Try Isn't Do

Musical drugs and shared secret codes abort the utopic mission

Greg Tate

The best rap songs were snaps and whistles floating in negative space. The best rap albums were screwed lethargic purple sap. The best metal records were sucking abysses of doom feedback. The best electronic records were skeletal house made from tiny clicks and cuts. Then why did all the best rock records sound just like last year's best rock records?

Antony and the Johnsons, #7 album, #24 single
photo: Alice O’Malley
Antony and the Johnsons, #7 album, #24 single

Chris Weingarten
Brooklyn, New York

If a younger band released an album half as satisfying as the Stones did, we'd be falling all over ourselves praising them for rescuing the lost soul of rock and roll.

Rick Mitchell
Houston, Texas

Not mentioned in the Dylan movie: Elvis, the Beatles, Buddy Holly, Britney.

Not mentioned in the Johnny Cash movie: Hank, Jesus, black people, Britney.

Rob Sheffield
Brooklyn, New York

Whatever music I love at any given moment always exists in the here and now, whether it came out last week, 10 years ago, or in 1963. "Outta Control" 's main competitors for my favourite song of the year were the Spikedrivers' "Often I Wonder," Hot Tuna's "Sea Child," Yo La Tengo's "Satellite," and a dozen other things that felt every bit as wondrous as 50 Cent's record. That his gave up nothing to any of them is why he's 1.

Phil Dellio
Toronto, Ontario

Be it the rap and r&b favored by my teen daughter, or the WEQX-derived "alt-rock" that's the staple of her twin, their music comes and goes with unfailing impermanence, mere ringtones for ears and a heart wanting more. But at age 55, life is too short to wallow in the music of my youth, no matter how tenacious its hold.

Mike Curtin
Glens Falls, New York

What does it mean to stay fly? It means never bringing your own because your friends let you smoke for free. It means repping Tennessee, home of the 12-syllable vowel. It means smoke all night, sleep all day, because that's the American way. It means picking your teeth in the hotel corridor. It means not leaving your shit around DJ Paul unless you don't mind getting your shit lit up. It means treating your friends like stars even when they're ugly. It means having friends. It means not dying.

Rob Sheffield
Brooklyn, New York

Mother Nature doesn't care about nobody.

Werner Trieschmann
Little Rock, Arkansas

Q: What you gon' do wit' all that breast? All that breast inside that shirt?

A: I'm going to suckle my children.

John Seroff
Jersey City, New Jersey

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