If you're one of those kids who clung to their Discman for way too long, is more likely to buy a used LP from the 80s than a new track on iTunes, and has a list of favorite bands that doesn't breach the year 2000, you may be suffering from music nostalgia. Lucky for you, the big-name festivals seem to appreciate well-established acts just as much, if not more so, than the newcomers (check out the Coachella poster
, where the Stone Roses and Blur are listed before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Modest Mouse).
The problem is, most of us have no desire to see the Rolling Stones rattle their way through their Super Bowl set, or revisit an embarrassing teenage relationship by attending the Postal Service reunion. So what's the nostalgic festival-goer to do? We've got you covered: check out our list of legendary bands that established new genres in their heyday and are still
making challenging, artistic music that would earn a following even without their prestige. Here's to a summer of nostalgia!
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Coachella, Glastonbury, Primavera Sound)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released their 15th studio album in February, and their haunting gothic folk feels as vital and heartbreaking as ever. A far cry from their new wave 80s material, Push The Sky Away
is a quietly smoldering peek into parts of the heart we don't like to confront. As is the case on a minimalist Bruce Springsteen album, taking out some of the gusto and drama further exposes the songwriting genius beneath.
Listen to the title track from Push The Sky Away:
Bjork (Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Festival)
Between the layered, experimental beauty of the nature-inspired iPad app/album Biophilia
(2011) and the explosive poetic emotion of Volta
(2008), Bjork's ever-intensifying voice and ever-expanding list of collaborators have kept her music mind-alteringly awesome.
Check out the dubstep-infused "Crystalline" from Biophilia:
David Byrne and St. Vincent (Bonnaroo)
David Byrne is one of the few aging "rock stars" who remains not only relevant, but musically important. His post-Talking Heads solo career has flourished while he continues to experiment with installation art, write books about bicycling, and give back to his Brooklyn community by performing for free in Prospect Park that one time. Most recently, he recorded a vivacious, frenetic album with St. Vincent called Love This Giant
(2012) and has been touring ever since its release. Nostalgia bonus: he and St. Vincent will probably play a few Talking Heads covers!
Enjoy the danceable and otherworldly "Lazarus" from Love This Giant:
Nine Inch Nails (Lollapalooza, Reading Festival)
This year marks Nine Inch Nails' official return from their 2009 hiatus, complete with live shows and hints at new material on the horizon. Trent Reznor has stayed admirably relevant, working continually on movie scores and his project with wife Mariqueen Maandig, How To Destroy Angels. The latter's debut album Welcome Oblivion
was released in March, and was just the creepy post-industrial nightmare that NIN fans have been craving for a while (albeit with less Trent than we hoped). Twenty-four years after the release of Pretty Hate Machine
, Trent Reznor still predicts the apocalypse, but his prophecies now reap the benefits of decades of musical growth.
Visit the dark, foreboding world of How To Destroy Angels with "And The Sky Began To Scream":
My Bloody Valentine (Primavera Sound)
This February, over twenty years after the release of their seminal album Loveless
(1991), My Bloody Valentine fans were finally rewarded with a new record titled m b v
. The album is comprised of half-finished songs from the early 90s and material written after their reunion in 2007, and is a study in nostalgia all on its own. It feels almost like a bookend, a response to Loveless
that has time-traveled in order to look back proudly on the decades of indie music that this group has influenced. The fact that m b v
still sounds fresh is testament to their enormous impact and relevance, even to this day.
Chill out shoegaze-style with "Only Tomorrow" from m b v:
Violent Femmes (Bottle Rock Festival, Coachella)
After the messy Wendy's lawsuit in 2007 and a smattering of shows around the time of their breakup, we never thought we'd see these freak-folk founders live again. True, they haven't released a record since 2000's Freak Magnet
, but if their 2008 cover of "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley is any indication, these legends are going to sound as fresh (and strange) as ever.
Here's their take on "Crazy":
Wilco (Bonnaroo, Solid Sound, Nelsonville Festival)
Though they've earned the less-than-flattering label of "dad rock," there's no denying that Wilco has been making consistently good music since 1995. That, and the fact that none of these new-fangled Mumford punks would be where they are without Jeff Tweedy's alt-country influence, is enough reason to catch their exuberant live performance. Their excellent 2011 album, The Whole Love
, is just the icing on the cake.
Rethink "dad rock" with this cinematic frenzy of a track off The Whole Love, "The Art of Almost":