What exactly is alternative? The dictionary deems everything alternative that “departs from or challenges traditional norms”. Musically speaking, a whole genre emerged out of this idea: Alternative Rock included artists who willfully distinguished themselves from others. Nowadays, Alternative is reckoned one of the most popular genres, making it almost drift away from the initial idea.
Fans think of it as the most normal thing ever. What is traditional to some of them may seem totally unconventional to others – and the other way around. So maybe we should all think more alternative when it comes to our personal taste in music. A “Beatles” aficionado might see a new approach to music when listening to Kelelas electro-pop. A new generation may learn to love David Bowie’s diversity thanks to King Krule’s unusual approach with “The Ooz”. Also, unusually pop-y tracks await us in Beck’s latest album “Colors”, and the Killers’ “Wonderful World” shows a different sound than albums from the past. Additionally we’re remembering Tom Petty’s experimental debut solo album “Full Moon Fever” and are celebrating the deluxe reissue of “The Queen is Dead” by “The Smiths”.
Radiohead – Karma Police
Radiohead has been one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the past decades and one of the most experimental in that matter. They came up with a real alternative-inception – with “Karma Police”. The song from 1997 is not only is alternative in its genre, but in itself as well. For it is not following the typical song structure: the chorus feels more like a quiet interlude, instead of the climax of the song. Even the key change, which makes the song alternate between hopeless and hopeful, shows that even slight alterations can lead to great effects.
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St. Vincent – Los Ageless
“In Los Ageless the winter never comes”– that it is in fact Los Angeles Annie Clark aka St. Vincent is referring to is obvious. What sounds positive at first – “no cold endless sun” – is immediately wrecked by the second line: “In Los Ageless the mothers milk their young”. When you listen to that you can’t help grinning. She is charmingly mocking the city that never ages, where mothers become “stage moms”, where success seems to be on top of the list. “How can anybody have you and lose you and not lose their minds, too?” she asks and portrays L.A. as a place that will make people go insane – whether they are successful or, even more so, when they are not. A different perspective that is quite obvious but very much needed.
Bing Crosby – I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For
No great big yacht, no caviar – still, on the soundtrack for the musical film “Holiday Inn” Bing Crosby’s got plenty to be thankful for! Materialistic things are overrated if you have arms to hug with lips to kiss with and of course someone to adore! As the Holiday Season gets closer and closer, we’re told from all sides to be more appreciative. Nowadays we take a lot for granted, while we are simultaneously more self-critical and seem to only see the negative. Because we’re being “realistic”, right? It isn’t news that a little bit of gratefulness goes a long way, however we should definitely remind ourselves of that more often. It can be quite refreshing indeed to not being a realist for a change, but instead an optimist!