Re-Hipify Me: A Weekend Assignment

So, despite buying a lot of music and having ready access to Rhapsody and indeed the whole of the Internet (and, um, having been a music critic for many years), I’ve fallen prey to a malady common to many people in their late 30s, in which I’m more or less clueless to new musical artists.

My ego steps in at the moment to assure you (and me) that I’m not entirely to blame; hey, I’ve been busy. And, heck, what with the implosion of the music business over the last couple of years, it’s difficult even for the kids to figure out what the kids are listening to these days. Also, let’s face it, when you live in an era in which the two largest forces shaping the direction of popular music are American Idol and The Disney Channel, there is, shall we say, a disincentive for some of us to keep up with what’s going on these days.

Nevertheless, I live in hope. And thus I ask the assembled masses:

Tell me what new music or artists you’re listening to these days.

For the purposes of this discussion, “new” is defined to mean:

1. The artist/band started publicly releasing music (or alternately made their major label debut) after January 2005;

or

2. The artist/band started publicly releasing music (or alternately made their major label debut) after January 2003, but you only heard about them in the last year.

In either case there’s a hard cap at January 2003. So if you wander in saying something like “Well, I know Emerson Lake and Palmer is an old band, but I started listening to them this year and they’re cool” then you fail (and indeed you fail on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin).

(One small clarification: Musicians who were previously in bands but released solo albums for the first time since January 2003 get in under the wire. Just use your head: telling me about Rob Thomas’s or Gwen Stefani’s solo excursions isn’t going to do me much good, you know?)

Other than that, no limitations: Any genre, any musician, any band that you like and listen to that’s new, tell me about them. Include a link to a band page or song, if you can, so I and indeed everyone else can take a listen to this cool new band you can’t stop talking about (remember that more than three links a post will trigger automatic moderation, so if you don’t want to wait until I get around to releasing moderated links, stick to a couple links per post). You can suggest as many new band/artists as you like, but don’t just show off your iPod contents to be hipper than the room — stick to the bands/artists you really really like.

To get the ball rolling, I’ll roll out one new artist I do know, albeit because I’m an insensible fan of his dad: Liam Finn, here performing his song “Second Chance”:

He sounds a lot like his dad (which is a good thing to me), but he’s also clearly got his own perspective on things (which is also a good thing to me), and his album I’ll Be Lightning is sweet and a bit sloppy, which I find a bit endearing.

So that’s what I have for you. What do you have for me?

268 thoughts on “Re-Hipify Me: A Weekend Assignment

  1. My wife recently introduced me to “Son of Dave,” who is doing some very cool bluesy stuff. We saw Esperanza Spalding last summer at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and highly recommend her stuff. Would also recommend Nellie McKay. Something a little more obscure would be The Brunettes, a pop-rock band from New Zealand that toured with the Shins a couple years ago, and I think was getting signed with Sub Pop. For something more dancy, the Scissor Sisters are a blast, and my wife has had the Fratellis in her car’s CD player now for months. Finally, I like the Weepies…

  2. How about the new Welsh singer, Duffy. Little slip of a blond girl who sings like a 50/60’s soul singer from Motown. Her song ‘Mercy’ from her Rockferry album is getting a lot of airplay. Toatally hip and rockin’. Most of the other stuff I’m listening to is old Irish workin class punk stuff that predates your cutoff dates.

  3. M83 – Saturday=Youth
    NIN – Ghosts I-IV
    Crystal Castles
    Ladytron – Velocifero
    Moby – Last Night
    Justice – Cross
    Weezer- Red Album

  4. I don’t know about the hipness factor, but I’m irrationally fond of Ingrid Michaelson these days. I do like her second album (“Girls and Boys”) better than her first one (“Slow the Rain”). Her first album came out in 2005, so she qualifies.

    A little rough around the edges here and there (hey, she’s a young songwriter), but a lot of evident talent, and some pretty catchy tunes. Some of her songs were in an Old Navy commercial and several episodes of that “Grey’s Anatomy” show I’ve never watched, so if you usually loathe that kind of music, she’s probably not your thing.

  5. I can’t offer a band so much as a tool.

    Check out http://www.pandora.com. You enter a band name and it creates a radio station for that band. Then it starts putting up music that is similar to the first band. You can tell it if you like or dislike that song and it will keep modifying your radio station to your tastes. I’m been using it exclusively for about 2 weeks now. It’s been great.

  6. I’ve been grooving on Los Campesinos! and the Wombats recently. Good extremely peppy brit-pop, maximally dance-worthy. First US releases for both are 2008, so they fit your criteria perfectly. You’ll like them. Athena will love them. Best songs to get you hooked are “You! Me! Dancing!” by Los Campesinos! and the gloriously named “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” by the Wombats. Tough to see why Vampire Weekend is getting so much love when no one has much heard of them.

    Hmm, I’d have to go to google to find out of the first Hold Steady album was released in 2005 or 2004, and I’ve been a fan for at least two years, so they may be technically outside your bucket. Nonetheless, you need to listen to them. Start with _Separation Sunday_ and then move on to _Boys and Girls in America_. The new one is good as well.

    They only fit because I came to the party late, but Arctic Monkeys are pretty good. Same with the Decembrists and the New Pornographers.

    For something completely different, try Marc Broussard. Saw him live on Monday, and was completely blown away. Skinny little white boy from New Orleans, managed to channel James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles, Rick James, Muddy Waters and Aretha Franklin over the course of the evening. Either album is good.

  7. I don’t think this will make you more hip, but she is definitely worth listening to.

    Nellie McKay She is a singer/songwriter/pianist who can work in any style from hip hop to Cole Porter pastiches. Sometimes on the same album. Looooove her wordplay. Very witty music.

  8. Louis XIV has been spending a lot of time in my playlists since I first heard about them last June.

    I’ll probably be listening to the CD outside in a bit as I prepare my antennas for Field Day today.

  9. Escondida by Jolie Holland
    Distillation by Erin McKeown, her third album Grand is also good.
    Hem – Rabbit songs from 2001 is my favourite album of theirs but Eveningland from 2005 is also good.
    The Dresden Dolls
    Bat For Lashes
    Amy Steinberg

  10. Joshua D. Evans:

    “Check out http://www.pandora.com.”

    I’m not interested in what a computer thinks I would like, Joshua. I’m interested in what other people like for themselves. It’s more interesting to find music that way, in my opinion.

  11. I second the Pandora recommendation. Among other things, it helped me find the artists I’m suggesting below:
    They all sneak in via your rule #2

    The Editors
    Arcade Fire
    Interpol

  12. Ah, this is really difficult. I’m 27 and almost all my music is disqualified: the majority of the modern artists I still follow started releasing music during the ’90s, when I was a teenager, or before 2004, when I almost completely switched to ’60s/’70s rock groups (with the exception of a small number of new releases by the aforesaid ’90s-early ’00s groups still in activity).

    Franz Ferdinand are the only post-2003 band I care to suggest.

  13. fair enough :) I’ll throw out Franz Ferdinand then but I haven’t explored much new stuff lately either.

  14. Vagabond Opera http://vagabondopera.com released their first album in 2003. I started listening to them in Dec 2007.

    I quote:

    “European Cabaret! Vintage Americana! Balkan Belly Dance! Neo-Classical Opera! Old World Yiddish Theater! Welcome to the six-piece, Portland, Oregon-based Vagabond Opera.”

    Hell yes.

    Nikitov ( nikitov.com )

    A very hip quartet. From the Nederlands.

    And to round it out,

    I’m sure you are familiar with the masterworks of Jonathan Coulton. Re: Your Brains and Code Monkey can be on repeat on the iPod forever

  15. Art Brut:

    Slightly shambolic British indie band, writing humorous songs about love, life, and forming a band.

    Formed a band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qryAwfpHG8o
    Emily Kane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvA0UBesfbY

    Grinderman:

    Slightly cheating maybe, this is a side project of the legendary Nick Cave. Hard-rocking garage rock, try ‘No Pussy Blues’ ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL3dNfxcpnw ), a very funny song with NSFW lyrics, the title summing up the song perfectly.

  16. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage from the podcasts published by KEXP in Seattle. They’re an independent, publicly funded new music station where each DJ has complete control of their playlist. I used to listen to them over the air when I lived in Seattle. Rather than pretending I’m still hip enough to find any of this music myself (as if I ever was), I’m finding great new artists through their “Music That Matters” and “Song of the Day” podcasts.

    Some favourites, all taken from Song of the Day (and hence freely available):

    Casettes won’t listen — Large Radio
    Devotchka — Transliterator
    Thao with the Get Down Stay Down — Bag of Hammers
    Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip — Thou Shalt Always Kill
    Plants and Animals — Bye Bye Bye
    Walter Meego — Forever

    Hope you like it!

  17. Alice Smith

    The album is For Lovers, Dreamers and Me.

    I enjoy 3 tracks in particular (and I think you may be able to get them off her myspace page):

    Know That I
    Dreams
    Woodstock

    But the whole album is solid.

  18. “I’ve fallen prey to a malady common to many people in their late 30s, in which I’m more or less clueless to new musical artists.”

    Whew! I thought it was just me.

  19. Gah! How could I forget. The National! You must try The National! Start with _Boxer_, move to _Alligator_ . It’s the soundtrack for contemplative late evenings.

  20. I’m 54, a lifelong music fan, and I’m finding plenty to listen to:

    Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha.

    Fleet Foxes – brand new, has threads of Beach Boys, David Crosby, the Byrds, Neil Young. Fantastic!

    The Raconteurs – either one is great

    Amy Winehouse – Back to Black. Forget the tabloids, she’s the real deal.

    John Mayer Trio Live – Try. A year ago, I never thought I’d recommend a Mayer album, but in the power trio setting he just plain rocks.

    Iron and Wine – Shepherd’s Dog or Our Endless Numbered Days are equally fine.

    The Be Good Tanyas – Their latest, Hello Love, is good, but their pre-2003 releases Chinatown and Blue Horse are must-haves (OK, I cheated, so sue me).

    And all of the above were bought on brand new, shiny vinyl!

  21. MV + EE and the Bummer Road

    http://www.myspace.com/mveebummerroad

    (The two featured tracks are great rock in a semi-Crazy Horse style – I believe this group gets in under the rules but I’m not sure. I recommend Gettin Gone, the album that these tracks are from but I’m not gonna vouch for the others.)

    Nadja

    http://www.myspace.com/nadjaluv

    (Heavy heavy shoegazer noise meets metal, then dies and goes to hell. Fans of MBV’s Loveless might want to dig.)

    Flaskavsae

    http://www.myspace.com/flaskavsae

    (A great example of “unblack metal,” or freaked-out black metal played by Christians. This is very very weird and I like them a lot.)

    I learned about two of these acts from Aquarius Records, a great mail-order store in San Francisco that has bi-weekly updates:

    http://www.aquariusrecords.org

    rob

  22. i don’t know if my tastes are hip anymore, but here are some bands that i like that fit your criteria (with links):

    Palodine (video)

    Kokusyoku Sumire (video)

    The Horrors (video)

    i have to cheat just a little to recommend Émilie Simon, because her first American release was in 2006, but her first French release was in 2003 (and i had heard of her about that time), but it is well worth it. (video, video, video in English, video from original soundtrack for the French release of March of the Penguins)

    i wish that i could recommend The Magnetic Fields, or any other Stephen Merritt project (The 6ths, The Gothic Archies, Future Bible Heroes), but all of them start much too early for your criteria. the same goes for Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion.

  23. The cap makes it tough. John, you might think you have media overload, but you might want to add in stallite radio, I listen to some of the stations and get exposed to new artists among the older in the rotation. I’m fortunate that where I live there are several lsitener supported, less formatted stations, I hear a lot of variety that way. WFUV.org, from Fordham U is another great source.

    Here it goes:

    KT Tunstall: great voice, great guitar player, and if the variety she puts on each album is not enough, check out YouTube for lots more.

    Johnny Lang: OK, he’s been around for a while as a killer blues-rock guitarist, but now he’s singing, and very well.

    Alejandro Escovedo: the song “Castanets” is a few years old, but I just heard him a few months ago, and he has a new CD out, I think you’ll like it.

    Robert Randolph: I heard the album “Colorblind” last year when I got back to the real world. Totally awesome.

    Tal Wilkenfeld:very young bassist making big waves in the music scene, mostly jazz fusion, but she’s jammed with Jeff Beck, check her on YouTube.

    The Pernice Brothers: Great songs, beautiful arrangements, never boring.

    The Wildhearts: Older band, only heard about them last year. If the Beatles were in a teleporter accident with the Ramones, this would be the result.

    Scissor Sisters: Didn’t find these guys until I was in Europe last year, American band who are big overseas, they defy categorization, but they rock, yet have some ballads that aren’t recycled sap.

  24. Crystal Castles
    Chelsea Taube
    Girl Talk
    Rench
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Band of Horses
    Jan Smith

    Kinda commercial, but still fairly decent:

    Neko Case
    New Pornographers
    Tift Merrit
    Koop

  25. SFC SKI:

    “The cap makes it tough.”

