Keep your ears open to the unexpected present, the unpredictable future. To new musicians – when they say, ‘It’s all been done before’, tell them they haven’t heard what you’re going to do next weekend.
Nils Frykdahl, The Prog Rock Website, 2002
Formed: 1999, Oakland, California, USA
Featured album: Of Natural History (2004)
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM’s first performance ‘was done for the benefit of a single banana-slug in an abandoned Newberry’s department store in downtown Oakland.’ At least that’s what the liner notes to their first album claim. As far as origin stories go, it’s ridiculous and, obviously, utter bullshit. But playful mystification and highly detailed nonsense are what this band is all about.
…I left Australia when I was young, so being anywhere – in America, or Berlin – I feel like an alien.
Angus Andrew, The Quietus, 2010
Formed: New York, USA, 2000
Featured album: They Were Wrong, So We Drowned (2004)
YOU NEVER KNOW quite where you stand with Liars. One minute they’re making you shake your butt and tap your feet with their funky dancepunk; the next they’re freaking you out with experimental concept albums, or creating their most intimate and personal music using synthesisers. It’s part of the appeal of this art-punk trio, for whom restlessness is a perpetual state of being.
Artist: The Flying Lizards
Label: Virgin Records
Producer: David Cunningham
Cover art: Laurie Rae Chamberlain
RECORDED FOR THE princely sum of £6.50, The Flying Lizards’ breakthrough single “Money” may not prove that the ‘the best things in life are free’, but it suggests that they need not be expensive. The modest production values and absurd humour of this insanely catchy song and its predecessor “Summertime Blues” set the tone for the group’s debut album, which finds homespun fun in the avant-garde.
… I’ve always toyed with the idea that the Flying Lizards represented rock and roll from some sort of alternative universe.
David Cunningham, Zigzag magazine, 1984
Formed: England, 1976
Featured album: The Flying Lizards (1980)