Print Story Modern music
By Driusan (Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:04:58 PM EST) (all tags)
Grunge has been dead since, what? 1996? 1997? Aren't the kids these days due for another angry rebellion against pop music? It's been over 10 years.

We've been through the shitty pop music that inevitably follows the downfall of every rebellious teenager musical period, we've been through the more melodious music which actually has some creativity that follows that, and the whiny "woe is me. I'm a man but I write poetry and no one understands me" music that runs more or less concurrently to the end of that and we seem to be stuck in a rut now.

It's time to rebel back to where we began. Nouveau Rock N' Roll, neo-punk, the grunge revival, I don't care care what the fuck you call it--but I'm tired of my music library, so get working.

What do I need to do to get things moving here? Do any of you have a teenage son or brother or boyfriend or cousin or something that I can sell cocaine and a guitar to? I can throw in some MP3s of old Smashing Pumpkins or Soundgarden or Nirvana or Dead Kennedys or Sex Pistols or Half Japanese or Beatles or Jimi or fuck, I'll throw in some Elvis if that's what it takes to get some good new music made. I'm just tired of this rut.

The guitar'll be the perfect venue for getting out all his teenage angst without any physical violence (until he kills himself at the height of his career, I mean--but don't worry, that'll firmly entrench him as a cultural icon who'll live on in people's memories for far longer than you ever will. More importantly, The Scene will live on without him, so my iPod won't need to suffer for it for a couple years until it withers and dies without note, but by then I'll be tired of neo-grunge-rock because, honestly, your son/friend/whatever got overplayed and I got sick of him. It's too bad, but it's inevitable. I'm very sorry about your loss, by the way. No one should have to go that way.)

Does he need the supporting culture in other modalities to come first? Do I need to, like, write a dark, grimy, novel which is critically acclaimed but seldom bought which somehow gets into his hands and inspires him to write music of a similar ethos? If he can't even unconsciously fall into a cliché cultural cycle I don't know how I could possibly expect him to be able to read. A dark, angsty movie, then? I can't, sorry. It needs his music for the soundtrack.

Should I stop cutting my hair or shaving or bathing while the Kids These Days look to me as a rolemodel and the music follows the look? I'm pretty sure this one needs to go the other way around. I need to be emulating the famous musician for it to be culturally accepted, so he damn well better not be waiting for that. Besides, the Kids These Days can't have an older genreation as a rolemodel for their rebellion. It's too paradoxical.

Do I need to berate him about how lazy and stupid and useless he is until he picks up a guitar and scream lyrics that don't make any sense in protest? I'll do it. To every kid I see.

If you're reading this and you're under seventeen and have musical aspirations, you're fucking useless. Why can't you make good music?

Rebel, you asshole! The current mass culture has no character and I'm starting to get tired of the trendy indie subcultures!

P.S.: Can anyone recommend some good music for me to listen to?

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Modern music | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
go back a few generations of rebel by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:22:10 PM EST

Williams is wildly uneven, but there's some really good stuff there. Warning - not for the easily depressed.

Hey, I know that guy! by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:42:28 PM EST
He's the one who got himself famous for doing that guitar version of Hurt!

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Hank by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:51:05 AM EST
There's, what, 4 generations of extreme alcoholism in country music amongst him and his descendants?

Makes for damn good music.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Recommendations by R343L (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:48:53 PM EST
All incredibly local: And, not really "rebellious", but still awesome:

* Culann's Hounds

Happy now?

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

Not particularly. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:25:02 PM EST
I'm certainly, in any quantitative terms, better off than I've been at previous times in my life, but I'm not entirely sure that I'll ever really be able to call myself "happy" until I find myself a new job where I can get enough time off to spend time travelling and not dealing with stupid people.. and even then, who knows? But the dolorous mood might just have something to do with the fact that it's February.

Thanks for asking!

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
oddly enough by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:57:11 PM EST
a few weeks ago $deaf_coworker (whose not really deaf, but needs the gods' own hearing aid to hear anything) cranked up something that I would have sworn was the next edition of punk.

I decided I must be old, because this young whippersnapper was playing something that wasn't music. Of course I could always argue that he wasn't really listening to it, more like picking up the vibrations through his skin.


I wouldn't worry about it. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:28:55 PM EST
You're probably just getting old. It happens to the best of us.

Any idea what it was?

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
Its out there, by blixco (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:32:46 PM EST
and it is more esoteric than I recall.  My god, music has a huge depth now.  My favorite stuff seems to be hugely minimalist or bizarrely complex layered nonsense.  It goes everywhere now!  That being said, I haven't listened to the radio nor paid attention to pop charts in fifteen years, so I have no idea what the cool kids dig.

My 16 year old nephew is now listening to ska, dub, and Sublime, plus a hell of a lot of local punk and older punk and anything good, really.

