I am not good enough to hear a band and immediately place them in context of music relevance for the year. It takes a while for things to seep down into the cerebral cortex and percolate themselves out.
I will say…, however -This blog has helped me figure things out a little faster- I am more engaged than I used to be.
Here is what happened to me in 2013 as an “out of touch” rock music fan.
I’ll do 5 that caught me and 5 I hated
What I liked:
The Xx– Not a new band, but new to me as I caught the fever- Atmospheric elegant sound. Like getting lost in a really trendy fog and having someone hand you a fantastic drink that quenches the thirst and tickles the soul.
The Black Keys– They went from a band I heard of and thought they were O.K to possibly the most solid rock band of this century- I never hear a bad song from these guys and after repeated listens of their standard hits-they just gain traction.
Arcade Fire-Afterlife– I know-This is arty French hipster self-important pompous drivel—– I know that they stand opposed to everything I love about gritty down to earth rock music. But I love this song- I love it so much that I might be tempted to find a nice puffy shirt and neon pair of kicks to try and comply with their dress code and catch them at a concert this summer. I love it so much that I will try one more time to make it through the whole Reflektor album on Spotify.
Spotify-Yes, I am very late to this party. I am surprised at the amount of music available for nothing on this service. It’s like stealing as it is so much quality for nothing. (kind of like the Cave of Fame blog!)
Wrecking Ball-Miley Cyrus–((((Guilty pleasure alert))))) I hated this song the first time I heard it—-I now secretly love it if my kids turn it up. I thought it was stupid that she was naked on a wrecking ball- I now understand that if you are going to be naked on a wrecking ball—-do it while you are still young! And it plays more like nudity in renaissance art to me now. (I think this Arcade Fire thing has messed up my brain)
But seriously –if Helen Mirron got on a wrecking ball with nothing but her fantastic acting skill and did a photo shoot for Vanity Fair—-all the critics would talk about what a brave and edgy cool-chick she really is—-and would trip over all the compliments that they would throw at her unbridled toes.
What I hated:
Robin Thicke- That blurred lines garbage is still a ripe smell in the air as we hit 2014. Also, don’t forget that he played a major role in the big twerk-off of 2013- Without him providing the “hammer” to Miley’s “nail”—-The whole thing might not have got so insane. I dislike him so much that I was tempted to browse through “Revelations” and check the attributes of the Antichrist….you know….just to rule him out in my mind because I do have some doubts.
Kiss going in the Rock and Roll hall of Fame– I guess they were going to break down the wall at some point to get in. It was only a matter of time before this Cleveland institution that usually gets it right caved in under the force of those boots and rabid fans.
Nostalgia “bait and switch” – Take a band like say “Bon Jovi” with only one original member like say “John Bon Jovi” and sell it like the whole band will be there. Or the R.E.O Speedwagon-Terrible Ted Nugent and Styx –“Mayhem of the Mid-west” tour or whatever it was called. At least Ted Nugent was a standalone product –so that was good. These old bands that dwindle down to one or two and fight over the name to see who has the rights to a half-hearted performance of bygone hits is a bit much. You might as well go see a good cover band.
Losing Lou Reed- This was really sad because even though he was old and not in great shape- I kind of thought he would last forever.
Rush seems to be gaining power and respect. This bugs me because I may have to go back and change my post about being a Rush hater. I am now changing my position from a Rush hater to a Rush “whateverer”. I still reserve the right to dislike music fans that take it as a solid fact that dislike of Rush means no real taste in rock music. (I think my wrecking ball admission is a worse transgression)