    Well, yeah. That’s kind of my point, though — it’d hard to think of excellent new stuff sometimes. As much as I’d like to think it’s just everything turning to crap (i.e., the default assumption as one gets older and trends further away from the popular culture), I suspect it’s more that, musically speaking, I just don’t get out as much as I used to.

  26. I second the KEXP recommendation from above. I listen to them at work all day and am always finding new as well as old stuff that I probably wouldn’t have heard of any other way. As an added bonus it impresses the cool kids at work that I am up on the latest music.

  27. I’m currently hyping Patrick Wolf. I know I’m late to the party on this one. His first album was 2003, but his real breakthrough has only been recently with the very fun and accessible Magic Position – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeR9_7cACUc

    I agree with the other Wombats promoter – they are very cool.

    The Go! Team are also pretty damn cool. First album 2004. From the latest album – Doing It Right – http://youtube.com/watch?v=p_LoSqyNmeo&feature=related

    I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Alex
    x x

  28. I had always loved Sting, so when his SON’s band released their album (okay, CD), I bought it. Really liked it. The band’s FICTION PLANE. The song most played on radio was “Two Sisters.”

    Love Amy Winehouse. Her voice…like smooth wine.

    Gnarls Barkley.

    Buckcherry, when I feel like being Paris Hilton ;). It’s a horrible song, but it’s great to scream out while driving in my truck after 8 hours on the roof. (I realize the group itself started a long time ago, but the lead singer put together a whole new band using the same name a few years ago)

    And now…off to work I go.

  29. Seconding Vampire Weekend.

    I also love Lily Allen. If you click that, don’t start on the first song on the playlist — it’s great but atypical.

    I could totally see Athena enjoying Lily Allen if it weren’t for all the joyous and expert profanity.

    Also: The Perishers. (Their first album was in 2002 but was on an indie label, so I’m hoping that lets them sneak in. I only came across them this year.)

  30. Whew, at first I thought you wanted me to “re-hippiefy” you.

    Battles Mirrored
    This is instruments and loops, but sounds cool. They may have released some vinyl/EPs before 2005, but this is their first album. The song “Atlas” reminds me a bit of the old Dr. Who theme. Wikipedia verdict – american math rock. Has ex-Helmet and ex-Don Cabellero which is a good thing in this household.

    Dodos Visiter
    Yes, the album is intentionally misspelled. Wikipedia calls them “psychedelic folk rock” – you could get worse descriptions. It’s a guitar drum combo, try “Paint the Rust” r “The Season”.

    The National started before 2003, as did Andrew Bird so let me dump a few non-qualified names:
    Broken Social Scene/Feist
    Beulah
    TV on the Radio (self released album in 2002)
    Grey Album by DJ Dangermouse – great and essential to all claims of Internet musical hipness.

    Finally, listen to some bhangra. It’s fun, groovy music great for long drives, doing chores, etc… family friendly with a beat. There’s a reason all those folks in Bollywood movies are dancing.

  31. Thirding Vampire Weekend. The first time I heard them I was aghast. Then I was reluctantly intrigued. Now I’m on a strict once-through-per-day ration for the album. (To be fair, it’s rather short.)

  32. Oh hey, I didn’t realize this band fit the criteria, but if you’re into thoughtful, complex, heavy indie rock (think something akin to a mellower Fugazi, with more poetry and less preach), check out Channels: http://www.channelstheband.com/index.htm

    This is (was?) the new project from J. Robbins, formerly of Burning Airlines, formerly of Jawbox. Which are both, also, excellent. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

  33. I heard it on NPR…

    Gordon Withers. I could not find any date on how long he’s been considered a “musician”, but his benefit CD was released last year. His Myspace page allows you to listen to the songs before you decide to purchase. My favorites are Static and Iodine.

    We bought the CD for our young ‘cellist for Christmas, but we all like it.

    http://www.myspace.com/threetoedmusic

  34. A fourth on Vampire Weekend. Also Poe, Cold War Kids, and Parker House & Theory. Though I should note that most of the music I listen to comes from demos handed out at conferences.

  35. British Sea Power. I’m not sure when they released their first album (I think it was 2001 or 2002). Their third album, which just came out, is called “Do You Like Rock Music” and it is excellent. Punk-rock sound with very intelligent lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2n-7K0Ef6Y

    Another one: Oceansize. They’ve been around for quite a while but I just found out about them. A British band with a very dark, layered sound. I don’t think they’ve hit the big-time in the US but they ought to. Their third album hasn’t been released in the US so I don’t have it. But their second album, Everyone Into Position, is really, really good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8CZNX-uuhI

    Enjoy.

    Russ

  36. British Sea Power. I’m not sure when they released their first album (I think it was 2001 or 2002). Their third album, which just came out, is called “Do You Like Rock Music” and it is excellent. Punk-rock sound with very intelligent lyrics.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2n-7K0Ef6Y

    Another one: Oceansize. They’ve been around for quite a while but I just found out about them. A British band with a very dark, layered sound. I don’t think they’ve hit the big-time in the US but they ought to. Their third album hasn’t been released in the US so I don’t have it. But their second album, Everyone Into Position, is really, really good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8CZNX-uuhI

    Enjoy.

    Russ

  37. What about Poets of the Fall? They started in 2003 and made it big with a song for Max Payne 2. They’re apparently pretty big in Finland–does making you hip by Finnish standards count?

    Here’s Late Goodbye, their song from Max Payne. It appeared on their first album (Signs of Life, 2005)

    And here’s Carnival of Rust, from their second album (2006). They put out a third one in March, but I’m so hip I haven’t heard it yet.

  38. Perhaps not hip in the conventional sense, but allow me to put in a plug for Girlyman. (http://www.girlyman.com) They describe themselves as producing “delicious acoustic harmony driven gender pop,” which is a musically accurate but thematically narrow description of their stuff.

    ‘On the Air’ from Little Star is a good starting place, and ‘Commander’ from the same album is a fine piece of mean-spirited political commentary.

  39. Back Door Slam – Imagine a Cream song that Trower fronted, and that’s what they sound like. Awesome power trio from the Isle of Man. Serious rock.

    I’m fond of the iPod-advertising-feature “Shut Up and Let Me Go” by the Ting Tings, but I haven’t heard anything else to encourage me to seek them out.

    But I just looked at other stuff I thought was “New” and it’s all ten years old or more. Sigh.

  40. I’ll go ahead and recommend a band from my hometown who’ve made it onto the national stage: Annuals (http://www.myspace.com/annuals). No, they don’t use an article in front of their name (but it’s fun to watch the reaction when someone calls them “The Annuals”). I was working as a bouncer at a rock club back when I first saw them, on my first night on the job (in 2004). They were the worst band I’d ever seen, and most of the members were also in a much better band that played before them, Sedona. Over the next year, Annuals explored their sound, expanded, shuffled the lineup, and eventually wound up at their present sound. I had seen them getting better gradually, but once I quit the bouncer gig, it was about six months until I saw them again, and I was blown away. What really impresses me about them (at least live) is the way they can build the energy of the show with their drum sound (usually they have at least two members playing some sort of percussion, at one point in the show, four of them were). They’re experimental, and don’t have the absolutely catchy sing-along quality of some pop acts, but they quickly grow on you.

    Another local band of note (did I mention I’m in Raleigh, NC?) is the Old Ceremony (http://www.theoldceremony.com/). Solid pop act, very clean (almost too clean) sound. “Papers in Order” is so catchy you want to ask who it’s a cover of. You just feel like you’ve already heard it years ago, and now some new band’s playing it, although it’s an original to them.

    Both of these bands, being local acts (although they’re growing out of the region rapidly, especially Annuals), have the distinction of featuring members I went to school with (heck, I even played in my middle school’s jazz band with the keyboardist from TOC). It’s good to see folks from my hometown doing something respectable.

  41. My musical tastes are rather wide, and even my “newbie” list will be as diverse.

    In no particular order:
    * Goran Gora – young Latvian singer-songwriter, performing in English, whose debut album JetlagI discovered on the listening stand of a CD store in Riga.
    * Vassilia Tsabropoulos – Greek classical/jazz pianist. Has lovely ECM album Akroasis where he improvises on Byzantine hymns.
    * Charlotte Gainsbourg – album 5’55. Sounds like her mum Jane Birkin. Songs are actually by Jarvis Cocker and members of Air.
    * Christina Pluhar & L’Arpeggiata – 2004 album All Improvviso” . This is one of my all-time favourite albums – kinda baroque jazz with an early music ensemble playing with the likes of clarinetist Gianluigi Trovesi. A joy from start to finish.
    * David Fridlund – discovered this week. Try his song April and May
    * Gotye – Australian solo artist. Try his Heart’s a mess which reminds me awfully of something from the APP’s I Robot
    * Husky Rescue – try Summertime Cowboy
    * Inga Liljestrom – Australian vocalist –
    Film Noir
    * Jack Planck – To Hell With You I’ll Make My Own Peoplefun album released under a pseudonym – remixes old instructional audio, such as a 1974 Square
    Dance Doco
    * Jesus H Christ and the 4 Hornsman of the Apocalypse – because y’now Connecticut is for Fucking
    * Joseph d’Anvers – his debut album Les choses en face was in 2006 when I was in Paris. It stretches my French a bit, but it’s very appealing balladic rock.
    * Robert Downey Jr – yep him. His 2004 solo album The Futurist has some amazing material, like the song Kimberley Glides. Check out Minnie Driver’s albums too.
    * The Presets – Australian duo, album Apocalypso just released – very 80s
    * Martha Wainwright – I love love love her debut album from 2004/5.
    * Sia Furler – one of the vocalists for Zero 7, has several recent solo albums. The latest Some People Have Real Problems showcases her extraordinary voice.
    * The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free : Mike Skinner’s British rap concept album is a keeper. Try Dry Your Eyes
    * The Tears (reformed from Suede) – my fave song is Apollo 13

    … and then there’s Wax Tailor, Waldeck’s Ballroom Stories (Austrian chillout with some horns), William Shatner’s Has Been (2004), Feist, Duffy, Amy Winehouse…

    With the cap removed I would be introducing you to The Eels, Tindersticks, The Walkabouts, …

  42. I’m having trouble with your cutoffs too, but I’m gonna give it a solid attempt here.

    Definitely listen to Architecture in Helsinki, I’d recommend the album “In Case We Die”. They’re an incredibly obnoxiously upbeat pop band, debut album released February of 2003, so they barely sneak into your cutoff since I started listening to them about a year ago. Here’s a youtube link to their song “Do the Whirlwind” from that album:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=MXIzyquw-kc

    The Fall of Troy is pretty insane, they’re definitely an odd band, and I’m not sure how to describe them at all. They had a song as a bonus track on Guitar Hero III that’s pretty good, I’d give them a quick listen. The songs “Tom Waits” or “FCPREMIX” (The Guitar Hero track) would be relatively representative.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sYC1oecI2WA — Tom Waits
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=SQkYNXWXRzk — FCPREMIX

    If I hadn’t heard about them a while ago, The Mars Volta would sneak in under Rule 2 since their debut album came out in ’03 too. They’re a great band though, so I thought it was worth mentioning them.

    The Album Leaf is a good post-rock band if you’re into that sort of thing. In the same vein as Broken Social Scene, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Rós, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Most of which miss your cutoff by at least a few years, although I’d recommend them if you don’t know them). It’s really really mellow stuff, but it’s an interesting sound. I just heard about them around a year ago, and they had some early releases, but their first release signed to a “big” label was in 2003 on Sub Pop, so they just sneak in too.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=t3sf3aejhKg — “Over the Pond” by The Album Leaf

    The Arctic Monkeys are great, I think somebody above mentioned them, but I’d second the recommendation, definitely give it a shot. Same for the Decemberists. In a similar vein are The Thermals, another Sub Pop band.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=A4Iobo18U9w — “Pillar of Salt” by The Thermals

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=GF978AgLyaY — “A View from the Afternoon” by The Arctic Monkeys

    Also worth listening to is “The Postal Service”, yet another Sub Pop band. It’s a side project of Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello from Dntel, and it’s pretty good stuff. You’ve probably heard the Iron and Wine cover of their song “Such Great Heights in a commercial, but they’re definitely worth a listen.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=hMOkfI7wCrI — “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

    I’d have to think really hard to find any more, so I figure I’ll just leave it at that for now. Good luck on the music hunt.

  43. A couple of slightly off-kilter folky bands I’ve got into recently are Shearwater and The Acorn:

    http://www.myspace.com/shearwater (Listen esp. to Rook)

    http://www.myspace.com/theacorn

    Also I’d strongly echo the recommendation above for Fleet Foxes. http://www.myspace.com/fleetfoxes The song mykonos, which is on their myspace, is one of my favourite songs of the last year.

