The guy who runs my local comic shop is awesome. Aside from running one of the very few comic shops I've ever been in where a girl can really feel comfortable, he has managed to turn me on to plenty of comics, music and movies I might never have otherwise been exposed to. His recommendations have never yet failed to delight me.
Case in point: last Saturday, during the weekly pilgrimage to feed my addiction, I realized that the music playing in the store was both lovely and completely unfamiliar. "Hey, what's playing?" began the familiar discussion. He then produced for me the new Regina Spektor CD. Being musically illiterate, I had never heard of her before, but I had already heard enough to convince me that I wanted to do some iTunes investigation later. I programmed her name into my cell phone and went back to browsing. When I finished and approached the counter to make my purchase, he pulled out an older CD, Soviet Kitsch, and told me that the CD playing was new, but I might also like this older album, and I should check it out. Then he cut himself off, said "You should probably just borrow this," and slid it into my bag. He was, of course, right.
I humbly suggest that if you haven't listened to Regina Spektor's music, you are missing out. I don't know how to describe her music – I suppose it's only natural to associate girl + piano with Tori Amos (I see her compared to Fiona Apple a lot, as well), but while the instrument may be the same, the music is really something else altogether. It grows on you over time, too – after a week, I find myself replaying songs I originally skipped past. My only complaint is that I went out and bought the physical CD of Begin to Hope, then realized later that for the same amount of money, I could have bought it from iTunes and gotten 7 extra tracks. (Two of these tracks are album-only songs, meaning I can't even buy the tracks seperately.)