Where Are They Now?
Usually when you see that question you expect an interesting answer. Not today. I really just want to know. Here are 3 artists who not only did some amazing work, but could very easily still be relevant today if circumstance hadn’t faded them into obscurity.
Micheal Penn – One of my all-time favorite artists. Michael Penn (yes, he’s the brother of Sean Penn) actually won a Best New Artist VMA in 1990 for the single “No Myth.” He followed that success with several brilliant albums of intelligent, Beatles-ish pop. For reasons that escape me entirely, they were not successful. His most recent offering appears to be the song “The Count of Pennsylvania” which currently has less than 12,000 views on YouTube. It’s every bit as amazing as anything he ever did.
Grant Lee Buffalo – If you were into alternative rock in the mid-90’s and you were also sad a lot, Grant Lee Buffalo’s 1994 album Mighty Joe Moon probably never left your CD player. The song “Happiness” has the distinction of being the most depressing song ever written with that title.
Dada – Their first single “Dizz Knee Land” (spelled to presumably avoid a trademark suit) was a huge hit on rock radio. With good reason. It’s irreverent, sardonic and infinitely catchy. Follow up singles like “Dim” were every bit as good, but never seemed to move the needle.
Calling the music industry “fickle” is far too generous. It’s brutal. Talented songwriters, inspiring bands and worthwhile albums are routinely and unceremoniously cast aside in favor of empty popstars performing glorified commercial jingles. It’s left to dorks like me to carry the flag on this tiny little corner of the internet. WHO’S WITH ME! MUSIC NERDS, ASSEMBLE!