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.