Thursday, August 27, 2009

Simon Joyner

ARTIST / BAND: Simon Joyner

MP3s: "Roll On" / "Out Into The Snow" 

ALBUM: Out Into The Snow

FILE UNDER: Folk Rock / Indie / Acoustic

LABEL: Team Love

INFO: Simon Joyner is a singer-songwriter living in Omaha, Nebraska. He's released records since 1993 on various independent labels. He's put out albums, 7"s, eps and cassettes on: One Hour Records, Sing, Eunuchs!, Shrimper, Brinkman (Netherlands), Wurlitzer Jukebox (U.K.), Tonguemaster (U.K.), Secretly Canadian, Truckstop, Seagull, Unread, Jagjaguwar, and Team Love. He tours the U.S. and Europe sporadically.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009



MP3s: "Whever You May Go" / "Elephant"

ALBUM: Angry Bear

FILE UNDER: Psychedelic / Rock

LABEL: Coming Home Records

INFO: The story of Mellowdrone orignates in Venezuelan born and Miami reared principal songwriter and founding member, Jonathan Bates. Early dedication to guitar playing earned Bates a scholarship from Boston’s famed Berklee School of Music. Once there, Bates realized that although he was technically proficient at guitar – mastering it as an instrument, he felt as if he knew nothing of the songwriting craft itself. A lifetime in the making, this is where Mellowdrone was given a name and thus conceived.

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Monday, August 24, 2009


ARTIST / BAND: Slaraffenland

MP3s: "Open Your Eyes"

ALBUM: We're on Your Side

FILE UNDER: Alternative / Rock / Folk

LABEL: Hometapes

INFO: "We have waited a while...still it'll take us some time" begins "Meet and Greet." Vocal harmonies ring out to the pulsing beat of a delayed floor tom. A guitar wakes up the reeds. The subtle organic percussion of handclaps punctuates the amplified air, the music becoming a distinct human synthesis. This is a pop song. This is Slaraffenland.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009





ALBUM: High Times

FILE UNDER: Lyrical / Minimalist

INFO: Columbia, South Carolina's Washed Out (a.k.a. Ernest Greene) is definitely off to a great start. First there was the summery pulse of "You'll See It", which was followed by the evocative laidback bob of the awesome "Feel It All Around". And now he returns with "Belong", the lead track for Washed Out's upcoming cassette tape release for Mirror Universe (expected mid-September, it's limited to 100 copies). "Belong" completes the bounce of its reggae-ish beat with breezy vocals and bursts of winding guitar, building to its well-earned triumphant outro.

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Friday, August 21, 2009


ARTIST / BAND: Wiretree

MP3s: "Back In Town"


FILE UNDER: indie-pop rock

INFO: Wiretree is an indie pop rock outfit from Austin, Texas. The quartet is fronted by Kevin Peroni and also includes Joshua Kaplan, Rachel Peroni and Daniel Blanchard. Their debut, a self-titled EP, was released in 2005 under their own independent label, Cobaltworks Music. In January of 2007, Wiretree released their first LP entitled Bouldin. A 2009 LP is due out later this year. Their music is largely influenced by britpop and musicians along the likes of George Harrison, Elliott Smith and the La's.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

slow claw

ARTIST / BAND: Slow Claw

MP3s: "Colorado"  "Everybody"

ALBUM: Grandfather Clocks

FILE UNDER: folk, indie

INFO: The members of SLOW CLAW have been touring nationally for over 5 years and their dynamic live performances capture the emotion and honesty of the music. They do what they love and love what they do. In January, SLOW CLAW will be recording an EP with Joel T. Hamilton (THE WORKING TITLE), followed by a US tour in support of the release.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bad Veins

ARTIST / BAND: Bad Veins

MP3s: "Gold and Warm"

