Contemporary Music

Animal Collective, Air, Beastie Boys, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Blonde Redhead, Blur, Deerhoof, Fabienne DelSol , Fiery Furnaces, Holly Golyghtly, Daniel Johnston, The Magnetic Fields, Pinback, Radiohead, Stereolab, Stereo Total, Vitalic

Formerly Contemporary Music
Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, Joy Division, Iggy Pop, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, The Pixies, Rolling Stones

Individual Talent
Louis Armstrong * David Bowie * Duke Ellington * Clifton Chenier * George Clinton * Jimi Hendrix * Charlie Parker * Professor Longhair
Any and All Good Blues
Too numerous to list, but check this out.
Any and All Good Punk and D.I.Y. Music from the 70s and 80s
Too numerous to list, but just buy all the old Rhino D.I.Y. series (from Ebay, etc.) and get your leads. This would be stuff like Blondie, Wreckless Eric, The Clash, Richard Hell, Television, Sex Pistols, Ramones, and so much more.
Music From the Other Americas
Real Latin Music * Original Calypso From Trinidad * Original Ska From Jamaica * Los Andes
And Eastern Europe
And Asia
Tuvan Throat Singers * Japanese Traditional [from Kwaidan]

  • Beethoven Late String Quartets

    These must be the best string quartets ever written, possibly the best western music ever written for any instrument. Don’t believe me? Check this out. And this. Oh, and this. Please. I would also urge you to buy the Tokyo String Quartet performance. They play with bolder, more vigorous brushstrokes. They are Van Gogh to everyone else’s Monet. Or am I just confusing that with metallic? Like Matisse? Here, try some of this. Like treasure? Here, treasure.

  • JS Bach (2 things to start)

    • Cello Suites
      Much heated discussion on Amazon about which are the best to get. I like both the Pablo Casals and Janos Starker recordings for different reasons, which I will not tell you at this time. You can also try the Bylsma recording. Try sampling the 1st track from Suite No.1 (from all the versions) and listen to it about three times. If you don’t think that music is worth getting, then please leave my web site and don’t come back.

    • Violin Sonatas and Partitas
      I like the Itzhak Perlman recording a lot. Listen to Disc 1, Track 2 and 5, and Disc 2, Track 1. That should do it. The consensus at Amazon is that the Szerying and Milstein recordings are also worth getting. I’ve also heard tell that the Heifetz recording is good.

  • You may also listen to Tchaikovsky, a few others (Prokofiev), and oh yes, any good Spanish guitar music is worthy.

Discussion Forum on Music Master of Music
If you have something to say about music, here’s your chance. Like, why doesn’t someone write me and ask why I haven’t mentioned the incredible new Polka band called Eminem?
Why ethnic music is great
Realize that most ethnic music represents the culmination of a given people’s creative talent. The likes of The Backstreet Boys or The Spliced Girls simply would not exist in the world of ethnic music. And so the world looks to us to provide it.
Why some music just sucks
  • 14 year old boy rock
    This is music that sounds like someone plugged a guitar into their car’s transmission. And don’t think it stopped with Poison and Motley Crue. This musical form is still going strong with many of today’s “chart popping” groups.

  • Cher

  • Agenda music
    This is not an expression of personal creativity but an attempt to use the medium to convey a preformed set of ideas that are inherently too rigid for the task. Religious, anti-war, television theme songs, and national anthems (except ours, of course) all suck. Blech blech blech!

  • Country
    Of course, there are some exceptions like Patsy Cline and most older country music. Just not the new crap.

  • Rule One: A serious rock song does not introduce the chorus after only one stanza. This rule can be safely applied to most bands from the 90s and later. Obviously, groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and certain traditional songs are exempt from this criticism.

Do We Go To Quartets?
How Music Is Made
My Relationship With Music
Music From An Earlier Time
Why Downloading Music Is Bad
Who Are The Strokes?
The Magic Numbers - folk Strokes (from London)
What’s A Joy Division?
  • So I bought the Joy Division box set. It’s dark, depressing and disturbed. I couldn’t be happier.

Other Bands or Musicians I Choose To Mention

Alastair Moock * Kai Althoff * April March * Arcade Fire * Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire * Barbara Morgenstern * Basement Jaxx * Beach House * Broken Social Scene * Burial * Neko Case * Charming Hostess * Clap Your Hands Say Yeah * Coldplay * Daft Punk * The Decemberists * The Flaming Lips * The Go Team! * Tim Hecker * The Hold Steady * Interpol * Jane’s Addiction * Justin Winokur * Marcy Playground * Matmos * MC Chris * Miho Hatori * Momus * Neutral Milk Hotel * Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip * The New Pornographers * Of Montreal * PB & J * Pulp * Regina Spektor * RJD2 * Royksopp * Soul Coughing * The Strokes * Supercar * Tapes N Tapes * Thievery Corporation * Underworld * Vitalic (great) * Workshop

People Who Seem To Know More About Contemporary Music Than Me
(And That's Okay)
Check this out!

Pitchfork Media * 3Hive * Fluxblog * Jinners * Brian Waterman * Stereogum

Thou Shalt Not Read NME

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