Friday, August 24, 2007

Downside to the iPod

I got my first iPod in 2005. More than two years and one video iPod upgrade later, it’s still my favorite toy. But I’ve recently become aware of a downside. Because the iPod has almost completely displaced the radio in my car (why listen to someone else’s lousy mix plus advertisements, when you can listen to the best mix ever without advertisements?), I’ve been exposed to a dearth of new music since 2005. I have found some new (or new-to-me) bands I like by using Pandora.com (Fischerspooner, Brad Sucks) and watching Grey’s Anatomy (Gomez, the Fray). Nevertheless, a recent car trip to the beach – with a couple of friends with more up-to-date musical taste – made me realize I’m in serious danger of becoming one of those old fogies who listen almost exclusively to oldies (much as it pains me to think of music from the late 90s as “old”).

So I’m hoping my readers will help to rescue me from old-fartdom. In the comments, tell me what I’m (probably) missing: the best new artists and songs of the last two or three years. I’m not biased against music just because it’s popular – in fact, I think obscure artists are often obscure for good reason – so feel free to suggest mainstream artists as well as your peculiar favorites. Genre is open, though I should warn you that I dislike most modern R&B (R. Kelly does nothing for me). Rap and hip-hop are fine.

14 comments:

Ran said...

Might I recommend <http://www.billboard.com/>? I'm sorry to report that it doesn't distinguish R&B from hip-hop, but it most certainly does distinguish mainstream from obscure.

Ran said...

Sorry, I guess Blogger doesn't auto-linkify URIs. So:

<http://www.billboard.com/>

Anonymous said...

Well, off the top of my head...

Regina Spektor
Lily Allen
Carpark North

Of course people's tastes vary.

Anonymous said...

They've been around longer than the last 2-3 years, but if they're ever gonna break out they're gonna do it with their album released last month: Spoon, and they're excellent.

Anonymous said...

Best two albums of the last two years:

Edan -
Beauty And The Beat

J Dilla - Donuts

Both are hip-hop, but not like hip-hop ever sounded before.

Paulo said...

Well, I would suggest Amy Winehouse, Ingrid Lucia, Stephen Malkmus, The Zutons, Spoon, etc...

Pandora is indeed a great tool to find new music.

Anonymous said...

Various suggestions for finding good recent music.

My Favorite Recent Hip-Hop Albums
CunninLynguists - A Piece of Strange
Blue Scholars - Bayani
The Roots - Game Theory
Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor

The Wisdom of Crowds
Last FM users' most-listened-to songs & artists
Art of the Mix songs & artists most often included on user-submitted mixtapes

Fairly Respectable mp3 Blogs
Spine Magazine (hip-hop)
Soul Sides (soul/funk/jazz/hip-hop)

Karl said...

I post links to streaming music you might like every weekday. But a short list off the top my head: The Go! Team, Spoon, Art Brut, The Hold Steady, New Pornographers (and Neko Case solo), Okkervil River, The Decemberists, Jens Lekman, John Vanderslice, Richard Thompson, The Pipettes, Wilco and Yo La Tengo.

I would guess most all of these have MySpace pages

jralph said...

Here are a bunch of great bands coming from the south and a couple from other places.
-The Avett Brothers (their new album "Emotionalism" is great!)
-The Modern Skirts
-The Whigs
-Kings of Leon
-TV on the Radio
-Dr. Dog
-The Kooks
-M. Ward
-UGK ft Outkast has a new song called "International Players Anthem." Also Common's new song "The People" is really good.

Ran said...

Akon is a good hip-hop musician. (I make no comment on his other qualities.)

Anonymous said...

If you like Fischerspooner you might also like...

LCD Soundsystem
The Juan McLean
TV on the Radio
Soulwax / 2 Many DJs

The DFA label generally.

Erin said...

I like several of those you've mentioned, so I'll give a few of my personal favorites:

Travis (they have a relatively new album out, but they've been around for a while)
Muse
Keane
The Postal Service (also not new)
Death Cab for Cutie (same singer as TPS)
The White Stripes

Anonymous said...

Let me echo the recommendations for The Roots and Regina Spektor.

I think you should also check out Maroon 5.

Brandon said...

WILCO