ALBUM: Bad Veins


LABEL: Dangerbird Records

INFO: Bad Veins are a rarity in today’s musical landscape: An act who didn’t set out to become critical darlings or the next “buzz” band, but managed to achieve both after only playing a handful of shows. However, despite the fact that Bad Veins’ music has been instantly embraced since their inception in late 2006, the duo of Benjamin Davis and Sebastien Schultz decided not to rush out the disc you’re currently holding in your hand. The result is Bad Veins, an album that’s unique but familiar, and not only lives up to the hype but surpasses it. Looking back, it’s hard to believe it all started out a little over two years ago in a non-descript attic in Cincinnati, Ohio

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Port O'Brien

ARTIST / BAND: Port O'Brien

MP3s: "Sour Milk/Salt Water"

ALBUM: Threadbare

FILE UNDER: Folk, Acoustic, Indie

LABEL: City Slang

INFO: Port O'Brien began early in the year 2005, as a folk-ish duo of Van Pierszalowski and Cambria Goodwin. The two penned songs while Cambria lived in the tiny Californian coastal town she shares her name with and Van lived in an apartment in Oakland…which was about the size of his name. Shortly thereafter, Cambria moved to up to the Bay Area and within the next year, the project added a rhythm section, comprised of Caleb Nichols and Joshua Barnhart.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

The XX


MP3: Basic Space


FILE UNDER: Pop / Soul / New Wave

LABEL: Young Turks

INFO: London four-piece The XX have revealed the details of their forthcoming debut album, 'XX'.
The 11-track record has been produced by the band's multi-instrumentalist Jamie Smith, and will be available from August 17.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009



MP3: Big Boom

ALBUM: Epcot Starfields

FILE UNDER: Alternative / Experimental / Indie

LABEL: friendly fire recordings

INFO: Sometimes, a single memory can sum up a pivotal moment in life, or even life itself. For Windmill, aka the London-based Matthew Thomas Dillon, a childhood trip to Florida's EPCOT Center provided the inspiration for his entire second album, a record about "embracing the perfect moments in life and recognizing the sadness of everything passing in the moment of our death."

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Saturday, August 15, 2009



MP3: "50's Film"

ALBUM: See You Tonight

FILE UNDER: Electro / Lounge / Pop

LABEL: Olympic Records

INFO: From the opening chords of “Vermont”, it is immediately apparent that The Da Vincis are something a little bit different. What is this? A rock band? No. A jazz combo? Maybe. The hum of a peculiar reed instrument is introduced into the mix, supplying melody to this mini-overture of the trio’s debut release, See You Tonight. But this is merely a peek through the door. Should the listener’s curiosity be perked, stepping inside will find him or her on a sea of sound-scapes in an almost childlike utopia; simultaneously complex and utterly simple, yet always retaining a sense of elegance and beauty.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Timber Timbre

ARTIST / BAND: Timber Timbre

MP3: Demon Host

ALBUM: Timber Timbre

FILE UNDER: Folk / Blues

LABEL: Arts and Crafts

INFO: Timber Timbre stops you. The elements are deceptively simple: a confident, but hushed voice, understated guitar, strings and keyboard flourishes, and a subtle percussive beat. Taylor Kirk, the oneman show that is Timber Timbre, describes his music as "gothic rockabilly blues." His solo guitar, harmonica and looping pedals form a haunting resonance - a sound that is both raw and mystical. Over the course of two records (2006's Cedar Shakes and 2007'sMedicinals) and spellbinding performances in support of Great Lake Swimmers and Ohbijou, Kirk has earned a devout following. The years have marked a rapid progression from a dusty, low-fi bedroom blues to the sophisticated, cinematic studio work found on his newest self-titled record.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Splinters

ARTIST / BAND: The Splinters

MP3: Splintered Bridges

ALBUM: "Splintered Bridges" 7-inch

FILE UNDER: Garage / Indie / Folk Rock

LABEL: double negative records

INFO: The Splinters may have only been a band since 2008, but the girls actually began palling around four years earlier as freshmen at UC Berkeley. In the waning months of their college careers, Ashley Thomas (guitar), Lauren Stern (tambourine), and Caroline Partamian (guitar) began messing around with music and cranked out a few silly, lo-fi garage-pop songs. Quickly realizing that a few of the songs were actually pretty good, they recruited their friend Courtney Gray (whom had previously played with Ashley in a short-lived Misfits cover band called The Skullfuckers) to round out the group on drums.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Most Serene Republic

