18 November 2010

Rolling Stone: 40 Reasons To Be Excited About Music

{ Are these guys really the No. 1 reason to be excited about music? }

I was reading some old issues of Rolling Stone magazine and their 29 April 2010 issue is about the "40 Reasons To Be Excited About Music." I thought that was pretty interesting so I decided to go through those forty reasons here and comment on what the folks over at Rolling Stone thought.

No. 1 - The Black Eyed Peas
Really? Are they the number one reason to be excited about music?

I admire the talents of Will.i.am and his ability to create all these infectious pop songs but The Black Eyed Peas never really did it for me.

No. 2 - Rock Festivals Rule!
I can get on board with this. With the way the economy is going these days, I feel like it's hard to have a successful tour on your own unless you're a band like U2 or already super-successful like Tom Petty or The Rolling Stones.

It's just a bit easier to save up some money and head to Coachella or Bonnaroo or any number of the big festivals that are cropping up in the United States these days.

Festivals are something that the UK and Europe have embraced and festival-culture is woven into the fabric of their music culture.

I'm glad that the US is on board.

Maybe I'll go to Coachella for the first time in 2011.

No. 3. - The Hip-Hop Arena Show Has Arrived
I can get on board with this. To me, the quality of hip-hop shows in larger venues have always been a bit, well, spotty. But with improvements in sound technology along with more mainstream hip-hop acts like *grumble* The Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West and Jay-Z have made the big arena show for hip-hop happen.

No. 4 - U2's Epic Stadium Tour Invades America Again
I've always wanted to see the spectacle of a big U2 stadium show but I saw them in a relatively more intimate venue (a basketball arena in Las Vegas) and I don't know if a stadium show could beat that experience.

No. 5 - Because You Can Watch Any Concert Online in HD
Okay, this is really cool. Thanks technology.

No. 6 - James Murphy: LCD Soundsystem Define Sound Now
He is really that good. I need to finish my live review of the LCD Soundsystem show at the Hollywood Bowl. So. Good.

No. 7 - Because Live Concerts Sound Better Than Ever
I'm a bit of an audiophile and there's nothing worse than being in a bad position at a live show or a poorly mixed show. Technology has gotten to the point where concerts really do sound better than ever. That's a good thing.

No. 8 - Them Crooked Vultures Are A Supergroup That's Really Super
Y'know, I should really get into these guys.

No. 9 - Because You Can Still See Chuck Berry Play Once A Month
Apparently Chuck Berry, 83, still plays on one Wednesday a month in a St. Louis club. I want to do this real bad. C'mon lottery ticket. Do your thing.

No. 10 - Because Indie Rock Has Upgraded To Hi-Fi Sound
Here's technology again! Indie rock bands sound so good these days. The quality of the records are amazing.

No. 11 - You Can Score Killer Concert Tickets For Under $50
That's pretty sweet, I guess. But there's still Ticketmaster and Live Nation and their crazy fees.

No. 12 - T.I. Is A Free Man And His Comeback Album Is On The Way
Nicely done, T.I.

No. 13 - Because M.I.A. Is Mad As Hell On Her Killer New Album
I really loved "Paper Planes" it was a sort of anthem for me that summer of 2008. I still need to check out her new record.

No. 14 - The Ultimate Jukebox Is Coming To Your Cellphone
Great. Call me old-fashioned but I'm still fine with a hi-fi stereo system, some good speakers, a nice CD player and a record player. Now, I just need to buy all that.

No. 15. - Music's Future Is Here - In Denmark: In Cophenhagen, unlimited tunes come with your cable service. Is the U.S. next?
I pay so much for fucking cable television I better get some unlimited tunes with my service.

No. 16 - Tom Morello Fights The Power With His Guitar
I think we already knew this.

No. 17 - MGMT: Breakout Band Rejects Fame And Gets Its Freak On
Ugh. Wanna know how I feel about MGMT? Read my previous post here.

No. 18 - Tribute Bands Are Sometimes Better Than The Real Thing
Some of the best shows that I've seen have been tribute bands. I've seen a number of Beatles tribute bands and one New Year's Eve, I went to a classic rock radio station sponsored party that featured tons of tribute bands. It was pretty good times. Damn good.

