Week of 10/21: Live!

scotchandcigar

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Is my post long enough? And is it unrelated enough to the Stern show?
Yes, and yes. But so was mine. My sincere apologies to anyone offended by the derailing of this thread. Although it's a thread about last week's show, so it's not like we're displacing any ongoing discussions.

Anywho, back to the derailing. I've been a consistent new music listener since I was 6. I never stopped listening to AOR, Adult Contemporary, Alternative, and Indie rock music, at any point in my life. Every channel on SXM that I listen to is categorized as Rock. Yet, of the 36 bands you listed, I have never heard of 28 of them. And of the 8 I've heard of, I've only ever listened to 4 of them. So now we're getting to the problem. I guess I'd classify those bands you listed as underground, and being that they're not mainstream, they aren't representative of what I'm referring to.

It seems like you're that guy who's digging a hole, and then filling it in. You're listening to this particular niche of non-mainstream rock, presumably because you like a particular sound, and then complaining about the sameness of that sound. But when presented with examples of rock bands of the past 20 years, you say they're not rock, because they don't possess the same 90's grunge sound which you're complaining about. All of the bands I listed are played on rock radio. And like every decade that's preceded them, they sound different than rock from other decades.

So, in conclusion, I still don't know what to tell you. Are you looking for hard rock? Is that what it is? Have you listened to Ty Segall, or Fuzz, or Wolfmother, or Queens of the Stone Age, or Against Me!, or some old Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or Sleater-Kinney, or Stephen Malkmus, or half of the bands I listed before?
 

HecticArt

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I know most of the bands that Sad has mentioned. I wouldn't call them underground. They don't necessarily get much play on formula driven commercial radio, but it's hard to consider that a good metric for musical quality.

It's all so subjective that there isn't ever going to be a clear consensus on what rock really is.
 
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sadchild

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I can relate to being a long-time music listener. When I was 11, I started making my own list of my favorite songs each week. It didn't last long, but I do recall when "Centerfold" finally took the #1 spot from "I Can't Go For That", it was a big surprise to all of my stuffed animals. In 1989, I started keeping track of my favorite songs of the year, and I've done it every year since.


Mega music nerd. And somewhat of a music snob I'm told.

Anyway, like Hectic said, most of these bands wouldn't be considered underground. I do listen to plenty of underground rock like Northern Skulls, Rat Boy, Through Fire, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Veer Union, Otep, Flaw, Sylar...

Here are some stats on the bands I listed:

10 Years: five top 10 of the Mainstream Rock hits, one entry on the Hot 100. One gold album. Octane and Rock Bar.

8Stops7: two top 30 Mainstream Rock hits and a gold album.

Adema: four top 30 Mainstream Rock hits and a gold album. Rock Bar.

Black Stone Cherry: five top 20 Mainstream Rock hits, bigger in the UK. Octane and Rock Bar.

Cold: eight top 30 Mainstream Rock hits (one made the Hot 100), two gold albums. Octane and Rock Bar.

Crossfade: three top 10 Mainstream Rock hits (one made the Hot 100), a platinum album. Rock Bar.

Daughtry: American Idol finalist. Grammy nominated. Only two top 5 Mainstream Rock hits, but ten songs on the Hot 100. 6x Platinum debut album. Pop Rocks, Rock Bar.

Dust For Life: two top 40 Mainstream Rock hits. Potentially 'underground'.

Earshot: four top 30 Mainstream Rock hits. Turbo Channel. Potentially 'underground'.

Fever 333: three top 30 Mainstream Rock hits. Grammy nominated. (Brand new band)

Fuel: seven top 20 Mainstream Rock hits (four on the Hot 100). Two platinum albums. Rock Bar and Pop Rocks.

Ill Nino: four top 40 Mainstream Rock hits. Rock Bar. Potentially 'underground'.

Porcupine Tree: only one top 30 Mainstream Rock hit. Okay, underground I suppose? I thought they were bigger. But, from Billboard in 2009: "Fans bought all 10,000 limited-edition copies of their new album. They contained two CDs, a DVD and two books (one of photos, one of illustrations) that complemented the record for $109." If you release an album and make over a million dollars just from the limited edition package, are you underground?

