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Getting Out of a Musical Rut

Apr23

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Hi Amy,

Love your columns and blog!

I have a problem. I have officially become old and lame, and I find myself muttering “what are these crazy kids listening to these days, I’m old enough to be Justin Bieber’s mother, WTF?”

Anyway, I try to look cool but I have a dirty secret. My iPhone has no tunes!! (for shame) I haven’t bought or downloaded anything in several YEARS. I am going on a long trip in mid-May and I need some new stuff!! Can you please suggest artists/albums?? I’m mostly in the “alternative” genre, but am open to most things. (Though I have no patience for the “hipper-than-thou” types)

Thanks a million!
Stacy

Ooh! Ooh! Fun! Fun question! Fun Friday question! Exactly what we all need right now. (Like how I can declare exactly what “we” all need? Gosh, writing for the Internet is just one never-ending power trip.)

First, before I name my favorite artists and albums of the moment (and y’all learn exactly how uncool and lame I am, thus restoring the power balance back to the universe), a few general tips for anyone who is looking to branch out and find new music but can’t stomach the teenaged caterwauling on the radio: start with the iTunes Single of the Week. It’s a free download and I’ve really been impressed with a lot of the choices. Starbucks also gives out cards and codes for free singles. A few times I’ve gone ahead and completed the album, but even without doing that I’ve built a nice eclectic collection that sounds really interesting on Shuffle. And if you do hate something, it’s just a single strike of the delete key and POOF.

And now! Onto the music! My current musical obsessions and favorite albums, with the caveat that my iPod also currently contains no less than 53 tracks by the cast of Glee.

Adele: 19
Think Amy Winehouse with twice the voice, three times the soul and none of the Hot Mess.

Arcade Fire: Funeral
This album takes a couple listens, but then it sort of enters your bloodstream to unite with your soul. IF YOU HAVE ONE.

Ben Folds: Supersunnyspeedgraphic and Way to Normal
Because even if you haven’t bought an album in YEARS, I’m still assuming you own Rockin’ the Suburbs and Songs for Silverman. Otherwise: Oh, honey. You need more help than I can give.

Jill Scott: The Real Thing, Words and Sounds, Vol. 3
Songs for to be feeling the sexy to.

Kings of Leon: Only by the Night
I’m including this one despite the fact that I am sick to death of both of their radio singles, mostly because my husband was probably in the biggest old-person musical rut of all time (try not buying any albums since the mid-90s, people) and now he LOVES THESE GUYS.

Lady Gaga: The Fame Monster [Deluxe Edition]
Oh, just GIVE IN already. Seriously, the last dance-pop album I bought was freaking ACE OF BASE, yet Lady Gaga has gotten more play recently than anything else on this list. It’s fun, it’s catchy, it makes doing the 30-Day Shred infinitely less annoying.

Michael Franti & Spearhead: All Rebel Rockers
We went to Jamaica recently. So. Yeah. This is one of Noah’s favorites.

Panic at the Disco: Pretty. Odd.
You probably heard that Nine in the Afternoon single played to death on the radio, but don’t judge. The rest of the album is really solid.

Rilo Kiley: Uh. All of them. Every album.
Okay, fine. Start with either The Execution of All Things or Under the Blacklight. Or More Adventurous. Or Take Offs and Landings. Or lead singer Jenny Lewis’ solo album Rabbit Fur Coat. It’s all really, really good.

Spoon: Transference
Who doesn’t love Spoon? If you aren’t sure, you probably still love Spoon. If you saw that Will Ferrell movie Stranger Than Fiction and always wondered about that song that plays when he’s in the guitar store and like, it’s indescribably awesome? That’s Spoon, and this is their latest album. You probably love it too.

Vampire Weekend: their self-titled debut album and Contra
People either love or hate VW, but my working theory is that a lot of the haters hate simply because these guys are so young and SO IRRITATINGLY GOOD, DAMN IT. They’re also the polar opposite of the over-produced autotuned madness you hear so much of today.

