Flat Note Society
My preferences in music (so you know what to get me for the next available
holiday! -- right.)
Eclectic and iconoclastic -- don't care for most Top 40; as far as
my ears are concerned you can
bury every Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, Barry Manilow, and Enya album
in a hole with spent fuel rods for ten thousand years. For me, all
"background music" has to pass the "foreground" test, first. However,
each to their own. Not much
for showtunes, or for rap, or opera, or big band, or elevator
music, either. About every thing else is fair game, although I'd rather
collect songs about Elvis than by Elvis himself. (What's
left, I hear you ask plaintively.)
Celtic (Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh), World (African, Andean,
Aussie, klezmer, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and more), Cajun, Zydeco, Classical
(especially Early music, but also the Romantics and Baroque era,
and oh, yes, Beethoven; and a sucker for harpsichord), Blues (American,
British), a few forms of Jazz (Dixieland), Bluegrass, some humorous Country,
footstompin' Country (but not the whiny stuff), some reggae, New Age IF
and WHEN it has notable world music influences, Rock (progressive, hard,
metal, ballads, "alternative" [whatever this means]), selective by
quality of music and vocals (determined by my tastebuds, okay? The reason I don't
like Aerosmith isn't because it is "hard", it's because I don't
like the way they do it). Crossover music -- stuff that is more
than one of the above things. I really LOVE crossover. And, yes,
I understand the desire for cultural purity, but my thought is
that if the crossover is documented as such (not passed off as
genuine music or whatever from a particular culture), and if sources of
the original traditional music remain, no problem. Music isn't
meant to store in an isolation chamber; it evolves. Emotive vocalists against a
strong and inventive musical background are highly appreciated. Life is a
range of emotions, thoughts, and interpretations; for me, music reflects this.
Music Links, where obtained, to things I like:
Some good but usually obscure (obscure from usual
radio station viewpoint) performers I enjoy -- no particular order. I've recently added some less obscure
The links here are to either the sites the musicians themselves have
set up, or to official or unofficial fan clubs or fan pages. No links, as far as I know, lead
to record company promos.
Anggun: Superb woman vocalist with Asiatic influences.
Baka Beyond: The African Baka (Pygmies) play with and/or inspire contemporary musicians in a collaborative effort.
Bermuda Triangle: Probably don't exist anymore; they used the
only electric dulcimer I've ever heard of.
Hildegard von Bingen: Medieval mystic updated.
Boiled in Lead: Celtic
and Gypsy with "alternative" sensibilities.
Bjork: Elfin woman sings intensely.
Blodwyn Pig: Raw British blues.
Blyth Power: Obscure British
band with a fetish for trains.
Bush: Intense, non-mellow, "alternative" band.
John Campbell: Raw, gravelly blues singing.
Cats Laughing: Science fiction writers start a band, and play a variety of material.
Laura Coyle: Local rocking musician with an excellent, right-on voice.
The Cranberries: It's the vocal mix which makes this group.
Cul de Sac: Obscure modern
ambient based in Massachusetts.
Ani DiFranco: Independent (and dang proud of it) punk folk.
The Flash Girls
Peter Gabriel: His early solo albums. Also, Passion, and his work with world musicians.
Rory Gallagher Blues from an Irishman.
Tom Hanway: Newgrass, which is jazzed-up bluegrass.
Kirstin Hersh / Throwing Muses: Quirky lyrics, and lots of fun.
Hole: Great stuff for those cathartic moments.
Horslips: Rocking Celtic music of the 70's. Their last couple albums lost it, and then they disappeared.
Indigo Girls: Folkish rock and ballads.
Etta James: Potent blues in excellent voice by one of the classic performers.
Jean-Michel Jarre: Instrumental modern jazz which actually gives the music in this genre some needed direction.
Jethro Tull: A variety of influences over the years.
Janis Joplin: So intense, she burnt out.
James Earl Keene: Bluegrass, and a sense of humor.
Graham Lewis: Formerly with the group Wire.
Swedish musicians, Finnish vocals -- a mix of old and new.
Icehouse: Cutting edge back
in the mid-80's.
Sarah MacLachlan: A voice, and music, of power.
Dougie MacLean: Scottish folksinger with a pulse on the land, and an emotive voice.
Taj Mahal: A major American blues figure.
Bob Marley: When he was on, his material remains a part of reggae greatness.
Massive Attack: With a name like this, one expects heavy metal. One would expect wrong. Ambient, but not bland.
John Mayall: A major British blues figure.
Loreena McKennitt: Ethereal creativity. Celtic and
Mediterranean influences. Excellent!
Carlos Nakai: Native American flute music.
the Nields: Quirky, folky music and songwriting from New England.
Mojo Nixon: Rude rockabilly. Not for the Politically Correct.
Orbital: Imaginative, emotive ambient.
Geoffrey Oryema Ugandan musician with an ethereal voice and awesome braids.
Outback: World music, with a focus on digeridoo.
the Oyster Band:
Ozark Mountain Daredevils: Country, with other aspersions.
Poi Dog Pondering:
Portishead: Their first album is a potent reminder than good creativity is not dead.
Gabrielle Roth:Drumming, dance, back to nature.
Rusted Root: Alternative rock with imagination.
Sans Cherubs:A local alternative band with blues and folk influences. Check 'em out.
Claudia Schmidt: A folkie with a good voice and thoughtful lyrics.
Seven Nations: Simply awesome combination of Scottish, bagpipes, and contemporary rock.
Silly Wizard: Scots traditional.
Patti Smith: Racous and rude, yet sensitive and compelling.
Mostly inspired by a 70's English-folk revival, their best songs are memorable.
Sweet Honey in the Rock:
Tempest: Strongly rocking Celts, with more than a hint of gypsy thrown in the mix.
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee:
3 Mustaphas 3: Arabic? Actually, indescribable.
Peter Tosh: More classic, infectious reggae.
Tricky: An innovative musical vision, in the trip-hop genre.
Waterboys: Excellent lyrics, solid rock, celtic and occasionally blues-influenced
Yo La Tengo: Some pretty lively rock, not to be found in the Hispanic section despite
Yothu Yindi: Awesome Aussie Aborigine rock.
Favorite classical pieces: Beethoven's 9th Symphony; Smetana's Moldau (from
Ma Vlast); Bach's Goldberg Variations, Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Plus all
that early Renaissance and Elizabethan dance music.
Go to the music resource page.
Go to Diann's home page.