1989 as covered by Ryan Adams (except "Clean", for some reason). Blank Space is my favorite. It's available on iTunes (including "Clean"). You can read an interview with him or read about the backstory in USA Today.
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]
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 [previously]) 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.
The Hummingbirds were one of Sydney's greatest indie pop bands. They debuted with the single Alimony and in 1989 released LoveBuzz, featuring 14 tracks of sparkling jangle pop. It spawned the single Blush, which was a minor success, but the failed and the band broke up in 1993. They were vindicated by history when LoveBUZZ made #65 on the 100 Best Australian Albums Of All Time. This year the band reunited for a set at the iconic Big Day Out Festival and a show in Sydney. They were also immortalized in the Modern Giant song The Band's Broken Up (members of the Hummingbirds later joined members of Modern Giant to form The Aerial Maps). [more inside]
Overlooked '90s Indie Pop: The Cat's Miaow, whose single sentence wiki describes them as... "an indie pop band formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1992." And Madison Electric, a band from Ann Arbor that played one show in a church basement before going their separate ways.
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.
Joe Pop-O-Pie 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.
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]
"There's sickly pop, there's cheesy pop and then there's the Lightning Seeds brand of pure shiny pop." The Lightning Seeds mixed slick production with equally compelling melodies and lyrics, and produced a number of critically acclaimed albums in the 1990s. Now there's a new album coming out - their first since 1999's Tilt. [more inside]
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was released 10 years ago today. Happy Neutral Milk Hotel day. [more inside]
Indiana's Sardina. The New Pornographers of the '90s, the Sardinas released two fantastic albums full of mixtape fodder. Now everything they've got, including some live gems, is up online.
Steven Thomas Erlewine prosecutes Sufjan Stevens A solid indictment of both Stevens and Indie Pop, from AMG's Whole Note series. Hopefully, the Arcade Fire get theirs next.
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)
Illin'-Noise! is the new remix of Sufjan Stevens' album Illinois by mc DJ; a torrent is available, as is cover art. It's not quite like Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds (previously on Mefi) -- it's not nearly as noisy, and not quite as good, although it's still worth checking out, particularly "Chi-Town" (from "Chicago"), "Zombies" (from "They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!") and "Jacksontown" (from "Jacksonville"). [prev.]
The Confabulators. They Are Confabulators!! They Write About Music!! They Have Come From The Decemberists Board!! Ahhhh! It began on a message board (reg. required). All the latest news about The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, and now, more! Their latest entry: A review of Pitchfork's review of Sufjan's Illinois. That'll teach 'em.