It sounds like we look for similar things in music. "Chops" aren't the be-all end-all for me, either. Example: Eddie van Halen is a virtuoso musician, but most of his songs I find super cheesy. Having technical proficiency certainly helps, but yes, something about the music itself has to captivate me. Most of the bands I've discussed here offer very little of either.
I wish the "rock" genre could have fun again. When grunge killed hair metal, party anthems were outlawed. Hip Hop & Country dominate today's world (try to convince me otherwise) and most of the lyrics are stupid. Why the double standard?
I've got a big ol' raging clue for this new NIN album coming out. Get to see them at Lolla this weekend. After hearing a few songs of theirs that they've done at the past few shows, I'm excited. Some of the other albums that have gotten some pretty heavy playtime in my car whether they came out this year or not:
Yeezus - Kanye
TNGHT - TNGHT
NO LOVE DEEP WEB - Death Grips (I suggest downloading the censored version of the cover art)
20/20 Experience - JT
Palms - Palms
Get Up! - Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite
I think Miguel's album came out last year, but man that thing grooves.
For all of the recording updates the TOOL page has been posting this year, dear sweet baby Jesus there had better be an album coming down the pipe.
This probably isn't the right thread for this, but I thought I would share that I literally heard Blurred Lines for the first time last Tuesday. Where have I been all summer? What have I been doing? These are all important questions as I try and figure out how I could have missed the song that has been all over for 3 months.
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Iowa State vs. George Mason (Diamond Head Classic)