Returning from vacation, I find myself grateful to live in Boston with its plethora of college and public radio stations. From my experience listening to commercial radio stations here and abroad it would seem that with the exception of hip-hop and r&b, music of this decade is no longer played on the radio. It’s a pity, because I’d argued there’s been a outpouring of great new rock and pop music of all subgenres over the past 5-6 years, but you have to go to the internet to find it if your not in the signal range of a station like WERS.
Otherwise, you will hear music from the 90’s. Not any music from the 90’s, but specifically from the mid-to-late 90’s and even then artists like Radiohead, Beck, The Flaming Lips and the Eels won’t make the cut. No this is that peculiar 90’s genre that is kind of bluesy, but watered down so as to have no edge. Kind of folksy but but so crafted for commercial appeal that you know no “folk” were involved. Kind of jam band-ish but without the virtuosity. Examples of this genre’s performers include the Goo Goo Dolls, Sister Hazel, Collective Soul, Counting Crows, Deep Blue Something, Live, Marchbox Twenty, The Verve Pipe, The Gin Blossoms, and most iconically Hootie and the Blowfish. There were many more, but perhaps due to their blandness it’s only recently that I’ve come to realize that this style of music was not the work of just one or two bands.
Seriously, listen to these three songs below and tell me that they do not sound like the work of the same band, perhaps on the same album.
There are some who call this genre post-grunge, but it doesn’t really seem fair to name it just for something that came before it. I’ve come to call it Boring Rock, but perhaps we can find something more charitable. So I challenge you dear readers to Name That Genre!