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Nov 17 2004

The Top 40 Bands In America Today - 2004 Edition

Last year I organized a panel of bloggers in search of The Top 40 Bands In America for the year 2003. Out of the 61 bands that were nominated, The Strokes, fresh off the release of Room On Fire, won handily but the rest of the list hinted of great things to come by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, The Drive By Truckers and The Mountain Goats.

What did last year's list show us? 1) Releasing a record just before the list is compiled gives you a definite edge and 2) bloggers love their indie rock. Obvs. What will this year's list reveal? Well read on.

This year, the list is bigger and better because YOU demanded it. Invites were sent out to 35 hand picked MP3j's/bloggers/industry folk and 19 of them found time in their busy schedules to participate, 20 if you include yours truly. Compiling this year's list was not easy as the panelists nominated a total of 112 bands/artists, which goes to show you how wrong people are when they think, "rock is dead."

THE PROCESS: Each panel member submitted a list of the 10 bands/solo artists/dj''s, etc. they considered "the best in America" right now, as in this very instant. This isn't an award for career longevity. No one from foreign soil is eligible, including foreign artists from abroad living in the US (sorry Moz!), I in turn gave each nomination a corresponding numerical value and then tallied the totals. In case of a tie, the higher slot was awarded to the artist with more votes (i.e. someone with 15 points from one vote was ranked lower than someone with three votes of 5).

THE CRITERIA: Just like last year, this was left up to each of the writers. I only asked for the “best” bands/artists. What that term meant was up to them.

THE PANEL: Nude as The News, DCSOB, Damore Retrobuzz, Largehearted Boy, Fluxblog, Matt 5500, Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again, The Real Janelle, Chromewaves, Connie NYC, Seeking Irony, Kerry Sosaysi, Bradley's Almanac, The Big Ticket, Weirdcurves, Coolfer, Music For Robots, MethodOne from 1115.org, Uncle Grambo and yours truly.

And without further ado, here is this years list. The numbers in parenthesis show where the bands landed on last years list:
1) TED LEO + PHARMACISTS (31)
- Our generation's Billy Bragg - ILB
- Smart. Literate. Politically charged. Catchy as fuckall. - Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again
- He's been rocking at a higher level than most for three albums now, but with Shake The Sheets, he's taken it to yet another echelon: politically and lyrically he's synchronized with about half of America right now, the power trio lineup is as tight as hell and he's currently jamming econo around the country, rocking the clubs like any top band should. - Nude as The News
- You said that last year, and it's even more true today after the release of the highly political (yet, more on a human-level) Shake The Sheets LP during this contentious election year. It may not be as "good" an album as his earlier albums, but it's the right album for the time (and may be the album to fall back on over the next four years of W). And as per usual, it's full of pop-punk licks & heady lyrics that make up great songs. Ted's shows are a blast, as he is an explosive ball of energy & clever quips throughout.
Thank god for Ted Leo. - The Big Ticket
Download: Shake The Sheets, Little Dawn, and a live cover of Lauren Hill's Ex-Factor
2) WILCO (7)
- "A Ghost is Born" wasn't quite the breakthrough that "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" was, but Wilco still show that innovation and a non-conformist streak matter in American music. - 1115.org
3) INTERPOL (18)
- Ironically shrugging off the sophomore slump while looking dashing in a Valentino suit. - Kerry Sosaysi
- Yeah, they're overrated. Yeah, they get more attention for their haircuts than should be allowed. But when it comes down to it, Interpol are one of those bands whose albums seem to be greater than the sum of its respective parts. They aren't afraid to experiment with their arrangements and they have a killer rhythm section that most bands would sell their souls for. - 1115.org
4) GUIDED BY VOICES (12)
- "We are the kings of indie rock -- when we die, indie rock will die." Thus spoke Pollard in February at the Bowery Ballroom. A little over the top, surely, but isn't that the way we like our GBV? Yes. Yes, it is. Once people have time to digest their full output, they should rank as one of the top rock bands in history -- not the death of indie rock, but quite possibly its crowning achievement. - Nude as The News
5) THE FIERY FURNACES
- The unique and infectious New York duo's sophomore effort, Blueberry Boat, is quirky and fun-filled. This brother-sister duo is ambitious musically and unafraid to take chances in the studio or live. - Largehearted Boy
-Just go see Eleanor & Matt Friedberger's live show - a non-stop rawk-fest that spirals in-&-out of songs left & right, intensity spewing out their respective ying-yangs - and you'll know why the Furnaces deserve the praise & the buzz & a place on this list. - The Big Ticket
Download: My Dog (SBN Sesion)
6) THE PIXIES
- One of the greatest bands of all time, reunited before it was too late. And it feels so good. They sound probably better than they did back in the day (Frank's certainly honed his front man act over years of touring) and are more deserving of the fat tour paychecks they're reaping than most. - Nude as The News
Download: Debaser (live)
7) BRIAN WILSON
- And just this year, he's done the unthinkable: resuscitated his long-lost classic "SMiLE." The album is classic, one of pop music's touchstones despite its heretofore unreleased status. And not only were Wilson and his band able to finally put it to tape in a finished, coherent, revealing manner, they're out there performing the damn thing LIVE. - Nude as The News
- The man re-recorded an album after more than 30 years of distance and didn't fuck it up. Absolutely unbelievable. - Music For Robots
8) LUNA - It's a shame that the band had to call it quits to get their due, but Dean and Co.'s legacy is a strong one. - ILB
- Rest in peace, yo. - Uncle Grambo
9) MODEST MOUSE
- The crazy kids brought up a gaggle of hippies with maraccas on their SNL performance. Teetering on the edge of insanity is a wonderful place for a rock band to be. - Music For Robots
- Their success by the KRock, Frat-guy, OC-Loving crowd got a bit annoying to their long time fans, but you can’t begrudge people for paying their bills and being rewarded for writing anthems. As Damore would say, Float On. - Kerry Sosaysi
10) SPOON (8)
- Britt is the indie rock Buddy Holly. - ILB
- The production, the arrangements, everything serves the songs. And what songs they are ... a true American classic. - Nude as The News
Download: The Two Sides of Msr. Velentine (live)
11) BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (16)
- The man puts his heart on the line every nite, and his shows go on forever. He's a legend, and he's still willing to put his neck on the line for what he believes. In 2004, he headlined the Vote For Change swing state tour, and he appeared in-person with candidate John Kerry at several massive rallies during the final days of the now-failed campaign. Despite the unfortunate election results, it was inspiring. Much respect, Bruce. - The Big Ticket
12) CALEXICO
13) SONIC YOUTH
- Could "Sonic Nurse" be the comeback album of the year? As far as American artists are concerned, probably. Leave it to the veterans to show all these hipster glamour bands how it should be done. - 1115.org
Download: Stones
14) THE MOUNTAIN GOATS (10)
- America's premier songwriter John Darnielle keeps getting better, as evidenced by the 2004 release, We Shall All Be Healed. - Largehearted Boy
- John Darnielle is, quite simply, the best working American songwriter. - Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again
15) RILO KILEY
- Thanks to the raw power of Jenny Lewis’ voice, they’re just one great song away from breaking out of the indie rock ghetto and into the Top 10. - Uncle Grambo
16) DAVID BYRNE
- So many acts right now, from The Walkmen to Franz Ferdinand, borrow liberally from Byrne & Co.'s playbook. - DCSOB
17) THE STROKES (1)
- Casablancas is a first-rate songwriter (another REAL "american idol" IMO), creating pop-rock gems while maintaining an indie aesthetic/gritty edge that's easy-to-fake yet hard-to-capture - & the Strokes do it all so effortlessly (which makes them such an easy target to scoff at). - The Big Ticket
18) DRIVE BY TRUCKERS
- Continually barnstorming through the country (and the world) with their three hour three-guitar attack, they are the hardest working band in rock and roll. The south may be dirty, but it sure is fun. - Largehearted Boy
19) SUFJAN STEVENS
20) THE DECEMBERISTS (34)
- The Decemberists only released an EP this year (The Tain), but it was a wonderful proggy and ambitious interpretation of an 8th century celtic poem, easily my favorite EP of the year. - Largehearted Boy
They aren't Neutral Milk Hotel, but noone ever will be. They carry the torch like none other though, and thats more than enough. - Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again
21) SCISSOR SISTERS
22) ELLIOTT SMITH
23) AMBULANCE LTD.
24) THE KILLERS
25) EMINEM
- Bar none, the most relevant and influential musician of the last ten years - Uncle Grambo
26) GREEN DAY
- The only band I can say that grew up with me and never let me down. -Kerry Sosaysi
- My teen years have returned from the grave with a political vengance. Who'd've thought Green Day had it in them to return from a decade of mediocrity with the most powerful and anthemic protest album in decades? If President Bush is what it takes to make Punk rock relevant again, than maybe 4 more years is just what the doctor ordered... - Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again
27) THIEVERY CORPORATION
- There are about a million producers out there doing downtempo dubby stuff, but Thievery Corperation have an uncanny ability to deliver every single time. Their new "Babylon Rewound" remixes collection is about as close to perfection as you can get in this genre. - 1115.org
Download: Until the Morning
28) JAY Z
- Get...that...dirt of your shoulder - ILB
29) THE POSTAL SERVICE (36)
- They deliver for me. - DCSOB
30) THE WALKMEN
- far Superior To theiR One-tricK pony town-matES - Damore
31) THE SHINS (9)
32) OUTKAST (6)
- The Beatles of hip-hop. The Big Ticket
33) THE FLAMING LIPS (4)
- What other band could play only 5 songs in a headlining slot at a major festival & have every fan walk away completely content? - Damore
34) JOANNA NEWSOME
- Joanna Newsom burst into the national spotlight this year with The Milk-Eyed Mender, a collection of songs as captivating on plastic as they are performed live. Armed on stage only with her harp and voice, she is a mesmerizing talent as both performer and songwriter. - Largehearted Boy
35) SEA RAY
- I love it when i ask people if they've ever heard of Sea Ray and they say "No", because I know it's not gonna be that way for long. These guys have FUCKING HUGE written all over them. - ILB
36) TV ON THE RADIO
- Unlike their post-millenial New York indie-rock colleagues, these guys sound like no one else out there. The traditional sounds of rock are shattered, only to be fused back together in new ways with a heavy dub-like production, and lovingly layered with soulful multi-tracked vocals. Quite possibly groundbreaking. - Nude as The News
- These guys are bringing a unique& dense sound to the "indie" rock scene, and it's f**king intense - especially in-concert. - The Big Ticket
Download: Ambulance (live)
37) METALLICA
38) GOGOL BORDELLO
- Gogol Bordello are the most essentially American band out there - a hodgepodge of Immigrants from all over, brought together in NY by gypsy punk rock, and good alcohol, this sounds like nothing else on this earth. Take the mantra to heart: Drink locally -Fuck Globally. - Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again
39) LOW (37)
40) LES SAVY FAV
- What other band in america plotted for years to put out 7" singles on varying labels in order to release a retrospective cd 7 years later that included their absolute best material? Plus their insane live antics are legendary. - Music For Robots

