Current bands that recall the '60s

These five bands remind us of decades past

August 12, 2010|By Evan Haga, The Baltimore Sun

Baby boomers who are growing tired of "Pet Sounds" and their remastered Beatles collection needn't worry: In addition to MGMT's latest, there is plenty '60s-centric music happening now, from British Invasion-leaning Dr. Dog to local natives Animal Collective.

Here are five current bands with sounds that recall the sunny, folksy and psychedelic stylings of decades past.

The Flaming Lips

For a quarter-century, Oklahoma's Flaming Lips have been proponents of all things psychedelic, audacious, over-the-top and — last but not least — tuneful. At the core of the Lips' must-experience live show — a hallucinogenic extravaganza complete with confetti cannons and front man Wayne Coyne walking atop the crowd inside a giant transparent ball — are gorgeously crafted pop gems like "Do You Realize??" off 2002's now-classic "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."

Fleet Foxes

These deeply melodic, Seattle-based folkies deal in reverb and sublime vocal harmonies. Their self-titled full-length debut stormed the year-end best-of lists in 2008 — any album containing songs as perfect as "White Winter Hymnal" and "He Doesn't Know Why" will do that.

Dr. Dog

Few bands do the British Invasion jangle as convincingly in 2010 as Philadelphia's Dr. Dog. Check out "Shadow People," off this year's "Shame, Shame" for a healthy dose of mop-top-era song craft.

Animal Collective

This quartet, whose members hail from the Baltimore area, is currently one of the most critically lauded outfits on the planet, and rightfully so: At their most accessible, Animal Collective combines a sense of exploration learned from the avant-gardes of rock and electronic music with the sunny, harmony-heavy pop of the Beach Boys. But as pretty as things might get, this is still an experimental band. Last year they released an album titled "Merriweather Post Pavilion," though none of it was recorded at the Columbia amphitheater. Huh?

The Apples in Stereo

Revivalism for its own sake can be a lot of fun. Case in point: The Apples in Stereo, who've cleverly evoked the auras of Brian Wilson, Lennon-McCartney, Electric Light Orchestra and a host of other pop geniuses with original material. Check out: "Ruby," included on the 2009 compilation "#1 Hits Explosion." It's 1965 all over again.

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