    In a weirder, more lysergic direction, I’ve also really been enjoying the Besnard Lakes: http://www.myspace.com/thebesnardlakes

  44. Also, Doveman, who had that wicked cover you posted, also does his own stuff which is well worth listening to.

  45. Field Music. Really great British pop, and every single song they’ve written so-far is super catchy. You’re Not Supposed To is one of my favorites:

    http://www.field-music.co.uk/media.html

    José González. Acoustic “guy and a guitar” music that isn’t whiny or emo, more in the vein of Nick Drake but a bit more intense. They used his cover of “Teardrop” by Massive Attack in the season finale of House this year. He also sings on a few songs by Zero 7, which is where I discovered his work.

    http://www.jose-gonzalez.com/

    Bat For Lashes. Girl singer, weird song lyrics, kind of unsettling music videos. Some of her songs almost have a 60’s girl group sound crossed with modern electronic weirdness. She also does a mean cover of “I’m on Fire” by Springsteen. This video is a good primer:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=MAPg29FDOws&fmt=18

  46. I have absolutely nothing to contribute. Nothing.

    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for reminding me just how tragically unhip I’ve become. Yeah. Thanks.

  47. Qualified under the “I just found about them in the last year” rule.

    The Black Keys.

    A blues-rock Lo-fi sort of thing. Is it bad if I cannot articulate why I like their music? I hope that isn’t a referendum on me as a person.

  48. Thank god it’s not just me–I don’t know crap about what those pesky kids are listenin’ to these days …

    Fifth-ing Vampire Weekend here. When I first heard them, I dubbed it “Charlie Brown punk” for lack of a better descriptor. Any band that mentions Oxford commas in a song is a good band in my book.

    #33–So that song “Two Sisters” IS by Sting’s son?? I heard half of it on the radio in the car one day and thought “Damn but that sounds like Sting!” And then promptly forgot to look it up when I got home.

  49. Have a selection…

    Róisín Murphy (Ruby Blue, 2005, and Overpowered, 2007) — so totally into her music right now. (Yes, she was in Moloko before, but I am taking a wild guess that you might not be so familiar with them as to be bored by her.) Anything from almost-disco to electronica, never boring, fantastic voice.

    Blaqk Audio (Stiff Kittens, 2007) — cannot remember where I found them, but I like them. Great incidental music while writing, for what I write.

    Cobra Starship (While The City Sleeps…, 2006, and Viva La Cobra, 2007) — Come on, they wrote the theme for Snakes on a Plane! A mishmash of members of other popular bands. See also, Gym Class Heroes, an earlier mixup of a lot of the same people. Great sense of humour.

    Arcade Fire (Funeral, 2004, and Neon Bible, 2007) — were around before 2003, but didn’t solidify and record/release until about that time. Based in Montreal, stellar music with a huge range of instruments and great storytelling. If you check anyone of this list out, make it them. Really.

    Other recent stuff on the playlist that meets your criteria:
    – She Wants Revenge
    – Black Light Burns
    – Kaiser Chiefs

    Aaaand… that’s it. I don’t have my big HD hooked up, so that’s all I’ve got.

  50. One of my local radio stations now has a streaming audio feed. They’re pretty good at targeting newer music and often have live acoustic sessions at the station when the artists are in town–you can find it online at kink.fm (yes, dot fm)

    From KINK I’ve discovered the following (some already recommended)
    Nickel Creek
    Fiest
    Death Cab for Cutie
    KT Tunstall
    Anna Nalick
    Augustana
    The Fray
    Franz Ferdinand
    Modest Mouse

    as well as other good new music.

  51. Warsaw Village Band (http://www.warsawvillageband.net/). They’ve done two albums–People’s Spring and Uprooting–and I saw them live in Buffalo on their first US tour. Polish roots music with a rock feel. I’m eagerly awaiting a new album from them, but I think they’re on hiatus due to motherhood and such.

  52. Peeping Tom: Mike Patton’s (ex of Faith No More) “pop” album. See We’re Not Alone* performed on (I think) Henry Rollins’ show, and also the awesome Mojo.

    Also: on the track “Sucker”, you get to hear Norah Jones purr, and drop the F-bomb.
    ____

    * Featuring the line “Our love is made like a Starbucks chain and we’re taking over this neighbourhood!”

  53. My Top relatively new indie bands

    The Duke Spirit
    (great British rock, check out “Into the Fold” off of Neptune)

    The Kills
    (indie duo that take minimal instrumentation and turns it into a wall of energy and emotion, best song is “Black Balloon)

    Danielia Cotton
    (classic sound that is a mixture of Lenny Kravitz, Tina Turner, and CCR within a modern framework, try Make You Move)

    Fleet Foxes
    (unbelievable harmonies and a sound no one else has or has ever attempted, “Your Protector” is a great start

    The Long Blondes
    (rock, dance, attitude, and fun all thrown together, “Guilt” is the best song off of their latest)

  54. I second the votes for The Dodos and Fleet Foxes.

    I also recommend Bon Iver, Islands and Man Man. These are all lively happy dancy type stuff, but in their own unique jangle rock way (not beatbox drum machine type dance music).

    Also, if you haven’t heard about it, you should definitely check out Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sells Out. The album is a cover to cover remake of The Who Sells Out with all tracks and instruments done just in her voice. It’s crazy fun.

  55. I don’t know if it’s hip or not, but Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” seems to be getting massive airplay at the moment. (I hear it’s #1 on a chart by some outfit named “Billboard.”) Web page (warning! Plays music loud!) at http://www.katyperry.com/

    XM Radio’s (http://www.xmradio.com/index.xmc) Channel 20 might also help. The gimmick here is six times a day they have call-in votes for what to play, and the top 20 vote-getters are played. Alas, when the kidz are home one can get Miley’ed out, but you’ll get a rather eclectic mix of popular music.

  56. I listen almost exclusively to metal, so I don’t have much in the way of recommendations outside of that sphere, but there’s a rock band called Priestess that I like a lot. Their first album, Hello Master, came out in 2006. It’s got some really nice guitar-driven stuff on it, which is not suprising given I discovered them via Guitar Hero. (Actually, it might be a good idea to check out the track listings for those, as they seem to have included a lot of good recent bands along with all the classic stuff.)

    Now, into metal–

    My favorite discovery included in this batch is a band called Eluveitie (pronounced El-way-tea). They’re swiss, their name is a word in Etruscan, and some of their vocals are in Gaulish (the rest in English). They kind of sound to me like early In Flames, but with a bad-ass flute player. Seriously, this is the most metal a flute has ever been. They’re what you call “folk metal” or “pagan metal,” which blends the playing of traditional folk instruments (bagpipes, flute, hurdy-gurdy) with death metal.

    Another fine folk metal band is Korpiklaani (2006). Similar to Eluveitie, but a bit more inclined toward drinking song-type songs. Also, more accordion.

    Draconian are deemed a “gothic/doom” metal band. They mix traditional doom/death vox with more traditional “clean” singing from a female vocalist. They’ve got albums going back to 2003, but I just discovered them this year, plus they probably still haven’t had what you’d call a “major” label debut.

    Scar Symmetry, a melodic death metal band, with a single vocalist who does some of the best good cop/bad cop vocals I’ve ever heard. His death vox are about as brutal as the guy from Dethklok, but his clean vox qualify as actual good singing.

    Two power metal bands I really dig (power metal basically being music with instrumentation similar in complexity to death metal, but with clean singing vocals, like Iron Maiden) are Dark Empire (2006) and Communic (2005). These two would probably be the most accessible (other than Priestess) to non-metal fans of all the bands I’ve mentioned.

    Actually, I may have been hasty in proclaiming Eluveitie my favorite recent discovery–there’s also Protest the Hero (2006). They’re generally considered a “metalcore” band, though to me they really stand out from that pack, mainly due to the insane complexity of their guitarwork. Also, their first “major” album, Kezia, is a concept album which Wikipedia describes as “the elegy of a young woman after whom the album is titled. The story is chronicled in the perspective of three characters: The Prison Priest, The Prison Guard/Gunman, and Kezia herself. Each character is designated a section containing three songs, with a single retrospective finale concluding the album.” Their follow up to Kezia, Fortress, is equally awesome.

    I’m sure you can find samples from all these bands on MySpace, so I won’t bother cluttering up your post with links.

  57. Very recent:

    Man Man – Released their first album in ’04, I see, but I just heard about them (and they started breaking out just a little) this year. Rabbit Habits is the new CD, and it’s exuberant and chaotic fun. Wikipedia suggests they are “Viking-vaudeville, Manic Gypsy Jazz.”

    Titus Andronicus – Just released their debut album. Quotes include “[sounds like] Andrew WK mixed with Guided by Voices” and “They hit every mark, nailing noise and debris against shake-and-sing anthems. That’s Titus Andronicus’ ploy– aggressing and endearing audiences as a completely ramshackle crew of Jersey drunks, while somehow triumphing through perfectly clangorous pop songs. If this band can convince itself not to fall apart at the well-lubed, beer-soaked seams, watch out. ” Sound like they put on a great live show.
    http://www.myspace.com/titusandronicus

    A bit older, still post-2005:

    Devin Davis – A one-album wonder (“Lonely People of the World, Unite!”, 2005), but what an album. Best power-pop I’ve heard: tops The Shins and the New Pornographers. And funny. I love love love his songs. http://www.myspace.com/devindavis

    Post-hard deadline people (mostly 2004 debuts) who I did hear of more than a year ago but you might not have:

    Hold Steady – You’ve probably heard of them (I hope!). Springsteen-style classic rock revival (though it’s of course a bit more complicated than that) with one of the best lyricists in rock today. First two albums are the best, imo.
    http://www.myspace.com/theholdsteady

    Nellie McKay – Clever satirical cabaret pop

    Ratatat – Non-boring electronic music (because it’s really indie rock)
    http://www.myspace.com/ratatatmusic

    The Go! Team – “their songs are a mixture of action theme songs, cheerleader chants, guitars and early hip hop, with a hint of ’70s funk.” “Huddle Formation” is my most-played song on iTunes and Thunder, Lightning, Strike is an awesome album.
    http://www.myspace.com/thegoteam

    The Thermals – 2003 debut, but the album to look for is ’06s “The Body, The Blood, the Machine,” which is a concept album which “tells the story of a young couple who must flee a United States governed by fascist faux-Christians.” So in addition to bing ridiculously energetic punk with a great vocalist, it’s spec-fic, too!

    There aren’t that many genre geeks who are also indie music geeks, but I certainly am one.

  58. Oh gosh… I basically didn’t start listening to music until like 2003, so…

    New Pornographers – Twin Cinema (haven’t heard much of their newest, Challengers, but I expect it’s also awesome)
    Stars – In Our Bedroom After the War
    Ratatat – Classics
    The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America (listed by Questionable Content‘s Jeph Jacques as the best album of ’06, if that matters)
    The Mountain Goats – Sunset Tree (they’ve apparently been around a while, but despite being from Pitzer I only heard of them this year. “This Year” was basically everyone’s theme song during thesis.)
    Ben Lee – Awake Is the New Sleep

    My music library is on a different computer, I may have to come back with more…

  59. Oh man, I didn’t realize it could be “major label debut,” not just “debut.” I could have made a much longer list. But I won’t. I’ll just mention Mirah, The Mountain Goats, and the Magnetic Fields, the magnificent Ms of independent music, all of whom have extensive catalogs of amazing songs.

  60. Let me throw out a few which I think meet the criteria:

    Black Moth Super Rainbow (No, I’m not kidding. This is really their name :)
    STS9 (http://www.sts9.com)
    Guitar
    Bluetech

    I’m not sure if these last two make your cut off date but I’ll throw them out anyways:

    Caribou
    The Books

  61. Mew – A band from Copenhagen: Complex vocal harmonies, very melodic, and oh– they bring the strange. Recommended songs: “Zookeeper’s Boy,” “Snow Brigade,” “Amy I Wry? No,” and “Why Are You Looking Grave?” – Major Label debut: 2007
    http://www.myspace.com/mew

    Paper Rival – I’m not sure their major label debut is out yet, but if you can find their EP, I recommend it. Check out “Alabama.”

    Saosin – Pretty heavy, good vocals– CRAZY good drumming. Recommend: “Bury Your Head,” “You’re Not Alone,” “Voices.”

    Alive In Wild Paint – Atmospheric music, ethereal vocals. Recommended tracks: “Il,” “Ceilings.”

    Ashes Divide – Former ‘A Perfect Circle’ guitarist: decent vocals, amazing music. “Denial Waits,” “Ritual”

    Copeland – Gorgeous vocals (brilliant harmonies) and stand-out lyrics. Recommend: “Love Affair,” “Safer on an Airplane,” “Choose the One You Love.”

    Enjoy!

  62. Sharon Little — a pop/soul/rock singer-songwriter who I saw open for the Alison Krauss-Robert Plant-T Bone Burnett show a few weeks back. Good stuff.

    Vixy & Tony, a filk/folk/rock duo who just released their first CD, Thirteen, a few months ago. Good, good stuff — the title track is guaranteed to invade your brain and never leave, and “Siren Song” is a hoot. Excellent Nick Cave cover, as well. And a couple songs on Firefly themes. This was in heavy rotation for me for about a month; now it’s in slightly-less-than-heavy-but-still-more-than-moderate rotation. Vixy’s old group, Escape Key, also deserves notice.

    Devall Music, a local Americana/roots band. The singer’s voice and delivery are somewhat reminiscent of Neil Young without being derivative.

  63. The Joel Plaskett Emergency. The boys and I quite like Ashtray Rock, a theme album about being teenagers and all that entails. While he’s been with the Emergency since 01, he’s Canadian, which means invisible to most outside of our borders.

