A (long-winded) question: Which newer rock bands or musicians would you say have a truly original sound -- one that isn't filled with obvious references to other musicians or earlier decades? Or that at least blend their borrowings in a highly original way?
Clearly no music is without influence, but in their time, say, "Trout Mask Replica" or Robert Wyatt's "Rock Bottom" didn't sound like too many other records. Are there recent recordings by newer rock musicians with that degree, or close to that degree, of originality and personality?
I'm thinking of musicians that have been releasing music for no more than 10 years, in any context -- so even, say, Ariel Pink wouldn't count. I'm defining rock pretty loosely. Henry Cow is a rock band in my book. So are Volcano the Bear.
I should say that I'm not trying to make an oblique statement about how current-day music sucks. I'm just curious to know what people would choose. I'll admit that I can't come up with too many examples myself. Maybe I'm missing out on something major. Maybe I'm not.
To get the ball rolling, I'll nominate Meadow House (who just squeak by the 10-year cutoff point) and Micachu & The Shapes.
I'll be serving homemade muffins on the radio this Tuesday on "Tape Hiss," from noon to 3:00 ET. Come munch on cassettes from Music for Homemade Instruments and The Muffins: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/59439
Longtime Portland record store Music Millennium recently got a new manager, who I gather is driving people who work there crazy. Based on what I overheard him saying to other employees last night, I can understand why. I could barely stand to flip through records with him in the room. Here are some choice remarks:
"Hey Bob, you're breaking the don't-play-more-than-one-side-of-a record rule."
"Quick, Jane: Who wrote the song 'Eli's Coming' and what group had a big hit with it? It's important to know these things."
"You mean, you never heard of Laura Nyro, Jane? As a woman, you should know Laura Nyro."
"What was THE big important record of last year, Jill? We should order lots of copies."
(Names made up, of course.)