Which means: feel free to suggest bands or CDs I should listen to!
- Cloud Cult, The Meaning of 8 -- Jackie ripped this album for me over a year ago; I listened to it once and was like, meh. This last summer I listened again and it just clicked in my head how awesome it is - I had it on near-exclusive iPod rotation for weeks. Cloud Cult sounds a bit like the Flaming Lips (or maybe the Polyphonic Spree): raspy-voiced singer, colorful sonic palette, ecstatic worldview (compare Chemicals Collide with the Lips' Do you realize??). Here's a live-studio version of "Pretty Voice."
- R.E.M., Accelerate -- R.E.M. is one of those beloved bands from my teenage years who pretty much get a free pass from here on out; even their weaker stuff I find myself enjoying. That said, even I didn't buy their last two albums, so it is nice to have them back and rocking out again. The new album is really good: it feels like passionate early R.E.M. but also reminds you of the ways they've evolved.
- Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Hearts of Oak -- I need to spend more time with Ted Leo, because I think I might have to become a huge fan. He's got that jittery-intense Fugazi/hardcore feel but he emotes like a soul singer. He brings the passion. The clip below is with his backing band, but he's pretty compelling solo too.
- Utah Phillips and Ani DiFranco, Fellow Workers
- Gogol Bordello, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike!
- Spoon, Girls Can Tell
- Rhymefest, Blue Collar
- Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs