Friday, October 14, 2011

Musical Friday

Well, I was thinking about possible themes for this Friday, but as usual, haven't done any prep work, so it's gonna be another randomizer day....

1. DNA - Surrender
2. Minor Threat - No Reason
3. Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze (live at Winterland)
4. Naked CIty - Igneous Ejaculation
5. Mission of Burma - Academy Fight Song
6. Warlocks - Come Save Us
7. Times New Viking - No Time, No Hope
8. Rolling Stones - I am Waiting
9. Queen - Under Pressure
10. Otomo Yoshihide, Bill Laswell, Yoshida Tatsuya

There has been some chatter in the blogosphere about someone (Taylor Clark by name) at Slate declaring the Strokes' This is It the best record of the 00's - most of the chatter negative.... Amanda Marcotte noted something that may or may not have anything to do with the Slate writer, but is interesting anyway - that the Strokes are a bunch of straight white guys, and so they look like a rock band, in a way that - oh - the White Stripes or TV on the Radio don't. I've taken a stab at listing the best music of the 2000s (by which I mean, my favorite music of the decade, but that has to be obvious) - and she's right - the list (my list) is pretty thin on all straight white guy bands - Mercury Rev (though with their first album made without a regular female member), Liars, Grinderman, Radiohead, Gomez get in the top 25 - plus a couple solo artists - the rest are mixed... even with the near misses listed - only two or three more all straight white guys bands appear (Modest Mouse, Mission of Burma, Fire Theft...) Now - obviously I have somewhat idiosyncratic tastes, that tends not to encompass a lot of mainstream rock bands - but I think you can see something changing there. I'm still mostly listening to rock (with something of a jazz/avant garde flavor to it) - I'm not looking for groups with women or Black men in them (I am a big fan of Japanese rock, though - but most of those groups are mixed - my favorites - Boris, Acid Mothers Temple, Ghost, Boredoms, all feature women.) And yet... And Marcotte's list, quite different from mine - shows the same thing....

I couldn't do that in the 70s - a 10 best, 20 best of the 70s would be very heavy on straight white guys. 60s too, if I stuck to rock. (Though you'd get Mo Tucker up there at the top...) 80s - it starts to change - though mainly because of Husker Du and REM. In the 90s -a quick top 10 albums? would feature PJ Harvey, Pere Ubu, Yo La Tengo, REM, Sleater Kinney, Mercury Rev - all mixed - plus Pavement, Janes Addiction, Built to Spill, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - say... I think it is different. For whatever reasons, even within rock, "the image many people have in their heads about what a great band should look like" (as Marcotte puts it) isn't what it used to be. Neat.

Video? what a great band looks like - Times New Viking?

What great rock bands sometimes looked like in 1980 or so:

And sometimes in the 60s:

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