Got introduced to a lot of good music lately, then started introducing myself to some new stuff. The conclusion: I've been listening to sh*t for 32 years.
Here's my list of songs you must hear before you die. Some old. Some new. Most are non Top 40-ish, which is probably why I had never heard them.
I realized there are at least two kinds of music snobs:
1) Those who know a lot about music and are very elitest in their music listening, refusing to even discuss what gets played on the radio.
2) Those who know not a lot about music and are very elitest in their music listening, refusing to even discuss what doesn't get played on the radio.
The first seemed obvious to me, but then I thought about how long I've known about the existence of a band called Radiohead, and how long I'd managed to avoid listening to a single song by them - about 10 years. I finally listened, and was crushed that I'd ignored them for so long, because some of their stuff is really outrageously good. I was the second type of music snob.
This list is meant as just an introduction into the non-Top 40 world of music, with specific attention paid to new music I've recently learned about, with a couple of older ones thrown in that I did actually know about. Most are just damn good, high-quality songs - either the music, the lyrics, or something truly quality and unique about a particular song. A couple, though, are just damn fun.
I won't try to speak for the bands themselves, as in some cases I've only listened to a couple of their tunes. For what it's worth, though, I have listened to many songs of at least a few of these bands, and have been very pleased.
Amazing Meet Project - Stupid Of Me
Bright Eyes - Landlocked Blues
Cafe Tacuba - No Controles
Calexico - Alone Again Or
Castanets - Cathedral 4 (The Unbreaking Branch and Song)
Death Cab For Cutie - Title and Registration
Delgados - Accused of Stealing
Fugazi - Waiting Room
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Josh Ritter - Kathleen
Make-Up - I Am Pentagon
Matthew Good Band - Everything Is Automatic
Miles Hunt - Fixer
Modest Mouse - Float On
Morphine - Good
My Morning Jacket - Golden
Pixies - Where Is My Mind?
Radiohead - Let Down
Scissor Sisters - Filthy and Gorgeous
Serge Gainsbourg - Ford Mustang
Snow Patrol - Run
Sufjan Stevens - Romulus
Tea Party - Fire In The Head
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Shake The Sheets
The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
Travis - Turn
The Arcade Fire - Wake Up
The Decemberists - July, July!
The Flaming Lips - She Don't Use Jelly
The Go! Team - The Power Is On
The Watchmen - Absolutely Anytime
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps