Have you ever listened to the radio and heard an absolute gem of a band and thought, “Why is nobody talking about them?” Of course you have, you’re really hip to the scene.
As the radio station of hipsters and nerds, WERS is often privy to countless CD’s, tapes, 8-tracks, and laser disks of underground artists that no one knows about. That makes us the ultimate hipsters who play all the cool artists before they got popular.
Deep inside our vaults, however, is a treasure trove of still undiscovered musicians and bands that deserve an appreciation that has long eluded them. So, I’m going to help them, and you, out by listing the “Top Five Bands To Discover” (for the ultimate hipster).”
1. Genesis – This little progressive pop rock outfit out of England in the 1960’s has gone largely unnoticed in popular culture. They produced numerous albums throughout the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s despite virtually no radio play or notoriety. This is a true tragedy as members like Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, and Steve Hackett are good (not great) musicians who deserve to be heard. Sadly, they will assuredly never reach any level of fame and pass into the sweet arms of death without any rock ’n roll riches.
Pity. 2. Queen – Formed in 1970, Queen is a rock band that never quite found fame due to poor vocals from the lead singer, Freddie Mercury. The band’s excellent rhythm sections of Roger Taylor and Brian Deacon shined bright in every song, specifically an unheard jingle, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Sadly for the virtuosic talent of Taylor and Deacon, their bandmates Brian May and Freddie Mercury (a failed stage name, his real name was Farrokh Bulsara) dragged down the band’s sound with their pitiful musicianship and lack of talent. Still, Queen is worth a listen to hear the brilliant rhythm section. I recommend listening to “A Night at the Opera,” although it may be hard to find.
3. Kanye West – When looking for an under appreciated hip hop artist to listen to, look no further than Kanye West. Some call him “Yeezus,” which is a take on his biblical rap skills. Others refer to him as “Ye,” which is short for Yeezus. Whatever you call him, West is an excellent rapper who has received close to no public notice, with very few people knowing who he is. This is mostly West’s fault, however, as he is too humble to bring much attention on himself. You could see this most notably when he snuck into the MTV Music Awards in 2009 and went on the stage to argue why another underground artist, Beyoncé, should have won an award instead of Taylor Swift. Sadly for Kanye, if he doesn’t figure out how to self-promote soon, he will fade into oblivion. If you are looking for an album to listen to, try to find “Graduation.” Then you can show all your friends and look really cool for discovering Kanye West before anyone else.
4. The Beatles – This band is super obscure, but bear with me. You may not be able to find any of their records but YouTube music archivist, TheBeatlesVevo, posted a rare live concert of theirs from 1964 . If you listen really carefully, you can hear the raw (if undefined) talent of bandmates Johnny Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Richard Starkey. For the true hipster, I recommend their early stuff with Pete Best. If you can locate it, try the album “Revolver.” A lot of people don’t like it when they first hear it, but trust me, you’ll end up thinking it’s alright.
5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart- An artist who unsuccessfully tried to make his name a one-word moniker, Mozart was an indie artist from Austria who specialized in piano ballads. One of his best tunes was a little ditty called “Le Nozze di Figaro.” When you listen to it, it might go over your head because only really hip people “get it.” If you try really hard, though, you might just get it.
So, there you have it – The Top Five Little Known Bands (for the ultimate hipster). Now that you know these underground artists, be sure to not tell anyone so that they don’t get popular and, subsequently, ruined (unless, of course, you want to prove to your friends that you’re really hip to the scene). Happy listening!