    Same with Bedouin Soundclash. An 01 album in Canada, then a new one last year. Ska/indie pop.

    Yeasayer.

    The National.

    Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

    Jeremy Fisher.

    The Avett Brothers.

    Josh Ritter.

    The Maccabees.

    Cheyenne.

    A Fine Frenzy.

    The Hold Steady.

    Xavier Rudd.

    Plenty more where those came from. My preference is always to hear a name completely unfamiliar to me.

    D

  64. Despite being a student of music theory and composition (or maybe because of this), I really have failed to keep up with new music the past few years. That said, I have made a couple of discoveries over the past year or so:

    Feist is one new name, at least new to me. In addition to things like the peppy and ubiquitous “1-2-3-4,” she sings some real gorgeous, quiet songs packed with emotion.

    A personal favorite new artist, and one who will never make the top 40 in this or any other universe, is Carla Bozulich. Her first album was a complete cover of Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger,” which she followed up with an album full of screams, whispers, and sonic landscapes produced with strings, samples, and kitty sneezes (no joke). She now fronts a group called Evangelista, playing post-post-punk (or whatever the kids call it these days). At any rate, it’s brave, captivating music that demands your attention.

  65. I’m currently digging “The Midnight Organ Fight” by Frightened Rabbit: http://www.myspace.com/frightenedrabbit. Scottish folk-rock. Strong songwriting and melodies with an epic, anthemic feel to the songs. Check out “The Modern Leper” on the MySpace link or this vid on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsBChVG9M74. Thanks also for the Liam Finn suggestion. I’m a big fan of Crowded House/Neil Finn and liked Liam’s band Betchadupa on Neil’s live DVD “7 Worlds Collide” (also recommended).

  66. The guy I’m going to recommend was the guitarist in two 90’s Britpop bands, The Longpigs and Pulp (the latter only as an associate member), and made his solo debut as a singer/songwriter with an EP in 2001 and two full-length albums in 2002 and 2003. So how does my nomination jell with your caveats, you ask?

    Answer: The previously mentioned releases were on the Setanta label. He signed to Mute Records (home of Depeche Mode and Nick Cave among others) in 2005, who released ‘Coles Corner’ that year, and last year released ‘Lady’s Bridge’, which is my favourite album of 2007, even beating out the mighty Crowded House’s entry. Since my Finn-aticism is even stronger than yours, that’s a bold statement.

    His name is Richard Hawley, and I humbly plead you to check him out, John. He often gets compared to Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak (not the voice so much as the material), but I’ll refer you to youtube to decide for yourself. ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ (not a cover) and ‘Valentine’ are my favourites.

    In fact, John, I’ll make you a deal: Buy ‘Lady’s Bridge’. If you don’t like it, I’ll reimburse you. I’ve never made a guarantee like that to anyone before!

  67. It doesn’t get much better than the brilliant Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys. (Mardy Bum and A Certain Romance EPIC!) Turner’s side-gig, the Last Shadow Puppets, is also pretty good. (Age of the Understatement, Meeting Place)

    The previously mentioned Raconteurs are good, they’re a collaboration of Brendan Benson and Jack White of the White Stripes.

    Green Day has a new garage rock style side-project, Foxboro Hot Tubs.(Mother Mary)

    More: The Blakes(Two Times)
    Scissors for Lefty(Lay Down Your Weapons)
    The Servant(Cell-Sin City Theme, How To Destroy A Relationship)
    The Noisettes(Sister Rosetta)
    Vampire Weekend(Oxford Comma)
    Bloc Party(Banquet, Helicopter)
    Tokyo Police Club(Nature of the Experiment)
    Cobra Starship(The Church of Hot Addiction-This song is electric!)
    The Rifles(Local Boy, Repeat Offender)
    The Dresden Dolls(Coin-Operated Boy)

  68. OK, the stand-out new listening artist for me and my wife is Jamie Lidell. He’s a white English guy that sings like Curtis Mayfield and looks like Buddy Holly. He just released his second album, _Jim_; his first is _Multiply_, which was released in 2005. There are many incredibly enjoyable videos on youtube:

    “Multiply” from his first album, which is insanely infectious, though the video is not as clever as some of the other ones:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkqIsSTWSsc

    This is a good song, and the video is a nice little rotoscoped thing of him singing to his cat as he holds it, which is just funny to watch; it’s “You Got Me Up” from his first album:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0h0pvjVSzo

    “Another Day” from _Jim_:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89Qa5rNAeEs

    And finally, last one, I promise, is “A Little Bit of Feel Good Goes a Long Way”, from _Jim_:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T–j0_yxBaY

    OK, actually, I need to plug an album that technically breaks the rules (first release was 2001), but has been on my listening list essentially continuously for the last couple years, which is Gorillaz’s _Demon Days_, released in 2006, I think. Here’s a video from that, “Dare”, which is in their signature amazing animated style:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCy928QJCDE

  69. Devotchka – A Mad and Faithful Telling is their excellent new album.

    Andrew Bird – The Mysterious Production of Eggs is also great, from 2005.

    Animal Collective and solo artist Panda Bear don’t quite meet your criteria, but if you haven’t heard them, you should check out their albums Feels and Person Pitch, respectively.

    Jay Farrar’s solo album Terroir Blues is quite good as well.

    The groups Beirut, Broken Social Scene, and Sun Kil Moon will round out my new music recommendations.

    Happy listening!

  70. A few I hadn’t seen mentioned yet:

    Melody Gardot – Jazz vocalist
    Sierra Hull – Bluegrass
    Matthew Ebel – Indie Rock

  71. BIRDMONSTER!!!!!

    They are AWESOME! (Which makes me sound 16 – but I’m 41)

    They are a San Fran band, that I think in 2004 or 05 was voted best local band and local band with the worst name.

    The came out with an EP in 2005 and an album in 2006 (No Midnight) Their 2nd album is out next month, I think.

    My favorite songs are Resurrection Song and Spaceman, but I liked every single one of the songs on the album.

    They are so hip, they don’t even have a video beyond things shot on handheld with nary an edit. (OK, a few edits)

  72. Laika and the Cosmonauts. Finnish surf music. I think that says it all, really. A friend of mine turned me onto them in my final year of law school, and they perked up many long hours of studying.

  73. Groovy–I’m finding music via this thread! John, my tastes are a bit eclectic, but I mostly like where pop/progressive/alternative intersect. Those terms probably mean something different these days and I’m really listening to teenybopper bugglegum pop rock schlock. (grin&shrug) I have no idea…. Anyway, hopefully I did my research right and these are all fit the criteria.

    search/rescue was formed from people from Acceptance (great band!) and Gatsbys American Dream. Their first album came out not long ago and it’s great! I don’t think they have a major label contract.

    The lead singer from A Fine Frenzy has an amazing, soft voice and they have some awesome songs.

    Matt White has a soulful voice and some very groovy songs.

    I heard of Your Vegas from an SF review blog and liked it enough to buy the album–it’s very good.

    OneRepublic is a bit moody and very good.

    Five Star Iris is less moody ;-) and also very good!

    The Last Goodnight‘s Pictures of You was a big hit, methinks (even I heard it), but their whole album is very good, if you like the lead vocalist’s voice at least. ;-)

    Forget American IdolDaughtry‘s very good despite being on that stupid show!

    Lastly, I’m including Marjorie Fair because their only album was first released in the U.S. in 2005, though it came out in the U.K. in 2004.

    IIRC, I foundone or two of the above via Pandora (gasp!). It’s an interesting concept and there is some human work behind it, not just computer analysis, BTW….

    Anyway, enjoy!

  74. Ludo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCU1JYmGxcA
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludo_(band)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You're_Awful,_I_Love_You

    First (indie) album released in 2004. First major label Feb 2008.

    They’re local for me, but as I’m 39, and definitely not hip, I didn’t hear about them until late last year. They’re the only band I can think of that fits your qualifications. But – damn – they’re good.

    Best stuff to come out of St. Louis since Chuck Berry. In my opinion.

  75. I came here to mention Flobots, but Lila beat me to it. Ditto on them, “Handlebars,” and the old video.

    So I’ll add on a technicality Snow Patrol, which was active before 2003, but that’s when they jumped to Polydor (UK) and Interscope (US). Feel free to disqualify if “Jeepster” meets your major record label.

    I’m really digging their new song “Open Your Eyes.”

  76. I like The High Strug but I can’t find out if they’re new enough for your criteria.

    But I likes me any band that plays libraries for venues and doesn’t turn down the volume.

  77. Just two quick tips:

    1) Get rid of Rhapsody and download foobar2000 for listening to music. foobar2000 is not pretty or user friendly, but it was created by people who love music and want to just listen to music.
    http://www.foobar2000.org/

    2) For discovering new music (and to keep discovering new music), sign up for Pandora. Just seed a new station with any of the artists listed above to find out if you like a particular genre, sub-genre, sub-sub-genre, etc. Pandora was also created by people who just plain love music.
    http://www.pandora.com/

  78. I see a few I like already mentioned: Scissor Sisters (sort of Beegees meets Elton John and lots of fun), The Fratellis (raucous pub band sound with insanely catchy melodies) and Green Day’s new Foxboro Hot Tubs project, which is more 60’s style garage band.

    And I’ll add to that Tullycraft, in particular “The Punks are Writing Love Songs”. Twee indie rock that reminds me of They Might Be Giants, only with a faster beat.

  79. Ratatat – I whole heartedly agree with this choice! Their album “Classics” is an amazing album in that I liked every song on it. A good idea of what their music is like is the song “Wildcat” which can be found at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1H7vZYBeHc

    Ratatat has a website at:

    http://www.myspace.com/ratatatmusic

    Rodrigo y Gabriela – I had to check that their first major label release was in 2003, which it was, and I discovered them this year. This duo has some of the most phenomenal guitar playing I have ever heard in my life. I highly recommend their song “Juan Loco” found at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTj4XDKXK_g

    Matisyahu – Reggae is not a genre that typically grabs me, but I have really enjoyed his album which contains the single “King Without A Crown” found at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hip2i9yHZ38

    Lizz Wright – Ms. Wright is a very talented jazz singer. One of my favorite songs she has done is called “Hey Mann” found at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wp8-ahXVFI

    ********

    Imogen Heap – I just discovered Imogen Heap about 8 months ago. While she does not fall under either of the two criteria for the purpose of this post, I would feel remiss if I failed to point out her amazing talent displayed in the song “Just For Now” which can be found at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25VGdNU3nrU

  80. Justice was mentioned far, far above, but fell into the cracks because the rest of the person’s post tended to mention older bands.

    Justice is “new” as far as your range goes. They’re a French duo and their music is a bit like Daft Punk if it were harder, better, faster, and stronger. Their MySpace page, complete with songs and a video or two, is here.

    If you like them, give MOTOR a listen as well. Their MySpace page is here.

  81. I’ll agree with John Joseph Adams, and thanks for the suggestion. Eluveitie is pretty awesome!

    I’ll also agree with Crystal Castles, which a few people have mentioned. They’re touring with NIN, I believe, so that says something.

    http://www.myspace.com/crystalcastles

    Stolen Babies is a lot of fun; they sound like the music you’d hear at a circus full of goths. I finally managed to pick up their CD, and it is just flat-out fun from start to finish.

    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=3149412

    And finally, Deadly Nightshade Botanical Society, which is more ethereal than goth, I’d say. Listen to “Clockwork Dream” in particular.

    http://www.myspace.com/deadlynightshadebotanicalsociety

  82. I second(third?) the reccomendation of Pandora. I am a Pandora addict. Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.

    Three more reccomendations:
    The Cold War Kids have good lyrics and good soul. (We Used To Vacation is about a drunk father and his family.)
    Hail Social’s song Hands Are Tied, not because I’m such a huge fan of the band, just because this particular song kicks mucho ass. (Wow, I’m really breaking that “don’t spill your iPod” rule. Oh well.)

  83. I have to second the suggestions of Ingrid Michaelson (who I apparently went to college with, but don’t recall ever having met, even with having mutual friends) and Regina Spektor; they both write very singable stuff, and it’s frequently really pretty.

    I am also lately very happy about Idina Menzel’s “I Stand”. Idina became famous originating the role of Maureen in Rent, moved on to Wicked, and has lately been throwing albums out. “I Stand” is her first album of original stuff; lots of good rich vocals and a bewitching rework of “Defying Gravity” from Wicked.

    I’m not sure if Garrison Starr makes your cut off, but since I love her music like whoa she gets a shout-out anyhow.

  84. I’ll enthusiastically second Girlyman (though I’m not sure they fit in the criteria) and the Pipettes. I’ll also put in Nicole Atkins, who I saw open for the Pipettes and has an awesome voice.

  85. Some groovy stuff no one has mentioned so far:

    The Black Angels, Directions to See a Ghost.

    It’s a tasty pastiche of late 60’s early 70’s psychedelic rock.

    Giant Squid, Metridium Fields.

    The magnificently unholy spawn of prog rock, thrash metal and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. They have a song titled Ampullae of Lorenzini!

    Wolves in the Throneroom, Two Hunters.

