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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Guns and Roses and The Beastie Boys were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Hame earlier today.  The full list can be found here: http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2011/12/rock_and_roll_hall_of_fame_ann_1.html.  When the Hall opened many years ago (1995) it was clearly stated an inductee would have had to have made a record 25 years prior .  Since Rock and Roll started in the 50s the building quickly filled up with everyone I grew up.  The Beatles and Stones made it in.  Paul Simon and Elvis too.  The standards.  The canon of rock and roll.

At first glance the Hall seems like a terrific idea celebrating the beauty of music.  Problem is the whole thing does more to alienate music listeners than support them.  I am a very unpopular 39 year old hipster-goofball living in Anytown, USA and I still no 15 or 20 Yes Fans and Rush fans.  They have yet to be inducted and may never join with the likes of Neil Diamon and Abba.   I hear all the ladies bemoaning Geddy Lee and Jon Anderson voices as being too shrill.  But remember, all of the men in your life has gleefully played air guitar to "Tom Sawyer."  And really, isn't the point of this process to reward influence and longevity?  What too of the financial business?  Do we discount all of it?

Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers will both be in the fame due in large part to massive cd and live music sales.  Rush and Yes were enormous bands with some critical acclaim along the way.  They both continue to play in some form or another and have rabid fan bases.

The National Baseball of Hall of Fame should really be the only one that exists.  There is a clear and concise method to the process.  .300 for 15 years with some hit titles gets you in.  So does 3000 hits.  And 300 wins.  500 home runs.  You know a Hall of Famer when you see one.  Jeter.  Pujols.  Randy Johnson.

Music should be a neverending museum stretching from Fillmore East to Fillmore West.    There is not an argument that some bands are superior.  The argument is how much influence does the daily mox have in our life.  For every "Paradise City" there is an "Every Rose Has its Thorn."  GnR is now in and Bret Michaels is more likely to work at the Hall of Fame, not be inducted into it.  And that is sad.

Poison gave and continue to give great memories and joy to the people who grew up on it.  How else can you explain Michaels reality tv success?  He is a likeable personality(as is his band) and very capable of entertaining.

Similarly, Coldplay might be this generation's U2.   They will more than likely make the Hall one day.   Their sound has its merits, as does the hated Nickelback's.  Their music has touched many people.  They have thousands of fans.  How will they be judged after  25 years?  Should it really matter?  

Coldplay released a new album this year and did a ton of press promoting it.  But what will be remembered in my world is the hundreds of songs I heard and what they represent.

Nicki Minaj lyrics on computer remind me of my daughter.
Cut/Copy I think of taking her to their concert.
Decemberists reminds me of rain in the park.
Caveman, and The National, and Givers, Fitz, White Rabbits, Katy Perry, Gaga, Ryan Adams, LMFAO, Tori Amos, Psychedelic Furs, Dawes, Eels, Civil Twilight, Foo Fighters, Washed Out, Foster the People, AWOL Nation, Lady Antebellum, Deerhunter, Hot Chelle Rae, etc...etc....

It reminds that 2011 was an incredible year for music.  And of all those bands listed who knows if they hit .300?  Or will get to 300 wins???

Who cares.  For a moment, or for more, they provided an escape, an outlet, a reason to be optimistic about the state of affairs.  For 4 minutes your mind can wander a bit.  Maybe even a smile lands on your face.  Long story short, how can a NJ man take a music Hall of Fame that fails to include the E Street Band?   Whatever you are listening to please enjoy.

My Best of 2011 list continued:

Foster The People: "Warrant" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcFITqQeQDM  Live from SXSW.
Maybe the best opening to a show I saw this year.

Cut Copy:   "Need You Now"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb1o42RdVzA  Such a campy video and downright queer.  Such a groovy track and will forever be in my mind because my daughter was insistant we stay for the 2nd encore so we could hear it.  A prouder father you will not find.  She can play a little hoop too!!!

Ryan Adams:  "Do I Wait"  http://vimeo.com/30003746  A clinic in songwriting with just the right amount of vulnerable.

AWOLNation:  "Guilty Filthy Soul"  http://www.redbullusa.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/Video/Live-AWOLNATIONs-Guilty-Filthy-Soul-021242902820865  "Sail" is the easy choice but this song is a STANDOUT!!!  Rock, blues, pop all mixed brilliantly.

Lykke Li "I Follow Rivers" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZYbEL06lEU  Creepy and fun stuff.  Middle Eastern like for sure.

Adele: "Someone Like You"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0&ob=av2e  Not sure what I could possibly say that has not been said.  Just bloody perfect.

M83 "Midnight City" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX3k_QDnzHE  Several blogs and alt sites have praised "Hurry Up We're Dreaming" one of the best of the year.  More catchy pop synth.

White Denim "Street Joy" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvaqeS_CiIc&ob=av2e  If Don Henley took acid it might sound something like this.  And these guys will not pressure you to save a tree.  They also treat each member of the band fairly too (I'm guessing) unlike Henley!!

Joy Formidable:  "Whirring"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kNQeDlgBoc  Here is a live version of showcasing the sheer force this trio can bring.  Ritzi Bryan is BAD ASS...  don't let the pixie haricut fool you!!!

Civil Twilight:  "Anybody Out There"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKHhmPv2KoQ  Another fabulous trio with U2 and The Police in their DNA.  You could try to emulate with much worse!!

More to come later...  This should be a nice jumping off point.

What was your favorite 2011 song?  artist?

Join the conversation.

Would love a guest blog too!!  Anyone???  Anyone???



3 comments:

  1. Well done. I appreciate what the Rock Hall is doing for music but it's ignoring a very important side of music with faithful fans -- heavy metal. The fact that Kiss (full disclosure, I'm not a fan) isn't in is nonsense. Kiss Alive was a game changer. It's time for the Rock Hall to recognize bands such as Kiss, Deep Purple and Rush need to recognized for their careers.

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  2. Agree Greeser... So bloody arbitrary and silly. No need for the Hall of Fame at all. Celebrate it all!!!

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  3. a guest blog. let me know what to do. this old guy really enjoys some new music. dave carver

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