Under the Radar Weekly Playlist: MYNY | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, December 4th, 2023  

Under the Radar Weekly Playlist: MYNY

The Music of NYC's Rock Renaissance.

Jun 10, 2019 Under the Radar’s Weekly Playlist Bookmark and Share

There’s a scene in one of the great films about music ever, High Fidelity, that puts this New York City bands playlist in context: A Chicago record store owner, played by John Cusack, is reorganizing his record collection one evening when one of his two faithful store clerks drops by his apartment to see if he wants to go to a show. He asks how Cusack (John Cusack will forever be referred to by his real name, no matter his theatrical identity) orders his collection:

(Store Clerk) Dick – “ What is this, chronological?”

John Cusack – “No.”

Dick – “Not alphabetical…(Look of disdain).”

John Cusack – “Nope.”

Dick – “...What?”

John Cusack – “...Autobiographical.”

Dick – “No fucking way.”

I was fortunate enough to really get into alternative rock right at the at the turn of the millennium and the beginning of a decade-long run of definitive albums from bands in my home city. These are the songs that made the biggest impact on me…they flipped my whole world really, so this is an autobiographical playlist. Think of it as the Meet Me in the Bathroom playlist – and I will refer you to Lizzy Goodman’s great interviews book of that name, about the rebirth of rock in NYC during this era.

I’d like to clarify something to all lovers of NYC rock pre-2000: This selection reflects my initial exposure to great NYC bands post-2000. Keep that in mind as you wonder how The Ramones, Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Blondie, Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, Television, and the like, are not included. There is also a lot of great NYC music from the era that is not on this particular playlist.

A couple of these artists here, like Animal Collective and The National, migrated to New York but their debut or breakthrough album was recorded when they lived here, so they can legitimately be called New York bands. What is more, a lot of their music is such a part of the fabric of the city during that era, which can’t be ignored.

These are the songs I got to know on what really felt like a personal level. These songs course through my blood and have now become a part of my DNA. They are the songs, well some of them anyway, of NYC’s rock renaissance.


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.