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Friday, March 16, 2012

MLB: Bronson Arroyo channels Eddie Vedder at Woodjock fest

Woodjock’s plowing your mom’s record collection?

In the fine tradition of most musicians, Bronson Arroyo arrived stylishly late on Thursday night, 10 minutes before his scheduled 10 p.m. set. He wore a faded tan suede jacket, white T-shirt with a hand imprinted on it, and a pair of well-tattered blue jeans sporting holes around the left pocket and knee.

Twenty minutes later he was on stage, joining his hard rock band with no name, which turned up the temperature by wailing Pearl Jam numbers. Arroyo sang the vocals and sounded so much like Eddie Vedder you might have thought the real band was in the front room of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. The rest of his group cooked.

It was certainly a much different side of Arroyo, the right-hander who makes his living starting for the Reds. To say the four-song set was the highlight of this year’s Woodjock fest would be an understatement.

...For those Pearl Jam aficionados, the set list included “Oceans,” “Even Flow,” “Alive” and “Given to Fly.”

“They’re my favorite group of all time,” Arroyo said.

Repoz Posted: March 16, 2012 at 09:33 PM | 184 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: music, reds

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   1. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4082780)
Pearl Jam may very well be my least favorite rock and roll band of all-time. Did they ever cover "I am the Fly?"
   2. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4082818)
For his next trick, Arroyo should try channeling a pitcher who didn't allow 46 home runs.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4082835)
Pearl Jam may very well be my least favorite rock and roll band of all-time.


Worse than Warrant? Or Poison, or Styx, or Journey, or Night Ranger?
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4082842)
Worse than Warrant? Or Poison, or Styx, or Journey, or Night Ranger?


Maybe, Yes, Most definitely yes, probably, and Yes.

Although I think Pearl Jam is perfectly cromulent band. I just think they are so blah that there is no reason for anyone to go either positive or negative to them. They basically produce one listenable song per album, kinda like Kiss in their prime.(now that is a band that Pearl Jam is probably better than, but of course that was one of Eddie Vedder's goals to produce albums every nine months like Kiss did---note I don't know if Kiss actually did that, but that is what Pearl Jam claimed as their inspiration at one point)
   5. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4082861)
I have a copy of Bronson Arroyo's album. A gag gift from a friend. It is ... amusing. I believe that there is more than one Goo Goo Dolls cover on it.
   6. Sunday silence Posted: March 17, 2012 at 03:45 AM (#4082880)
Is this that freak that was on Perfect Strangers?
   7. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:43 AM (#4082900)
Pearl Jam is the best rock band of the last 20 years and it isn't even close. Their story is pretty cool too, from the dissolution of the biggest band in Seattle, Green River, over conflicting goals, then Mother LoveBone with their lead singer Andrew Woods dying just before their debut release, to their gradual reformation in an attic without a drummer or a singer only to have a San Diego gas station attendant get passed a copy of their instrumentals, and after a morning surfing laying down on top of them almost the identical lyrics and vocals he sang on their debut.

I mostly stopped listening after their debut album, but started again after seeing the Twenty documentary, and have been amazed by all the great material I missed.
   8. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:48 AM (#4082901)
Pearl Jam is loud elevator music.
   9. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 17, 2012 at 06:20 AM (#4082905)
I would like to ride on an elevator with the song "Bugs" playing in the background.

I don't think I'd put Pearl Jam in my 100, but they were definitely in my top 10 or 20 for most of my teenage years. At this point, the majority of what I like by them is off the album Vitalogy. Choosing that album over Ten or Vs would surely make me a hipster, except hipsters are not allowed to like Pearl Jam.

I hope we can all agree that the Goo Goo Dolls are a national treasure. They broke up far too soon.

EDIT: Apparently the Goo Goo Dolls still exist. Why had no one informed me?
   10. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 08:22 AM (#4082917)
Apparently the Goo Goo Dolls still exist. Why had no one informed me?


Mediocre bands never die, heck

Worse than Warrant? Or Poison, or Styx, or Journey, or Night Ranger?


I'm close to 100% sure that all of these bands still exist and tour to this day.

And without Styx, Reds fans wouldn't have ever come up with "Domo Arrigato, Mr. Joey Votto" and we would never have had the pleasure of hearing Cartman's lovely rendition of Come Sail Away.
   11. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4082927)
Mediocre bands never die


That reminds me of this incident, when the Gin Blossoms were set to play a Delta employee party at which Jeff Francoeur was going to do his thing.

I don't think I'd put Pearl Jam in my 100, but they were definitely in my top 10 or 20 for most of my teenage years. At this point, the majority of what I like by them is off the album Vitalogy. Choosing that album over Ten or Vs would surely make me a hipster, except hipsters are not allowed to like Pearl Jam.


The hipster approach to Pearl Jam would be to choose a random mid-career record and decide that it is the greatest rock release of the last 40 years, and then establish an extremely extensive argument to prove your case. You'd need your listeners to be amused by the irony of the whole thing when you start in on the topic, but then grow increasingly concerned after you've been going on for 25 minutes and referenced things like the Lacanian concept of the mirror stage and Grant Hart's post-Hüsker Dü career.