I've been bouncing between M Ward + Zoe Deschanel, Battles, Ghostland Observatory, Man Man (Gabe loaded our server with a bunch of their stuff about a year ago, sort of Tom Waist meets Rockabilly-ish...sort of..not really), Dorian Concept, Kode 9 + Space Ape, the Mountain Goats, and whatever random crap Anjali finds and puts on the network.

It is out there, man.  You just have to start with the larger music blog aggregators (I rely on and move from there to scenes and triggers and paths that you dig.  Hell, I just recently downloaded a shitload of old Otis Redding demos and four tracks.  It is amazing what you can find.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

my god! by R343L (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:56:44 PM EST
How did I forget to list Battles and Ghostland Observatory?! Oh, not really "rebellious", though fun and good.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
They are rebellious. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:04:11 AM EST
They just aren't rebelling against "society" or whatever it is NuPunk does.  Both Battles and Ghostland are rebelling against the norm in both music and the culture surrounding music.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Well yeah, it's out there. by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:13:43 PM EST
I'll have to check out some of the bands you mention (as a random recommendation in thanks: The Airborne Toxic Event. If being named after a scene in a Don Delilo novel isn't enough to make you want to check them out, they're also good music) , but my rant isn't meant so much as a rant about a lack of specific good bands existing these days, as it is being about it about time for some variation of the rock (in the sense of what it means in the 60s, not the sense of what it means now)/punk/grunge genres needing to make a resurgence. It seems to happens every 10-15 years or so. It's due.

I know just about everything exists somewhere out there if you look hard enough, but I'm not a music scout. My life isn't devoted to finding new music. I want the music that finds me to improve in quality.

I saw the Mountain Goats in November. They started playing one of their older songs, got to the end, and then  forgot the lyrics. They stepped away from the mic and discussed it amongst themselves for a minute or two, then finally came back and said "Sorry, I can't remember how this ends." and just went on to the next song. After the first encore set, they went backstage, looked up the lyrics for the song online, and did the same song (with ending) for a second encore. Truly, one of the best shows I've been to lately.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
Ah. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:12:06 AM EST
Well, I don't think you'll find any popular music coming that is both Rock and in any way popular while still being rebellious and fresh.  The recent surge and decline in "garage rock" and that godawful Dance Rock thing was about as close as you'd get (the Hives, for instance, should be HUGE as they are radio friendly and pretty damn good).  It looked like the new garage stuff was going to make it, really: take a bunch of kids who'd never experienced less than digital perfection, hand them instruments that didn't differ much from what they'd been trained on via the Suzuki method, and give them a grand in software and some mics.  Some of it was raw and refreshingly good (Teagan and Sara, for instance, and the aforementioned Hives) but for the most part it gets swallowed by the Really Big Show like, oh, Arcade Fire.

God I am sick of Arcade Fire.

I want them to stop being so fucking....mediocre.

Anyhow, there's this great effort being put in place to find the next best thing and market the shit out of it, which involves killing it and re-birthing it in a MySpace-friendly mediapathic way.

This leads to Bad Music almost universally.

So instead of a movement like Punk or Grunge or Easy Listening, you'll get tend days of JapaneseHorroshowPirateNinjaPoppedCollar and then ten days of LatestCuteBlackSingerWhoCoversTheClassics, and ten days of MinimalistMinneapolisPop...and etc.

I'd like to think something will come to the fore during all of this noise, but music is too big a market at the moment.  It'll have to come from a different direction.  Performance art, or musicals.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I like the sound of this by Phage (4.00 / 2) #10 Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:24:59 PM EST
Tom Waist meets Rockabilly-ish...sort of..not really

Which one was that ?

[ Parent ]
Tom Waits vs the pirates? by blixco (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:05:43 AM EST
That's Man Man, man.

Man Man are sort of Gogol Bordello meets Tom Waits meets south Austin rockabilly.

Sort of.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
A friend just got his Master's in Sociology by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:58:42 AM EST
His thesis paper was on Irish Hip Hop. Apparently he's the first (and so far only) person to study that particular genre.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Rebellion is dead, by yicky yacky (4.00 / 3) #16 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:37:26 AM EST

and here's why: The rebels got smart.

As soon as a "rebellious" act got signed to a major label, they were no longer rebels, by definition. Oh sure, they projected rebellion, and the marketing bods did their best to push that angle as hard as they could so that teenagers and the not-so-bright still believed that they were buying-in to something counter-cultural, but they weren't really rebels. Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins put vastly more money into the mainstream media industry (with its associated RIAA) than most of the modern tripe you're decrying ever did.

