The Most Important Bands Of The Era: Number Nineteen


Alan, Lauren, James, and Kristen are back, taking on another four bands who we believe to be some of the most important bands of this era. This time around, we discuss a late night band, nu metal kings, a riotous duo, and a boy band. Yes. A boy band.

James: My #19 is The Roots. They have been an important band for years and years, but with their inclusion and constant contribution to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Roots have achieved Legend status. They made political news when they played “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as Michele Bachmann’s walk-on music. They have participated in sketches that involved the President of the United States. And, from a more general musical standpoint, they are the go-to band for rappers when they want to have an authentic live band backing them.

Lauren: I’m going to pull a Kristen and go with One Direction. I hate them, but I grew up loving Backstreet Boys (Brian was so dreamy) and NSYNC, so I feel like they deserve some credit for keeping the boy band alive in the world, creating hordes of crazy teenagers and their moms for a new generation. And who knows, maybe they’ll eventually disappear, as these groups tend to do, and we’ll get another Justin Timberlake out of it. Probably not, but best case scenarios are worth considering. and if boy bands don’t count as bands, I pick The Roots for no specific reason and was definitely not influenced at all by James.

James: I think, for the purposes of this discussion, boy bands count as bands. AND I love the term “to pull a Kristen”.

Alan: Looks like I’m going to look like the bad guy here, but I do not believe that One Direction should be on this list. They do not pluck strings, touch a drumstick, or do anything that a band would actually do besides sing. Congrats to them (I guess) for keeping the notion of boy bands alive, but its the fact that I feel that they lack the musicianship to legitimately be called a “band.” To me, they are a glorified pop act that doesn’t need to be on this list – but that’s just me.

A band to consider, and my nineteenth pick is Linkin Park. Obviously, they have been a major act in the world of rock and roll over the past decade, and are still out there making music. However, with their see-sawing fan base and a lack of positive direction, I feel like LP has been on the decline as of late. I did love A Thousand Suns when it came out, but the two albums they released before and after it left me wanting a lot more from this band. They are still big, sure, but I can’t see them being as big and as influential as they once were back in their Meteora days.

Kristen: I honestly can not form an informed opinion on either The Roots or Linkin Park. I do like that Linkin Park has done stuff for those Transformers movies in the past…that’s pretty epic in my opinion. My pick for the 19 spot, however, is Sleigh Bells. They are loud, energetic, and in-your-face, but not in an obnoxious way: they are like super hip cheerleaders. I think they have an extremely unique sound. The way their music fills any-sized room with its intensity can definitely be appreciated. You definitely know when you’re listening to Sleigh Bells.

Lauren: I don’t know why you seem apologetic to vote against One Direction so avidly, Alan, I pretty much did that while I put their name in the hat. As much as I loved cruising around in Saints Row The Third with Sleigh Bell’s “Riot Rhythm” on repeat, they’re more of a band that I only really go for the singles on their albums, as opposed to even considering giving the whole tracklist a run through. So for #19, my vote going forward is for The Roots, and I feel that Linkin Park should be placed higher on the list even with their decline in consideration.

James: I’m not so sure I agree with Linkin Park’s place on this list. I think that A Thousand Suns was a fantastic record and Living Things sounds VERY promising (though I haven’t listened to it all the way through, yet), I just don’t know that they’re a band that I consider having been a big deal in the past 5 years. If we were talking in 2004, absolutely. Now? I’m not so convinced.

I will agree that One Direction doesn’t have a strong enough “band” vibe to make the list, even though I found Lauren’s “Maybe another JT will come out of the ashes of 1D” argument VERY compelling.

Sleigh Bells had an awesome debut. And I heard very good things about their sophomore effort, but I’m not so sure about them either.

I think for right now, I’m sticking to my guns with The Roots and not nominating any of the other bands to go higher on the list. But I could be convinced to change my mind.

Kristen: I’ve done some reconsidering. I forgot the “most important” aspect of this list. I do not think Sleigh Bells is big enough yet to be considered important. Maybe they will be someday, but not at the moment. I think I am most convinced for now with The Roots as a decent #19 pick. I think One Direction members are important ICONS of the era. I think I may need more convincing for Linkin Park.

Alan: Well it seems pretty clear that Linkin Park just doesn’t have the stuff with all of us. If they would’ve stayed with their Thousand Suns sounding material, I probably would fight more for them. But the group’s best works are behind them. And although I loved Sleigh Bells’ first album, I was pretty let down by their second effort. I do love their singles, but they still have a ways to go before really becoming THAT band. I’m a big fan of The Roots, and the stuff they’re doing now on Jimmy Fallon is pretty fantastic (they made me like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”). But what about Vampire Weekend? We all agreed that they needed to be higher, but should they be higher than The Roots? I say VW can take this spot for now, and The Roots can find themselves a bit higher on this list.

James: I could get behind that.

Lauren: I don’t know. I feel like more people are aware of Vampire Weekend’s music than The Roots, though this could just be a reaction to those around me and the radio stations I hear most frequently. But for many they’re just the band on Jimmy Fallon, if they even remember their name in the first place. Please don’t hate me Questlove. I’m leaving my vote with The Roots here and motion to put Vampire Weekend at 18.

James: That would work for me too. Kristen should break the tie. I think we should present our 18s before we place VW there though

Kristen: I am cool with Lauren’s idea and I agree we should present our 18 picks first before placing Vampire Weekend.

The Number Nineteen Spot goes to The Roots. Vampire Weekend Continues On To Find A Spot.

Two down, eighteen to go. Trust me when I say this, we are no where near getting closer to figuring out who the most important band of this era. Come back next week and find out if Vampire Weekend will EVER get a spot on this list, including four other prospects waiting to be judged.

Follow Us On Twitter!
Alan @AlanETaylor_
Lauren @BewareOfTrees
James @james80d
Kristen @prossnerk

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