As I stated before, there were 112 bands/artists nominated for the list this year, which means that 72 other bands/artists recieved votes. Just incredible. I would like to thank everyone involved for contributing to the list this year. Respect.

Personally, I feel this list is pretty solid and a very good representation of what is happening in music RIGHT NOW. Lists like this are made to generate arguments over placement and who was or was not left off, but I for one think this is pretty spot on. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

If any MP3 blogs out there want to offer some other downloads for some of the artists on this list, let me know and I'll update it here.

**UDATE** Click here for the complete list of nominations and more MP3 downloads.

Posted by Kyle in Permalink

Comments

Air? The Unicorns? Two off the top of my head. Good list though.

Posted by: megan at November 17, 2004 2:12 PM

Air is from France. They are not eligible.

Posted by: information leafblower at November 17, 2004 2:13 PM

walkmen = wank wank wank

waaaay overrated.

Posted by: listens alot at November 17, 2004 2:26 PM

The Unicorns are from Canada, also not eligible.

God my list would be SOOOOOO much different if I could've included Canada.

Posted by: Keith TTIKTDA at November 17, 2004 2:31 PM

thanks KG, fun read.

i'm always surprised how little attention Magnolia Electric Co./Songs:Ohiaget. they're easily my favorite band . maybe if this survey was done in 3-4 mos after their live album comes out they'd make it.

i'd be curious (as a lover of lists) to see the other 72 bands :)

Posted by: Mark at November 17, 2004 2:49 PM

thanks KG, fun read.

i'm always surprised how little attention Magnolia Electric Co./Songs:Ohiaget. they're easily my favorite band . maybe if this survey was done in 3-4 mos after their live album comes out they'd make it.

i'd be curious (as a lover of lists) to see the other 72 bands :)

Posted by: Mark at November 17, 2004 2:51 PM

I'd have to add Self. Even though practically no one's heard of them, the music is fucking brilliant (check some out on selfies.com), but Matt Mahaffey's name is one you'll likely hear more and more of in the production world.

Posted by: Michael at November 17, 2004 2:55 PM

well, they're "in" america often. ;-)

umm...anyways, i should read.

