Okay, so, time for another lighthearted OT thread since there are plenty of real world/politics ones going on!
I'm pretty crazy about music, I pretty much have to have something playing when I'm near a PC. I love discovering little-known music, and I generally don't get hooked on the pop culture stuff, though some things played on VH1 (US cable "music" channel for any non-US people
Music in quotes because they just play it in the mornings, the rest is crap!) stick around for a bit.
A lot of really cool music I've found through friends, and a lot through http://pandora.com/
. Pandora is a free online radio station. You do need to register, but it's basically just email/password and I've never gotten a single email from them, spam or otherwise. It's very professional, and basically it creates customized playlists for you. Put in a song name or artist, and it will populate a huge playlist with songs of similar style. You can vote these up or down to help control what it plays, the only limitation is how many songs you can skip per hour. It's awesome for discovering new stuff!
For more control over what I listen to, I use http://www.imeem.com/
. It's not a radio station per se, but it allows users to upload music and then anyone can search and play it. It's also free (and you need to register), and it doubles as a mini social networking site but it's also pretty clean and I never get crap from it. It's very handy for finding specific songs, and you can also create your own playlists. You can always listen to everything you upload, but in some cases if imeem doesn't have a deal with a record company to play a specific song, everyone else will just hear a 30 second sample. These days there are fairly few 30 second samples, and there's a toggle in the playlist controls to just automatically skip these so it's still a pretty good deal. I use imeem every day at work
On to the music! Right now, I'm hung up on Maria Mena. She's got a great voice, and very nice tunes. A few examples:
"Blame it on me" : http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/music/RvM6z1kE/maria_mena_blame_it_on_me/
"Just a little bit" : http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/music/5gxeYhc9/maria_mena_just_a_little_bit/
"Monday Morning" : http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/music/h-WdLMrM/maria_mena_monday_morning/
I also uploaded her entire discography to Imeem: http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/playlist/BRmDcr7S/maria_mena_discography_music_playlist/
I don't usually go for goth bands, but Within Temptation is pretty good.
"Memories" : http://www.imeem.com/people/TWFLyd/music/_qRBbh7C/within_temptation_memories/
"Pale" : http://www.imeem.com/people/P57UBRN/music/K8kyXx-W/within_temptation_pale/
When it comes to pure vocals, Enya and Lisa Gerrard really take the top spots. Lisa Gerrard did a few notable tracks for movies:
"Gortoz A Ran" in Black Hawk Down: http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/music/7uXG_U7a/lisa_gerrard_gortoz_a_ran_jattends/
"The End" in Man on Fire: http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/music/cGSPzZR2/lisa_gerrard_the_end/
(fan game vid, but uses the track)
"Now We Are Free" in Gladiator: http://www.imeem.com/foreverandever/music/YhchMrW9/lisa_gerrard_hans_zimmer_now_we_are_free/
And for Enya..
"China Roses" : http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/music/SNjM9SEl/enya_china_roses/
"Exile" : http://www.imeem.com/people/ZG1ajr/music/fspggUJv/enya_enya_exile/
"Book of Days" : http://www.imeem.com/michi/music/jo-8nZI1/enya_book_of_days/
I also listen to a bit of new age/electronica. Enigma, ES Posthumus, Amethystium, Sleepthief, Delerium.. A few samples:
Sleepthief - Eurydice : http://www.imeem.com/exciter/music/I5d2_pVo/sleepthiefjody_quine_eurydice/
ES Posthumus - Cuzco : http://www.imeem.com/hairdewx/music/NqjNeD0I/es_posthumus_cuzco/
(anime vid with the track)
Enigma - Child in Us : http://www.imeem.com/ravagedragon/music/vGdfi36n/enigma_the_child_in_us/
Amethystium - Into the Twilight : http://www.imeem.com/isuda/music/Z_KskGkF/amethystium_into_the_twilight/
(sorry, no youtube link)
Delerium - After All : http://www.imeem.com/dkrech/music/1qOpcq1n/delerium_after_all/
Delerium - Fleeting Instant : http://www.imeem.com/people/FYZpdL/music/cDBOZuen/delerium_fleeting_instant_feat_kirsty_hawkshaw/
That's it for now, though I could link tons more
Hope at least some of you find something interesting, and share yours!