Parker Gray and Austin Keller
Rolling Stone magazine came out in 2004 with their highly-scrutinized list of the 100 greatest musical artists ever, ranked by the industry’s biggest names in songwriting and production. For instance, Dave Grohl, drummer for Nirvana and frontman of Foo Fighters, writes the review on Led Zeppelin, who was ranked 14th. “Heavy metal would not exist without Led Zeppelin, and if it did, it would suck. Led Zeppelin were more than just a band — they were the perfect combination of the most intense elements: passion and mystery and expertise.” wrote all-time-great drummer Grohl, in admiration for his favorite band, whose--according to him--rise to fame wouldn't have been possible without the legendary John Bonham behind the kit.
Beautiful, Dave. Just beautiful. But Zeppelin at 14? Has to be some kind of joke. Nirvana at only 30? The Clash beneath Aerosmith and The Who beneath Springsteen? I can’t make sense of it. And neither could Parker.
We had to consult some experts. Johnny Rae, (‘21) has played as much guitar as any other sixteen-year-old prodigy. Andrew Vega, (‘20), hereby referred to by his stage name, “Teenage Dirtbag” has spent as much time locked away in his room experiencing music as any other angsty high schooler passionate about music. And his voice shows.
On our first episode, we read through Rolling Stone’s rankings and weigh in. We have some disagreements, considering our four tastes are very different. Andrew, one on hand, indulges more in new age raucousness; Alice in Chains, The Killers, sometimes Mudhoney. Johnny’s roots sound more like the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction; if you see him with airpods in walking through the hallway, there’s a good chance it’s one of Rock’s pioneers: Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and on a good day, Cream or Elvis. Parker’s taste is all over the place: the Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Beatles, The Grateful Dead and Nirvana. Mine is exclusively british: The Who, The Clash, Radiohead.
Debate erupts, because, frankly, some of our heroes should’ve been placed higher.
Agree? Disagree? Love the episode? Think it’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen and you’re genuinely offended that we would post something so awful? Let us know in the comments.
Our first article of the week: “Pablo Honey” by Radiohead. 1994, “the year that never happened” as Parker put it, spawned a remarkable amount of genre, generational-defining sounds like 1969. But nothing else sounds like this one. Thom Yorke’s snarling vocals and Johnny O’brien’s fiery guitar make this one of my favorite records ever.
SEE FOR YOURSELF:
The list, in its full, unabridged, glorious entirety:
Our own top tens…