Posted by: megan at November 17, 2004 3:12 PM

Jesus fuck, this is the problem with consensus-as-criteria.
Let's have a look, shall we? This whole list is overpopulated with "critical darling" bullshit adored by unadventurous listeners who think that just because someone's not on a major label, they're somehow innovative.
The Strokes? Bland bullshit of the first mark. The Walkmen? Overhyped wank-factory. Interpol? Y'know, the Human League has been rightly consigned to the dustbin. Let's not let nostalgia confuse us. Ted Leo, while Hearts of Oak was one of the best albums released in the last five years, his new one is merely OK. Spoon? Maybe this current adoration is to make up for people not catching onto them before Girls Can Tell, but they're MOR, kids. Wilco? Well, I know that some of you indie fucks are still jerking off to HYF, but it was a gutless shitfarm of mediocrity. The Fiery Furnaces? Again, sophomore slump. Quirky != Quality. Luna? Man, shitfarm since Pup Tent. Maybe the robotrippin' has confused you, but just because they have Jem doesn't mean they have compelling tunes. Flaming Lips? Bullshit. Yoshimi sucked. Get over it. And Johanna Newsome is a giant gag played on the twee-loving pansies of the indie rock community. "Look, she plays a harp! Isn't that precious?"
And Eminem isn't a band, Grambo. I know that even though at this moment I am haggling with you through email for tickets, you should still be able to count past one. (Most influential and relevant? "Lose Yourself"? Jesusfuck.)
You got some of it right, but they're universally too low (The Shins, TV on the Radio), you missed a bunch of others (Dalek, !!!, Need New Body, Deerhoof, Animal Collective, El-P, Sunburned Hand of the Man...)
This is a giant washout of Wonderbread indie rock and a few paeans to mainstream hip-hop to look inclusive.
I call bullshit.

Posted by: js at November 17, 2004 3:14 PM

Let the hatin' commence!

Stop the presses! Bloggers like indie rock! Who knew? Come down off your high horse and mingle with everyone else dude.

And if you read closely you'll see that "bands/solo artists/dj''s, etc." were eligible. Eminem fits into that, correct?

Posted by: information leafblower at November 17, 2004 3:20 PM

js hates on all that stuff then pulls out tv on the radio? i would've had so much more respect had the big guns been metallica, manson, & buckethead.

Posted by: damore at November 17, 2004 3:26 PM

Metallica? #37?
It's not that it's indie rock that I object to, it's that it's all so fucking boring.
Still, I suppose "Group of bloggers likes mediocre indie pop" isn't headline worthy.
This is really the best you could come up with?

Posted by: js at November 17, 2004 3:42 PM

Are you freaking kidding me that the White Stripes didn't make the list and The Mountain Goats did? The Mountain WHO? No offense to Largehearted Best Ever, but that's just plain criminal. Even worse is the inclusion of Brian Wilson! W-O-R-S-T!

However, mad props go out to Rage Kage for compiling another spectacular list. Yodel atcha, homeslizz.

Posted by: Uncle Grambo at November 17, 2004 3:44 PM

Ok Mr. "I just dropped El-P's name so I won't appear so indie rock myself", whatever you say.

I think if you are familiar with the bloggers that participated, the results listed here wouldn't exactly shock you.

BTW, The Shins aren't Wonderbread?

Posted by: information leafblower at November 17, 2004 3:46 PM

i know, i was totally bummed too that metallica was lowly #37. way too low, they were my #1. no mustaine either? crazy.

seriously, what were you expecting? american music is shit these days.

Posted by: damore at November 17, 2004 3:53 PM

Grambo: what exactly have the White Stripes been doing lately? Jack White produced an album for Loretta Lynn, basically playing high priced sideman, and went hollywood. Meg has vanished off the face of the earth.

Meanwhile, John Darnielle has bee consistently releasing album after album of flat out brilliant songwriting, and Brian Wilson resurrected the ghost of 40 years ago into some of the most beautiful pop music ever released.

Theres a bunch of stuff on here that I don't agree with. The Walkmen shouldn't be there. Neither should The Boss or Metallica, long past their vital years. The Strokes and Spoon are hangovers. Interpol and TV on the Radio really need to swap spots. Wilco is about 3 years past belonging.

But it's solid enough considering the process I'd say.

Posted by: Keith TTIKTDA at November 17, 2004 4:05 PM

Remember, that this is a collective collection of opinions. Hell, Ted Leo, Interpol, Modest Mouse and the Pixies made the top ten and wouldn't have been in my top 40. Lists like these spur discussion, which is good.

p.s. Uncle G., I am a White Stripes fan, but they seem to have dropped off the face of their red and white planet. Too much Hollywood, not enough rock.

Posted by: david at November 17, 2004 4:15 PM

The Fiery Furnaces? Again, sophomore slump

You're out of your mind.

Posted by: Matthew at November 17, 2004 4:32 PM

Personally, it was weird to make a list like this because I had to cut out all of the non-US music, cutting out the majority of what I listen to now. If I was to make my list worldwide, only four of the top ten I submitted would make the list - Fiery Furnaces, Maxi Geil, United State Of Electronica, and Scissor Sisters.

Posted by: Matthew at November 17, 2004 4:34 PM

What am I, on crazy pills? The White Stripes dropped off the face of the planet? I knew The Blogosphere was the internet equivalent of Short Attention Span Theater, but this shit's getting binoculars! "Elephant" came out in April 2003, then the WS tour got cut short due to Jack getting his finger broken (albeit with Zellweggs in tow). And this makes him some sort of slacker or something? It's not making sense to me, especially when Brian Wilson gets props from grey haired, shut-in music critics for re-recording an album he wrote (and subsequently shelved because of it's toxic level of suckage!) nearly 40 years ago? I don't get it.

Posted by: Uncle Grambo at November 17, 2004 4:51 PM

Well, the White Stripes didn't have a new record in 2004, Grambo. That explains a lot.

Posted by: Matthew at November 17, 2004 5:03 PM

Perhaps if you had asked some bloggers who blog about hiphop/soul/funk etc (i.e. o-dub.com for example) you'd get more diversity than a list of 38 CMJ favorites and precisely 2 hiphop artists. Also, so far as I can tell, exactly 2 of these artists have members who are not white. Do we not realize what a cliche we are becoming?

Posted by: Kevin Smokler at November 17, 2004 5:11 PM

The only thing Eminem influenced was the sale of hair dye to white, middleclass males in the midwest. Relevant if the only things you care about are wagging yer dick in public and talking shit about those who talk shit about you. He's just another fad.

Posted by: Bill at November 17, 2004 5:22 PM

No hip-hop until #25? Interpol is 29 places more important than OUTKAST?!!?!

