Its always fun with Andrew W.K. on stage.  Credit: Ben Wamberg

Its always fun with Andrew W.K. on stage. Credit: Ben Wamberg Flickr

For some, a place on a country’s Top 40 or Top 100 chart verifies a song as good to great.  Anything else and its maybe OK, good for something alternative but never on the level of those artists that inhabit the top ten, sell out stadiums and have personal lives that make TMZ staffer’s jobs a little bit easier.

There is of course a certain unaware participation by many fans when it comes to music.  I mean, if enough people say Ed Sheeran and Macklemore are great, then they must be…right?

No doubt their music is popular, appeals to millions and regardless of one’s personal taste is clearly appealing and well packaged.

In fact, one of the worst things about music critics today is that they will drone on about certain artists that are too ‘manufactured’ while presenting alternatives that are cut from the same cloth.  None of those same critics would ever seek out artists not signed to a major label or who play small clubs for little or nothing.

Some great music exists away from the mainstream, here’s five from a wide array of backgrounds you should check out.

 

1) Andrew W.K. – Party Hard

It’s hard to describe Andrew W.K. as just a musician.  A man of many talents aside from those just lyrical, his resumé includes TV host, writer, producer, record label founder, nightclub owner and (most impressively) motivational speaker.  ‘Party Hard’ from 2001 represents his life philosophy of positivity.

 

2) The Melvins – Revolve

Known for their long instrumental intros, The Melvins from Washington state first emerged on the scene in 1983 and have produced over twenty studio albums.  Fronted by the unique King Buzzo, the metal outfit unusually feature two drummers…because why wouldn’t you?

 

3) The Moldy Peaches – New York City’s Like A Graveyard

This one never stood a chance being released on the morning of 9/11.  However, few songs capture the grittiness of one of the world’s most iconic cities like this track from the now defunct experimental group who mixed indy rock and folk.

 

4) Kings of Leon – California Waiting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSVSZNfbd_o

Before they became a multi-platinum act with a mainstream focus, the Kings featured a sound heavily influenced by Southern Rock and Blues.  Their early days had many great tracks, which complement their later work we all know.  Their debut album Youth & Young Manhood is a great starting point, where the above is take from.

 

5) Electric Six – Dance Commander

Electric Six looked to be a mainstay at top of the charts in the early 2000’s with tracks such as ‘Danger! High Voltage’.  The intervening years have seen the Detroit outfit fade somewhat, but tracks like ‘Dance Commander’ are worth your time.

 

Sure, music may be subjective,  but don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy at least one of the above.  Let me know your thoughts below… 😉