Sing, damn you! So over here at Information Leafblower they gathered a panel of musicbloggers and came up with a fun list of the 40 bands 'n' musicians they considered "the best in America" right now, as in this very instant. For some unfathomable reason I was not consulted, probably both due to my overwhelming lack of hipness and my status as the unappreciated Cousin Oliver of the blogosphere (and that was your obscure "Brady Bunch" reference for the day.) But the beauty of the blogosphere is that anyone can play!
So by following the same criteria no David Bowie, no Peter Gabriel or White Stripes on my list as they didn't do much new this year. But I've modified the list to include non-Americans because, gosh darn it, I'm a global kind of guy. Anyway, my picks for the 10 top bands/solo acts in music right now in the year of our Bush 2004, in no particular order:
1. The Arcade Fire Heartbroken emo anthems with undeniable power.
2. Björk Mostly a cappella "Medulla" as weird and glittering as anything Icelandic queen has ever done.
3. Elkland Based entirely on two songs from forthcoming album, insanely catchy retro '80s keyboard-driven pop with an urgent edge.
4. Franz Ferdinand Duran Duran dipped in Strokes with a side dish of Talking Heads, fun, campy and decadent.
5. Green Day Old-school punks fail to elect Kerry, but record sweeping, epic rock opera instead.
6. Modest Mouse. Tried to resist hype but strong, wildly diverse tunes won me over.
7. The Pixies. Hugely influential cult band rises from grave, doesn't sell out and somehow manages to sound even cooler than before.
8. The Postal Service/Death Cab For Cutie. Two bands led by delicate-sounding singer Ben Gibbard, one twee and electronic, the other soaring and loud.
9. The Shins. No new album but a handful of singles this year from beautiful pop masters.
10. TV On The Radio Seething industrial doo-wop, heavy as heck on a highly promising debut.
At some point before year's end I'll post indulgent and lengthy lists of my year's favorites in specific albums, movies, et cetera because that's the kind of blather a blog is for. In the meantime, what's even more fun than making lists is being snarky in relation to selfsame lists. The bile 'n' rage unleashed after the Leafblower list entry is fun: "I'm going to go shoot myself in the head."