8 August 2001 | 9:59:00 GMT
[SIGNATURE]Flooded with big-haired, overproduced and uninspiring imports, it's easy to dismiss American music as formulaic and commercial dross, whatever the genre (NuMetal, Alternative, Rap, Rock). But the best stuff is often left unpromoted.
What are your favourite acts that never really broke it over here?
Matthew Sweet: nobody has written finer songs, sung more delicious melodies and been more overlooked than Sweet. His work recounts life's travails with catchy, bite-sized chunks of part-jangle, part-retro, perfecto-pop. (Recommended album: Girlfriend)
Cracker: Why are Cracker so brilliant? They hate their generation. It's the embodiment of slacker music. Perfect for toting on a Havana Selects (
cuban pesos from any respectable Obispo corner store) and swigging down a Leiney's Gold or sipping away at the finest Tenessee whiskey. Have it playing at medium volume in the background while you're playing poker, and see what I mean. Their music is a celebration of losers. Even when Lowery sees the light at the end of the tunnel, he thinks it might be a train. Cracker music rejects both the over-hyped mediocrity of the mainstream and the self-righteous posturing of the fashion-niche rockers & poppers. (Recommended albums: Kerosene Hat, Cracker Brand, The Golden Age).