    Radical eco-feminist black metal. In amongst the jackhammer drums and the screaming is a tasty melody and moments of startling choral beauty.

    My Brightest Diamond, Bring me the Workhorse.

    A new act working the same mine as Kate Bush and Tori Amos, but she’s doin’ her own thing too. More music from maenads. She has a newer album out now, but I’ve not heard it yet and cannot vouch for it.

    Stuart A. Staples, Leaving Songs.

    Squeaking in on a technicality. Stuart Staples is one of the main folks behind Tindersticks, but he released a solo album in 2006. Folky, excellent songwriting and deceptively great arrangements.

    Zoë Keating, One Cello X 16: Natoma.

    She’s never had a major label release and she’s only got two albums, the first of which came out in 2003, so this one is right on the edge of outright disqualified, but still. If Steve Reich did music for electric cellos, it might sound like about half of this.

  86. It’s not just late 30s, John. Or maybe you’re saying that it starts in the late 30s and goes on forever. However in my late 50s I take comfort in the fact that whenever I feel that “un-hipness” you mention, I need only review the contents of my music library to realize that I’m listening to plenty of new stuff. Herewith some examples:

    Arctic Monkeys: “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”
    Bombay Dub Orchestra: “Bombay Dub Orchestra”
    Diablo Swing Orchestra: “The Butcher’s Ballroom”
    The Dresden Dolls: “The Dresden Dolls”
    Enter the Haggis: “Soapbox Heroes”
    The Gothic Archies: “The Tragic Treasury”
    Hard-Fi: “Stars of CCTV”
    Imogen Heap: “Speak For Yourself”
    Joanne Newsom: “Ys”
    Kate Nash: “Made of Bricks”
    The Polyphonic Spree: “The Fragile Army”
    Regina Spektor: “Begin To Hope”
    Tim Bowness: “My Hotel Year”

    If you listen to only one of these, make it the Tim Bowness album. I assume that you’re familiar with No-Man; this is the first solo album by their singer.

  87. I’m cheating here since I’ve known about them for longer than the limit, but they didn’t have an album release until after January 2003, so check out 65daysofstatic (math rock)! Ratatat, as suggested several times already, is also brilliant. And finally, Pendulum (drum & bass).

  88. Funny, but Pandora has actually pointed me in the direction of a lot of cool new music.

    The Firebird Band: nice clash of guitars, synths and live drums with beatboxes.

    Tempera: this is my next door neighbor. Says he’s heavily influenced by Broadcast, but I hear more Krautrock. Really sweet stuff.

  89. Try Flight of the Conchords? I know I only heard of them last year through their show (which is well worth watching) and their lyrics are hilarious.

  90. Deryl @89:

    Second on Joel Plaskett and Bedouin Soundclash.

    Also, Wintersleep(http://www.wintersleep.com/). I’ve been listening to their last album, ‘Welcome to the Night Sky’ quite a lot lately.

    Though I’d say that anyone in the US looking for new music need only look north…

  91. A group that I found out about only this week: Fleet Foxes. Reviewers seem to have difficulties with the genre label — ‘melodic folk rock’, ‘baroque harmonic pop’, some of it a cappella, some with instruments — but that doesn’t do the music any harm. It’s vaguely like Sigur Ros, only with lyrics [yes, but you know what I mean].

    I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing for the purposes of this exercise that their (self-titled, 2008) album is #2 on Amazon’s indie rock popularity list. It’s certainly not normal for music I buy.

  92. I’ll second (only?) the Kaiser Chiefs mention. They remind me a bit of the Clash crossed with a 90s Brit-pop band — maybe a little more on the rock side than that too short summary makes them sound.

    And while I just recently started listening to Death Cab for Cutie, they’ve had albums out for about ten years already so they’re probably disqualified.

    I’m pretty sure Paper Lions are new — I think they’ve only got the one indy CD out, I only heard of them when they opened for Cake. Kind of seventies influenced, I guess? They’re from PEI and at least one of their songs really reminded me of The Grapes of Wrath (who you should also listen to but have been broken up for years and years and don’t meet any of your criteria.) Had the Paper Lions CD in the car stereo since we saw them.

  93. By way of another possibly non-helpful generalized kind of recommendation: I’m a big fan of SomaFM’s dozen-or-so stations, especially Indie Pop Rocks. I’m not sure it covers what “the kids these days” are listening to, but it’s a nice way to discover new artists.

    Yeah, yeah, I know: I’m not following directions. Pimping my favorite internet radio station seemed both relevant and more important than figuring out when Iron And Wine’s first album came out (2002, as it turns out, but whatever).

  94. I offer no new groups, but I can tell you not to fret. As a much older person, I grew up to the music of the 50’s and 60’s. As my children came along, their music era was the 70’s and 80’s. After my youngest child (age 34) left the house, I quit bothering with new music.

    The plus side of this is that I have four decades of perfectly wonderful music to listen to, and have no need whatsoever for whatever is current, most of which just sounds bizarre to me.

    This will happen to you as well, and it’s not bad at all.

    Life is good.

  95. My brain is now like the straw dispenser jammed by too many straws trying to get out at once. I spend a lot of time looking for new music. Here is an alphabetical list of new and new to me music from the last few years that I could recommend.

    Short List
    ACRES
    Dewey Cox
    Drowning Pool
    Five Star Iris
    Lee Mellor
    Lights and Sounds
    Maroon 5
    Michael Tolcher
    The Mooney Suzuki
    Muse
    The Phlegmatics

    More
    Arcade Fire
    Celldweller
    Deadbeat Poets
    Deadstar Assembly
    Fluid Lines
    Jake Newton
    Manu Chao
    Neurosonic
    Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

    Bonus List
    Audiology
    Blonde Redhead
    Confliction
    Conjunto Colores
    Fanoe
    Karsh Kale
    Mudvayne
    Pecker
    Plusminus X
    Stereoside
    Thanks for Nothing
    Through and Throughout
    Tremoloco
    Urbansnake
    Wipers
    Zeromancer

  96. I’ll second (third, fourth, whatever) Snow Patrol, Editors, Kaiser Chiefs, and Fratellis.

    A couple I haven’t heard mentioned yet: Pete Yorn (www.peteyorn.com, For Us) — been around since 2001, but tragically unhip as I am, I didn’t pick up on him until recently.

    Muse (www.muse.mu, Starlight) — I think Black Holes and Revelations (2006) was their first major label US album.

  97. Would Mudcrutch count? Probably not, since it was the band Tom Petty was in before the Heartbreakers. But they just released their first album this year.
    Along the same lines, Allison Krauss & Robert Plant “Raising Sand”. Both have been around for a while/forever, but first album together.

  98. I only listen to MySpace bands. Or, rather, bands I find on MySpace. Nobarbies, Ladytron, The Pipettes, Labor Force, East Hundred, Otto Vector, are some right off the top of my head.

    I’m not saying you’ll be *hip*, but who cares? It’s good music!

    Besides, you can *make* them hip.

  99. If you’re at all interested in rap that’s of the non-“gangsta” variety, I’d recommend the following artists who originally hail from Minneapolis:

    – Atmosphere
    – Sage Francis
    – Non-Prophets (a side project of Sage Francis)

    All very good stuff and surprisingly listenable.

    I’ve also taken to listening to Pennywise (punk rock) now that they’ve gotten more political. Their “From the Ashes” album is a pretty good piece of work.

    The Weakerthans — a great post-punk act. Their albums “Reconstruction Site” and “Reunion Tour” are both really good… And each contains a track about the lead singer’s cat, Virtute. I challenge any cat lover to listen to “Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure” (off of “Reunion Tour”) and not get choked-up.

  100. The Birthday Massacre : female vocalist, guitars ‘n’ keyboard ‘n’ drums ‘n’ bass synthy dark rock sort of thing (produced by Skinny Puppy’s producer, if that helps). Technically they had an album out in 2002, but it was indie and limited edition. They signed to a “real” label in 2005.

  101. I’m late to the party it seems.

    ‘The Bird and the Bee’ is a fun new Pop band.
    ‘Victoria Heart’ is a bit like a bubblegum Norah Jones
    ‘The Weepies’ are some blend of folk/rock. Technically pre-2003, but I think not well known
    ‘Jesca Hoop’ is pop with some interesting directions
    ‘Bat For Lashes’ is a bit of dark pop, maybe a little bit darkwave.
    ‘Justin Thompson’ does some fun jazzy solo guitar.

  102. My favorite new band in the last couple of years is The Fray. They are a piano oriented rock band, sort of like Ben Folds Five, but they (The Fray) speak to me more. The single, Over My Head, is in costant rotation on my playlist.

    There is also a YouTube band that I like a lot called Boyce Avenue. They have some original songs, but I mostly like their covers.

  103. BBC Radio 1 is my primary source for new music. During the daytime their playlist is biased towards the Top 40, but their evening and nighttime programming is amazing – they give great exposure to upcoming bands of all varieties. The BBC may not allow you to stream TV if you’re outside the UK, but their radio streams are available worldwide.

    “Indie/rock” is my favourite category: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/rockindie/ Every show in that line-up is worthwhile, but the ones I listen to most regularly are Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, and Colin Murray.

    My top picks for new bands so far in 2008(-ish):
    * The Ting Tings
    * The Long Blondes
    * Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
    * Cut Copy (not so new, but their album In Ghost Colours is their big international breakthrough)

  104. Here’s what’s been in heavy rotation for me this last year: Mash-ups. Delightful repurposing of tracks and artists from all eras, breathing new life into old favorites while introducing you to new ones at the same time.

    Sturgeon’s Law applies, but the 10% is phenomenal.

    E.g.:

    The Kleptones
    (Start with Liv’r Than You’ll Ever Be)

    Girl Talk
    http://74.124.198.47/illegal-art.net/__girl__talk___feed__the__anima.ls___/

    DJ Earworm
    www[dot]djearworm[dot]com/
    Find: Whats_My_Name.mp3

    And for a sampling:
    – www[dot]bootieusa[dot]com/bestofbootie2007

    And if the first few tracks don’t hit your ear right, keep some of the above around and give it a few tries — it took me a while to “get it,” but now it’s some of my favorite music.

    *PLUS* I’ll leave you with one more suggestion that absolutely satisfies your requirements: Sharon Little. She’s been opening for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on their current tour (which I saw last night— WOW!), and I thought she was amazing. Her album Perfect Time for a Breakdown is available on AmazonMP3.

  105. Fun! I ditto the aforementioned Fratellis (effing AWESOME), Vampire Weekend, Richard Hawley, British Sea Power, Last Shadow Puppets, Kooks, Kaiser Chiefs, Rifles and Black Angels.

    And I’ll add about a zillion, starting with the Libertines. If you’ve already gone there, check out the three bands that came out of the Libs’ break-up: Babyshambles, Dirty Pretty Things and Yeti. The Yeti album isn’t out here yet, but it is superb. With one listen, my favorite record of the year so far. I mostly like guitar bands that have some connection to the 60s and, erm, melody, so bear that in mind:

    78 Saab: very melodic, but not nancy boys.
    Butcher Boy: fabulous Irish band.
    Cajun Dance Party: raucous fun stuff a la the Fratellis, et al.
    Crash My Model Car: have that Snow Patrol vibe, really well crafted pop songs.
    The Duels: dark and magical.
    Elbow: the thinking man’s prog. Everybody should own at least one Elbow record.
    Fabienne del Sol: the only chick on my list. French 60s chanteuse sound.
    The Feeling: kinda epic and swoony, but good.
    Foxboro Hut Tubs: Green Day doing 60s garage rock. Absolutely incredible.
    Frank Turner: can’t say enough about this British troubadour fella. Funny and insightful and shouty enough that he sounds legitimate.
    The Little Ones: can sound twee at times, but a pretty deep, inventive record from a band from Silverlake, of all places.
    Madrugada: dark and dramatic and lovely, but with teeth and lots of bitterness.
    Mando Diao: they keep pumping out great records of pure pop genius.
    Pete and the Pirates: quirky and cool, a good companion to the Kooks and the Last Shadow Puppets.
    Sixnationstate: sounds VERY Scouse, quite fun party music.
    The Tacticians: great, well-realized pop songs, sound a little bit like the tail end of Britpop, when good bands were getting their asses kicked.
    The Wave Pictures: also have a poppy Scouse sound, like the late, lamented The Basement.
    The Zutons: third album’s out soon, or now, and I think they’ve ticked up from the second one. If you like the Coral, you’ll love the Zutons.

    Those are selections from this year. Just a few more records from a few years ago that I absolutely love:
    The Veils: moody and histrionic, but it’s good. Really.
    HAL: a young Irish band that sounds like your AM radio.
    The View: favorite record from last year, these guys didn’t TOUR here, dammit! Wasted Little DJs is one of the best anthems I’ve ever heard.
    Pure Reason Revolution: the album I keep going back to. Like Marillion? Add space, and you’ve got PRR.

  106. Paramore – upbeat punk-esque stuff, female vocalist – you can listen to their whole new album, I believe, and I’d particularly suggest “Misery Business” if you’re going to pick just one (although if you’re going to watch the videos, “That’s What You Get” is just freakin adorable.

