Musical Relevance in the US and UK

Often, I receive several of my usual emails that pertain to charting albums (and singles) in both the US and the UK.  While there are some similarities in choices by both sides of the Atlantic, there are more differences.

Growing up as a younger kid, I was always fascinated by the UK markets, simply because it seemed as if the music there was cutting edge.  It always felt, with some exceptions, that the US would soon be latching on to what was current in the UK.  But that’s my fix.  And I admit to having a bias.

Over the years, as I grew up, I adored the UK music world.  In the US, it was NYC.  I always looked to them to find the music that would fascinate me more than others.  Admittedly, this is something that reflects my own personal musical tastes and unlikely to reflect others in the same way that it does mine.  Personal taste, y’all!

But, I’m also not alone in this practice.  It would seem that more engaged music fans really do pay close attention to the music they love and the regions they originate from.  When Nirvana arrived, Seattle became a bright spot on the musical map.  When R.E.M. broke out, that region blipped.  Blues installed spotlights on Chicago, and the Delta regions.  It would seem that some places actually foster a kind of musical climate that appeals to some people more than others.  Right now, it seems that Austin, TX is a centrality for the Psychedelic Rock resurgence.

But, this article is centered on the relevancy of either the UK or the US as a viable music market of note.  My opinion is this:  As I (still) pay close attention to charting music, the UK seems to point out to me a lot of bands that I adopt as favorites.  And because of this, I hold close the opinion that the UK is more relevant than the US.  The US, I believe is engaged primarily in the Pop markets, with independent bands a follow-up for those that care.

As an aside, a quick visit to the excellent UK website, SuperDeluxeEdition will unveil many Special Edition reissues of great old music, which denotes a respect for those revered titles.  The US-based, The Second Disc, will also spotlight such UK reissues.  The US markets very rarely initiate such gems, choosing instead, to let the UK create the sets, and then release US versions of the UK reissues.

So, the question here (despite the intention of my rambling post) is this:  Where do you feel musical relevance is most located?  The US or the UK?