Primer 55: only one top 40 Mainstream Rock hit. Underground I suppose, but they were on Ozzfest 2000.

Puddle Of Mudd: five #1 Mainstream Rock hits, six entries on the Hot 100. One gold, one platinum album. Octane and Rock Bar.

Royal Blood: six top 10 Mainstream Rock hits (three hit #1), and both Jimmy Page and Dabe Grohl can't say enough good things about them. Octane.

Saliva: five top 10 Mainstream Rock hits, two entries on the Hot 100. One gold, one platinum album. Turbo, Rock Bar, Octane.

Saving Abel: five top 10 Mainstream Rock hits, one entry on the Hot 100. One gold album. Rock Bar, Pop Rocks and Octane.

Seether: five #1 Mainstream Rock hits, seven entries on the Hot 100. Three gold, one platinum album. Rock Bar and Octane.

Theory Of A Deadman: ten top 10 Mainstream Rock hits, three entries on the Hot 100. One platinum album. Rock Bar, Pop Rocks and Octane.

Union Underground: four top 30 Mainstream Rock hits. One album almost went gold (400,000 sales).

Volbeat: seven #1 Mainstream Rock hits. One gold album. Much bigger in Denmark, where they're from. Rock Bar and Octane.

So... I do agree that I like a particular sound in rock, have a different view from the music industry on what rock is, and will probably never call "synthesized percussion with mostly boop-beeps" rock (for example I wouldn't call Joywave "Tongues" rock in the same way I wouldn't call Pet Shop Boys rock, but I would call Joywave's song "Somebody New" rock). However, the link above to my favorite 2018 songs shows I'm not just looking for 90s-style rock bands and calling everything else not-rock, like hair metal fanatics used to bash grunge and nu-metal, saying it's not rock because it didn't involve upper octave singing, fast guitar solos, leather and hair spray.

Ultimately, I think there used to be a clear line of what rock is in previous decades. In the early 2000s, rock (or at least 'hard rock') became a pile of of 90s copycats who mainstreamed the songs so far into the mainstream it became painfully stale, and now the industry is slapping the rock label on things that are making most people scratch their heads, like my two quotes in my last post indicate.

PS About two-thirds of the bands you've listed, I've heard pieces of their music and it just didn't appeal to me (some have one song I like, ie Wolfmother, Muse and YYY).
 
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scotchandcigar

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So... I do agree that I like a particular sound in rock, have a different view from the music industry on what rock is, and will probably never call "synthesized percussion with mostly boop-beeps" rock.

Ultimately, I think there used to be a clear line of what rock is in previous decades.
I just want to comment on these.

Who is calling synth percussion with boop-beeps rock? That's something that people who stopped listening to music in 1978 say.

IMO, today's variety of music is just like the 80s or 70s. The line wasn't any clearer then than now. Look at any 70s or 80s countdown; same mix of straight rock, glam rock, drama rock, pop rock, light rock, dance rock, folk, R&B, vocal, pop, etc.

Let's just say you're not a fan of most contemporary rock. Different strokes.
 

sadchild

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I agree on having different strokes, with you and most people today and the music industry. However, it's the music industry that's calling synth percussion with boop-beeps rock. Hence Lorde and 21 Pilots being rock chart-toppers and rock award winners. And I do like a lot of contemporary rock (see my list of 2018 fav songs, and on my Twitter account I list new rock songs every week that I discover and like), just not most of the stuff being aired and streamed that's being labeled as rock.

If people start calling Britney Spears metal, I'm not gonna just agree. That's an extreme way to explain how I feel about calling Imagine Dragons, Bastille, Capital Cities, 21 Pilots and Lorde 'rock'.
 
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scotchandcigar

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However, it's the music industry that's calling synth percussion with boop-beeps rock. Hence Lorde and 21 Pilots being rock chart-toppers and rock award winners.
I don't understand this focus you have with Lorde. Who ever said she was rock? She won a Grammy for Best Solo Pop Performance; that doesn't sound like Rock to me. And isn't 21 Pilots 2 guys, with one of them being a real drummer?

