None of the bands I cited have looked bored in the performances I witnessed. Boris may act aloof but you just know they’re freakin’ stoked.
I’ve seen plenty of electronica performances, and with the exception of Amon Tobin, I’ve always gotten bored, and always wanted to leave early. There’s a reason MDMA is so strongly associated with IDM (and lately, mainstream pop). People need the drugs to get through those boring-ass performances!
I have enjoyed electronic music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s ’til now. But to say it makes guitars irrelevant is to say that nutritious pills/goo makes gourmet meals irrelevant, or cybersex/masturbation with various synthetic substitutes is better than actual f***ing. It may be less risky, but it certainly isn’t more satisfying. No matter how elaborate their light shows and gimmicks, electronica performances are pretty much never as exciting as watching musicians who can play actual instruments. I don’t care if 100% of the pop artists abandon guitars, as it makes the music I love — heavy stoner/doom/psych rock and metal, all the more rare and special. See Colour Haze, Ufomammut, Graveyard, Witchcraft, Motorpsycho, Electric Wizard, Elder, Gojira, Mastodon, Baroness, Torche, etc.
I love most of Waits’ albums except for Closing Time and Nighthawks. Those are so consistently overrated, while The Black Rider remains inexplicably underrated. I don’t understand how Bone Machine gets praise and high ranking for its experimentation, while Rider is more or less dismissed. At worst its the beautiful, haunting companion album to the more gnarly Bone Machine, and highlights like “November” are unmatched.
Given all the similar lists by MOJO, RS, Spin, MOJO, etc. etc., this is pretty redundant, but not horrible as a list for people who don’t really listen to all that much music. So not much point in pointing out that it’s missing anything that suggests the wonderful vastness of great music, but still I gotta say I’m surprised by the total absence of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks!
Nice piece, even though ranking QOTSA debut at #8 is batshit bonkers. It’s just as much a classic as the top four. I always felt Lullabies was weaker, only recently was able to make it all the way through without snoozing and enjoyed it a bit more. Still their weakest though. …Like Clockwork is #1 album of the week on Billboard, cheers to that!
I like the Grand Magus a lot too. Other great trad metal that was neglected in the list were Castle, Witch Mountain, Venomous Maximus, The Sword, Alunah and Windhand (and Christian Mistress which I mention in my other reply).
I love Decibel, but can’t pretend to understand any of their year-end lists. I also can’t believe Dawnbringer were dissed. Makes no sense, given how great the new one is. I’m glad to see the Baroness album up there after the beatdowns it received, but it’s even higher than I’d expect! Pleasantly surprised to see Witchcraft and Royal Thunder up high, but then where are Graveyard and Christian Mistress? Neurosis are cool of course, but their labelmates/buds Ufomammut kick the shit out of that album. Similarly, I’d take the Conan album over Pallbearer’s, which I like, but would rate it down closer to the Saint Vitus.
Definitely a clinic on how NOT to cover a song by stripping “Rhiannon” of all passion. Royal Thunder would have f’in’ nailed it! They should have just included the cover by Zeke.