Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tra-la-la (or the one in which I seek my lovely readers' input)

I got the internet at home for the first time in 2005. Up until then, it had remained a little exotic. I did have my first hotmail account nearly 10 years prior, and used to visit "Teen Chat" at the public library (and wondering why every time I talked to a boy he wanted to "cyber"). However, paying for all my tuition out of pocket meant for little money for a computer for most of my undergrad, making me on of those students in the library until midnight, and only enough money for monthly internet a few years later.

Of course, gaining everyday access to the internet is like a rainstorm of information for one who is used to stolen minutes of email checking on one's friends' computers. Once the novelty of games and chat and random Wikipedia'ing died down, however, the thing that likely changed my life the most was music.

Though I downloaded some CDs here and there, what really sparked my interest was going to an artist's online forum to discuss a concert I had recently attended. Suddenly, I was bombarded by artist recommendations, links to MySpace pages, concert dates. It was deliciously overwhelming. I would discover a new artist almost daily, and would hop on the bus to the local record shop and stock up. Suddenly, the listings in the newspaper were full of bands I used to flip past, but now wanted to see. My busy life suddenly felt as though it had a few more minutes in each day.

And though I felt more connected to something, I also felt more separate. My relationship had been going downhill for a good year, and the gap began growing as I found myself in crowds alone. I couldn't convince my friends to spend $20 on a band they'd never heard of.

Perhaps it may sound ridiculously cheesy, but I really do think the music was the boot I needed to realize that my life was stagnating before my very eyes and that something needed to change. Music also brought me to a concert where I turned around at the right time during an encore, and look into with those very same blue eyes that sleep beside me today.

Why do I recount all this? Because I've just realized that despite several thousand songs, my iPod is starting to bore me. I am heading into concert-hibernation season as well, so I would love to have some new music to make those busy yet dreary winter day a little more sunny. As such, I want to hear from all of you! What album do you whole heartedly recommend? What band do you love that no one else has heard of? What song are you rocking out to right now?

A bit of background on my taste may be useful, I suppose...

I'm not terribly into mainstream radio, pop, punk, country or rap. I don't know that what I like has a particular genre title, though iTunes recently labeled it as Alterna-pop, whatever that means.

Some of my faves?
Bands like Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Tegan & Sara, Rilo Kiley, Stars, the Decemberists.
More mellow artists like Tristan Prettyman, Jack Johnson, Damien Rice, Kathleen Edwards, Jenny Lewis, Elliott Smith, Feist.
Some good rock-ish stuff, like the White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric, MGMT.

So, yes.... suggestions please!!

Also, if there is enough interest, I may be inspired to copy Your Ill-Fitting Overcoat and send out a few mix CDs-- maybe even one of the great new recommended music and another of my own favourites. You can pretend I'm that dreamy artsy band boy/girl you had a crush on in junior year who you always wished would make you a mix tape. 
And you wished would write a song about you.

(Though I can't guarantee I'll do that.)


chasinglibby said...

i probably have no suggestions for that genre of music that you don't already have. HOWEVER. i'm first to comment and that is a major deal!!!

you might want to check out newton faulkner. my cousin intro'd me to him, sort of the british jack johnson...

S'Mat said...

alllright! i'm into all of your "alterna-pop" (especially the Decemberists, except j.j., who i might like if he hadn't been subliminally injected into my aural consciousness before i knew his name... so we're pretty much on the same page here methinks.
if you love feist/fiery furnaces, try St. Vincent "Marry Me". there's a few insta-grats, like 'paris is burning' but the rest of the album will ebb into you very pleasantly. her voice is INCREDIBLE.
Sigur Rós, if you've never (doubt that, but if so, start from their affected "Ágætis Byrjun". Icelandic landscape opera! What better?!
Jolie Holland's "Escondida".
Dead Can Dance, anything.
Apparat's "Walls" if you like some soft, clever, poppy techno.
If you like dark, brooding sounds (and don't mind a bit of doof-doof) I'd highly recommend Burial's "Untrue". It's classed as dubstep, but it's more phase-two trip-hop.
Caribou, "Andorra". Won a gemini this year, but in a good way.
Neutral Milk Hotel "In an Airplane over the Sea". Older, but not dated. They opened up 21st century 'alterna-pop'. A must have!
I hope these help... if you like GOOD and CHALLENGING electronically derived music, that's my personal focus (the more orchestral types) let me know, and I'll send you some samplers?!

eric1313 said...

For good rockin' stuff, try out Clutch and also try out Flogging Molly.

Probably have already been there done that, but those are two of my current modern faves.

and it seems my hockey team was sleepwalking a little bit tonight! I had on my lucky jersey and everything!


Good game.

(ha! the word verification on this post is "rantrs")

eric1313 said...

Might as well say... for the best flogging Molly stuff, check out anything from an album called Swagger, and for the best that clutch has to offer check out everything on an album called Blast Tyrant.

A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy said...

