40 greatest US bands today

The Guardian made a list of the top 40 US bands out of all those that currently perform. I won’t spoil it for you, but I have never even heard of their number one pick (though they sound like they could use a lifetime supply of chap stick…). Am I just out of the cool new music loop or is the author a bit loopy all on his own?

I don’t know who would be on my list, but it would be quite different from what is on this one.


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  1. I must be out of it too, because I’ve never heard of half of those bands. Maybe they’re American bands that are big in England, but not necessarily all that big here. Weird.

    Comment by Jan on December 17, 2003 @ 6:04 am
  2. I’ve always been fascinated with Iggy Pop. The guys a complete nut but in a good way.

    Comment by jason on December 17, 2003 @ 8:26 am
  3. I absolutely don’t concur with about 85% of this list. And what’s up with this comment?:

    >> “Nevertheless, it is still hard not to warm to Marilyn Manson’s resolutely preposterous approach to rock’n’roll outrage”

    No warming here.

    Comment by Cameron on December 17, 2003 @ 9:17 am
  4. The number one choice was featured on a commercial for multi-media pc stuff. Apple, maybe or HP?

    I can’t stand most popular music anymore. For me it’s a combination of getting older, having evolving tastes and the impression (real or perceived, I don’t know which) that much of today’s popular music is vulgar as hell, moreso than the pop music of my youth, which was already pretty riske.

    Comment by Renee on December 17, 2003 @ 9:54 am
  5. I thought the list was pretty good. The Flaming Lips rock, in a quirky sort of way. Note that the list is not supposed to be the most popular, but the ones the author(s) think are the best. The critics’ best are generally quite different from the most popular, and I’m sure that being based in the UK colors it a bit too.

    My favorites from this list are: Interpol, DJ Shadow, The Roots, REM, Wilco, Tom Waits, The White Stripes, and the Flaming Lips. I like a bunch of the others, but there are a few I don’t like, and a lot of the HipHop/R&B ones I haven’t heard, but have heard of.

    Anyway, Cameron, I don’t see how you can disagree with 85% without having even heard half of them.

    Comment by Levi on December 17, 2003 @ 12:45 pm
  6. Levi, I disagree because even for the few who I do know, I don’t think they’re that great. That establishes a pattern of the type of music the guy thinks is good. I don’t disagree that he thinks these are top groups, but I’m saying I, personally, do not agree with the list. You have somewhat of an eclectic taste of music, which is probably more in line with this guy.

    Comment by Cameron on December 18, 2003 @ 8:41 am
  7. Well, Cameron, you probably ought to have said something like “Given what I think of the few bands on that list that I’m familiar with, I probably wouldn’t like the rest of them” instead of “I absolutely don’t concur with 85% of that list”, which suggests that you absolutely know something about at least 85% of the list, which can’t be the case if you have only heard a few of them.

    If you’d like to remedy that and make an informed decision on whether or not you like some of these bands, I could probably help you out. If you just want to throw out random numbers to make your opinion sound informed, then I can’t help you, but I can point out the flaws in that.

    I’d have to agree that my taste in music is eclectic, which basically means that I like the best of a wide variety of styles rather than liking all or most of a particular style. Perhaps you meant that my taste was eccentric, which means that it’s out of the ordinary?

    Comment by Levi on December 18, 2003 @ 10:36 am
  8. The title of the list is a bit confusing. It’s not the List of the Best American Bands. It’s a “List of Bands that make American Music Exciting Again”. Although you (Cameron) think that Marilyn Manson is the spawn of Satan himself, you have to admit he’s made American Music Exciting. That’s why he’s on the list. I think Frank Senatra is a great performer and singer, but he by no means makes music exciting. Which is probably why he’s not on the list.

    Comment by jason on December 18, 2003 @ 6:15 pm
  9. Jason, I don’t know where you’re seeing that title. The title of the list is, “The 40 greatest US bands today” both on the article and the web page. In the article it explains that they “published a list of the artists who have made British rock and pop music exciting again” and are now repeating the exercise with American bands, but that’s not the title.

    Regarding Frank Sinatra’s absence from the list, he died in 1998 so he is not eligible to be on a list of bands of today, although even if he were still alive and performing I would be hesitant to call one man a band.

    Comment by dan on December 18, 2003 @ 10:46 pm
  10. Levi, As I seemed to have said something to set you off, I apologize. My language was perhaps a little strong, but you may note that there is an “I” in front of the absolutely. This means that I, personally, don’t agree and that the “absolutely” strengthens that fact — that I really do not concur with this list being “The 40 greatest US bands today.”

    At any rate, let’s let it rest, and yeah, I probably meant to say eccentric — not mainstream. My bad.

    Comment by Cameron on December 19, 2003 @ 10:40 am
  11. Ok, sorry. It’s not in the title but as you said there is an explanation of what the list represents. Just because Frank is dead, does that disqualify him? If so then maybe he’s a bad example.

    Comment by jason on December 22, 2003 @ 11:20 am
  12. Where’s Linkin Park? At least on 40th, but it has to be there.

    Comment by Hey on October 23, 2007 @ 9:38 am
  13. How is Dave Matthews Band not on that list

    Comment by Charles on November 30, 2007 @ 8:07 pm
  14. iv only heard of three of those bands… coolbeans. coolbeans..

    Comment by Cloressa on April 14, 2008 @ 11:10 am
  15. How on earth have you never heard of The Flaming Lips?

    Comment by MPH on October 31, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

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