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50 Bands 50 States

New York

The current results are:


All-Time Best Band: Velvet Underground
All-Time Best Solo Artist: Mary J. Blige
Best New Band: Yeasayer

This one was tough, but Public Enemy didn’t write “Sweet Jane,” Sonic Youth didn’t write “Sister Ray,” and the Ramones . . . well, you can’t honestly think the Ramones are the best band ever from New York. The Velvet Underground, in their five short, fussy, foggy years, did more to change the future of rock music than any other band in the five boroughs — or beyond. They may have inspired a few more touristy (among other) trips up to Lexington 125 than were necessary, but they also loosened the limits of what rock could be — and squeezed it into tighter jeans. | We can only imagine that each of you has had those mornings when you can just feel something bad in the air. For those of you vaguely nodding right now, you most likely know the Febreze-like effect a Mary J. Blige track has on your morning frownies. Sometimes you just don’t want to brush crap off your shoulders, but Blige’s soaring, roaring tracks are clinically proven to delete doubt — all while really working your abs. Point being: she wins. | Having a favorite new(ish) band from New York is like having a favorite soap bubble, so sue us for being all gooey for Yeasayer: purveyors of experimental rock (à la Animal Collective) enhanced by Eastern twinges, chanty gang vocals, and (apparently) a shared penchant for Peter Gabriel. Theirs is lush, aware, (actually) edgy, and challenging music that brings you back to a time when NYC was known for such things (like the Velvet Underground).

Video: Velvet Underground
Video: Mary J. Blige

Listen: Velvet Underground, "Rock and Roll"

Listen: Mary J. Blige, "Be Without You"

Listen: Yeasayer, "2080"

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Re: New York
You guys are smokin' major illegal drugs if you think Mary J. Blige is a better solo act than Billy Joel.  I mean no disrespect to the luscious Ms. Blige but c'mon...when you hear Billy Joel you think of NY case closed.  And the Velvet Underground?  Yea definitely smokin' the rock.  The next time you guys do this you should maybe confer with people from those states.  It's obvious you guys are looney.  Without the Ramones you don't have ANY of the Green Day clones you have today because Green Day copied the Ramones.  As for the Talking Heads, just because they went to RISD doesn't qualify them as a RI band.  They came from the same scene as the Ramones, Blondie, Television, the Voidoids...CBGB's OMFUG acts all the way.  They were NY music from the 70's, I know, I was there.  I would put any rap act before the VU.  Even Anthrax should be of note.  You guys have shown me you need a new music research department.  Don't worry though, I'm available.  As for RI (the state I now live in) you disrespect John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (they are actually from RI).  I commend you on Tanya Donnelly.  New Jersey's run-off should be between the Four Seasons and Bon Jovi.  The Misfits are as original as my new invention...the toaster.  You guys suck at this.
By Iamj0hngalT on 07/07/2008 at 7:45:18
Re: New York
 Mary J Blige?  Just plain awful. Fixed: Best All-Time Solo Artist: Paul SimonJoel's in second. 
By Tino23 on 07/09/2008 at 8:57:57
Re: New York
Mary J. Blaaah!! WOW!!  How did that get in there? Billy Joel is a true NY entertainer and it is embedded in your head when you hear him sing or perform. How did Billy get overlooked? I'm in a NY state of mind!! :-))
By Daveman on 07/30/2008 at 12:53:01
Re: New York
I'm with the Paul Simon camp here, and doesn't Dylan count as NY and thus crush all three categories??? no disrespect to senor joel, he rules.  Mary J is  diva,  I like Jay Z better. Velvet Underground, well, okay, at least you didn't go with sonic youth like the voice would (barfing).
Hey! who the hell is "Yeasayer"? why? did anyone listen to this schlock first?  I heard better bands at the Continental Monday night.  I mean, if you have to go all new wave & boston with it,  you could have at least picked Cloud Room or somebody else people actually dig. also wondering: what, no eddie money fans up there?
By SterkeB on 07/30/2008 at 8:57:43
Re: New York
A great choice for The Velvet Underground. For the solo artist I would go with Paul Simon.
By BHoover on 08/01/2008 at 8:17:31

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