  107. I have no clue on date of any of these, but I’ve just recently heard them, so there you go.
    The Raconteurs
    Dropkick Murphys
    Muse
    Mutemath
    Shiny Toy Guns
    The Phenomenauts
    Against Me!
    Atreyu
    Hot Hot Heat

  108. Nthing The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday is their masterpiece

    TV On Th Radio is mindblowingly Peter Gabrielesque good

    Cloud Cult, so weird and poppy, you can’t help but love them.

    Not sure when they came out but Golgol Bordello is AWESOME gypsy punk. Their singer was Alex in “Everything is Illuminated”.

    But I’m in my thirties as well, so I’m gonna have to go through the list and see what the kids recommend.

    Good call John, maybe you’ll re-hippify all us old guys

  109. I listen to CBC Radio 3, the hip younger niece/nephew of the staid, boring CBC. They play canadian indie ( ie. small label, or unsigned ) bands. And some bigger ones that have broken out. Low rotation, lots of turn over. i’ve found some awesome bands/musicians this way.

    http://radio3.cbc.ca/ for streaming music ( and link to mp3 streaming station )
    search itunes for Radio 3 podcasts, esp. R3-30 which is a weekly chart show, and Grant Lawrence has a big bi-weekly themed podcast.

    Some bands I like and have bought the CDs of:
    Cadence Weapon, Malajube, Creature, Shad, Kathleen Edwards, Stars, Evaporators, Hawksley Workman, Black Mountain, Pride Tiger, Jason Collette, Holy Fuck, Christine Fellows. Basia Bulat.

    I really, really recommend this station to everyone for fresh new music.

  110. Wow, so nobody has mentioned some of the following…

    The funky, amazing Chromeo. “Bonafide Lovin'”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EUEA5nb7IU

    A dance-punk band from Glasgow, Shitdisco. “I Know Kung Fu”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwPtWHNqJIo

    Also, an English post-punk revival band, Maxïmo Park. “Apply Some Pressure”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZrZ83tdW_k

    I will second whoever suggested Art Brut. “Emily Kane”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvA0UBesfbY

    And thank you, whoever mentioned Fleet Foxes… they’re very Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to my ears. I like them. :)

  111. Second on Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Fine Frenzy, Feist Nellie McKay (esp first album), and Imogen Heap.

    Add in Gogol Bordello (described as “the Clash and the Pogues have a fight in Prague”), I’m From Barcelona (happy, happy music), Mouse on Mars (electronic), and Say Hi To Your Mom (fun pop).

    Now I need to comb the list for interesting stuff!

    – yeff

  112. John,

    I will try to not go crazy here. Check out my last fm page for a lot more bands. I like to find new and interesting music. With that said here is what I am listening to lately:

    Firewater
    Dresden Dolls
    Metric
    The Cat Empire
    Frightened Rabbit
    Thao
    Rasputina
    Wintersleep
    The World Inferno/Friendship Society
    Immaculate Machine
    Wolf Parade
    Tilly and the Wall
    Jukebox the Ghost

    I have to stop now. I could go on for awhile.

  113. My newest favorite is Yoav, on his debut album Charmed and Strange (the physics phreak in me loves him just for that title) . Which came out in 2008, as far as I can tell.

    Multi-nationality singer whose album features just him, his guitar and some sound manipulation making some cool, clubby music.

    Free mp3 download of his hit Club Thing at:
    http://www.amplified.com/yoav

    Access Code:
    yoav

  114. Let’s see, despite not wanting a computer to tell you what’s cool, I’ll be about the sixth recommender of Pandora. It’s a great way to find new and old music that you’ll love.

    I haven’t seen anyone else mention a couple of fun newer bands, so I’ll do the honors.

    Nine Black Alps – cool power pop, poppy rock, rock and roll, whatever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRMLh3Dxj3U

    Ryan Shaw – Upbeat R&B that’s infectious and will get your feet moving. http://youtube.com/watch?v=gQF_984JOow

    Jet – Okay, they’re very well known, but I don’t think I’ve seen them mentioned. Their debut is the best straightforward rock and roll album I’ve hear in years. Their second one, not so much. http://youtube.com/watch?v=DYbZNamJQ5g

  115. Esthero,
    The Go! Team,
    Josh Rouse,
    Corriene Bailey Rae,
    LUPE FIASCO,
    Cansei de Ser Sexy,
    Nicole Atkins,
    The TingTings,
    Santogold,
    Feist,
    Gossip,
    Justice,
    Kaki King,
    Regina Spektor,
    Spottiswoode & His Enemies,
    Dressy Bessy,
    Chromeo,
    Thunderheist
    Bats for Lashes

    Plug any of these into http://www.lastfm.com

  116. I also third & fourth the suggestions of:
    Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Dresden Dolls, Nellie McKay and Imogen Heap.

    one last: Kate Nash

  117. Just be patient, John. In a couple of years Athena will be introducing you to so many new artists you won’t have time to listen to them all, and you’ll be here asking us, “so, what do you all think of the band ‘Harpooning Whore Academy,’ and should I be letting my daughter listen to them?” And we’ll all snicker behind our hands at your incredible naivete in thinking you had any say in the matter.

  118. Neal_with_an_”a”:

    “Let’s see, despite not wanting a computer to tell you what’s cool, I’ll be about the sixth recommender of Pandora. It’s a great way to find new and old music that you’ll love.”

    What amuses me about people recommending Pandora to me is that it’s a little like recommending to me this crazy invention called the iPod — i.e., it’s something I’ve been aware of for so long that people trying to suggest it to me makes me wonder where they think I’ve been the last few years. To coin a phrase, I am aware of the Internet, thank you very much. You can be assured that when I want to play with Pandora, I know where to find it. But at the moment, I’m more interested in what real live humans have to say about music they like.

  119. Well, John, you could have mentioned that the first time someone suggested Pandora, then you wouldn’t have heard it recommended again and again. ;-)

    Anyway, this is a great thread. I’ve just built a Pandora station from suggestions on this thread and I’m looking forward to discovering loads of crazy music that I’ve never heard before over the coming weeks. Awesome Color and Fleet Foxes are my favorites so far.

  120. My #1 suggestion has to be Emma Pollock. She released her first solo album at the end of 06 after The Delgados broke up (who are also awesome if you haven’t heard them). She has remained my gold standard for female singers. If you like it, know that for whatever reason her best song (or at least my favorite) is a B-side for the single Acid Test.
    http://www.emmapollock.com/

    Next up is The Oohlas. They feature a woman named Ollie. Need more be said?
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=L2VOzxcylpY

    And the Eames Era. They’re from Louisiana and one week after their debut album got released their tour bus got hit by a a military truck in the area for Katrina aid. After this they released their second album which is the most upbeat CD I’ve ever listened to.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KhzuiYDFM0Y

  121. Neal @ 179: John did say that in comment #12.

    Thanks to those with the Fleet Foxes recommendation. It’s not a million miles away from the feel of the Christina Pluhar album I recommended, especially with Marco Beasley’s vocals.

    I’ll also second Doublejack’s recommendation for DJ Earworm’s mash-ups. Try “No One takes Your Freedom“; and also Stuart Staples’ solo album “Lucky Dog Recordings“.

    I’m going to make a 2nd “blow out the cap” recommendation for The Eels. “Live with Strings at Town Hall” is an excellent compilation to start with. The other reason that it’s kinda relevant here is that The Eels = Mark Everett, son of Hugh Everett, the physicist that came up with the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics.

  122. Here’s another vote for Duffy’s “Rockferry”, which I picked up a couple days ago. Other newish stuff I’ve been listening to includes

    Cylab
    Wolfmother
    Butterfly Boucher
    Muse

    Anything else I can think of falls outside your criteria.

  123. #1) Wolf Parade – they have a new album out, which I want, but get their first, Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005). Every damn song on that album is a winner, and many are utterly amazing – ‘Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts’, ‘The Curse’, ‘Shine a Light’…

    #2) I assume as you haven’t been living under a bridge, you heard of Arcade Fire’s Funeral (2004) but you might have kinda blown off the hype as I did until recently. Big mistake – go get it.

    Shorter rec’s meeting the criteria:

    Antony and the Johnsons (2005)
    Art Brut Bang Bang Rock and Roll (2006)
    The Hold Steady Separation Sunday(2005)
    Neverending White Lights Act 1… (2005)
    M.I.A. Arular (2005)
    Santa Dog (various EPs/downloads available) 2006

    and given the context of the discussion, LCD Soundsystem LCD Soundsystem (2005) – listen to ‘Losing My Edge’ without cracking a smile, if you can.

  124. City and Colour feat. Gord Downey – Sleeping Sickness

    Hedley – Never Too Late and For The Nights I Can’t Remember

    Finger Eleven – Talking To The Walls and Paralyzer

    Jully Black – Seven Day Fool

    New Kids On The Block – Summertime

    Miley Cyrus – See You Again

    Against Me

    Raine Maida’s solo stuff for something more interesting

    Katy Perry (You’re So Gay and I Kissed A Girl)

    Jason Mraz – I’m Yours

    Corrine Bailey Ray – Girl Put Your Records On

    The Trews – So She’s Leaving, Hold Me In Your Arms, Yearning

    I’ll also second the Arcade Fire rec above me.

    And as cracked out as she is… Amy Winehouse (Love Is A Losing Game, Rehab, etc) is amazing.

    I may not be a kid, but I’ve done a couple tours in new music radio… these are what seem to be hot in my area right now (or are maybe just floating around my MP3 player).

    A couple of those are Canadian, so hopefully, they’re new to you! I always love it when I hear great music that’s new to me!

  125. Well, it looks like I don’t listen to any bands that fit into the cut-off date, but I do have one roundabout suggestion: the Battlestar Galactica soundtracks. Bear McCreary is a genius who has created the best television soundtracks ever–possibly better than any movies either. It’s a great fusion of classical with Greek and Middle Eastern and all sorts of other musical styles, producing a distinctively awesome sound. Here are a few of my favorites:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlcUwUwjLrs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U3HOakj4KM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEqp8N-Grzk

  126. Faunts: (formed technically before 2003, but their first album was published in 2005); one of their songs was featured in the credits to Mass Effect.

    Pilotdrift: I’ve only listened to Water Sphere, of which “Jekyll and Hyde Suite” and “Elephant Island” I find quite enjoyable.

    Benny Bennasi: Hypnotica has a lot of good dance music. And a vocoder!

    Combichrist: Lots of violent, loud, potentially offensive Aggrotech goodness. I particularly like “Everybody Hates You”, which features a song called “God Bless” which is, predominantly, a listing of the names of serial killers, rapists, cult-leaders, and their ilk.

    I’m From Barcelona: Really poppy; a group comprised of 29 members.

    Frost*: An interesting UK prog rock band; Milliontown was enjoyable, and has a few songs I enjoy, such as “Snowman”.

    Leaves’ Eyes: a folk metal band; much of their music contains imagery of vikings and other Norwegian folksy things.

  127. //Humph//

    So that leaves out the most amazing jaw-dropping piece of music I discovered since your timeframe date…”Quintettino In Do Maggiore, La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid, Op. 30, No. 6″ by Luigi Boccherini.

    //Humph//

  128. Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and MIA are all great suggestions.

    Thom Yorke (of Radiohead fame) released an excellent electronic solo album, The Eraser, in 2006: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8f1VbDztwQ

    Cansei de Ser Sexy, or CSS, are a really fun Brazilian band. Their debut CSS was out in 2005: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cnOvMFnRvs

    Also have to mention Amusement Parks on Fire, John Maus, CocoRosie, The Klaxons, and – alright, I know Bonnie Prince Billy is old news, but his 2006 record The Letting Go, with Dawn from Faun Fables, is really beautiful.

  129. I came to suggest Vampire Weekend but Miko @4 beat me to the punch. I will say that I have been listening to their self titled album incessantly for the past few weeks.

  130. I don’t know what’s more annoying – those that don’t know and didn’t bother checking bands (BRMC and Imogen Heap were doing music way before 2003) or those that even admit to knowing their artist doesn’t qualify and still bring it up!

    Anyway, my ideas are:

    The Dresden Dolls – Amanda Palmer is an amazing talent. Here’s a video of her with the Boston Pops earlier this summer:

    http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2008/06/20/all_dolled_up_at_the_pops/

    Rodrigo y Gabriela – amazing guitar duo with a great story. http://trifle.vox.com/library/post/rodrigo-y-gabriela.html

    And a Swedish trio who I saw in concert earlier this year:

    El Perro Del Mar – soft, twee, minimal pop songs with real heart
    http://trifle.vox.com/library/post/new-el-perro-del-mar-from-the-valley-to-the-stars.html

    Lykke Li – good dance moves. Her debut album is due out in the US later this summer :
    http://weheartmusic.vox.com/library/post/lykke-li.html

    And my current absolute fav, Anna Ternheim. Just a perfect combination of folk & rock, her debut CD just came out.

    http://trifle.vox.com/library/post/swedish-tour.html

  131. Been mentioned a few times, and there’s so much on this list that I would also recommend, but I’m just going to say The Hold Steady. Didn’t know about them until early 2006, but they’ve got four albums out now (latest is just released online), and they are the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world right now.

