We talked about great female artists, and great male artists. Many of us selected, not surprisingly, artists from the past. Some of them are still working today. And while we did have some commentary regarding today’s artists, they were mostly Pop artists, which, have always been blessed with a multitude of fans.
If one can say where this generation does NOT differ from prior generations, it is in the Pop market. There, the market always seem to do quite well, with many artists selling into the millions of copies. Even Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and Mariah Carey have sold millions of units of their releases.
Where the divide occurs is with bands like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Beatles. These bands also sold into the millions of units although not as much as one would expect given the heft and familiarity of the name.
Of course, especially with this crowd, we can go to the lesser extent and still have bands that sold quite well for their music. The Faces, Rush, Depeche Mode, Thin Lizzy, Paul McCartney, (and Lennon, Harrison, and Starr) sold well.
To even lesser extent, bands like Can, Wishbone Ash, Magazine, The Buzzcocks, and on and on sold moderately number and still sustained a loyal fanbase, enough to continue recording.
Springboarding from the recent three articles, I’m hoping that readers can supply me with new names of bands and artists that have gained stature not unlike the previously mentioned bands. With the proliferation of excellent music being created today, there MUST be some band that some of you find great enough to follow over time.
For me, there is Heartless Bastards. From their first album, on through their most recent release, Arrow (2012), I have anxiously anticipated the next album. I rank them each according to their own quality of tracks. I have gotten clothing with their name emblazoned on the front. I have tickets to their next show in OC (at The Observatory). In short, I love this band as much as I did ELP, Faces, The Who, Wishbone Ash, and so on. And I have others that I relish in the same way, Black Mountain being one of them, Boxer Rebellion being another, Florence Welch yet another. I sorely miss the music of The Music, The Libertines, Babyshambles, Black Keys, and The BlacK Angels, all Y2k bands.
On a lesser note, I have an infatuation with White Hinterland, with Casey Dienel. Since I first heard “Icarus” on It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, I have been hooked, listening to the song often.
And so, yes, we can have a relationship with artists. My concern is that collectively, we generally do not have infatuations with too many of the same. Therefore, we see so much less of bands that carry the weight of say, a Rolling Stones (not necessarily the same kind of music, just the promise of such greatness).
Is it our fault that Rock music rarely have bands and artists outside the Pop market carry such musical weight, no matter how brief? I think so. And if that suspicion is correct, then how is it repaired to make things matter?
While I likely answered my own question, I would love to know, who, in this stage of Rock, that you wait for and adore the music of? Band? Artist?
Please don’t tell me that we have grown out of this behavior! I don’t want to believe it.