Sorry to say I've got no new reccommendations for you, you would laugh in my face no doubt, and let's face it, my ipod is full of Queen and Hammertime randomness that's best left well alone. I would like to be considered for a mix tape though!! Will pay postage for sure!

A. said...

Sorry, had a album spelling mistake in there, which would have lead you astray... so i figured i would try again fresh.

Check out the Swedish band Kent. Their music is absolutely amazing, and it transcends all language barriers.
Try their album "Vapen & Ammunition" or "Du & Jag Döden"; both are gut-wrenchingly-good.

Hope said...

My suggestions include:

The Last Shadow Puppets
and Kevin Shields.

Also, a folksy poppy Portuguese artist who sings in English and happens to be so cute you'll want to eat him which is probably the main reason I like listening to him--David Fonseca.


Maxie said...

Have you ever checked out Imogen Heap or Jem. I really like them :-)

Deutlich said...

You should totally download the album from the 20sb album club. I can't remember their name but they're awesome and I've had 'em in my car nonstop since burning the disc.

Fermi said...

Jens Leckman: Night Falls over Kortedala (the whole album) and the song Maple Leaves

Hawksley Workman: (He's Canadian!)
Songs I like:
No Sissies
Sad House Daddy
Sweet Hallelujah
Safe and Sound
Paper Shoes
Smoke Baby
Jealous of your Cigarette
Clever not Beautiful

AND the whole album: Treeful of Starling

And *heart* my love: Josh Ritter
The whole album: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
AND the song
Girl in the War

Recently I have been listening to the album: Songs of Leonard Cohen

That and Tom Waits: Rain Dogs
Tom Waits is darker than the rest of these guys though.

I want a mix CD!!!! :)

tmamone said...

Lately I've been listening to Wire's "Pink Flag" album a lot. It's like the English version of the Ramones' first album: none of the songs are over 4 minutes long, there are no guitar solos or drum fills, and no more than 3 chords. It's an underground masterpiece.

You should also check out No Kids. Their album "Come Into My House" is the best album of the year.

Rachel said...

sorry, I have horrible taste in music.
Good luck with all of this

TMC said...

Arctic Monkeys


The Last Shadow Puppets

K and/or K said...

Sigur Ros, great band out of Iceland. If you like Radiohead then check them out.

longredcape said...

I was totally going to recommend Rilo Kiley's "More Adventurous" album but I see you listed them already!

I am in love. LOVE. with the new Kings of Leon album, "Only by the Night" (the one before it, "Because of the Times," is excellent as well). I want to make love to Caleb Followill's voice. "Closer," "Manhattan," and "Crawl" are my favorites. On "Because of the Times," I enjoy "Ragoo" and "Arizona" the best.

notthelifeiordered said...

i love flogging molly! I saw them in concert years ago. Swagger is a good album and live behind the green door is also good too.

I love the new Jakob Dylan CD, Seeing Things and Rachael Yamagata.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Ooooh this is hard... I've been listening to Meiko's debut album on repeat lately. It was on super sale on amazon.com (the mp3 version) for $1.99 a few days ago, not sure if it still is.

I really recommend Amazon MP3 in general. I mean, I'm definitely all for supporting our local indie record store for big purchases, but Amazon MP3 has amazing sales on really awesome music, like, practically every day. You can even follow them on twitter to get updates.

My god, I sound like a commercial. They should give me a cut of their profits!

Also, on the mix cd from my blog, I'm reallllllly into Andrew Bird's "Imitosis", Keren Ann's "Lay Your Head Down" and Blind Pilot's "One Red Thread." I loved most of the songs, but those three have been on constant repeat.

Oh, and Vampire Weekend's "Stand Corrected"! I love that song right now!

Longest... comment... ever.

the almost right word said...

Albums on repeat right now: Eagles of Death Metal: Peace Love Death Metal; Electric President (self-titled); American Analog Set: Know By Heart.

You and I appear to have similar taste in music. I definitely recommend checking those out.

Crushed said...

I hardly but music anymore, there sems little point when YouTube exists. even a lot of album tracks are on it. I have actually posted albums in full.

I didn't really get into the internet till late 2006. I suppose it was the whole easy access to information thing. I live being able to just 'google' anything I want, no matter how offbeat it is.

I think it really has changed poupular access to knowledge in that way.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Muse.
You should try 'Systems of a Down'.

In fact, that's quite cool, because I've just realised there a Systems of a Down track I've got a good excuse to post tonight.

Mrs4444 said...

Not a big music listener, for some reason. Enjoy your list; I'm sure it will be interesting!

Kat from Tough Girl 101 said...

I was so hooked on Rilo Kiley's "silver lining" for the longest time!

Princess of the Universe said...

The two random bands I would have suggested have since broken up, so not terribly helpful.
I'll always love me some Great Big Sea, but they're neither obscure (in Canada) nor do they fit into your genre of choice...

rs27 said...

The Gaslight Anthem.

If you don't like them you get your money back.

