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Rolling Stone Just Re-Cast The Original Woodstock with Current Artists

Feel free to rip this apart at your leisure.

I will say, while at the surface the substitutions look egregious, the explanations given from the venerable rock and roll magazine give make at least a hint of sense. You can at least see the logic behind the decisions even if you disagree with the decisions themselves.

Some high/lowlights:

Vampire Weekend‪ for The Grateful Dead

Vampire Weekend have drawn quite a few comparisons to the Grateful Dead from several corners following the release of their most recent album Father of the Bride. Depending on which era of the Dead we’re talking here, the amount of stock you take in those comparisons may vary. That being said, they’ve definitely embraced one critical facet of their forerunner’s career over the last year by exploding out their compact pop songs to their outer limits with lengthy jams while onstage. They also have a propensity of mixing up the setlist from show to show, keeping both diehards and casual observers on their toes in classic Deadhead fashion.

Ariana Grande for Creedence Clearwater Revival

This comparison might seem jarring, until you consider where both of these artists where around this point in their careers. Creedence Clearwater Revival were arguably the most impactful band in America when they played Woodstock after releasing two critically beloved and commercially successful albums in the previous year, Bayou Country and Green River. The same could be said for Grande, who already headlined Coachella and Lollapalooza on the backs of her zeitgeist-shifting projects Sweetener and Thank U, Next. All she needs to do next is drop her version of Willy and the Poor Boys and it’s a wrap.

Miley Cyrus for Janis Joplin

This slot really calls for a powerhouse vocalist who has the ability to adapt to whatever climate she’s thrown into. Miley Cyrus has proven her chops in that arena time and time again, whether through many of her own pop Bangerz, the classic country duet with her Godmother Dolly Parton on “Jolene,” or while honoring Chris Cornell with her visceral take on Temple of the Dog at the singer’s recent tribute show. Imagine what she could even do taking on some of Joplin’s signature tunes like “Ball and Chain” or “Piece of My Heart.” She also perfectly inhabits the free-love, happy hippie, won’t-take-anyone’s shit aesthetic, making her a more than worthy successor to Janis.

Travis Scott for The Who

The Who were, in the parlance of Travis Scott, the original Ragers. They were the loud – very, very loud – theatrical quartet who were more than willing to get physical onstage, frequently smashing their own gear to smithereens, while provoking their fans to go truly nuts out in the audience. Scott has consistently made the same mark during his own live performances, inspiring his legion of diehards to go as hard as he does when he hits the stage, like the guy who jumped from an actual balcony during one of his shows. He’s the exact kind of artist who can kick things up a notch the same way the Who did all those years ago. In this scenario, Bret Stephens or somebody can play the modern day Abbie Hoffman, until he gets the boot from La Flame. 

Greta Van Fleet for Sha Na Ana

For those who don’t know, Sha Na Na were the only real anachronism booked to appear at the original Woodstock. They were a doo-wop throwback to the earlier sounds of the 1950s, replete with leather jackets and swooping, ducktail hair-dos. There’s frankly no better analogy to them in 2019 than Led Zeppelin look and soundalikes Greta Van Fleet, who have carved out a lucrative niche for themselves on streaming, radio and the live circuit by crafting music that adheres very closely to the bygone aesthetic of ‘70s hard rock.

they don’t compare musical styles, but they do make the comparisons based on where each artist is in resepect to their own eras.

Kendrick Lamar for Jimi Hendrix

In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was already a cultural monolith with an unassailable catalog of music to his name. He was a widely heralded technical wizard with mind-blowing chops, while also remaining a quiet, but cool presence who changed the vibration of any room he inhabited. No one in 2019 fits that bill better than Kendrick Lamar. Much in the same way that Hendrix was regarded as the greatest guitarist on the planet while he was still around, Lamar is widely assumed to be the prime lyricist of his era, with albums like good kid, m.A.A.d. city, To Pimp a Butterfly and the Pulitzer Prize-winning DAMN. to show for it. He’s also a finely tuned live performer, who has as good a chance as anyone on this list to creating a moment that speaks to the times as effectively as Hendrix did with his now-iconic rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” 

You can click here for the full article from Rolling Stone.

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