The White Stripes:Icky Thump
Because I’m assuming you already own Elephant, right? I mean, everybody already owns Elephant, right? Because that was only the greatest album in the world since like, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, right? Okay then. Icky Thump rocks pretty hard too.

Also: anything by The Shins, nothing by Coldplay. I have a lot of Weezer, Flight of the Conchords and an almost inexplicable amount of Duran Duran. I have Kanye and Ludacris and the soundtrack to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (AND the DVD commentary track). In other words: I probably have terrible taste in music and should not be listened to by anyone, ever.

Okay! Everybody else’s turn. Name your favorite artist and album of the moment, or of All Time. Or both! Whatever. It’s Friday and nobody feels like doing any work around here, right?

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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52 Responses to “Getting Out of a Musical Rut”

  1. Life of a Doctor's Wife Apr 23 at 4:48 pm Reply Reply

    Phoenix’s album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. It’s one of the best albums of all time, I think. (For comparison’s sake, I’m ranking it up there with Sgt Pepper & the Lonely Hearts Club Band and Weezer’s Blue Album.)
    Also? I haven’t actually purchased an album since “Justified.” Nor do I own an iPod. So perhaps I’m not the most qualified person to offer musical suggestions.
    Anyway…
    Phoenix. Is. Awesome.

  2. Hi, I'm Natalie. Apr 23 at 4:58 pm Reply Reply

    If you’re looking for roadtrip fare, have you tried audiobooks? There is nothing quite like a bit of J.K. Rowling or Stephen Hawking to make the hours fly by! I’m also a bit fan of podcasts for long trips – CBC’s Quirk’s and Quarks is my current go-to podcast. (It’s a pop-science show. Very fun. http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/podcast.html )

  3. Dawn Apr 23 at 5:19 pm Reply Reply

    How about
    Neon Trees – Habits
    Broken Bells – self titled album
    The Fratellis – Costello Music
    The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound
    We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
    Yeasayer – Odd Blood

  4. Beth Apr 23 at 5:23 pm Reply Reply

    OOOH! If you set up a free account with Lala.com you can listen to whole albums once for free!!!! Like a free preview, it’s awesome. Way better than a 30 second clip on most sites.

  5. S. Apr 23 at 5:31 pm Reply Reply

    Check out the debut album from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, _Up from Below_. It’s homey and familiar and comforting but still manages to be new and fresh at the same time. Fun and serious and joyful and sorrowful. Like The Mamas and Papas found themselves somehow transported to the new millennium.

  6. Kerri Anne Apr 23 at 5:31 pm Reply Reply

    I’ve been rocking the soundtrack to the recent Glee: Madonna episode and it’s rad. My personal favorite at this very second is 4 Minutes, as sung by Kurt and Mercedes. LOVE.
    (8 full songs for $6.99 on iTunes!)
    Oh, and I second Rilo Kiley and anything by Kings of Leon.
    Also good: The Airborne Toxic Event and Fleet Foxes.

  7. Melissa Apr 23 at 5:32 pm Reply Reply

    Ray LaMontagne-I love Gossip in the Grain (the first two tracks alone are worth the album)
    Jamie Cullum ‘Wheels’-iTunes says this is Jazz, but I’m not so sure…
    Modest Mouse (don’t judge-and I know it’s from 2004, but…) Good News for People Who Love Bad
    The Ting-Tings ‘We Started Nothing’
    The Swell Season
    Ingrid Michaelson-Boys and Girls
    Wilco
    Love Michael Franti & Spearhead
    This was fun, Amy! Thanks!

  8. bethany actually Apr 23 at 5:43 pm Reply Reply

    I love pretty much anything by Barenaked Ladies. Their music is catchy and singable, and their lyrics are fun and tongue-in-cheek and smart and they sing about interesting stuff.

  9. cindy Apr 23 at 5:49 pm Reply Reply

    I love this question! I was in the same boat until recently, but I’ve gotten some new music. Lately I’ve been really loving the albums The Crane Wife by The Decemberists and Plans by Death Cab for Cutie.

