Your favorite band doesn't suck!
March 6, 2012 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find "current" music that I would like.

The Grammys have come and gone, and I realize now that I know next to nothing about current musical artists. I rarely listen to the radio these days, so I am just not being exposed to very much in the way of new music. My tastes are pretty much all across the board, but they seem to have stabilized in the 70s-90s, and I'm looking for some help in finding what else I might like.

Just naming artists off the top of my head, I like: The Beatles, Paul Simon, Rush, Indigo Girls, REM, Cake, Tori Amos, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Sting, Moxie Fruvous, Melissa Etheridge, Aerosmith, They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton, Kansas, and Queen. That's certainly not a comprehensive list, but I hope it gives a flavor of what I am drawn to in terms of music.

What's out there now? What should I be listening to?
posted by blurker to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Try making a Pandora station with some of your favorites and listen to it -- even stations for older acts tend to incorporate lots of newer people. That's how I've found most of my new music.
posted by brainmouse at 3:21 PM on March 6, 2012 [9 favorites]

I asked a similar question on Facebook recently (pretty much all my music is at least 20 years old) and the 2 bands that I ended up really liking were MGMT and the Flaming Lips. Neither of them are really new, but at least they're still working and touring.

Google Music recently turned me onto Ambulance LTD, and what little I've heard has been quite good (same indie-rock vein).

Also, Pandora is great at this.
posted by coolguymichael at 3:28 PM on March 6, 2012

Frank Turner.
Flaming Lips.
Andrew Bird.
Keren Ann.
Mister Heavenly.
April March.
Mother Mother.
The Starlight Mints.
OK Go.
Deb Oh.
Silver Sun.
What Made Milwaukee Famous.
Silversun Pickups.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:36 PM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine, Brett Dennen, and Mumford and Sons.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:36 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd suggest a band called Fleet Foxes.

I'd also suggest Pandora.

And I'd also suggest Spotify.

In addition, I would recommend visiting a snobbish music website such as Pitchfork Media and going to their Best New Music section to discover all kinds of obscure and wonderful upcoming artists.
posted by uncannyslacks at 3:36 PM on March 6, 2012 is pretty great at this too. Search any of the bands you mentioned and their site does a great job of linking similar artists with radios you can play.
posted by murkywaters at 3:37 PM on March 6, 2012

I've been kind of doing the opposite- looking back to see what bands I missed or overlooked while obsessed with the smiths or the misfits or whathave you.

Tori Amos = Amanda Palmer
Melissa Etheridge= Adele, and our poor dead coke head Amy Winehouse
Old beatles? The Arctic Monkies were pretty fun, while obv not up to beatles' standard.
Classic rockish stuff= The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
posted by Blisterlips at 3:38 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Said the Gramophone's "Best Songs of 2011" is also great for something like this. You won't like all of them, but you will like some quite a lot, I'd wager.

I actually liked their 2010 list better. But still: there's some great stuff here.
posted by hwickline at 3:41 PM on March 6, 2012

Your collection sounds a lot like mine.

I haven't gotten around to checking the rest of each of these artist's works out yet, but I'm going to check out Gotye and David J. Roch based on those songs.

Incidentally: the way I found Roch's song may be an interesting means for discovery for you. Shows for the 18-to-25 market often feature songs by up-and-coming artists on their soundtracks, and sometimes the show's web sites pitches the songs themselves ("as heard on episode 3, here's that new song by Random Band 2.0...").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:51 PM on March 6, 2012

I keep up with new bands via NPR's "All Songs Considered." Their listening leans to the Indie-Music direction, as do their listeners, but they cover a broad spectrum of music, but stay away from dance music and classical except for a few specific shows. They do a weekly musical podcast, but they also get lots of listener input on their blog comments, which are a goldmine, and as comments sections go, a peaceful and agreeable place.

I'm just going to throw in the greatest band I've ever heard, the Drive-By Truckers. Once they were Southern Rock, but now they just Rock, except when they play every other genre. I see a lot of great stuff in the threads above, and second Pandora
posted by Sunburnt at 3:53 PM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Click over to this fpp about Ida Maria and give them a listen. I like pretty much everyone on your list an fell in love with Ida Maria with that post.
posted by rtha at 4:08 PM on March 6, 2012

If you like Blue Oyester Cult or 70's era metal you might like Ghost. *Bonus* they really like Satan.
posted by WASP-12b at 4:43 PM on March 6, 2012

If you like Jonathan Coulton & They Might Be Giants, you'll probably like this song.
posted by topoisomerase at 4:46 PM on March 6, 2012

Some of my favourites:

Josh Ritter (I love The Animal Years most, but the rest is great too - especially post-AY)
Josh Rouse
Mason Jennings
The National has some good live shows by Ritter and Jennings (I love Live at the Historic State Theatre).
posted by backwards guitar at 4:48 PM on March 6, 2012

Grizzly Bear (album: Veckatimest)

Bat for Lashes (album: Two Suns)

Regina Spektor (album: Begin to Hope)

Mika (album: Life in Cartoon Motion)

Of Montreal (album: The Sunlandic Twins)

Decoder Ring (album: Fractions)

Sufjan Stevens (album: Come on Feel the Illinoise)

Arcade Fire (album: Funeral)

The Dodos (album: Visiter)

Ambulance LTD (album: LP)
posted by John Cohen at 4:49 PM on March 6, 2012
Full disclosure: I work there*.
The editors write tons of reviews for new releases. Click around. Check it out.