In the nineties, this changed. Artists realized that, no matter how much profile and reputation they had, they were still part of the very same system that was producing 'Take That', so they changed the financial arrangements by setting up their own labels and managing their own distribution deals. The net effect of this, however -- in the rare instance where they gained enough market penetration to be successful -- was that the artists and the independent labels got richer quicker (as they were keeping a higher proportion of the take), thus transporting them from the realm of "everyday people" into the "super rich" category with such a speed that, again, it would be a supreme hypocrisy to call "rebellious" in the sense you mean.

We used to laugh at the grunge-heads (even while being fans of some of it). While they were moshing to industry-issued rock-and-roll, we were breaking into warehouses and using home-made PA systems and self-subsidised record pressings to power illegal-drug-fuelled parties. This was superficially "more rebellious" in some sense but all that happened was that, for various reasons (including an act of parliament), when the "scene" gained enough traction it went overground, same as everything else.

The advance in technology helped too. Pro Tools and its ilk put a lot of studios out of business (but, conversely, gave rise to myriad acts that would never otherwise have seen the light of day). The net effect is that competition now takes place between all acts at a localised ecological level, rather than between a few hand-picked acts by the majors.

True rebellion against this system arguably involves not playing the game at all (Doing nothing? You Rebel!!), or it involves simply doing what you really want to do musically without any concern for financial success. In this respect, bands like Half Man Half Biscuit are several orders of magnitude "more rebellious" than the coke-added poseurs in the industry both today and twenty years ago.

The grunge sound died because people rightly got bored with it, not because a rebellion was quashed. There are a hundred million rebels doing their own thing -- some of whom are making the music you so desperately want to here -- right at this instant. The majors aren't going to touch them until they show a certain level of market potential (in a market where the biggest-spending demographic is 12-18yr-olds -- children). So who are you going to blame for this perceived absence: The majors for not delivering them wholesale into your living room, or yourself for being too bloody lazy to look them up?

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
You misunderstand by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:12:27 PM EST
People got bored of grunge, then they got bored of what replaced grunge, then they got bored of what replaced what replaced grunge, and by that point the young 'uns who're driving the industry were never around to remember that it's all been done before and go back to doing some variation of the exact same Rebellion(tm) that their parents had.

I'm cool with that. I don't care about the hypocrisy that those damn kids on my lawn are going to be demonstrating any day now by trying to rebel through mass culture. As long as they can convince themselves, they can make the music sincere.

I just want them to hurry up with repeating history so I can consume their beautiful, cynical, jaded angst.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
Oh. OK. by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:46:47 PM EST

Here you go.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
I don't think he means it (nt) by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #32 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:23:24 PM EST

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Industry Consolidation Killed the Rebels by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:08:54 AM EST
Or, rather, the chance for them to be heard beyond the local bars they were playing in. At least in the US.

XM Radio has a channel that just plays 80's music. They re-run American Top 40 episodes from the 80's every Sunday. Last year I was listening to it on the way back from the beach. It was from 84. 25 non-US acts in the top 40. Twenty-five. One of the songs wasn't even in English. I damn near cried. How many non-US acts are in the US top 40 today? What chance for a non-english language song to even get on the air?

That was the last decade before the industry consolidation killed local radio. Which is why the music was so varied and why it is still so popular with teens today.

Truly local commercial radio is something that I really miss. DC101, when it was locally owned, played lots of local acts. Acts could become regional successes, and not have to break nationally. But they could also spend years improving and growing the fan base and then break nationally.

That's how George Thorogood did it. He started out locally, as George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers. Playing the Bijou in Georgetown, Hammerjacks in Baltimore, and other local venues. Getting lots of local airtime. Eventually he went national. Probably couldn't happen today.

Good Charlotte wasn't heard on local stations until after they went national. And they disappeared just as fast. Because they didn't have time to settle into a sound of their own, but instead let the studio push them, no one listened to their latest album. If they had stayed local for a few more years they would've been a much better band.

I already diarized about the end of WHFS.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Non-US Acts and the '80s by ks1178 (4.00 / 2) #19 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:10:19 AM EST
I have no clue how many, if any, non US acts are currently in the top 25, or have been recently. Granted I have no clue what US acts are their either.

However, for the early '80s the reason isn't because of local radio.

We were not more culturally aware, and the US Music companies were not more friendly to international musicians, and did not request them to get radio time, or shelf space at the local record store.

It was primarily because the big US labels were stuck in their ways, and didn't realize how big MTV and music videos were going to be.

They basically ignored MTV, and didn't make any videos. A lot of European bands, particularily New Wave, on the other hand did make videos and sent them to MTV.

Since MTV had nothing else to really play, foreign music received huge airtime, and American audiences liked it and started buying their stuff, and requesting it on the radio. At that point the big labels started investing in foreign groups which sustained them through the mid '80s. But as must cycles in the music industry the music became derivative, and the labels stop investing in new foriegn bands.