  10. Stephanie Apr 23 at 5:49 pm Reply Reply

    I suggest listening tp0 Pandora. Why? because the app is free on the iPhone, and you can get new, fun music based on your own likes. I created a Death Cab for Cutie channel, which although comes up with too much Coldplay, also comes up with a lot of great music too. But Amalah’s list sounds pretty awesome to me.
    And I just had a whole FB thread about who the hell Justin Bieber is and why his mom looks like she’s maybe a couple years older than I am, maybe. Seriously, WTF???

  11. Stephanie Apr 23 at 5:57 pm Reply Reply

    Case in point about Pandora. I’m listening to it at work right now and a song from Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix just came on. And it’s awesome!

  12. Melissa Apr 23 at 5:57 pm Reply Reply

    Ray LaMontagne-I love ‘Gossip in the Grain’ (the first two tracks alone are worth the album)
    Jamie Cullum ‘Wheels’-iTunes says this is Jazz, but I’m not so sure…
    Modest Mouse (don’t judge-and I know it’s from 2004, but…) Good News for People Who Love Bad
    The Ting-Tings ‘We Started Nothing’
    The Swell Season
    Ingrid Michaelson-Boys and Girls
    Wilco
    Love Michael Franti & Spearhead
    This was fun, Amy! Thanks! (sorry if you get this twice-my computer freaked out as I was submitting it)

  13. Muirnait Apr 23 at 5:58 pm Reply Reply

    I love the departure from the usual area of topics – not that I don’t love them, but it’s always nice to shake things up, and to have something a little lighter and fluffier haha.

  14. Kate F. Apr 23 at 6:00 pm Reply Reply

    I can’t stop listening to “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap. It almost sounds like U2 mated with Peter Gabriel and then they all hooked up with Keane? Or something? I don’t know.
    I also love Santogold; start with “Lights Out” and “L.E.S. Artists.”
    “Lethal Enforcer” and “That’s What Counts” by We Are Scientists.
    And for fun, “So Human” by Lady Sovereign. Yes, it’s a remake of The Cure’s “Close to Me,” but talking about the perils of the music industry; what’s your point?
    (And as long as Glee was already mentioned, I can’t get “Bust Your Windows” off repeat.)

  15. agirlandaboy Apr 23 at 6:05 pm Reply Reply

    Regina Spektor. Best musical discovery (for me) of the last two years.
    My favorite place to go for new music is 3hive.com. They collect free downloads from all over the internet–from big, well-known bands and performers to little self-produced indie types, and from a variety of genres–and it’s ALL FREE. FREEEEEEE!

  16. EB Apr 23 at 6:14 pm Reply Reply

    I second Broken Bells – SO awesome! Gah! And the Shins. Also full of awesome. James Mercer is great (singer/head of both)
    Also!:
    * Avett Brothers – I and Love and You (all are good, this is the most recent) Just saw them live for the forth time. So good.
    * ANYTHING White Stripes! But Amy’s choices are probably the two best, and on that note…
    * The Racontaurs – Broken Boy Soldier (the first, though both are good, but I like the first more)
    * For fun on trips, Seu Jorge – soundtrack to The LIfe Aquatic. It’s David Bowie, done acoustically, in Portuguese. So. very. awesome. Even if you don’t love the Bowie.
    * John Butler Trio – Three. Awesome guitar, slide guitar, vocals..
    I think I have to stop there before I get too excited. Love music.

  17. abby Apr 23 at 6:23 pm Reply Reply

    Oh, thank GOD someone else does not like Coldplay. I just don’t see what the big deal is with them. You should see people’s reactions when I tell them “Eh, Coldplay. Not so much.” I HAVE been loving me some Wilco and Avett Brothers lately, though. Mmmmmm.

  18. Laura Apr 23 at 6:41 pm Reply Reply

    Unkle Bob, The Perishers, Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s, Muse, and Rachael Yamagata.
    Everyone must listen to Unkle Bob. Now.