I have recently discovered:
Disappears: Pre Language
Royal Baths: Better Luck Next Life
The Hysterical Injury: Dead Wolf Situation
Sleigh Bells: Reign Of Terror
Roel Funcken: Fes Bace
Radio Moscow: The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz

All good.

*I hope this is not too self linky
posted by chillmost at 5:13 PM on March 6, 2012

I agree that All Songs Considered is a good source of music - particularly their 'songs/albums of the year (so far)' type shows. Go back and listen to their end of 2011 podcast for a kind of 'best of'.

I've also been introduced to some great stuff through, particularly the "Indie Chill/Acoustic" and "Indie While You Work" rooms.

Rather than adding yet more bands to try, I will restrain myself and just repeat a few from above that I think are particularly good ideas: OK Go (I prefer their older stuff, the new stuff is a bit different, but try both), Regina Spector (Tori-like, but less... well, I still don't quite know what Cornflake Girl was about), Flaming Lips (Yoshimi!), Mumford and Sons (more foly, bluegrassy, good stuff and there's LOTS more like it out there. which I mean in a good way).
posted by maryr at 5:30 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you like Tori Amos, try Anna Calvi, Regina Spektor, Rachel Yamagata, or Keren Ann.

Spotify has a pretty good "related artists" feature, too.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:34 PM on March 6, 2012

Since you like Melissa Etheridge and Tori Amos, I'd recommend Neko Case. She skews more country/alt-country than them, but she's got an amazing voice and she's a hell of a storyteller.

I'll also third the recommendation to listen to All Songs Considered. It's a good way to get an overview of what's worth a listen, and I think their picks are more accessible than Pitchfork's.
posted by yasaman at 5:51 PM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

my big list of recommendations;

thee oh sees (help) - alt rock
tame impala (inner speaker) - psych rock
band of horse (all of their albums) - indie
the shins (all of their albums) - indie
kitty daisy and lewis (smoking in heaven) - rockabilly pop
fruit bats (tripper) - indie
the black keys (all albums) - blues rock
the black angels (directions to see a ghost) - psych rock
bon iver (for emma forever ago) - folk rock
the dead weather (sea of cowards) - rock
the drums (the drums) - indie
eddy current supression ring (self titled) - garage rock
LCD soundsystem (this is happening) - electronica
link wray (rumble) - surf rock
pj harvey (let england shake) - alt rock

awesome girl bands:
feist (all albums) - indie
eileen jewell (all albums) - blues
laura viers (all albums) - indie folk
holly miranda (magicians private library) - alt rock
las kellies (kellies) - rock
hope sandoval (mazzy star vocalist) and the warm inventions - indie folk
posted by Under the Sea at 5:53 PM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

you need alabama shakes in your life.
posted by nadawi at 6:01 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I bemoaned a similar problem to my brother who listens to a bunch of music while working, while I can't. He turned me on to Wilco and Sufjan Stevens, and my Ipod hasn't been the same sice.
posted by Sphinx at 6:47 PM on March 6, 2012

Your 70s to 90s list is nearly identical to mine. Some of my recent faves (some more recent than others): The Script, Foster the People, 30 Seconds to Mars, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Broken Bells, Angels and Airwaves, The Black Angels.
posted by The Deej at 8:09 PM on March 6, 2012

I like Pearl and the Beard and TV on the Radio, to name two bands from my neck of the woods.
posted by droplet at 8:47 PM on March 6, 2012

Lots of good suggestions here, many of which I heard for the first time on KCRW and KEXP. Both of stations stream and have "song of the day" downloads, too.
posted by quidividi at 5:24 AM on March 7, 2012

You are pretty much the exact target demographic for Wilco. Also: Laura Marling, Black Keys, Metronomy, the Joy Formidable, maybe Sinead O'Connor's new album?
posted by dekathelon at 7:18 AM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I solve this problem generally by listening to whatever immlass is playing in the house and annually by going to SXSW.

You might also want to use this is my jam. There are a bunch of MeFites there listening to lots of things.

Also, MeFi CD exchanges get you some awesome stuff and give you a great chance to think about what you'd like to send to other people.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:31 AM on March 7, 2012

I should really look at who's asking these questions.

Unsurprisingly, I second the CD exchange--I've found a lot of good music. And this is my jam is fantastic, although not all of the stuff it's exposing me to is new. I also listen to single-song new music podcasts from NPR affilliates and similar one-offs, and following a specialist twitter in an area of interest (electronic music) run by a friend (@compactrobot). Between that and SXSW/ACL, I generally find it easy to find new music.
posted by immlass at 8:46 AM on March 7, 2012

Paul Simon = Kings of Convenience and Josh Ritter. Also check out songwriters Dan Wilson and M. Ward. I concur on Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, and Mumford and Sons. They're all very harmonious in similar ways to Simon & Garfunkel. In a similar harmonious vein, not new, but little-known and a group that was a favorite in the 90s among people who liked the things you describe are Lowen & Navarro. Queen = Mika and Josh Fix.
posted by jocelmeow at 11:16 AM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Pandora idea is helping quite a lot! I am also planning on going through all of the specific recommendations as time permits. Thanks for all the ideas (and no need to stop)! :)
posted by blurker at 12:30 PM on March 7, 2012

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