Sep 18, 2008

Five Bands For Ten Years

The part where your humble correspondent goes psychic. I have actually stolen this post title from a Metacritic thread I was reading, where the basic premise was to name five bands that you think will be important to you over the next ten years. Which artists do you think have the creative lifeblood to make ten years of great music? I think previously I have written about the theory of declining productivity. That is, except for the rare genius, most musicians are human. They have a certain reservoir of talent and generally peak before declining artistically. Some bands only have one good album within them (Bloc Party). Some two (Kings of Leon). Some, like R.E.M., have a string of classic album after album, yet, for whatever reason, start to go into decline and begin to create music that veers on the bland side.

Of course, this is all subjective. One person's genius is another person's over rated blowhard. I think it would be easy in an exercise like this to just mention 5 bands that you love now and just believe that they will continue to make great music. Take for example a band like Wilco. No doubt, a truly seminal band. A band with a stunning catalogue and still a great, great live band. But their last album, although decent, indicated to me that perhaps they have peaked. I think they will continue to make good music. But, another YHF? I don't think so. Or, a band like My Morning Jacket, perhaps THE live band of this generation. A band seemingly that can do no wrong, then they throw a clunker like "Evil Urges". An indication or an aberration? So, my picks are based on the idea that these artists not only have supreme talent, but appear to be showing no signs of slowing down.

1. Sunset Rubdown
Predictable I know. But what can you do. Now, whilst Wolf Parade is an incendiary mixture of Krug and Boeckner, I am not sure if that band will see the distance. But I do know this, Sunset Rubdown are on an upward path that I have rarely witnessed. Two back to back stunning albums will only lead to a third and a fourth and a fifth. Believe me, trust me.

2. Animal Collective
These guys are veterans now, but they continue to push every envelope that exists. Their latest album was probably their best and I see absolutely no slow down at all. In fact, I think they will continue to astound and delight. They exist on their own terms. Beyond all trends.

3. Menomena
Talent, talent, talent. These boys have it in spades. "Friend & Foe" I believe was just the beginning. Their ear for a melody is second to none.

4. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
The most promising singer/songwriter I have heard in a long time. His debut reeks of greatness. If I can predict a new face to shine brightly for a decade, then Mr Robinson will do.

5. Blitzen Trapper
Somewhere, deep down in the hearts of these Portlanders, lies a truly classic American album. One of heart and soul, one that will see The Band comparisons. "Furr" is a great start, but there is more to come.

Now, I also hope that classically great bands like Spoon, Okkervil River and The National will continue to mine musical gold, but declines can happen before our very eyes. And we know Will Oldham is always good for great music, but I think these five bands are a safe bet to lift our hearts.

Who are you excited about?


  • At September 20, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    1. Sunset Rubdown
    2. The Dodos
    3. Andrew Bird
    4. Yeasayer
    5. Menomena

    Maybe more of a wishful thinking list, but I think all of these groups/artists have the creativity for longevity.

  • At September 20, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Good entry,

    any band is capable of putting out a stinker, but with that said, i cant imagine devendra (smokey was awesome!), dr dog, ratatat or wilco (SBS is incedible) releasing a bad album anytime soon. Really interested about a new animal collective album.


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