Weekly Survey: What artists have you discovered through other bands?

I’m always interested in bands that sport t-shirts of other bands. These semi-subliminal shout-outs indicate (a) that this band (or at least the member in the shirt) is a fan; and (b) an endorsement of said band and thus an exhortation for others to check them out.

Dave Grohl used to be one to watch for this sort of thing. His wearing of a Hellacopters t-shirt led me to a very fine Swedish band that had to that point escaped my attention.

Damon Albarn’s professing of his love of krautrock (a particular kind of German alt-rock) in interviews sent me down a rabbit hole that included groups like Neu.

And here’s a real 21st-century situation. Damon Blur turned me onto Neu, which sent me to a Spotify playlist featuring the band, which in turn recommended a Chilean band called Follakzoid.

Any connections you want to share? Let me know.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Survey: What artists have you discovered through other bands?

  • August 26, 2019 at 11:15 am

    A few years ago (ok, ten or more) I found a Katrina benefit concert on Blu-Ray that had Jon Cleary (I was a big fan of his). On that disc there were performances by a number of other New Orleans musicians. A couple that really caught my attention were Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Trombone Shorty. Of course, the one an only Allen Toussaint! That opened my eyes to the sounds of New Orleans and some of the fabulous musicians that make it their home.

  • August 26, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    I remember seeing Brighton Rock in Calgary and then Red Deer as a young man. They played this cool song named “Cocaine” I got home and did a bit of research and found out about this guy named Eric Clapton. My life changed, i learned so much about the history of Rock and then the Blues.
    Eye and ear opening experience at the time. In fact the band members talked with me after the show in Red Deer and helped me on my search.

  • August 26, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Back in 88(?), I remember being blown away by the unknown opening act for 54.40 on their Show Me tour in Calgary. After the gig, we ran into the lead singer on the street outside the venue and chatted him up. Soon, they released their debut album and Sons of Freedom began popping up all over MuchMusic. Still love that first album – ahead of its time!

  • August 27, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Discovered Joy Division through Therapy? (they covered Isolation on Troublegum), and Turbonegro — Therapy? used to blog on their website, oddly early adopters for the time, and rave about them often.

    Also got into Gary Numan and Pigface through Nine Inch Nails covering then on Broken.

  • August 27, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    I first heard about Alex Chilton and Big Star through that song by the Replacements in 1987.

  • September 1, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Ditto on the Big Star.
    One of the biggest in the 90’s was Canadian artists wearing Change of Heart shirts. Barenaked Ladies wore them on Conan, Sloan in the first Underwhelmed video. Gord Downie used to wear them on stage.

    More recently, the Dirty Nil have been sporting Killjoys shirts.


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