"EDIT: I think Binaural is the greatest rock record since 23 Minutes over Brussels. That or Flowers in the Dirt."
   12. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4082939)
currently looking at Riverbend Music Center's lineup for this summer 9 (other than Radiohead, it's horrifically bad:

a sample:

June 26, Styx, with REO Speedwagon(!) and Ted Nugent
July 2, Def Freakin' Leppard with Poison and Lita Ford
July 20, Nickelback with Bush(!).

It wouldn't surprise me if these are the 3 highest attended shows at Riverbend this summer. It appears that Jimmy Buffett won't be there (is he still alive) so, that's one less sell-out to contend with. Yes, Jimmy Buffett is usually the highlight of Cincinnati's summer music festivities. Sad, really.

Just checked and Warrant is still touring, even with Jani Lane having died last year. He's the only name I ever knew from that band! They're playing a festival in Portsmouth, Ohio this summer (population, like, 10000). Awesome!

From Bogart's schedule (smaller year round club, holds about 1500):

June 28, An Evening with Collective Soul! w00t!
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4082946)
a sample:

June 26, Styx, with REO Speedwagon(!) and Ted Nugent
July 2, Def Freakin' Leppard with Poison and Lita Ford
July 20, Nickelback with Bush(!).


I'm seeing nothing bad with that. Well the Ted Nugent I guess, but if he stays away from politics. I guess Nickleback is considered horrible, but they have about a half dozen enjoyable song. Def Leppard is one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, it's not like they are playing utter crap that nobody would go to see.
   14. tfbg9 Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4082954)
Pearl Jam sucks. Even their band name sucks. Vedder's a major, sourpuss ########. Who sucks.
   15. spike Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4082958)
It's all subjective, but yeah, they are unlistenable for me. So much of rock and roll since their inception is as well, so it's probably not them per se. But goddam, that #### is awful.
   16. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4082975)
I guess Nickleback is considered horrible, but they have about a half dozen enjoyable song.

They have one song, with about 100 different titles. And that song is bland, yet still entirely unpleasant.
   17. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4082988)
I guess Nickleback is considered horrible, but they have about a half dozen enjoyable song.


Are their non-single tracks very different from their singles? I'll admit that I've never listened to a Nickelback album, so I cannot categorically state that they are a horrible band, but of the songs I do know, which include:
- How You Remind Me
- Someday
- Figured You Out
- Photograph
- Rockstar
well, I don't really like any of those songs. They range from overly schlocky & sentimental (Photograph) to generic radio rock (How You Remind Me). Maybe I am missing some deep meaning but Figured You Out is basically about some guy raping a girl and that does not appeal to me.

I would like to hear Steve Albini produce one of Nickelback's albums because I think he can get some decent songs out of them. It worked for Bush*. I won't say Razorblade Suitcase is a good album by any means, but Greedy Fly, Swallowed, Cold Contagious, and Mouth are all very decent songs.

* Sixteen Stone was OK, so they did have some talent in them pre-Albini.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4082999)
well, I don't really like any of those songs. They range from overly schlocky & sentimental (Photograph) to generic radio rock (How You Remind Me). Maybe I am missing some deep meaning but Figured You Out is basically about some guy raping a girl and that does not appeal to me.


They are basic generic airtime filler. I tolerate pretty much all the songs you listed. Mind you I have the worse taste in music among all the primates so that could be evidence that they are truly terrible. Like Pearl Jam I just don't see anything to get worked up over, positive or negative. I can understand hating/loving U2(Jeter), Nirvana(Ryan Howard), Rolling Stones(Clemens) etc. But Pearl Jam and Nickleback are like the Skip Schumaker or Bud Norris of music.
   19. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4083019)
"Nickelback to Back," a melange of their "How You Remind Me" (their first #1 hit) and "Someday."
   20. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4083050)
Pearl Jam is the best rock band of the last 20 years and it isn't even close.


How long have you been 100 percent deaf? Twenty years, I'm betting.
   21. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4083060)
I'm seeing nothing bad with that. Well the Ted Nugent I guess, but if he stays away from politics. I guess Nickleback is considered horrible, but they have about a half dozen enjoyable song. Def Leppard is one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, it's not like they are playing utter crap that nobody would go to see.
Someone extolling the virtues of Def Leppard, **and freaking Nickleback***, is pissing on Pearl Jam. That's...hilarious. (And I'm saying this as someone who has very fond memories of Def Leppard and still listen to them occasionally.)
   22. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4083064)
Pearl Jam is loud elevator music.
I'm now genuinely curious whether Voros and Theo ever had it out over this sentiment.
   23. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4083110)
or Styx

BEGONE, HERETIC!


Pearl Jam sucks. Even their band name sucks. Vedder's a major, sourpuss ########. Who sucks.

This is, verbatim, how I've always felt about the Doors and Jim Morrison.

   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4083114)
Does anybody else read ValueArb's #7 in the voice of Patrick Bateman?
   25. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4083123)
I hope we can all agree that the Goo Goo Dolls are a national treasure. They broke up far too soon.