Posted by: Lukas at November 17, 2004 5:31 PM

I don't understand why so many people are complaining about the Walkmen. This a great, solid, and still innovative band, with songs that are going to last for a long time, and an even stronger live prescense. I think they should be higher, but to say they don't belong at all is based entirely on press and not on anything musical.

Posted by: peter at November 17, 2004 5:40 PM

i hope you meant 'les savy fav'

Posted by: :( at November 17, 2004 6:18 PM

shouldn't it be called, The Top 40 American Bands Today. It's less ambigious and doesn't need an explaination.

Posted by: Matt at November 17, 2004 6:26 PM

metallica?

lamb of god!

Posted by: john m at November 17, 2004 6:37 PM

I've got to admit, I'm surprised by the list. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. It's just so heavy on indie rock. If that's what this particular group of bloggers are listening to, that's fine, but I have to wonder if the Internet (P2P, MP3 blogs) is broadening or narrowing the musical tastes of people.

Maybe I took the instructions too literally. I thought we were voting for "best" in America, not "my favorite indie rock bands in America...and the non-indie rock bands/artists that Pitchfork says it's OK to like." If we're voting for "best" then there's no way Ted Leo should, in my opinion, beat out the likes of Tom Waits or Steve Earle.

I mean, I put Usher on my list I submitted. Not that I actually own his albums, but the guy is *incredibly* talented and has pretty much owned everybody else this year.

Anyway, thanks to Kyle for putting this list together once again. I look forward to a less frustrating list in 2005.

Posted by: Coolfer Glenn at November 17, 2004 6:50 PM

suprised not to see the arcade fire on this list. maybe their album was released too late. maybe next year. good list

Posted by: thefish at November 17, 2004 7:03 PM

gogol bordello made the list? alright! they just missed my top ten...

Posted by: mr g at November 17, 2004 7:08 PM

Jesus Christ, what a bunch of whiners. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that, among lists from twenty different people, the final results would tend to be a little homogenized...everyone's favorite obscure choices made up the 62 bands/artists that didn't have enough votes to make the list, and I'm sure if the entire list were published everyone's inner critic could stop bitching.

Posted by: Jason at November 17, 2004 7:17 PM

As someone who contributed, I can tell you, I'm with Jason and Coolfer on this notion of consensus... 5 of the 6 of my indie rock picks made it somewhere on the list, but the other non-indie acts got lost elsewhere in the shuffle. But that's cool, right? It's pretty darn tough to pick out 10 acts and feel like you've even scratched the surface of your favorites, even if it is restricted to just US acts (and, given Dean Wareham's nationality, I wouldn't have even felt like Luna were allowable). I mean, of course everyone can second guess this and say "why wasn't my favorite niche act on there?," but that's just the way the ballotting works. As an example, I think !!! put out a fine record earlier this year, but are they huge enough for me to get into my top 10? No, not really. The list isn't entirely comprehensive, but it'd be hard to argue that any of those 40 aren't worth anything. And, even if it's not hard, it's just, what?, 20 people's opinions, right? Post your own list in response. That's what the blogging is all about.

Cheers to KG for putting this together, though. Nice work, buddy.

Posted by: matt at November 17, 2004 8:17 PM

the scissor sisters? honestly? like if you made this list back in february of 2004, i would believe you, but not nowadays. where's the lcd soundsystems and the death from above 1979s and the blood brothers?

then again, i think the kids who are complaining are the ones who felt like they got left of the cool table at lunch.

and to the dude who pulled the !!! card, their last album blew because it was the same album they released a couple of years earlier.

Posted by: Douglas Reinhardt at November 17, 2004 8:34 PM

What, no Ashlee Simpson? She went to number one and dominated the press. Damn you elitist indie rockers!

The point of these types of lists is to stir people up, and considering that, I would say this one was a success. Well done Rage Kage.

Posted by: Kerry Sosaysi at November 17, 2004 8:45 PM

white people are funny!

Posted by: Anil at November 17, 2004 8:52 PM

Arcade Fire is Canadian.

The omission of Kanye West is surprising -- maybe he's better known as a producer?

Posted by: PL at November 17, 2004 9:06 PM

There are some good bands on this list, but people should be embarrassed by some of these picks - The Killers, Ambulance, Ltd., and Scissor Sisters to name a few. And is Green Day really a better punk band than Bad Religion? I dare anyone to make that argument.

Some glaring omissions, in my opinion:

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Aimee Mann
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Pernice Brothers
Dios
Earlimart
Trembling Blue Stars
The Black Watch
The Douglas Fir
The Dandy Warhols
Sparklehorse
Eels
The Wrens
The Warlocks
The Stratford 4

Posted by: Matt W. at November 17, 2004 9:16 PM

Too bad the only bands worth listening to on that whole shit list would be B.R.M.C. and Earlimart. What a shit filled arguement you have. Other bands that will most likely appear on the list sometime I would think will be:
Secret Machines (New York)
Pete Yorn (New Jersey)
Radio 4 (New York)
Josh Rouse (Tennessee)
Stephen Malkmus
Jesse Malin (New York)
Longwave (New York)
Chris Lee (New York)
Little Brazil (Nebraska)
Cat Power
Calla (New York)
Ryan Adams
Beck
The Black Keys (Ohio)
Elefant (New York)
The Golden Republic (Missouri)
Dave Gahan
Desaparecidos (Nebraska)
Now those are some more worth while bands.

Posted by: Chris at November 17, 2004 10:01 PM

The White Stripes dropped off the face of the planet? I knew The Blogosphere was the internet equivalent of Short Attention Span Theater, but this shit's getting binoculars! "Elephant" came out in April 2003

In the email asking me for nominations, I was asked for bands that are hot "AT THIS INSTANT" as in, right the fuck now. Many of my nominees were based on the fact that I was looking for the ten acts that I felt were at the absolute top of their game at this very instant. It seems people interpreted things differently though.

And yea, much of my list was curtailed by thinking in terms of American acts. The inclusion of Canada alone would've bumped 4 or 5 bands off my list. There's somethin in the water up north or sumtin.

Posted by: Keith TTIKTDA at November 17, 2004 10:04 PM

yer all fuckin nerds. i couldn't imagine shittier music being on this list. eminem is the best current MC? JAY Z even makes this list... he's a herb. Not to mention the loads of emo-whiny-all-my-shit-sounds-the-same
-but-i-dress-trendy-and-act-like-dont-care (ahem the strokes, modest mouse, the pixies, wilco, the shins).

I mean come on.

