Having brought up a nice conversation about our state of music nowadays vs the stars that were abundant in the past, I thought that we could go in several directions further.

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.

By MARowe

13 thoughts on “Trying To Roll Away The Stone…”
  1. I have continued to try new bands – most of those you mention above (thanks to many of your reviews) – but the only post millennium band that continues to excite me are The Black Keys.

    Since I was 14 I was never a fan of pop, even though many of those pop songs have eventually worked their way into acceptance by a combination of repitition and nostalgia.

  2. I definitely look forward to releases by “newer” artists: The Weakerthans, A Fine Frenzy, Metric, Archie Powell amp; the Exports, Ted Leo, Imelda May, just to name a few. I’m also looking forward to the new Rush CD next week. I don’t think, however, that we will have as many newer artists (if any) like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd that can sell millions of records without having a hit single or two.

  3. I have 2 groups who I eagerly await each new release and each release has not disappointed any in the least. They are The Drive-by Truckers and The Black Keys. Both have that entertaining bent that screams this is rock’n’roll. They don’t play it safe or try to homogenize their craft to reach a broader audience. Exciting they are, bland they are not. In this age of American Idol singers they are truly refreshing. I just hate that music has become what is the most acceptable to the most people versus what will knock your socks offs and broaden the listeners horizons. I want to hear your influences not who do you sound the most like.

  4. I’ve gotten into some “newer” bands in the past couple years, mainly due to seeing them on late night shows, recommendations from friends, or as an opening or accompanying act of another band — Theory of a Deadman, Seether, Pop Evil, My Darkest Days. I enjoyed these bands and their albums when the shows came around, but honestly have found it hard to feel the urge to go back to them after the show leaves town. Most of the “new” bands I’m into are actually bands that consist of members of other legendary bands – Audioslave, Velvet Revolver were cool when they first came along. Chickenfoot is great, and I just started listening to Black Country Communion.

    Anything from the extended Van Halen family gets my attention – Van Halen themselves, Chickenfoot, solo Sammy Hagar, Hurtsmile/Extreme/Gary Cherone, etc..

    Also, hoping the new Rush album is good!

  5. one of the new bands I started following was mars hollow read about them here bought both of their cds and glad I did great progressive rock thanks Matt

  6. You’re right that we don’t have as many big selling rock acts out there these days but there are still some. Although they are certainly not a new band one could say that the Foo Fighters are a band we can cite as having staying power. They’ve sold a lot of records in their over 15 year career.

    On a much smaller scale I find the Silversun Pickups to be solid performers and each album of theirs has been woth the wait. I hope they stay around for a while.

    1. Definitely the Foos! I didn’t get into them until their third album, but now I eagerly await new music from them.

      1. As much as I love The Foos and agree they are great, they are a carry over group from the last millenium. It gets harder to name some bands who didn’t put their first album out until after 2000.

  7. I share your appreciation for Heartless Bastards. I stumbled upon them almost by accident at the Austin City Limits Festival several years ago. Wandering between stages, I heard them from a distance, and thought “WHO is that … that’s a great sound.” Went and saw them again, at midnight that same day in a small Austin club and I was hooked.

  8. Believe it or not, I still look forward to each new Rush release. And, next week we get a new one, plus a tour.

    Steven Wilson, of Porcupine Tree fame, is number one on my list of “looking forward to that next release/project.” He has been astoundingly adept at a variety of musical styles and has been working with some amazing musicians in his various projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.