I'm currently at college, listening to a crapload of new music every week - here consisting of two things. First off, the actual new releases; we'll talk a bit more about that in a later post, if there ever is one - and secondly, lots of bands I should have been familiar with years ago.
I spent close to a month listening to seemingly just mainstream music. The Killers, Pink Floyd, U2, and Guns 'n Roses got a crapload of play from me in late August/early September. If you're on iTunes, you get the option to connect to the iTunes of other PCs on the network that choose to share; it seemed as if everyone had the Killers, Pink Floyd, U2, and Guns 'n' Roses, and all four of those were bands that culture insists I be familiar with in order to get along with a world in which predominant tastes appear to be MOR mainstream.
But here's the scary thing: each of those four artists - though I would not convert to that camp of music - have their share of good music. You can't help but go back to the Killers' inoffensive dilution of Joy Division and New Order through Interpol. Provided you pick the right Floyd record, you can't help think they began as a band that was far ahead of their time. Provided you pick the right U2 record, you can't help think that they did a passable job combining post-punk ethic with arena-size rhythms and choruses... and can't help but be surprised that they're really a Christian band passing for normal. I can't vouch for Guns 'N' roses, though; the dichotomy between the power ballads and the big-nuts rockers is rather hypocritical (but that's another post).
Next time around we'll get to an examination of the new music.