I had an argument with a young friend of mine about the state of music. He just graduated college and spent many years absorbing a plethora of indie rock bands…many who even I have never heard of. Our argument was about whether great music was being made today. Maybe it’s a sign of me getting older, but we both had wildly varying opinions of when the best music was being made. We both agreed that in the late 60s/early 70s there was a clump of excellent original music. But after that, that’s where we differed. I believe that from the years 87-94, we saw some of the most original creative artists that have shaped the last 25 years…still to this day. In that era you saw big bands like Guns N Roses, Nirvana, NIN, Radiohead, Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, Jane’s Addiction, Pavement, Fugazi all get their start. You saw the explosion of rap music. You saw the beginning of all electronica music. You saw the roots of emo. There was even the first inkling of a boy band revolution in the NKOTB. Since then, there have been very few epic bands to come around…even Wilco started in the early 90s in Uncle Tupelo.
His argument wasn’t that those weren’t great artists or great creators…but they were really just fine tuning sounds that had already been there. He said in the 2000s, he had the best rappers of all time in Eminem, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Kanye. That electronica music became legit in his time. That bands started truly innovating what popular music could be…like Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Burial, Bon Iver, the xx, Girl Talk and Danger Mouse. Now not all these were popular, but they were groundbreaking. He also saw the DIY bands that self-published via the internet like Clap Your Hands, Tapes N Tapes, and Deer Tick. he believes that when history is written, these artists will be considered more important than mine. Interesting theory? Maybe…maybe our generations are important to us. The only way to know which one of us is right…is to wait.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Deer Tick:
1. Baltimore Blues No. 1 (War Elephant)
2. Friday XIII (Born On Flag Day)
3. Easy (Born On Flag Day)
4. Twenty Miles (Black Dirt Sessions)
5. Art Isn’t Real (War Elephant)
6. Blood Moon (Black Dirt Sessions)
7. Long Time (War Elephant)
8. Houston, TX (Born On Flag Day)
9. Still Crazy After All These Years (B-Side)
10. Goodbye Dear Friend (Black Dirt Sessions)
11. Beautiful Girls (B-Side)
Buy Deer Tick’s lead singer’s (John McCauley) new side project, Middle Brother….now!!