April 1, 2013 by zdueck
While I am not yet a parent, I would like to someday have children and one thing that I’m always curious about as I thumb through all the records I stole from my parents years ago is ‘What kind of music will my children discover when they finally come to realize how awesome our generation was and steal everything cool about it just like we did with our parents culture’ (hipsters, I’m talking to you).
So I figured I’d make a list of artists I would hope the next generation of music listeners might discover as they raid my music library in the future (Which is one of many reasons why I still buy hard copies of music). Now I’m not going to get into everyone on the list, but here’s just a few highlights (any of you out there feel like making a similar list I’d love to read it, just let me know in the comments where I can find it).
Joel Plaskett – Ashtray Rock/Three
Ashtray Rock, while perhaps not the best Joel Plaskett has to offer (Scrappy Happiness is slowly becoming one of my favourite records of his) is definitely one of his most coherent albums… by which I mean there may not be a lot of high quality hits on the album, but the album itself is exceptional when listened to as a complete unit and I would hope the next generation of listeners would have grown to a point where they would realize that having an album that is greatly improved by a full listen front to back is an important quality for albums to have.
Three is similar in that it is thematic but instead of having a graspable theme like being caught up in a cabin during a snow storm this album is almost entirely focused upon the number three. From the writing of the lyrics to the assembly of the songs, three becomes a recurring theme that I would also hope the next gen could appreciate. I mean just listen to that song, everything from the track title to the lyrics to the song arrangement to the amounts of audible breaths taken at the end of each chorus (and the amount of times audible breaths are used in the song) echo the theme of Three over and over again (and does not stop as the album gets more and more obscure in how it utilizes the number three… From chord structures and progressions to time signatures the theme can occasionally get hidden beneath Plasketts haunting voice, like in ‘Rewind Rewind Rewind’ where he uses a 3/4 time signature but every 4th bar switches to a 4/4 signature for that one bar making for three bars of 3/4 separated by a single bar of 4/4 (I’m sure there’s an easier way to write/explain that, but theory has never been my cup of tea)).
Rock Plaza Central – I Am and Excellent Steel Horse
So to continue with this theme or thematicism, let’s bring a concept album about mechanical horses into the mix. Beautiful for so many reason, not the least of which being the concept itself. But the weird journey of these horses as they begin to realize what they are and accepting that realization all while witnessing the apocalypse unfold in front of them is one that I am always delighted to travel down. And I would hope that the mindless pop music that is sure to still be dominating the charts wouldn’t have destroyed that desire to embark on these kind of musical journeys.
Born Ruffians – Red, Yellow and Blue
Shouting can be fun, plain and simple, but sometimes you need a little something more. Luckily, Born Ruffians deliver something that you can not only shout along with but that you can enjoy on both lyrical and musical levels. Since shouting is going to always be a blast and will hopefully never go out of style, I would also hope that the next generation would also need something more than shouting without content (and I would seriously hope this album would deliver on that)
Ben Folds – Whatever and Ever Amen/Lonely Avenue
Story telling, as I’ve already alluded to here, is something I really hope the next generation can get behind… But I understand, not everyone can handle a novel, sometimes a short story is all you have attention for. Ben Folds more or less has that market covered as well over 80% of his songs play like a short story. (though admittedly, Lonely Avenue’s lyrics are written by Nick Hornby, but it still has just as much of a short story feel as the rest of his albums).
I suppose this is a weird addition here as I would really be happy with the next generation being drawn to any Ben Folds album to ate off of my shelf.
Weakerthans/John K. Samson – Reconstruction Site/Provincial
Reconstruction Site is a beautiful collection of poetry set to music. These are more than songs, they are literary works of art. It’s really hard to explain precisely what I mean until you sit down and listen to an album or read a booklet of his lyrics, but they are always layered so perfectly with such depth that I cannot even hope to fully appreciate any one song on the first second or even third listening of it. Lyricism is not dead, but if it does die, hopefully it will be rediscovered when these albums get harvested from my vinyl shelf however many years down the road.
Provincial – I’ve already addressed how incredibly poetic John K Samson’s songs can be, but along with being very poetic they can also be incredibly descriptive to the point of painting verbal masterpieces in your mind if listened to in the right environment. I will frequently close my eyes and listen to this album and just watch the scene being created in front of me and it is never anything short of spectacular. Hopefully the next generation would also have a vibrant enough of a musical imagination to enjoy these works or art on a similar level.
Mother Mother – Eureka/The Sticks
Mother Mother is just a good time to be had by all. Their music is fun and enjoyable and lyrically sound and musically deep… It basically hits on every note I have addressed up till now without sacrificing any one element for another with the added bonus of just being fun. There are bands on here that can be fun in the right situation, but Mother Mother just makes you want to sing along while dancing poorly and doing call and responses too everyone else in the room (or car if you’re trying to entertain yourself on a long road trip). This comes at the end because if the future generation cannot enjoy this then we have either failed musically or I will have failed as a parent (not really, but if these records remain on my shelf until the day I die, I will have failed my children on a musical level).