Around this time of year, it is inevitable that hack writers, pseudo journalists, rock snobs, and music industry idiots gather their thoughts on the year left behind. (As an unfortunate bonus, the decade of the 00s have also come to a close and these same buffoons have the pleasure of sharing with everyone some of the “best of” from this period.)
They love their Animal Collective, fawn over the possibilities of The xx, and can’t wait to get their rocks off to Grizzly Bear. And that’s just the “good” part of the music industry. The other 67% of it spend their waking hours doing drugs, dancing to ridiculously awful music by people called The Bloody Beetroots, and get all in a tizzy when Lady Gaga releases another fellatio-ridden remix. Yes, in the year and a half I have worked in the music industry, I have learned a great deal of things- and one of the lasting truths I have discovered is that 98% of music industry people have truly awful taste in music.
But hey, what do I know right? My formative years were spent passionately following the underground, reading Maximum Rock N’ Roll and Flipside Magazine. I was seriously moved by records written by Operation Ivy, Bad Religion, Descendents, Screeching Weasel, and Face to Face. I discovered Lifetime, Mineral, the Bouncing Souls, Jawbreaker and their kind through stapled photocopy zines, from friends’ mixtapes and random house shows, and no matter how old I get or what genres I’ve expanded my ears to over the last decade- these are the bands, the songs, and the records I go back to when I am endlessly disappointed by the retards and charlatans that ultimately control, decide, and push forward the global business of selling and selling commercially viable music.
I am not averse to more accepted music. Popular music that speaks to one’s soul is something I enjoy. Underground music that does not, does not.
Will my continued presence in this industry- almost everything I grew up hating- drive me further back into the underground? I am not sure. But I do know that if I do, then my company is well kept with the bands that have always spoken to me.
Here are the records of 2009 that still have something to say. My sincere gratitude to these bands for giving people like me a reason to believe.
…last one out of the music industry, burn it to the ground.
(in no particular order)
Transit – Stay Home EP
Defeater – Lost Ground EP
Frank Turner – Poetry of the Deed
Propagandhi– Supporting Caste
Strung Out – Agents of the Underground
American Steel – Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts
Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything to Nothing
The Swellers – Ups & Downsizing
Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage
Polar Bear Club – Chasing Hamburg
Thrice – Beggars
Owen – New Leaves
The Mountain Goats – The Life Of the World to Come
Accompanying picture courtesy of Bomb The Music Industry!