What are you favorite artists and songs to listen to on your system?


So, I just read a post about listening to Rap on a hi end system and it got me thinking about what other people listen to on their hi quality setups.  I listen to a very broad range of music so I am curious to learn of some of your favorite artists/songs no matter what the genre.  The purpose for me is to learn of new music, no matter what the genre.  Please include a few brief details if it adds to the comment.  I will start with some of the music I am listening to this week.  Lastly, I am 46 and grew up in Denver, CO for any additional context to my tastes.

  • Alicia Keys, If I ain't got you
  • Drake, Hold On, We're going home
  • Lang Lang, The Season, Op. 37a/X. October
  • Disclosure, Magnets
  • Cecile McLorin Savant, John Henry
  • Joanne Shaw Taylor, Bones
  • Itzhak Perlman, Tchaikovsky: violen concerto in D Major - numerous tracks
  • Tears for Fears, Woman in Chains
  • Nils Lofgren Band, Bass & Drum Intro
  • Daft Punk, Instant Crush
  • Christy Moore, Shine on You Crazy Diamond
  • NIN, Hurt - Trent Reznor has always placed high standards on his productions.  You may not like some of his lyrics or sounds but he is very creative.  He has won a Grammy and an Oscar more recently for movie scores. One of the original "industrial music" creators.
  • NIN, Into the Void - any "noise" you hear is intentional 
  • John Cash, Hurt - remake of NIN song
  • NIN, The "Perfect Drug" Single - will push your system's bass capability




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Way too many to list, but I'll mention that within the classical genre a couple of works that IMO are impossible to dislike are Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 (the "Classical Symphony"), and Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (the "New World Symphony").  Also, Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 3, Opus 58, which is incredibly beautiful IMO.  Here is a nice video of a performance of the Prokofiev.

Regards,
-- Al
 
Almarg; thanks for the response.  I will take a listen to your classical suggestions.
Over the last 40+ plus years I've seen about a half-dozen polls run by NPR
stations and others as to folks favorite Classical Chamber piece.
In every case its been Schubert's "Trout Quintet " .
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Love, absolutely love, the Trout.  Thanks Schubert.  
Its mostly Classical; Bruckner Symphony Nos. 4, 5, 8.
Schubert Symphony Nos. 8, 9, quartets, String Quintet in C.
Boccherini String Trios.
Haydn, symphonies and string quartets.
A must for Classical fans is Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2WEA7CzYJM

Rock is Jeff Beck, Jimi, Kate Bush, Led Zepplin, King Crimson, Siouxsie and the Banshees.
I used to listen to mostly classical and occasional classic rock. Still listen to a lot of Bach, but recently have been listening to more and more jazz. (I can recommend almost anything by the Tord Gustavsen Quartet or the Helge Lien Trio or the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio.) Two relatively obscure labels produce music that is always worthwhile: AliaVox and Alpha. 
lowrider57, I'm a fan of that Sinfonia Concertante.  I'd give high marks to Stern/Trampler, Perlman/Zukermann, and I. Oistrakh/D. Oistrakh versions.

I listen to classical (especially string quartets, especially played by Guarneri), jazz (a lot of Miles Davis 50's and 60's), rock (50s' through Nirvana, some newer) and assorted folk styles (blues, Irish, bluegrass, American...) Some recommendations (avoiding the obvious Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, etc.):

Judy Collins:  Who Knows Where the TIme Goes (great songs, great sidemen
The Band:  Music From Big Pink, The Band (2nd LP)
Mahavishnu Orch.:  The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire
Lyle Lovett:  Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Los Lobos:  lots of things, but start with Just Another Band from     East L.A. (20 year 2-CD anthology)
Guarneri Quartet:  Ravel (LP only)
                              Beethoven (3 sets:  early, middle, late)
Juilliard Quartet:  Bartok set (mid-60's stereo, RCA)
Alfred Brendel:  complete Beethoven sonatas for piano (Phillips)
Glenn Gould:  Bach Goldberg variations (2nd recording)
Paul Simon:  Graceland (maybe obvious but seldom mentioned)
Taj Mahal:  Phantom Blues (4th track, Here in the Dark, has a blistering, searing solo by Eric Clapton, his best pure blues work since Mayall)
Talking Heads:  Stop Making Sense (great concert tracks)

tosta, as a Guarneri fan myself  just a suggestion , try a Lindsay Qt. Beethoven  string Qt. recording .

