Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes recommends Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers and Sonic Youth

Sune Rose Wagner and Buddy Holly

Sune Rose Wagner and Buddy Holly

Sune Rose Wagner’s recommendation: “Buddy Holly always moved me because he wrote amazing, simple songs. I used to watch the Buddy Holly Story incessantly when I was a kid. The Everly Brothers are some of the best singers and recorded great songs by terrific writers like Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. All I Have To Do Is Dream is incredibly moving. Sonic Youth opened a entirely new world for me. Daydream Nation was my first purchase and I had a love/hate relationship with it for a long time. I was intrigued by the dissonance and words but a little perplexed by the lack of really melodic “traditional” songs.”

Sun Rose’s album recommendations:
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation
Buddy Holly – Greatest Hits
The Everly Brothers – All-Time Greatest Hits

Sune Rose WagnerAbout our guest author, Sune Rose Wagner: Sune is the songwriter, co-singer and guitarist for The Raveonettes, the band that Kurt Loder simply could not stop speaking and writing about in 2003. The band perfectly combines ’50s harmonies and Spectorish production with a smack of Velvet Underground punk attitude for good measure. They’re critic darlings, music snob darlings and should be a hell of a lot bigger than they are. Sune Rose literally scoured the Earth to put this band together and his effort paid off, big time. Their somehow simultaneously retro and modern songs are some of the most infectious tunes that have come out in the last ten years and their latest release Raven In the Grave lives up the the excellence of their past releases. The band also kills it live, so be sure to check their tour page for upcoming gigs.

Rachel Staggs carries a torch for The Raveonettes

Rachel Staggs and The Raveonettes

Rachel Staggs and The Raveonettes

Rachel Staggs’ recommendation: “I love all types of music and have been inspired by many artists in my lifetime. The Raveonettes stand out for quite a few reasons. The first time I heard the EP, Whip It On, I was hooked. The droney, hazy vocals, the surfer guitar infused with distortion and danger, wicked melody, and pop sensibility. How could I not fall in love? I still listen to “Do You Believe Her” or “Beat City” and adore them just as much as the first time I heard them. Plus, the concept behind that EP was genius. All of the songs are in Bflat minor. Then, right out of the gate on Chain Gang of Love (all songs in Bflat major, again, genius), they hit me with “Remember” and my heart was surrounded by a sad love story shimmering in tambourines, fuzz guitars, and smooth, subtle vocal harmonies. The Raveonettes have a way of telling a really heartbreaking story inside a beautiful melody. “Remember” takes me on a Jesus and Mary Chain ride towards the end, but drops me off at Buddy Holly’s house. Buddy Holly might have something to do with this torch I carry. I listened to a lot of Buddy Holly in high school. I was never into The Beatles or The Stones; it was Buddy Holly & Velvet Underground. I was also listening to The Cure, but I really loved Buddy Holly. He made me happy. He made my heart full. I went to college in Lubbock, Texas after growing up in Austin, Texas. Culture shock is putting it lightly. Music is the reason I made it through those years in Lubbock and I like to think Buddy Holly’s energy is still there. The Raveonettes seem to genuinely love Buddy Holly and use his inspiration in a way that resounds with me. They write songs that incorporate all of the elements I love. Vintage sound, heartbreaking guitar lines, fuzz bass, guitar walls of sound, dreamy vocal melodies/harmonies, tambourines, bells, hypnotic drums, and not too much (or any) cymbal. “That Great Love Sound” is a brilliant pop song. I remember seeing/hearing this song live once and after they sang the lyric, “love tornado struck”, Sharin sang, “what the fuck” right in time. Now, I can’t listen to that song without adding “what the fuck” when I sing along. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen them live, but I’ve never been disappointed. I’ve seen them with full bands, as a 3-piece, and as a two-piece. I think they pull it off no matter what formation they are in because the love and passion for what they do is palpable. I also appreciate the way they present themselves. There is a vintage essence in everything they do, but it’s fresh and exciting through The Raveonettes kaleidoscope. They have an aesthetic, musically and artistically, that I’m drawn to. They are also really lovely people.”

New to The Raveonettes? Rachel suggests you start here: “What album should a newbie listen to first? I’m going to suggest Lust Lust Lust. The vocal harmonies are stunning. It takes me to that Buddy Holly place the most (“My Heartbeat’s Dying”), but it also gives amazing gusts of distorted melodic guitar, and waves of surf. I can’t get over “With My Eyes Closed” or “The Beat Dies.” In “The Beat Dies.” Sharin’s voice is beautifully intimate and takes me to a dark booth in a 50s diner where the moonlight is hitting some sort of magic crystal and small silver sparkles shine all over the wall. Sune’s guitar line kills me and spins me into a David Lynch dream.”

(Update from Rachel: “While writing this piece, I bought their most recent release, In & Out of Control, and can’t stop listening to it. It’s brilliant. I think it’s a great companion to Lust Lust Lust for those new to their sound.”)

Rachel StaggsAbout the guest author, Rachel Staggs: Rachel is the unmistakable voice that fronts Experimental Aircraft and All in the Golden Afternoon (the latter being a band she performs in with her husband and whose self titled cd can be purchased here). She also has several solo releases under the name Rachel Goldstar. As if this all doesn’t keep her busy enough, she expresses herself through paintings and photographs. More on that at

Rachel Staggs photo credit: Aubrey Edwards