Friday, August 25, 2017

Obscure Music Friday: The United States of America


In my senior year of high school, a friend of mine invited me to go to a concert by The United States of America (who?) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (huh?). Naturally I said why not? and went. 

And it completely blew my mind! They were absolutely fantastic and like nothing I'd heard before. It's still one of the best concerts I've heard in my life. I can only describe their music as ferocious.

To whet your appetite, here's a description of them from their Wikipedia article. But to do justice to them, you must listen! You won't be sorry.
The United States of America was an American experimental rock band whose works, recorded in late 1967, are an early example of the use of electronic devices in rock music. The short-lived band was founded in Los Angeles by experimental composer Joseph Byrdand singer and lyricist Dorothy Moskowitz, with musicians Gordon Marron, Rand Forbes and Craig Woodson, but split up shortly after the release of their only album in 1968. Their sound blended a range of musical genres, including avant-gardepsychedelic, and art rock, wuth many of the songs' lyrics reflecting Byrd's leftist political views. Unusually, the band had no guitar player; instead, they used strings, keyboards and electronics, including primitive synthesizers, and various audio processors, including the ring modulator. According to critic Kevin Holm-Hudson, "what distinguishes the United States of America from some of its contemporaries... is the seriousness and skill with which they incorporated avant-garde and other influences into their music."

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