I don't know when it happened, and I'm not going to blame Topher Grace, but at somepoint everyone decided we really wanted to live in the late 70's to early 80's. Possibly some sort of Post 9/11 retreat back into safer times or a side effect of a lost generation of hipsters so busy being ironic that they've lost the ability to be authentic? I have no answers. What I do know is that we have a bunch of bands who are trying to re-create the sounds of their parent's favorite bands instead of trying to create their own. Without focusing on how wierd it is having young kids wanting to sound like bands their parents like, we are, neverthless, left with a very similair musical landscape to that bell-bottmed era. Overproduced and shiny? How about some ABBA or Lady Gaga? Folksy and harmonious? How about some CSN&Y or Fleet Foxes? I think it's important to note that I'm talking about new artists not the Dylan's and Radioheads which have been around for awhile.
So in that spirit here is a list of artists who you're parents won't understand, a list of artists pushing popular music forward (in no particular order):
1.Feral Children: Anytime you have two drummers in a band it is either a recipe for disaster or a recipe for awesome. Feral Children bring the awesome. The two drummer combo brings a polyrhythmic tribal aspect to their unique brand of indie rock that mixes atmospheric noises and Roky Eriksonesque vocals. www.myspace.com/feralchildrenseattle
2.Monotonix: These guys bring the performance part to music performance. At one of their shows in Seattle they had the audience carry them (and their gear) a block and a half down the street (during which time they never stopped playing) in order to play in a gas station parking lot as the lead singer climbed a street sign. They take music away from being a viewed performance and back to being a communal event. This is the most you're face will ever be rocked off. www.monotonix.com
3.Pwrfl Power:Pwrfl Power (real name Kazutaka Nomura) sings incredibly transcendent folk/pop songs and has one of the most unorthodox/virtuostic guitar fingerpicking styles I've ever seen. If you ever get a chance to see him live he is an incredible performer. www.myspace.com/pwrfulpower
4.Champagne Champagne: Bruce Lee said once that he had the style of no style, Champagne Champagne took that too heart. Dj Gajamagic has some of the strangest, most diverse, and most danceable beats anywhere. This couples up with Perl Dragon and Thomas Gray's lyrics that run the gamut from silly to sexual to political to a personal depth that few rappers are brave enough to tread. http://www.champagnechampagne.net/
5.Boy Eats Drum Machine: This band is just Jon Ragel's strong Peter Gabriel-like voice, turntables, a sampler, some drums, and a saxaphone. The athletic running between flipping switches on the sampler, playing and recording loops, singing, and dancing make his shows very lively. http://boyeatsdrummachine.com/