I like posting about music I'm listening to because I usually get good pointers to other artists that I'll enjoy. So keep the recommendations coming!
An automatic purchase for me recently was Son Volt's Okemah and the Melody of Riot. I've long been a fan of Uncle Tupelo (going back to my late college years in St. Louis where they were a local band) and while I've generally agreed with critics that Wilco was the better of the two bands formed from the Uncle Tupelo bifurcation (Son Volt being the other), I find myself listening to Jay Farrar and Son Volt a lot more than I do Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. Julie and I caught Son Volt's live show here in Portland earlier this year and I think she has turned into a genuine fan as well; at least I catch her listening to the CD at home from time to time. So if you are a fan of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and other singer-songwriters with some country influence, check this one out.
Julie had me pick up a few CDs from Amazon recently, namely Coldplay's X&Y, Green Day's American Idiot, and Weezer's Make Believe. I also added Beck's Guero to the order. So, I expected to like American Idiot and Guero quite a bit, was skeptical about Make Believe, and had no clue what to expect with X&Y. I rarely listen to music on the radio and Coldplay has never even been on my radar. I think I remember hearing comparisons to U2 and the Beatles and that they are perhaps the best band so far of the 21st century, which drastically reduced my interest in seeking them out. I had visions of the Oasis hype back in the mid 90s. Boy, was I surprised - this album is as good as anything I've heard from U2 (and I'm a huge Joshua Tree fan) and now I understand the hype. They are also very different than just about everything I've been listening to for the past few years, which is a pleasant change. Some times talent does lead to extreme popular success.
My final mention is of Fall Out Boy. BMG Music recently acquired the music club part of Columbia House, and I had a lingering membership that was transfered over. Somewhere in the shuffle they think I failed to decline one of the monthly selections (I'm certain I did) and I was going to return it, but instead opened it to give it a listen and rip into iTunes. I'm glad I did - From Under the Cork Tree is a fine album that I'm enjoying. This is mild punk rock with some good pop harmonies - reminds me of Green Day and The Clash.