My Favorite Music Sites
Tori Amos *
The Beatles *
The Choir *
Common Children *
The Cranberries *
Fold Zandura *
Hoi Polloi *
Sarah Jahn *
Jars of Clay *
Jennifer Knapp *
Sarah McLachlan *
The Monkees *
Rich Mullins *
No Doubt *
Over the Rhine *
Poor Old Lu *
Simon & Garfunkel *
Sixpence None the Richer *
Soul Coughing *
Aaron Sprinkle *
Starflyer 59 *
10,000 Maniacs *
Third Day *
Suzanne Vega *
Viva Voce *
The Waiting *
"Weird Al" Yankovic *
David Wilcox *
The World Inside *
Celtic Music *
Classical Music *
Musicals / Opera *
Guitar Sites *
Radio Stations *
Recording Labels *
Poor Old Lu
One of the greatest bands to ever emerge from the Seattle music scene, these four guys set the bar for Christian alternative music. And in my opinion, few, if any, bands have yet cleared that bar. A little bit grunge, a little bit funk, a whole lotta Poor Old Lu, these guys have a chemistry reached by very few bands. They were sorely missed.
"Poor old Lu, hiding and nobody noticed! You'll have to hide longer than that if you want people to start looking for you." -- The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
It looks like they were hiding long enough, 'cause after 5 years apart, they're back and recording a new album! Also be sure to check out Aaron Sprinkle and The World Inside to see what the members were doing in the meantime...
I don't know of many bands out there who can claim to be more creative than Radiohead. These guys are so weird, and with that weirdness they create some of the most beautiful, haunting rock music imaginable. It's British bands like this that more than make up for such atrocities as the Spice Girls...
Without a doubt, Aaron has to be one of the most talented musicians to walk the Earth. A brilliant songwriter, guitarist, and producer, Aaron is still just one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. And with three solo albums, two Rose Blossom Punch albums, and the entire Poor Old Lu discography, there's plenty of Aaron to listen to!
Over the Rhine
How is it that these guys made music for over 10 years before anyone told me? The songwriting combination of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist is hard to top for depth and beauty, but it's truly Karin's seductive siren call that lures you in and makes a lifelong fan of you. I bought 4 cds at once and still can't get enough!
Bush is one of those bands that can relax me when I'm frustrated and energize me when I'm tired. And I love the lyrics: I never know quite what they're talking about, and yet I can relate perfectly! More British goodness!
Whenever I'm feeling slightly melancholy, I can count on Sarah to understand. And every time I listen to her songs, I understand her even better. Very few artists can make me cry; I'm not ashamed to admit that Sarah is one of them.
They've only released three albums thus far, but in those three albums, Common Children has shown true musical depth and lyrical genius. Their albums flow from quiet introspection to screaming frustration without missing a beat.
Sixpence None the Richer
I've been a fan of Sixpence since This Beautiful Mess first came out and I first heard the angelic voice of Leigh Bingham Nash. With Matt Slocum's knack for songwriting and Leigh's voice, I knew Sixpence would hit it big someday. I just never guessed it would take so long for the rest of the world to catch up....
Come on, do I really need to say anything about Nirvana? I mean, hello, band of the decade, Kurt Cobain... Is this sounding familiar? If you have to ask why I like them, then clearly you haven't really heard them, so you should check out these sites.
Please. I won't bother.
A band hailing from New Zealand, Hoi Polloi is still one of my favorites. Jenny Gullen's voice is unreal! Unfortunately, like so many great bands, they went almost unnoticed, and decided to call it quits.
Jennifer has the unique ability to connect deeply with the struggles we all go through, and to vocalize it beautifully in song. Transparent in her honesty, Jennifer has made two cds I love to really listen to. I can't wait for her next album....
Like a smoother, darker, creamier half-brother of Radiohead, Luxury is some of the best that the Christian music scene has to offer. For several years, it looked as though they'd called it quits. But now, with a new label and a new self-titled album, Luxury is back and better than ever!
The best way I can think of to describe Skillet is post-grunge with keyboards. Skillet has carved a niche for themselves with their powerful, electronically influenced rock.
It's kinda hard to describe the sound of Sarah Jahn: Folk mixed with rock, with an electronic edge? No, that doesn't do it justice. Just buy the album if you can find it, read the lyrics, and listen to Sarah's amazing voice.
Rich Mullins was a true bard, painting pictures in your head with his words. Sadly, his life was cut tragically short in an automobile accident. But he's at home in heaven now, praising God just the same, and our loss is heaven's gain.
One of the newer groups in the Christian music scene, Viva Voce knows how to rock! I love the distorted guitars coupled with Anita's fantastic singing! And the lyrics and simple and straightforward, yet beautifully deep! Sorry, I just get a little excited when I think about Viva Voce! I can't wait for their next album....
