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Amph Your 13 Essential Musical Artists of the Past 13 Years

Discussion in 'Community' started by Terr_Mys, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Terr_Mys

    Terr_Mys Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 19, 2002
    In honour of 2013, I present to you a rather numerically arbitrary challenge: which 13 musical artists have most shaped the 21st century for you so far? Who has filled the most tracks on your iTunes/iPod/iPhone, accumulated the most hours on Spotify - but also inspired you, made you feel? Given you hope that musical innovation and talent were far from extinct?

    The question is intentionally open-ended to avoid the inevitable discussion of "favourite" versus "best" and other trivial details. There are no criteria here - you don't even have to rank your artists if you don't want to - as long as you discuss 13 musical artists or groups who have strongly shaped your listening experience over the past 13 years.

    For those of us who are unfamiliar with your artists of choice, what are some essential tracks we should hear (13 of them, if you want :p)? If we had to listen to just one album, what should it be?

    I have some artists of my own in mind, but I would like to hear from the rest of the JCC first. In fact, I must admit to having selfish ulterior motives - I suspect this thread will probably be a valuable way to discover new music. While the "What song are you listening to?" thread is also a good resource for this effort, that thread is deliberately light on discussion. I'm hoping to understand precisely why you love the artists that you do.
  2. Eeth-my-Koth

    Eeth-my-Koth Jedi Grand Master star 9

    May 25, 2001
  3. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    Basically every new band I like is just continuing a musical aesthetic previously written off as "dead" by the "powers that be." I'd argue means of musical consumption have been more important than actual bands are, just for letting people know that stuff they like but wouldn't normally be exposed to is out there. For example, extreme metal as a whole had a tremendous impact on my tastes and I only discovered it via Pandora somewhat nonsensically sticking old-school Bathory in my "Rhapsody of Fire" channel (And I only got into RoF in the first place because somebody used an excerpt in a YouTube video). I got into punk by way of iTunes making it possible for me to buy London Calling by The Clash. I got into jazz because some guy on freaking 4chan was all "Hey guys you should check out this Bitches Brew album, it's pretty neat."

    It'd just seem silly to blather on about why I like, I dunno, Wavves so much when the only reason I like Wavves is that I liked Big Black when I looked into them via a recommendation from a website, and then went looking for some similar sounds.
  4. Only-One Cannoli

    Only-One Cannoli Ex-Mod star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 20, 2003
    Best to less best:

    1. PIG. (raymond watts)
    2. Edward Ka-Spel
    3. Current 93
    4. Foetus
    5. OhGr
    6. Sopor Aeternus
    7. Einsturzende Neubauten
    8. Gary Numan
    9. Coil
    10. Roxy Music
    11. Nine Inch Nails
    12. David Bowie
    13. The Cure

    A couple of these don't make music under those names, at least not in the past 13 years. But I only got into them during that period, so I'm counting them.
  5. LifeInTechnicolor

    LifeInTechnicolor Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012
    1. The All-American Rejects
    2. John Williams
    3.Keith Urban
    4. Augustana
    5. Bon Jovi
    6. Poison
    7. Taylor Swift
    8.The Fray
    9. Mozart
    10. Josh Groban
    11.Any Gregorian Chant
    12. Andrew Lloyd Webber
    13. 90's Disney film music
  6. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Sep 27, 2000
    That's an interesting way to look at it. I haven't listened to the radio at all in the last 13 years, so the only time I hear about new bands are from word of mouth. People posting links to songs on facebook is actually pretty effective, because I sometimes like "yeah all right, I'll click that and listen for a few minutes". I mean, I still have literally no idea who most current musical artists are or what their hit songs are, but the last 13 years have made it possible to like music a lot (as I do) but not even have to know what popular music is.

    That being said, I still don't know if I could get 13 artists or groups together for that time span. I feel like I have a pretty small group of bands I listen to religiously. In the last 13 years, my top artists have still been:

    Johnny Cash, who had two great posthumous albums released after his 2003 death. In point of fact, I happen to think that American V: A Hundred Highways might be his best overall album. The really remarkable thing is that Rick Rubins has acknowledged that even after 6 albums and 4 discs worth of anthology material, there's still a lot more material from his electric producer/musician collaboration with Cash over the last 10 years of his life. I think what's perhaps most remarkable about these albums is that nearly every cover in those albums is better than the original. Cash did very little writing on those albums, but every song still feels like his.

    Ben Folds/Five, who broke up amicably as a band but are now back together with a solid album and a new tour. I've been to 3 Ben Folds solo concerts in the past 13 years, and I really love his work. And he's one of the most amazing musicians to see live just for his sheer and utterly brilliant command of his instrument. He's so clearly musical genius and not a carefully produced and auto-tuned singer. But with his collaborators, he's even better.

    Weezer can be really hit and miss, and I admit that nothing since 2000 quite touches the electricity of Blue or the raw creativity of Pinkerton... but I actually really, really love Make Believe. And parts of Red show flashes of genius. Hell, Hurley even grew on me. They produce so much, though, that some of it's bound to not be great. We really should pretend, for instance, that Ratitude never happened. But Rivers has smartly not ever pretended to be super cool, so he feels less like one of those old, sad rock stars and more like a middle aged nerd who is okay with that.

    Jonathan Coulton... and that probably seems like a crazy pick because his music is 'nerdy', and therefore probably not taken very seriously. But it's actually mostly really well written, and he does have 'serious' songs. But I think there's also something to be said of the notion that music shouldn't necessarily have to conform to traditional subject matter to be great. Hell, his 'silly' music is just as catchy and a lot better written than mainstream pop music. And he's exactly the sort of musician who would never have been able to make waves or any kind of living prior to about 2000.

    My final band would be The Decemberists. Talk about brilliant and unique writing in music. And the fact that they have boldly taken on everything from sea shanties to a dark rock opera to bluegrass and none of it feels like a gimmick says something. I find a lot of indie music to be really boring and droning, but the Decemberists certainly can't be called that. I sincerely feel like it's night and day between them and, say, Arcade Fire, a band that clearly has talent and some songs I like... but the trouble with them is I always feel like I'm trying to like them because I'm supposed to, because we're told they're brilliant. I know Terr_Mys will probably kill me for this :p I'm not saying everyone who likes hip indie bands like this is just trying to be cool. But I've tried to get into a lot of bands like that, and it's never stuck. The Decemberists, to me, are entirely different than other indie bands I'm "supposed" to like. Their music is, for lack of a better description, just a lot more fun. Colin Meloy's ability to weave a story into a catchy, complex tune is unparalleled.
  7. thesevegetables

    thesevegetables Jedi Knight star 4

    Nov 11, 2012
    Without Lady Gaga I would never have voluntarily listened to any music besides classical.
  8. Mortimer Snerd

    Mortimer Snerd Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 27, 2012
    1. Tom Waits
    2. Tom Waits
    3.Tom Waits
    4. Gogol Bordello
    5. Tom Waits
    6. Tom Waits
    7. Sloe-T
    8. Tom Waits
    9. Tom Waits
    10. Tom Waits
    11. Tom Waits
    12. Tom Waits
    13. Tom Waits
  9. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    In no particular order:

    Mumford and Sons
    The Fray
    Mary Chapin Carpenter
    Taylor Swift
    Barenaked Ladies
    Katy Perry
    Five For Fighting
    Joshua Radin
    Matt Nathanson
    Sarah MacLachlan
    The Killers
  10. SWpants

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 28, 2004
    No specific order. But these have all been favourites at one time or another and shaped me in some way.

    1. Backstreet Boys
    2. Jars of Clay
    3. MxPx
    4. Good Charlotte
    5. Less Than Jake
    6. tobyMac
    7. Simple Plan
    8. Newsboys
    9. Hate to Have to Go Back (became This Years Anthem) (a CT local band)
    10. Army of Freshmen
    11. Fall Out Boy
    12. The World/Inferno Friendship Society
    13. Owl City

    PRENNTACULAR VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 21, 2005
    Damn 13 years is basically as long as I've been listening to music. So here's the all-time list for me I guess:

    1. David Bazan
    2. Bob Dylan
    3. Beastie Boys
    4. Five Iron Frenzy (first concert I went to)
    5. Dead Kennedy's
    6. The Avett Brothers
    7. Bright Eyes
    8. Public Enemy
    9. Snoop Dog
    10. Cat Stevens
    11. Rage Against the Machine
    12. Passion Pit
    13. Sufjan Stevens
  12. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Jun 28, 2006
    Wow, Prenn's been listening to music only slightly longer than I have.