Katelin said...

i recommend the twilight soundtrack for some newish stuff. granted i feel like i'm a walking twilight ad now, haha.

but really it's got some good paramore and mute math on it.

Sarah said...

the hard lessons and a fine frenzy!

Jack said...

hi asl? :D

I'm just gonna do some band association based off the ones you listed. They are not direct mappings or anything but just what comes to my mind.

Jack Johnson -> Jason Mraz
Feist -> Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson
Damien Rice, Elliot Smith -> The Frames, Soundtrack from "Once"
Stars -> Most Serene Republic, Snow Patrol

the almost right word said...

OH! And definitely check out the Silversun Pickups. I discovered them recently and they're AWESOME.

the almost right word said...

AND! (I just simply cannot stop) Thom Yorke's "Black Swan." I'm not sure which album it's on. I've never explored his "solo" music, but this song is killer.

Sarah said...

I've been listening to Glasvegas lately, Fleet Foxes, The Do, Sparkadia, Scott Matthews, British India and Josh Pyke. (Sparkadia, Josh Pyke and British India are australian and might be tough to track down, but theyre worth a listen!)

eric1313 said...

Hope you liked Flogging Molly. I party to that stuff, or even just bop around the house cleaning and cooking and whatnot, all the time.

There just is not enough Irish folk/punk rock in the world, no?

And the fiddle player? She's this mega-hot redhead goddess from the Southeast Michigan area. ohhhhh.... to die for!! Maybe not hot in the traditional sense, but as you know, talent just has a way of amplifying hotness.

Not that that mattered to you.

It's all good.

I hope.

Surfergrrl said...

My recommendation is to subscribe to CMJ. They send a disc each month with new songs/artists. Also, John in the morning on KEXP in seattle is awesome and he is great and picking out new stuff. You can listen to that online.

Meghan said...

Patrick Park 'Life is a Song'
Bright Eyes 'Love I Don't Have to Love'
The Daniel Wesley Band
The Dresden Dolls 'Delilah' and 'Coin Operated Boy'


Dexter Colt said...

I've been rocking some folksy/indie type stuff these days.

Bon Iver- Blindsided
Fleet Foxes- Your Protector
Okkervil River- A Girl in Port

Paula said...

i don't think you'd like my taste in music to be honest, i'm more of an r&b person, with a bit of linkin park thrown in.

i'm liking The Script right now, but they are quite mainstream. Do you like the Stereophonics? They're pretty good . . .

Larissa said...

Keane, Kings of Leon, Jason Mraz and Vampire Weekend all renewed my love for music.

Alexa said...

i'm currently loving kings of leon and vampire weekend : )

Laura said...

Rachel Yamagata is super mellow, esp her song elephants. You might like Ladyhawke and Gin. Yael Naim, dawn landes stricken city, and chairlift. Im not gonna lie, I got all of those bands from perezhilton. once you get beyond his love of europop his music taste can be amazing.

poodlegoose said...

Kate Walsh is good mellow girl music. I really like her. I know that you've already gotten a ton of suggestions, but I thought I'd throw a couple out and see what you think. You can always go to my Music Mondays (or what's left of them) and I can lead you from there, although, I've acquired quite a few more since my last addendum. Anyway, Shiny Toy Guns is really good, and they have a new album out, too, though their first is my favorite. The Pernice Brothers are really good chill music, as well. Oh, and Rosie Thomas = more good chill music. "Pretty Dress" is probably my favorite of hers and there's a video on her myspace (I think) of it.

I'm having a hard time guessing what you may or may not have, so I'm going out on a limb here. Vandaveer and Frightened Rabbit are really good, as well as Vampire Weekend (though, their concerts aren't so great), Platinum Weird, as well as Band of Horses and Scissor Sisters, Silversun Pickups, State Radio (former Dispatch guy), Rooney (if you care for pop and the guy from The Princess Diaries), The New Pornographers, The Perishers, Pilot Speed (kinda U2ish), playradioplay, and pleasestopmenow because I could go on forever.

Anyway, if you have any questions, you can always email me at herkeychar at gmail. Good luck with your discoveries, because there is so much good stuff out there :)

Lauren said...

I think you and I would get along quite well, musically. Rilo Kily, Stars, The Decemberists = awesome. Currently, I've been listening to Art Brut (Direct Hit), The Ting Tings (Shut Up and Let Me Go) and Laura Marling (Ghosts). And there's always Muse, of course. Check them out! (I put my favorite songs in parenthesis - you can stream the songs on hypem.com)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Jeff Lang. Go on youtube and watch 'London'. 'Cedar Grove' is a good album. Check out MGMT, Brian Wilson's SMiLE album is good too. Zero 7 Simple Things is a cool downbeat melodic album

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

...oh, and 'Vehicles and Animals' by Athlete/

Yoda said...

My taste in music is very different from yours ... however, there is this one song I'm obsessing about you might like!

Yoshimi battles the Pink Robots - Flaming Lips