For about the last 2 years I've listened to my Pandora radio station, and here recently it's given me some pretty kickin' new choices for music that I have labeled "really good".
The first band will kinda make you raise an eyebrow, mainly because they have a very grassroots feel, just barely clinging to the edge of the "country" genre. The band is called Son Volt. The few people I've shared their style with say that it's very strong sounding like old-school R.E.M. I can pick that up a bit in their sound, but it's not something that permeates the entire series of their albums.
If I had to pick one album out of their collection (which I picked up from Amazon last week), I'd say it's "Okemah and the Melody of Riot".
The second band is of a different sound entirely, and is probably much less likely to be known. Their name is Intercept, and they hail from the Indie side of the house. Their music is made up of a number of power chords, and the vocals have a very strong Paul Simon influence. Their lyrics seem to be full of messages of relationship experience, unlike Son Volt's lyrics about life in general, with lines such as:
All my friends say "you're crazy, Chris, You shouldn't move straight for her, You've built up your castles, and she's building up her castles, too..." And I know that I shouldn't but I will 'til I win!
This is from their song, Berlin.
I strongly recommend checking these groups out. I know I'm going to try and catch the Son Volt show that's coming to town later this month. :)