    They do what I’d call “new old” rock, a bit Springsteenish, with wonderfully deep lyrics and gruff at times spoken word vocals filled with tales of youth gone mad and other things that are usually dark and sombre, yet somehow amazingly uplifting at the same time.

    You can hear a sampling of their stuff at http://www.myspace.com/theholdsteady

    It’s quite possible you know them already John, they seem to be what I’d call “the best known unknown band” around right now. They have no mainstream profile, yet everyone online seems to know them, and many music sites champion them.

    New album is “Stay Positive”, recommend all others, especially “Separation Sunday”.

    Listening to tonnes of stuff from emusic in recent years, but these guys are always at the top of my list.

  132. I don’t know whether to feel smug that, being older than you, almost all the music I’ve been listening to lately falls into your categories or to feel worried that maybe I should be growing up and doing something more productive with my time…

    Anyway, here are some stuff, mostly from the other side of the Atlantic, that more-or-less meets your criteria…

    Grime
    UK rap – at its best it can be funnier than US versions, less about crotch grabbing and guns and more about drinking too much on a Saturday night and ironic self-mocking. Some trans-atlantic cousins may need interpreters…

    Recommended tracks.
    The Streets – Fit (but you know it)
    Lethal Bizzle – Police on my Back
    Example – I Don’t Want To
    Harvey Nicks – The Mitchell Brothers

    For more serious stuff Plan B, Braintax and Skinnyman do “kitchen sink drama” – “Council Estate of the Mind”, “Mama (Loves a Crackhead)” etc

    Then there’s Dizzee Rascal, Roll Deep and Wiley, who just write good tunes.

    Most of these guys don’t have “major labels” releases – UK rap has a hard time getting heard – The Streets and Dizzee Rascal are the exceptions. There’s a good introduction to Grime in iTunes Essentials (if it is available in the US)

    Indie
    There’s been an explosion of UK guitar bands in the last few years with great lyrics and catchy tunes – most of these have got a mention elsewhere.
    The Artic Monkeys (and the lead singer’s side project The Last Shadow Puppets)
    The Fratellis
    Franz Ferdinand
    Reverend and the Makers
    Hard-Fi
    Kaiser Chiefs
    Kasabian
    The Zutons
    Razorlight

    New Rave
    You can dance to it, but Hot Chip and the Klaxons are real bands, with instruments and everything.
    Hot Chip
    Klaxons
    Digitilaism
    Simian Mobile Disco
    LCD Soundsystem

    odds & sods
    Just because they write good songs
    The Go! Team
    Paolo Nutini
    Mark Ronson (he’s a producer, he did an album of cover versions last year, it’s great)
    Calvin Harris (It was acceptable in the 80s)
    The Ting Tings (That’s Not My Name – instant pop classic)

  133. I’m with the people who mentioned The Hold Steady and especially Separation Sunday.

    I think the Dexateens and Jim White fit your criteria. The Drive-By Truckers probably don’t, but still.

  134. I am going to cheat. John Oszajca’s (Here on Last.fm) first album came out before the deadline, but I’d bet good money that people who like a lot of what I’ve seen so far would love his stuff. It’s hard to describe, but that seems to be a theme here.

    Please don’t beat me.

  135. A new add — the Courteeners’ record is sounding pretty good to me as I’m listening to it. And for the folks who are recommending Muse like they’re new, erm… you do know Showbiz came out in 1999, right? Which makes me way cooler than all the rest of y’all because I bought it when it came out.

  136. We Are Scientists (Chick Lit): Indie rock. Their 2008 release, Brain Thrust Mastery, pulls heavily from disparate 80s New Wave sounds. (I reviewed it in greater detail here.)

    The Pipettes (Pull Shapes): The modern hipster version of the Phil Spector 60s girl group sound.

    School of Language (Rockist): Art/indie rock. Think Crowded House crossed with Laurie Anderson.

    Flatfoot 56 (Brotherhood): American Irish punk. Described by Ken Hite as “the perfect drinking song, if you’re already drunk.”

    The Ting Tings (Great DJ): Lo-fi/electronic pop. A flawless companion to summer. The linked track has a chorus which is as infectious as it is inane.

  137. My son is at this moment wandering around singing his own mashup of Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia” and “Plug In Baby”. If I didn’t like Muse so much, giving him a copy of the H.A.A.R.P. concert DVD would have been a big mistake.

  138. Consider me the eleventh to offer up Vampire Weekend.

    I grew interested by a one-sentence review in EW.com:

    ”Imagine New Order sitting down with Paul Simon and talking about the first Talking Heads record, while Pavement plays over the cafeteria loudspeakers.”

    That got me to their Myspace page. Then, I went to iTunes and bought it. Great CD. Who else can sing a song about a comma?

  139. A lot of stuff I like that is new is already listed, so after combing through this whole list here is what I have that isn’t there.

    The Hopefuls – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XmkGTccMSQ

    Embrace – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtQ9l0oQmXE

    Matt Nathanson – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwm3FQhUaSU

    Rooney – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qoL-9jGaZc

    and for something completely different – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_2gW3zwMMQ

    previously mentioned but not linked:

    Band of Horses (link to video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK716RqoUms

    The Feeling – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWuk9d7UMuU

    Modest Mouse – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erc40wCxRZo

    Muse – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-c94VVU7zc

    Lupe Fiasco – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPoI5gWhC6w

    I can’t believe none of the links I checked so far aren’t just rickrolls. Anyway, thanks very much for the post, I got a lot of new stuff to sift through now myself.

  140. OK, you asked for it:

    Kate Rusby – folk, some of it traditional, some of it not – very lovely voice. I think my favorite album of hers is “The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly.”

    You’ve already got a vote for KT Tunstall – thumbs up there.

    How about Pink Martini’s “Hang On Little Tomato.’ No, it has nothing to do with salmonella – it’s jazz with bits of french and japanese and there’s some arabic influences. VERY good. They’re from the Bay Area, I think.

    Joss Stone is a decent R&B singer – I think she’s recent. She was on that live concert for the Earth. She’s from the UK but man, she sounds like she could hold her own with the MoTown folks.

    For sheer amusing silliness check out
    th Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britian
    on YouTube.

  141. Two (one hopes) helpful additions:

    Muse have a good chunk of one of the concerts available for free (hard to beat that) if you’d like to sample. http://haarp.muse.mu/index.phpYou can get one song and video clip on the front page; register to get a handful more of each. If you buy the CD of that performance, they throw in the concert DVD for free.

    Also, I have made a big alphabetical list of the bands mentioned up through comment #209. If anyone wants a copy of that, lemmeno.

  142. @ Jonathan on 29 Jun 2008 at 10:24 am

    I don’t know what’s more annoying – those that don’t know and didn’t bother checking bands (BRMC and Imogen Heap were doing music way before 2003) or those that even admit to knowing their artist doesn’t qualify and still bring it up!

    Anyway, my ideas are:

    The Dresden Dolls

    Heh. Does this parallel the grammar flame law?

    I left the Dresden Dolls off my list because they formed in 2000, first release in 2001. But they are great, and have a lot of outstanding free downloads available on their site; I really like a lot of their covers as well as their original songs.

  143. Manny, I’d love a copy of that list…. it would be awesome if you could just put it up on http://www.pastebin.ca otherwise you can email it to me at melbi cimni at gmail (remove the spaces).

    Thanks :-)

  144. The bands I’ve been most recently totally addicted to, that follow your rules:

    The Submarines, Honeysuckle Weeks
    http://thesubmarines.com/
    singer/songwriter couple. Sweet. Pretty. I’m totally addicted to it right now.

    Guggenheim Grotto, Waltzing Alone
    http://www.guggenheimgrotto.com/
    Just a nice group of Irish boys. A little weird, lyrically, but I love them, and can’t wait for another album or tour. A live video of my second favorite song(poor visual, but pretty audio): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V83vyigBZg

    Eleni Mandell, Miracle of Five
    http://www.elenimandell.com/
    The video for “The Makeout King” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEZ7ErYdW-8) is about the cutest thing ever, and served as a gateway drug to addict at least one of my friends to her as well.

    There are also some more questionably qualified bands, like Nada Surf, who had their major label debut when I was in HS (oh my god, like *years* ago), and then pretty much fell off the pop culture map, but their newest release Lucky, is gorgeous, so I think they should count.

    Actually, I should have just cheated, and pointed to KCRW first–all 4 of my listed bands played on Morning Becomes Eclectic, so you can listen to at least one show of their music online at http://www.kcrw.com/music/programs/mb (as well as as Liam Finn. :) The only two podcasts I subscribe to are the Morning Becomes Eclectic podcast and the KCRW “Today’s Top Tune” podcast, and I buy a lot of my new music because of it. For those who don’t know KCRW, it’s a Santa Monica public radio station, and the MBE DJ, Nic Harcourt, is one of the DJs that new bands want to impress. All of his live shows (25-40 minute shows with a band and/or singer–two sets of music and a short interview bit) are archived on his site, and if I’m ever trapped at work without my own music, but with internet access, I go rummage through the archives for new things to try. So, I think if you just slavishly follow KCRW’s suggestions, no one will ever be able to tell you’re not hip!

    (I’m also kinda fond of Paste magazine for much the same reason–the sampler CDs they send sometimes suck, but sometimes have AMAZING songs on them.)

  145. Lots of great suggestions above. I am the last thing but hip, but I’ve heard most of these singers/bands and like a lot of them.

    Lily Allen, Vampire Weekend, KT Tunstall, Modest Mouse, Devotchka, Gogol Bordello, Thao, Basia Bulat, Amy Winehouse, and on and on.

    I am older than dirt and my musical taste was originally formed around the Beatles and Stones, but I have an intense dislike of commercials so I listen to a local college radio station while commuting. (WERS in Boston.) Their taste is eclectic, and they play everything from show tunes to reggae, but mostly new rock/pop.

    It also doesn’t hurt to have two college-age daughters…

  146. No one’s mentioned Thrice yet, but their latest double album The Alchemy Index, Vols I, II, II, and IV is a masterpiece, IMHO.

  147. Sorry, forgot to mention Burial, Brit dubstep that’s dark and cool and completely hypnotic. Untrue is the latest album, and I’d highly recommend it.

  148. I’m a little late to the party,I see.Anyway,here goes:

    Kate Nash
    21yr old female English pop singer,debut album was titled Made of Bricks and released in 2007.First single off the album was “Foundations” here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orACIBjHuI4

    Colbie Caillat
    23yr old American folk-pop singer,debut album titled Coco and released in 2007.Myspace page here http://www.myspace.com/colbiecaillat
    Footnote:She was actually discovered via Myspace.

    That’s all I got.

  149. silversun pickups

    they had a release before their latest cd, but it wasn’t full length. their full length release, Carnavas, I think is an amazing album.

  150. I just figured out what’s wrong with things like Pandora. They tell you, “This is like the sort of music you listen to.” I want to hear something I like that isn’t anything like the sort of music that I listen to.

  151. Great Big Sea just released “Fortune’s Favour.”

    They are a Newfoundland folk-rock band with Celtic rootes.

    Great stuff!

    The Dropkick Murphys’ “Meanest of Times,” is hardcore Irish punk with an incredible rendition of “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya.”

  152. @ 197 Jonathan:

    “I don’t know what’s more annoying – those that don’t know and didn’t bother checking bands (BRMC and Imogen Heap were doing music way before 2003)”

    I guess it just depends on what your definition of “Major Label” is. Or what your definition of “is” is.

    Since Mr. S didn’t give a list of labels that were “major” I think a few people decided Imogen Heap qualified.

    Take a deep breath. It will be OK.

  153. Mr. S,

    You have quite a list to go through. Any ideas on how you will pick which ones to start with? Report back on your favorites?

  154. Abney Park (<a href=”http://www.abneypark.com”http://www.abneypark.com)
    Kind of metal-ish*, but not in the screams-at-the-listener way, and has interesting (albeit mostly dark) lyrics, and rhythms. I also like the bands aesthetic — I was first linked to them in a steampunk community.

    Vienna Teng (http://www.viennateng.com)
    Female vocalist. Very singable, and the lyrics have enough meat to be interesting. And she has a *nice* voice.

    *Disclaimer: I know hell all about music genres.

  155. I’m copypasting these two shamelessly from the Flow Festival 2008 artist update email, because I had never heard of them before but was very impressed indeed:

    “José James, THE jazz voice of a generation since his excellent debut “The Dreamer” earlier this year, has just released a new single and video. ‘Park Bench People’, a track initially penned by the influential hiphop group Freestyle Fellowship, gets a jazz treatment in James’s hands. On vinyl, the album version is accompanied by a remix by Flying Lotus. The video is shot in New York, the artist’s hometown, and it is directed by Josh Rothstein.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo3hzUmoi_s

    “Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson, a bold new project taking dance music classic through the jazz blender, celebrates the release of their new single, a scorching version of Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’. The single was released on June 23 on vinyl and mp3. For more info, pay a visit to Sonar Kollektiv.

