I spent New Year’s Eve watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve show with my family, as I have done for the past several years. The show is more or less a celebration of the magic four chord progression that is over-utilized in pop music. I like to use it as a barometer for where music is each year. Here’s a rundown of my opinions:

Pitbull. I still believe Afrojack is the difference maker in “Give me everything tonight” being relatively ok as opposed to completely generic.
Drake. This guy just kills me. Does every popular rapper these days have to rap about success? Drake does nothing exemplary.
Lady Gaga. Another day, another Gaga performance characterized by an obnoxious costume rather than any real performance.
One Republic. Says a lot that it’s 2012 and they’re still performing Apologize for big events like this. I’d be more impressed if it didn’t use “the progression” and was still as catchy.
Will.i.am. I may not like his music enough to listen to it, but I would definitely watch more of his performances. Will.i.am is something else on stage. And in his defense, he was better than the other electronic-y artists on tonight.
Nicki Minaj. Childish. Not really sure who enjoys her music. She seems like the black version of Lady Gaga, stylistically.
Gym Class Heroes. I liked them, actually. They’ve got a nice vibe. I noticed immediately when they covered a Bruno Mars piece, because the difference in quality was that drastic.
Florence + The Machine. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen her perform on TV, and I’m still not a fan. I don’t really have any criticism, I just don’t like her sound. It’s kind of boring, to me.
LMFAO. Dumb. The worst part for me at this point is that this is considered “cool.”
Robin Thicke. I have no idea who the market for this guy is. At least it seems he’s dropped the falsetto I remember from last year’s show. I’m dying to know the kind of person that listens to his albums.
The Band Perry. Not really sure why they were on the show. They just did some kind of Rihanna cover/country mashup. Wasn’t really that interesting.
(edit Jan 7. I heard them sing the national anthem at the Cotton Bowl, and they actually did a phenomenal job at it)
blink-182. Cookie-cutter. That’s pop-punk, though. Having grown up hearing this music, there’s something oddly copacetic about it.
Taio Cruz. This guy has a knack for writing “songs that could play during the ending credits of a Dreamworks movie” (if you ignore the lyrics). His songs are off-the-charts bouncy, and not that spectacular.


6 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2012

  1. Trend alert. Moombahton is set to explode this year along with its various subgenres including moombahsoul, moombahcore and boombahchero. Maybe you should do an article on that? Check out Dave Nada, Diplo, Knife Party, Munchi.. they are all doing moombah.


  2. Are you serious? I mean, I could, but after listening to a few of these guys, it doesn’t seem all too different from contemporary house music.


  3. Ok well how about Steampunk? I can actually see that style of music taking off in a few years time. Check out Abney Park. Its combines the shanty rhythms of pirates; the baroque orchestration of the victorian era; industrial sounds of hammers, machines and steamengines, and the raw DIY aesthetic of punk rock. The offshoot of Steamwave adds more electronic and introspective elements. Check out the Vernian Process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vAYrBJHGqo&feature=related


  4. Oh and another is Dieselpunk (and Dieselwave) which sees victorian music swapped for 20s-40s music. Incorporates elements of ragtime, jazz, boogie, bebop and swing but with punk sensibilities and a dystopian feel.I can honestly see someone taking these genres, adding a whole bunch of electro and dubstep synths and being labelled the next big thing. But check for yourself.I can definitely see popular rock music going this way as rock always seems to identify most closely with a specific subculture. What emo was to emos, indie is to hipsters, no doubt steampunk will be the steampunks.Probably the closest example of mainstream appeal (and you will hate me for this) is The ballad of Mona lisa by panic at the disco.


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