Today's hits, Tomorrow's classics (was :RE: CULTURE/SPACE: Tom Hanks on 2001)

From: Josh Martin (
Date: Sun Feb 11 2001 - 22:13:48 MST

Spike wrote:

> Someone that is up to speed, who are the great singers today,
> those who will be known a long time from now not for looks
> or dancing but for singing? spike

I can offer my $0.02 on this, seeing as I am currently "young." I am not,
however, a participant in pop culture, but I don't think that precludes me
from answering. I simply cannot see a "pop" artist lasting more than a year
or so, much less being listened to a long time from now.

Some acts/singers/musicians I can see being listened to in the future:

1. Radiohead
        This is the big one, the one that I think will make the long haul easier
than all the rest. In fact, I can imagine my kids asking me "Did you see
Radiohead live?" much as today's kids ask their parents about the Beatles,
when they discover them as many people in my generation have.
(Unfortunately, I have not seen them. I have heard that Tom York, the lead
singer, is absolutely amazing live. More on him later.) They have it all:
immense musical talent, an understanding of nuance and subtlety, the ability
to translate raw emotion into compressed waves of air, hidden allusions to
their musical influences, and the guts and ability to drive music into new
frontiers. The band is excellent, each musician blending seamlessly into
the mix, while letting his personal style show through. Tom York, the
singer, has a unique voice, and the ability to shape it to the needs of the
song. They also have the ability, due to their popularity, to try new
things, and hope that people will follow them.
        Very Extropian music, in style, though some reviewers say their music is
about the emptiness and futility of modern technological life. Most of the
lyrics are vague enough (like all good lyrics) to be construed as about the
futility of modern non-self-empowered life.
        In short, THE BAND to watch in the future

2. Dave Matthews Band (specifically, Dave Matthews)
        First, let me say that I don't own pants with multiple pockets, a vest
jacket, any baseball caps, or anything from Abercrombie and Fitch. Don't
let the fans of this band fool you, they have true talent.
        At least, Dave Matthews does. His songs have an earthy, folksy feeling,
but his style (complex, melodic guitar rhythms in place of chords) is very
imaginative and creative. His voice is also unique, a sometimes gravelly,
sometimes slightly twangy mix, but it carries the full spectrum of
expression well. His solo acoustic performances are legendary.
        The band is good, especially on albums, when they can work over a piece
until its right, but in live performances they get carried away by the
audience into over-performing. They are all good musicians except one: the
drummer, Carter Beauford. He is amazing. You can hear everything from
African rhythms to swing to jazz to bebop to modern fusion in his involved,
flowing rhythms. I have friends who have studied drums for years who hear
something new every time he plays.
        This band will survive, and be one of the groups your kids will not be
ashamed that you listened to them.

Actually, searching through my CD collection and my memory, I can't think of
any other bands that will be have such long-lasting effects as these two.
There are others which will survive the decades, but these two are the two
to watch.

Of course, my own tastes are varied, and I know of many other groups which
are excellent, but will probably not be recognized in the future. Though I
can justify this thread because it vaguely relates to "the future," those of
you who want to know my opinion on current great albums will have to inquire


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