My sarcasm meter is having trouble with this one.
   26. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4083132)

My sarcasm meter is having trouble with this one.


Same here. Still, I sold their first LP for $99.99 on eBay a few years after picking it up as a cutout in the early '90s for maybe $4 in a now-defunct North Little Rock record store, so my hat is off to their crazed, taste-challenged devotees.
   27. BWV 1129 Posted: March 17, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4083151)
I was shocked to discover recently that 2012 will be Arroyo's seventh year with the Reds. It feels like he just signed with them.
   28. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4083155)
I'm mostly with [9], before the Goo Goo Dolls comment. I was 14 when Ten came out. If you grew up in the boonies, it's hard to understate the jolt that Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden et al. gave to commercial radio. I gradually drifted away from those groups in college and never listen to them at all anymore (well, some Soundgarden), but I don't see how they can (collectively) be viewed as uninteresting.

   29. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4083187)
but I don't see how they can (collectively) be viewed as uninteresting.
Indie-er-than-thou folks, people who can't distinguish between their personal preferences and quality/merit, etc. Also, based on comments I've seen over the years, I think a lot of people react negatively to earnestness.

I took multiple cracks at Animal Collective a few years back because they were getting a lot of talk and critical love. And...I just can't get there, it's not my thing. I'm sure when I was a teen or young adult I would have been loudly declaring that "they suck."
   30. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4083201)
Is this that freak that was on Perfect Strangers?

To be fair, Bronson Pinchot was fine in True Romance, and very funny in Beverly Hills Cop.
Not many people could steal a scene from prime Eddie Murphy.


Does anybody else read ValueArb's #7 in the voice of Patrick Bateman?

I was thinking grunge-y-er, though just as precise and clipped.
Try it in the voice of Jeff Spicoli.
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4083227)
Pearl Jam is loud elevator music.


Hmm, I guess I can't rebut.

And I wanted to invite to take you to a ST game, but my cars iPod is now all PJ all the time so I'm sad...
   32. asdf1234 Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4083255)
I had no idea that so many people with questionable taste in baseball teams or political philosophies agreed with me on Pearl Jam's mediocrity. Eddie Vedder even ruined Into the Wild--every time the kid would sit atop a boulder and stare out over a vista of rolling rivers and evergreen forests, Eddie was there to yowl away any doubts that this was an artless, tone-deaf film.

Yellow Ledbetter and Jeremy aren't bad, though.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4083269)
but I don't see how they can (collectively) be viewed as uninteresting.


Pearl Jam has been classic rock radioized. They have half a dozen songs that have been played, ad nauseum, for 20 years. If you don't like the band, you're stuck with occasionally hearing these same damn songs again and again, and you grow to resent the band because of it, even if you were initially neutral or even mildly supportive.

From what I can tell, the most interesting thing about Pearl Jam is the energy and creativity they put into their live performances. But it you're not a fan of the band, you don't care about this. They certainly are not still releasing relevant new music.

Also, based on comments I've seen over the years, I think a lot of people react negatively to earnestness.


I don't believe this applies here. There are plenty of earnest indie darlings out there. Neutral Milk Hotel still casts a long shadow, Joanna Newsom, The National, Girls...
   34. Sunday silence Posted: March 17, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4083270)
To be fair, Bronson Pinchot was fine in True Romance,


Yeah, I got a whole different, scary vibe from him there. Was he ever used like that again?
   35. NTNgod Posted: March 17, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4083271)
My sarcasm meter is having trouble with this one.

In a universe where they broke up after releasing JED and HOLD ME UP, when they were a Replacements-ish band with good reviews and no record sales, it actually would have been kind of true.
   36. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 17, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4083277)
Eddie Vedder even ruined Into the Wild
Actually, he damn near saved a mediocre film with that soundtrack, which is on the whole fantastic.

They certainly are not still releasing relevant new music.
Define relevant, in a way that doesn't mean "that I care about."
   37. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4083280)
Define relevant, in a way that doesn't mean "that I care about."


That's not how I would ever use the term "relevant."

There is no national expectation for, or conversation about, a new Pearl Jam record. Radio stations aren't excited to pump their new singles. Critics aren't anxious to put in their say. Perhaps most importantly, young people do not listen. They aren't winning over new fans.

You can make terrific music and not be relevant anymore. Some of my favorite bands from the 90s (Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Stereolab) are still chugging along, making high quality records, but I wouldn't call them relevant.
   38. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 17, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4083316)
I'm afraid Bill Simmons's use of "relevant" is spreading to other people. To him it is the perfect crutch word when he's talking to people who know more than him. It means a combination of "good" and "important", with the crucial ingredient of being impossible to argue with because if, say, Chuck Klosterman points out something isn't good, it's still relevant because it's important, and if he points out something isn't important, it's still relevant because it's good. And if Klosterman points out something Bill overlooked which happens to be both good and important, it's still not "relevant" because the average person, that is, Bill, wouldn't have thought of it.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4083324)
I'm afraid Bill Simmons's use of "relevant" is spreading to other people.


