Tech Life Hard to break old habits

No Bjork

When you ask a lot of people for musical suggestions, you’re going to get a huge steaming pile of music. This was the point of my original request and I’d like to than everyone who took the time to respond to my request.

I lost count at ~200 bands. It was at that time I realized there was no way I was going to listen to all of that music in a reasonable amount of time, so I began to randomly select songs out of the comments. Yes, this means your song may not have been perused and I apologize, but we’re talking about hours and hours of potential music listening. Add to that fact that I intended to pay for my music whenever possible and you’ll appreciate my selection criteria.

Anyhow, I ended up with 58 songs on the list. In order to give them each a fair shake, I listened them to a few times using the handy My Rating feature in iTunes to rank and re-rank songs. As of today, I had 11 songs which had 4 or 5 stars.

A couple of comments before I point you at what I consider to be decent music:

  • I really don’t like Bjork or anything Bjork. I realize she’s edgey and revolutionary, but I simply find her annoying. Anything which sound Bjorky was instantly disqualified.
  • I’m disappointed with my final 11 because, on the whole, they reflected my musical taste. One would expect this to occur, but I was hoping to end up with a list of music that sounded nothing like what I normally listened to. Sigh. Hard to break old habits.

Ok, so some good music you should purchase.

Best Band: The Postal Service. I ended with several of their songs in the final 11 because I appreciate their sound. After a couple of plays, I realized they reminded of light airy sound of The Dream Academy. Two songs to buy: This Place is a Prison and Nothing Better.

Best Australia Joni Mitchell (And/or Cat Stevens) Replacement. The Waifs. Bridal Train is a phenomenally catchy tune.

Best Song You’ve Already Heard. This song didn’t come from Boiling Point feedback, but I saw the video on MTV (ahem) and needed to own this song. Fall Out Boy’s Sugar, We’re Going Down Swinging fulfills all my adrenaline requirements and the video needs watching.

And three other songs I have to mention:

Honorable Mention goes to Stereolab’s Lo Boob Oscillator simply because it’s something I liked that sounded like nothing I’ve heard. Also, great song name bonus points.

And the prestigious award of a “Song which Rands Happened to Like a Lot” goes to Electric Six’s Danger! High Voltage. In the vein of the prior selection, I picked this song because it was so different from much of my other music. Moath will the proud owner of a signed copy of the Joel’s Best of Software Writing I book as soon as he/she sends me a shipping address.

Thanks again to all who sent suggestions. I’ll continue to happily comb through the entries looking for further musical nuggets

16 Responses

  1. If you like The Postal Service, you may also like Ben Gibbard’s (the singer in Postal Service) other band: Death Cab for Cutie. A lot of people use that stupid “emo” moniker for them, but I would argue that they’re more of a good “alternative” band.

    I didn’t see Coldplay listed in the comments for the last post, but that’s some great stuff right there. I don’t know too many people who don’t like Coldplay. Check out Yellow off Parachutes or The Scientist off Rush Of Blood To The Head.

    Dashboard Confessional’s Vindicated is good. As is Hands Down.

    The Shins’ So Says I or Kissing the Lipless are good too.

    Anyway. Those are just a few I can think of if you like The Postal Service.

  2. Good to hear you like Postal Service. I was gonna put in a vote for them, but the ballot box already seemed rather stuffed by the time I saw your original post. I’ll have to check out the others that you ended up rating high.

  3. YekopandMrYttun 19 years ago

    YES! No Bjork!

  4. Raffi Saltman 19 years ago

    Listen to “Ovary Stripe” by Kasabian or “Take California” by Propellerheads.

    I tried posting this with links to the iTMS, but your comment submission system wouldn’t let me. Both songs are available there.

  5. About The Postal Service – someone above said you should check out Death Cab for Cutie – you should also check out Dntel, which is the other half of its’ predecessors. It’s heavily electronic and very pretty. (Song: Evan and Chan, off of Life is Full of Possibilities)

  6. “Warm Sound” – Really is that awesome. You all need it now. The whole record, even.

    Postal Service – Also check out Weevil’s /Drunk on Light/ if PS gets you going.

    Bjork is funny.

  7. Raffi Saltman 19 years ago

    Ah, it turns out it was not the Comments field but the URL field it was objecting to. So here are the links:

    Ovary Stripe

    Take California

  8. I highly, highly suggest that you get Iron & Wine’s album that’s out right now. It was one of the highest rated in the latest Rolling Stone magazine and I have it and it’s the only thing that’s been playing on my playlist (aside from other nuggets from movies I’ve been watching and the latest Oasis).

    I also just happened to download I&W’s cover of Such Great Heights and it’s definitely one of my favorite songs of all time.

    It made me stop, and listen. Something not easily accomplished with a kid who has a severe case of N.A.D.D.

  9. Patrick Lemmens 19 years ago

    It’s not Bjork is’t Bj

  10. > It’s not Bjork is’t Bj

  11. Josh Johns 19 years ago

    I agree that you’d probably like Death Cab for Cutie. You obvioulsly like their songwriter, as he basically is The Postal Service. Not only do you like a couple of TPS’s songs, but you’re top “honorable mention” (by Iron and Wine) is a cover of a Postal Service song!

  12. Scott 19 years ago

    Try Soulseek (, use the “things I like” feature and fill it to the brim – then ask it for suggestions, you’ll be surprised what you find.

  13. Klaatu 19 years ago


    What you said! I was tuned onto the Decemberists and The Postal Service. The Decemberists capture California as I know it – as good as Everclear and Simon & Garfunkel. Coldplay is very good, but I thought you wanted some more obscure listening & Coldplay is pleasantly heared on the local Alt. radio station. Also, I still like Bjork, because she falls under the subgenre “Girl music”- that is to say, girls like me like to listen to (Men who want hot dates take note – play Girl Music!).

  14. James 19 years ago

    Postal Service? Decemberists?

    Buy some black horn-rim glasses MAN

  15. Only one of these songs is available in the German iTunes Store. How I love the “global market”…

  16. SomeFukar 19 years ago

    The world of music starts with The Last Poets and ends with Gwar. Everything else is just pantywaist wussnoise. Face it, you are a pantywaist wuss, or you would not even be reading this forum.