Paisley Underground, The Shangri-Las' Leader of the Pack & Opinions on Tacocat

In early '80s California, a new kind of music was brewing that blended the psychedelic sounds of the '60s with the modern day post-punk ethos. This week, Jim and Greg reflect on the Paisley Underground movement. They'll discuss the prominent bands like The Bangles, explore what made the scene so special and explain its impact on indie rock. Jim and Greg will also look back at the 1964 hit by The Shangri-Las, "Leader of the Pack," for its 55th anniversary. Plus, they'll review the new record from the colorful Seattle punk band Tacocat.

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Paisley Underground


Led by the four crucial bands The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate, The Three O'Clock and Rain Parade, the Paisley Underground was all about re-interpreting the bright, psychedelic music of '60s acts like The Beatles and The Byrds and blending it with the attitude of the '80s. They used droning guitars, grounded drumming and far out, but sometimes dark, lyrics to make an impact on indie rock forever. Even the inimitable Prince was smitten, naming his own estate and record label "Paisley Park," working with the Bangles and signing The Three O'Clock! Jim and Greg discuss the rise and fall of the Paisley Underground and share where its influence is seen today in music. They also talk about the 2019 collaborative album, 3x4, on which the bands cover each others' songs decades later.


The Shangri-Las - "Leader of the Pack"

leader 2019 marks the 55th anniversary of the song "Leader of the Pack" by The Shangri-Las. For one week in 1964, The Shangri-Las sat atop the Billboard Hot 100, in front of legendary groups like The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Beach Boys. While it only stayed on the Hot 100 for 12 weeks, the track's impact has extended far beyond 1964. Sound Opinions producer Alex Claiborne talks with writer Ada Wolin about her book Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las and about the group's lasting impact on music and pop culture, as well as their influence over notable punk acts like Blondie and The New York Dolls.


Tacocat Lost Time

Seattle pop punk quartet Tacocat's fourth album, This Mess Is A Place, is their first release for stalwart record label Sub Pop. Jim first got into the band when a listener suggested their 2016 album Lost Time as one of the best of that year. He was instantly hooked on the catchy melodies and feminist themes. He finds more to love on This Mess Is A Place, flitting between slices of slacker life and weightier themes like the death of democracy and climate change. He enjoys the increased emphasis on the backing vocals and harmonies. He cites“What a time to be barely alive?”in "Crystal Ball" as the line of the year. Greg enjoys it as well, especially the“deceptively smart”lyrics, which he reads as mocking the jaded attitude of some of their peers. However, he feels it's a little too clean for his taste. He preferred the garage rock vibe and biting guitars of the two previous albums, Lost Time and NVM.


Featured Songs

  1. The Bangles, Getting Out of Hand, Getting Out of Hand (Single), Downkiddie, 1981
  2. The Shangri-Las, Leader of the Pack, Leader of the Park (Single), Red Bird, 1964
  3. Rain Parade, What's She Done to Your Mind, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, Restless, 1983
  4. Green on Red, Sixteen Ways, Gas Food Lodging, Enigma, 1985
  5. The Beatles, Tomorrow Never Knows, Revolver, Parlophone, 1966
  6. X, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Slash, 1980
  7. Rainy Day, I'll Keep It with Mine, Rainy Day, Llama, 1984
  8. Rainy Day, Sloop John B, Rainy Day, Llama, 1984
  9. Tony Conrad and Faust, The Side of the Machine, Outside the Dream Syndicate, Caroline, 1973
  10. The Velvet Underground and Nico, Sunday Morning, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Verve, 1967
  11. The Dream Syndicate, The Days of Wine and Roses, The Days of Wine & Roses, Ruby/Slash, 1982
  12. Rain Parade, Talking In My Sleep, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, Restless, 1983
  13. Rain Parade, This Can't Be Today, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, Restless, 1983
  14. Rain Parade, Kaleidoscope, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, Restless, 1983
  15. Rain Parade, Look at Merri, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, Restless, 1983
  16. Mazzy Star, Fade into You, So Tonight That I Might See, Capitol, 1993
  17. The Bangles, Going Down to Liverpool, All Over the Place, Columbia, 1984
  18. The Bangles, James, All Over the Place, Columbia, 1984
  19. The Mamas & the Papas, California Dreamin', If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, Dunhill, 1966
  20. The Bangles, Dover Beach, All Over the Place, Columbia, 1984
  21. The Bangles, In a Different Light, Different Light, Columbia, 1986
  22. The Bangles, Walk Like an Egyptian, Different Light, Columbia, 1986
  23. The Bangles, Hero Takes a Fall, All Over the Place, Columbia, 1984
  24. The Bangles, Manic Monday, Different Light, Columbia, 1986
  25. The Three O'Clock, When Lightning Starts, Sixteen Tambourines, Frontier, 1983
  26. The Three O'Clock, Her Head's Revolving, Arrive Without Travelling, I.R.S., 1985
  27. The Three O'Clock, On Paper, Vermillion, Paisley Park, 1988
  28. Rain Parade, As Real As Real, 3 x 4: The Bangles, The Three O'Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, Yep Roc, 2019
  29. The Dream Syndicate, Hero Takes a Fall, 3 x 4: The Bangles, The Three O'Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, Yep Roc, 2019
  30. The Chills, Kaleidoscope World, Kaleidoscope World, Flying Nun, 1986
  31. The Verlaines, Death and the Maiden, Juvenilia, Flying Nun, 1987
  32. Echo & the Bunnymen, Bring On the Dancing Horses, Songs to Learn & Sing, Sire, 1985
  33. Mercury Rev, Car Wash Hair (Full Pull), Yerself Is Steam, Columbia, 1991
  34. Slowdive, Alison, Souvlaki, Creation, 1993
  35. Tacocat, Grains of Salt, This Mess Is A Place, Sub Pop, 2019
  36. Twisted Sister, Leader of the Pack, Come Out and Play, Atlantic, 1985
  37. Best Coast, Boyfriend, Crazy For You, Mexican Summer, 2010
  38. Tacocat, Hologram, This Mess Is A Place, Sub Pop, 2019
  39. Tacocat, Rose-Colored Sky, This Mess Is A Place, Sub Pop, 2019
  40. Tacocat, This Is Anarchy, NVM, Hardly Art, 2014
  41. Tacocat, Meet Me At La Palma, This Mess Is A Place, Sub Pop, 2019
  42. Tacocat, Crystal Ball, This Mess Is A Place, Sub Pop, 2019
  43. De La Soul, The Magic Number, 3 Feet High and Rising, Tommy Boy, 1989
  44. Doris Day, All Alone, The Love Album, Concord, 1994
  45. The Doors, The End, The Doors, Elektra, 1967
  46. Mdou Moctar, Kamane Tarhanin, Ilana (The Creator), Sahel Sounds, 2018
  47. The Staple Singers, I'll Take You There, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, Stax, 1972
  48. Gil Scott-Heron, Whitey On The Moon, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, Flying Dutchman, 1970