Roots are important, people. StAR contributors are getting back to ’em with the best of the best from their hometown musicians.
- FLEETWOOD MAC — “Rhiannon” — as described by anthony milki
- THE REPLACEMENTS — “Little Mascara” — as described by alex cheng
- THE RASCALS — “A Girl Like You” — as described by sophia laurenzi
- BIG LURCH — “Texas Boy” — as described by katie nesser
- EaSWay — “New Soul” — as described by chase porter
- LANA DEL REY — “Video Games” — as described by cissy shi
- WHEELS — “Morse Code” — as described by kate hassey
- MT. ST. HELENS VIETNAM BAND — “Albatross, Albatross, Albatross” — as described by connor kelley
- MAC LETHAL — “Pound That Beer” — as described by analyssa lopez
- BRANDON RHYDER- “Freeze Frame Time”- as described by tara mccullough
- ELLIOTT SMITH — “Angeles” — as described by john murray
- YOZOH — “Dance” — as described by claire kim
- KID CUDI — ¨ ’09 Freestyle¨ — as described by editor lawrence neil
- LANA COSIC — “How To Play” — as described by e.i.c. katharine schwab
FLEETWOOD MAC — “Rhiannon” — as described by anthony milki
You’ve heard it. It’s one of those songs that was always on whatever station my parents would play in the car. I vibe to that Lindsey Buckingham (from Palo Alto, btw) riff as much now as 6-year-old Anthony did.
THE REPLACEMENTS — “Little Mascara” — as described by alex cheng
The Replacements are my favorite band from my homeland of ten thousand lakes, Minnesota. As a Minnesotan, you love Dylan because you have to. And you love Prince, but from a distance, because he transcends our petty mortal coil. But the Replacements – now here are four scruffy kids you can cozy up with in the face of the Minneapolis cold. The ‘Mats pioneered a visceral sincerity in indie rock that, to me, manages to perfectly capture the Midwestern ethos. “Little Mascara” is a story of hard, thankless middle-class life, sung with intense compassion by Paul Westerberg over messy, brash, honest-to-goodness rock. I love Minnesota with all my heart; the ‘Mats are home sweet home.
THE RASCALS — “A Girl Like You” — as described by sophia laurenzi
Eddie Brigati lives across from my high school. All these guys are from New Jersey. They are not Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, or Bon Jovi.
BIG LURCH — “Texas Boy” — as described by katie nesser
Fort Worth native and renowned cannibal Big Lurch describes a Texas experience very different from the one I had. There’s one thing we have in common though: we’re from the land of tall buildings with hella gold teeth.
EaSWay — “New Soul” — as described by chase porter
He was in my English class, he played on my soccer team, mtv.com once wrote “This young man is one to watch out for”, and the YouTube commenter 666Simen wrote “Nice, I get good feeling :-)”. Me too 666Simen, me too.
LANA DEL REY — “Video Games” — as described by cissy shi
Even though Lana Del Rey released “West Coast”, this New Yorker was born in Manhattan, grew up in Lake Placid, and spent time on Long Island before attending Fordham University and living four years in both the Bronx and Brooklyn.
WHEELS — “Morse Code” — as described by kate hassey
Giving a shout out to Wheels, a Americana quartet of high school students who hail from Yellow Springs, Ohio. I’ve attached “Morse Code,” with a dream-like, acoustic combination of banjo, bass, harmonica, and guitar. Give it a listen and send some West Coast love to my fellow Ohioans (Ed. Seconded). Maybe you’ll share my response: who are these high school students and what is this sudden feeling rushing over me? Inadequacy?
MT. ST. HELENS VIETNAM BAND — “Albatross, Albatross, Albatross” — as described by connor kelley
Yo, I’m the first to admit that I’m not actually from Seattle. Born in San Diego, currently residing in Duvall, WA (wheredafuq?), but an unabashed user of the classic phrase “I’m from the Seattle area”. When you come from the Upper Left, nobody outside really knows anything besides Seattle and Portland, and often confuses the order of Washington and Oregon (we’re on top of Oregon. Learn it). We’re a little isolated, but I find that endearing.
Equally as isolated is our music scene. Surprisingly few “outsiders” have the privilege of knowing the likes of the Seattle music scene other than Nirvana and Macklemore. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band was a classic for my friends and I in high school but I haven’t found many listeners since moving to school. Such as it is. A pretty tight four-piece that makes a unique brand of indie rock with just enough edge, MTSHVB seamlessly switches between refined, guitar-driven, lyrically-intriguing verses to frenetic and increasingly aggressive bridges to create some next level shit.
MAC LETHAL — “Pound That Beer” — as described by analyssa lopez
Is it often that someone from outside of your hometown introduces you to artists from your hometown? Well, that’s what happened with me & Mac Lethal, a goofy white boy from Kansas City (MISSOURI, NOT KANSAS) that I had never heard of until a friend from Chicago made me listen to one of his songs, which started listing spots in KC. This song (maybe because of the marching band?) was one of my pre-party songs all through high school, and it bears noting that I hate beer now so there’s that. Of course, the easy choice for a musician from Kansas City, MO is Tech N9ne, and Caribou Lou also defined my high school party career, but Mac Lethal makes me nostalgic for sneaking past parents to get drunk in someone’s basement and watch boys play Xbox or whatever.
BRANDON RHYDER- “Freeze Frame Time”- as described by tara mccullough
For every uncomfortable middle school dance all the way up through senior prom, this song made an appearance. Somewhere in between all the 2-stepping, it became my favorite. I know, I know — country isn’t everyone’s thang. But, it’s about being present in the good and bad moments and still loving life. A hearty message for us Stanford overachievers.
ELLIOTT SMITH — “Angeles” — as described by john murray
Elliott Smith is Portland’s great fallen son. His hauntingly gentle voice and guitar perfectly capture that tender melancholy that permeates a city where, once it starts to rain, it never seems to stop.
YOZOH — “Dance” — as described by claire kim
Yozoh, she’s my muse, in loving the world around her and expressing it in her own precious ways.
Let’s dance, you and I, looking inside each other’s worlds in our eyes, share a breath, a kiss, so that we be forgetful of sadness and just forever last.
KID CUDI — ¨ ’09 Freestyle¨ — as described by editor lawrence neil
Cudi just did a TED Talk at my high school — this track is from the days when he still rapped lines like ‘I would sit up some nights and think about my own place / probably ’cause I took so many blunts of kush to the face.’ Honorable mention to lesser known, higher energy rappers of Cleveland’s side: Al Fatz, Machine Gun Kelly, Royalty Camp, Ray Cash, Chip tha Ripper.
LANA COSIC — “How To Play” — as described by e.i.c. katharine schwab
So this is a little awkward. The closest I got to Pasadena was South Pasadena, and the music of my brother’s ex-girlfriend. She’s got the whole singer-songwriter thing going and just released her first EP on Bandcamp. Even though we can’t technically be friends anymore, I still dig her music.
Off this EP I recommend “How To Play,” which has a poppy, Sara Bareilles-feel without the overplayed annoyance. Lana’s music reminds me of all the undiscovered talent that lurks in the corners of the Internet, of the people who validate their art by letting it rest at the end of a url.