It’s hard to say exactly what Jonny meant by using the term “modern,” but given the type of music he is composing, he might be referencing a historical period of modernism in Western art music. Having its origins in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, the standard methods of music distribution were still via the concert hall or written manuscripts. Some argue that modernism is still alive and well in the art-music world, so maybe that’s what he’s referring to.
Although I probably sound like a jackass, I just thought it was an interesting conversation point.
I know everyone might not agree, but I think the Flaming Lips still make interesting LPs (the collaborations are a fun, but ultimately lackluster distraction). Wayne and (perhaps mostly) Steven are at least attempting to evolve the band’s style into something that’s challenging for them and rewarding for us. I personally really enjoyed The Terror, and even thought the Electric Wurms EP was a nice little addendum to the atmosphere of that record.
I think that’s a great point about exposing fans to artists who are worth listening to. However, the way you view Fiona Apple, in how she’s in the business of making great music, is similar to a lot of people’s view on Radiohead. We don’t need NME or any publication to validate Radiohead as a great band, but they’re always on an AOTY list when they put out a record. The King of Limbs was #20 on NME’s list last year. Now I see the inherent flaw in my argument, because obviously Fiona and Radiohead are not the same, and therefore their fan bases aren’t the same, but I’m just offering a comparison.