I was having a conversation this morning with someone in my office who had never heard of garage music before, and she asked what it was. Because this person was of the age that she might have remembered some of the better known bands, I started by asking if she knew of The Kingsmen. She said yes, so I said "Songs that sound like Louie Louie." She said "Oh, like classic rock!" "Not quite," I told her. Then she wanted more examples so I threw out The Electric Prunes and The Sonics, but she didn't know them. I tried to describe frat rock bands of the 50's and 60's with no luck.
Then she asked what punk was, and I told her about bands like The Ramones and The Sex Pistols. She kind've knew what they were, but only because I mentioned the poppiest of Ramones tunes, "I Wanna Be Sedated." She had never heard of the Stiff Little Fingers.
This wasn't the first time I've been asked these questions, but I still don't have a good answer. How do you describe our favorite kind of music to people who aren't in the know? There's garage, punk, frat rock, rockabilly, psychobilly, surf, primitive rock, budget rock, trash rock, horror surf, hardcore, gunk punk (nod to Eric Davidson for that one)... but how do you describe the sound to people who have never heard of the Stooges, Radio Birdman, Minor Threat, The Mummies, Billy Childish, The Oblivians, and the like?
Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. Just give her this link and tell her to listen:
Oh, and tell her to TURN IT UP!!