You mean to me?
   40. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4083332)
I think you're right in what you're saying. It's been a long time since Pearl Jam was one of the bands critics expressed a lot of enthusiasm for. Just that it's sort of lazy to just describe something as "relevant" or not. Relevant to whom? Obviously Pearl Jam is still relevant to a lot of people. Their last two records (2006 and 2009) debuted at #1 and #2 in the US and have sold well over half a million copies each. Both of those records had one single that was all over rock radio for a couple months. When they tour they play NHL arenas and places like that.

There is no national expectation for, or conversation about, a new Pearl Jam record. Radio stations aren't excited to pump their new singles. Critics aren't anxious to put in their say. Perhaps most importantly, young people do not listen. They aren't winning over new fans.

How many rock bands are there for whom these statements aren't true? Four? The Black Keys .. Kings of Leon ... Cage the Elephant? Are Mumford and Sons a rock band?

If you look at the Mainstream Rock radio charts it's almost entirely bands that critics despise and/or bands that have been around for over 15 years. Critics are a lot more enthusiastic about Pearl Jam than Seether or Puddle of Mudd or Chevelle. And mainstream rock is almost never found on the real Top 40 radio anyway, that being the province of dance music for 15-year-olds.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4083342)
I think you're right in what you're saying. It's been a long time since Pearl Jam was one of the bands critics expressed a lot of enthusiasm for. Just that it's sort of lazy to just describe something as "relevant" or not.


Give me another word.
   42. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4083345)
How many rock bands are there for whom these statements aren't true? Four? The Black Keys .. Kings of Leon ... Cage the Elephant? Are Mumford and Sons a rock band?


Fair enough, but there are many bands that don't fail at all of them. Animal Collective (mentioned by someone else above) isn't played on the radio, but their releases are hotly anticipated by critics, they are growing, they are listened to people under the age of 25. I'd call them "relevant."
   43.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4083359)
June 26, Styx, with REO Speedwagon(!) and Ted Nugent
July 2, Def Freakin' Leppard with Poison and Lita Ford
July 20, Nickelback with Bush(!).


Is Bush considered a historically awful band? I sortof enjoy some of their stuff, in a nostalgic-for-the-90's sort of way. I think I still have Greedy Fly on my iPod...I like listening to it even if the lyrics are rubbish.
   44. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4083371)
How long have you been 100 percent deaf? Twenty years, I'm betting.

You use this in response to someone extolling Pearl Jam rather than someone calling Nickelback listenable?
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4083373)
You use this in response to someone extolling Pearl Jam rather than someone calling Nickelback listenable?


I pretty much consider Nickleback and Pearl Jam to be the same thing. Listenable music. Neither are good.
   46. Bob Evans Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4083377)
You use this in response to someone extolling Pearl Jam rather than someone calling Nickelback listenable?

While the statement was kind of...harsh...IMO it's more defensible calling Nickelback listenable (a very low bar, and a pretty large number of folks agree) than calling Pearl Jam the best group in the last 20 years (an extremely high bar, and almost nobody will agree).
   47.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4083384)
Nickelback is what would happen if you put pop-country music through auto-tune.
   48. Stratman01 Posted: March 18, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4083394)
"Ten" is one of the greatest albums of all time (and I am not a Pearl Jam fan by any stretch of the imagination). However, I think it was one more of one of those "being in the right place at the right time, with the right sound, with the right circumstances kind-of-thing." There are many ALBUMS that I place in the top "greatest" list on the album's merit alone that don't necessarilly say anything about the band/artist. For instance: "Dark Side of the Moon" Pink Floyd; "Thriller" Michael Jackson; "Purple Rain" Prince; "Appetite for Destruction" Guns and Roses; "Led Zeppelin 2" Zeppelin; "1984" Van Halen.

All those albums are fantastic albums as stand alone music but don't necessarilly say anything about the Band's achievements or accomplishments. Pearl Jam had one GREAT album--and that is about it. Really. They are certainly not "one of the best bands of the last 20 years" as was mentioned earlier IMHO. Not even close. They had one fleeting moment in the sun and it was brilliant while it lasted.

Please let's not give them more credit than they deserve.
   49. asdf1234 Posted: March 18, 2012 at 04:28 AM (#4083418)
Actually, he damn near saved a mediocre film with that soundtrack, which is on the whole fantastic.


That comment is going to be archived on Google for posterity's sake, and you will never be able to deny making it.
   50. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 18, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4083435)
That comment is going to be archived on Google for posterity's sake, and you will never be able to deny making it.

I wouldn't call it fantastic, but that album is pretty solid. It has one track ("Rise") which I think is a really beautiful song, probably better than anything Pearl Jam ever released. It also has a few more good songs and a bunch of perfectly cromulent background noise. I'm a sucker for anything with a ukulele though, so I'm not the most unbiased opinion when it comes to a collection of ukulele songs.

Also, "Jeremy" sucks.

My sarcasm meter is having trouble with this one.

I seem to be good at having that effect.
   51. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4083444)
Animal Collective (mentioned by someone else above) isn't played on the radio, but their releases are hotly anticipated by critics, they are growing, they are listened to people under the age of 25. I'd call them "relevant."

