Music I like enough to keep track of — meaning I regularly search for them to see if they have new releases and try to see them in-person when they visit the area. (There are a lot of others I listen to regularly, but these are the ones that are alive and/or active):
- Amelia — Sweet jazzy sound out of Portland, Oregon. Have a new album coming out this year.
- Amplifico — Great sound out of Edinburgh. Also have a new album coming out soon.
- Bitter:Sweet — Techno/retro out of L.A.
- Camille — French solo act.
- Ceu — What Bossa Nova would sound like if it was modernized.
- Emiliana Torrini — Sweet Icelandic voice, minus the screechiness of Bjork.
- Hapa — First thing we listen to every time we visit family in Hawaii.
- Imogen Heap — Frou Frou was a great one-shot experiment. Imogen keeps going. Lovely stuff.
- Jason Mraz — All-around feel-good music.
- Jorge Drexler — Makes you wish your Spanish was better so you could understand half the references.
- Madeleine Peyroux — Great background music for cooking.
- Manu Chao — Crank it up high in the car with the windows closed.
- Pink Martini — Another great band out of Portland.
- Sufjan Stevens — hard not to get hooked after listening to Illinois.
- Thievery Corporation — Electronic + Jazz.
Of these, I’ve seen four live and I’d happily pay to see the others, especially if they played small, intimate venues like Bimbo’s in San Francisco.
Some artists have web-sites with their own mailing lists or push you into signing up for their forums, but it’s rare that I hear anything afterward. I’ve found the people who are the most diligent about keeping in touch with their fans are stand-up comedians. Musicians could learn a thing or two from them.
Someday I’d like to implement an artist tracking service in Palchemy. The whole ‘follow’ model — but made super-easy for artists — to let fans hear about new albums, nearby concerts, and appearances.