Five Musical Genres You May Have Forgotten To Miss

anthonyjmiccio | March 26, 2008 2:45 am

I have little to no idea what “skunk rock” or “grebo” are, but I like the The Guardian‘s query about musical genres that need to be resurrected. After the jump, a list of some forgotten styles I think the young folk of today would be wise to embrace–sounds and aesthetics that could bring this country back from the brink.

1. ’80s bar rock. Don’t mistake this for what ACTUALLY plays in bars these days, i.e. beer-bellied David Cooks wishing someday they could make it big like Default did. I mean that bastard child of blue-eyed soul that comes alive whenever Huey Lewis plays a corporate gig. The genre that inspired ’70s blowhards like Stevie Winwood to roll with it. Is Adam Levine the last rocker on earth who wants to make women (not teens, women) dance before he nails them backstage? Did Lenny Kravitz scare everyone out of the room? I’ve never willingly heard a song by Taylor Hicks, but I get the feeling he could be the 21st-century Robert Palmer if he’d just put this type of music in his system.

Turn the amp up to eleven, and the genre becomes 1a. Feel-good arena rock, which is also sorely lacking. There are so many bands trying to write “Dreams,” but no one is bothering to write “Panama.” This is why I sometimes think Kurt Cobain was the worst thing to happen to rock, as his PC “hey, check out the Vaselines” attitude came and went, leaving hard rockers only with the wisdom that there’s no need to sound like you’re having any fun at all.

2. Hip-hop based on funk drum loops. I know snap is cheaper. I know it’s all been used before, that you’d be referencing earlier rap hits rather than actual funky drummers. But have you thrown on a Digital Underground record lately? I miss the good foot. Plus, it would force guys like Rick Ross to wake up or get out of the way.

3. Songs that reference the movie they soundtrack. As videos go the way of the dinosaur, if music is going to successfully cross-promote itself with a more popular form of media, it’s going to have to do it lyrically. Few remember Rick Moranis smiling at Bobby Brown’s dancing ass in the “On Our Own” video, but everybody knows that if Vigo, the master of Evil, tries to battle his boys… that’s not legal! Side note: Seth Rogen’s getting Huey Lewis to tackle this and genre No. 1 for Pineapple Express, because Seth Rogen knows what time it is.

4. Unkempt riffy indie-rock. Even more than the sound of “Slack Motherfucker,” I miss how everybody used to dress down. I’m tired of looking my best at night. I want to leave my button-down plaid shirt open again, so you can see the charming t-shirt underneath. I’m tired of either/or! I don’t want you to see my belt! I was happy dressing baggy! Waahh!

5. Cornershop. Even in the pop-rock-soul casserole of the ’90s, this band was a genre of its own–who even made some bar-rock! You could argue that plenty of Pitchfork-popular psych-folk mixes beats, drones and grooves, but if Panda Bear has anything resembling “Brimful Of Asha,” I haven’t heard it. More people need to imitate Tjinder Singh’s detached, droll vocal style. Hell, Tjinder Singh should do it more often.

What forgotten genres do think have some untapped juice? Emo-free pop-punk? Trumpet-led instrumentals? Whatever the Spin Doctors were doing? Make your voices heard, and maybe Taylor Hicks will hear you.

Rummaging in the Musical Dustbin [The Guardian]