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]
Pavement's album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was released twenty years ago next month. Stereogum has the oral history.
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.
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]
Alt-J (∆) 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.
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 decent songs. 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”, ”Trevor” became ”Touch”, ”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]
"Dingus 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]
Screaming Females are a 3-person self described "rock/rock/rock" band from New Jersey featuring Jarrett Dougherty on drums, King Mike Abbate on bass, and Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals. They're not incredibly famous and they're probably not on the cusp of a string of number 1 hits, but they put on a mean show and they've got a new album in a couple of months if rock/rock/rock should happen to be your thing. [more inside]
It Nova Scotian Rich Aucoin's video for "It" directed by Noah Pink. SLYT worth clicking on. You may recognize a few scenes.
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.
Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) has premiered 'One Single Saviour', a solo song at Minnesota Public Radio's Wits. The show was hosted by music writer Chuck Klosterman, who's book 'Fargo Rock City is being adapted by Craig. Klosterman was recently interviewed by the AV Club about the project. Chuck previously. THS previously.
Color Me Obsessed is a new documentary about legendary Minneapolis rock band The Replacements. It features over 140 interviews with rockers, journalists and fans (including Colin Meloy, Craig Finn, Tommy Ramone and Robert Christgau) but not one note of the Mats music. Director Gorman Bechard has been documenting the making of the film on his blog and screening it in select cities.
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.
In 1997, reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel mastermind Jeff Mangum performed a now-legendary set at Athens, Ga. coffee shop Jittery Joe's. One week only on Pitchfork.tv Previously 1 2 3 [more inside]
Punkcast is a long running series of videos of live underground music in NYC shot by Joly MacFie. Each video is usually one song. The Internet Archive hosts its videos and offers downloads in a variety of formats. MacFie also has a YouTube channel with 480 videos and a video podcast [iTunes link, feedburner link]. Here are a few bands that caught my fancy: The Icicles and The Besties, The Slits (1, 2 ), Andrew W. K., Oneida (1, 2), The Long Blondes, The Gossip, Acid Mothers Temple & Cosmic Inferno, Art Brut, Be Your Own Pet, Cansei de Ser Sexy, Lesbians on Ecstasy, The Fall, Fred Frith, Rose Melberg and Jennifer O'Connor, The Horrors, The Homosexuals, Bat for Lashes, Radio 4 and Teddybears, Kimya Dawson and Tiny Masters of Today, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nikki Sudden.
A founding father of DIY indie rock, Will Rigby recounts the pilgrimages to locate underground rock legends Alex Chilton, (during his wry Americana deconstructo anarchy phase), and the 'McCartney' to Chilton's Big Star 'Lennon', the Brydsian Chris Bell. Blogs on bands may not seem to rate but cats with these sensibilities, unlike today, seemed incredibly uncommon then . Also mentioned, the Dbs, Little Diesel, and Mitch Easter. Free Mp3s of the rare 45s included.
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was released 10 years ago today. Happy Neutral Milk Hotel day. [more inside]
Lucky Soul's 'Lips Are Unhappy' isn't the likliest of contenders for the UK's coveted Christmas number one, but this is the track (from a shortlist) selected by listeners of Last.fm to receive Last.fm's backing. Profits go to charity, as is the norm for Xmas No. 1 entries.
Top Two News Words (By Hour). "Top news sources are parsed by a computer every hour and the two most frequently used words are determined and printed out on a continuous sheet of paper." An art project by Rick Valentin, better known to late-80's & mid-90's indie-rock fans as the lead singer of the Poster Children. An updated-hourly RSS feed is also available.
Iran: This musician is revolutionizng the music scene (Video) Mohsen Namjoo and her superstar
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are a band that, less than a year ago, were making music without the help of a record label, pressing CDs themselves and selling them at concerts and on the Internet. Then the following happened: June 9: Dan Bierne writes about the band on his MP3 blog, June 14: Pitchfork Media posts a review of the song "In This Home On Ice", June 15: Blogger Gothamist posts an interview with the band, June 20: Blogger Stereogum announces the band's show at the Knitting Factory, June 21: Gothamist reports that David Bowie was in the audience at the Knitting Factory show, and June 22: Pitchfork posts one of a slew of reviews of Clap's first album. Now, they've been named to dozens of critics 'best of' lists, they're playing Conan and Letterman, and are about to embark on a new tour. Why choose today to post an article about a band blowing up written in November you ask? Because their tour kicks off tonight at the 9:30 club in DC, and you can listen to it live.
Neutral Milk Hotel demos, videos, and bootlegs. Brainchild of enigmatic, now-reclusive singer/songwriter Jeff Mangum (not Magnum!), the "fuzz-folk" project known as Neutral Milk Hotel began and ended in the 90s and only released two LPs, but is still held as a touchstone by many indie rock critics. More live recordings can be found at the site for Elephant 6, the collective which included NMH and other bands like Beulah, Circulatory System, Elf Power, and Apples in Stereo. The complete discography and more MP3s. Some lyrics. (Previously)
NPR’s Live Concert Series site offers recordings of recent live performances by James Brown, Sinead O’Connor, Iron & Wine and Calexico, Son Volt, My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes, M. Ward, Sigur Ros, Bloc Party, The Decemberists, and live tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET, Colin Meloy.
New Canadian music is infiltrating your culture with its neo-retro ways, and you may not even know it! Hot Hot Heat is too dance-rocky for it's own good, Joy Division-loving the Stills are constantly mistaken for New Yorkers (thanks to touring with Interpol), and certainly Stirling are too epic to be anything but Cure-loving Brits! Watch out for the seditiously warm synth-pop of Stars and the society-destroying rock-folk of lesbian siblings Tegan and Sara. While you're at it, keep tabs on Toronto super-supergroup Broken Social Scene and the quirky, danceable girl-rawk of Metric. This is the cell of the retro rock revolution you really need to pay attention to. The Strokes and their ilk have nothing on the Canucks.
How to Fake Being an Indie Rock Expert. The best advice I've seen all day -- "Start somewhere safe: Sonic Youth."