Friday, February 05, 2010

Long term musical greatness

I was deep in my music collection last night playing "There's nothing wrong with love" by Built to Spill from 1994 and re-realized that the first four songs on that record are just astonishingly good. Then I realized that BTS is still good as of 2009 and never made a record that sucked. That's pretty rare, so I started trying to think of who else could fit that bill, limiting myself to American groups. Here's what I came up with:

Built to Spill

People, that's it! That's the list!

Modest Mouse now officially sucks. 

The National has been good for a while and never made a record that sucks, but haven't done it long enough to qualify yet (they have a new album coming out soon!!), 

Neil Young was good for a long time but has gone on too long (not heeding his own advice), he's the musical equivalent of Willem de Kooning, only his family isn't destroying his late works. 

I love Guided by Voices, but I have to admit that a lot of what they did sucked. They are the musical equivalent of Picasso; lot's of very high highs but also lots of nasty lows. 

Nirvana didn't last long enough.

Who am I missing?


Dave O said...

The John Butler Trio (even though the 'Trio' can change)

Anonymous said...

yo la tengo

Dirty Davey said...

Though Neil Young's path has hardly been monotonic. There was some really bad stuff there in the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s.

Kindred Winecoff said...

your tastes clearly skew towards indie rock, which is needlessly myopic, but here's a few more:

Elliott Smith
Magnetic Fields
Starflyer 59
The Pixies

David said...

Pixies for sure, but the whole reuniting just to tour on their decade-old glory with no new songs was pretty weak.

The White Stripes are pretty consistently high quality.

Sleater-Kinney would also make my list, but I understand why some people don't dig on them.

David said...

I'm also surprised you have no OK love for the Flaming Lips. Beck has been good for a long time, too.

Anonymous said...


Eric H said...

among my favorite GBV songs are Sad if I lost It and Portable Men's Society off of Mag Earwhig.

That was 13 years ago. Holy Crap! Could GBV ever be considered consistently good over a long period?

But what the hell do I know...I think Motorhead should be counted amongst the most consistently great bands of all time.

Unknown said...

The Smiths - even if it doesn't ever light you on fire, it's rare that there's a really BAD smiths song

Low (same)

Cocteau Twins

/sad bastard music

Anonymous said...

supersuckers; hayseed dixie