“DD Reader’s Poll: Who’s Your Go-To’s?”

“When there’s no love” mutters Bradford Cox on Deerhunter’s now third-to-last album, Halcyon Digest, “You’ve done nothin’ wrong / You can’t take too long / Makin’ up songs.” If you want an acute acknowledgment of one’s own immateriality, one’s own minute unimportance, in the scope of the universe, and the commercial world, there it is.

Except allow me to have, you know, listened to Deerhunter, and say that they SHOULD matter more than they do. Apparently it’s a “big deal” in New York every time The National puts out an album. Granted, this is justified, but much praise of Deerhunter goes along the lines of, If you heard that this band is from Brooklyn, you wouldn’t bat an eyelash, or whatever.
Maybe what hurts Bradford Cox even more is that Deerhunter is from Atlanta, which is supposed to be a “good” place, not as hurried, frenzied, callous or violent as the Big Apple, somewhere that generally gets “good reviews.” I could see this only adding to the sense of alienation, a word often applied to the feeling sublimated by Radiohead, but Deerhunter represent more The Beatles than Radiohead, with their pop sense, their liquid, melting melodies.
In 2012, I’d just got let go from an activism job, basically for no reason, I was washing dishes, and all of a sudden my right thumb was twice the size of my left. I showed it to my boss, mentioning the swelling, and he goes, “Oh, yeah, a little bit.” I was then informed that my doctor’s visit wouldn’t be covered by the company. That night, during my afternoon off, I took the bus across town, 10 miles or so, to get seen without insurance, thinking about, pining over, and breathing, the music of Deerhunter. The current album was Halcyon Digest. Fine by me. “Helicopter” ached narcotically and climactically, “Fountain Stairs” ambled with the timelessness of Nefertiti, and “Coronado” bid farewell to the night with the zest and zeal of a Mexican pinata party. This guy had felt it all, had been through it all, and was shining a light. The rest, for me, was easy.
Fast forward three years, and we’re upon a new album, again. And I’m going to buy it. I’m not even going to listen to it online at all, even though it’s already out… there’s some ominous force between my hands and wallet just propelling cash onto Best Buy’s counter.
Which brings me to the following question: who’s your go-to’s?


(Respondent #1):

First band that comes to mind is We Are Scientists, been with them since the beginning. My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes who are on a disappointing hiatus. Oh and Alabama Shakes I recognize these are high profile groups, but they’re deserving of that status.

(Respondent #2):

Damn mike that is a savage question. Some of my favorite albums are from bands who created solid gold once in the heat of the moment and could never recreate the magic or the context within which the magic was made. Let me get back to you. If I forget. Press me. I would love to catch up and hope all is well.

(Respondent #3):

Hey bud…my bands would be. Tame Impala -New Age Pink Floyd, Beach House-Wasting away dream pop, My Morning Jacket-Soulful, jammy rock, LCD Soundsystem- 60min dance party, and Chromeo. Unfortunately no hip hop but really have enjoyed A$AP Rocky and Kendrik Lamar of late. Hope all is well.

(Respondent #4):

Im going to say LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk and Bright Light Social Hour.

(Respondent #5):

Foo Fighters- How can you not love Dave Grohl? I wasn’t a huge fan of their last album ‘Sonic Highways’ but I got it on vinyl before I heard it. I’ve seen them twice in concert. Both times were incredible. Mainstream or not, they kick ass. I can always find a song to connect with for whatever mood I’m in.
Deftones: Chino Moreno sings like a god. I love his smooth sound with that heavy rock. (Saw them this year for the first time. Would see them again any time.)
Local Natives: I came across these guys a few years ago thanks to spotify. It’s hard to find a song of theirs I don’t like. I have a tendency to get lost in the “ooohhh ohhhhs”. I like to get lost. (Hope that translates lol)

(Respondent #6):

Ok little backround when I was little family listened to a lot of 80s Rock my pops and 80s pop my moms. My mom was a RnB head in the 90s with her sister so I got that dose of Boyz2Men, Brandy, EnVogue, Babyface Etc. My dad was in bands and brought Alternative rock and other types to the table his cd collection went from Barenaked Ladies, Cake, Tool, Green Day, Slipknot, etc. My first CDs when I was little was therefore No Doubt, Montel Jordan, Master P, and Nevermind. Growing up I loved Nirvana Radiohead Blurr System of a Down Oasis. After Kurt past and about middle school I would play video games at a friends house and Hip Hop came to my ears. This was around the time of Emenim Marshal Mathers Atmosphere and what would become my favorite Nas. I remember the first time I heard Nas and made my buddy burn me a cd. I had a fever once and seen Nas was in town had my sister drop me off. I stood through a hour of rain at Lollapalooza to watch Nas and Damien Marley perform. But let’s not get ahead I went on in school through choir and after high school started freestyling/my own music. I learned the ins and outs and always wanted to learn more. I use to sit on the couch and listen to Jazz and think. When I got to college my school had a vast library so I was able to listen to stuff I heard was the greatest that I never had time, space, or access to. I listened to Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, John Coltrane, and lots of different things. Now I’ve acquired a pallet of what I’d say my taste is from concert goings etc.

Bands that I want or would kill to see would be The Strokes my sister turned me on to this group but they rarely tour. Anything with Jack White in it I was late to the white stripes but I have all their CDs and love the feeling he brings to his music. If you have a voice that is of its own and you shred the shit out a guitar I’m going to love you. Also seeing his live stuff just gave me a huge appreciation. Some people suck live and are better on wax I seen my top 5 emcees Mos Def recently and it was literally heart breaking to see whatever happened in front of my eyes. I will go to Blueprint from Columbus any time he’s in town his delivery live is like ten levels on everyone. Not only that but he kind of reinvented himself musically so you hear a lot of the meaning in his songs. Joe Budden I will get his CD almost anytime it comes out. I love his introspection a lot of people think rap is about bars and syllable rap those kids are your Eminem forever, yelowolf, tech9ne, mgk, bone thugs, and twista folks. I’m sorry but after two songs I lose interest because words lose their impact. One Be Lo I would see or buy anything from his delivery and song structure are ridiculous check out S O N O G R A M. I like to have fun though so my buddy gives me that Juicy J and 2 Chains vibe I’ve seen both and are great for that party vibe. I will see and buy records from J Cole and Kendrick Lamar because you can hear the effort they put into the record. Not many people make full records the way full records are to be made. There’s not enough Tribe Called Quest in the world people making music with all the variables and to make music. I’ve seen Pharoah Monch and the Roots live and I encourage you to see them. I won’t buy every Monch cd but I will look into the Roots. Madlib, 9th Wonder, Premier, Illamind are producers that I will check on daily to see who and what they are working with. You can see the test of time in their work. New artists I love and would see are Joey Bada$$, A$ap Rocky, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, and Skyzoo. Joey and Skyzoo more personal rappers ASAP gives you a mix and Action and Danny are on that ridiculous vibe a it’s funny and did he just say that kind of thing. JayZ and Nas I will see and buy albums any time they’ve done it so long, with such quality bodies of work and are my top 2. Back to bands I love the Red Hot Chili peppers and their sound I got into them only recently. I like their delivery and some of the funky stuff they drop. I love the Alabama Shakes and was turned to them watching a awards Ceremony and they can jam/ Brittany can sing so good it gives you the chills. Their records almost have a old sound to them and her voice damn I can’t even say anything besides she’s amazing. I love the Foo Fighters and would see them live they seem like they are having a good time all the time. I have many Black Keys records I love their style and almost raw sound. I love Mumford and Sons and would see them any time/ buy their record. I mean concerts especially big ones are probably my favorite way of meeting new music. I usually go to Lolla and when waiting or en route to bands you want to see something always catches your ear. I seen Death from Above 1979 and that was amazing made me want to buy their record. Same thing with the Deftones. I have to look at a friends catalog and see if it’s something I’m even interested in but when I’m out and about even locally I see something I’ll want to buy it and get it to support the artist. I think the networks that allow bands to play in between your favorite shows helps a lot of bands break. If I go to a record store or a local DJ spins something I’ll look into it. If I hear enough buzz and the article compares it to something I am really passionate about ill check into it. It’s tough with radio playing top 40 and tv on the same length I don’t trust a lot of the programming so I find other ways and write ups. The more I see a name come up the more I will give it my time of day listen. But if say your already listening to stuff I hate and you tell me you need to check this it’s going to the bottom of my care list. I like getting music in small doses tho you post a favorite song to your page I kind of like it look them up 2nd song yay or nay kind of thing. Information has almost over saturated music like Drake for instance you have a million people who love Drake I personally can’t stand him and his fan base makes it harder for me to stand him it’s like when your favorite rapper is Dillon, Dillon, Dillon. It’s probably same reason it took me a long time to get to know Odd Future. I loved their show but need to listen to things on my level/time. I still don’t have to Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick just because what I’ve heard from people and what I’ve felt are two different experiences so I shelved it. Another thing that may hurt artists is albums coming out at the same time I’ve had to go back like a year or two later to check out albums from Blu and Exile or Fawshawn. They gave me a great piece of what they do but time and space are key into when I can get that first full listen in. I use to go to Best Buy and spend almost a paycheck on different records sometimes with a mystery buy. Being a fan of full projects I already throw artists into two bins in my mind. But after you have a interest you need a sit down FULL listen uninterrupted of an artist. You will be able to tell midway through if this is a skip to songs type of album or I can listen to this front to back. ALOT of artists will ruin their chance with me as a fan or a purist you could say in this time frame. Besides that apps like Pandora, Spotify, 8tracks, and other streaming sites have helped broaden my listening and checking out new artists.

(Respondent #7):

Sure – you mean, here…? – well, that’z easy – My Bloody Valentine (with earplugz, of course), Giant Drag, Meow Twins, Mazzy Star. That’z my adore-some foursome, ha.

(Respondent #8):

That’s a tough one. I’ve been thinking on it. It’s hard with the diversity of music these days to really say that I’d buy an album no matter what. Artist feel the pressure of all the self published musicians out there. I think this has been causing a good number of artist to try to be different or change up their style in effort to stay fresh in the ever evolving sonic environment. I can think of a few artist that I would blindly follow but they’re all dead. I’ve thought and thought about what new artist fits this ideal for me and it hit me this morning as I was relaxing with some coffee after dropping the little man off at school. I put on some tunes whilst I chilled and found my answer. The only album that I’ve bought recently without hearing a single track was T.I.’s Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head. I always keep it gangsta in my own way. T.I. keeps it gangsta but he is also able to delivery the occasional conscious rap despite being a “Pop” artist. I’ve got all his albums and will probably buy the next one again without hearing a track first. It’s not the worlds greatest music but, sh**, I enjoy it.

(Respondent #9):

Finding new music is a big part of my life. Really like Deerhunter too..gotta check out that new album..still bump Helicopter alot. Check out the band Day Wave..like that dudes stuff..opened for Hammond Jr. Talk to u later bro.

(Respondent #10):

That’s a tough one. I have go to’s like Pink Floyd, Tool, Les Claypool, and the list goes on, but all of them have let me down somewhat at some point with new albums, apart from probably Tool (but they don’t release a lot of material). Across all genres I have bands that I will pick up their new album without listening to it, but that is more of a function of my love for music and wanting to support musicians I like rather than having faith that it will be a great album regardless. That being said, at this point I would put all of my faith into anything released by Mike Patton, the guys from The Mars Volta (Omar and Cedric), and anything produced by T-Bone Burnett. Anything Mike Patton touches is almost instant gold in my eyes, the guys from TMV (and at the drive-in, and now ANTEMASQUE) are fresh and progressive in their approach, and T-Bone is beyond amazing as a producer or as the musical director, or whatever you’d call it, putting together music for movies like the big lebowsko or o brother where art thou.

[Respondent #9 (cont.)]:

What up Beal..here’s some of my ideas and thoughts about music. Grew up listening to Tupac, Master P, and Bone. Learned from some of my parent’s records about The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, and The Doors. Somewhat grew out of my rap phase back in 2009 due to the over saturation of the brand. College years were spent listening to The Strokes, Kings of Leon, Kanye West, and The Game. Of late, I check out the monthly indie playlists they put on BIRP.fm. I basically listen to Indie and old country/folk music now. I like Wild Nothing, Lord Huron, Best Coast, Beach House, Tame Impala, CHVRCHES, and Yumi Zouma. George Straight, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. My go to bands would be Death Cab, Decemberists, Strokes, and Wild Nothing. Would travel long distances to see those bands. I feel like the internet has given us so much freedom to find bands from all over the world and to find music that fits your preferences. Stereogum, BIRP, and Gorilla Vs. Bear are where I find my music.

[Respondent #2 (cont.)]:

You got me thinking hard. I am going to stick with my original answer. The evolution of bands is a wonderful part of music but I think I am a bit of a skeptic and walk in to each album weary. I have been let down many times and my feelings are a little hurt. I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods. Somewhere in the Midwest if I recall. If you ever find yourself back out in the centennial state drop me a line.

All things said, anything mark sandman touched turned to gold.

[Respondent #7 (cont.)]:

I’d go see Robin Guthrie live too tho’ lately his stuff’s been getting less dark and more mellow, doh


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