23 January 2009

Seven Wishes List for 2009

My fingers are crossed...

Wish #1

The All Points West Festival, held at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, starts the trek of becoming as large as the Coachella Festival (www.coachella.com), America needs to take the example of the European music festivals (Reading, Rock Werchter, Roskilde, Sziget, Rock AM Ring, Lowlands, Benicassim, Heineken Jammin’, and Independent Days to name a few). Though I applaud Projekt Revolution for the traveling festival format, it is time that audiences get a guaranteed yearly festival that allows them to sample a wide range of bands (for an economic price).

Wish #2

More musicians, like Trent Reznor, challenge the music industry. These veterans need to do it not just for themselves, but also for the band that are coming up. Younger artists are no longer being nourished the way they were in the days prior to the mid-90s; instead, they are being commoditized and pre-packaged. And those that are lucky to avoid these kinds of contracts often lack the support of record labels and usually fail to sell a set number of units and loose their contracts. Therefore, it is time for established artist to remind the record companies that it is musicians who generate the interest and hype of the music industry and not executives.

Wish #3

Unlike what many in the audience at Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution 2007 thought, Placebo is not a small, unknown band. They have been around for years, and internationally have garnished a lot of acclaim, hits, and a rabid following. I hope that 2009 see critics and reviewers putting aside any preconceived notions about the band or bigoted hang-ups and give them the critical reception they deserve. You do not survive the music industry for thirteen years by being lacking talent. You survive and remain relevant because you have talent, because you a great performers, because you are great songwriters, and it is time the Placebo gets that recognition in the States.

Wish #4

Speaking about Linkin Park, I hope that Chester Bennington releases his solo album and that it sounds so different from the rest of the work he has done with Linkin Park or Dead by Sunrise that fans are scratching their heads. Musicians should be free to explore different genres, styles, elements, and influences, and perhaps the experience of recording this solo album will bring something new and unexpected to the table for Linkin Park.

Wish #5

Muse releases their fifth album. Between all of the rumors of orchestrated music and electronic elements, I know that I am ready for the new album five minutes ago. I think that Matt Bellamy is a genius, Chris Wolstenholme is one of the best bass players of all times, and Dominic Howard has the most interesting timing and jazz-style fusion drumming in rock. I hope the tour sees them returning to using a sequencer / backing tracks on stage without reservations (I always thought they had a great sound when they toured to “Absolution.") Perhaps Muse will win NME’s Godlike Genius award in 2010.

Wish #6

Fans stop bitching about members who not in bands anymore or parted ways. Alan Wilder is not returning to Depeche Mode; the Cure that recorded “Disintegration” will never come back together; Wolfmother is going to have all new members other than Andrew Stockdale; the Smiths might be encouraged to do a reunion tour, but they are not getting back together; Stuart Price is not going to work with Madonna (at least I hope he has enough pride not to); Elvis is not coming back; and it may be a blessing in disguise that there is no N’Sync reunion anytime in the future.

Wish #7

Audiences start listening to albums again. I am all for iTunes and downloading; at the rate I am going, I am going to need another external hard drive soon to store music. But in all this brouhaha about digital music, most people I talk to admit to no longer listening to entire albums. They only listen to a few tracks (sometimes not even downloading an entire album, settling for a few tracks only). And though sometimes I go through the archaic process of actually buying a CD (love to unwrap it, flip through the booklet, and give my first listen while driving), I know that we are never going back to the days of Tower Records. But if artists work hard to make a cohesive album, the least we can do as an audience is listen to the intended collection and appreciate it for what it is.