Movies / Music / TV

Top 5 Playlist: Bands that never were

Oi oi candy cane children! We’re starting a weekly Friday playist of Top 5s. (Not in the chart sense; in the nerdy High Fidelity sense.) Submissions are welcome.

This week, our Top 5 bands from movies/tv shows that we wish we were real.

Barry Jive and the Uptown 5 (High Fidelity)
Let’s start with a nod to the movie that birthed this idea – Jack Black’s performance in High Fidelity is the sort of thing readers dream of when they hear a great book is being made into a movie.

In between verbally assaulting customers who request Stevie Wonder at the record store he works at, and sending others home with towers of record recommendations, he starts Barry Jive and the Motown 5.

Formerly Sonic Death Monkey. Formerly Kathleen Turner Overdrive.


Mouse Rat (Parks and Recreation)
With one-time pit-dweller Andy Dwyer on vocals and songwriting duties, Mouse Rat has undergone several name changes, among them Department of Homeland Obscurity, God Hates Figs, Threeskin and Punch Face Champions.

Dwyer describes their sound as a mix between Matchbox 20 and The Fray. Can the mind even comprehend something that avant-garde?

Says Dwyer, “It’s rock and roll, my friend. Fast, smooth, handsome rock.”


The Wonders/The Oneders (That Thing You Do!)
The fact that I wasn’t born in the 1950s is a damn travesty, and That Thing You Do! is an excellent reminder why – it’s possibly the funnest film about the era ever made. (Funnest is definitely a word.)

In Tom Hanks’ directorial feature, the title track was written by Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Original Song.


Stillwater (Almost Famous)
For the purposes of Cameron Crowe’s coming-of-age masterpiece, Peter Frampton helped style the “members” of Stillwater and taught Billy Crudup to play guitar.

Crudup’s character was allegedly based on Eagle Glen Campbell, while the lead singer (played by Jason Lee) was modeled fairly obviously after Paul Rodgers from Free.

Fever Dog (written by Crowe’s then-wife, Heart’s Nancy Wilson) might actually start us on a new list: Top 5 Songs From Movies.


Hep Alien (Gilmore Girls)
Everyone has a TV show doppelganger (TV writers rely on this inevitability). Mine is Lane Kim from Gilmore Girls.

Lane’s rabid audiophilia led her to start up the original indie nerd band, Hep Alien, covering the likes of Jesus and Mary Chain, Blondie and The White Stripes.

Lane’s on drums and extra-awkward, pre-The OC Adam Brody is on guitar, until Brody hits the big time and has to be replaced by Sebastan Bach from Skid Row.

Hep Alien tours Connecticut’s Korean Seventh Day Adventist churches to moderate success.


Coyote Shivers (Empire Records)
I don’t actually care that this is number 6 on a Top 5 list. Or that it’s not actually a band, because Coyote Shivers.

And furthermore, Coyote Shivers.

And while I’m on the subject, Coyote Shivers.

So, in closing, Coyote Shivers.


Huntress Thompson

In the vacuum between dark and light, Siouxsie Sioux and Emmylou Harris, Amelie and Travis Bickle, Huntress Thompson is an idiot lost, and reporting from the field. If you’re after irrational, impassioned rants about cupcakes and Johnny Cash (and you probably aren’t), she’s grumpy, but she’s your girl.


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