  19. Lisa Apr 23 at 6:53 pm Reply Reply

    The American Idiot cast recording! Phenominal! If you like Green Day (or even if you don’t) these folks are amazing!
    I’m partial to New Orleans music so I suggest the following
    John Boutte- Stew Called New Orleans
    Paul Sanchez-Exit to Mystery Street
    Bonerama-Bringing It Home
    Big Sam-King of the Party
    Shamarr Allen-Meet Me on Frenchman Street
    I never listen to the radio so I can’t help with any Top 40 music- just isnt my thing.

  20. Kelly Apr 23 at 7:16 pm Reply Reply

    I’m a big fan of Nikka Costa, particularly “Till I Get to You”, “Everybody Got Their Somethin” and “Can’tneverdidnothin'”.
    If you like Adele – try Duffy (Mercy or Rockferry).
    And Jack Johnson always makes me smile.

  21. Bethanyo Apr 23 at 7:19 pm Reply Reply

    Pandora.com lets you set up radio stations based on particular artists (or even particular songs) so it’s a good way to get exposed to new music.
    Lastfm.com will track the music that you listen to and then suggest other artists based on that, as well as offer free downloads. Both have been solid ways for me to expand my music.
    Also, totally in love with A Fine Frenzy’s latest album. Her first one is good, but this (her second) is just so fun yet beautiful.

  22. Mary Apr 23 at 8:12 pm Reply Reply

    If you find a few new things you like, plug ‘em into Pandora and listen for a while. You might find some more new music that way.

  23. Tassie Apr 23 at 8:51 pm Reply Reply

    Jenny Lewis actually put out a second solo album called “Acid Tongue”. It’s really good.
    I’ve been on an indie-folk kick lately, so a lot of Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper, and Bon Iver for me. And if you’ve never listened to Yeasayer, get on that shit now.
    I fell in love with the Raconteurs a couple of years ago, with Brenden Benson and Jack White. So. Good. And much more rock than some of the other stuff.
    I could go on and on…

  24. Melissa Apr 23 at 9:07 pm Reply Reply

    One of my faves who I cannot believe is not super famous already is Raconteurs, of which Jack White is a member. Two Gallants and Okkervil River are also very good.
    For a more soulful sound – Damien Rice, Alexi Murdoch, and Ray LaMontagne.
    Pete Yorn and Andrew Bird both have a good sound.
    Joshua Radin is great. He calls it whisper rock. Currently popular in London. Sang at Ellen and Portia’s wedding. Iron and Wine is similarly soft, but a little edgier.
    Decemberists are great – sort of a pop/alternative sound, w/ very good lyrics.

  25. Faith Apr 23 at 9:08 pm Reply Reply

    Here are some of my favorites:
    Bishop Allen-The Broken String or any of the EPs
    Mates of State
    Kleenex Girl Wonder
    Hefner
    The Kinks
    The Magnetic Fields

  26. anna Apr 23 at 9:21 pm Reply Reply

    If you can speak Spanish, or you don’t mind not knowing what all the words mean (I am in the latter category), get anything by Cuarteto de Nos. The newest album is “Bipolar” and at least one of the videos (El Hijo Hernandez) is on YouTube. At present I only have their 2006 album Raro and I love it just as much.
    I also love love love Tinted Windows, which is a supergroup made out of people from Hanson, Fountains of Wayne, Smashing Pumpkins, and Cheap Trick. Pretty awesome, right?

  27. Lauren Apr 23 at 10:19 pm Reply Reply

    Try Owl City, Paramour, and Imogen Heap, three interesting and fun acts.
    Also, check out internet radio stations for some new variety. I particularly like Radio Paradise.

  28. Laura Apr 23 at 10:48 pm Reply Reply

    INGRID MICHAELSON! LOVE HER! Boys and Girls is my fav.
    And, what is this garbage about no Coldplay? For reals?? They are fabulous, put on a fantastic show, and their music will never grow old. Also, DMB’s “new” album from last summer is great- gets back to the feel of where they were as a band when they first started.
    Another great tip- check out Amazon’s downloads. You can get awesome albums for $5! And, they will download into your iTunes!

