Sunday, January 01, 2006

My Music Finds for 2005

I can’t be as creative as others and do a top ten list of albums which knocked me over.  Instead I’ll just plunk down some of the best stuff I’ve stumbled across last year.

Life Changers:

  • iPod — My wife gave me one last Christmas and it’s changed my life.  No kidding.  In years past I always had some music on when I was at home or in the car.  I enjoyed running across new stuff and re-hearing old favorites.  Life changed and I drifted away.  The iPod and iTunes were a great kick in the pants and got me back to where I’ve nearly always got some form of music on.  My iPod and iTunes also broadened my music horizons to places I’d never been. What a joy!  My Griffin iTrip moderately sucks, but at least I can use my iPod in the car without it completely sucking.
  • RhapsodyJames Avery turned me on to this great online music service. (Good thing, too, because all his recommendations were killing me with iTunes purchases!)  I’m using their $10/month streaming plan which gives me open access to billions (ok 1.5 million) songs.  I’ve rediscovered lots of old friends and run across killer stuff I’d never think to check out even from iTunes.

OK, on to some specific things I was entranced with in 2005, many of which had nothing particular to do with 2005 other than I found or rediscovered them then.

  • Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.  Great alternative/punk/Brit Pop music.
  • Guster.  Wow, what killer lyrics, melodies, and vocals.
  • Coldplay.  See above.  Seems to be a very similar style to me, and I likes it!
  • Blink-182.  182, 181, whatever it takes.  Good stuff.
  • Bruce Springsteen.  I never listened to The Boss much as I was growing up, but I’ve sure been hitting The Rising hard for the last several months.
  • Webb Wilder.  A great rediscovery!
  • Green Day.  What a dork I was to not know how much great music these guys have put out.
  • Elvis Costello.  ‘nuff said.
  • The Who.  More ‘nuff said.
  • Death Cab for Cutie.  More odd punk/alternative with great vocals.
  • Ashley MacIsaac.  Great Irish modern fiddler.
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.  American Dream is great stuff.  Screw those pompous foreigners.  I like my anti-Americanism home grown, damnit!
  • Jason Mraz.  Mr. A-Z sucks, but I love Waiting for my Rocket to Come.
  • Matisyahu.  No clue how to pronounce his name, but I love his Hasidic Jew reggae thing.
  • The Stax/Volt Collection.  I bought this years ago and forgot it.  Nine discs of amazing goodness from the likes of Booker T and the MGs, Sam and Dave, and the Mar-Kays.
  • Off-Kilter.  Bagpipes, guitars, drums, traditional Scottish tunes, modern snappy stuff too.  Makes me want to go get in my kilt, or at least think about it if I had 15 pounds less around my waist. (OK, OK, 20 pounds less.)
  • The La’s.  More Brit pop with great vocals.
  • Jamiroquai.  Amazing jazz/pop/blues/idunnowhat.  Stevie Wonder morphed into modern day hipster stuff.
  • Anything from Rhapsody’s Afro-Pop sampler.  I’ve been interested in Afro-Pop for a long time, but never knew what to try.  Rhapsody lets me dive right in.  Love that!

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