The Year in Music: A Conversation 

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On What May or May Not be in Store For Us in 2011

Jeff:I think we're in for a greater 90s revival, as has been predicted without much effect for years, but not in the way people might expect. People usually say this meaning a return to loud guitars, but I think we'll actually see every part of the 90s landscape instead of loud, alt-rock guitars come into greater vogue. Already, and we can probably pin this a little bit on the Dirty Projectors, I'm seeing a lot of new bands playing with the melismatic singing and slow-grooves of 90s R & B. Rave music is making a bit of a comeback, though thankfully, not rave culture or fashion as much. You saw Wavves get some begrudging respect for getting himself together, if only to revive dumb Offspring/Blink 182 pop-punk. I'm basically living in fear that some some devastatingly attractive, compelling bunch of kids are going to conquer the 'hood just playing reverent, lunkheaded 90s alt-ska music.

Mike: In some horrible, half-serious way, I'd almost rather have a bunch of kids running around talking about how good Reel Big Fish or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were than to have them running around writing shittier versions of Color Me Bad songs. You can say what you will about those silly ska-punk bands, but my goodness, at least they had roots in some sort of counter-culture. The thing that drives me crazy about this 90s R&B revival that's being threatened is that it's encouraging people who think everything they liked when they were 14 was good and is worth recreating just because a bunch of other people happened to have had the same experiences. That's my wish for 2011: that we learn to be more ashamed of the shameful aspects of our past and not simply come up with new and exciting ways to convince people they aren't actually shameful.


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