One rock fan's immodest refusal.
You know what I'm talking about. We live in an age when you can count the number of major labels controlling what's on the radio on one hand. And one company or another owns something like 60 percent of all the radio stations in the country, as well as the larger venues in each city, which is why they squeeze the bands to play those venues lest they be taken off the radio altogether.
It's a mad, mad world, and it's incumbent upon the largest rock bands of the day to rail against this, to stare their own replaceability in the face and say to corporate America, "Bring it on, you fucking drones!" Creed may be on what is technically an independent label, but to act like they're not part of a machine that treats artists as disposable and fans as dupes would be insane.
On the other hand, you have to hand it to Creed and their neo-sincere, corporate, silent-right ilk: They've made disposable music, profited immensely and sooner or later they'll be gone. It's just the rest of us that have to put up with their shit music until the next thing comes around. Thanks, guys. And happy New Year.
Contributing Editor Joey Sweeney (jsweeney@philadelphia weekly.com) also writes That Dirty Lowdown.
Picks Of the Litter
Predictions for the best albums of 2003.
By Richard Flom
We're nearing the end of 2002, which means there will be a slew of "Top 10 Picks for the Whole Damn Year" in every magazine. I won't comment on the list culture--there have been more articles about lists than there have been lists, and I don't believe in sucking the exhaust pipe of a broken media bandwagon. No, sir.
But I do find these lists instructive and helpful as a consumer. So what I'd like to give you here is a couple picks for next year's pop/rock bonanza. I have full confidence that 2003 will be the Year That Pop Broke and maybe the Year That Rock Broke and certainly the Year That Pop Rock Broke. But will it be the Year That Dance Pop Broke?
So with these predictions in mind, I give you my speculative (but doubtlessly accurate) rundown of the best and most Pazzjoppy in the near future.
1. Love and Theft (Japanese Bonus Tracks) by Bob Dylan
While initially released Sept. 11, 2001, this Japanese import version of the classic album might as well constitute a full-on new release. It contains two extra songs: an impressive cover of "In the Jailhouse Now" and a dazzling new composition called "Dusty, Dusty Boots," recorded during the original Love and Theft sessions.
Also included is an extra limited-edition disc featuring a live version of "Forever Young" from a 1999 tour, every Saturday Night Live appearance Dylan ever made and the Rolling Stones' version of "Like a Rolling Stone" from their Stripped album.
In spite of mostly older material, critics felt no other document in 2003 could match this impressive work.
2. Alive, She Cried by Ryan Adams
Though Adams released 37 records this year (including the sensational Piper on the Moons of Sorrow and the wistful Tons of Beer), it wasn't until he dropped the guitar, threw off the denim jacket and picked up a jazz improv group that he created something truly worthy of the ages. Dubbed "The Theater of Sexual Politics!!!" on the sleeve, these hepcats provide sensitive and arousing accompaniment to Adams' spoken-word pieces and experimental screeching. The incendiary single "Evolution?!?" was the first record in the top 10 to feature the word "vulva" so prominently.