The Red Krayola

One of the longest-lived underground rock groups (if not the longest-lived), the Red Krayola lasted through the birth pangs of psychedelia past the death throes of post-punk. The one constant in their ever-shifting lineup has been principal singer/songwriter/visionary Mayo Thompson, who has seemed as concerned with deconstructing the language of "rock" music as with actually expressing himself within it. That has made the Red Krayola's catalog challenging, often difficult listening. The saving grace is the quirky charm of Thompson's songs and vocals, with a whimsical humor and open-mindedness rather atypical of avant rock.