ARTIST / BAND: The Most Serene Republic

MP3: Heavens To Purgatory

ALBUM: And the Ever Expanding Universe

FILE UNDER: Indie / Experimental / Progressive

LABEL: Arts & Crafts

INFO: With two acclaimed albums and an EP already under their belts, these just now 24-year old musicians have already been performing together for a half-dozen years. Very much a product of their wide ranging personalities, the band is led by Ryan Lenssen’s classical piano and obsession with musical history, never mind his obsessive attention to detail, and singer/lyricist Adrian Jewett’s Joycian stream-of-conscious lyrics and larger then life stage personality. The entire band’s excellence with their instruments is undeniable and is proven both live and on album.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Portugal. The Man

ARTIST / BAND: Portugal. The Man

MP3: People Say

ALBUM: The Satanic Satanist


LABEL: Equal Vision

INFO: Within days of Alternative Press including Censored Colors on its list of 10 Essential Albums of 2008, the members of Portugal. The Man were trudging through the Boston snow to start work on their fourth release in four years, The Satanic Satanist. As John Baldwin Gourley, named the year’s Best Vocalist in that same issue of AP, explains the pace at which his band has turned out any number of the decade’s more inspired moments, “Honestly, I think we should be putting out more music. It keeps you thinking, keeps you growing and progressing. If you stop and let it sit for too long, I feel like you start to lose track of where you were going.”

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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Blueflowers

ARTIST / BAND: The Blueflowers

MP3: "I Wasn't Her"

ALBUM: Watercolor Ghost Town

FILE UNDER: Indie / Americana / Melodramatic Popular Song

LABEL: self-released

INFO: "The Blueflowers woozy concoction of reverb-heavy guitars and American Gothic country-isms speak to the inner Cowboy Junkies fan in all of us."
"Best guess is Blueflowers is what happens when a girl obsessively listens to Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline and her bandmates can quote every line from Blue Velvet."

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions

ARTIST / BAND: Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions

MP3: Blanchard

ALBUM: Through the Devil Softly

FILE UNDER: indie folk

LABEL: Nettwerk Records

INFO: Hope Sandoval was born June 24, 1966 and grew up in east L.A. with her Mexican-American family. She started her career together with her friend Sylvia Gomez in a band called "Going Home", a folk duo formed in 1986.

Hope had admired Kendra Smith as a teen-age Dream Syndicate fan. Sylvia Gomez handed Kendra Smith a demo tape which was comprised of Hope Sandoval on vocals and Sylvia on guitar. David Roback offered to produce some recordings for them and they went into the studio and recorded an album that to this day is yet to be released.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Heroes of Popular Wars

ARTIST / BAND: Heroes of Popular Wars

MP3: “A Bus Called Further” / “It’s A Doozy

ALBUM: Church & McDonald

FILE UNDER: Electroacoustic

LABEL: Self-Released

INFO: Heroes of Popular Wars is a name chosen specifically to be vaguely political but not picking a side -  a name designed to start a conversation but not to lead it.  Like the music. Heroes of Popular Wars is Stephe (The Blue-Eyed Devil) songwriter/singer/guitarist with contributions from Rory (DJ Red Cent) producer extraordinaire as well as sound collagist/DJ/awesome buddy Scott (S2K), drummer/also awesome buddy Scott Campbell and keyboardist/graf artistRae (The Elleoner.)

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Friday, August 07, 2009



MP3: Mistake (Yuksek)

ALBUM: Wait For Me

FILE UNDER: electronica, pop

LABEL: Ministry of Sound

INFO: Moby's been in good company for his latest album of fragile electronica. He had Ken Thomas of Sigur Ros on board mixing the first single off the album 'Shot In The Back Of The Head' and pulled in none other than David Lynch for the video.

