90's Southern Gothic rockers The Rock*a*Teens
have reunited and are going on tour
. Their unique mixture of dark, swampy rock influences
have been praised by Dan Bejar
as "the most underrated American rock ’n roll band of the ’90s," and Will Sheff of Okkervil River
as, "masterpieces buried in muck
." The band features Chris Lopez, who you may know from aughties band Tenement Halls
, and Kelly Hogan
, who's worked with Neko Case. Playlist after the jump. [more inside]
After two decades of absence, Slowdive
have reunited, and announced that they will play the Primavera
festival in Barcelona. In an interview with The Quietus
, Neil Halstead hinted that there might also be new material forthcoming. [more inside]
Pavement's album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
was released twenty years ago next month. Stereogum has the oral history
Dexter Tortoriello makes various forms of sad music. The most prolific persona is Houses
, which is a duo with his girlfriend Megan Messina, which Tortoriello thinks of in terms of "old Elephant 6
recordings," though it's been classified with the chillwave craze of the recent years
, escapist songs are understated in mood and minimalist in structure
. Then there's his solo project, Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross, named for the centuries-old secret occult sect Golden Dawn and the symbol of Rosicrucianism
, built with intensely sculpted collection of skittering electronics and delicate acoustic textures, ... marked by heavy beats and synthesizer pads
. You can hear tracks from both projects on Soundcloud (Houses
; Dawn Golden
) and YouTube (Houses official channel
, and a playlist for A Quiet Darkness
, the newest Houses album).
Literate indie rock band Okkervil River
have put together an adventure game
to celebrate their new album, The Silver Gymnasium. It's the best Okkervil River game since Saints Row 2
is a wandering bassist improvisor/composer
who has found time to make 11 "multimedia mixtapes" for his Obsolete Media label-mates
, and you can stream or purchase (for a price of your choosing) more than 16 hours of enjoyable, experimental music
, featuring a ton of artists.
Anthemic indie rock band The National have just released 'Demons', the first single
off their upcoming album Trouble Will Find Me.
The band is perhaps best known for their song Mr November
and its association with the Obama reelection campaign.
Singer-songwriter Laura Marling will release her latest album, Once I Was an Eagle
, this May. She's shared a first song off of it, "Where Can I Go
?" [more inside]
Happy belated birthday to Jesus Murphy
, DJ Critical, Uncle Climax
(NSFW audio), Stinkin' Rich
(NSFW audio), Dirk Thornton
, Buck 65
, or as his mom called him, Richard Terfry
. Born in the year of the rat, and he's a Pisces, which makes him a rat fish
, but by trade, he's a turntablist/ MC/ producer/ broadcaster
. Generally he makes some form of hip-hop
(some NSFW lyrics), though as of late, he's been broadening his style, as heard in his cover of Leonard Cohen's Who By Fire
) and Paper Airplane
(official "lyric" video). In tribute to his 41st birthday, there's a lot more music inside. [more inside]
In the 1980s, there were twee
bands, and then there was Trixie's Big Red Motorbike
. Formed in Shanklin, Isle of Wight in 1981, TBRM were brother and sister Mark & Mel Litten, sometimes assisted by Jim Bycroft on sax and Jane Fish (of The Marine Girls
— whose most famous alumna
you would have heard if you were alive in the 90s
]) on backing vocals. Their sound, lofi, their artwork handmade
. Their first single was sent to John Peel [passim
], who proclaimed they'd “wipe the floor with the competition
” and had them in for two sessions
. [more inside]
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
write music with a warmth and simplicity that really hits the spot on chilly autumn days. My favorite songs of theirs are Noodles
and Trees and Squirrels
; their better-known songs include Funeral Face
, Rent a Wreck
, and Loop Duplicate My Heart
(∆) are a British art rock band who play low-key but ambitious music and have done well lately, been nominated for the Mercury Prize and broken into the UK top 20, while remaining somewhat anonymous
and now they're starting to get noticed in the US
. But you don't have to take my word for them being quite good, they've put their whole debut album, An Awesome Wave
, up on their SoundCloud page
, along with a bunch of other music, or you can check out their videos
. You can also watch an entire concert in high definition and good sound quality
recorded by KEXP in Seattle.
Inspired by The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs
, 14 year old Californian Gal Musette has decided she can do them one better with her 70 Love Songs
project. [more inside]
If you only have three minutes to spend on this post, listen to this song.
