First, let me state that I grew up in the 60’s/70’s and listened to most the music mentioned on this thread. I also grew up in a time where you ALWAYS had music playing at your place, and I still do. And as much as I love the WHO and the Rolling Stones, etc, you have to find something new or you go stale.
New music is kind of like new movie stars. You generally have to enjoy what they DO, and ignore what they SAY, because most of the time it is liberal dribble. Some have gone so far over the line that I now really have a hard time enjoying their music, even though I once did (see - Bruce Springsteen).
Here is a list of my eclectic taste in music. Most of these have not made totally idiotic liberal statements that I am aware of, but probably feel that way to some degree:
Iron & Wine - A guy and his wife, think 60’s folk with modern twists. Most is just him and a guitar or two. Tried to change directions on his last album and it is by far the weakest. If you are going to explore his music, start with something earlier (The Creek Drank the Cradle).
Keane - a so called English piano band because guitars are not featured predominately. They can actually sing on key and write songs, as well as play instruments. What a concept.
The Killers - Straight ahead rock and roll that could have been huge in the 70’s. The lead singer Brandon Flowers also put out a solo album that is great. The most common criticism is that they haven't incorporated any hip-hop or rap flavoring to their music. That goodness.
Arcade Fire - Everything but their current album. Again, a band that could have been huge in the 70’s. In their current album they listened to the critics and tired to become more contemporary with some ‘street’ influences. Stupid idea.
The Decemberists - Mainly eclectic, but they had one album,”The King is Dead” that is amazing. Mixture of pop, folk, and just plain good. The incredible Gillian Welch sings on about half the songs.
Gillian Welch - incredible and completely throwback music of the folk early country style. Her and her boy friend, no studio tricks whatsoever. Her boy friend, David Rawlings, plays a flat top 1935 Rickenbacker guitar. And with all apologies to the guitar heroes of my youth, he is simply the best guitar player in the world.
Coldplay - rock with melodies. They have produced several albums that would have been giants in the 70’s (A Rush of Blood to the Head, X&Y, Viva La Vida). Don't listen to Chis Martin (Mr. Gwyneth Paltro) talk - ever.
My Morning Jacket - Southern rock and roll at it's best. “Circuital” recommended.
Snow Patrol - The English again. Pretty much every album is great except the first one that has something about ‘Polar Bears’ in the title. Mixture of melody songs with an occasional rocker thrown in.
Sigur Ros - Amazing rock/classical fusion music. Yes the singer is a one eyed, homosexual, vegetarian, activist. But for music to put on in the back ground while you are working - incredible.
That's something to start with (and some will probably get me flamed). I can't stand the overproduced garbage that passes for the most popular music today. All of the above actually play instruments and you hear their voice, not some effects manufactured ‘product.’
Also, unlike the author of the original piece, I like quite a bit of electronic music, such as
Boards of Canada
Mouse on Mars
None of these bands are dance/techno, although some people consider all elctronic music to fit into this category).
The Decemberists are a bunch of Communists. I’d rather listen to fingernails on a blackboard.
I love Gillian Welch and since you recommend her I will check out your other suggestions.
your list is a good list. Thanks for taking the time to list the bands out with your own notes. Very helpful.
I will follow your style and add a few more.
Jack Johnson: Guitarists at bars and beach destinations will play his single guitar/melodies as much as they’ve played Jimmy Buffet for years.
Fall Out Boy: Extremely complex (maybe even confusing) lyrics and hard rock rifs. Fun band with a unique sound.
The Offspring: A one-of-a-kind voice fronts this band. Their music is often a bit irreverent. They’re a 90’s band (you gotta keep ‘em separated) but they’ve continued to make music.
Paramore: Very young group (I think they were teenagers when they formed) with a solid female vocal lead who belt out edgy lyrics and hard rock beats. They also have some ballads.
Cake: They use a lot of different instruments in their music (trumpets, violins) and their lyrics are often hilarious. They make exceptional use of 2 channel sound, with competing instruments playing right and left channels against and with each other. Another band with a unique vocal sound as well.
Weezer: These guys are musical geniuses but they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Maybe that's the case with you. It certainly isn't with a whole lot of us. I guess you can describe us as "musically conservative", as opposed to "musically liberal", or "musically progressive". In short, if it works, don't 'fix' it.
Kind of how I feel about Radiohead.....Just shut up and sing, Thom.
Speaking of The Who, there are some real early gems that only the most die-hard Who fans would know.
Of course everyone’s heard Tommy, Who’s Next and Quadrophenia a zillion times, but “The Who Sell Out” with the extra tracks is just amazing classic power pop. Who knew a song about deodorant (Odorono) could be so catchy?