The Right Coast

February 07, 2004
What if it's not the '80's anymore? Part 1: Music
By Tom Smith

Not to dis the all-powerful Glen Reynolds, but what if you're ready to move on music-wise, from the '80's? What if you said no to Yes? The other night here in San Diego, a local radio show called the Lounge did a show the only slightly hidden premise of which was that the popular music of the '70's and '80's would never be equaled. Then they played a tape of The Who live on the Smothers Brothers show singing "Talkin' 'Bout My Generation." I was struck by how little musical talent seemed to be in evidence. Talk about a band that sounds better not live. So what to listen to if you're not ready to start ranting "kids these days! . . . where the hell are my dentures! Goddammit turn that thing down!"?

You can start with Linkin Park, a rockrap band that actually has some talent. It sounds grating at first (and also after your 100th listen) but the rawness of some of their tunes, or whatever they call them, are pretty authentically raw. Such as "I want to run away." As to rap, I was surprised to find I sorta liked Limp Bizcut, but that's probably just me. Evanescence is sort of goth girl ballads, but pretty musical. It doesn't hurt to have someone who can sing. All American Rejects is a fun band. If you don't like "Swing, Swing" you don't like ice cream. Not deep singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is a painless listen. Oh yeah. There's Wilco. Still deciding about them.

Well that's it for now. Time to take the boys to Tae Kwon Do, which I think we are about to quit for more authentic and less expensive instruction in Japanese martial arts, starting with swords on Monday night. If we are attacked by Ninjas, we'll be prepared.

If anyone has any better ideas for good, recent music, let me know. The above is just the result of my own hapless searches, not to mention many CD's become drink coasters.