Friday, October 16, 2009

Jeff's Top Twenty Bands/Artists List

 I'm bored.  So I'm back.  I decided to post a list that comes from a mix I made yesterday.
  1. U2.  I always think that they'll fall from the number one spot, but no band can ever really top them.  This despite the fact that I don't even like U2's newest album at all.  I saw them twice when they toured after the release of "All That You Can't Leave Behind."  They're an incredible band.  Bono's cool. 
  2. Guster.  I really quite love this band.  Many of their songs fit right into my life.  They really aren't incredible musicians or anything, but they're just right for me.  C'mon, you know a band that has a "conguero" (who even plays regular drum sets with his hands) has got to be good!  I saw them over two years ago and really enjoyed the show they put on.
  3. Travis.  Even Travis is guilty of a most recent album that I find to be a flop ("Ode to J. Smith" -- it does have one good song, but that's it).  Although that wasn't enough to deter them from becoming my new number 3.  (A spot formerly held by Dave Matthews Band.)  "The Boy With No Name" album is really an amazing one.  Provided this band actually takes their time on an album ("Ode" was produced very quickly after the previous album), they'll continue to be in my top 3 for a long time.
  4. Coldplay.  Yup.  You know these guys.  It seems to me that everyone knows Coldplay and either loves them or hates them.  Consider me among the former.
  5. Ben Kweller.  Ben is chill.  I find among his music so much to love.  Although he ALSO made a recent album that I'm not a huge fan of (He made a random country album?), I can certainly forgive him.  It's rare that I go too long without listening to some BK.
  6.  Death Cab For Cutie.  I think this band, like Coldplay, is really incredible at making songs that just sink in immediately.  This band did make a couple sub-par albums way back when they started, but they are absolutely on a roll since then.  "Transatlanticism" is a classic.  "Plans" is also incredible, but that goes without saying when you consider how popular it made them.
  7. The Weakerthans.  Like Travis, I wish these guys could really catch on here in the U.S.  (Travis is made up of Brits.)  This Canadian band has really impressed me.  I love when music is about the lyrics.  These guys have a fairly simple rock approach to the music, but the lyrics are what really drew me to them.  Their last two albums have each featured a song that is from the point of view of a pet cat, but they don't sound weird.  I love the stories.  Good stuff.
  8. Sea Wolf.  This band would not have made the top ten if I hadn't bought their second album just a couple days ago.  They just released that album, and it cemented the fact that I love this band.  Their first album and EP even before that were FULL of songs that I loved.  It's rare that I can like every song on an album, but this band has done that TWICE!  Matt Pond PA does that to a degree, too, but these albums have songs that I REALLY like and play frequently.  They're very much about the lyrics and somewhat remind me of The Decemberists.
  9. Nada Surf.  Although I didn't love this band from the get-go, they really grew on me.  "The Weight Is A Gift" is one amazing album that really caused me to like them so much.  I wish people knew Nada Surf for more than just their first hit, "Popular."  I think this band could continue to rise on my list if they keep it up.
  10. The Decemberists.  This band is really unique.  They have a theatric flair that is so well executed and that I can't find anywhere else.  Their most recent album, "The Hazards of Love," plays like a dramatic play.  This band is all about story-telling, and doing it eloquently.  I feel like I'm listening to music a century-old, but it's actually very much modern alternative rock.  I don't know if The Decemberists will move any higher into my top ten, but they're a great band nonetheless.
  11. Dave Matthews Band.  DMB used to be my #2 band.  They stayed as my third favorite since I discoverd Guster and have always been there since.  But then... I just kinda quit listening.  I don't have any desire to buy their newest album.  They are still a great band, and I'll always enjoy the album "Everyday," but I just quit being really in love with their stuff.  I don't really know what happened.  They still have some great music though.
  12. Pete Yorn.  A former top fiver.  Pete is really a great artist.  His music has just gotten progressively slower and slower with each new album.  (He only has 4.)  My appreciation of him dropped after the first 2.  Don't get me wrong, I still really like Pete.  I saw him open for The Foo Fighters a long time ago, and his portion of that concert remains among my top five live performances that I've seen.
  13. Matt Pond PA.  Matt Pond PA is unique among the artists on this list because they don't really make individual songs that I REALLY like and listen to all the time like other bands do, but I like almost ALL of the songs they produce.  I can't really explain why it is like that, but that's how it is.  I'm excited for the direction they're going though.  I really like all of the albums they've made.  They've shot up to this spot from not being in the top twenty, and they could certainly move higher.  I love their implementation of strings in their rock music.  Their stuff is often very smooth and relaxing, but not too boring.  It's good music.
  14. Grandaddy.  Grandaddy used to be top ten, but they've just been passed up by newer discoveries that I like better.  I still really liked their quirky and VERY unique sound.  I also like music that can make me laugh without being only made for that purpose.  They sadly made one last crappy album and broke up, but their album "Sumday" will always be in my favorites.
  15. Carbon Leaf.  Carbon Leaf is an all-around good rock band.  They have their own style.  I don't love all of their music, but they've certainly made enough songs that I really enjoy to earn a top twenty spot.  They're a talented group that is only getting better.  I can't wait to get their newest album.
  16. Collective Soul.  This band and Counting Crows are two that used to be top ten bands in my opinion.  However, they've both been so long out of my realm of stuff I listen to that they don't really impress me as much anymore.  I rarely listen to Counting Crows anymore, but Collective Soul still has many classics that I can't resist listening to every so often.  I think they've just been passed by music that better fits my preferences.  Still... they're a great band.
  17. Muse.  I quite like Muse.  It's fun to listen to.  I really don't love their lyrics all the time, but I do especially love running or working out to their stuff.  When I get their newest album, we'll see if they'll impress me enough to stay in the top twenty, or if they'll drop out.  They have two albums that I'll always listen to and love though.  ("Absolution" and "Black Holes and Revelations")
  18. Badly Drawn Boy.  He's a great British singer-songwriter.  Very unique, but fun music.  Hasn't been writing stuff I love recently, but has a lot of great stuff already under his belt.  His best stuff to date was the music he wrote for the movie "About A Boy." 
  19. Cake.  Nerd rock at its absolute best.  I always enjoy a good Cake song now and then.  I wish they'd release a new album sometime soon, but I really like a lot of their older stuff.  Really fun stuff.  "The Distance" is a hilarious and awesome song.
  20.  Phoenix / Ambulance LTD.  I couldn't choose between these two bands to finish off my list.  They each only have one album that I know and love, but they each very much impressed me with that one album.  While I may still look into their older albums, I only own Phoenix's most recent album, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix."  I really like it a lot.  They're a French band that really seems to be growing in popularity with this most recent album here in the States.  Ambulance LTD, on the other hand, only came out with one album and then broke up.  It's a BIG shame.  They could have been a really amazing band, not to say that their beginning wasn't amazing.  Their only major album "Ambulance LP," is great rock music.  I wish they were still around.  I watched their website for months in anticipation of a new album, but it never came.  And then I heard they broke up.  Sad day. 
So that's the list.  I recommend all of these bands or artists.  I love music... as you can tell I'm sure.  I have a bunch of albums that I currently want to buy (see my wishlist) that could change up this list though.  We'll see.  CHECK OUT MY OTHER MUSIC LISTS:  Top 40 Funny Songs, Top 100 Favorite Songs

It's currently my "fall break," but I don't have any plans.  I went and saw "Up" again tonight with some neighbors.  I really like that movie.  I think I might fish tomorrow if it's at all warm enough.  K... cool.... see ya! 

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