Posted by: deezenuts at November 17, 2004 10:30 PM

HA! This column of comments (even from participants!) is WAY better than the list. Fuck the list! We like what we like and it's useless to draw up lists. Anyway, a 2004 best list without The Hives is silly (even if they ain't American!). Shmears.

Posted by: Dfactor at November 17, 2004 10:32 PM

"At this instant" was key to my selection process. If the instructions were "choose the best living American musicians," my list would have been very different. I think the list accurately reflects 40 bands/artists that are hot right at this moment--according to a small group of people.

Thanks for putting this together, KG. Your time was definitely worth the entertaining comments inspired by the list. I can't wait to read someone post "Calexico? Gosh! They're so three weeks ago. You people are lame." That's gonna make me laugh.

Posted by: MG at November 17, 2004 10:47 PM

Hot as in right fucking now? Get fucking real. I thought this list was the top 40 and not based on such a fucking stupid technicality. You should be ashamed.

Posted by: Chris at November 17, 2004 10:51 PM

Trembling Blue Stars

Excellent, but almost entirely British.

Posted by: mattS at November 17, 2004 11:20 PM

For the record, I did invite some "hip hop bloggers" to participate in hopes of a more diverse list, but each of them, for whatever reason, chose not to participate.

Don't hate, participate!

Posted by: information leafblower at November 17, 2004 11:34 PM

I'm an unabashed Strokes lover, and I for one am glad they made the list. I'm so over the White Stripes-- they have dropped off the face of the earth as far as I'm concerned!

I'd add Elefant, Nas, Radio 4, The Breeders, Fugazi, Beck, and maybe the Dead Kennedys. Do these bands have to be current? I'd nix Scissor Sisters, Green Day and the Postal Service. I have to say, I like Death Cab a lot more-- I like the sound better with more musicians--it adds more to the vocals to have more going on beside and behind them.

Posted by: Scooter at November 17, 2004 11:58 PM

Ahhh, now this is what I was talking about! Sure, anytime you get this many critics in the same space you get that same Pazz and Jop homogeneity/repeated-trials-tend-to-cluster-around-the-mean predictability that I have recently decried another Gang of 32 for. But in this case, I love the values-based, passion the people who were polled place behind their picks. I love all that sticking the neck out. I love the way the comments have turned this list into a living thing. The calling of bullshit, the heaping of scorn, the all around display of backbone...[information leafblower], you have shown me something good today. Respect!

And, hey, bottom line, I got some new names on an old list from all this, and I can't wait to hear some of these bands I've been sleeping on! I loves me some fa' real rock criticism!

Posted by: The DCeiver at November 18, 2004 12:17 AM

how quickly you forget yo la tengo.

Posted by: john at November 18, 2004 1:12 AM

Get over it.

Posted by: Chris at November 18, 2004 1:20 AM

Hot as in right fucking now? Get fucking real. I thought this list was the top 40 and not based on such a fucking stupid technicality. You should be ashamed.

See, "Right fucking now" is why I found the idea of participating interesting. If this was just a generic 40 best bands list, I'd've probably declined to vote. The idea of trying to name the bands who are on the top of the world at a particular moment in time, and trying to crystallize that moment in music is what fascinated me about the whole idea of this. I'm just kinda disappointed that some of my fellow voters didn't seem to think in those terms (regardless of disagreements about actual names).

Posted by: Keith TTIKTDA at November 18, 2004 1:36 AM

I need to stop arguing with people on the internets.
First off, El-P is making much more interesting music than, say, Metallica. As are Matthew Shipp and Ken Vandermark and William Parker. Second off, yeah, if !!! was on there, I'd probably be hatin' on that too. 'Tis the nature of lists. Third, I know I'm supposed to be lovin' on the Detroit, but fuck the White Stripes. Let 'em put out another good album (Elephant was overhyped bullshit) and then they'll be worth talking about again. Until then, dating Rene and punching Jason does not count as putting out good music, no matter how buzz it is.Fourth, how about some bands like Wolf Eyes or Lightning Bolt or Black Dice? All better than, say, Metallica (hate to keep coming back, but What The Fuck? More than one of you thought they were good right now? Are you huffing gas?). And Deerhoof released the best album of their careers with Milkman. Far better than Newsome's, though they've worked together (I think she's even on Milkman).
But hey, maybe I'm reading this wrong... Maybe by "Top 40 Bands in America Today" you meant "The First 40 Bands You Can Think of Off the Top of Your Head Right Now!" Because then having Springsteen and the Walkmen on there makes some sense.
As I said before, can't do criticism by consensus.

Posted by: js at November 18, 2004 2:21 AM

can't do criticism by consensus.

I have to say, the most interesting part of this for me has been seeing various peoples individual lists when they've posted them. Mine is up @ my own blog, as are I know, LargeHearted Boy and Gilbert bigtickets.

I'd love to know if anyone else has posted theirs.

Posted by: Keith TTIKTDA at November 18, 2004 3:08 AM

As a contributer, I can tell you that the "american" part was extremely difficult. Most of my picks didn't make it. I had Kanye, Diplo, Madlib and Scot Herron. I also didn't include anyone who didn't put out an album in 2004-- which is why the Wrens or Spoon or any of those are on my list. The only ones with my comments on them are the only ones from my list. So what is that -- three out of 40?

If you want to know what I'm listening to, come by my site. I hope we're not homogenizing the listening tastes. I think it just looks that way when it's all boiled down.

it was fun though. thanks for the opportunity.

Posted by: robot mark at November 18, 2004 3:17 AM

Ditto on the nod to Sea Ray. I "Ituned" (as if that were a verb) Sea Ray's "Revelry" and I can't stop playing it!

Guided By Voices needs to make the top of every list just so the Clear Channel stations will finally wake the fuck up and start playing "Everyone Thinks I'm A Raincloud", easily the top song of 04 (and the catchiest song since Cheap Trick's "Surrender" IMHO...)

.

Posted by: danny at November 18, 2004 7:50 AM

For the record, LCD Soundsystem was on my list. And yeah, Scissor Sisters. Because they are easily one of the best bands in the world.

Posted by: Matthew at November 18, 2004 8:01 AM

kyle, how about a post later about the bands that were voted for, but didn't make the top 40. just a list would suffice.

Posted by: tien at November 18, 2004 9:17 AM

That has already been suggested and will be posted on Friday. I got home too late from the Celtics game to put it together for today.

Posted by: information leafblower at November 18, 2004 9:18 AM

Who says indie is dead? Interesting list but where are the women and where is any real "pop" music (Beyonce/Destiny's child/Usher)? You should do an international list (UK/ Canada/ Europe) or even a World Music one -- keep the flames going. Plus that means shit like Guided By Voices won't be eligible. Nice work KG.

