One of the most interesting discussions we heard at the SF MusicTech Summit yesterday was about which artists of today will still matter — will be remembered and talked about and referred to — in 30 years. The question was originally raised by NPR critic Ann Powers on Twitter, expanded on here, and it came up yesterday on a panel of four middle-aged white guys and one middle-aged black woman who works for a major label.
Their answers included Dave Matthews Band, the Shins, Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, and Beck. Which, ugh. Radiohead is obvious, but the rest of these predictions seem both outdated (read: old) and also a little off. Everything rests on your definition of “matter” of course — as of 2012, various interested parties haven't yet forgotten Donnie Osmond, on one hand, or the Normal on the other. (And Powers, for what it's worth, originally just asked about pop stars.) But the spirit of the question seems to be which artists of today will have an impact that's still remembered three decades from now. Here are 10 recent artists we think will do that. It's not a complete list, but it's a start.