I saw HBC at the 2007 Rockin' 50s Fest in Green Bay, they did a high-energy mash-up of Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm" with a few verses of Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance" in the middle. Below is an example of how this works:

Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues
Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues
Yes a jumpy rhythm makes you feel so fine
It'll shake all the trouble from your worried mind
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Little shoeshine boy never gets low down

But he's got the dirtiest job in town
Bendin' low at the peoples' feet
On the windy corner of the dirty street
Well, I asked him while he shined my shoes
How'd he keep from gettin' the blues
He grinned as he raised his little head
Popped a shoeshine rag and then he said

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues
It only costs a dime, just a nickel a shoe
Does a million dollars worth of good for you
Get rhythm when you get the blues

   All right! Stop whatcha doin'
   'cause I'm about to ruin the image and the style that ya used to.
   I look funny but yo I'm makin' money see
   so yo world I hope you're ready for me.
   Now gather round I'm the new fool in town
   and my sound's laid down by the Underground.
   I drink up all the Hennessey ya got on ya shelf
   so just let me introduce myself
   My name is Humpty, pronounced with a Umpty.
   Yo ladies, oh how I like to hump thee.
   And all the rappers in the top ten--please allow me to bump thee.
   I'm steppin' tall, y'all, and just like Humpty Dumpty
   you're gonna fall when the stereos pump me.
   I like to rhyme, I like my beats funky,
   I'm spunky. I like my oatmeal lumpy.
   I'm sick wit dis, straight gangsta mack
   but sometimes I get ridiculous
   I'll eat up all your crackers and your licorice
   hey yo fat girl, c'mere--are ya ticklish?
   Yeah, I called ya fat. Look at me, I'm skinny
   It never stopped me from gettin' busy
   I'm a freak I like the girls with the boom
   I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom
   I'm crazy. Allow me to amaze thee.
   They say I'm ugly but it just don't faze me.
   I'm still gettin' in the girls' pants
   and I even got my own dance

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues
It only costs a dime, just a nickel a shoe
Does a million dollars worth of good for you
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Well, I sat down to listen to the shoeshine boy
And I thought I was gonna jump for joy
Slapped on the shoe polish left and right
He took a shoeshine rag and he held it tight
He stopped once to wipe the sweat away
I said you're a mighty little boy to be-a workin' that way
He said I like it with a big wide grin
Kept on a poppin' and he said again

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues
Get a rock 'n' roll feelin' in your bones
Get taps on your toes and get gone
Get rhythm when you get the blues

I found a live version of HBC performing the song so you can hear it-

Find more artists like Hillbilly Casino at Myspace Music

Not only did the mixing of the two seemingly divergent styles of rockabilly/hillbilly with hip hop work rhythmically, but combining the lyrics really showed the similarity of the genres in how they discuss the same subject. The idea of using music to create a sense of self that transcends social prescriptions and rising above them becomes much more poignant when adding Humpty's self-description.

Back to the most recent performance, HBC just came out with a new album "Tennessee Stomp" which is a continuation of their hard-edged rockabilly and honky-tonk sound. One of the things I like most about their music, which also sets them apart from many groups of the same style, is that they have a lot of layering in their music. Much of this is because each band member is an accomplished musician in many genres which allows them to fill space in a tasteful way. They are also very good at listening to each other and responding musically to what is going on in the moment. This is very much apparent in a live show because you can see the interaction of the players through eye contact with each other, as well as the individual concentration in the rhythm section, particularly drums, that produces a constant rhythmic movement underneath the vocals that is alive and evolving until the song ends.

LISTEN- Tennessee Stomp by Hillbilly Casino

Frank's Power Plant 9.10
 "Tennessee Stomp" is broken into 8 bar sections in a basic I-IV-V progression and the overall form is AABA. The use of changing rhythmic and harmonic textures, particularly in the B section, makes the song  more intricate and interesting. The B section also has a vocal counterpoint that adds to the forward movement of the song, one of many techniques used that often makes their songs feel like they are on the verge of dangerously falling apart. Of course, they never do but it definitely adds to the reckless charm of this band.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is American Popular Music?

I have been asked to write a short paper describing what I think American music is for my graduate class. It is a difficult thing for me to pinpoint as I don't have a tendency to label music on that broad of a scale. I usually think of music as being classical, Renaissance, jazz (or even more specifically hot jazz, fusion, cool jazz, etc.). So I guess I am more of a micro than macro thinker.

I feel that getting a handle on what American music is is difficult because America is a melting pot of cultures that each have their own characteristics that have been blended into whatever music fits the time it is written. For example, according to An Introduction to America's Music traditional African music often has a call and response characteristic to it which is found in later African American music like spirituals and jazz. Spirituals themselves were developed in America to establish an African American tradition and were a mixture of white part songs and slave songs which sung by slaves transported from Africa in the early 1600s. Spirituals are considered American music, however what of the slave songs that came from Africa and were adapted to serve the purpose of the slave masters? Would they be considered American music because they were sung in America? Or perhaps they would be considered American because they were adapted for American specific purposes, as horrible as they were. Going one step further, rock music is American but if it is adapted to suit french music and performed in France, does that make it French Popular music? When is it just stealing?

