I am in great need of some new music. It’s summertime, and the sunshine (or, in the case of recent days, the rain), the shoulder-baring, and the grilling out left me itchin’ for new tunes. I’ve spent hours on iTunes and various other sites, but there are just too many options. I need help. Pass this along to your music-loving friends.

(My three all-time favorite bands are Caedmon’s Call, Over the Rhine, and Coldplay, if you needed some point of reference. And I’m not really looking for just an album to buy, but perhaps a new artist to follow long-term.. no frivolities here! No sir — we are in for the long haul.)

10 thoughts on “HELP!

  1. Jamie – I could lend you a pile of albums to whirl around on your player. (I agree with Mike though, Jose Gonzalez is good)

  2. jared, that would be SWEET. i was trying to think about how i would ‘try out’ new music without spending a ton of dough.

  3. I’ve been listening to The Crane Wife more than anything else lately. We have Yahoo music unlimited, so I can try out music without having to buy it. It’s a lot like renting music instead of buying it.

    Anyway, the title of the album comes from an old Japanese story that the band heard about and wrote their album around. You can read more about the story here. I thought it was pretty interesting.

    I also feel really cool that I listen to an artist that Jared listens to. Who knew?

  4. The Decemberists is an excellent choice, and The Crane Wife is a good starting point. If you like it, work your way backwards through their albums.

    I believe you can listen to a limited number of songs per month for free on So choose a few wisely, and you can at least get a feel for what an artist is like. I use it all the time.

    Random people you may or may not like:
    Abigail Washburn – bluegrassy/folky/Chinesey

    The Arcade Fire – “Funeral” is the best album, but “Neon Bible” has some good tracks too. Not very acoustic-y, but you might dig them

    Buddy & Julie Miller – I love their self-titled album. Americana-y, country-y…sort of Johnny and June vibe.

    Damien Rice you probably already know, but “O” is a classic album, for good reason.

    M. Ward – I love his music, but I’m at a loss for how to describe it. “Transfiguration of Vincent” and “Post War” are great.

    Do you know Matt Banta? He’s from Omaha…if you can get your hands on any of his albums, I bet you’d dig them.

    Oooh, Neko Case! Definitely Neko Case. Go for “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood”

    Patty Griffin – probably also an obvious choice, but in case you don’t have her albums, definitely go for her.

    Sigur Ros – atmospheric orchestral Icelandic music. Can’t go wrong.

    Sufjan Stevens – “Illinois” or “Michigan” – again probably you’re already familiar

  5. Jamie, I am so glad you are doing this. These are my latest faves.

    EISLEY: check out the album “Room Noises”

    RAY LAMONTAGNE: “Till the Sun Turns Black”

    I agree DAMIEN RICE: “O” is amazing.

    CHRIS THILE: “How to Grow A Woman From the Ground” is good musically and Chris is from Nickelcreek so if you were a fan of them, you should enjoy this album.

    there are a couple of options.
    Hope you enjoy.

  6. I’m terrible at finding new music (from places other than catchy commericals, that is). So glad others are offering recommendations! Let us know what you end up listening to…


  7. I like Newcomers Home and Sarah MacIntosh, which is saying a lot, seeing as 99% of the time I’m listening to Thomas the Tank Engine or Disney Sing-a-Long Songs.

  8. hey rt – you should let jamie borrow that marathon mix. i would burn her a copy…but i find myself swamped these days. did you like any of the stuff on there??

    and mike – i feel really cool i listen to what you listen to. 🙂

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