    Is this just meant to be those putting music out during that time frame?
  13. Terr_Mys

    Terr_Mys Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 19, 2002
    When I made the thread, I was thinking more of 13 artists who have been active in the last 13 years, but I realize I didn't make that clear. You can decide which criteria you prefer to use.
  14. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Feb 18, 2001
    1) deftones
    2) ISIS
    3) Thrice
    4) Protest the Hero
    5) God is an Astronaut
    6) Mastodon
    7) Baroness
    8) Sunn 0)))
    9) DJ Shadow
    10) Between the Buried and Me
    11) Opeth
    12) Sparta
    13) Jimmy Eat World

    So. Not a huge amount of variation in that list...
  15. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    When I think back over the last thirteen years, I think mostly, it seems, about older artists who have either continued to release excellent music or have had surprisingly great comebacks. Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan both had comebacks in the nineties, outside the thirteen year range, but they've also continued to release great music inside that thirteen year timeframe. Springsteen's comeback really started in 2002 with The Rising, just a little over ten years ago now. I like some genuinely new acts too; Lady Gaga and The Editors (who never get enough press) spring immediately to mind, but it is interesting that many of the people who are my favorite artists of the last thirteen years are the old lions, the class acts proving that they're still relevant and powerful.
    Sith-Lord-Gunray likes this.
  16. MariahJSkywalker

    MariahJSkywalker Poopoo Head star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 11, 2005
    1)Joanna Newsom
    2)The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    3)Animal Collective
    4)Beach House
    5)Florence + The Machine
    6)First Aid Kit
    10)Best Coast
    12)Regina Spektor
    13)Babes In Toyland

    Regarding Joanna, the very first time I listened to her I was repulsed by her voice. It was by chance a few years later that I decided to give her another try and fell so deeply in love. I once had a 12 hour run of just playing The Milk-Eye Mender.
    MASTERPRENN, tom and Sith-Lord-Gunray like this.
  17. Dingo

    Dingo Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 23, 2001
    Well, figured out one of the best ways was to just go to the source and look at my most listened to songs on iTunes since the current library in there was established in 2008. Then I just looked at who I've taken the time to actually create playlists around, and the number of albums I have of some artists. I did stick to a criteria that I had to really start listening to them from 2000 onwards, which knocked out two big favourite groups of mine in Garbage and Foo Fighters, along with Johnny Cash, Kylie, Matchbox 20, Metallica, RHCP, U2, etc. They are presented in no particular order.

