Tom the Dog, I share your unease.
Like him, I like to think I know a bit about music- but every time I look at lists like these from the Onion's AV club, I am confronted with hundreds of indie-and-below level bands with odd-for-odd's sake names, and three quarters of the time when I do hear these acts, they always sound either unremarkably samey or remind me of other groups from years, sometimes even decades gone by. Kinda depressing, because I still like to think I'm a hip, with-it kinda guy...but instead I just feel like an out-of-touch old man who still buys Kate Bush, McCartney, Neil Young, and Hall & Oates albums. When they come out.
Anyways, Tom collated all the diverse acts cited on these lists, to illustrate how many he'd heard or even heard of. Since he already did all the work, I thought I'd follow suit and post a list of the ones that I had heard and heard of and so on. And it goes like this.
No fucking clue.
Animal Collective, Feels
Antony And The Johnsons, I Am A Bird Now
Atmosphere, You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having
Big Pooh, Sleepers
Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
Boom Bap Project, Reprogram
Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene
Chad VanGaalen, Infiniheart
Clem Snide, End Of Love
Constantines, Tournament Of Hearts
Criteria, When We Break
Crooked Fingers, Dignity And Shame
Danger Doom, The Mouse And The Mask
The Deadly Snakes, Porcella
Dominik Eulberg, Kreucht & Fleucht
Edan, Beauty And The Beat
Four Tet, Everything Ecstatic
The Go! Team, Thunder, Lightning, Strike
The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
Jamie Lidell, Multiply
Konono No. 1, Congotronics
Latterman, No Matter Where We Go...!
LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem
Little Brother, The Minstrel Show
Maria Taylor, 11:11
Matias Aguayo, Are You Really Lost
Maxamo Park, A Certain Trigger
The National, Alligator
Out Hud, Let Us Never Speak Of It Again
The Perceptionists, The Perceptionists
Quasimoto, The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas
Rogue Wave, Descended Like Vultures
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Exploration
Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities
Supersystem, Always Never Again
Troubled Hubble, Making Beds In A Burning House
Zion I, True & Livin'
Low, The Great Destroyer
Heard of, but haven't heard this particular effort.
Andrew Bird, The Mysterious Production Of Eggs. This guy used to play various instruments, most notably violin, for the Squirrel Nut Zippers. I even own one of his albums, a band effort with Bowl of Fire called Thrills. I found it less than thrilling, hence my utter lack of interest in his subsequent work.
Iron & Wine and Calexico, In The Reins. Read a handful of reviews. I'd listen if I had half a chance.
My Morning Jacket, Z. These guys are from Louisville, so I've read plenty about them. Everyone raves about their records, too, and I've heard a few tracks that sounded OK. Sadly, the urge to purchase has remained elusive.
The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
Sigur Ros, Takk... Two more bands which get namechecked constantly but failed to impress when I gave them a spin.
Sufjan Stevens, Illinois. This guy sounds interesting, but I'm afraid he's another of those sensitive singer-songwriter types (cf. Jack Johnson) who are interesting at first but don't reward repeated listenings.
Bob Mould, Body Of Song. The appeal of Husker Du and Mould escapes me to this day. Diff'rent strokes for diffrent fokes.
Death Cab For Cutie, Plans. Another favorite band of my son and his girlfriend, Meg. Didn't impress me much, but after viewing Magical Mystery Tour again the other night for the first time in years, I was astounded to discover that this group took its name from the song that Viv Stanshall and the Bonzo Doo Dah Dog Band sang in the strip club scene! That right there gets brownie points from me.
Kanye West, Late Registration. Ehhh, no. West doesn't do a thing for me, and I don't understand all the fuss, either.
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Cold Roses. I'm hot-and-cold on Adams, but I have a few but not all of his albums, both solo and Whiskeytown. Heard one track from this months ago, thought it was pretty good.
Sleater-Kinney, The Woods. haven't listened to these guys much, if at all. A lot of really smart people are devoted to them, so no doubt it's once again a case of me missing out on the good things in life.
Foo Fighters, In Your Honor. I've never been intrigued enough to get one of their albums, even though I've heard the occasional song that sounded OK. I don't see this one breaking the trend.
Neil Diamond, 12 Songs. Took me forever to appreciate Diamond, but now I can kinda dig the 60's-70's stuff. I've read rave after rave about this one, so I may take the plunge someday.
Heard and don't own.
Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning. Saw this guy perform on TV, got a little curious, asked my son if he had anything by him, and sure enough he did. My son probably is more aware of many of the bands in the first list than I am. Anyway, he burned me a copy of one of them, it may have been this one- I forget- but it didn't make much of an impression although it wasn't terrible, hence my forgetfulness.
Bob Dylan, No Direction Home: The Soundtrack. This guy rings a bell. I'll own this someday, probably on DVD and CD. Saw the documentary when it aired on PBS, loved it. Wished it had been longer.
Kings Of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak. My son again. He has this one, and I borrowed it for a while and it didn't grab me- all I heard was Stones comparisons, but the vocalist didn't sound anything like Jagger or Richards or Wood or Stewart or Ronnie Lane or even Chris Robinson...and neither did the beat. A lot of knowledgable people love this, though, so I think I'll give it another listen one of these days.
The Decemberists, Picaresque. Couldn't go a day without reading someone's LJ that cited these guys as the music they were listening to, so since all the cool hip creative folks liked them, then by God I should too! And after downloading a few tracks from this and acouple of other previous efforts, well, I'm pleased to report that I liked them very much, and will soon pick this up and maybe even some of their back catalogue while I'm at it. Unfortunately, I don't feel any more cool, hip or creative.
Coldplay, X&Y. Loved the previous album, and loved selected cuts from their first. Everything I've heard from this one so far sounds uninspired and rehashed, so I have yet to buy.
Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine. Got real tired real fast of her first album, never bought the second, but everything I've heard so far from this sounds great, especially the title track...so I'll probably be getting eventually.
Heard and own! And perhaps even like!
Eels, Blinking Lights And Other Revelations. An outstanding double album that probably would have made a great single one. Disc 2 is the one to keep.
Gwen Stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. I liked this one quite a bit when I first got it, and still listen to it upon occasion, which is more than I can say for some of my other recent purchases.
The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan. Another solid minimist blues-rock effort, which occasionally gets some play from me.
...and that's it! Sad, huh.