Anyone who thinks pop culture's cannibalization of its own recent past is somehow a new thing—and there are plenty who do—might want to look into Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
. Though the late 60s are often viewed as a time of unbridled innovation in rock, there was still enough nostalgia around that a bunch of Ann Arbor hippies tweaking classic rockabilly and country tropes could land a top-ten hit. The self-consciously retro "Hot Rod Lincoln
" helped spark careers that would keep members on the road and releasing records well into the 21st century, while songs like "Down to Seeds and Stems Again Blues"—with its winking nods to the band's countercultural leanings—exemplified the Airmen's recognition of their own era. —Miles Raymer Trina Hamlin opens.