I'd be willing to bet that only a small percentage of people under 25 have even heard of Animal Collective, let alone listen to them. They're "relevant" only in the context of a particular community of critics and listeners. People outside that community - still the majority - neither know (nor care) what the tastemakers within the community think. Your use of the term "relevant", to me at least, implies that the tastes of the under-25, Animal Collective-listening, Pitchfork-reading crowd matter more than the those of the numerically larger group of 30 year olds who listen to the radio and buy Nickelback albums. There may well be good arguments for why this should be so, but they require some metric to be specified (e.g. predicted influence on the future course of music, or something) if you want to avoid the response that you're just arbitrarily asserting that your own tastes are the most important.
   52. McCoy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4083445)
So who is the greatest band of the last 20 years?
   53. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4083449)
The Fall, I suppose. I'm thinking the likes of Wire & GBV had too many extended periods of non-existence, though I stopped paying attention to the latter before their last studio album (that I know of) came out, so I could be wrong there.
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4083450)
So who is the greatest band of the last 20


Linkin Park. :)
   55. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4083451)
Your use of the term "relevant", to me at least, implies that the tastes of the under-25, Animal Collective-listening, Pitchfork-reading crowd matter more than the those of the numerically larger group of 30 year olds who listen to the radio and buy Nickelback albums.


If this is not the case, I'm prepared to shoot myself. (Note: I've never knowingly heard a single note of anything Animal Collective has ever played, & I've spent about 5 minutes of my life reading Pitchfork.)
   56. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4083456)
So who is the greatest band of the last 20 years?


White Stripes maybe?
   57. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4083460)
So who is the greatest band of the last 20 years?

Porcupine Tree.
   58.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4083462)
So who is the greatest band of the last 20
years?


Opeth.
   59. PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4083464)
Your use of the term "relevant", to me at least, implies that the tastes of the under-25, Animal Collective-listening, Pitchfork-reading crowd matter more than the those of the numerically larger group of 30 year olds who listen to the radio and buy Nickelback albums.


I believe that this is probably true. I've been thinking about this "relevant" thing, and I've decided that one of the important factors is the extent to which a band's music is likely to influence future bands. Album sales alone don't tell the story here, and because we don't know the future I would suggest that critical success is the best proxy for it.

These days I hear about a million bands that are clearly influenced by My Bloody Valentine, not exactly the best-selling group of its day. What would have been the best way, in 1992, to have predicted this influence?

I chose age 25 because I feel like that's the most reasonable cutoff for kids that might start their own bands and be influenced by the band in question. Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan have both released acclaimed, bestselling albums in the last decade or two, but the fact that most of their listeners are over 40 is something to be considered in the relevancy discussion.

If you could find me a community of critics that discuss Nickelback albums with real intelligence and enthusiasm, I'd be closer to admitting that the Animal Collective fans are just one "particular community," as opposed to being the single most important community of informed and intelligent listeners. And, to be clear, I'm not just talking about Pitchfork (which I don't read) as much as I am music magazines, alternative weeklies, Pazz Jop voters, etc.

There may well be good arguments for why this should be so, but they require some metric to be specified (e.g. predicted influence on the future course of music, or something) if you want to avoid the response that you're just arbitrarily asserting that your own tastes are the most important.


Metric? There's no statistic that could possibly work perfectly. This isn't a debate on baseball value. It's at least partially based on artistic merit, and that requires judgment, not statistics.

Also, as I've said above, this isn't about what I like or don't like. I'll happily call bands that I dislike relevant. And I've never constrained the designation to indie bands ... I certainly think that Kanye West, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lil Wayne etc are relevant.
   60. The Original SJ Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4083466)
Sadly, Pearl Jam is far too popular and successful to be considered a great band.

   61.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4083473)
I ust went to YouTube and typed in "Animal Collective."

I would donate $100 to Rick Santorum if it meant I could have those 45 seconds back.
   62. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4083476)
Opeth.

They're in my top 5 as well.
   63. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4083494)
That comment is going to be archived on Google for posterity's sake, and you will never be able to deny making it.
Wouldn't want to. It's a beautiful album.

They had one fleeting moment in the sun and it was brilliant while it lasted.
This sentiment -- a common one, I'll grant you -- is something I've never entirely understood, especially coming from mostly non-fans, and especially especially from non-fans who skew toward what you might call less "accessible" music.

Ten was massive, and moreso than any of their other albums absolutely a "zeitgeist" album. But it was also front-to-back their most unquestionably commercial and "radio-ready" album. Vs. and Vitalogy, while certainly containing obvious "hits", were on the whole more varied and greater artistic achievements. (To say nothing of No Code and Yield, since I'm sure they were deemed "irrelevant" by that point.)

How many rock bands are there for whom these statements aren't true? Four? The Black Keys .. Kings of Leon
This, from Crispix's #40, is what I was eventually meaning to get at with #36. I was pretty sure you *didn't* mean "that I care about" -- but that most definitions of "relevant" implicitly limit the discussion to fairly new bands listened to by mostly young people. And that's fine, exciting stuff comes from that subset, but holding a 20-year-old band to that standard is a little silly.

