Let’s face it. You are just like me. A Gen-Xer, late 30s to 40s, maybe you’re married and have kids. The problem with our generation is we are stuck on Metallica, and possibly lamenting one Kurt Cobain (But why? He was a heroin addict and his best stuff was behind him. Embrace the Foo Fighter in you). You need to change that.
You could get an XM account and have access to all kinds of shit (I really like Alt Nation channel). Stay away from any station that has Hits or Top in the title, because while the songs might be just that, they suck. I’ll help you out, unless you are so deeply entrenched in some sort of techno, country, or whatever it is people who still pop pimples are listening to (which is found on stations with titles including the words “Top” and “Hits”).
1. Blue Giant
Out of Portland, Oregon, they are hard to define. Is it folk? Country? Sounds like southern rock, but what’s that other sound? It’s better than what you’re listening too.
2. Junior Prom
I have no idea where they are from, but meaningful lyrics are mixed in with great synth, guitar, and percussions. They remind me somewhat of Foster the People (Pumped Up Kicks, and Coming of Age). Here’s a catchy tune about a homicidal girlfriend:
3. Walk the Moon
If you haven’t caught Walk the Moon on the radio you have missed out. You are most likely to hear them on a college station because, well, they all graduated recently (Kenyon). They titled one of their more popular songs Anna Sun, a reference to a sociology professor at Kenyon. She was flattered. I’m slapping Tightrope up as my pick, but give Iscariot a listen. They are often seen onstage with Young the Giant, another band you should be listening to.
4. Broken Bells
Remember the Bee Gees? They’re back, but this time it’s only two guys, and they’re not brothers. Danger Mouse (a song writer and producer) plays the drums and sports a kick ass afro, while James Mercer of the Shins belts out his best Gibb brother falsetto. It’s also what all the kids are using as a soundtrack to make babies, so learn to recognize the sound so you can put the brakes on the shenanigans.
5. Cold War Kids
Out of Long Beach they are sounding like the heirs of Springsteen with the instruments. Best for long drives in a Chevy (no foreign models, please).
So who do I shun? Vampire Weekend? No, I actually like some of their stuff. But you should not be listening to the following:
1. Iggy Azalea (Fancy)
Why? Does this ring a bell? “Ice ice baby…” One and done. Plus it sucks. Too narcissistic, she should try to downplay that. The rest of us do.
2. Pharrel Williams
His association with Robin Thicke alone should warrant him being shunned. And anytime you see the hosts of Good Morning America dancing to a song that is an indication it sucks.
It was fine when you had that song about walls crumbling down, and the drum and monastic chant, but that change up in your voice has to stop. Every song? Really? Stop it. You can get off my list when you stop doing that.
You might think they’re unique, with the accordion and all, but the Dropkick Murphys bring an accordion AND Bagpipes. Kongos suck. Murphys kick ass. Kongos bad. Dropkick Murphys good. No Kongos. No.
Sorry, d-bags, but I’m not convinced. Bob Marley is rolling in his grave. Not a joint, but he’s become a Reggae Zombie, intent on eating the pasty flesh of these talentless bags of goo.
Going to bed now, so here is a tune for all of us: Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced (not me, the Murphs, I’m drinking Mexican Coca-Cola).