With Stone-Eater's kind permission to appropriate the title....
A lot of our readers seem to identify with music which comes from what has come to be known as, for right or wrong, the period of "classic rock". Chronologically I might say that this spans a time frame from 1964 to about 1978. Perhaps a bit later. Speaking for myself I can say that I "cut my musical teeth" on much of the music from this period. The rock music, anyway. I have always been out in the alternative fringes I'd guess one might say. When others were rocking out on things like Black Sabbath or AC/DC, or "country fried rock" like Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, I instead gravitated to prog rock and other alternatives off of the mainstream. The Beatles were my first choice and evolved to the likes of Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Rush, Bowie....just to name a few. Of course the roster would not be complete without the real rockers like the Stones, The Who, Zeppelin. These were my early influences.
I guess for no other reason than the times that I have lived in I was able to make the transition into the golden age of "alternative" that began in the late 70s and burgeoned through the 80s. "Pop" music from any era has always been an anathema to my ears. I developed quite a taste for many alternative acts in the 80s. Psych Furs, Cabaret Voltaire, Echo and the Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, New Order, Camper van Beethoven, Adam and the Ants....thats only a handful. Too many to name. The late 80s / early 90s brought us neo-psychedelia and shoegaze and grunge, each with their standards: Stone Roses, Slowdive, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins. I was fooled into thinking that this was the progression. Well it was, but the industry took other directions, fueling the mainstream with new forms of garbage. The growth, the creativity, the standard bearers for that "next wave" went underground and formed what I call "the indieverse", and this is where I have resided musically ever since. Some of this genre, if it is indeed such a thing, may be familiar to some here. If so then I am pleased to hear it. If you are like me and lament the direction of the mainstream and have not heard of these I hope you would take the time to look these up and give them a listen. AND.... I certainly welcome suggestions from others.
In no particular order then....
The Orb - Evolved out of the DJ/Club scene, Alex Patterson is (was?) the driving force. A great innovator and brilliant use of digital sampling. If you don't think you know them I can tell you that you probably have heard some of their music in commercials, most notably the track Little Fluffy Clouds. They have a sizable volume of work, but IMHO some of their best comes from their live collection Orb Live 93, featuring album art in homage to Pink Floyd's Animals LP. Towers of Dub and Perpetual Dawn are my favs
Broken Social Scene - This is a Toronto "band", though I would say they are better described as an ensemble. Their numbers range anywhere from 11 to 20. They make a BIG sound, but is not just loud noise. A studied listen and you will discover that their sound is intricate and complex, their composition very disciplined. Their song Lovers Spit was featured in HBO's Queer as Folk. Again there is an extensive catalogue so I encourage you to explore anything you can find. Among their better tracks (I think) are Ibi dreams of Pavement and Swimmers
Silversun Pickups - This is a California band, a little more recent. If you want to hear rock like you've not heard in an age check out their track Lazy Eye. The guitars are chilling.
Neutral Milk Hotel - This is an American act that emerged in the late 90s and have been on and off again since. The creative force behind NMH is singer/songwriter Jeff Mangum. Where Jeff's voice may be wanting he more than makes up in his deep and profound lyrics. The man is a poet. I highly recommend the entire LP In the Aeroplane over the Sea. It is almost a rock opera in some ways, a la Tommy, with a theme throughout revolving around the story of Anne Frank. On Avery Island is an earlier LP with some very witty verses, most notably in the track Song Against Sex.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Around since about 2005 this is another clever band. The vocals on some tracks may be hard for some to take with a frequent use of "country falsetto", but if you can get past this the music is tightly stitched with an infectious tempo. Best tracks are Skin of my Yellow Country Teeth and Maniac. A great band to see live
Flaming Lips - This is one which is the most likely to be familiar. They have actually been around since 1982 and hail from the highly unlikely venue of Oklahoma City. Several of their tracks were featured in the first animated feature of Shrek. Many of their songs have also been featured in commercials. The W.A.N.D is a jarring piece of music with some phenomenal drumming. Flaming Lips also have a large catalogue to choose from. If you like the Beatles' I want you/Shes so heavy check out their 19 minute live version on YouTube and crank up the volume
Mum - This Icelandic ensemble is a phenomenal talent, better known I suspect in Europe than here. On YouTube there are a number of live versions of their song We Have a Map of the Piano. They are ALL good, check out any of them.
Sigur Ros - Another Icelandic group. Check out Svefn-g-englar. The use of a cello bow on the guitar creates some haunting soundscapes
Ok, last one. This is more of a recommendation of a specific video. On YouTube type in on their search bar "Noonday Underground, Barcelona". Noonday Underground the band, Barcelona the song. Great, great song and the film to match is phenomenal.
Thats all I have, folks. Other suggestions? Lets hear 'em!