Stone blogs for The Couch Sessions.
Other than Bloc Party, or some Deftones and some At The Drive-In, I haven’t been listening to much rock lately. No offense to the rock heads out there, but we all know that genre has been lacking lately.
Like 2004, the year 2005 has been a terrible year for rock music. A lackluster release by Coldplay, and a so-so release by the White Stripes round out the years dissapointments. It seems every year, rock music falls further into obscurity.
So that’s probably why I don’t even recognize some of these bands on The Top 40 Bands in America Today list by Information Leafblower. The National? Who? The Hold Steady? Huh?
Of course, hipster favorites like Sufjan Stevens (I still haven’t heard any of this dude’s stuff), LCD Soundsystem, and The Decemberists made the list. Even Kanye West and MF Doom represented for the hip-hop side. But no Bloc Party? No Doves? I’m sorry but the people who assembled this list are on crack.
Oh, and please tell me what the big deal is with Death Cab for Cutie?
Anthony and the Johnsons? I want to slap him. First for winning the Mercury Music Prize, and second for being a whiny bitch.
So anyway, I decided to make my own list of the rock music I’ve been listening to this year. Hate it or love it, it’s what you need to be listening to right now.
- Bloc Party – People have been sleeping on this band too much. They need to wake the hell up! Silent Alarm is the best album to come out of the UK in a long time, and dare I say, one the best album of ’05. And yes, they got shafted for the Mercury Music Prize.
- Saul Williams – Saul’s self titled album has been revolutionary to me. He is the Black version of Rage Against the Machine, combined with lyrics of self-identity, despair, and hope (think Def Poetry Jam). Make no mistake, Saul is hip-hop, but since he tours with System of a Down and Nine Inch Nails, he’s got rock cred too and therefore makes the list.
- Beck – Guero was one of Beck’s best albums. Have people forgotten that this thing came out in ’05? The dude went back to his roots for Guero, after scaring me with that Sea Change album (good, but too depressing). This is a solid release that was overlooked by the rock community. Beck fans need to pick it up.
- The GO! Team – This group came to me from left-field. Remember the Avalanches from a few years ago? Well, The GO! Team is along those lines. It’s a combination of a random sounds (like a old school MC and cheerleaders) and noise that somehow works in the end.
- El Pus – Their album, Hoodlum Rock, Vol. 1, stayed in my CD player for about a month after I copped it. You would never think that ATL crunk and Blink-182 style punk would work, but somehow it does. Check out our interview with Cufi and Cosmo from the band.
- The Dears – I just discovered this Montreal-based band just as they announced their breakup. Sad. They have a mainstream sound with a touch of random Canadianess. It’s like Our Lady Peace without the annoying singer.
- The Exit – This is what rock music should sound like. Period. This band makes tight payola-free music that doesn’t try to cop anyone’s style yet still pays tribute to such bands like The Police. Why these guys haven’t gotten any buzz escapes me.
- Laura Burnhem – Damn, what can I say about this woman? If you like Fiona Apple AND Coldplay, then you need to buy this album. This chick needs to be famous. Period. Check out her song “Helicopters” and be amazed.
- Fiona Apple – Speaking of Fiona, her resurgence in ’05 has earned her a spot on the list. If it wasn’t for these so-called Internets, Extraordinary Machine wouldn’t have seen the light of day.
- The Black Keys – These guys are a complete rip-off of the White Stripes (Midwest duo ripping off blues music…hmm), but it’s not entirely a bad thing.
- Doves – Another band that’s getting completely slept on in the US and the UK. The Last Broadcast was a disappointment for me, but they resurrected themselves this year with Some Cities.
- The Mars Volta – Another band that gets no respect from the rock community. The evidence: they’re not on the list. Which is not really a surprise because it seems that these guys never make “the List.” But its also sad, because although Frances the Mute isn’t as good as De-Loused in the Comatorium (they went crazy on this album), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala still bring the fire.
- Coldplay – I added them because I’m running out of bands and I need to even the list out. I really WANT to like X&Y, but unfortunately I know that it cannot hold a candle to their previous efforts.
So there you go. These are the bands that you need to be listening to in 2005. Got some beef about this? Let me know.Powered by Sidelines