Sadly, Pearl Jam is far too popular and successful to be considered a great band.
For better or worse, they largely fit in the category of a mainstream guitar-driven rock/hard rock band; and lots of people don't dig that, especially one that's been around a long time.
   64. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4083496)
Could someone explain Drake's appeal, importance, relevance to me? I know a lot of smart people who like him. It's all pops and fizzles to me though.
   65. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4083498)
Opeth.

They're in my top 5 as well.
Hey Biff, do you have a recommended starting point for Opeth? Porcupine Tree was a homerun for me so I'd like to dig into these guys too.
   66.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4083506)
Hey Biff, do you have a recommended starting point for Opeth? Porcupine Tree was a homerun for me so I'd like to dig into these guys too.


They have such a ludicrous variety and range that it really depends on what you're into. If you're looking for just a song, I usually start people off with A Fair Judgement, as it appeals to many different kinds. Their albums run from death metal stuff to their latest which was a folksy-jazz-thing, so it's hard to recommend an album without knowing where you fall.

I don't know Porcupine Tree at all although they've been recommended to me a number of times.
   67. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4083517)
Hey Biff, do you have a recommended starting point for Opeth? Porcupine Tree was a homerun for me so I'd like to dig into these guys too.

Depends. Can you tolerate so-called "cookie monster" vocals? If so, my favorite song of theirs is "Serenity Painted Death". If not, "To Bid You Farewell" is entirely clean vocals and pretty beautiful. They've also released two albums which are entirely clean vocals: Damnation (on which Steven Wilson produced and provided backup vocals) and Heritage. I would recommend "In My Time of Need" from Damnation and "The Devil's Orchard" from Heritage.
   68.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4083521)
Ha, Cookie Monster.

My favorites of their's usually blend the two. "The Apostle in Triumph" is probably my favorite. Also The combination of Prologue/April Ethereal/When from MAYH.

I like Damnation a fair bit, though: In addition to "In My Time of Need" I love "Hope Leaves" and "To Rid the Disease." I haven't gotten into Heritage, but I think we've talked about that before. "Famine" is a pretty good track, it's about the only one I've listened to more than a couple times.

I could ####### talk about Opeth forever.
   69. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4083527)
I think the best Opeth album to start with is "Blackwater Park", right at the midpoint of their career.

Porcupine Tree is the one and only band that is suggested to people who like Dream Theater and are looking for other bands that sound like Dream Theater. My wife loves Dream Theater and yet somehow does not like Porcupine Tree (I think they're both pretty good). There seem to be no other bands anyone has ever heard of that are even vaguely similar. Maybe a Porcupine Tree fan could suggest some. Not Marillion, they are Styx-level boring.
   70. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4083534)
I generally lean more toward melodic vocals rather than cookie monster. I can tolerate some, but a whole album of that would probably be enough to turn me off.

From reading some brief descriptions, looks like Heritage or Damnation (or, maybe, Watershed) wouldn't be bad places for me to start.

Definitely give PT a shot, Shock. I think Lightbulb Sun is Biff's favorite. I like it, but also everything forward of that -- In Absentia, Deadwing ("Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" especially), Fear of a Blank Planet, and The Incident. The Incident might be my favorite overall.
   71.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4083542)
Dream Theater has a few good songs (Home, Peruvian Skies, A Change of Seasons,) but I wouldn't consider myself a fan. So maybe I might like Porcupine Tree? I'll give the songs Benji mentioned a go.

Benji, definitely give Damnation a listen. Other "melodic" songs not on Damnation: Harvest, A Fair Judgement, Benighted.

   72. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4083547)
Except for "Arriving Somewhere..." I was listing albums, Shock. I could give you favorite tracks but don't know your tastes.

Also, this is interesting.
   73. Lassus Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4083549)
For last twenty years, I put Muse right up near the top, but I'd imagine they bring about the same level of popular Pearl Jam distaste from many here. I think they've been brilliant and musical in their rock.

I've tried to like Opeth, and did initially, but it somehow got rote for me faster than a lot of other bands.

Following up on #65, putting Porcupine Tree and Opeth in the same sentence would simply have never occurred to me, maybe I've missed something as not a true hardcore fan of either. I really do like Porcupine Tree way way way better, however.
   74. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4083550)
So who is the greatest band of the last 20 years?

It's a close battle between Shonen Knife or Capitol Offense.
   75. Chicago Joe Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4083553)
So who is the greatest band of the last 20 years?


Wilco? Radiohead?
Not my favorites, but when you combine artistic achievement, popularity, and musical evolution, they'd have to be in the conversation.

Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters just seem to make the same album over and over again.
   76. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4083558)
Porcupine Tree is the one and only band that is suggested to people who like Dream Theater and are looking for other bands that sound like Dream Theater.

I find this kind of weird, since PT don't really sound anything like Dream Theater except that they could both be broadly called 'progressive rock'.

(And I don't say that from a hatred of Dream Theater. Images and Words is ####### awesome, and I like quite a bit of the rest of their catalog. Haven't liked much from the last ten years, though.)