The Yummy Fur was an unfairly obscure Scottish art-rock group active from 1992-1999. The group is best known for having two band members who currently comprise half of Franz Ferdinand, but that says little about the Yummy Fur proper. The group has a low-fi, angular, sound with mostly-spoken lyrics - the most familiar analogue might be the verses from Pavement's "Stereo
" [more inside]
At the end of November, 1979, this band was just a year and half old and had played fewer than 40 sets. They had a handful of embryonic songs influenced by Television and Magazine, and a 3-month old, 3-song EP with two
. Then they went to London to play a bunch of gigs behind that EP, and in just 6 months, over 40 gigs, they exploded.
They watched in the studio during the January 1980 recording of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,”
wooing Joy Division’s producer Martin Hannett; appeared on TV that month with a song they had only played 4 times
, and released a forgettable single
at the end of February. Suddenly new songs poured out at a remarkable rate: ”Twilight”
, “Things to make and Do
,” “A Day Without Me
, ”Silver Lining”
transformed into a second single
(produced by Hannett). They signed a record contract in March, and immediately began recording a stunning debut album
. By the summer they had more songs: a psychedelic/sexual horror tune
, and a hot new single
It all became
bloated and sucky
commercial and atmospheric soon after, but for a while there, boy
did they rock. [more inside]
The Second Second Coming
As The Stone Roses prepare to open their series of 3 homecoming concerts tomorrow at Manchester's Heaton Park, a timely look at the band, their influences and their (Tron) legacy. Look out for Metafilter favourite Peter Serafinowicz as Morrissey and Simon Cowell. (slyt)
The female bandmembers of Chairlift
, Au Revoir Simone
, Class Actress
, and This Frontier Needs Heroes
get together with "an essentially revolving cast of indie Brooklyn sirens,
twice a year in a living room in Greenpoint to cover a single, classic song that they learn and arrange right before they perform. Calling themselves Girl Crisis
, the group covers a classic (mostly a capella
) from a male artist each Winter and a female artist each Summer. The performances are are filmed with a Super 8 camera, are not open to the public and exist only online. Their latest: Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End of Love"
. (Via) [more inside]
is dedicated to the search [for new music on Bandcamp]
. It's here, on this humble blog that we shed light
on bedroom artists
in their most defining moments
. If you want what's popular today, Dingus is not the blog for you
. But, if you want what's fringe, pure and passionate then you've somehow landed on the right URL
." [more inside]
KEXP 90.3 FM
is a Seattle, WA-based radio station, officially "a service of University of Washington," but it's more complex than that. The first University of Washington radio station started broadcasting in 1952
. Five decades, a few station organizational shifts
, plus three call letter and frequency changes later, KEXP
was (re)born in 2001. Along the way, the station spread the sound of 1990s Seattle indie rock, started streaming "CD quality" MP3 audio of their broadcast in 2000
, and they have an ever-growing collection of recordings of live in-station performances, including over 2,000 videos on YouTube
. [more inside]
Young the Giant's excellent cover
of R. Kelly's Ignition (Remix)
kicks off this season of A. V. Club's Undercover series in some style. The song has been covered extensively since it came out, in styles ranging from bedroom ukulele
to ivy a capella
to basement indie
. It was also covered by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
and inspired Dave Chapelle's pisstake
. John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats has been a long-time fan, usually adding a minute of the song as a coda to his cover of The Boys Are Back in Town
. Darnielle, and some friends, gave us 100 Reasons Why "Ignition - Remix" Is So Damned Great
The Mahogany Blog (based in London)
features a diverse range of (often indie and/or upcoming) music: through streaming singles
, guest mixes
and video posts
, sharing others' mixes
, and brief interviews with artists
. Their YouTube channel hosts The Mahogany Sessions
- acoustic musical performances exclusive to and filmed by the blog
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing?
A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media]
, from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
New York graphic designer Mike Joyce
takes vintage flyers from punk, hardcore and indie rock shows and redesigns them "into international typographic style posters. Each poster is sized to the standard swiss kiosk dimensions of 35.5 inches wide by 50 inches high and set in berthold akzidenz grotesk medium, all lowercase. Every single one of these shows actually happened."
Modest Mouse play a 25 minute set
in September 2001 in front of Criminal Records in Atlanta. The songs they play are Paper Thin Walls, Third Planet, Trailer Trash, Lives, Diggin' Holes (later released as an Ugly Casanova track) and I Came as a Rat.
Pompeya is a band that is hard to describe, especially if you go by their videos and sound. For example, if you started with Power (Simple Symmetry & Lipelis Remix)
, you might think it's an act from the the late eighties, complete with break dancing and dated fashions. If you first came across the Barbarella Chisinau Teaser
, you might imagine that they're something from the early 1990s, or a new band goofing with vintage video. And then they drop Power II
, which could be some kids playing neo-disco akin to the US band VHS or Beta
). But wait! Check out Cheenese
(NSFW moment of nudity 2:58 to 3:05), and you think they might be professional musicians with a sharp-looking video. In fact, Pompeya is a mix of various things: they're four young Russian guys
who play indie-disco. [more details after the break] [more inside]
Detektivbyrån (The Detective Agency) was a little-known Swedish band that made delightful music often inspired by Yann Tiersen's soundtrack to Amelié
. E 18
- Om Du Möter Varg
- Generation celebration
- Laka kaffa
. (Warning: aggressively cute and happy music containing accordion and bells.) [more inside]
Canadian indie/hardcore band Fucked Up
have released the first of four singles
from their upcoming rock opera, David Comes To Life.
The album appears to be about a man who works in a lightbulb factory and is a follow-up to their critically acclaimed The Chemistry Of Modern Life.
Cryptic character bios can be found on the album's site and more information from the band can be found on their blog.
Three parts guitar
, one part drums
, one or two parts percussion (to taste), one part trumpet, and a couple dashes of organ
. Add a hearty shake of vibraslap
. Season with half-sung, half-spoken vocals and lyrical wordplay
. And there you have it, Cake
, roughly the same recipe as they've been using for the last 20 years. There is a new solar powered
serving available now
. [more inside]
69 Love Songs, Illustrated
is a blog where comic book artists and illustrators interpret the songs on The Magnetic Fields' classic album 69 Love Songs.
Songwriters on Process
interviews songwriters in depth about their writing process. They've talked to everyone from Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem)
to J.D. Cronise from The Sword.
Where else can you find both Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus talking about Faulkner
and Eric from Foxy Shazam
admitting he's never read a book in his life?
It’s maybe a little
early yet for year’s end retrospectives, but who cares: we’ve got 157 songs, 10.5 hours, 1.12 GB of “some of the best and most notable music from 2010... covering indie, pop, rock, punk, folk, rap, R&B, soul, dance, country, modern classical, ambient and electronic music, and in many cases, hard-to-classify genre hybrids.”
—Curated by FluxBlog’s own Matthew Perpetua.
Out of the blue, Sufjan Stevens, most famous for his epic indie symphony Illinois
(which can be streamed from this link), released an "EP" called All Delighted People
. It's 60 minutes long, you can play it all online for free, and the title track is a deliriously gorgeous 12-minute epic. He's also announced an upcoming new album, scheduled for release this October, called The Age of Adz
. You can stream its first single, I Walked
. [more inside]
led his San Francisco punk band Pop-O-Pies
through countless performances of the band's "hit", an idiosyncratic cover of the Grateful Dead's Truckin'
. As the 1980's closed, Joe fell off the map while his other projects went mainstream
, but last month the Pop-O-Pies reunited for one more Truckin' performance
Do you like free music, and a whole lot of it? You might want to check out netlabels.
23seconds is a netlabel from Sweden,
ranging from introspective but fun indietronica
to brash electroclash
to feel-good Gothenburg disco,
all for free (as in beer.)
But what's a real goldmine is their massive netlabel catalogue, with a listing of over 150 labels.
Happy downloading! [more inside]
Iraq gave us the heavy-metal band Acrassicauda
), who have recently relocated to the US and released their first EP
. In Iran, indie-pop is a dangerously subversive underground phenomenon
, with innocuous-sounding twee-pop bands hiding from persecution by the authorities. And now Afghanistan has Kabul Dreams
, a duo who dress in skinny jeans and cardigans and write songs inspired by British guitar bands like Oasis, Radiohead and The Beatles.
What's the matter with Sweden?
How public funding for the arts has turned countries like Sweden into Meccas for indie music.
"What we’ve called it has never been stable—it’s been known alternately as “punk” for its early attitude, “underground” for where it happened, “alternative” when the mainstream held it up as an antidote to its own poison—each of these picked up then sloughed off when the semantic baggage grew too unwieldy. Most recently, “indie”—long thrown around as a signifier of how it got done (i.e. independently)—has become the nom du jour." Is indie dead?
are Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn and they make music. You might have seen their cover of Single Ladies (previously)
, but they do so much more than pop covers.
Just released for Christmas is this wonderful original track entitled "Always in the Season
." Other originals include "Hail Mary
" and "Beat The Horse
;" the rest of their catalogue is linked inside. [more inside]