The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part V
And we're back from the holidays with more pop moments, to be concluded before 2010...
Best dad rock trend: Did fans at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival really want to hear Public Enemy perform tracks from its largely forgotten 1994 album “Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age”? Nope. They were demanding cuts from the rap collective’s 1988 opus “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” – and that is precisely what the fans got. But P.E. was hardly the only pop act creeping into middle age to cash in on nostalgia for its back catalog as a means of generating fan goodwill. Bruce Springsteen ran through 1975’s “Born to Run” at Giants Stadium in New York and United Center in Chicago in September. The Pixies reunited for a tour performing its pop-punk classic “Doolittle.” And Devo rocked London’s Forum with a set comprising its 1978 album “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” (CL) Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
Music video trend of the year: Wanton nudity. What do psych-rock titans Flaming Lips, arty San Francisco rockers Girls and Wu-Tang Clan veteran Raekwon have in common? Very little, except that they each made videos for well-received singles in 2009 that you probably can’t watch on your work computer, due to their unapologetic deployment of naked people. Girls took it a step further with their clip for “Lust For Life,” making one edit that was very not safe for work, and a second gay-porn-themed version that might require some vigorous browser-history-scrubbing even at home. (AB) Photo: Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. Credit: Getty Images
Most inspiring song about a president the singer didn’t vote for: Merle Haggard’s “Hopes Are High.” Even though the venerated singer and songwriter acknowledged that he didn’t cast his vote in the last presidential race for Barack Obama, he nevertheless was moved by the historical significance of the election to write and record a sweetly upbeat ode to the dawning of a new era in American politics. (RL) Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Favorite singalong: The Avett Brothers in concert at the Bama Theater in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Sept. 20, 2009. On record, this North Carolina-based indie-folk band can seem awfully precious, with its wide-eyed warbling about love and family and the young man’s dream of making a mark on his time. But in the company of 2,000 high school and college kids in the Deep South, this kind of earnestness – an attempt to live with tradition while moving beyond it – makes perfect sense. In fact, it’s really moving. (AP) Photo: Associated Press
Octogenarian road warrior of the year: Bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley, 82, wouldn’t let a bruised and swollen eye, suffered in a tumble from a stepladder while he was cleaning an air conditioner at his home in Virginia, prevent him from showing up for his gig across the country the very next day at the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio last spring. The lesson? That’s what adult kids are for. (RL) Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
Most surprising rap beef outcome: In the lead-up to 50 Cent’s latest album, “Before I Self Destruct,” it surprised precisely no one that the Queens MC chose to embroil himself in an acrimonious hip-hop dispute – this one with Miami trap-rapper Rick Ross. Fitty laid it on thick, accusing his nemesis of having worked as a corrections officer (only in hip-hop could that be a liability), taking Ross’ baby momma on a videotaped shopping spree, recording diss track after diss track, and basically airing out the Florida lyricist at every opportunity. Ross attempted to respond in kind but his label Island Def Jam imposed a gag order. Then came the unexpected. Despite 50’s better efforts at self-promotion (these beefs’ true raison d’etre), “Before I Self Destruct” flopped – 50’s first musical misfire. “R.I.P. to the donkey,” Ross crowed from the stage of DJ Khaled’s birthday party last month. “We buried him!” (CL) Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times