Hey, this is a spin-off from the DMB thread... some people mentioned that they're interested in some new music that may not be widely known but still is pretty cool. Considering I was a DMB fan in High School (but have since disowned those over-commercialized hacks), my music picks may appeal to you. Now, musical tastes range greatly by genre... so I'll split by indie rock picks into genres and let you decide for yourselves. Bear in mind, my view of Indie rock is not necessarily all bands you've never heard of; but rather bands that fit into a genre that simply isn't mainstream.
So, for modern music that anyone can feel cool listening to, here we go with the genres...
New Folk: Quiet focals and orchestral instrumentalization. See Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens. The latter having one of the most brilliant albums of 2005, "Illiniois" is the second of Stevens' endeaver to release an album named for all 50 of the states. Illinois is his second release, and the superior one, to 2003's "Michigan."
Dance Punk: A hybrid of dance music and punk rock; very cool. Check out The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem
Garage Rock: The most accessable, and most entertaining, of all indie genres, you've probably heard of The White Stripes, The Hives, The Strokes and, maybe, The Von Bondies. Von Bondies hit "C'mon, C'mon" used to be a great song until it was bastardized in various automobile commercials. The White Stripes' "Get Behind Me Satan" was easily the best rock album of 2005. If you haven't heard De Stijl, hear it. Now.
Shoegazer: This is a weird, angelic genre of orchestral music and has even been played off as sissy music. I hate Emo music with a passion, but one listen to the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, and you'll want to take a nap; but in a good way.
Indietronic: I hate raves and I hate electronica. That said, The Postal Service's Give Up album is one of my all-time favorites; if not for the fact that it's just fun to listen to. Ben Gibbard, lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie (whose Emo-esque music tends to make me feel nauseous) actually makes this electo-pop music awesome; although "Such Great Heights" has been used in multiple commercials and TV ads for Grey's Anatomy.
Neo-Wave: This is kind of a "new wave/post punk" genre that defines a lot of bands I absolutely love. First is Franz Ferdinand, a band I've been obsessed with since two summers ago. Their newest album is ingenious catchy, and, most of all, rocks. Bloc Party, one of my recent discoveries of musical greatness also fits this genre.
Synth-Rock: Technically this is a combo of Neo-Wave and Indietronic, and went mainstream with the success of Vegas rockers The Killers. FYI, I love The Killers. I don't care, they're awesome.
Post-Punk: Also part of the Neo-Wave movement, my favorite post-punk band, by far, is Interpol. Their latest album Antics is fantastic; I never get tired of listening to it.
So those are the genres... but just to make a few addition, there are some great "indie" bands that have maintained their creative independence even after signing with a major lable. They include, of course, Radiohead, not to mention Pulp and The Flaming Lips. Modest Mouse struck it big last year but their unique sound is still there.
Some other mentionable bands, brilliant in their own right include, but arent limited to; The Magic Numbers, The Arcade Fire, The Shins (thanks to Garden State), The Zutons, The Libertines, Moist, Spoon, and if you want to get weird, Neutral Milk Hotel and Bright Eyes. OK Go, if not for their awesome "Get Over It" song and extremely fun music videos. Well, i could go on and on, but there's a start... comments welcome!
Oh, and rock not your cup of tea? Listen to Jurassic 5.