16 November 2005

The Top 40 Bands in America Today - 2005 Edition

Information Leafblower has compiled an interesting list/read:


"I emailed over 40 "music/MP3 bloggers" (since we are our own genre now) and asked them to send me a list, ranked 1-10, of the 10 best American bands that they've seen or heard in the last year. The purpose of this list is to reward bands for generating buzz in the year 2005. This isn't a ranking of career longevity. I wanted to know who people are using their bandwidth to talk about. Once I got the lists, I gave each slot a corresponding numerical number (similar to the way MLB tallies their MVP voting), and the list was born. 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 panel included all of the popular kids (go to their sites, I'll bet they're talking about this list event) :
Gorilla Vs. Bear, Largehearted Boy, Music for Robots, My Old Kentucky Blog, Central Village, Bradley's Almanac, Dceiver, One Louder, Brooklyn Vegan, Melody Nelson, Coolfer, and many more...

They came up with this as their Top 10:
1) Sufjan Stevens
2) The National
3) Kanye West
4) LCD Soundsystem
5) Sleater-Kinney
6) The Hold Steady
7) Green Day
8) The Fiery Furnaces
9) The Decemberists
10) Spoon

Notice anything peculiar? Okay, true...EAR FARM was not invited to participate but wait - does that list suck? I think it's utterly uninteresting (so much so that I'm thinking and writing about it!) to compile a list with a stated goal meant to "reward bands for generating buzz in the year 2005".

Besides, if that were REALLY the intent wouldn't the list look something like this?
1) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
2) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3) Antony & the Johnsons
4) Sufjan Stevens
5) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
6) Fiona Apple
7) Death Cab for Cutie
8) We Are Scientists
9) Devendra Banhart
10) The White Stripes

I mean, that's the impression I get in terms of artists who "generated lots of buzz in 2005". Gotta love a list as a cheap means to spark discussion!
Well if ever there were a time for comments from you, the good readers, now would be the time. What's your own list of top bands in America today? Go ahead and preach away, for now - here's my very own Top 10:

(perhaps this is me being too literal but I'm taking the nature of this to be the TOP bands/artists in America today, anyway)

1) My Morning Jacket - their album and then their show both blew me away
2) Wilco - a slower year by America's best band shouldn't mean they're forgotten about
3) The Flaming Lips - see above - and lets see where they are on Info Leaf's 2006 list
4) Bright Eyes - released two very good studio albums, a live album, and still had time to take on big corporations, well done.
5) Sleater-Kinney - The Woods is awesome, so are they. Rock.
6) Animal Collective - Feels is amazing.
7) The Decemberists - is there such a thing as a band being TOO productive/touring TOO much??
8) Fiona Apple - finally released THE album but I liked the leaked one better; whatever, those songs are good anywhichway.
9) Sufjan Stevens - gots everybodys talking about Illinoise, and for good reason.
10) The Light Footwork - something tells me 2006 will be their year but it started in '05 and I do love their album.

Okay, again, now tell me your TOPs in the comments. Top 3, 5, 10 - whatever you can muster - bands in America today in YOUR opinion...or do the bit about which bands "generated lots of buzz in 2005", SPEAK!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

ha ha.
no, i think this nailed it.

1) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
2) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3) Antony & the Johnsons
4) Sufjan Stevens
5) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
6) Fiona Apple
7) Death Cab for Cutie
8) We Are Scientists
9) Devendra Banhart
10) The White Stripes

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. Agreed.

This list is a whole lot more interesting.
Hey I like spoon, but honestly, the only reason Spoon was on the list was because Melody Nelson was on the 7". Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the bigger the blog gets, the more it has to answer to the labels, which in turn means that the blogs work against their intended purpose. If you look at melodynelson or bklynvegan, they seem to ony plug bands that already have buzz, and big marketing campaigns...I still love them all though. And this blog is pretty kick ass too.

slacelady said...

Couldn't agree more with the Sufjan album...many moments of chill factor on there. Fiona, while a haunting and beautiful album, only seems important because of her crazylotsaproduckteringantics. Meh.
Number 1? MMJ. Great call. One of the best shows of the year. Until I see AC on Sunday. I feel they will WIN.

HATERADE said...

lists are stupid.

Anonymous said...

i want a list of 10 reasons why lists are stupid. Go.

Dodge said...

Lists are stupid, but they generate discussion and exploration which is the true purpose of blogs. you're right that the bigger a blog gets the more it gets contacted by labels and promo houses, but you also have to know that YOU are not the only person that comes to said blog. Lots of people do and all those people like different bands. Alot like the same bands, but really i think the best blogs provide variety between what's "hot" and what's new.

anyway, this was ultimately ILB's list...he used our input, but he still decided the order ultimately.

CYHSY did generate awesome buzz and is an awesome band, but i didn't get to see them (the closest they came to Indy was Cincinnati and I was out of town). I love the album and listen to it often, but I based my list on who I saw and their albums. I left off Brendan Benson and the Wrens on accident...had i taken more time, Benson would have made my top 5. If I had seen Clap live, I'm sure they would been in my top 10.

anyway, I'm sure you'll see them on many many bloggers top 10 albums of 2005 shortly, mine included.

mike said...

i dont necessarily think that the big bloggers are beholden to labels, I dont see what they have to gain from it except some free schwag perhaps.
in any case HERE'S MY LIST! trying to stay close to the original criteria of bands i've seen or heard (and thus have done something) within the past year:

1. wilco - saw them new year's eve so technically its both 04 and 05. loophole.
2. stephen malkmus - went to irving show in june
3. my morning jacket - webster hall show
4. spoon - siren festival and webster hall show
5. pinback - irving show
6. of montreal - northsix
7. animal collective - haven't seen them yet. sunday?
8. sonic youth - northsix show
9. fiona - both leaked and real versions of EM are realll nice
10. clap your hands - gotta admit they made an amazingly fun album and put on a great show at south street seaport in august

Matt said...

thinking about it and all...what would be MORE fun for ME is just to list my 10 FAVORITE American (meaning US) bands that are around right now. ready?

1) My Morning Jacket
2) Pretty Girls Make Graves
3) Low
4) The Flaming Lips
5) The Decemberists
6) Mancino
7) Other Passengers
8) The Light Footwork
9) Nine Inch Nails
10) now accepting applications for slot #10

it should be noted that my favorite music has always come from the UK and lately lots is also coming from Canada

Anonymous said...

ha...you never even go SEE decembers. LIAR.

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