  29. lindswing Apr 23 at 11:22 pm Reply Reply

    Oh man. I love answering these sorts of things, as it reminds me what I have and love. You get in a rut sometimes, you know?
    Regina Spektor’s albums Far and Begin to Hope (On the Radio-so fun!). Often unexpected. SO GOOD.
    Andrew Bird ANYTHING. Ok, fine. Mysterious Production of Eggs is so creative and amazing. Armchair Apocrypha is also incredible.
    Fleet Foxes (voted best album of the year by npr music a couple of years ago, and deserved it)
    MGMT is super fun
    Ingrid Michaelson’s voice is quite lovely
    Iron and Wine all day every day mmmm
    Dr. Dog is another creative, fun time.
    I’ll second the plug for Arcade Fire, but my favorite album is Neon Bible. So, so, so good.
    Cold War Kids. I went to college with a couple of them, and unbelievably never attended the free shows they played all the time. It’s a really unique, catchy sound. We Used to Vacation and Hospital Beds are great songs; I hear their new album is incredible, but I’m too poor to find out, alas.
    Death Cab for Cutie is really easy to listen to and enjoy.
    Has the Postal Service made anything in years? Whatever, I love them.
    And, cough, Lady Gaga.

  30. Stacy Apr 24 at 8:07 am Reply Reply

    Oh Wow! Thanks so much for answering my question!!! You, Amy, and all the commenters are supah dupah awesome! I had heard of many groups like the Decemberists and Kings of Leon but I just never got around to listening to them… (Amy’s husband and I can sit at the musical loser table together…) ;-). I can’t wait to make a list, check some of the sites, and get some new tunes!!!!

  31. Jenn Bo Apr 24 at 9:34 am Reply Reply

    When you get to the end of my list, you will be inclined to disregard the entire list. However, I stand by my recommendations:
    – Regina Spektor (Far)
    – Broken Bells (collaboration of Danger Mouse & James Mercer of The Shins)
    – Avett Brothers (U and love and you and me) – FANTASTIC in person
    – James (Hey Ma)
    – Muse (The Resistance) – not for everyone, but if you liked the single on the radio (Uprising) before it had too much play – you will like the album. (My husband does not like).
    – last album (and please don’t judge) – The New Moon soundtrack. The movie was terrible beyond words, but the soundtrack has several songs by little known bands that I love. Even the Lykke Li song which took a few listens is one I love. (and my music snob husband does not object to the album when I play it in my car – I’ve never told him the name of the album because he would have objected based on that alone).
    To redeem myself, I’ll throw in one more. Cloud Cult (Feel Good Ghosts).

  32. Gracie Girl Apr 24 at 12:38 pm Reply Reply

    I just got Natalie Merchant’s new album last week and I absolutely love it. She’s taken poetry from various eras and cultures and set it to music. There’s lots of variety on there- Jazz, Celtic, Cajun, Orchestral, Blues, Baltic, Asian, Bluegrass, etc. Some of the songs are fun “nonsense” type ones, like nursery rhymes, while others are more serious and thought provoking. Great for kids and adults. It is called “Leave your Sleep.” I recommend getting the actual CD set, as it comes with a great book about the poets, poetry and process.

  33. DC3 Apr 24 at 1:51 pm Reply Reply

    to check stuff out for free, it’s nice to follow http://freeitunessongs.blogspot.com as well.

  34. Suzy Q Apr 24 at 2:42 pm Reply Reply

    Wow, can’t wait to try some of the stuff I’ve never heard of!
    Let me toss Katie Melua into the mix. Her cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” is superb (I promise it will make you see/hear that song in an entirely new light). As is “Shy Boy.”
    And Jace Everett, the writer/singer of the theme to the show “True Blood.” He has some other interesting country/blues-ish stuff, in addition to that kick-ass song.
    For old-school representation, how about some vintage R.E.M.? Or, those two good songs by Men at Work? Yes, I’m dating myself.

