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40 greatest US bands today

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The Guardian made a list of the top 40 US bands out of all those that currently perform. I won’t spoil it for you, but I have never even heard of their number one pick (though they sound like they could use a lifetime supply of chap stick…). Am I just out of the cool new music loop or is the author a bit loopy all on his own?

I don’t know who would be on my list, but it would be quite different from what is on this one.

(First posted on Amidst a tangled web)

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  • Eric Olsen

    It is certainly an eccentric list, but dude, never heard of the Flaming Lips?

    Besides being eccentric, a lot of the aritists name aren’t bands or even performers (Timbaland? YMBK – Missy Elliott is already listed, what’s the point of that? And the Neptunes? WTF?) so this matches apples with kumquats and tangelos.

    The writer was just trying to piss people off – I have never heard about 5-10 of them, although I have heard of all of them.

  • dan

    So I guess I am out of the cool new music loop having never heard of the Flaming Lips. I’ll have to read blogcritics more. (heh heh).

  • Eric Olsen

    That would be a good move, but the Flaming Lips have been around for over 10 years. I am certain you heard “She Don’t Use Jelly” back in the ’90s, it was an actual hit.

  • that list had some good artists, but I don’t think that clever marketing of a puppet with a voice constitutes an entertainer being lumped in with ’40 greatest bands’. Also, it seems like it was a list of extremes… extremely popular artists (Christiana, Marylin Manson, etc) and extemely unknown artists (Magnetic Fields, Felix da Housecat, etc). with the exception of a few artists who fill in the middle ground (The Roots, Wilco, Tom Waits). Overall a ahh… interesting list.

  • Robert Brandt

    Not too much argument there. No Dream Theater, but we’re used to that. 🙂

    I’m not convinced that Wilco even exists anymore? Didn’t Tweedy finally kick everyone out?

    I wonder if anyone’s told the UK that The Strokes are at about 14:56.

    Surprised to not see The Polyphonic Spree on there. I thought they were way bigger over there so far.

  • Typical British music press sort of list, filled with British music press sort of bands, in which certain genres of music are completely ignored because they’re not considered fashionable enough.

    No Dream Theater, of course. More significantly, no Metallica. I know Metallica peaked years ago and are now a shadow of their former selves, but isn’t the same just as true for REM?

  • Robert Brandt

    “I know Metallica peaked years ago and are now a shadow of their former selves, but isn’t the same just as true for REM?”

    Depends on how old you are. I know tons of people in their mid 30’s who swear by “the jangle” that was everything pre-“Out of Time”. I’m in my mid-20’s, and don’t think they hit it until “Automatic For The People”, and I like most of what they’ve done since.

    I completely agree about the British press, though…although there’s a ton of weird stuff that goes on still. Like when Genesis couldn’t sell an album or concert ticket in the US in 1997…but they still managed to race up the charts and play arenas in the UK.

  • I’m just shy of 31, and I think REM’s entire career has been pretty great. I think the reason people write them off now is because they really hit when their prime audience was at its most vulnerable – late high school and college age kids. I have noticed that with any band that someone gets into during those important years, anything that comes out afterward seems to pale in comparison. I hold that REM put out one of their finest albums after their peak – New Adventures In Hi-Fi. (Let’s just forget that they put out Monster at all, okay?) And I still think Up and Reveal are quite good too. Maybe not Document and Life’s Rich Pageant great, but still pretty damn good.