    Catch Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson performing ‘Around the World’ at the BBC One Worldwide Awards earlier this year:”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLwPuH9P3Uk

  156. I’ll third the recommendation for Gogol Bordello (gypsy punk…what’s not to like?), and add a few others:

    Alice Russell (Soul/R&B/trip-hop/etc)
    Thievery Corporation (world-beat/electronic)
    Quantic (electronic, but not club dance stuff)
    Quantic Soul Orchestra (straight blues/funk)
    Belleruche (electronic blues/funk)
    The Bamboos (dance blues/funk)

  157. Well, I have two bands which nobody mentioned.

    The first one had its debut on 2005 – Celtic Woman – a group of female vocalists singing traditional (gaelic), showtunes (somewhere over the rainbow), and completely new stuff.
    Grew out of Riverdance, but is vocal/music.
    Their Christmas disc is excellent.

    The second group sort of barely squeaks under the wire for your second limit – Within Temptation, which are a symphonic/goth rock band. They have a very talented female lead singer, and the lyrics are very good – they have a few songs about holy wars, and the price that soldiers in such wars pay.
    An Amazon review stated (appropriately) – if you listen to this consistently you’re not going to worship Satan. You might start going to church…

  158. Holy crap! (currently) 234 posts! Look what happens I step away from the internets for a couple of days!

    First, I break the rules by a year by recommending Ra:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra_%28U.S._band%29

    Second, I also heartily recommend Rodrigo y Gabriela. And Kaki King. They will delight the musician in you as well as the music lover in you.

    Thirdly, Freezepop. That is all.

  159. Sigur Ros!!! Sure, their first release was in 2001 (which falls outside your ‘2003’ qualification). But their 2005 release “Takk” is, in a word, AMAZING. I’ve only come by them in the past few months, and am bummed to be late to the game. But they are definitely worth checking out.

  160. Here is a list of artists I did not see in the above comments (if any of them are there, and I missed them, I apologize; I was skimming):

    Okkervil River: Great indie rock a la Band of Horses, etc

    Jay Nash: A great songwriter, and the man can sing. He’s got chops to spare.

    The Twilight Sad: Rock from Scotland. And they sing in heavy Scottish accents; there’s really nothing cooler than that.

    Yndi Halda: Violin-driven instrumental group, similar to Explosions in The Sky, et al, only, in my opinion, better.

    Justin Trawick: Really fun, well-written acoustic hip-hop/rock, in the same vein as Jason Mraz, G Love, etc

    Ingrid Michaelson: Someone did mention her up at the top, but I just wanted to add my vote for her, as well. She’s awesome.

    I would recommend Bob Schneider, but he’s been making music for way longer than the rules allow. But he’s great, and incredibly diverse, musically. Rock, hip-hop, bluegrass, you name it, he plays it.

    And, because, like most people, I can’t help but ramble, when asked for musical suggestions, here are some more:
    Midlake, Sea Wolf, William Fitzsimmons, Amber Rubarth, Grizzly Bear, Keane, Joshua Radin, Dr Dog, The Books, The Besnard Lakes, and Alexi Murdoch.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share. Hope you find something you like in there…

  161. I tried to read through everything before I posted, but I still might be doubling up on some of these; for the best, I suppose, since they’re all worth checking out! I’ve weeded it down to three.

    The Veils ( http://www.theveils.com/). Dark and a little off-kilter, and the singer’s voice might put people off, but there’s this great kinetic energy to their songs. I recommend starting with the song “Calliope!” and then “Jesus for the Jugular” to get a taste of their driving style. Both are from their album Nux Vomica.

    Missy Higgins (http://www.missyhiggins.com/) is a younger singer-songwriter who started in Australia in 2003, and who I only found this year with her 2008 release, On A Clear Night. The whole album is fabulous, but I’d start with “The Wrong Girl” and “Secret.” It’s mellow music, with strong lyrics and a warm melodies.

    Thao Nguyen (http://www.thaomusic.com/) with The Get Down Stay Down is kind of like a mix of The Veils and Missy Higgins – the Veils’ energy and drive, Missy’s lyrics and confident delivery. You can get my favorite song for free from her website, “Beat (Health, Life, Fire).”

    And I have to second the Kooks and Annuals, which are both excellent bands.

  162. Boy am I late to this party.

    For some reason as I approach my late-mid 30s I’ve been regressing towards my teenage infatuation with hardcore and metal. Thus:

    Gallows – Absolutely savage British hardcore punk. Some wickedly barbed hooks buried under caustic screaming vocals. Try ‘Abandon Ship’, ‘Belly of a Shark’, or ‘Orchestra of Wolves’.

    Mastodon – Brainy stoner-prog-metal as heavy as their namesake. Leviathan is a concept album based on Moby Dick… and it’s good. Try ‘Iron Tusk’ or ‘Blood & Thunder’, or check out the amazing video for ‘Seabeast’.

    Amon Amarth – Swedish Viking Death Metal. Enough said.

    And, for something more in line with what I usually listen to:
    The Dreadnoughts – Fantastic Celt-rock from Vancouver, BC.

    And I suppose you could check out my band, though I doubt it will make you any hipper:
    The Wages of Sin – Punk-rock sea shanties & Appalachina Death Polka. No, really.

  163. Hello.

    Kathleen Edwards is kind-of early Petty/Neil Young-ish. Terriffic band too featuring her husband Colin Cripps, possibly formerly of Blue Rodeo. Listen to “In State” or the cleverly titled (I’ve got ways to make you come) “Back to Me”.

    She seems like the real deal to me.

    Huffamoose has a Philly, Todd Rundgren-ish melodic appeal, a little nutty, kind of like an AMerican XTC, maybe?
    the song “Wait “is haunting.
    Both on Rhapsody. I sometimes follow their suggestions to other artists at the bottom of the page.

  164. If you’re looking for some good solid pop, check out OK Go. You actually probably know them from that video with the treadmills: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI

    Amos Lee is also always a good bet if you’re looking for mellow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hPVqPMywc

    KT Tunstall I was so happy when I discovered KT, my collection of new female artists is depressingly small. (What’s up with that ladies – why aren’t we rocking it out lately?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tlU-1u1JC8\

    I would also highly recommend wxpn. It’s a member supported radio station based out of the University of Philadelphia and home of the World Cafe. They stream live if you want to get a killer earfull of quality music.

  165. Jim Boggia – Indie-pop sensibility and a really good songwriter. I first heard him in 2004. Really catchy and slightly subversive pop tunes.

    Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Neo-retro soul that hearkens back to the groove and vibe of late’60s/early ’70s soul greats. The albums look like they were released in the mid-60s, but these guys are pretty new (even though they all dress like refugees from early ’70s episodes of Soul Train).

    Moot Davis – Good ol’ fashioned honky-tonk music, produced by ex-Dwight Yoakam producer/guitarist Pete Anderson. If you like roots/Americana type music, Moot’s a good listen.

    Nino Moschella – His “The Fix” is a great shot of home-made, low-budget East Bay funk.

  166. Justin Nozuka – very young talent but very original. Comes from a very artistic family. I saw him on a DirecTV special from the last SXSW festival. I was blown away and I asked my teenage daughters and their friends to come listen and they all wanted him to be the future father of their children.

    http://www.justinnozuka.com/

  167. I can’t imagine any of my music making people cool, but I’m enjoying it.

    Mom – it’s been described to me as “folktronica”, whatever that means. Practically, it’s neat acoustic-like rock, with Frippertronics, time-shifting, etc. http://www.myspace.com/qewmusic

    This Will Destroy You – energetic post-rock band, if such a thing can exist. (similar to Explosions in the Sky) http://www.myspace.com/thiswilldestroyyou

    Blackfield – clever pop-rock. http://www.myspace.com/blackfield

    Kayo Dot – avant-garde. Take one part jazz, one part classical music, and one part heavy metal. Stick in blender on “frappe”. Because, honestly, frappe is a cool word. http://www.myspace.com/kayodot

  168. Alright, I tried to read through most of the comments. I don’t want to repeat anything, so here goes.

    Benny Benassi – I just found out about this guy two years ago, though he came onto the scene in 2003, I think. I normally do not care for House music, but I love this stuff. Some people argue that all of his beats sound the same, but I disagree. While Satisfaction may be the most popular song of his, it’s nowhere near as good as ‘No Matter What You Do’, in my opinion.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=tvKH3Nbmkp8

    Nonpoint – This one has been suggested, but I’m backing it. The first time I heard their cover of ‘In The Air Tonight’, I hated it. Around a year later, I heard ‘Bullet With No Name’ and loved it. I’ve been hooked ever since. Great rock band, great original sound, imo, and overall kickass.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=l8VRi9EJB2A

    Bloodsimple – I can’t remember which movie soundtrack I first heard these guys from, but I have been impressed with them ever since. Serious heavy rock, and, like Nonpoint, they don’t sound like everyone else out there in the world.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=nFswfAVwaEA

    The Pillows – Yes, it’s Japanese. Yes, they did the soundtrack for an anime. No, I don’t care. Hybrid Rainbow and Beautiful Morning are songs that are insanely well-played and I don’t care that only one or two lines are in Engrish, I really don’t. Some of their earlier stuff is wonderfully jazzy/alt-rock sound, and it’s great.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=bWIrPL4IhZ0

    Goldfrapp – CDNow dates them back to 2000 technically, but they didn’t really get going until 2003, so…
    Goldfrapp is like a delicious decent into near disco-style music. The singer has a wonderful voice, ranging from the punky, chunky disco style, to soothing, near lullaby-esque qualities. Compare Yes Sir, I Can Boogie to Lovely Head, to get an idea of that. I has a song. Let me share it with you.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=–1rAUYWl_4

  169. I’m not hip. But I will say that right now I work with a bunch of early-20s kids and they are not hip either – half of them listen to late ’70s pop because they still live with their parents. I have one hipster coworker and she wears an Arcade Fire t-shirt twice a week at least.

    But I just wanted to add a few more hometown heroes to Dan Bailey’s list – The Soviettes, who are already “on hiatus” (nothing so bittersweet as loving a band that only lasts 4 years). P.O.S. who is on Rhymesayers with Brother Ali & Atmosphere and alla’em. And Doomtree, the local hip hop collective that is FINALLY putting out an album (called False Hopes, just like an earlier spoken word album from the same label by a member of Doomtree) which, if it is half as good as their live shows will be AWESOME.

  170. @252 CDnow would date Goldfrapp back to 2000 because that’s when their kickin’ album Felt Mountain was released, was certified gold and was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. So I think they were running pretty hot before 2003.

    Couldn’t get into albums 2 & 3 but like #4.

  171. Had to come back and also add the not-nearly-so-obscure punk band, Anberlin. Check it out on Rhapsody. As a fellow sappy romantic, I think you’ll appreciate the track “Inevitable” on the Album “Cities”.

  172. I listen almost exclusively to Canadian artists, discovering them through friends or through the CBC Radio 3 podcast. These are my picks, there are many like them but these ones are mine.

    Wolf Parade – go with ‘Apologies to the Queen Mary’ it took me several listens but now it is my favourite album ever.

    K’naan – a Canadian rapper from Somalia. He melds great beats with some harder rock style music.

    Hey Rosetta! – This is my new fav band, they are starting to get some attention with the release of their second album.

  173. Just two additions to some of the excellent suggestions here:
    Jamie T. – Panic Prevention – A solid addition to Martin’s (@199) list of UK rap. Standout tracks include
    So Lonely Was the Ballad

    Rufus Cappadocia – does amazing things with his cello; he’s added a bass register and incorporated gypsy and middle eastern sounds. Check out Transformation.

  174. I just need to thank John Joseph Adams (post 78) for turning me on to Eluveite. They are so awesome! Celtic/Folk + Metal. From someone who plays the bagpipes, penny whistle, and metal guitar,it’s Sweet!

    Anyway, I have a pretty varied musical taste. A few of my newest favorites are;

    “As I Lay Dying.” They are Metalcore and while their 1st album came out in 2003 I didn’t hear about them until 2005

    “Still Remains” is another great metalcore + piano band with their first big album in 2005.

    For more mainstream pop-ish stuff

    “One Republic” is good. More piano.

    “Lights” is hot right now. An emerging artist featured in the current Old Navy ads. I know, how saccharine. But her vocals are beautiful and the tunes are catchy.

  175. I know I’m a bit late, as I only wind up checking this about twice a week (I have many blogs to track, this is just my favorite).

    My favorites right now are:
    Arash
    Lupe Fiasco
    Powerspace
    Sara Bareilles
    This Providence

  176. Geez, y’alls are a lot hipper than moi. Let me second the tubular awesomeness that is the The Black Angels – it’s Jim Morrison singing for the Velvet Underground, updated with a twist. I also am digging on Louis XIV’s album “Finding out True Love is Blind.” It’s retro bad boy Stones stuff but cool.

    Given that y’alls are so totally down with Pandora, I thought you might appreciate this joke:
    http://happyvalleynews.wordpress.com/2007/04/13/hampshire-college-student-freaking-out-that-pandora-is-playing-air-supply-again/

  177. Under the “only last year” rule:

    Amy X Neuburg: “Residue”

    Under “only last year” AND Rule 1:

    Barrett Martin: “Earthspeaker” and “The Painted Desert”

    Otherwise I appear to be distressingly unhip.

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