  35. Camille Apr 24 at 4:55 pm Reply Reply

    I’m reading this list going…please rec Rilo Kiley, please please please, and then you did, and I just about cried. That’s probably the pregnancy hormones. Oh well.
    Jenny Lewis’ boyfriend, Johnathan Rice has two very nice albums as well. I like Further North myself.
    Also…try Tegan and Sarah (I have spent hours on youtube after a bad day watching them talk to each other on stage. They are very, very funny in addition to very talented.)
    And I want to stick up for Jenn Bo, the New Moon soundtrack is quite good.

  36. Corinne Apr 24 at 7:11 pm Reply Reply

    Glee! Seriously, because they sing everything. And its fun and wonderful and everything should always be the Glee version.
    The two most recentish BNL albums, Barenaked ladies are Me and Barenaked Ladies are Men are really excellent driving music. They were two of the only CDs that my car would play (long story, husband has since replaced my jenky CD player with a lovely new stereo with line in for my ipod), which was super lucky because I had to drive the 2 hour trip from college to home a lot that year.
    AFI. I know, if you haven’t been following them you probably think they’re a pretty boy emo band for teenage girls (and they sort of are for some teen girls I guess), but they’re way better than that and a lot more complex than just being emo (esp. because they started out hardcore in the early 90s). Their newer albums are really catchy, less screaming, and really musical.

  37. Suzy Q Apr 24 at 9:54 pm Reply Reply

    Wow, can’t wait to try some of the stuff I’ve never heard of!
    Let me toss Katie Melua into the mix. Her cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” is superb (I promise it will make you see/hear that song in an entirely new light). As is “Shy Boy.”
    And Jace Everett, the writer/singer of the theme to the show “True Blood.” He has some other interesting country/blues-ish stuff, in addition to that kick-ass song.
    For old-school representation, how about some vintage R.E.M.? Or, those two good songs by Men at Work? Yes, I’m dating myself.

  38. Jen_Ann_W Apr 24 at 11:29 pm Reply Reply

    What, no Rodrigo y Gabriela?! Fast, fun Spanish guitar. All of their albums are AWESOME. Also I’ll throw out Christian Kane – if you like Kid Rock’s last album, you might dig him. He has an EP available on iTunes.
    A few others:
    Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
    Donovan Frankenreiter – Move By Yourself
    Eric Hutchinson – Sounds Like This
    Greyboy Allstars – West Coast Boogaloo
    Martin Sexton – Live Wide Open (his live stuff is way better than his studio albums)
    Nada Surf – Lucky
    Sara Bareilles – Between the Lines (Also live, & also better)
    Switchfoot – any of their albums, really, but I think I like Nothing is Sound the best.
    Tristan Prettyman – Hello

  39. Jenn Bo Apr 25 at 1:24 am Reply Reply

    Thanks, Camille. =)

  40. Spring Apr 26 at 8:49 am Reply Reply

    I just skimmed the comments and saw no reference to Neko Case, so I have to throw her out there. She is great. I especially love the album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of hers. Also, have to second Iron and Wine and Bon Iver. Really beautiful songs. Not too rockin’ though. Unlike Neko. Hers are beautiful and rock. Also, I have to say Wilco is some of the best stuff out there. If you haven’t tried them you should.

  41. Liz Apr 26 at 9:00 am Reply Reply

    I simply cannot walk away from this post without recommending Amanda Palmer – there aren’t words strong enough to describe how amazing I think she is. You can listen to her first solo album for free on bandcamp (http://amandapalmer.bandcamp.com/), and ditto for her whole back catalogue with the Dresden Dolls (http://dresdendolls.bandcamp.com/) and her new project Evelyn Evelyn (http://evelynevelyn.bandcamp.com/).
    She is one of those artists whose music makes you feel like she’s reached into your heart and pulled out all the things you feel but can’t really articulate.
    If I had to recommend one starter song from each of the Dresden Dolls, Amanda herself and Evelyn Evelyn, they would be: Coin-Operated Boy, Astronaut and You Only Want Me Cause You Want My Sister.

