1. Bjork - "Human Behaviour"
One needn't look much farther than Bjork for a truly unique artist. Hailing from Iceland, which is a Hot Spring of quality musical acts to begin with. True music fans need to check out their annual music festival, held in the nation's capital Reykjavik. Bjork is perhaps their biggest musical export and has been defying traditional labels since her debut Debut in 1993. Techno-infused rhythms with soulful almost mournful vocals make Bjork stand out on tracks like "Hyperballad", "Crystaline" and "Human Behaviour". Cool video too!
2. Primus - "Southbound Pachyderm"
Speaking of cool videos, San Fran's Primus were once known for their colourful and unique videos as well as being a musical chameleon of sorts. From the outside they stand out immediately, a trio with a slap bass player on lead vocals is odd enough, but their tunes go from the comical ("Wynona's Big Brown Beaver"), to the alt-rock arena ("John The Fisheman") to this song, kind of a ballady, adventure tune about elephants.
3. Brand New - "Degausser"
Brand New started out their existence as kind of a pop-punk group out of Long Island, NY. Their second album saw a stylistic change of sorts and saw the band take a non-conformist's look at modern rock. Their 2008 album The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me however, is a masterpiece yet to be matched by the band. It comes at you from all angles and effortlessly finds a home in your head. Drawing inspiration from multiple sources the sound can only be described as Brand New.
4. Rage Against The Machine - "Revolver"
This is more than rap-metal....in fact i'm not even sure Rage Against The Machine can be defined as rap-metal. There is no true term to describe what this group recorded over their 9 mere years together and no band has been able to duplicate it since. The pieces fell into perfect place when the band formed in 1991 and made an immediate impact. A sound that caught a generation off guard and i'm not sure we're really sure what it was that we heard. We did know that it was glorious though. Now there have been a few bands since in the same vein as RATM, but it doesn't come close and at the time Rage stood alone.
5. Jamiroquai - "Canned Heat"
You can call it funk, or jazz. Soul would work too I guess. Pop? maybe. Dance music? Definitely. UK's Jamiroquai (which is not the singer's name...that's Jay Kay) has transcended a genre or labels. They let whatever comes to their musical minds, come out their musical mouths. Enough said. Plenty of great songs to pick from: "King For A Day", "White Knuckle Ride", and "Runaway" just to name a few.
6. Sublime - "Same In The End"
On the surface Sublime appear to be an easy band to identify. Look closer though and you'll see they not only incorporate reggae into their music, but also hip-hop. R&B. They veer close to punk without becoming Ska and the lyrics are almost a religious experience, a study of the human condition. A Revelation. Name another band that sounded like Sublime, not easy is it? Now there are a handful of bands that have picked up where the California trio left off.
7. Ween - "Voodoo Lady"
I could play you 4 different songs right now and unless I told you (which I kinda just did), you'd have no idea that they were by the same band. Check out "Push Th' Little Daisies", "It's Gonna Be A Long Night", "Roses Are Free" and this one "Voodoo Lady" It's all Ween baby!
8. Guster - "One Man Wrecking Machine"
Guster might not be totally mainstream yet, and I wasn't going to include them until I thought about when I drove down to Southern NY to see them live. Crossing the boarder we were asked our business in the States and when we told them we were seeing a Guster concert, we were totally stumped when the border guard asked us what kind of band they were. And then again when they asked what band they were similar to. It's tough to pigeon toe a band with multi-instrumentalists and 4 established vocalists.
9. Cake - "Sheep Go To Heaven"
Cake came out of nowhere...forgot about them didn't ya? They kind of snuck in line when the rest of us were watching that Smashing Pumpkins concert. We didn't even notice this band being played on rock radio feature a brass section and had a practically monotone lead singer. They own it though and haven't shown any sign of slowing down.
10. Beck - "Girl"
Just a little left of center, there stands Beck. With his quirky videos, enigmatic and at times downright random lyrics, and a sound that is so infectious you almost forgive that it defies definition. A forgiveable sin after all the great music Beck has provided us over a staggering twelve (!) studio albums. You never know what you're gonna get with Beck and thats fine by me.
Hey! Give me some suggestions would ya???