UPDATED 2015-10-11

Music

Music is my biggest passion in life. Period.

My Taste

I tend to like grand music. Stuff with feeling, emotion and passion. Stuff on the big scale; pompous and pretentious. I like when people really go for broke with their music. If it's very melodic and complex it's an added bonus. (Eg. Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Marillion, Dave Matthews Band.)

I like real sounding instruments and natural acoustics. (Eg. Coldplay's Parachutes and Starsailor's Love is Here.)

Soothing and beautiful music is good for the soul. (Eg. Eva Dahlgren, Coldplay, Starsailor, Kari Rueslåtten, Sinèad Lohan.)

Overly produced and too heavily processed music finds me ill at ease. (Eg. Eva Dahlgren's En blekt blondins hjärta and The Rasmus's Hide From the Sun. Fine music that would've benefited from less production.)

Anything that sounds commercial or designed puts me off. It feels unauthentic, dishonest and manipulative. (Eg. Almost anything on pop charts.) Sounds snobby and elitist, I know, but just see below what I actually like and you see it ain't so. I just don't know how else to put it.

Eye Openers

This is the music that opened my eyes to new things. The stuff that formed my taste. Please understand that in most cases this wasn't music I chose myself, especially early on, but music that I chanced upon because it was around. Listed in roughly chronological order.

Ami Aspelund: Fågel blå
Simply beautiful Finno-Swedish music. She has a wonderfully full voice and she makes it sound so incredibly easy.
Jean Michel Jarré: Oxygene
My father had a tape of this record. We used to listen to it together in the dark, talking about the images the music conjured up. One of my most fond memories.
Pink Floyd: The Wall
It's got everything. It's bombastic, theatrical and fabulous. I think this is the single most influential record for me.
Mike Oldfield: Crisis
My single most worn vinyl. (For some reason the CD seems like a different mix altogether, thin and edgy.)
Marillion (the Fish records)
Operatic, deep, complex.
Yello: The Race
Incredible soundscapes and lush sounds. Haunting melodies. Humour.
Vangelis: Themes
Seductive and heart tearingly beautiful. Vangelis really knows how to make synths sing.
King Diamond: Abigail
After a tentative introduction to heavy rock, I ended up with the kick-ass rock of King Diamond. This was really smokin'! Metal was to remain with me until the present day and I've actually recently rediscovered the genre with contemporary acts like In Flames, Katatonia, Opeth and Pain - all from Sweden for some inscrutable reason.

Then there is classical music and jazz, which entered my world later on, without any particular works that stand out.

Resources

JS
Where I buy my music. Cheap, fun & surprising. I can thank Jack for many of my most precious records.
Top 200
The 200 most important rock & pop records. Food for thought. Some entries are really odd.
Levymessut.com
Tietoa tulevista levymessuista.

Classical Resources

Finding classicla music is darn hard. There's such a lot of it, and I don't like it all. I have no mentor. I have no supplier. It costs way too much, most of the time. Yeah, I know I'm whining. Anyhow, here's the best resources I've come up with so far. Please please tell me if you've got any good resources.

The Classical Music Navigator
This seems like a novel and promising way of finding the stuff you may like. I've yet to explore it, but I'll be back with comments as soon as I've done so.
ArkivMusic.com
Splendid search facilities and a huge database. No shipping to Finland, though. Good for finding stuff.
Classics Today.com
Reviews of classical music.
The Classical Archives
Really lot's of downloadable classical music. A good way to sample unknown pieces before buying. I have not yet explored this site.
Naxos
As they say themselves: "The world's leading classical music label". Lot's of stuff and very informative web site.
MegaStore.se
So far the best place I've found for getting the music, once I've hounded it down. The have Finnish translation, Euro currency and postage for a reasonable 3€ at the time of writing. Their search facility is absolutely crap, though.
JPC.de
Online store in Germany that has all of Naxos. Shipping to Finland is 7,99€. I've not yet ordered from JPC.

Perhaps one way to start when, like me, you're a newbie without a mentor:
100 CDs for Building Your Library (Classics Today.com)
Essential 100 Classical Recordings (ArkivMusic.com)
Records 2 Die 4 (Stereophile)

All Time Favourites

Music I come back to again and again.

Mike Oldfield: Five Miles Out, Crisis, Discovery
These records kind of defines music for me.
Eva Dahlgren: En blekt blondins hjärta
For some reason gets more spin time than almost any other record.
Bruce Cockburn: World of Wonders, Nothing But a Burning Light
My two most worn-out vinyls.
Hansa: Naturtroget
The best Finno-Swedish music ever made.
Sinèad Lohan: No Mermaid
Finds its way into my CD player with uncanny regularity. Soothing.
Marillion (The Fish era)
All time favourites as well as eye-openers.
Dave Matthews Band (Records 1 to 5)
Real music by real musicians. Devilishly skilled musicians, complex music and mature lyrics. Here's a piece in Finnish that I wrote about Dave Matthews Band
Kari Rueslåtten: Other People's Stories.
Absolutely amazing music. Personal, original, beautiful, well made, transfixing.
XHTML CSS WebGnome