Posted by: l boogie at November 18, 2004 9:25 AM

It's great to see Ted Leo at the top of this list. I just want to note, for all those unfamiliar with his past, that this is actually the second coming of Ted Leo. Chisel released three albums on Gern Bandsten between 1995-1997, bearing some of the same sounds that Ted is known for today. "Your Star Is Killing Me" on "8 AM All Day" is not to be missed.

For those new fans of Ted Leo who want more, check out some Chisel albums.

Posted by: M0nsterMike at November 18, 2004 9:28 AM

And while we're talking about the past, also check out now-defunct "The Lapse", another great band which was fronted by Chris Leo, Ted's brother. (And of course, before The Lapse was the Van Pelt, another favorite.)

http://www.southern.com/southern/band/LAPSE/18572.html

Posted by: M0nsterMike at November 18, 2004 9:34 AM

Bands people forgot to include on their lists, apparently...

Yo La Tengo, Lambchop, Wrens, My Morning Jacket

Posted by: stevie steve at November 18, 2004 9:51 AM

This is unbelievable. Respect for putting in the effort. The top bands in America today means what? Definitely particpate rather than just hate, but f*ck Guided by Voices, Sonic Youth, Brian Wilson, Pixies. I love the Pixies but one of the best bands in America right now? No Ghostface, kany West, Mars Volta, no hip hop except for Jay Z and Eminem, (thank goodness at least Outkast)do any of you get out of the house? Its ok to listen to something besides indie rock if you are white. no Crunk, pretty much no black people, and they are usually pretty important in this thing we call music in America. TV on the Radio dont count because one of those guys sings like Peter Gabriel (ha just kidding)

Even if you just want to focus on best honkey toast college rock this year what about animal collective, gang gang dance, dvendra b, black keys, prefuse 73

f*ck interpol - I mean they are a great band but why include the new version of a cover band, you know what I am talking about - bands like the strokes and interpol who recycle older bands with an extreme fashion makeover. and most definitely f*ck the walkmen - wannabe u2 ripoff, Bono is many years older and still wallops the shit out of a bunch of young guys living in New York who own their own studio in Harlem. Bono travels around the world doing humanitarian aid and then is like "oh thats right I am in a band also, check me out on this ipod isht, bam, oh I just crapped another hot single."

Posted by: Robert McGoinigle at November 18, 2004 10:02 AM

I agree, the new u2 single is CRAP.

Posted by: information leafblower at November 18, 2004 10:10 AM

Fascinating list. It really couldn't be more wrong in more ways! But you just asked the question and tallied the votes and I blame no one, the results are what they are, the biases of your pannel are plain and really interesting. This is a really great little exercise, I'd love to see you do this with random people on the street or with some internet poll out in cyber space. Ted Leo's fine, I wish him success, but he'd be lucky to make any list anywhere ever again. Great great stuff.

Posted by: gorilla at November 18, 2004 10:22 AM

Beck? R.E.M? Maybe R.E.M. hasn't come out with anything popular lately, but their early stuff is astounding. Beck should be on the list for "Sea Change" alone. Beastie Boys? They kick Eminem's A$$ any day of the week. Eminem is and always will be a wannabe. My $.02 cents, for what it's worth. Wilco deserves to be where they are. Awesome band. Uncle Tupelo would be there if they were still around. So would Son Volt. Old 97's might make my list. Underrated band of the century (this and last)...The Connells.

Thanks for the brain-fodder!

Posted by: Kehaar at November 18, 2004 10:27 AM

You forgot Dave Matthews Band, Ozomatli, Antibalas, and Black Eyed Peas.

Posted by: Mike Cohen at November 18, 2004 10:33 AM

Connells reset! Hey, wow!

Posted by: mattS at November 18, 2004 10:50 AM

My submitted list is here:

http://www.chromewaves.net/index.php?itemid=1536

Pretty much all white male rock bands. Ohmigawd.

Posted by: frank at November 18, 2004 11:03 AM

let me know if u need a panelist for the top 40 set of american's thighs...

Posted by: Thigh Master at November 18, 2004 11:07 AM

Can someone start another a more global list? That would produce an interesting set of choices and far better for broadening musical knowledge - there's great underground music coming from Africa and Australia for example, and another poll would tease these out. Planethalder.

Posted by: Planethalder at November 18, 2004 11:15 AM

If you click through on the links provided you'll see that this list was started after a bunch of us disagreed with an article in The Guardian on who the best American bands were(i.e. a paper in the UK telling us who was best in the US).
I know nothing about world music. If you feel the world needs a top 40 list for world music, may the bandwidth be with you.

Posted by: information leafblower at November 18, 2004 11:21 AM

Robert McGoinigle, the list specifies "bands", not frontmen with drum machines. But if it makes you feel better, next time we'll make sure rappers and DJs occupy the top five positions on the list just to make it clear how non-racist we are.

Posted by: robhawkeye at November 18, 2004 12:35 PM

a little painful, I tend more to hip hop and music with rhythm. Outkast should be way higher.

Posted by: someone at November 18, 2004 12:40 PM

Springsteen has buzz RIGHT NOW?? How did that guy trick the entire country into thinking he is and always will be the more deserving musician for any list? New Jersey sucks, the state hasn't created anything good except for Redman and Yo La Tengo.

Wilco will keep getting propped up by boring white guys who are dying talk about how it sucks how "stylish everything is nowadays," and how everything is such a "flash in the pan." This band was boring for ten years, then released a halfway interesting album and is on pace to be boring for another eight years.

Also, Metallica? What is it 1992? Have they done ANYTHING good since Enter Sandman? Might as well be blogging about Napster.

I don't have much against the rest of the list except: Killers, meh. Ambulance LTD lost buzz within three months. Scissor Sisters will lose buzz three months from now.

Posted by: adit at November 18, 2004 12:46 PM

your list is lame...how did metallica, jay-z, and eminem make it on there?...the only artist i really agree with is the postal service and maybe modest mouse. other than that...your list SUCKS!

...but seriously, METALLICA????? (not anymore)

Posted by: nate at November 18, 2004 12:55 PM

great diversion from my real work....

i love the totalitarian-indie-hipster-aesthetic of the list. things were better when the cool people were rude boys and girls skankin' and moshin'. seemed more original and fun than recycled 80s new wave downer crap.

come laugh at my picks.

get the new U2 - can't be on the list but THERE's a ROCK BAND.

Posted by: blogglicious at November 18, 2004 1:20 PM

Hmmm... Having Thievery Corp in there is a kind of lame. They do good work, but... I dunno. They've never gotten past, "that's nice" and made it in to "Oh my god, what this hell IS this?" territory for me. Blockhead's Music By Cavelight is a great one, I'd say the best stuff on Ninja Tune in a while, though I guess it's not "dubby."

