Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Who?

I know I've written (groaned) about this before, but it's becoming increasingly apparent to me that I'm falling further and further out of touch with music.
Today I was filling out a survey for NME, and one of the questions was "What is your favourite band in the world today?".
I assumed that the question meant a band still plying their trade, still recording albums, still touring.
Which immediately ruled out my three favourite bands - The Beatles, The Stone Roses and Oasis.
I could have said The Rolling Stones, but they haven't exactly been prolific in releasing classic albums during my lifetime.
AC/DC might actually count, but they slipped my mind at the time.
In the end I opted for Super Furry Animals. Whose debut album was released in the mid-1990s and whose best album, Radiator, came out in 1997.
I could easily have gone for Doves or Elbow, if I'd remembered them before the Super Furries (the fact that I was listening to a SFA bootleg at the time may have had an impact on my decision.
But for a few minutes I couldn't even think of ONE band I'd regard as my current favourite.
Radiohead? Meh, patchy and a little bit too wanky to be a proper favourite.
The White Stripes? Great singles but average albums.
The Libertines? Are they properly back together again or was Reading/Leeds just a one-off?
And so many of my other favourites have gone - The Cooper Temple Clause, Supergrass, The Doors, The Smiths, The Jam, Black Sabbath.
How many acts in the average issue of NME have I even heard of, let alone do I like? A tiny portion.
Which comes as a great disappointment. I always thought that by now I'd be in a fairly high up position at NME, having made my name as one of the best music writers of my generation. I know there are hundreds or thousands of journalists who can say the same, but I genuinely thought I had a chance. My music reviews while I was at university were good enough to get me onto the shortlist for the 2001 Guardian Student Critic of the Year award.
I assumed that bigger and better things were just around the corner, and that by the time I turned 30 I'd have interviewed Oasis, spent time hanging out with The Cooper Temple Clause and would have written the definitive review of Elbow's mid-career masterpiece.
But now I have an attic full of CDs that never get played because they're on my iPod and I write about boats for a living.
Which is a slightly different path to the one I imagined I'd walk when I was 21.


brandon smith said...

it is impossible to keep up with all the new acts. i love most all of your old favorites.

this is brandonbrandt from twitter, by the way. nice blog!

Groanin' Jock said...

Thanks for visiting Brandon - call again!