Back when I was a DJ at WLCV radio, on the air I was known as “New Wave Dave.”
I developed a taste for oddball music, and here are some of my favorites. Much of this is music that just leaves my friends scratching their heads at how it could even have gotten recorded, much less that it’s anyone’s favorite.
These are “my” bands. The bands that helped shape who I am, roughly in order of how much they mean to me.
Dave Mattingly: The Musical, Part 2
Ed’s Redeeming Qualities
- Known For: Lawn Dart
- Memories: Minimalist, witty, sarcastic, insightful, sad, goofy, and more, ERQ will always be dear to me. Combining bongos, ukulele, and violin (with occasional appearances by “rice in a coffee can” and other unusual instruments), their strange take on existence both buoys me and grounds me. Help yourself to a big heaping helping at this playlist. Theirs songs have been covered by the Breeders, the Presidents of the United States, and more.
- Favorite Songs: My Friend Bob, Camouflage, The Curse, New Distributor Cap, Lighthouse, Coriander Eyes, She Ate the Fly, It’s a Zoo
They Might Be Giants
- Known For: Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- Memories: When they came to Louisville touring for their first album, they played at the fantastic local punk bar Tewligan’s Tavern, but I wasn’t 21, so I couldn’t go. I did finally get to see them up close and personal in Fort Wayne (behind the first row of albums here).
- Favorite Songs: Particle Man, The Lady is a Tramp, We Want a Rock, Twisting, Boat of Car, Cage & Aquarium, For Science
- Known For: Charlton Heston
- Memories: I first heard Stump thanks to my friend Mike Steiger at Ear X-tasy. Their nonsensical lyrics, cacophonous rhythms, and offbeat perspectives made them sort of an anti-band. The recently passed Mick Lynch’s over-the-top personality made it all fun!
- Favorite Songs: Buffalo, Chaos, Roll the Bodies Over
- Known For: actually, I don’t think they’re really known for anything, sadly
- Memories: Jazz Butcher has an extraordinary range of musical styles, and their songs often involve women, monsters, and drinking.
- Favorite Songs: Southern Mark Smith, South America, The Human Jungle, Big Saturday, Jazz Butcher Meets Count Dracula, Peter Lorre, Panic in Room 109, Big Bad Thing
Camper Van Beethoven / Cracker
- Known For: Take the Skinheads Bowling
- Memories: Being a skinhead myself for several years in the ’80s, there was no escaping their signature song. Finding myself inadvertently saddled with this as a theme song was no burden, although I latched on more to the randomness of Where the Hell is Bill.
- Favorite Songs: Where the Hell is Bill, Teen Angst, Trials and Tribulations, Get Off This
- Moxy Früvous
- Runners Up: That 1 Guy, Swamp Zombies, Bongos Bass and Bob, Mystic Eyes, Southern Culture on the Skids, Too Much Joy, Soul Coughing / Mike Doughty, Dead Milkmen, Jonathan Richman, Robyn Hitchcock, Ursula 1000