Rock n’ Roll Pest Control: Melody meets glitter

The Greatest Hits (photo by Julie Boolie)

by Gary Miller

In last week’s post I mentioned that Central Services, Friday Mile and Brides of Obscurity are in what I think of as an affinity group of organic pop bands. As is likely true in every music community across the country, there are a number of such affinity groups in the powerpop community, often based around friendships and shared band members. A good example would be the Unsmashable Records clique that’s made up a core of The Riffbrokers, Young Sportsmen, The Doll Test and The Small Change

To some degree I think of the Sunset Tavern as ground zero for much of that part of Seattle’s powerpop scene. Equally, I think of the Comet Tavern — mostly thanks to Mamma Casserole’s good taste in music — to be the primary place to find powerpop’s dirtier, rougher, glam-influenced brethren.

This amalgam includes bands like The Cute Lepers, The Greatest Hits, Avenue Rose and others, as well as, to a lesser degree, The Pop Machine and The Boss Martians. Like the more melody-driven powerpop bands around town, these bands pull liberally from 1960s and 1970s influences. But, they’re much more likely to rely on punk rock and Sweet and Phil Spector’s girl groups than The Raspberries or Big Star.

But, where these various groupings of bands overlap is their dedication to the simplicity of pop songs played with power. Here are some videos from the glammier side of the Northwest.

Seattle’s The Greatest Hits

Olympia’s Avenue Rose

Portland’s The Soda Pop Kids

Gary Miller runs the Seattle Powerpop Blog, which focuses on all things powerpop in the Pacific Northwest. SPB features album reviews, recommended shows, videos, mp3s and more.

This entry was posted in KEXP, Rock n' Roll Pest Control. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. blythe
    Posted January 11, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Finally some recognition to all my friends bands!

  2. Posted January 11, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Hey thank for the great blog! We appreciate all the support!!! We definitely love the bands you mentioned and we also are fans of Big Star, Rasberries, Badfinger, etc!!!!!!!!! There is just so much great music out there!

  3. Posted January 11, 2008 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Nice blogg! I play in The Greatest Hits and The Pop Machine and it’s really cool to be recognized in this category. I love The Sweet, Ramones and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound! Like my brother I’m also a huge fan of all music. Rock’n’Roll Forever! Cheers, Leif

    P.S. Make sure to checkout my new band The Shy Ones if you love loud Rock’n’Roll aka The Ramones, Who, Dead Boys!!!

  4. Posted January 16, 2008 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Rats. No Pop Machine pictures or video.. Good article none the less.. Cool to see all our name’s up in lights!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Donate Now!

Donate to KEXP Today!

Donate to KEXP Today!
where the music matters

The KEXP Blog

Sponsored By
Become a KEXP Sponsor!
  • KEXP Post Categories