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The pop culture pendulum swings again and in the coming months the boy bands will be purged from the public record by denim-clad Bob Dylan types with messy hair, old gym shirts and acoustic guitars.

Yes! After half-a-decade of music from the production line, it’s time for the return of the singer / songwriter. This new pop pleases me, though it’s still very much ribbed for our pleasure by the music industry.

Anyway, a good artist can still shine through his or her marketing. Here are some of my recommendations:

John Mayer, Web Site: http://www.johnmayer.com/

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005JIZA

You can still find his pre-big-label-signing CDs in a few places, though he’s now signed on to Atlantic and the price of the CDs will go up. 🙂 Really good production and a great voice make him a stand out, and one song in particular, “Neon” has a groovy funk guitar lick, totally unique to the album. You seriously gotta have this album — it’s incredible.

Pete Yorn, Web Site: http://www.peteyorn.com/

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005AREX

Kelly gave me this one for my birthday and it’s on regular rotation in my Saab (yikes! that was a yuppie sentence). While the album tends to meander into the melancholy once in a while nearly all the songs are totally solid and rockin’. I like the first one, “Life On a Chain”, though it starts with a cheesy scratchy record player (how many Hollywood yard sales did these guys cruise to find a record player and a dirty ol’ record to sample?).

Outlandos D’Americas, Web Site: http://www.ark21.com/outlandosdamericas.htm

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000AETO

Oh YEAH! Sting and the Police have a huge following in Latin America. In Mexico my Dad once bought a Spanish version of “Dream of the Blue Turtles” recorded by Sting which just rocked. It’s a language made for music and these various tracks, which go from Ska to steamy Latin to out-and-out Rock, are great! In particular you have to hear Soraya’s cover “Todo Lo Que el Hace (Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic)”. Not exactly Singer/Songwriters but just Neato.

[So once in a while I feel like recommending music. Sue me.]

-Ian.

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