A couple weeks ago, I wanted to do a "top 5 post punk bands" list since I normally don't focus on old music on this blog and I thought damn it, they need some representation too! I mean really, no Joy Division, no Interpol. No "Big Mouth Strikes Again", no "My Stupid Mouth"...we might be able to go on without the latter though. Anyway, I was talking to some co-workers about this and we got into this discussion about genres and how they're pretty arbitrary. I have always been a fan of this idea, that genres are put in place only to categorize music and artists and it tends to do more harm than good. There are pros and cons to the idea of categorizing music and artists. It's good for data and for musicologists, it helps them construct their ideas in writing and in their mind. It also tends to be linked to the lifestyle and trends these musicians with said label created. For example, goth rock. When I mention that, you have an idea in your head what a fan of goth rock looks like. Same with pop music. Same with rap. But for the artists, it can put them in a box they can't get out of and possibly stifle their creativity, if they think too much about it.
Also, let's be real, it's all relative. One person can think Talking Heads is post punk, the other can think they're new wave. So to link a definitive genre to a band or artist is kind of pointless because everyone is going to have a different opinion about it. Even though this is in fact kind of pointless, people do it anyway because they need to have some categorization in their heads. I can understand it to an extent, especially since in music now, there are so many different sounds and bands coming out. It's just an interesting, continuous debate I find myself in all the time. Feel free to give me your opinion on this in the comments.
And on that note, here are the top 5 post punk bands I was originally going to list!
5. Violent Femmes For a while, I wanted "Good Feeling" to be my wedding song. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's Marshal & Lily's song in How I Met Your Mother? But I realized what the song is about and then I was like "yeah, I'm good, Violent Femmes, thanks."
4. Talking Heads David Byrne? "Psycho Killer"? Come on now.
3. The Cure I don't think I need an explanation.
2. The Smiths Again, I don't think I need an explanation.
1. Joy Division Again, again, I REALLY don't think I need an explanation.