Where's Madvillain? Even the instrumental versions of Madvillainy kill... I'd rate this as my favorite album of the year.

!!! really should have been in there somewhere as well. Their last tour was excellent and Louden Up Now showed definite progression (and improvement) from their earlier work. In a similar vein, Scissor Sisters are a lot of fun. Junior Boys and Controller.Controller kind of fit in here, too.

Given that their membership lives in NY, I'd argue that Blonde Redhead should be in there as well. Misery is a Butterfly is a nice piece of work.

Posted by: Pete at November 18, 2004 2:18 PM

RobHawkEye, last time i checked, Eminem wasn't a band....neither was Jay-Z. They are, as you put it, "frontmen with drum machines". So why include them? Cause whenever top-heavy indie-rock lists like this are compiled, people feel the need to throw other genres (especially hiphop) a bone. I'm not accusing anyone of racism; people like what they like. All in all, i like the list. It's just telling when you see every critic's top-whatever-of-whatever list "spiced up" with Eminem, Jay-Z and Outkast.
Eminem: Encore. Heard of it? Sucks. Hard.
Jay-Z: Egomanaiacal Douchebag. He's ok though.
OutKast: Sigh. No. Just.....No.
Mf Doom, Kanye West, El-P, Ghostface, Madlib, The Roots......
Come on, guys.....

Posted by: Nuxrs at November 18, 2004 2:35 PM

Hey Kyle, good work man. Twas an honor to contribute. And damn, 80 comments! That's good stuff..a bit of honest discussion is probably all such lists are good for anyway. Rock on!

Posted by: Troy at November 18, 2004 2:40 PM

But nobody's mentioned my hard-livin' boys Suicide Jack.

Posted by: Stomaphagus at November 18, 2004 2:49 PM

Junior Boys and controller.controller are both Canadian, we're having a stellar year up here in the North!

Posted by: David A at November 18, 2004 2:55 PM

Junior Boys and controller.controller

All that AND socialized medicine? Jeez, man, share the joy a little...

Posted by: Pete at November 18, 2004 3:15 PM

MY music is BETTER THAN YOUR MUSIC yesitisyesitisyesitisyesitisyesitisyesitisyesitisyesitis!

Posted by: Joe Murphy at November 18, 2004 3:50 PM

The comments are making for great reading. Good to see some artists mentioned that were in my list of ten (Scott Heron is Prefuse 73, Kyle, I don't know if you counted them separately. Probably didn't make a difference. And I had Madlib on my list as well, I saw somebody mention Madvillain in one comment.)

Anybody else for Matthew Dear?

js has had a difficult time making good arguments, in my opinion, but his mention of Ken Vandermark gets my nod of approval.

Posted by: Coolfer at November 18, 2004 4:23 PM

Good arguments? Nah. Just ranting.
TV on the Radio DOES sound like Peter Gabriel. Tha's a fact. (They're good despite it). Matthew Dear? He's fucking killer live, especially when he's doin' his Prince schtick. Leave Luck To Heaven was pretty solid, but I tend to get bored when he's just doin' the microhouse instrumental filler... Tadd Mullinix, however, is fucking tits. Same label (well, and more), and if you liked Prefuse, you'll like him (he can be a little bit too close to Heron, but that's no big deal).
Madlib and MF Doom both deserve to be on there, as do Xiu Xiu and The Paybacks. Y'know, just to cover all of the bases.
And damn, Vandermark's a genius, McArthur-stizz (to cop slang from Grambo). Seeing him, William Parker and Hamid Drake together was one of the best shows of my life.
And so long as we're exhuming, why not Tortoise or any of the other Chicago bands?
I guess the only real thing to do is to use this as an excuse to make my own damn list, then get mocked roundly by other hipsters. But I'm putting Metallica at #1!!!!11!!oneone!

Posted by: js at November 18, 2004 4:41 PM

I just seached for "Devendra" on this page. Nothing. Then "Banhart." Again, nothing. I couldn't believe it. I must have spelled it wrong. I went and checked. Nope.

I'm going to go shoot myself in the head.

Posted by: Grandiork at November 18, 2004 4:48 PM

I just seached for "Devendra" on this page. Nothing. Then "Banhart." Again, nothing. I couldn't believe it. I must have spelled it wrong. I went and checked. Nope.

I'm going to go shoot myself in the head.

Posted by: Grandiork at November 18, 2004 4:55 PM

There's a reason bands like Need New Body, Deerhoof, Animal Collective, El-P, and Sunburned Hand of the Man don't appear on lists like these: the only people who listen to them are the most pretensious, snobbish indier-then-thou knobheads around. "Oh this guy used to be in Godspeed You Black Emperor! and he played a broken '85 Casio keyboard for the whole record, which he recorded on a Fisher Price tape recorder in his bathtub! It's soooo good!" Fuck that. Give me some catchiness laced with at least a touch of sincerity, not ur-hipster posers. Oh and speaking of which, Joanna Newsom's music is total crap. But she can still call me sometime.

Posted by: Barlights at November 18, 2004 6:33 PM

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND - freaking SO good www.yondermountain.com

The Black Keys

Modest Mouse has been the best for awhile not just in 2004 when they finally got a well deserved big hit

Posted by: Penny at November 18, 2004 6:58 PM

Bullshit, Barlights. Now, repeat after me: "Just because I have no fucking clue about a musician does not mean that they suck."
See, someone like Need New Body gets 40 times more hooks into a song than most bands put on an album. And El-P is one of the catchiest producers around, hands down. Deerhoof? Milkman is the poppiest and most accessible album they've put out yet, and it's also their best by far.
I'll give you Sunburned Hand of the Man as generally uncatchy, but I like 'em anyway.
So maybe the problem isn't that they're not catchy, but rather that dickfors like yerself are too afraid of the indie fag at the record store to take a chance, and therefore buy the latest Strokes shitfarm. Or maybe you're a Maroon 5 guy. They're plenty catchy. The only thing you were right about is Newsom, who does suck in a most twee manner. But hey, don't let me keep you from your Metallica.

Posted by: js at November 18, 2004 7:03 PM

Rilo Kiley and Brian Wilson. I'm so happy to see them on that list together.

Posted by: jennifer at November 18, 2004 10:50 PM

Top bands in America today should include White Stripes,
Ozomatli, Outkast, The Corduroys, Hall 13, Beck, Pinga,
Modest Mouse, Radio 4, The Format. Best Soundtrack in America is the Cabras Soundtrack at www.cabrasmovie.com

#1 non-US band is U2 followed by Coldplay.

Later nimrods.