I find this dilemma very similar to parody copyright issues. How much of a song must be changed for the ownership to be able to be claimed by someone else and granted? The melody may remain the same but the essence of the song must be significantly different usually through a change in lyrics and subsequently interpretation. This differs from a cover song or arrangement which merely derive from the original work. More about parody and derivative works can be found on the U.S. Copyright website.

As I struggle to continue to define what American popular music means to me, I wonder if there can be a way to answer this that isn't subjective?What do YOU think American music is?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Native American Music

pic from
Truly the first example of the American popular music don't you think? I admit I had to get past some preconceived notions I had about Native American music that was laid on me from old Westerns and Disney movies. I feel the guilt from not having dispelled this years ago, but my taste in music never led me to the path of enlightenment, which is one of the reasons I wanted to take my American Popular Music class.

According to Richard Crawford in An Introduction to America's Music, early reports of Native American music by explorers and settlers describe yelling and percussive sounds, either using instruments or parts of their own bodies. Many accounts speak of the natives using music to serve a specific function, such as healing or protection against bad spirits. Very little attention is paid to understanding the culture behind the music and Native Americans were labeled as savages. A push to "civilize" them through converting them to Christianity began, including leaving their own culture behind.

Fortunately, as time progressed, various individuals recognized the importance of documenting Native American music, even if purely to make it more accessible to non-natives, and melodies and lyrics were written down and eventually recorded. Native Americans also strove to preserve their heritage for future generations that were raised in non-native ways, allowing researchers to better understand the context of the rich material that comprises Native American music.

Listening: Reviews:

War Dance Song From Southern Plains Indians, CD1, #25 from Recordings for An Introduction to America's Music

The first thing you hear in this piece are rhythmic drums and bells establishing a steady half note beat undercurrent of continuing motion. A singular male voice quickly starts in with the first musical idea, which is soon echoed by another single male voice, then echoed again by a group of male voices. This specific configuration of 1:1:all never happens again in the recording, although there always seems to be one voice leading a new idea which is echoed by a chorus in unison. Another single voice adds various interjections like whoops or yells throughout the piece. At some points there is the faint sound of treble voices, which may be women or boys singing along, but it is not consistent.

The form of the song seems to be AABA. The percussion background is the only accompaniment to the voices and seems to have a loose, but definite structure that is cued by the different sections of the song. It is evident that the lead singer controls were the song goes and when it will end.  Being that the song has a specific function, a war song, it is difficult without a text translation of the sections to know if this would change the meaning of the song or if the sections are interchangeable at the will of the lead singer.

War Dance Song of the Los Angeles Northern Singers from Pow Wow Songs: Music of the Plains Indians

There is a definite stylistic difference in this Northern Plains war dance song from the above Southern Plains war dance. They both start the same with percussion and lead voice echoed by chorus, but right away the melodies seem more intricate with more twists and turns, staying longer in the upper ranges before settling down in the lower range at the end of a phrase. The sections are longer and even the overall time of this song (5:28) is longer than the first (2:45). The drums are also more prominent in cueing the end of each section.

Although the majority of the singing is done by male voices as with the first example, it is more evident that there are treble voices (most likely women) singing along, although this could be due to the quality of the recording itself. The form is not as evident as the first example in listening to it, but it seems that it is contained within the longer sections and may be a AA BCB form.The sections also seem to get higher each time they are sung and the drums quicken and put more emphasis on quarter notes adding to the excitement of the performance.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Is Rockabilly?

(reposted from Tart Deco- Vintage Glamour & Retro Style)

I get this question a lot, especially when I tell people I used to sing in a rockabilly band (Sidecar Steph & the 7-10 Split). Rockabilly can be so many things to so many people, so I'll keep my definition to what I think it is and perhaps others will add on through their comments. I could wax poetically for hours on end on this subject, but I'll save that for my masters thesis and keep this post as simple as I can.

Rockabilly Music
Rockabilly as a word is "rock+hillbilly" and many of the early musicians were considered country & western, like Rose Maddox & the Maddox Brothers and Charline Arthur. There were also quite a few jazz musicians that would contract in to a studio session, like Les Paul, and Sun Records was crawling with players from both genres. Sun Records is considered by most to be the birthplace of rockabilly music and they owe much of that to Elvis Presley. Here's where it gets interesting- Elvis was heavily influenced by African American music, specifically gospel and R&B bop, and this, coupled with the aforementioned genres, provided the driving beat that really gave rockabilly it's unique sound. So now we have three diverse influences helping to create this new and exciting sound.

When people think rockabilly they usually remember the men of the genre, like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, etc. However, there was a huge female contingency that could rock just as hard as the men- Wanda Jackson (pic on right), Janis Martin, LaVern Baker and Barbara Pittman are just a few.

Rockabilly music unfortunately went as quickly as it came, mostly because of social issues and a fear of "the beat, the beat, the beat." Luckily, interest was revised in a big way in the 1980s by groups like The Stray Cats and The Blasters. Psychobilly (punk+rockabilly) also came out of this movement led by the group The Cramps. The genre just continues to grow and thrive, with it creating an attractive lifestyle that goes beyond the music.


Welcome to my newest blog about American Popular Music. This blog has been established to coincide with a graduate class I am taking, but I may decide to continue it if there is enough interest. To get some content on here, I will be reposting a few music posts from my main blog Tart Deco.