No. 19 - Pop Divas: Because Women Rule The Charts
Sure, that's great and all, but I really miss chicks in proper rock bands like Elastica. Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough?

No. 20 - Because Keith Richards Has Written An Autobiography
I own the book. I'm reading the book. And it will be reviewed soon.

No. 21 - The Strokes Are Getting It Back Together
I wasn't terribly impressed with their last record First Impressions of Earth. Hopefully their next effort will be a return to form.

No. 22 - Diplo: The Guy Who Discovered M.I.A. Racks Up More Frequent-Flier Miles Than Anyone In Pop Music
Dream job? DJ. Primary reason? This guy. He travels ALL over the place. That would be amazing.

No. 23 - Rock's Most Tasteful Guitar Player Is Finally Letting Loose
Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers is pretty damn good.

No. 24 - Because Atlantic Records Entered The 21st Century
Atlantic Records is pushing digital music, getting into touring and merchandising, and developing artists. I hope other labels follow suit instead of searching for the quick hit.

No. 25 - Because A Hip-Hop Legend And A Record Executive Are Bringing Hi-Fi Back
Thank god someone with good ears (Dr. Dre) is improving the state of shitty headphones.

No. 26 - Headphones Are Better Than Ever
This is the thing that excites me the most. Bands spend so much time working on recording a record and then they just end up in some shitty MP3 quality heard through shitty headphones. But now headphones are getting better and I guarantee that your listening experience will be better.

No. 27 - Ridiculously Cool Gear Is Coming
Rolling Stone talks about terabyte music phones, micro MP3 players and what not. Predicting the future is like predicting when flying cars are finally going to come around. I'll believe it when I see it.

No. 28 - Brian Fallon Of The Gaslight Anthem Is The New New Jersey Rock Hero
I should probably listen to this guy more.

No. 29 - Dr. Luke's Awesomely Trashy Pop Sound Is Ruling The Airwaves
Okay, this guy is behind hit songs by Ke$sha, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, and Mily Cyrus. DIE, Dr. Luke. DIE.

No. 30 - Because The Roots Are On TV Every Night
I don't know if ever developed a true appreciation for The Roots. They're a talented band, though.

No. 31 - Russell Brand's Plan To Save The Music Industry
1. You can't let children decide what's popular.

2. Don't record until you've been in rehab.
A lot of good that has done Stone Temple Pilots and Amy Winehouse. Oh, he's trying to be funny? I guess. Maybe I'm just bitter he married Katy Perry and bought her an elephant or something silly like that.

3. No more cross-genres. Leave things be.
I'm not sure about that, I rather like the mixing of genres. Except for rap-rock. Go away, rap-rock. Go away.

No. 32 - Jamey Johnson: Badass Country Is Still Alive In Nashville
I've got a good buddy who lives in Nashville. I think this statement is true.

No. 33 - Coco Sumner: Because Sting's Daughter Is About To Enter The Family Business

No. 34 - Derek Trucks Is Eric Clapton's Guitar Hero
I love Eric Clapton. Maybe I'll have to listen to this guy.

No. 35 - Because Vinyl Sales Have Tripled Since 2006
This fact might be saving record stores as we speak. I love record stores.

No. 36 - T Bone Burnett Is A One-Man Roots Revival
Live forever, T Bone Burnett.

No. 37 - The Classic: Rock Vaults Are Far From Empty
I'm always down with reissues. Just don't screw it up.

No. 38 - Animal Collective Are The Kings Of The New Psychedelic Scene
I dig Animal Collective.

No. 39 - These Missing-In-Action Albums Might Just Come Out
Amy Winehouse. Dr. Dre. D'Angelo. I'm looking forward to the next Amy Winehouse record.

No. 40 - Because You Really Like Music
Rolling Stone surveyed readers and apparently they liked music. Great work, Rolling Stone. You surveyed people who subscribe to a music magazine and learned that they really like music. A lot. Duh.

So, ultimately, I wasn't terribly impressed with these reasons to be excited about music. But there certainly are reasons to be excited about music. I think technology will certainly improve the way we consume music and listen to music. I'm all for that sort of quality. I'm looking forward to it.