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Black Lips

All-Time Best Band: R.E.M.
All-Time Best Solo Artist: Ray Charles
Best New Band: The Black Lips

College, as an aesthetic experience, was still defined by 1960s radicalism until a fumbling garage band from Athens refashioned shy, scared-shitless, half-coherent intellectualism into a hallmark of “serious” pop music. Rock didn’t recover for nearly a decade, but R.E.M. trailblazed a path for mumbling, punk-ass white guys to the cover of Rolling Stone. | Without Ray Charles, there is no soul. No soul music, no soul food, no All Souls’ Day, no Dr. Scholl (which, on an up note, would have meant no “gellin’ ”). Echoed — but never matched — over the course of a half-century by everyone from Elvis and Sinatra to Kanye and Luda, Brother Ray also overcame near-lifelong blindness (and a vicious junk habit) to perform the finest song ever written about his home state, not to mention the most amber-waving “God Bless America” to ever rock a ball game. | One of the last truly dangerous bands in rock and roll, the Black Lips suffered the death of their drummer (killed by a drunk driver before their first album came out), then promptly came, saw, and conquered with a vengeance, delivering a stage show that would make Iggy Pop wince: bloody guitars, vomit, cocks on parade, and even firecrackers in mouths. Black lips, indeed.

Video: R.E.M.
Video: Ray Charles

Listen: R.E.M., "Fall On Me"

Listen: Ray Charles, "Georgia On My Mind"

Listen: The Black Lips, "Katrina"

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Re: Georgia
Aren't the Allman Bros. from Georgia?  While I think creatively the band came to an end with Duane's untimely death, in 1972, I don't think REMs production in toto begins to aproach what the A-Bros accomplished it those three, brief, glorious years. Duane brought the sensibility of Miles and 'Trane to hard rock.   'Live at Fillmore East': need I say more?
By Paul Q on 07/03/2008 at 2:40:07
Re: Georgia
Just needed to add that, like the Talking Heads, REM will always be a 'college band' with a very particular audience.
By Paul Q on 07/07/2008 at 2:09:16
Re: Georgia
Love Ray charles, but James Brown is the all-time best solo performer in the country. Really, what were you thinking?
By dstatton on 07/08/2008 at 9:20:45
Re: Georgia
ABB might just be the best American band ever! (Certainly top 5) List is stupid.  R.E.M. are featherweights comparatively...Everything was going ok so far (state by state), this is the first obvious gaffe
By kinjames on 07/11/2008 at 12:40:48
Re: Georgia
 Shut up, hippies. R.E.M. is definitely the best band in GA.
By limepez on 07/25/2008 at 3:22:32
Re: Georgia
While the whole thing is debatable (I mean, that IS the point of these things), the idea that REM is just a "college" band is laughable, and I suspect would tend to expose your ignorance of music made in the last 20 years. Do you consider U2 to be just a "college" band?
By superactiongo on 07/29/2008 at 12:08:43
Re: Georgia
dstatton, I believe they were thinking (correctly) that James Brown is from South Carolina, not Georgia!
By HollyAnna on 07/29/2008 at 1:22:46
Re: Georgia
Ray Charles performed Georgia On My Mind. Hoagy Carmichael (a Hoosier) wrote it. Ray Charles was from Seattle. So what are the rules? Because Ray Charles' connection to Georgia is tenuous at best.
By JTSmith on 07/29/2008 at 2:52:17
Re: Georgia
Ray Charles was born in Albany, GA & didn't move to Seattle until he was 18.
By HollyAnna on 07/29/2008 at 5:41:12
Re: Georgia
 I love the Black Lips. They put on a good show too. Good choice.
By MondoTeeno on 07/29/2008 at 7:04:58
Re: Georgia
  I love the Black Lips. They put on a good show too. Good choice.
By MondoTeeno on 07/29/2008 at 7:06:40
Re: Georgia
The Allman Brothers, with or without Duane, are hands-down the best band to come out of GA.  REM has done some great things, but the Allmans didn't need to rely on alienated teenagers to become popular...
By phunklord on 08/02/2008 at 12:24:44

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