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American Bands NME Loves

This Just In: NME Thinks America Is Cool Again

Bad news, Buzz readers (and America): Apparently, we have all been suffering from a crisis of uncoolness for some time now. And the worst part is we didn't even know it (or, at least, I didn't)! This is all according to the British music magazine NME — but there's good news, too, since NME has now managed to find 25 American bands that are making us cool again!

To quote the press release, the new issue is celebrating "the 25 American acts who are whipping up a storm on both sides of the Atlantic — signaling the re-birth of the US music scene!" Which is good, since I've had nothing to listen to for years now when I want to support the good ol' US of A!

Sarcasm aside, I'm glad the magazine is recognizing some great bands that started here — but this is kind of dramatic. I mean, did you know our music scene had died? I thought things were going pretty well, even before Vampire Weekend showed up.

Anyway, I may not agree with NME's sensational declarations, but I am OK with these bands representing America's fine musical taste abroad. I'll share the list of bands after the jump, but I'm also curious what acts gave our friends in the UK such a sour feeling about American music before now. If they really thought we were suffering, they could have just asked, and I would have been happy to point them to some great music!

To see the 25 bands that have helped us reclaim some cool points and let me know your thoughts,


  1. Vampire Weekend
  2. Lil Wayne
  3. Glass Candy
  4. Kings of Leon
  5. MGMT
  6. Spank Rock
  7. TV on the Radio
  8. Boy Crisis
  9. Black Kids
  10. Holy Ghost Revival
  11. The Hold Steady
  12. Fleet Foxes
  13. Amazing Baby
  14. Jay Reatard
  15. HEALTH
  16. The Cool Kids
  17. Black Lips
  18. Yo Majesty
  19. White Denim
  20. Telepathe
  21. Iglu and Hartly
  22. Chester French
  23. Girl Talk
  24. TheDeathSet
  25. Grace Jones


coco456 coco456 9 years
i think the reason they are calling us "uncool" its because the USA is more into the music thats maintstream and that makes the most money.....FOR EXAMPLE: The Jonas Brothers, i personally dont think they are talented at all, they are just very markateable.... its more of a popularity contest... back to topic, i am really liking vampire weekend, kings of leon, and MGMT...they are really good and unique... !!
bento-barista bento-barista 9 years
Yeah. The U.S. music scene has been a slump for quite some time now. I just realized the other day that most of the music on my iPOD is from across the pond. But, I honestly do not know most of these bands. Vampire Weekend, Black Kids and Kings of Leon are pretty awesome. I saw KoL live and they were fantastic, and I actually thought Black Kids were a Brit band, so there you go. As for Fleet Foxes, they have a song called "White Winter Hymnal," the only song I've heard from them that I can think of, and it is absolutely lovely.
Advah Advah 9 years
Kings of Leon? Really? And as much as I enjoy Girl Talk, I don't think they're groudbreaking, or even close from it. I mean, a friend of mine does better stuff on his computer. Heh I don't know really. I kind of see their point, but coming from the country who lives for the Sugababes, Lily Allen, the Girls Aloud and so on, that's rather hypocritical. (again, I do enjoy that kind of music, but I wouldn't call that musically innovative or challenging) But also, if the NME weren't a wee bit obnoxious, they wouldn't be the NME. *rolleyes* :P
fashion4ward fashion4ward 9 years
Buzz- I've thought American music has been bad for a long time, so I really started getting into new and old Brit rock. I love Vampire Weekend (met them 2 months ago- way hotter in person). But I really don't understand the appeal of Lil Wayne, but it's not my type of music. Kings of Leon and Chester French are great too; I thought Black Kids would be higher. I agree ^Great Sommelier.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
And I must say, most of these bands aren't for everybody. But they are great in their own genre.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
I love tv on the radio!
angelinemarie angelinemarie 9 years
great bands. nme always delivers.
steph_b_247 steph_b_247 9 years
I'm way more excited by the thing at the top of the cover! I can't wait for the Arctic Monkeys' next album!!
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
I haven't heard of most of the people on that list and the only one I really like is Vampire Weekend out of the ones listed there. But I have to admit that most of the music in America right now is pretty boring, and I feel like its mostly pop and hip hop. I miss the good old days of rock and roll :kool:
kea718 kea718 9 years
Lil Wayne??? Seriously??? I seem to be the only person who can't stand Lil Wayne...I dont understand why people like him so much. He kinda sounds like he's been sucking down a few too many helium balloons.
raieven raieven 9 years
America hasn't been this cool since 2001 when the NME was genuflecting before the White Stripes and The Strokes.
mariellynelly mariellynelly 9 years
People are talking about how our music is overwhelmed with bands that look "hot" and these Disney clones, but have you guys ever tried to look beyond that crap? I mean I've heard of more than half of the bands on this list because I look for real music. America's been cool all along, these bands have just been covered by the crap I listed above. MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Girl Talk, and The Hold Steady are some of my favorite bands and they're all on this list. Come on people! Don't pay attention to what the wh*res of the radio give you! Dig deeper for some good music.
pinkflats pinkflats 9 years
i only know only 2 of these: Lil Wayne and Spank Rock. but i've also heard of Grace Jones but never listened to their music. but i definitely have to agree with Uptown Girl. The US music industry just has a different measuring stick when in comes to choosing artists than the Brits. For the long as you look "hot" to market, it's all good b/c really there are producers who can fill up what that artist is lacking. and i've been loving the female artists that have/are comming out in Britain: Kate Nash, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Joss Stone, Adele, Duffy, Corrine Bailey Rae. And what does the US have: Rhianna? Katy Perry? Beyonce?
mariellynelly mariellynelly 9 years
I LOVE VAMPIRE WEEKEND. I just want to give Ezra Koenig a big kiss for being so damn great. I just wish they were at Lollapalooza this year like they were supposed to. I saw a few of the bands on the list at Lollapalooza this last weekend. BUT who cares about some British list? We've been cool in our own way.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
I haven't heard of not one single one of those bands except for Lil Wayne.
luv2blazy luv2blazy 9 years
I love Vampire Weekend. But do we really care of some Brit mag thinks we are 'cool' or not. Is 'cool' still considered a complimentary word? Seems a little out dated to me.
bffbbf4fun bffbbf4fun 9 years
I loved seeing Girl Talk on the list- but I'm wondering the same thing as Francesca: Should one guy that creates awesome mash-ups be considered a band? Oh well- just glad he's getting some recognition!
Francesca-Fiore Francesca-Fiore 9 years
I have to laugh at a few of these- like, honestly they are only just now hearing about TV On the Radio? I'm not trying to be a music snob, but they've been around for several years. Also, can Girl Talk really be considered a "band", it's just a guy who's incredibly good at putting samples together. Literally- he doesn't sing or rap, he just puts like, Jay Z vocals over Fleetwood Mac music and then Salt 'N Pepa over Nirvana. (That said, it's really fun and if you haven't heard it, I recommend it.) The British music press is notorious for their overdramatic declarations. They're always like, "The Libertines are the greatest band in the HISTORY OF MANKIND!!" or "The Arctic Monkeys are here to SAVE MUSIC FOR THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!" It's kind of cute really.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
Once America executives stop choosing their artists based on looks & marketability, maybe we will earn some credit. I agree with the Brits.
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 9 years
I must be really uncool because I have never heard of any of these bands. But I can see how people can say we're not cool when our biggest stars are Disney drones with blah voices. We got the most excited over Coldplay's album release and they are I can see where they are coming from.
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