  42. Kristin Apr 26 at 9:06 am Reply Reply

    Jason Mraz is really good.

  43. pseudostoops Apr 26 at 9:41 am Reply Reply

    Many of my current favorites are already on here.
    I have a theory about Vampire Weekend, too: one could take the cover off Contra, call it a recently-discovered long-lost secret album by Rhythm the Saints-era Paul Simon, and many current doubters would eat it up.
    I’d add Mumford and Sons (great for the indie-folk lovers) and Hockey’s Mind Chaos to this list, too.

  44. Turk Apr 26 at 10:09 am Reply Reply

    While they can sometimes get a little too hipster/amused with themselves (Pabst Blue Ribbon is an occasional sponsor). I have had good luck listening to the NPR podcast, “All Songs Considered,” for new music ideas. They just went to SWSX and had some good (and some terrible) picks.

  45. Chataine Apr 26 at 10:17 am Reply Reply

    I just got into Sleeping At Last – really beautiful and…soaring? Is that the right word?
    I also love A Fine Frenzy and Erin McCarley – Erin McCarley did “Love Save The Empty” which was on all the commercials for “He’s Just Not That Into You” (the movie) when the trailers were on TV a while back. I think it’s also the end credits song. Love all her stuff.
    The Wailin’ Jennys are a great folk/bluegrass group – three girls, great harmonies, lots of fun instruments.
    These aren’t new, but they aren’t as well-known – Sandra McCracken, and Patty Griffin. (Patty is definitely better-known.) Get Gravity / Love from Sandra and Children Running Through from Patty. Gorgeous.

  46. Mouse Apr 26 at 10:40 pm Reply Reply

    It amuses me that when I first read this, there were a few artists whom I didn’t recognize–but then when I looked up a song I’ve heard recently and really want to get, it turned out to be Michael Franti & Spearhead. So that makes me think I should check out the other ones that I don’t immediately recognize.

  47. Spring Apr 26 at 10:42 pm Reply Reply

    OMG I can’t believe I forgot to recommend Patty Griffin. She’s my favorite, so much so that I assume, wrongly, that everyone already knows her. Please go get all her albums. Seriously. You won’t regret it. Unless you are a robot. Or something with even less heart and soul.

  48. Sarah Apr 27 at 10:15 am Reply Reply

    Florence + The Machine!!!

  49. Brit Apr 27 at 4:05 pm Reply Reply

    Can I just say that all the Glee love here is making me extremely happy? Cause it is.

  50. Melissa Apr 27 at 6:04 pm Reply Reply

    I skimmed the other comments and didn’t see these either:
    Arcade Fire- Neon Bible (which I love just as much as Funeral)
    Tilly and the Wall- O (great indie/chick rock and this album is much more musically developed and mature than their earlier Bottoms of Barrels.)
    TV on the Radio- Dear Science
    Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs (the wonderful songwriting and amazing lyrical skills of one Benjamin Gibbard continue unabated. And, like much of Death Cab’s earlier work, this is an album that you can, and should, listen to in its entirety.)

  51. Roberta Apr 29 at 9:36 am Reply Reply

    I’m just here to confess the extent of my lameness. This column hit home, as my iPod was badly in need of something new. I pretty much went and downloaded every damn thing that you recommended. GREAT, GREAT picks!! I’d heard a lot of it, and liked it, but somehow didn’t actually have it. Hey, I work full time and have a 17-month old. I go to bed by 9:30. I am totally lame, and totally grateful that I have teh interwebs to help me with these things with a few clicks of the mouse. I might almost be hip if I could stay awake long enough.

  52. Melissa May 16 at 11:56 pm Reply Reply

    I’m so happy I could cry – People actually suggested AWESOME music! I came and figured I’d add my two cents in but seemingly everyone else has already added 1.9 cents of it :) I’ll add in that I’m currently in love with Massive Attack and Regina Spektor. But I’m so psyched that someone threw in Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros!

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