Public Enemy will be representing for the '90s, and Joan Jett will be screaming on behalf of the '80s during a five-day concert series in which Seattle's Experience Music Project will devote one show to each of the past five decades.
Focusing on the '50s, the opening show June 19 features Little Richard, whose flamboyant style and barrelhouse piano propelled some of rock's biggest early hits, including "Tutti Frutti," "Rip It Up" and "Good Golly Miss Molly."
The '60s show on June 20 will highlight that era's blues-based and psychedelic sounds, not to mention the lengthy drum solo, with "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida" rockers Iron Butterfly, former Janis Joplin backing group Big Brother and the Holding Company, San Francisco's Quicksilver Messenger Service and Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
New York art-punk band Television will commemorate the 1970s on June 21. With their landmark Marquee Moon (1977), Television guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd set forth a tense, hypnotic style that would become the bedrock for later indie-rockers such as Yo La Tengo and Pavement.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' power chords and working-class aesthetic similarly laid much of the groundwork for riot-grrrl rockers like Bikini Kill and L7. Jett's '80s hits such as "I Love Rock & Roll," "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover" will celebrate that decade on June 22.
The five-day series concludes with Public Enemy, who revolutionized hip-hop's sound and pushed the form toward more politically aware lyrics. They'll be joined by rappers Source of Labor to honor the '90s on June 23.
Tickets for the shows, which will be held at the EMP's Sky Church, went on sale to museum members on Thursday and will be available to the public June 4.