Indie music expanded into the mainstream, electronica effectively imfected popular music, hip hop diversified into a trillion different things... That period was major.
I enjoy how I am somehow taking the Anti-Shins argument but I really do like them and will be seeing them at Sasquatch. Anyway, indie music expanded into the mainstream with pop-punk, new emo/screamo, etc back then. The Shins were counter to that and a breath of fresh air but they didn't have very much to beat.
Electronic music has been trying to sneak its way into mainstream for awhile, and I would say that it actually becoming a staple is more recent.
I don't know much in the way of hip hop, but I guess it did diversify back then, I'll give you that.
I think the reasons the Shins were popular in 2001-2004 were because there was such a vacuous space in music back then. They were good in those years but not great. There just wasn't much better than them at the time and so they became very popular by default.
Mr. Mercer hasn't been shaking up the setlist very much this year. They play ~20 songs per show and have only played 23 different songs, including two covers: "Breathe" by Pink Floyd and "Helpless" by CSNY. Oh, Inverted World-era (4): "Caring Is Creepy," "One By One All Day," "New Slang," & "Sphagnum Esplanade" Chutes Too Narrow (6): "Kissing the Lipless," "Mine's Not a High Horse," "So Says I," "Young Pilgrims," & "Saint Simon" Wincing the Night Away (4): "Sleeping Lessons," "Australia," "Pam Berry," & "Phantom Limb" Port of Morrow (8): "The Rifle's Spiral," "Simple Song," "It's Only Life," "Bait and Switch," "September," "No Way Down," "40 Mark Strasse," & "Port of Morrow"
Obviously not NOTHING but there was a lot more crap out there. Moreso than now. I think this is a pretty well known fact.
NO fucking way. There is more terrible music going around right now than in the entire history of popular music. 2001-2004, we were still relatively free of the blog band phenomenon; the landscape in general was far less cluttered, musicians were still using recording studios and producing actual albums for the most part.
Anymore I'd say one out of fifty bands is worth any attention even in passing. And as for the hybridization of popular music and electronica: The Postal Service. /discussion.
Bullshit. Nothing will EVER be as bad as the days when bubblegum pop was at it's height. Nu-metal and pop punk were also flourishing back then. No amount of dubstep will ever be as dark as those days were.