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Name That Tunesmith

I'm a big fan of "alternative music". That means I'm an aging hipster who is a sucker for any new band marketed as being "edgy" while still providing me basic guitar-bass-drums-vocals power pop with catchy hooks and oh-so-arch lyrics. Hell, I made it to Coachella this year. I'm a prisoner of twee.

Last year, I mistook several bands because I thought their names sounded the same:

The Shins
The Hives
The Vines
The Wrens
The Cribs
The Dregs
The Dears
The Kills
The Field

And then for some reason, this year there are a whole bunch of white guys in bands with "black" in their name:

Black Keys
Black Kids
Black Dice
Black Lips
Black Mountain
Frank Black

Then there are white bands, too:

White Lies
White Rabbits
Jack White

There is the animal collective of all sorts of bands named after creatures (including the band called "The Creatures"):

Fleet Foxes
Panda Bear
Grizzly Bear
Minus the Bear
The Bird and the Bee
Noah And The Whale
Simian Mobile Disco
Cage the Elephant
Felix da Housecat
Dr. Dog
Peanut Butter Wolf
Band Of Horses
The Bug
The Mountain Goats
The Wrens

Finally, you can do crystal in several different ways this year:

Crystal Castles
Crystal Method
Crystal Stilts

I swear some days I can't tell my Ra Ra Riot from my Gang Gang Dance, or my Cut Copy from my Cut Chemist...

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When I was in college, there were a lot of clueless fucktards who, if their favorite obscure band managed to hit it big would flip 180 degrees and loathe them - it's as if the music could only be good if they were the only ones to know about it.

Even granted that some bands don't hold up well to commercial pressure if they hit it big - that doesn't mean the music they made BEFORE that point has changed one microtone.

Of course, I haven't heard a new band I've liked since about 1992....

I have to confess that I hated Radiohead and The Replacements when I first heard them... mostly because everybody else seemed to like them. I'm glad I saw the error of my ways - I love both bands now.

It's fun to like contemporary bands. They are still making music. You can follow the gossip and become excited when you hear about new releases and collaborations. You don't get that if all your favorite music came from the sixties. As much as I like the Beatles, I have to admit that their music is dead and preserved in amber.

Edited at 2009-05-20 12:45 am (UTC)

There are artists I like who are still making music - ZZ Top, Hiroshima & Jethro Tull, off the top of my head. I've never been into the fan gossip thing; it always seemed to me to be ridiculous. I mean, at their peak of popularity there were articles discussing what eye shadow a member of Duran Duran was wearing... why?

For what it's worth, most of my favorite music came from the late 70s through the 80s - how old do you think I *am*, anyway? :)

I absolutely hated Oasis at first. Now I'm a huge fan.

You forgot the White Stripes. Or are Meg and Jack no longer together?

I only recognize three of the bands on your lists.

Oh yeah, I forgot them! I added Jack White, but not his first band. He still plays with his sister/wife/whatever as the "White Stripes", but was also in a supergroup called "The Ranconteurs" last year. Next month, he's putting out a CD from yet *another* new band called "The Dead Weather". I'll buy it... because I'm a sucker that way!

Edited at 2009-05-20 12:43 am (UTC)

Raconteurs are pretty good. They did an Austin City Limits thing recently, including a very odd cover of Cher's 'Bang Bang (You Shot Me Down)'

Heh. I love how many of these bands are from Seattle... or Portland.

In the realm of mega-obscurities, I think I can be forgiven for confusing Ra Can Row, Rat At Rat R and Råg i Ryggen

Trust me, they all look the same to me!

This coming from a person whose playlist has a whole section of pieces (and believe you me there are lots more) starting with the word "Symphony"

Now try going to SXSW. You will *DROWN* in Black bands.

And I can't believe I forgot to add the Black Rebel Motorcycle Group... I've been playing them a lot lately!

Black Rebel Motorcycle CLUB!

And don't forget Black Lungs or The Black Velvets either.

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