[ Parent ]
US radio was more accepting by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #24 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 06:24:02 AM EST
The "British Invasion" hadn't quite petered out (U2 is the last band left from that) so lots of UKian, Aussie, and other non-US rock (and pop) was on the air on mainstream radio.

Besides that, the New Wave (and it's older brother Punk) predated MTV, or at least wide adoption of cable. I wasn't watching MTV in the very early 80's because there was no cable in the DC suburbs then. IIRC, it came to our neighborhood in 84.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
CBC radio 3 by ChiefHoser (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:52:50 AM EST
This is where I get most of my new music, that and the linked artists sites for more tunes.

Conformity is the new rebellion. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:20:56 AM EST
It's the only thing that reliably pisses off the new-model "I'm still cool"-style geezers.

Newish Music by ks1178 (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:42:37 AM EST
I basically asked the same question to a younger cousin of mine, sampled a bunch of his music from his Ipod and here are the albums I bought.

Not really sure on how new the music is, It's all at least 6 months or older, but still good.

All of the below are Rockish to some varying degree. I somewhat half heartedly ordered them from least hard to hardest.

Not sure how rebellious any of them are either, and all are somewhat mainstream as I purchased the albums from Best Buy.

Band : Album

Gnarls Barkley : St. Elsewhere

The Feeling : Twelve Stops and Home
The Fray : How to Save a Life

The Bravery: The Sun and the Moon
Sick Puppies : Dressed Up as Life
The Almost: Southern Weather
Black Light Burns: Cruel Melody
Black Stone Cherry: Black Stone Cherry
Breaking Benjamin: "Phobia" : "Saturate" : "We are Not Alone"
Evans Blue : The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume
Flyleaf : Flyleaf
Shinedown : Us and Them
Stone Sour : Come What(ever) May
Fair to Midland : "Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell you Three Times is True"
Dream Theater: Systematic Chaos

I can either leave it to you to chase down samples, or if you have someplace I can upload individual tracks from each album to, PM me.

I am currently by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 06:04:11 AM EST
Perusing the "talents" of this bright new emerging band.

While those are very nice "talents" by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #27 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:26:59 PM EST
That site makes me want to cry.

I want music that reminds me of 1994, not webdesign.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
Oh please... by 606 (4.00 / 1) #23 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 06:21:01 AM EST
I hear so many good bands these days with the strangest musical ideas, and most of them are tiny local bands who record albums in basements and play shows to less than 100 people. And though the crowd can be full of poseurs and hipster fucks the band is sincere so get to the front of the stage and rock the fuck out. Don't worry about the morons standing cross-armed and looking bored and coked out, the good thing about getting older is that you should have no problem pushing white-belt-wearing 18 year olds out of your way. They're all scrawny and wearing girlpants anyway.

Stop complaining about the scene. Do something about it.

I still have to send you books. Maybe I will send you a mix CD too.

imagine dancing banana here

I'm well aware by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:55:18 PM EST
That there always are and always will be good, small local bands playing shows of less than 100 people, they also tend to vanish off the face of the earth after you pay your $5 and unless you whored out on their merch, that's the end of that as they get tired of wallowing in obscurity and go back to their day jobs. And if you did? Well, they're still going to wallow in obscurity and go back to their day jobs, so you're pretty fucked once you get tired of that CD.

And you haven't seen a show full of people standing around looking bored with their arms crossed until you've seen a show in Toronto.

But yeah, mix tape it up. All cynicism aside, I like music.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
That is real music by 606 (4.00 / 1) #33 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:10:39 PM EST
I'm thinking the future of music is tiny little bands playing tiny little shows but still rocking out. Depressing? Maybe. But at least they won't have the money to buy lots of drugs, become addicts, buy a shotgun, and have Courtney Love shoot themselves in the face.

Buy the album, love it, and then buy another band's album when you get tired of it.

Until the megacorp labels crumble good bands are going to have to self-promote. And though that is difficult as all hell there are some successes. The Constantines (blah-di-blah, how many times do I mention them?) have four kick-ass albums under their belt and tour like mad. They make decent coin, I imagine.

imagine dancing banana here

[ Parent ]
Old music by duxup (4.00 / 1) #25 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 06:42:40 AM EST
A fair amount of the few young'ns that I know listen to some good old music from a decade or two or three ago.  It's not new, but at least it is encouraging.   

Allow me to suggest-dump here... by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #26 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:16:51 AM EST

Ex Models, Parts & Labor, Battles, The Fucking Champs, Trans Am, Weakling, Marnie Stern, Tunng, The Ladies, Don Caballero, Lightning Bolt, and Assacre. That should keep you busy for a while.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
Streaming at by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:15:29 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Modern music | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback