Unusual Instrument Usage in Modern Pop Music
The standard roles in a five piece band are lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.
Some bands are not satisfied with traditional instrumentation. Bored with the lineup, they go looking for ways to alter their sound, such as Radiohead did by eliminating their label as "guitar rock". They incorporated instruments such as a glockenspiel, as well as drum machines and samplers. A Perfect Circle's debut album, Mer De Noms relies heavily on gourd instruments and violins to set the often dark theme of the music. The White Stripes experimented heavily with the marimba on their album Get Behind Me Satan, and The Roots have evolved over the years to include a sousaphone as a regular part of their lineup.
Some bands don't just experiment on a song or two, but use unusual instruments as part of their regular lineup. In addition to the traditional guitar, bass, and drums, Dave Matthews Band has a violinist and saxophonist.
Artists like Robert Randolph and Ben Harper forgo the standard electric guitar in favor of pedal steel and lap steel guitars. Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson use a ukulele.
Beck is so experimental with unusual instruments, that I had to use wikipedia and google images to figure out what some of them were. The list includes:
Musicians that think outside of the box make some of the most creative and beautiful compositions.
What are some of your favorite examples of unusual instruments in contemporary music?