Help me discover some new music...

Hi, Gang,

My rig is finally at a level that I don't feel a great need to invest in new gear. Rather, I'm looking for new music to discover. I feel like I'm listening to a lot of the "same old stuff."

I listen to mostly rock and pop, with a little orchestral/soundtrack music thrown in and a bit of jazz, too.

Here's what I know and love:

Steely Dan (including Becker and Fagen solo efforts)
James Taylor
Dire Straits
Bonnie Raitt
Paul Simon
Some classical Chesky LP's
Joe Jackson
Ingrid Michaelson
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Earth Wind and Fire

,,, and a lot of other things I'm not thinking of right now.

Anybody want to be my "Pandora" and suggest things I should check out? Great music is primary, but great sonics also appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
I understand what you're saying Rok. There's only so many combinations of riffs, chords, scales etc. if we're only talking about rock, there's been some stand outs I could think of. Did you ever hear of a band called Morphine from the 90's? They were groundbreaking. How about Jack White?

There's still people composing classical music. I live in a city with one of the top music schools in the U.S. Its the Eastman School of Music. Renee Fleming is one of our claims to fame. We just started a school of pop music ( the first in the world) in hopes to inject some actual musical talent back into pop music. We have to invest in our future. The best you and I can do is to not watch the talent shows on television. Buy the music of the talented few. Support good musicians by attending their shows. This world is changing fast and it looks like we can no longer sit back and wait for the next great artist. We have to demand it and support it. I can already see what budget cuts in the arts is doing to this world. Part of my hobbie in hifi is an investment in the future of our artists, no matter what country they're from. It was in fact music that got me to this forum. Not my hifi.
I see Miss Fleming quite often in the British music magazines. A great talent and beauty. The articles in the English magazines tend to illustrate your statements about encoraging and supporting our arists. The Brits / Europeans seem to do a great job of that. I agree with all your points. And since the average cable on this site costs more than my entire system, you know music is the reason I am here also. :)

I am not familiar with Morphine or Jack White, but I will make it my business to get to know their work. I didn't know about the pop music school. Glad to hear it.
Thanks for the post. very informative.
It mathematically makes sense to argue for a law of diminishing returns in terms of innovation and originality in art, (there is plenty of not real tasty supporting evidence around). But occasionally surprises have popped up and have appeared to breathe new life into a dead horse... it's hard to say that will never happen again.
Anyway, the O.P. list indicates that there is A LOT of potentially rewarding stuff for him to check out. How someone gets to a point where they dig music that pushed or is still pushing boundaries can vary quite a bit. It's not hard to see someone maybe picking up the 1st Friends of Dean Martinez disc...then getting Michael Hedges Aerial Boundaries or John Abercrombie Timeless and moving to Zappa Grand Wazoo or T.J. Kirk... and after that stuff like Mingus, post 60's Miles, Can, Monk, Terje Rypdal, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, King Crimson and Stravinsky.
I forgot to mention Zappa. I have a few of his LP's -- Sheikh Yerbouti and Apostrophe come to mind -- but my collection's not very deep. I sometimes have trouble getting past the 8th grade potty humor on those lp's, but the musicianship and creativity are undeniably brilliant.
Rock2kid, I would say that music scene today is far more divergent and is teeming with talent and innovation, then in the sixties and seventies.
There are tens of thousands of bands, and never has it been easier to listen and explore new music. You tube, Spotify , MoG, Rapsody, Sirrus etc.
Regarding your post , where are the next Rolling Stones, Elvis etc., my wife and I were discussing the new world of the music industry. There are few bands today playing stadiums like The Stones, Who and Zepplin did, but that does not mean that there are not many bands who can equal or surpass their talent in playing,recording, and touring. The musical climate dictates that many of these fantastic bands are not going to reach the stratospheric heights of these MEGA bands. So, the awesome bands of today, such as Wico, you will get to see in a small intimate theater that seats less than 2000 people. In my opinion there are alot of bands in the mix today that have the talent,creativity,and musical chops to equal the Mega bands of the sixties and seventies.