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Jay Brannan

ARTIST / BAND: Jay Brannan

MP3: Cant Have It All

ALBUM: In Living Cover

FILE UNDER: Folk / Akustisch / Indie

LABEL: Nettwerk

INFO: Jay Brannan is a Texas born singer, actor, and songwriter. After finding homes all over the country to live in, and briefly attending University of Cincinnati’s acting school, he decided to plant his feet down in New York City. He played the role of Ceth in “Shortbus”, an indie film directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Relatively new to the music world, he has released several songs on iTunes and on his myspace page, has become extremely popular thanks to his YouTube profile, and has been keen on maintaining a self-produced, low-key website. His songs hold many of the same universal themes other artists acclaim to, but with a more fresh, realistic, sometimes vulgar, understanding. This has made him a hero to other gay men and general audiences alike.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009


ARTIST / BAND: Datarock

MP3: Give It Up (Kissy Sell Out Remix) / 'True Stories'


FILE UNDER: Electro PopRock

LABEL: iTunes

INFO: The red tracksuits return to North America in 2009 with new shows, new moves and a brand new album. Norwegian rockers DATAROCK will release their long-awaited and highly anticipated sophomore album RED later this year. However, those lucky ones at SXSW will get an early taste of RED when Datarock headlines both Emo's Annex Stage on March 19 (Windish Showcase) and The Iheartcomix & Jelly NYC present The Texas Nightclub on March 21.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009



MP3s: "Perro Loco"

ALBUM: Light A Candle

FILE UNDER: Latin, Party, World

LABEL: Nat Geo Music

INFO: This is party music, and the group, who were literally born at co-founder Mauro Refosco’s birthday party in 2005, make music that, despite incorporating elements of country and western, dub, surf rock, and MBP, stays true to the original idea behind forró: that is, the dancing.

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Monday, August 03, 2009



MP3s: “If You” / “Holy Holy Little Fist”

ALBUM: Your Body Is Your Soul

FILE UNDER: Experimental / Folk / Indie

LABEL: Make Records

INFO: Growing up in a musical family (brother Adam is a jazz pianist and sister Sara is a classical cellist) and studying the tenor saxophone through high school, Birnbaum initially pursued a career in avant-garde improvised music, performing in NYC with such luminaries as Andrew D'Angelo and Jim Black, and running the short-lived Boston Jazz Composers Collective.  Eventually feeling frustrated by the lack of a non-musician audience, he decided to try to bring free jazz into the indie rock world.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Circulatory System

ARTIST / BAND: Circulatory System

MP3s: "Overjoyed"

ALBUM: Signal Morning

FILE UNDER: Psychedelic / Pop / Electronica

LABEL: Cloud Recordings

INFO: Seven and a half years in the making, culled from hours of recorded material sculpted in at least seven different studios, the new Circulatory System album is an absolutely stellar document of song and sound. Still concerned with matters of the inner / the outer, the incomprehensibly huge and the very, very small. An imperative blast of kinetic motion, composed by W. Cullen Hart while in the midst of battling Multiple Sclerosis within his own system - broadcasting his urgent pleas to the world(s) to evolve into a higher dimension or for existing patterns to reveal themselves at peace within the natural order of the universe.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009



MP3s: "Marionettes In Modern Times"

ALBUM: Good Hands Bad Blood

FILE UNDER: Rock / Ambient / Experimental

LABEL: soft drive records

INFO: Good Hands Bad Blood is an auditory adventure and introduction to modern indie/experimental rock. Displaying flagrant mastery of their instruments and genre, The Color Turning represents an expansion of Los Angeles’ indie psyche with dancing musicianship and detailed composition. Orchestrating their instruments in a fashion of a movie score or soundtrack, the band rarely begins any track at 11 but rather draws their listeners in with curious melody and progression.

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