Mar 132012

Who among the 35-and-under crowd is worthy?

If you had to choose an Early 21st Century All-Musician team, composed only of musicians younger than 35 years of age and from bands of the last 12 years, who would fill out your 5-piece roster of drums, bass, two guitars, and keyboards? If you want to throw in a “sixth musician” on any instrument, even a laptop, go for it! But let’s leave singers out of this thread; they still get plenty of attention.

Even among the more contemporary bands I like I rarely feel like the musicians are highlighted. I was listening to some new album recently and thinking that the production kept me at an arm’s length from the music; everything was so focused on the the vocals and the extremely steady beat. If you had to “give the drummer some,” for instance, to which drummer younger than 35 would you turn? I just spent 3 minutes trying to begin to answer my own question, but any cool, modern-day “musician’s musician” who came to mind was already past 35 (eg, Jack White [37], Omar from The Mars Volta [37], Nels Cline [55!]).

Surely a large part of my question is a function of my age and lack of touch with modern music, but I’m also curious to know if people still cherish musicianship (of any favorite style of music) the way my friends and I did growing up. We were just as likely to make fun of Neil Peart, Steve Lukather, and their ilk, but we could have easily produced an alternative list of shit-hot musicians who should have been on the cover of those chops-oriented magazines. I can’t even name mainstream “chops” types younger than 35, can you? (Surely I must be forgetting some obvious contenders.)

Of course this thread begs the question, How many Townspeople are young enough and in touch enough to answer this question? Nevertheless, I think it’s a question worth investigating.


  10 Responses to “The Early 21st Century All-Musician Team”

  1. 2000 Man

    I’m pretty out of touch, but I’d pay to go see:

    Patrick Carney – from The Black Keys – drums
    Parker Griggs and Dan Auerbach guitars (two lead singers and guys that know each other are going to help make my band kick major ass!)
    Jeremy Schmidt – from Black Mountain on keyboards and synth stuff
    Michael Van Pelt from Blitzen Trapper on bass, because I think this band would be a lot of fun for him.

    Man, these guys could really make some noise!

  2. I got Derek Trucks at 32 yrs old on lead/slide. I like Gabriela Quintero on rhythm. I can’t find an official age on her but she seems young enough to qualify.

    I don’t know enough about other instrumentalists but I do wish Abe Laboriel Jr wasn’t 41! He’s good fun to watch drum! I take him in my band


  3. tonyola

    Johnny Lang is under 35 and still pretty capable on the guitar.

  4. cliff sovinsanity

    When Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is fired up on guitar he can surely wail.
    Brian Chase the drummer for Yeah Yeah Yeahs is supremely talented.
    Franz Nicolay’s keyboard work with The Hold Steady and other guest slots stands out for me.

    I’m stumping on a bass player.

  5. shawnkilroy

    Chris Powell from Man Man on Drums
    Ethan Kath from Crystal Castles on Keyboards
    Tim Koh from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti on Bass
    Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip & LCD Soundsystem on rhythm guitar
    Nick Valensi from The Strokes on lead guitar.

  6. I’m not absolutely sure on the ages but here goes:

    Chris Powell from Man Man. Great drummer. Even gets to sit fron stage!

    Nat Baldwin from Dirty Projectors. Sure I resent that he took over the bass duties from the adorable Angel Deradoorian and relegated her to singing back-up, but this guy is a monster.

    Annie Clark AKA St. Vincent is an accomplished guitarist, love her or hate her.

    I thought of Matthew Friedberger, but when I looked him up, he was forty! That’s still young to me.

  7. Mr. Kilroy,

    Virtual high five on “Pow Pow”.

  8. I’m with ya on JLang, but in my band I want to see how that spaghetti slide sound would shimmy against her manic strumming.

    Hmph. When I put it that way, it sounds like a Yoko project.


  9. cliff sovinsanity

    If there’s a spot for a pedal steel guitar player, Robert Randolph is the man.

  10. shawnkilroy

    for real!

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