    1) Bear McCreary - I have an eclectic taste in music, as if looking at the names in this list and in the above paragraph don't already give that away. Music soundtracks are a part of it, and there are quite a few scores and compositions in my collection. McCreary's work on Battlestar Galactica is what really got me listening on a more regular basis than anything else, and many a car trip was filled with these albums. His rendition of All Along The Watchtower has been the ringtone for my phone since 2007 (pitchforks down people, I still love Hendrix's version but it doesn't translate as well for smaller speakers), and I melt with his version of Samson and Delilah (although that might have a lot to do with Shirley Manson's vocals).
    2) Timbaland - More than anything else, Timbaland has been a gateway drug. I like his work, but it's just as much about his work as a producer and his collaborations that has made an impact on my listening habits. Missy Elliot, Justin Timberlake, Kerrie Hilson, Aaliyah I listen to more because of this work with them than I did purely on their own. His work with Nelly Furtado pushed the envelope with her remaking a soft pop/folk artist into someone that you really stood up and took more notice of her versatility. And then his own albums give you tastes of other artists that you go out and seek their own work on.
    3) Adele - Undoubtedly the phenom of the past few years. Despite what some might say, her music is powerful and I just can't stop listening to it. Many people find such emotional resonance in what she does because every note caries the emotional strains of what she's singing about.
    4) Glee Cast - Love or hate the show, it's doing something for music with groups of people that haven't been reached before. There are some absolute brilliant singers in the extended cast (Lea Michele and Chris Colfer being the first two showcased, but Darren Criss, Naya Rivera, Amber Riley and Chord Overstreet have all made their marks too) who manage to both give different versions of contemporary songs and breathe new life into some classics. Madonna, Fleetwood Mac and the Bee Gees have all had resurgences with demographics that wouldn't have listened to these artists because of them.
    5) Linkin Park/Fort Minor - One of my top 3 musical artists. Their music just resonates with me, and the range musically and lyrically they have covered in their albums has meant that they always feel different while still having an undercurrent that allows you to identify them.
    6) Daft Punk - Yes, I had listened to them before 2000. But it was no more than just when they were on the radio and that was it. But after moving to university and the access to music collections that people shared on the campus residence network, I started listening to them more and got a better appreciation for electronica. And so of course when they were announced as the ones providing the music for TRON: Legacy, I was over the moon.
    7) Lady Gaga - Love her or hate her, she has had such an impact on pop and dance over the last few years as well as mainstream celebrity. Gaga is a good lyricist who when she is on her game can write something that gets to the heart of an issue and then builds around it a sound and set of visuals that can force people to look at things in a different way. And at the end of the day, that impact she has had on the zeitgeist in getting people talking more about issues is likely what she'll be remembered for even if it was in a very theatrical and over-the-top fashion.
    8) One Republic/Ryan Tedder - The second of my top 3 acts to be in this list. Tedder's voice is something I can listen to again and again and again. While they haven't exactly released a giant catalogue, it's still a good body of work. And then Tedder's sideline as a (I would argue THE) top producer and writer is the second reason they are on the list. Through him you get Leona Lewis' Bleeding Love which he co-wrote with Jesse McCartney and produced; Beyonce's Halo which he wrote and produced; Jordin Sparks' Battlefield; Adele's Rumour Has It and Turning Tables; Natasha Beddingfield's Love Like This; Gym Class Heroes Rocketeer; Gavin Degraw's Not Over You; and the list goes on.
    9) Florence + the Machine - You know when you are listening to a song that Florence Welch is singing. Her voice is just that distinctive and so are the songs that she and her band have released. Her albums are on high rotation both in my iTunes and on the music drive in my car.
    10) John Butler Trio - This is an Australian bluegrass act that everyone should be listening to. High tempo songs whose themes and political messages reflect and shape discussion here in a similar fashion to what Midnight Oil did in the 80's, as well as just some out and out good songs.
    11) David Guetta - Guetta's work is another gateway, in that world of dance. He is one of the first full DJs to hit it big time in the charts, and in doing so opened the way for a lot of acts to follow. He has also managed to help boost the work of other pop acts in the process. Any trip into the city to go clubbing has inevitably involved some of his singles.
    12) P!nk - Pure infectious pop, and a stage presence that no one else can currently beat. Seriously, I'd like to see anyone else maintain vocals the way she does while either flying around on a trapeze (rather than just sitting on one) or performing a contemporary dance piece of quality on par with professional dancers.
    13) Eminem - No, he is not the limit of my exposure to rap and hip hop. I was listening to other artists before him (all from pre-2000) and listen to more outside his world. But there are some of his songs that are just too strong to be ignored (hello Stan) and is another artist who has been a gateway to more acts with his frequent work with others and time with D12.
    MariahJSkywalker likes this.
  18. -G-O-A-T-

    -G-O-A-T- Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 18, 2005
    1. Marc Ribot
    2. John Zorn
    3. Frank Zappa
    4. Miles Davis
    5. John McEntire
    6. Donald Fagen
    7. Reed Mathis
    8. Richie Birkenhead
    9. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
    10. Jeff Parker
    11. Jamie Saft
    12. John McLaughlin
    13. Ike Willis
  19. I Are The Internets

    I Are The Internets Force Ghost star 8

    Nov 20, 2012
    In no particular order:
    1. Frank Sinatra
    2. Muse
    3. Marina and the Diamonds
    4. U2/Bono
    5. Coldplay
    6. Ellie Goulding
    7. Macklemore
    8. ACDC/Angus Young
    9. Pink Floyd
    10. John Williams
    11. Howard Shore
    12. Nat King Cole
    13. Taylor Swift
    MariahJSkywalker likes this.
  20. tom

    tom Chosen One star 7

    Mar 14, 2004
    here is a list. tomorrow it would be different.

    1. cat power
    2. ghostface killah
    3. radiohead
    4. spoon
    5. sage francis
    6. grizzly bear
    7. the decemberists
    8. das racist
    9. sigur ros
    10. elliott smith
    11. the beastie boys
    12. nick drake
    13. the beatles
    MariahJSkywalker likes this.

    PRENNTACULAR VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 21, 2005
    Tom, I just got Cat Power on vinyl and it made me squeal!
  22. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    Oh, man, how did I forget to mention Joanna Newsome? I would posit that she's not for everyone, but, God, I think she's ******* tremendous.
  23. MariahJSkywalker

    MariahJSkywalker Poopoo Head star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 11, 2005
    Joanna is so amazing. Her voice isn't for everyone but she turned it down for Have One on Me.

    PRENNTACULAR VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 21, 2005
    I saw her live in Reno when I was working on Obama's campaign. It was one of the best shows I've ever gone to! She's great.
  25. tom

    tom Chosen One star 7

    Mar 14, 2004
    which album, "sun"?