Following up on #65, putting Porcupine Tree and Opeth in the same sentence would simply have never occurred to me, maybe I've missed something as not a true hardcore fan of either. I really do like Porcupine Tree way way way better, however.

I think they get associated just because the bands associate with each other. They've toured together and Steven Wilson has produced and sang backup vocals on Opeth albums.
   77. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4083565)
As for other recommendations, if you want some more theatrical prog metal I'm a big fan of Ayreon, particularly The Human Equation.
   78. Lassus Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4083566)
Wilco? Radiohead?

I'm not really even that big of a Radiohead fan, myself. but I'd have to definitely put them up on the "best of last 20 years" list without much hesitation.

(I could take or leave Wilco with even less hesitation.)
   79. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4083567)
Pearl Jam...just seem[s] to make the same album over and over again.
You're not paying very much attention then.
   80.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4083572)

As for other recommendations, if you want some more theatrical prog metal I'm a big fan of Ayreon, particularly The Human Equation.


Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that. That was pretty cool.
   81. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4083585)
Could someone explain Drake's appeal, importance, relevance to me? I know a lot of smart people who like him. It's all pops and fizzles to me though.


Well, he was on Degrassi: The Next Generation, so he'll always be OK in my book.

Anyway, this is probably the best defense that I've read about Drake. I won't go that far to defend him. I like his flow and he picks good beats. I thought Take Care was about 7 songs too long though.

Basically he's the mainstream face of the new electronic/ambient/R&B/hip hop movement. Personally, I think The Weeknd is a much better version of Drake- I like his production better (see House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls), his voice has more range, and his tales of debauchery are way more entertaining ("From the morning to the evening/ Complaints from the tenants/ Got the walls kickin' like they 6 months pregnant/ Drinkin' Alizé with our cereal for breakfast/ Girls calling cabs at dawn, quarter to seven").

I'll also throw James Blake's name out there too, he's doing good work in the same genre.
   82. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4083591)
Metric? There's no statistic that could possibly work perfectly. This isn't a debate on baseball value. It's at least partially based on artistic merit, and that requires judgment, not statistics.

I was using "metric" in the sense of "standard of measurement" - it doesn't have to be quantifiable or purely objective. Indeed, in your post #59 you identify two potential standards - artistic influence and the more amorphous artistic merit - and give a cogent argument for why appeal to youth is related to influence.

To be clear, I don't necessarily disagree with you - my own intuitive response is that the music favored by the Pazz & Jop voters, etc., can in some meaningful sense be said to be more significant than Nickelback, that "significance" cant be measured by record sales or contemporaneous popularity, and that it goes beyond the question of whether or not I personally like it. What I'm struggling with is trying to identify why this can be said to be so, and whether the arguments that might have worked 10 or 20 years ago still hold true now that the pop music audience seems to have become fractured into a bunch of little communities that listen to entirely different stuff and barely interact with each other.


   83. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4083594)
"best of last 20 years" list

Eminem. Belle & Sebastian. Super Furry Animals. Nirvana if you're a Koufax supporter.

Pazz and Jop "Albums of the Year," 1992-2011 (I doubt this list is very helpful):

1992 - Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of...
1993 - Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
1994 - Hole - Live Through This
1995 - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
1996 - Beck - Odelay
1997 - Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind
1998 - Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
1999 - Moby - Play
2000 - OutKast - Stankonia
2001 - Bob Dylan - Love and Theft
2002 - Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2003 - OutKast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
2004 - Kanye West - The College Dropout
2005 - Kanye West - Late Registration
2006 - Bob Dylan - Modern Times
2007 - LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
2008 - TV on the Radio - Dear Science
2009 - Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
2010 - Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2011 - tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l

Of course, the collective hive also voted that "Ms. Jackson" was a better single in its year than "Bombs Over Baghdad," so clearly there's a margin of error at play.
   84. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4083596)
I've been thinking about this "relevant" thing, and I've decided that one of the important factors is the extent to which a band's music is likely to influence future bands. Album sales alone don't tell the story here, and because we don't know the future I would suggest that critical success is the best proxy for it.

These days I hear about a million bands that are clearly influenced by My Bloody Valentine, not exactly the best-selling group of its day. What would have been the best way, in 1992, to have predicted this influence?

Or for that matter the Velvet Underground - a band that sold nothing, but several of their songs seem to have inspired entire genres by themselves.
   85.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4083620)
Wait, Hole?
   86. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4083656)
Best then not to mention the #2 album that year, P-v-m-nt's "Cr--k-d R--n, Cr--k-d R--n."
   87. McCoy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4083665)
I think we've reached a point in media saturation where the biggest influences on future works is today's least heard stuff. Call it the Hipster Effect if you will.
   88.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 18, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4083668)
Well I hope that's true, because if the influence of future works is "moves like jaggar" and "sexy and i know it" then we are all ####### doomed.
   89. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4083694)
Wait, Hole?


Kurt Cobain was the greatest song-writer of his generation.



