With apologies to Run DMC, Dave Grohl is the king of rock. And while that’s great, fine, and cool, it’d be nice if real rock music beyond a Foo (or Muse) got into the mainstream and, more importantly, the respect it deserves. I’m not going to pull an Alice Cooper and dismiss Mumford & Sons as a rock band, but rock and roll in its purest form needs to return and kick our ass once again. In my alt-rock universe, there’s tons of artists who inspire me with their style and songwriting from Thom Yorke to Justin Vernon and it needs to expand to the masses a bit. I’m not saying I expect your mother or your aunt to listen to Arcade Fire or Arctic Monkeys, but too often people ask me who the f@$k! I’m listening to and I’ve had it.
Every station plays the same songs. It’s Rihanna. It’s Ke$ha. It’s Avril Lavigne, who I seriously doubt ever sang Radiohead at the “top of her lungs.” It’s shameful that pop hasn’t embraced more artists from the alt-rock and rock worlds. Rather than waiting for another Cobain or Lennon to come around or an artist who can do for rock what Kanye’s done for hip hop – here are 21 random ways in which rock can gain some attention and momentum in this duck-fart Bieber age – or at the very least here are 21 things I’d like to see happen. This list is in no particular order. Feel free to add your own.
1. MTV starts playing music videos again and brings Kurt Loder back.
2. Coldplay makes its own “Achtung Baby”
3. U2 makes a record that evokes its “Achtung Baby”
4. Rage Against the Machine comes back. For good.
5. Pearl Jam records an album with Neil Young.
6. Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic make a full-length album together.
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers beg and succeed in getting John Frusciante back.
8. Joan Jett and Courtney Love join forces on a kick-ass super group.
9. Pink cuts an authentic hard-rock album.
10. Nickelback go on hiatus for the next six years.
11. Stone Temple Pilots rehire Scott Weiland as frontman.
12. Trent Reznor produces a Bon Iver album.
13. Kanye West collaborates with Thom Yorke.
14. TV on the Radio release a new album, and get the respect they deserve.
15. Spinnerette releases a sophomore album.
16. David Bowie and Lady Gaga should join forces on something.
17. Queen makes a comeback with a Freddie Mercury hologram. Why mess with the best?
18. Arcade Fire agrees to release a record a year.
19. The White Stripes unbreak my heart.
20. Weezer return to its “blue” and Pinkerton roots.
21.Gnarls Barkley and Broken Bells get together.
A-Sides “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve”based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and listened to and liked (phew), posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls, and – most importantly – the songs 1 1/2 year-old son gravitates toward. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week’s rank):
12.”Alive” (LW-12) – Krewella
11. “I Could Be The One” (LW-10) – Avicii/Nicky Romero
10. “C’mon Talk” – Bernhoft (Watch him perform the song live on A-Sides here.)
9. “Came Back Haunted”(LW-6) – Nine Inch Nails
8. “Mind Your Manners” – Pearl Jam
7.” Recover” (LW-7) – CHVRCHES
6. “If I Loved You” (LW-4) – Delta Rae
5. “Don’t Swallow the Cap” (LW-5) – The National
4. “Do I Wanna Know” (LW-8) – Arctic Monkeys
3. “Doin’ It Right” (LW-2) – Daft Punk/Panda Bear
2. “Holy Grail” (LW-3) – Jay-Z/Justin Timberlake
1. “You & I” (LW-1) – Crystal Fighters (Watch them perform the song live on A-Sides here)
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman’s “A-Sides Music” series usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing. A-Sides celebrates its two-year anniversary with a concert in White Plains, NY on Saturday, July 27 featuring Kopecky Family Band. Get your tickets here.