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I Got No Kick Against Modern Rock

Dr. Spin looks at the bands of the 21st century.

by Dr. Spin
April 21, 2003

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I Got No Kick Against Modern Rock_Dr. Spin-Dr. Spin looks at the bands of the 21st century. Dr. Spin,

What I’m trying to say is there is too much **** on the radio today. Do you know similar bands to the Dandy Warhols and what is emo actually? I'm real tired of boring rap and pop stuff and overrated bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Coldplay, Massive Attack and Metallica what do you think about them? And if you like them, why and what do you think about the Dandy Warhols? And do you know what I have to study to become a music critic or columnist?


Dear Nameless,

I think emo is a type of flightless bird similar to an ostrich. No wait, that’s an emu.

To be perfectly honest, I am the wrong person to be asking these questions; my musical taste is decidedly old school. I lean heavily on the classics, such as the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, etc. While I’ve heard of most the bands you mentioned, I must confess I haven’t heard much by them. Yet in the name of journalism I’ve sampled some of their music to offer my critique.

You’ve lumped quite an interesting group of bands together; I’m not sure how Coldplay and Metallica relate to each other. I have never been a big fan of Metallica, mainly because I’ve never been a big fan of Heavy Metal in general. Coldplay, to me, sounds too similar the Dave Mathews Band, and I actually have trouble distinguishing them on the radio. Queens of the Stone Age seems like another band continuing the evolution of the grunge/alternative movement started by Nirvana and Pearl Jam. They’re good, but not distinctive. I still prefer Nirvana and Pearl Jam to their many successors. Massive Attack has a very techno/electronic music sound, and that’s a genre I’m not big on. I do like the Chemical Brothers and I prefer their work over what I heard from Massive Attack.

As for the Dandy Wharols, they seem a very imaginative band and I may have to invest into their music further. I admit my knowledge of modern bands is somewhat limited; as I stated in my debut column, my expertise of Rock spans from the sixties to the eighties, with my knowledge and interest generally petering out around 1995. This leaves me at a disadvantage for recommending other similar sounding bands, but you might want to check out the White Stripes (who I enjoy) and Wilco. Older bands you may find interesting are the Velvet Underground (who were created in part by the man who the Dandys took their name from) and the Rolling Stones circa the “Sticky Fingers” album (cover designed by Warhol!). I also hear hints of Neil Young, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and R.E.M. Suffice to say the Warhols are diverse in sound and that is a rarity in today’s music.

Finally, if you seriously want to be a bona fide rock critic, and not a hack writing a column under a pseudonym, I would look in to journalism and music theory classes. Good luck on your career path, and may you always find good music.

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