Sunday, August 21, 2011
The more I listen to music, the more I realize how important summer months are to the dying music industry. Luckily for a student trapped in Cedar City, this summer’s music options didn’t disappoint.
It started small with my first trip to Groovefest, which was surprisingly entertaining. It’s nice to have the ability to something while in the collegiate offseason. The same went for a small acoustic j.wride concert on Aug. 31.
But then the music came pouring out in every genre, too — actually one of the best ways to spend time trapped in a small town.
I fell in love with Beasie Boys’ Hot Sauce Committee, Part II, City and Colour’s Little Hell, Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, Moving Mountains’ Waves, My Morning Jacket’s Circuital 311's Universal Pulse and Death Cab for Cutie’s Codes and Keys among others throughout this summer.
Lady GaGa made her return with Born This Way, which ended up being a mix of re-produced and over-exaggerated Madonna and epic GaGa-ness. It also ended up the epitome of an hit-and-miss album.
I normally don’t talk about hip hop music, but when I do, I prefer Eminem.
This summer he and fellow Detroit street rapper Royce da 5’9” reformed Bad Meets Evil and released the EP Hell: The Sequel on June 14. The EP, as anticipated, struck gold with the listeners.
It peaked at No. 1 on the charts in the U.S. and Canada, as well at No. 7 in U.K. It also produced the anthem of this summer’s ESPN X Games with the single “Fast Lane” and the radio hit “Lighters.”
In fact, the EP ended up near the top of my favorite albums of the summer.
Then there’s the most triumphant recording return of Sublime — with a new singer — forming Sublime with Rome and releasing its first album in about 15 years.
Rome Ramirez, the frontman of Sublime with Rome, is no Brad Nowell by any means, but that doesn’t mean I’m dissing Ramirez’s talent. The songs “Panic” and “Lovers Rock” highlight another definitely successful summer album.
Speaking of triumphant returns, Blink-182 has returned to existence with songs “Up All Night” and “Hearts All Gone” off the to-be-released album Neighborhoods, which is tentatively scheduled to drop Sept. 27.
The songs were met with mixed reviews from Blink-182’s passionate fans. Some liked the direction the trio was going after a six-year hiatus; others demanded the band sound like it did in 2001. Either way, almost everyone agrees it’s good to see the kings of pop-punk reunited.
Then there’s the hardcore scene.
Hard-core rock music suffered a definite setback in its upper-tier section. Bands like Alexisonfire couldn’t make it out of the summer, while Frank Carter ditched his job as the frontman of Gallows.
Actually, to make that even more dramatic, Alexisonfire co-frontman and guitarist Wade MacNeil fled Alexisonfire in order to take over Carter’s spot in Gallows. That move, along with Dallas Green’s departure, cost Alexisonfire — which planned on writing another album earlier this year.
All of this is on top of a summer Warped Tour with a lineup so pathetic, I didn’t even bother bolting up to Salt Lake City to see it.
Apparently The Devil Wears Prada returns with a new album Sept. 13, but who knows? They could just be one of those fad bands like A Day To Remember is turning out to be.
Country music remains strong as ever, as weird as it is to bring country music up after discussing rap, rock and hardcore.
The Band Perry, Eric Church, Jason Aldean and the Zac Brown Band each rose to the limelight among countless others like Luke Bryan, who just recently debuted an album at No. 2 on the Billboard charts.
According to the Billboard charts, country is certainly beginning to reshape the Top 40 listener. I guess country has become the new hip-hop or rap.
But the future of this year’s music scene will also be interesting as the industry looks to finish the year strong.
Hate him or not, Lil’ Wayne returns with Tha Carter IV on Aug. 29. Red Hot Chili Peppers will return with I’m With You on Aug. 30 — and, again, Blink-182 with Neighborhoods on Sept. 27.
Thrice, The Devil Wears Prada, Lights, Feist, Mayday Parade, Drake, Patrick Stump, Tool and Rage Against the Machine all have scheduled releases for 2011, too.
Keep your ear to the ground and toward the speaker; I know I will.