well, maybe not.
i think we're in a very business as usual chaos state that's been going
on probably since human beings got together. but it keeps producing amazing artists, pranksters and bona-fied entertainers. there's no voice one of a generation (was there ever truly, or is this just a ridiculously romantic notion?) and that's fine.
folks that watch an excess of tv and follow pop charts may have some amalgamation of an identification with the state of the world's mind, but there are many of us who've made it a point not to be so blindly reverent of a time that is not our own. we ought to embrace those who are laboring in relative obscurity, because relative obscurity -- more and more -- is not all that obscure (i'm looking your way, mistuh www).
merely classifying something as weird will no longer do. now, as it ever was, is a good time to take notice of what artists and aesthetes are doing and who's doing it -- purely out of the desire not only to express themselves -- but to challenge all the bossy aesthetic templates being hammered out by hard liner vicious cyclers who only want a fashionable sort of zen garden, not an open-minded far-reaching excursion into appreciating the sounds that aren't being so agressively marketed at us. Sure, good stuff can be discovered by mere bombardment, but it pays to spend some time on the outer margins -- in my experience, pleasant to awe-inspiring surprise always awaits.
i'm finding myself decidedly irked by all the damned vintage Sabbath or Beatles youtube clip comments saying that nobody makes great music anymore. it's just that it's no longer in the limelight! the hard-liner marketeers have smoothed out the kinks and slipped solidly into the grooves of knee-jerk taste cycles.what do most people want from the arts nowadays? pure relevance? your life is not a movie - but if it were, you wouldn't want the soundtrack to reduce it all to a pat, predictable pastiche -- right?
do we want rose colored-nostalgia? the sixties wasn't a place. It's tempting to contextualize this decade in an idealistic fashion, but it's merely time gone by at this point. cheeseball mockumentaries at its worst and glimpses of brilliant music at its best. and, thank the heavens, there's ALWAYS been amazing music to be found in this world. Perhaps some folks should admit they don't like music at all -- just multi-media accessorizin.
i know this all sounds kinda smug and self-righteous, but i've always felt really strongly about this issue. flawed as i am, i think i'm just plain righteous when it comes to this. i don't need to be of a generation. i don't need anthems -- inspired sounds are inspired sounds old or new, meaningful or aimless.
below are some of (i'll add things i've missed as i think of em.) the best documents of such inspiration i've found so far in this, OUR ALMOST COMPLETED NEW DECADE OF OUR BRAND NEW MILLENIUM--dunt-dunt dunnnnn!
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs / Feels
Bjork - Medulla
Radiohead - Kid A
Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
Cat Power - You Are Free/The Covers Record
Guided By Voices - Earthquake Glue
Manitoba (aka Caribou) - Up In Flames
Toumani Diabate - The Mande Variations
Pink Reason - Cleaning The Mirror
Sigur Ros - ( )
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Master & Everyone / Superwolf
Vetiver - To Find Me Gone
Brightblack - Ala.Cali.Tucky
Grails - Black Tar Prophecies/Burning Off Impurities/Take Refuge in Clean Living
Colleen - The Golden Morning Breaks
Max Tundra - Mastered By Guy at the Exchange
J Dilla - Donuts
Deerhunter - Cryptograms
Tim Hecker - Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again
Do Make Say Think - (everything cept the first album which was 1999 anyway)
Trail of Dead - Source Tags and Codes
Blues Control - s/t
Fennesz - Endless Summer
Times New Viking - Present The Paisley Reic
Outhud - S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Scribble Mural Comic Journal
Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow
Guided By Voices - Earthquake Glue
Spoon - Girls Can Tell / Kill The Moonlight
Portishead - Third
Deerhoof - (especially The Runners Four. but really, everything they've done in twok so far has been exceptional.)
Japanther - Dump The Body In Rikki Lake
Campfire Songs - s/t
The Drones - Wait Long Enough By This River... / Gala Mill
Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher
The Books - Thought For Food
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig Lazarus! Dig!
Beach House - s/t
Xiu Xiu (all albums, 2002-2008. an album a year and not a bummer in the bunch!)
Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
Unwound - Leaves Turn Inside You
Excepter - Ka
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Dap Dippin' with...
Microphones - The Glow Pt. 2
Jana Hunter - Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom / There's No Home
Comets on Fire - Avatar
Xiu Xiu - Knife Play
The Strokes - Is This It? / Room On Fire
TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
Boards of Canada - Geogaddi
Neko Case - Blacklisted
Breeders - Title TK
Oneida - Each One Teach One
Sam Prekop - Who's Your New Professor?
Clientele - Suburban Light
Boredoms - Vision Creation Newsun
Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People
DNTEL - Life is Full of Possibilities
M. Ward - End of Amnesia / Transfiguration of Vincent/Transistor Radio
Tortoise - Standards
Antony and the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
Black Dice - Beaches & Canyons
Panda Bear - Young Prayer / Person Pitch
Manitoba - Up In Flames
Polmo Polpo - Like Hearts Swelling
Tom Waits - Alice/Real Gone
My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves