Just a reminder – this is not our list. A local radio station asked their listeners to vote on the artists that should make up the top 94 alternative artists of all time. Each day, they reveal more of who the listeners picked – and each day Garbanzo and I have a discussion about the latest pick. This is our discussions for your enjoyment.
We last left off on #29 which was Cake. Our opinion of Cake: fun band – don’t see them in concert as they make you wait a lot and give you very little – or at least in our experience.
Emmy = bold
Garbanzo = italics
28. The Clash – Not really surprised. They were going to be on the list. The question, for me, is more regarding their position on the list. Too low? Ah yes. Now here is a band that I can get behind! Pretty decent placement. Influential.
27. Kings of Leon – While I like these guys, I can’t help but think their position on the top 94 list has more to do with their current popularity. Sorry – they should be lower, IMO. Not too sold on this one. I admit to not being terribly familiar with them beyond their one or two songs played on the radio. Higher than The Clash? Nope. I agree with Emmy. This must be based on their current popularity rather than any long-term contribution.
26. Nine Inch Nails – I KNEW these guys would be on the list. I think they should have been higher. I think their music as well as how they are approaching the music business. Agreed. Top 20 at least. They defined a sound in the early 90’s that was different from grunge and an inspiration to others. Trent Reznor has continually blazed his own path, not just musically, but also in the realm of music distribution and concert ticketing. Hell, and don’t forget just the concert experience. While I have not been able to see them myself, even those who aren’t huge fans leave their concerts in total awe. The technology they bring to the music experience is just amazing. I know we’re just talking music, but I love how they are involved in all aspects now.
25. The Smiths – Another group that is not a surprise. But, another group that I feel is too low on the list. About right.
24. The White Stripes – I guess I never would have thought about them being on the list. Not saying they don’t deserve it, just kind of surprised. I’m not sure that the White stripes are even a top 50 band. Jack White has sure shown his musical chops (White Stripes, The Raconteurs, a myriad of “side” projects) but there is nothing that the White Stripes as a band have done that should put them this high. This has got to be more of a nod to Jack than anything else. I would have rather seen him broken out and separate on this list (a la Morrissey and Sting) than lumped with one band. I can agree with that – break out Jack separately. Instead, his bands showed up twice.
23. Talking Heads – Oh yeah, these guys should be on here. How can you have seen the Talking Heads on this list but not Oingo Boingo????? I agree that the Talking Heads should be on the list….but….Thank God they are no Oingo Boingo….they are better.
22. Sublime – Yeah, would have included these guys too. Wow. Really high (no pun intended) for this band. They could have done so much if they would not have lost their front man. Their music is as relevant today as it was 10 years ago. But it is not a top 25 band. Top 50, sure. I almost thought you were going to say “they could have done so much if they would not have lost most of the cells in their frontal lobe!”
21. Dave Matthews Band – While one might not think of these guys as alternative given their mainstream popularity, the different kinds of music they infuse into their sound cannot be overlooked. Really? Dave Matthews Band? I kind of feel like DMB is right there with Hootie and the Blowfish in terms of alternativeness (alternativity? Alternatude?). They are a mainstream band with a sound guaranteed to get maximum play across all formats. (That being said, I like this band. Just dont see them this high at all. Maybe a cursory spot…Number 88?) They are NOT Hootie and the Blowfish! They are MUCH better than that. You saw them in concert – the musical composition of their stuff is pretty amazing. Look at the Jazz they have brought into Rock.
20. Smashing Pumpkins – Should be on the list. These guys should have been top 10.
19. Beck – I love Beck and would have included him on my own list. Even though his recent stuff isn’t as cutting edge as his earlier stuff by some people’s opinions, his early stuff cannot be overlooked. But then again he is part of the Scientology machine…so that could explain some things. Just because Tom Cruise helps this guy and secretly manipulates the world does not mean that he isn’t an awesome musician. Another top 10 pick. Not saying he isn’t awesome, just can’t forget the connection.
18. Weezer – Can’t exclude these guys either. They grew up during the grunge phase, but brought a mix of sounds together that made their mark. I like Weezer. in fact, I think they have gotten better over the years. But they should not be this high. Another Hot Topic vote. A Hot Topic vote? Really? How many of the Hot Topic obsessed even know who Weezer is. Well, then again, you do, so I guess you might know your own.
17. David Bowie – Fuck yes! Think he should be up higher though. And Emmy drops the F-Bomb! Top 10. He got screwed. Plus let’s talk about this guy. He gets fucking hotter the older he gets. His appearance in Zoolander should go down in history as the greatest cameo ever!
16. Coldplay – Too high on the list, IMO. These guys should not be in the top 50. They are pop with a bit of an edge. These guys need to be in the bottom 50. Yeah, I have some similar feelings that I do when I contemplate U2. Good stuff, very popular, can do some cutting edge stuff, but are they alternative? Uhm, not sure.