From The Desk Of Shoes’ Gary Klebe: Paul Revere & The Raiders

Power-pop progenitors? O.G. DIYers? The last college-rock survivors? No label adequately captures the four-decade journey of Zion, Ill.’s Shoes, who have released their first new studio material in 17 years. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Shoes is that this ethic and attitude prevails despite a collection of music-biz bumps and bruises that could rival Charlie Brown in terms of sheer career futility. In some ways, they’re the Forrest Gumps of rock. Shoes essentially presaged punk’s DIY movement by recording its first, early-’70s albums in the living room before garnering enough critical acclaim to merit a major-label contract. Shoes will be guest editing all week. Read our new feature on the band.

Klebe: When I was a kid, I loved Paul Revere & The Raiders, and I still do. I’ve never heard a single artist ever admit that these guys were a musical influence. In my band, we loved ‘em. We even covered “Him Or Me” in our early club days, and were mighty proud doing it. For many, it wasn’t easy getting past those Revolutionary War uniforms and showbizzy shenanigans, but their songs transcended it all. I often wondered, if had they had dressed like their contemporaries and left out all the slapstick, would things have been different? Would they have been perceived more as serious artists, or would they have gone completely unnoticed? In my book, Mark Lindsay is up there among the greatest rock singers of all time. OK, their synchronized dance steps were pretty weird—but kind of cool at the same time. Damn, if Shoes could pull off those moves, we’d probably try it too.

Video after the jump

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