I would never confuse popularity with quality, but if Wikipedia is to be trusted

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_music_artists_in_the_United_States

The biggest selling 90s/2K "rock" band is a near dead heat between Pearl Jam and Dave Mathews (who I disqualify for not being a rock band and for shitting on Cleveland, a great rock town), and no other band is even close.

To win the mantle of "greatness" a rock band first must be listened to by more than a handful of nose in the air critics. Pearl Jam has sold far more albums than any other rock band from the 90s and 2K era, and continues to tour and sell out big venues. More fans have responded to Pearl Jam than probably it's next two closest "competitors" put together.

Your personal preferences and biases may lead to pronounce many other bands "better" for your taste, but that's your taste and you are welcome to it. But great rock bands write big songs that move many people and proof is when they fill stadiums, and no one has done it better than Pearl Jam the last 20 years.

I will concede their career peaked at Ten. It was an all time great album, and their albums since haven't been as densely packed with great material, but the best work from each album continues to be great. 20 years since an amazing debut still brought "RearviewMirror", "Yellow Ledbetter", "Given To Fly", "Immortality", "I got sh*t", "State of Love and Trust", "Just Breathe", "Noting as it seems", and "Better Man"*, and more.

* I know Eddie wrote it in high school about his mom/stepfather, but the band didn't think it worked well enough to release it until the third album and that's where it counts.
   90. PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4083697)
Radiohead would be my vote for band of the last 20.

   91. PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4083705)
I don't think many of us dispute that Pearl Jam was one of the biggest and most important bands of its era. What I said is that their new releases are no longer relevant. There's been some good criticism of that term here, but the statement still feels right to me.

I would also say that Big Train's comment in #60 is totally off. I think that the average person's idea of when PJ was great perfectly dovetails with their popularity, that Is, peaking in the early or mid 90s. Do you think that if PJ were a small band, all of the TV on the Radio and Deerhunter fans would suddenly love them?
   92. Good cripple hitter Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4083723)
It's a close battle between Shonen Knife or Capitol Offense.


Really? I had a chance to see Shonen Knife sometime last year, they were doing a set of Ramones songs. I passed because it seemed gimmicky and I listened to some of their songs off Youtube and wasn't too impressed. Are they a good live band?
   93. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4083725)
and Dave Mathews (who I disqualify for not being a rock band and for shitting on Cleveland, a great rock town


I assure you, the dump Dave Mathews took on Chicago was far worse.

   94. Lassus Posted: March 18, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4083753)
Really? I had a chance to see Shonen Knife sometime last year, they were doing a set of Ramones songs. I passed because it seemed gimmicky and I listened to some of their songs off Youtube and wasn't too impressed. Are they a good live band?

They were awesome in 1993 when I saw them, but they are simply long past their relevance - they had been a band for 12 years at that point.

People really hold on to their bands for too long.
   95. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4083762)
I assure you, the dump Dave Mathews took on Chicago was far worse.


Then I screwed up a great joke dammit...

Radiohead would be my vote for band of the last 20.


Again it's "greatest", not "best".

The fact that I would nominate Pearl Jam for "greatest" rock of the last 20 years is also an indictment of how rock is nearly exhausted all it's possibilities. I mean how many different compelling or interesting 3 chord riffs can the guitar really make?

So much material has already been done, or attempted, that it has to be many times more difficult to write original rock music today than it was in the 60s. It might almost be impossible today to be truly original and popular at the same time, because true originality is going to be so far off the beaten path to be almost atonal. Trent Reznor's soundtrack to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo comes to mind.

I think todays rock bands work in small increments of uniqueness, with riffs that are often familiar, forced to explore in smaller changes of direction and expectation than the great bands of the past were.

I assume that someday a new band will come along with an amazing new sound/instrument/approach and a thousand bands will flower in the enormously open artistic space they create.

But that may just be hope.
   96. Monty Posted: March 18, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4083776)
July 2, Def Freakin' Leppard with Poison and Lita Ford


#### yes.

Whoops! Sorry; apparently the person I was in Junior High still surfaces sometimes.
   97. PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4083846)
Again it's "greatest", not "best".


I'm aware of that.
   98. PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4083893)
To win the mantle of "greatness" a rock band first must be listened to by more than a handful of nose in the air critics. Pearl Jam has sold far more albums than any other rock band from the 90s and 2K era, and continues to tour and sell out big venues. More fans have responded to Pearl Jam than probably it's next two closest "competitors" put together.


Where do you draw the line? I hope that Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews Band aren't the only possibilities.

In my opinion, any band that was ever big enough to headline a huge festival like Glastonbury or Coachella is probably big enough to be in the conversation. Radiohead has done that, they've had #1 albums... they're in the conversation easily.
   99. Baldrick Posted: March 18, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4083895)
This thread started out awesome and punchy and fun, got somewhat serious in an interesting way, devolved into pointless bickering about terms, and then splintered into smaller conversations about bands that most people reading don't care about.

Sort of like Paul Westerberg's career.
   100. Baldrick Posted: March 18, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4083896)
And the Red Hot Chili Peppers are the worst band of all time.

(I don't consider Creed or Nickelback to be bands - I think of them more as musical sadism)
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