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CITY: Tennessee

Jay Reatard

All-Time Best Band: Big Star
All-Time Best Solo Artist: Aretha Franklin
Best New Act: Jay Reatard

BIG STAR often get pegged as a “band’s band,” a term that essentially cockblocked them from a greater, warmer, and more well-deserved reception for years. That is, until the mid ’80s, when everyone from R.E.M. to the Replacements suddenly cared about Big Star again. In any case, the band helped write the foundations of all the pop rock you’re jamming to today, and got, like, zero credit — so actually, it doesn’t get more “band’s band” than that. They win. Better luck next millennium, Asschapel. | ARETHA FRANKLIN! Blurbs don’t become the Queen of Soul — nothing small does. Big voice (over three octaves), big accomplishments (first lady to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame), and huge . . . er, very, very elegant dresses. | There’s quite a lot going on across Tennessee right now, but nothing quite like JAY REATARD’s barreling (and very short) blasts of hyperpsyched garage, which he lobs like M-80s at your earholes.

Video: Big Star
Video: Aretha Franklin

Listen: Big Star, "O My Soul"

Listen: Aretha Franklin, "Chain of Fools"

Listen: Jay Reatard, "My Shadow"