Posted by: CHUPACABRAS at November 18, 2004 11:58 PM

metallica?
MEtallica?
meTALLica?
metallICA?
METALLICA?
you've wounded my soul.
yo la tengo. death cab. built to spill. the stills, even, rather than the walkmen.
METALLICA?
ouch.

www.audioscrobbler.com/user/lylainpurple

Posted by: Lyla at November 19, 2004 1:22 AM

The Stills. They are from Canada. HAhahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahah

Posted by: Chris at November 19, 2004 2:29 AM

I'd have to disagree with Cabras OST being the best out there... Have you heard the Garden State OST? Absolutely incredible. Put it on. Hit repeat. Enjoy.

Posted by: nabeshin at November 19, 2004 4:57 AM

No Velvet Revolver?

Posted by: tj at November 19, 2004 10:37 AM

Oh boy, js: lashing out at the mainstream is just so provocative and avant-garde! Wow, I mean I bet you're quite the trailblazer with your Can records and disdain for anything remotely popular. Cats like you are a dime a dozen, labeling unlistenable crap like Anal Collective as "challenging" and looking down your noses at the philistines who don't get it. Like the cacophonous crap you listen to, though, there's a very good reason underappreciated geniuses you're toiling in obscurity at Ye Olde Indie Shoppe: the onlyu people you appeal to are like minded idiots.

Posted by: Barlights at November 19, 2004 10:53 AM

Easy fellas.... it's all the same oat bag.

Posted by: Dashiell at November 19, 2004 11:48 AM

First - respect to leaf blower for putting this together so we can all toss around hand grenades at each other for saying that you love something. This is awesome. Spew the hate. Spew the hate. Robhawkeye - "Front machine with drum machines" - WTF? how is the this different from bands that take 100 takes/Protools/Antares autontune/and an engineer to produce their records in the studio? Oh Brian Wilson (Pet Sounds awesome, but his old band had John Stamos join their live lineup - hand grenade deserving by association)is a "band" because he stands onstage and plays with 50 hired sidemen. Shouldnt we disqualify Sonic Youth then because they use new fangled effects pedal type machines and tune their guitars differently then they were intended to be used?

Green Day - how can they be one of the best bands right now, this is unbelievable. Is this because Billy Joe lost the extra 15 pounds and started wearing eye liner again? Why not include Good Charlotte then? This just smells like best bands are bands that were relevant when I was an adolescent list. There are some seriously cryogenically frozen record collections around this list.

Why not have a top sodas of the year 2004 list: 1.Coke 2. Pepsi 3.Dr Pepper 4. Jamaican Ginger Beer 5.Orangina 6. Soy Milk

F*ck coke that is some IMF capitalist trade doctrine hiding as a can of soda. Oh yeah well they helped bring down Apartheid by participating in trade embargos against South Africa.
What the F*k is Orangina - thats not a soda that is juice with carbonation, that is just part of your indie soda snobbery, oh yeah well I will take something made with corn syrup by a conglomerate any day if that is what tastes good. I am not going to buy some crappy organic beet juice soda at a health food store from some hipster hippy because people with tattoos think it is cool
Soy Milk - this is sh*tty, this is not soda either, next time we will make a list of healthfood store drinks so we can show how we are not corn syrup addicts.

Posted by: McGonigle Rock at November 19, 2004 12:44 PM

Wow. Great to see Sea Ray on this list.

js, I've read your writing in Current magazine, and as a fellow critic, I don't believe you have the clout nor the willingness to understand the essence of criticism to make an informed, unbiased statements in the public arena. You have become the person you despise and it is obvious in your writing. It’s obvious on this page too. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Posted by: the owl at November 19, 2004 1:54 PM

i read the list first, then all the handy literature, and though i will not make a comment on the "specific" music being banged around, i will tell you something you probably already know...that music in "america" is in a hell of a lot of trouble. ask any a&r executive from ANY
record company and they will confirm this. i also
personally see this 'musical-hate-mongering community' expanding literally everywhere online
in the country and i can tell you...it helps and improves nothing. music is an expression of the deepest parts of a persons soul, either creating it or listening to it. go and hook-up with the crew of a group or band on the road for a couple
months and i guarantee you will quit bashing! it is absolutely essential to us out here to remember our roots. please...remember yours too!

Posted by: robert malin at November 19, 2004 3:29 PM

Has anybody pointed out yet that a dead guy got votes?

Elliot Smith at #22?!

Kyle, I'd like to revise my submissions. My new #1 is Tupac. His estate still releases a lot of his music, so he deserves to be on my list.

The rest of the list will contain Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, Hank Williams, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Patsy Cline and Jeff Buckley.

Posted by: Coolfer at November 19, 2004 3:52 PM

Dead people release records. He's totally eligible. People are talking about him.

Posted by: information leafblower at November 19, 2004 3:55 PM

Elliot Smith is eligible because people are talking about him? Worst rationale ever.

Dead people do release records, but they're still dead. If this was "Best Albums of 2004" you'd make sense. If Elliot Smith actually lived to see January 1st, 2004 I'd almost go along with you.

Posted by: Coolfer at November 19, 2004 5:00 PM

So the mountain of press he has received for this record should be overlooked? You talk about him on your site. Much more so than Mattew Dear in fact. I'd say he has a decent amount of buzz right now, which is the criteria for the list.
How many records did Tupac and Patsy Cline release this year?

Posted by: information leafblower at November 19, 2004 5:07 PM

1. Twilight Singers.

End of discussion.

Posted by: ckelly at November 19, 2004 10:54 PM

Dear Glenn

I just lost a shit load of respect for you due to the last comment you have made.

Posted by: Chris at November 19, 2004 11:34 PM

Dude, all I got to say is: thank god Franz Ferdinand aren't on the list.

An inclusion of their name on the list would automatically invalidate the whole thing.

Peace be with ya.

Posted by: Bobby at November 20, 2004 5:53 AM

And if you actually had one ounce of reading comprehension you would realize that they weren't eligible because they are not American.

Posted by: information leafblower at November 20, 2004 8:24 AM

I, for one, intend to embrace the politics of hate:

Fuck all of you. My taste is superior to everyone elses. Even if we happen to like the same bands, my love is still purer than yours, and hence, more worthy.

There is no common ground - I have surrounded my music collection with the scorched earth of my disdain for every living thing with ears.

You will never equal my ability to intuitively recognize and appreciate what is truly good and beautiful in this world. I am like unto a God.

You may approach and kiss the glove.

Whew. But seriously, it's just music, right? No need to get so uptight.

Posted by: Matt at November 21, 2004 10:13 PM

everybody needs to be afraid of this guy. He means business

Posted by: Chris at November 22, 2004 2:19 AM