X, The Fresh & Onlys, The Spits, The Reatards, The Clean, Human Eye, The Dirtbombs, The Intelligence, Black Flag, The Almighty Defenders, Davila 666: all these bands may not be carbon copies, but they have resoundingly like-minded ideals — to play fun music that is as un-complex as they can make it. Influenced by 50’s rock ‘n roll and early American blues, today’s ‘garage’ musicians hail from Memphis to Los Angeles and Detroit, yet easily erase state lines with the same goals.
“The other indie rock that was getting more and more complex and more and more intense and more and more pretentious? It was all of those things and boring,” an anonymous show promoter from Brooklyn remarks early on in the documentary New Garage Explossion!!: In Love With These Times (showing tonight at Milwaukee’s Downer Theatre). Joe Bradley of The Black Lips and The Almighty Defenders adds that garage is firmly rooted in its no-frills attitude. “For a decade there, people may have forgotten how rock ‘n roll was originally done. It’s not supposed to be complex. Tell yourself to ‘keep it simple, stupid’, and that’s what we’re trying to do and I think that’s what a lot of bands are trying to do. They understand that it’s supposed to be about fun and entertainment.” The film’s directors Joseph Patel and Aaron Brown, alongside producer/journalist Mike McGonigal, offer a current and well-voiced look at an inspirational and important part of today’s music and the energetic musicians unwittingly pushing it into the spotlight. View Part I of the film, above.
New Garage Explosion!!: In Love With These Times plays at The Downer Theatre (2589 N. Downer Avenue). Tickets available at 6 p.m. and screening runs from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.