Stereogum’s 40 Best New Bands (and the glut of quality)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:29 pm October 30, 2017

Lomelda is among the Stereogum’s “40 Best New Bands”…

by Tim McMahan,

It’s getting hard to keep up with all the quality releases this year. Last Thursday Stereogum published its list of of “40 Best New Bands of 2017.” Stereogum competes head-to-head with Pitchfork, and to a lesser extent, Paste, as the taste-making barometer of indie music (Consequence of Sound, AV Club and Dusted are pulling up alongside them. And of course is my review aggregator of choice).

Stereogum gets a nod because of lists like this one, which are both informative and fun to read (and fun to follow-up on via Spotify). Of note: 27 of 40 — or 68 percent — of the acts listed feature female lead vocals and/or woman primary songwriters. Long gone are the days where rock ’n’ roll was a boy’s club. Who remembers The Lilith Fair? Hard to believe that launched 20 years ago. Remember, it was triggered at the time by the inability of women musicians to get airplay. Today, women dominate both pop and indie charts, though radio doesn’t play much of a role anymore.

Clicking through the Stereogum list, the sheer number of interesting indie bands is getting difficult to keep up with. Add to that the usual suspects, like the new Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile album (or anything on Matador or Secretly Group, for that matter) and we’ve long ago run out of time to listen to all of it, which is why review websites are becoming more valuable (to me, anyway).

I wonder how many of the 40 are looking at Omaha as a tour stop, or how many have been overlooked. Jay Som played here recently, as did Snail Mail and Vagabon. As for the rest, I question whether they would draw very well, being unknown quantities in this market. Why should a venue take a chance on any of these acts if they’re unable to draw a crowd? It comes down to guarantees and travel costs. But isn’t there an assumption you’re going to lose money on your first tour(s)?

BTW, is anyone else having trouble bringing up

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