Eleven wishes for music in 2012

MOVE music columnist Alex Smith writes about the 11 things he's wishing for on 11-11-11.

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1. I wish the Grammy’s would get it together.

The main difference between the Oscars (a good awards show) and the Grammys (a bad awards show) is that most nominees in the former make sense, and most nominees in the latter seem like they were picked out of a hat by chimpanzees. For the sake of example, last year’s Album of the Year nominees were Eminem, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Katy Perry and… Arcade Fire. Let’s get some kind of consistency going, shall we?

2. I wish the price of music would drop.

There seem to be two different currents in the music industry these days. For one, a lot of in-store albums dipped down to a beautiful $9.99, but iTunes began selling a ton of great songs for $1.29. What gives? Bring all physical purchases down to at least $12 (the highest price anyone should have to pay for an album) and for the love of God stop making me pay an extra 30 cents for a digital copy of “Fireflies.”

3. I wish Rage Against the Machine would drop a new album.

As frontman/rapper/screamer/activist Zack de la Rocha said in “Guerrilla Radio” before the new millennium set in, “What better place than here? What better time than now?” Seriously, with all of the Occupy protests going on and a full-blown intercontinental war that’s been brewing for 10 years, where has Rage been? There’s no better time than now for a new generation of fans to get into metal’s smartest group of all-time.

4. I wish Pitchfork would lighten up.

The million-dollar question is, what’s the difference between a 2.7/10 and a 2.6/10? And why do you hate all of my favorite artists?

5. I wish there was a big-time hip-hop festival.

Sure, there is a multitude of solid rap festivals around the nation, including Rock the Bells, A3C, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, Paid Dues and Soundset. None of these reach the kind of heights Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo in terms of artist selection. Imagine paying a hundred dollars to see Jay-Z, A Tribe Called Quest, Eminem, Outkast, Kanye, Nas, Black Star and Beastie Boys all at once. Get it done!

6. I wish American Idol would call it quits.

Average ratings. Boring judges. Ryan Seacrest. Oh, and now Simon is running "The X Factor" over on FOX. It’s time.

7. I wish Russell Brand would stop acting and start touring.

For those of you out of the know, Brand played the same character, Aldous Snow, in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Get Him To the Greek.” Snow is a rock star who fronts his own band, Infant Sorrow. After making the song “Inside of You” for the first film, Brand recorded an entire album for the soundtrack of “Greek.” It sounds a bit like Oasis… if Oasis were run by a drug-induced madman who insists there is “a little African child” trapped inside of his body. Trust me, it’s good stuff.

8. I wish for the return of music television.

A popular cable channel that plays music, shows music videos and talks about music 24/7. If they could do it in the 80s, they can do it now. And no, FUSE doesn’t count.

9. I wish Led Zeppelin would reunite.

Robert Plant is the sole person stopping the long-awaited reunion tour. It’s hard to blame him; he wants to preserve the legacy of one of the greatest rock groups of all-time, and he doesn’t particularly enjoy the company of his former bandmates. That doesn’t stop me from selfishly hoping he is somehow forced into it via large sums of cash, hypnosis, etc. I want to experience “Black Dog” without pressing a button on my computer.

10. I wish U2 would break up.

This might be slightly controversial, but I think Bono and company need to take a page from R.E.M.’s book and cut the cord. They still get good press from the likes of Rolling Stone and other fanboy magazines when they release fresh material, but nobody goes to the show hoping to hear the new singles anymore, and they haven’t in a while. You can always come back in 25 years, Zeppelin-style.

11. I wish for a bumpin’ soundtrack to the end of the world.

All I need to face the Mayan apocalypse is my iPod and a pair of headphones. I hope 2012 provides some great new music to send Earth out in style.

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