The World Inside
Fronted by Poor Old Lu drummer and all-around great guy, Jesse Sprinkle, The World Inside has put out some amazing acoustic stuff. It's always great to see that Aaron isn't the only massively talented kid in the Sprinkle household...
I don't know why, but I really like Soul Coughing. I mean, that's not to say they're bad, but rather they're weird enough that I wouldn't think you were crazy if you didn't like them. I guess I dig weird vocals and nonsensical lyrics once in a while. Anyway, I guess Mike Doughty split, so I don't know if they'll try to continue without him or what...
I don't think there's a song on Plumb's first album that couldn't get stuck in my head. They're just great at writing thoughtful, catchy, rockin' songs! And it doesn't hurt that I really like Tiffany's voice....
Dolores is Irish. She has a cool accent. She writes really cool songs. Oh, and the other people in the band are great, too. Add it all up, and what's not to love?
I really like the sound of Creed. But even more than that, I respect them for addressing their own doubts and questions about their beliefs. Their albums show more honesty than many Christians are willing to give in their art. And their albums get people thinking....
Suzanne Vega is a modern bard: A truly gifted poet on the one hand, and a brilliant songwriter on the other. Her music is beautiful, catchy, and meaningful.
Third Day is a cool southern rock band from Georgia. Sounding a little like Pearl Jam and a little like Hootie, but better than either of them, Third Day is definitely a band worth listening to.
Tori Amos has written some beautifully creepy stuff. And while sounding so pretty, she sometimes addresses some truly dark and disturbing subjects; I guess I find that intriguing.
Any man that's willing to drill bigger holes in a guitar to fit larger gauge strings for just one song is cool in my book. But when he can compose, sing and play with as much clarity as David can, he becomes that much more praiseworthy!
Steve Hindalong and Derri Daugherty are musical geniuses. Pioneers in the Christian alternative music scene, they're still writing and producing some great stuff. Free-Flying Soul is a must-have for true music-lovers.
With a unique pop-industrial sound and ethereal female vocals, this band has a great sound. Their lyrics address darker periods of Christian life, and songs like "I Could Murder" drew flak from some. But "even when things look and feel the bleakest, God is able to love, comfort, and save us from ourselves, if we only let Him."
Alright, Bjork is just plain weird. She's weird, her music is weird, her lyrics are weird. But in a really cool way. So listen to Bjork, 'cause she's really weird.
Iona is the perfect blend of Celtic music and just a little bit of pop. I love the fullness of their music, and Joanne's vocals are simply breathtaking. Ahhh, to be in the British Isles....
I'm not normally a huge fan of ska, but I guess I'm a sucker for a cool voice. And since Gwen Stefani has so effectively copied Jenny Gullen's vocal style, I find it hard not to listen. Even if Gwen is a copycat.
Jars of Clay
I imagine most of you have heard the acoustic rock of Jars of Clay by now. If not, I suggest you check it out, because the honesty of their lyrics and the harmony of their music is an amazing thing.
Although Jewel often annoys me with her pretentious, humanistic, self-enlightened lyrics, I just love her simple delivery. And although I don't agree with her, she is truly a talented folk musician, and a lot of fun to listen to.
Jerome and Jyro, formerly of Mortal, teamed up to create another great band. Fold Zandura is a funky, sci-fi, techno-industrial band. So next time you're in the mood for quality electronica, check them out!
Simon & Garfunkel
No list of great musicians would be complete without mention of Simon & Garfunkel. These two icons of American folk music wrote and sang their way into the hearts of almost everyone, myself included. Of course they've gone on to do other things, but their greatest work came from the chemistry they shared.
I'm not sure why, but the best description I've found for Portishead is that it sounds like James Bond music. You know, the classic 60's stuff, not the new stuff. Beth Gibbons has a fantastic growl in her voice, but that's certainly not the only thing that sets this band apart from anything else out there....
The thing I love most about these guys are the intriguing metaphors and images they put into their songs. For that reason alone, I think I still love the unpolished but highly visual first album, Blue Belly Sky, the best. It always puts me in a good mood!
Here's a great band with a sound that's continually evolving, from the early shoegazer music to the more recent near-pop stylings. Each new album reveals a new face of Jason Martin and Starflyer....
I love Natalie Merchant's voice, and her songwriting is fantastic. And although I still like 10,000 Maniacs now that she's gone, it isn't the same. So I'll give you links to Natalie's new stuff, too!
Okay, I know it's incredibly cheesy, but there's still a soft place in my heart for Davy, Micky, Peter, and Mike. And they really were more talented than most people give them credit for. Okay, granted, they're not a lot more talented than people give them credit for, but they have fun!
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Certainly one of the most talented musicians of the last two decades, Weird Al is an unstoppable force. With the public emergance of each new artist, Wierd Al is there figuring out ways to mock and amuse. And there's no doubt in my mind: He's the best at what he does. Weird Al: Real American Hero.
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Comments? Suggestions? Criticisms? Questions? Ruminations?