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Which musicians make great music today

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
I'd like to know which musicians today in your opinion create great music? Music that will stand the test of time and still be talked about, say, 40 years later. It doesn't have to be new comers. Bob Dylan still seems to make great records from what I hear (I'm not familiar with his newer stuff).
post #2 of 65
For me, the two that will stand the test of time..... One is currently an Icon, the other will be:

Bruce Springsteen (still speaks to today's adult audience)
Jack White: I think he has only scratched the surface of his talent.
post #3 of 65
In terms of modern artists, the good ones will be probably way off the mainstream, and that guarantees pretty much that they will not be remembered since they won't ever be widely known. Some may luck up and get discovered post facto or something.

Video killed the radio star and the internet killed most of who was left. These days, folks seem to make music in order to sell t-shirts or fashions or perfumes and such, since that's the stuff you can't steal. It hasn't been particularly good for mainstream music. In theory the internet would let everyone find those off the beaten path artists, but it's just a fact that few people will go looking. So mostly they will remain obscure, niche artists. Most of them seem to see success as getting a song of theirs used on a movie or commercial, where the thing being sold (cars, theater seats, etc...) can finance the making of the music that won't mostly be purchased.

I could list some modern artists I like, but I doubt seriously they'll be remembered ten years from now, much less forty, since they are barely known now. Even one of the more successful no-major acts like, say, Imogen Heap, I doubt she'll be remembered, though much of her music is quite good. She's done fairly well with the modern paradigm of licensing her music to movies (e.g. The Last Kiss, The Holiday, Garden State), but that's not the same as doing well because lots of people know who you are and buy your music itself.

The acts who are still known today after forty years were ones who were very well financed by music labels who were willing to make the investment because people would buy enough of that music if you got it in front of enough people. They took the risk on nine out of ten failures because the one success would pay off. These days that risk isn't taken nearly so much because the bucks aren't really there anymore. It's not about whether Lady Gaga can get 2B hits on Youtube, but whether labels can risk investing in three or four albums (for those nine out of ten artists who won't manage to catch on) in order to give them a chance to hit their stride and find their audience.
post #4 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

Jack White: I think he has only scratched the surface of his talent.

I agree....I hope he doesn't screw it up.
post #5 of 65
- Tool
- Spoon
- The Sword
- Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson
post #6 of 65
Without trying to limit it to one particular style or taste:

Mumford & Sons
M83
Radiohead
The Mars Volta
Muse
Oasis
Sigur Ros
Tool / A Perfect Circle
Arcade Fire
Coldplay
Daft Punk
Nine Inch Nails
Death Cab For Cutie
Foo Fighters
deadmau5
Keane
Explosions In The Sky
Pendulum
Massive Attack
Portishead
Seether
Tenacious D
Paul Oakenfold
Avett Brothers
DeVotchka
John Butler Trio
Manchester Orchestra
Mogwai
The Cinematic Orchestra
UNKLE
post #7 of 65
MUSE
Depeche Mode
Pulp

...off the top of my head, these 3 will definitely stand the test of time.
post #8 of 65
A bit off topic, but did anyone catch Mick Jagger hosting and performing for the SNL season finale and send off for Kristen Wiig? I never watch SNL anymore but I read a story about it so I watched the online clips just now with my kids.

Wow, just wow. At 69, Mick still rocks and has a hell of a sense of humor. He performs a couple of old Stones songs with Foo Fighters and a band called Arcade Fire. If they never zoomed in on his face, you'd never guess he was 3 times the age of the guys he was performing with. Mick really is the original definition of a rock star. The "Karaoke" skit is hilarious as well, and the closing segment with Kristen Wiig is really sweet. Overall the best TV Ive seen in a long time.
post #9 of 65
There's a ton of good stuff out there, but you do have to look for it. Listening to Last FM has turned me on to bunch of great artist, most of whom I've never heard of till now.
post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by simontan View Post

At 69, Mick still rocks and has a hell of a sense of humor. He performs a couple of old Stones songs with Foo Fighters and a band called Arcade Fire. If they never zoomed in on his face, you'd never guess he was 3 times the age of the guys he was performing with. Mick really is the original definition of a rock star.

There is an old saying...if you're gonna talk about "rock music," begin (and end) with THE STONES.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

There is an old saying...if you're gonna talk about "rock music," begin (and end) with THE STONES.

+1. I used to tell my friends in college (30 years ago) that a day without the Stones is a day without rock and roll.
post #12 of 65
Young Jeezy
LMFAO
Ke$ha
Arcade Fire

Nobody else cant touch these bands. Mods, go ahead and lock this one.
post #13 of 65
For real though, too many out there that don't get exposure.

Grace Potter
Coheed and Cambria
Jack White (all his stuff)
post #14 of 65
Only Between the Buried and Me and Mastodon are still making decent music (imho).
post #15 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by simontan View Post

Wow, just wow. At 69, Mick still rocks and has a hell of a sense of humor.

I regret not catching this episode. I was interested, but I too no longer watch SNL and forgot to record. I have to say this though the Stones hasn't put out anything great in like 3 decades. Don't get me wrong. I love them. I traveled to watch them. I hope they will keep playing till they are physically unable to do so. At any rate that's a remarkable 68 years old man (I just checked. He's 68.). Charlie is 70! and said he's ready to do something for the band's 50th anniversary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpacker View Post

Last FM

Last FM doesn't seem to play full songs any more. Am I wrong?
post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notti View Post

Last FM doesn't seem to play full songs any more. Am I wrong?

On the Xbox app it does.
post #17 of 65
There has been tons of great music coming out of Texas-Oklahoma for at least 10 years now. Bands whose bread and butter is playing live, and their recordings reflect that.
post #18 of 65
In terms of modern artists, the good ones will be probably way off the mainstream

I think a lot of it can be summed up with that line.
I believe that people will want to pay for something that they find to be good and interesting.
It may not be in terms of buying a CD but paying for a subscription to an online service or iTunes etc.

The problem that I find myself in is that mainstream music is pretty boring.
With that comes the trouble of finding the non mainstream good stuff, because there is a lot of crap in non mainstream as well.
But to make things worse you often don't know about music you like since you never heard of it in the first place.
I like all kinds of music (except a couple I don't really get e.g. Death Metal ) but what gets played on the radio or TV is 98% boring stuff.
Well produced and good sound etc. but what does it matter when it's not interesting or bring something "unique".
It's like eating the same food every day, it gets boring quite fast.
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post

With that comes the trouble of finding the non mainstream good stuff, because there is a lot of crap in non mainstream as well.

Yeah, I think a lot of people forget that when they talk about mainstream versus non-mainstream. There are some good low-key or undiscovered bands, but for every one of those, there are like fifty bands that have no business playing instruments, let alone releasing it. Tastes differ, and while I like band A and you like band B, we will often find bands C-Z suck for both of us.

I was at SXSW a few years ago, and noted to a friend that "There's an awful lot of 'indie rockism' going on here." Meaning that there's a pretty significant bias towards what a lot of people call "indie rock" - low-fi, garage-band, stuff. I mean, I like a few indie bands if their sound appeals to me, but I really don't need to see 47 bands all who sound a lot like some other band that wasn't all that great itself, from 5 - 10 years ago. That's just as boring as any number of mainstream acts that sound alike.
post #20 of 65
Quote:
I like all kinds of music (except a couple I don't really get e.g. Death Metal )

A shame, some of the more skilled guitar players and drummers were/are on death metal bands.
post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sound dropouts View Post

A shame, some of the more skilled guitar players and drummers were/are on death metal bands.

Hehe, I've given it a try a couple of times but I just can't cope with the guttural "voice-instrument" (or how you want to define it).
That single "signature" element of Death Metal just ruins it for me.
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sound dropouts View Post

Only Between the Buried and Me and Mastodon are still making decent music (imho).

Holy crap, I came to this thread specifically to write about BTBAM!

Mastodon is awesome too, Brann Dailor is the best drummer in the biz. Dude slays.

Also, Neurosis is one of the top, nobody paints emotional pictures with music like they do...
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post

Hehe, I've given it a try a couple of times but I just can't cope with the guttural "voice-instrument" (or how you want to define it).
That single "signature" element of Death Metal just ruins it for me.

That's exactly how I see it too (the Death growl) as an instrument and I love it.
But I expect most not to. It's not "easy-listening" music by any means.
But that's why I love 120IBU Imperial IPAs also!
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post

Hehe, I've given it a try a couple of times but I just can't cope with the guttural "voice-instrument" (or how you want to define it).
That single "signature" element of Death Metal just ruins it for me.

Have you tried Amon Amarth? Their drummer is insane and they always manage to put some highly melodic themes in the middle of all the frantic riffs and...rage I love them.
post #25 of 65
I'm an old fart so prefer the lighter stuff:

Coldplay
Adele
One Republic
Nora Jones
Zac Brown Band
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post

Have you tried Amon Amarth? Their drummer is insane and they always manage to put some highly melodic themes in the middle of all the frantic riffs and...rage I love them.

LOVE Amon Amarth! They're ranked #9 on my last.fm list.
Viking Metal FTW.

PS Opeth was awesome too, too bad for their latest album. Not because it's soft, but because it's uninspired.
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post

In terms of modern artists, the good ones will be probably way off the mainstream

I think a lot of it can be summed up with that line.
I believe that people will want to pay for something that they find to be good and interesting.
It may not be in terms of buying a CD but paying for a subscription to an online service or iTunes etc.

The problem that I find myself in is that mainstream music is pretty boring.
With that comes the trouble of finding the non mainstream good stuff, because there is a lot of crap in non mainstream as well.
But to make things worse you often don't know about music you like since you never heard of it in the first place.
I like all kinds of music (except a couple I don't really get e.g. Death Metal ) but what gets played on the radio or TV is 98% boring stuff.
Well produced and good sound etc. but what does it matter when it's not interesting or bring something "unique".
It's like eating the same food every day, it gets boring quite fast.

Some suggestions from someone who is in agreement. You may already know these, if so, my apologies.

1. I have found HD radio an excellent source for non-mainstream material. I have discovered many blues artists on the local "The Delta" sub-station and many, many alternative rock acts on the local college radio sub-station. I don't know what's available in your area and I gather that the wide selection in my area is rare, so check-out what's on near you as a first step.

2. Amazon offers hundreds of songs for free download. I would say roughly 85% of it is not to my taste, but that still leaves me with dozens of songs that I really love collected over the past few months, songs that I never would have encountered otherwise. About half the time the songs I like hearing on the college radio station are available for free download on Amazon.

P.S. to the death metal fans, there are A LOT of free songs on Amazon. I too am turned-off by the unintelligible guttural vocals, but there are a few singers in the genre who are understandable and actually sing.

3. If you have Google play on a smartphone, the music section features a free song of the day. About half of the songs are classics such as China Girl by David Bowie, Summer Wind by Frank Sinatra, or It Ain't Over Til' It's Over by Lenny Kravitz. The other half are new stuff which you probably never heard before, and about half of that appeals to me enough to download it to my phone.

4. Check if your public library offers free downloads. In my area we get three free downloads a week. I just run through samples from unknown or known performers until I find something I like. This is another good way to discover non-mainstream artists.

As you may have guessed, it is rare that I pay for a song, because my cup overfloweth with new material all the time. Amazon is especially good because new songs are put out very often. In the past two years my eclectic taste has been satisfied and even challenged more than in the previous 40+.

As for artists who will stand the test of time, definitely agree with the nomination of Jack White, who in my view is the closest thing we have to a rock and roll messiah right now. Others may include:

Muse
Joe Bonamassa
Susan Tedeschi
Coldplay
Radiohead
The Black Keys
Cake

In the "should be but probably won't be due to lack of popularity" category:

Clutch
Balkan Beat Box
The Darkness
Mofro
Jamestown Story
House of Heroes
My Morning Jacket
The Hives
Sister Hazel
post #28 of 65
Quote:


LOVE Amon Amarth! They're ranked #9 on my last.fm list.
Viking Metal FTW.

PS Opeth was awesome too, too bad for their latest album. Not because it's soft, but because it's uninspired.

Opeth would have been top of my list a couple years ago. They used to be my favorite band. Their older stuff is still top notch; their last few albums (after the masterpiece that was damnation/deliverance) have all declined in quality.
post #29 of 65
deathklok
post #30 of 65
Dead Can Dance will always be relevant, ethereal, heavenly and awesome. Can't wait for their re-union tour!

Sigur Ros is also a great act from Iceland.
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