My brother dips a toe back into rock music

He gave up rock in the early '70's and eventually became an opera fanatic. About a month ago (now age 58)he asked me -out of the blue (pun intended) - about Joni Mitchell and Buffalo Springfield. Yesterday he asked an interesting question:

Recommend 5 albums by people he hasn't heard of.

Bearing in mind that

A)Anyone who isn't either a household name from the sixties or famous at the Michael Jackson/Madonna level qualifies as "not heard of"

B)The Joni/Buffalo Springield starting point and "art song" inclination likely to appeal to an opera guy


C)The desire to sprinkle a little bit of the rock reductionist esthetic

Who would you point him to?

I gave him 4 on the spot, but I'll share those later if the interest in this thread warrants.

Based partially on Joni & Buf mentions above:

Bright Eyes
Jenny Lewis(& Watson Twins) and her band Rilo Kiley
Counting Crows (at least their first 3 releases)
Rickie Lee Jones (she started out in the 70s, but has amassed a tremendous body of work since then, and is still strong)
Eva Cassidy
Elvis Costello
Ryan Adams
Lucinda Williams
Sarah McLachlan
Ben Folds
Some guy named Springstein or something like that. Cheers,

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if he likes Buffalo Springfield & Joni:

1. Nick Drake - Fruit Tree
2. Suzanne Vega - S/T, Songs in Red and Gray
3. Laurie Anderson - Strange Angels
4. Bonnie 'Prince' Billie - Master and Everyone
5. Leonard Cohen - Cohen Live (he's Canadian, like Joni and Neil Young of Buffalo Springfield)
Here are five really good albums from artists your brother probably never heard of, but which should appeal to his sense of taste for good old rock 'n roll.

1. Wilco - Being There (or Summerteeth)
(The later albums (especially Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born) are also good, but might be a bit too Avantegarde for him now. When he gets into Wilco though, he'll find both of those albums are at least as good as the other two I recommended.)

2. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans (or Transatlanticism)
(Ignore the band's name, and trust me that this is a very good group, and both of these are very good albums.)

3. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
(A very english sounding band, IMHO anyway, even though they are not from Great Britain.)

4. Fiona Apple - Tidal
(A great singer/songwriter, who does not try to hit you over the head with her vocal range, unlike some lesser women singers, who shall remain nameless.)

5. Coldplay - Rush of Blood to the Head
(This is their best album by far, IMHO, but their other albums are very good too, just not up to the standards that this one set.)

In case your brother heard of this last one, (and he very well might have, as this was a really popular album), here are some alternative suggestions: either Oasis' "What's the Story Morning Glory?", (espeically if he likes the Beatles), or if he just wants some good old fashioned fun Rock 'n Roll, The Fratellis' "Here We Stand".

My two cents worth anyway.