I just listed dozens of rock bands of the 2000s that have guitars and drummers. I mean, just look at the Black Keys, or any of Jack White's bands; they're as garage rock as it gets. I get that there are some synth bands played on rock radio, but has it ever been different? I listen to 1st Wave, it's all 80s, and much of it is synth rock and pop. So there has always been a wide range of music labeled as rock. But it's just that - a label. And with that, I think we've thoroughly beaten this to death.
 

sadchild

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"Whoever said Lorde was rock?"

If you look back at one of my earlier posts, I put:

The worst offense of course is seeing Lorde on the rock charts and winning rock awards. Here's a great headline from the NY Daily News in 2014: "MTV VMAs 2014: Lorde wins Best Rock Video over actual rock bands". Here's a great quote from Rolling Stone, "Royals is by no means a rock song by anyone's definition, it's an electronic track. It seems odd that it wasn't in a category against Katy Perry and Ariana Grande." So my definition of rock is obviously way off from the latest industry definition. In fact, I'd cross about half of the songs off of each weekly rock chart.

I can add more:

At last night's MTV Video Music Awards, Lorde made history by becoming the first woman to win the award for Best Rock Video. Of course, the 17-year-old New Zealand electropop artist doesn't make rock music at all, but in winning the award, she beat out real rockers like Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys. (Consequence Of Sound)

2014 Nominee iHeartRadio Music Award Alt Rock Song of the Year "Royals".

Billboard Music Awards 2014: Lorde is tied with Imagine Dragons for being a finalist in the most categories at this year's Billboard Music Awards, and in the first half of the show she won Top New Artist and Top Rock Song, for "Royals".


So, just because Jethro Tull wins a Heavy Metal Grammy, that doesn't make them a metal band - it's just the music industry being stupid. And just because Lorde wins Rock Awards and tops Rock Charts, it doesn't make her rock. It's just the music industry being stupid again. I don't have to agree with the 1989 Metal Grammy or the 2004 Lorde Rock Award Wins/Nominations.

Same applies to Rag N Bone Man, Bastille and Capital Cities. And some 21 Pilots songs. If "Tear In Your Heart" goes to #1 on a rock chart, great! But "Heathens" or "Stressed Out" on a rock chart? Absurd. They may have a real drummer, but there's no real drums in those songs. It's alt-pop. Or electropop. But they're about as rock and roll as Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough".

Of course, a rock band can release a not-rock song (like Extreme "More Than Words"). And a not-rock artist can release a rock song (like Janet Jackson "Black Cat" or En Vogue "Free Your Mind"). But that doesn't make Janet Jackson and En Vogue the biggest rock artists of the year.

You may feel that your point is not getting across to me. I do feel mine isn't getting across to you. But ultimately, neither of our opinions is going to change the price of rice, or stop an alt-pop band like Imagine Dragons from potentially being called the biggest rock act of the 2010s.

I could go into my theory on why bands that I don't think are rock (or release more songs that aren't rock than are) are charting as rock these days, and thereby getting nominated for rock awards. It has to do with FM stations trying to stay afloat. But I won't bore everyone with the theory if this conversation is ending. So, sure, I'm willing to drop it and agree to disagree. Or keep chatting about it, because frankly I enjoy this conversation. Either way is cool with me!
 

scotchandcigar

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I'm enjoying it too, because it's an interesting topic, and you have a lot of insight, despite the fact that we have mostly non-overlapping interests in current music. I just don't want to appear like I'm dragging this out, or that it's annoying me (it's not).

I think any of us who appreciate "real" music have learned that the Grammy's are to be ignored. This goes double for the others you mentioned. I stopped caring about the VMAs in 1989 or so, and Billboard is just a long ad for Billboard.

As for Imagine Dragons, they're not my cup of tea, but they do have a knack for making catchy tunes in the pop-rock genre. I'd liken them to Journey; they're both heavy on dramatics and theater, and light on hard-rocking. I look at all these dance-rock and pop-rock bands today, like Walk the Moon, Neon Trees, and 21 Pilots, and think of them like today's "hair bands". I was never a big hair band fan, to me it's just too much fluff (ha!). But it's worth noting that you can look at any decade, and find a wide range of popular music. The mid 70's had disco, which influenced rock bands too. The 80's had synth-pop and synth-rock. It's always something. Variety is good.
 
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