Thanks, Schubert--I've heard them on the radio but not on CD or LP.  I'll check them  out.  My other faves are Budapest and Miro.
I mention Lindsay because they are a bit less "sweet" than the Guarneri, not better, just different .
I love the Budapest as well . A friend whose opinion I greatly respect swears the Leipzig on MMG is the best of them all . I'm going to A'zon them today .
Of currently working artists, Iris Dement is at the top of my list. Long-time favorites also include (amongst many others) Brian Wilson (song writer par excellence), Dave Edmunds (Rock n’ Roll master), Hank Williams (Hillbilly genius), The Everly Brothers (the most exquisite two-part harmony of all-time), Buddy Miller (the best producer working today, and a great singer/guitarist/arranger as well), and of course Dylan (THE artist of our time, imo). In Classical, most of the Baroque composers (J.S. Bach above all others, of course); I love the chords, their sequence and structure , the melody, harmony, and counterpoint, and brisk pace of Baroque. Plus almost all Bluegrass, the Baroque of Pop!
bdp24, if you like bluegrass and Bach you must give a listen to PDQ Bach's "Cantata Blaues Gras"--it's a hoot and a holler.  Ach, jah!
It's a strange combination of factors, but my time in front of my main system has shrunk a lot.  A fair bit has been converted to practice time (mostly guitar, but a little piano, too).  Another factor is increased driving time with a split of rock n roll, news, and comedy comprising listening content on that front.  Also, more music is being consumed these days via the distributed system in my home to allow multi-tasking.

So, during the restricted time I have with the main system, it's been mostly jazz.  Lots of Duke Ellington, Miles, Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, and other long term faves, but also more John Scofield, Grant Green, Bill Frissel, Bill Connors, etc for guitar inspiration.

I'd guess that the content of those sessions will continue to evolve going forward.


Thanks Tostadosunidos, I'll do that.
Marty, if you haven't already, give Danny Gatton a listen. He's a well-kept secret, a guitarists guitarist, Telecaster master.
Mmporsche.  +1 on the NIN tracks!  

Thank you everyone, you are opening my ears to many new artists, songs and genres.  Great fun, please keep the suggestions coming.  

gshepardbuster: I am glad you like NIN. I realize it may be pushing extreme boundaries for some of the A-gon crowd but I have always been impressed with how Trent Reznor pushes the boundaries of music.

mmporsche: for me the gear serves the music not visa versa.  I was into NIN big time back in the day and you're right Trent is talented.  The Downward Spiral is my favorite of their albums:)
Check out:
Shellac - At Action Park 
Jim O'Rourke - Insignificance 
David Grubbs - The Spectrum Between 
Dysrhythmia - Psychic Maps 
Nile - Annihilation Of The Wicked 
Don Caballero - What Burns Never Returns
Animals As Leaders - The Joy Of Motion
Dead Rider - Chills On Glass
Gastr Del Sol - Mirror Repair 
Way too many to list them all.  On the classical side, two pieces I really enjoy are Mozart's Violin Concerto #3 and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.  The various interpretations and my sense about them:

Mozart's Violin Concerto #3:
Perlman-like B.B. King playing a Gibson ES335
Zuckerman-like George Harrison playing a Rickenbaker 235
Rachael Barton Pine-like Eric Clapton playing a Gibson Les Paul
Anne-Sophie Mutter-like Jimi Hendrix playing a Fender Strat

(my favorite, tossup between Rachael & Anne-Sophie)

Beethoven Symphonies:
Ricardo Chailly (excellent modern digital recording, conductor has himself and the orchestra in control)
Herbert Von Karajan (incredible recording of a 1963 performance, conductor seems to push himself and the orchestra, very dynamic)
Leonard Bernstein (best of both worlds, several recordings with different orchestras, like the DG recordings the best)
Depeche Mode "Agent Orange" from Music for the Masses 
ejr1953, you caught me off guard with those comments about the players.  Interesting analogies, I'll have to think about those a bit.  FWIW I like all four of those violinists.  And all four guitarists.
Bdp,

I've got Joseph Barden pups in my tele - Can you guess why?
Red Neck Jazz, baby!
Very cool Marty! One of the best times I ever had was recording with Danny's early partner Evan Johns for a week (on his Moontan album). A Telecaster player himself, he told me Danny was the best musician he ever worked with.
I've posted my favorite Danny Gatton story here before, but for your benefit:

Many years ago, Danny was playing at Fat Tuesday, an old NYC night club.  I went with a friend.  It's a small place and not many people showed up, so Danny chatted with folks in the audience throughout the show.  At one point, as he was strapping on his double neck, he started to tune the guitar while staring at the ceiling.  My friend asked him what he was looking at.

Danny replied that he was tuning the instrument against the 60hz hum from the light transformers in the ceiling.  Just a different kind of guy.
So to throw a curveball at you guys a band that many music-philes and critics turn their noses up at Phish. These guys are playing the best music of their careers right now, I'm talking live shows, and the recording quality of their shows has become really topnotch. Every show they play is available for download on livephish.com and I especially recommend their Halloween show from 2 years ago, 10/31/14, a monumental show that garnered critical acclaim from even the mainstream media. And yes I admit I am a die-hard fan 71 shows and counting but I genuinely feel I can pretty objectively understand what's good music and good sound.
Great story Marty! What a loss. Wish I could have seen him live; I don't think he ever came West.
Keith Jarrett Koln concert

Jamie XX In Colour
Wesla Whitfield is a cabaret singer who does more than sing a song.  She tells a story.  A lot of that comes from the fact that her own story is something worth being told.

I don't think there is a better interpreter of the Great American Song alive.  Period.

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/apr/18/news/mn-28533