My manager at work is a great guy, I really think he is a great person. But he is latest in a series of people who pine over the glory days of music. By which they generally mean, whenever it was when they grew up. For this manager in particular, and most people who are about 5-10 years older than me it is stuff from the late 70’s and on through the 80’s. Even music that they admit was not great music is magically transported to “better-than-music-these-days” because they were “better guitar players.” Right.
The thing about players from the 80’s that people forget was that they were so wasted on drugs and alcohol that half the time fans came out for shows they were disappointed because the band couldn’t pull it together enough to play a show all the way through. Ever see some of the shows that Guns & Roses played? Or rather half-played as Slash fell apart at the seams with his lame hat and sunglasses which couldn’t hide the fact that he was completely gone. No, music was not better then, it is nastalgic for you now. To add injury to insult this particular manager admits that HE ONLY LISTENS TO THE RADIO!!!! If those words ever come out of your mouth you are automatically disqualified to have a musical discussion with me, much less decry the poor state of music these days. Lets have a real look at some of the bands playing and creating music these days shall we and see how it adds up realistically. It’s not a complete list, but it’s enough. And they are in no particular order either.
U2 – Even the Beatles didn’t reinvent themselves 3 times over for close to 30 years. Did I mention that Bono is sexy?
Radiohead – In Rainbows anyone? They still got it
Wilco – Blue Sky’s overhead my friends. European bands get electronicy, bands from Chicago wail on the guitar
Jack White – Anything he touches is gold. Slash vs White? White plays 8 guitars and a keyboard at the same time…he wins
Muse – Alright, fair enough, some of their stuff is lame, but what other rock singer in the world can play Rochmoninof? Nobody
MuteMath – Live show? Sober MuteMath kicks drunk VanHalen’s ass
Sigur Ros’ – Wagner eat your heart out
Sufjan Stevens – Plays 5 million instruments
Andrew Bird – Plays 4 million instruments
The Decemberists – Go Canada!
The Arcade Fire – Go Canada!
Fiest – Go Canada!
Beck – American electro-folk dance
Damien Rice – Irish
Glen Hansard – Better Irish
The Envy Corps – Iowa indie
Jars of Clay – That’s right, I said it…Jars of Clay
John Mayer – He is 30 times better on guitar that Poison could even fathom, if they can fathom at all
John Williams – Jaws, Star Wars, Indian Jones, Schindlers List, etc…
The Mars Volta – crazy
MeWithoutYou – screeching spoken word over post-rock awesomeness, usually accompanied by rose pedals
Pearl Jam – still jammin
David Bazan – ever hear him play hymns right after a song about infidelity?
Red Hot Chili Peppers – but only with John Frusciante
Ryan Adams – how many ways can one play the guitar? Lots
Starflyer 59 – Saviour of Tooth & Nail?
(name of your favorite indie/local band here) – they are probably only half as good as you think they are but they are still better than Aha