indie rock cafe

To borrow an old phrase, it's that time of year again. Warmer, longer days are replacing the colder, shorter days of winter. Trees and flowers are blooming like crazy (as folks with allergies will tell you). People are out of the house, more active and definitely in better spirits. Baseball bats are cracking. Students are cracking the books for finals. Travelers are planning their summer getaways. It's spring. And after a particularly challenging winter, especially for folks from Virginia to Maine (where snowfall amounts shattered all the records), you can just feel people's appreciation that the winter of 2010 is over.

A great way to celebrate spring is a playlist mix about spring, and the things we associate with spring. This mix includes tracks from Deerhunter, A Boy Least Likely To, Akron/Family, Fruit Bats, The Very Most, Atlas Sound, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Grand Hallway, The Catholic Comb, and to close out, a classic spring-themed song from The Beatles, "Rain".

"Rainwater Cassette Exchange" - Deerhunter from Rainwater Cassette Exchange (2009)

"I Box Up All The Butterflies" - Boy Least Likely To from The Law Of The Playground (2009)

"River" - Akron/Family from Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free (2009)

"Beautiful Morning Light"- Fruit Bats from The Ruminant Band (2009)

"Raindrops" - Grand Hallway from Promenade (2009)

"A Two Week, Springtime, 7th Grade "Romance" - The Very Most from Spring from Spring EP (2009)

"Frisbee In The Rain" - The Catholic Comb from Ghost Stories (2005)

"Spring Break" - Atlas Sound from Another Bedroom EP (2008)

"Cold Spring" - Cymbals Eat Guitars from Why There Are Mountains (2009)

"Rain - The Beatles from B-side to "Paperback Writer" (1966)

Bonus: "This Time Tomorrow" - The Kinks from Lola vs. Powerman and the Money Go-Round (1970)

Get a zip of this mix

If you liked that mix, you can also see the first mix of Songs About Spring, posted a year ago, with songs from Annuals, Spinning Wheels, The Fancy Dress Party, The Postmarks, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The Flaming Lips.


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   April 9, 2010    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Feetz to Da Beatz is yet another new playlist mix series that offers our listeners a unique perspective on artists and bands that they might not hear elsewhere. In recent years, dance, soul, R&B, blues and hip hop styles have been increasingly incorporated under the growing umbrella term of 'indie rock,' which is just fine with us, but also confusing to many others.

That said, who doesn't like to move their feetz and dance to da beatz? Regular visitors to IRC know by now that we have an eclectic taste in music; the bottom line being - great music is simply great music no matter what genre it is labeled as, regardless of who makes or where it originates - you know it when you hear it.

Armed with an arsenal that includes vocoders, glockenspiels, graceful vocals and forceful percussions that sync to deliver a kinetic dynamite sound that even grandpa would find hard to sit through, Body Language have risen from the DIY scene to become one of NYC's most popular new dance bands of 2009-10, branding their own flavor of driving beats, sunny (and at times dark and heavy) synths and soaring, catchy choruses. Body Language is the ass shaking combination of Grant Wheeler and Matt Young graced by the soul styles of Ms. Angelica Bess, and the drum work of Ian Chang, known best as a member of Mickey Factz.

In September, Body of Language released a five-track EP, titled Speaks. The EP features the hopping grooves of the unforgettable song, "Huffy Ten Speed," which our friends at I Guess I'm Floating called: "..a darker/heavier sound with glitchy synths and forceful beats to boot - not to mention they've crafted a chorus as catchy as it is locomotive.."

"Huffy Ten Speed" - Body of Language from Speaks EP (2009)

After cutting their teeth on the local circuit and becoming one of NYC's most in demand party bands of 2008, Body of Language were recruited to collaborate on the production of Passion Pit's widely acclaimed 2009 debut LP, Manners, and Machinedrum's 2009 Late Night Operation EP.

The band was also contracted to back up Theophilus London in live shows dressed as 'The Lovers,' in addition to playing with Passion Pit, School of Seven Bells, Ninjasonik & Jimmy Edga and We Have Band.

Another excellent song from the Speaks EP, "Work This City," was featured on the collector's compilation, Moongadget: The Noctural State, released in 2009 via Ghostly International. The band is also working on remixes of tracks from Yes Giantess, Shuttle, and Alaska. This is one band that you don't want to miss in 2010.

"Work This City" - Body of Language from Speaks EP (2009)

Body of Language on MySpace

Since Boston's Yes Giantess has a tie-in with Body of Language, it is convenient, and fitting, to include a track from this popular electro-dance band that has created quite a stir in the past year or so with their groovy beats, pop-punk attitude, and intoxicating synth-gaze compositions. Make sure to heck out the band's MySpace link below for remixes and other tracks, plus the 411 on their upcoming performances at SXSW and the Sasquatch Festival.

"You Were Young" - Yes Giantess from 7" (2009)

"Tuff N Stuff" - Yes Giantess from 7" (2009)

Yes Giantees on MySpace

Up next in this Feetz to Da Beatz mix is Friends Electric, a group comprised of talented young lads from Neath, South Wales. One blogger described them as "a blend of seriously radio-friendly pop-candy and dance-synth/electro." The band's electro, keys glazed pop is hard to ignore, and is among our favorite new dance bands. Remarkably, like Yes Giantees, Friends Electric are unsigned. The band is currently working on new material for a 2010 LP, but no release date has been announced.

"Beep Beep Beep" - Friends Electric, single release

"Hours" - Friends Electric, single release

Friends Electric on MySpace

Popular Posts This Week:

2010 Releases You Might Have Missed: Boy Eats Drum Machine, Phantogram, ArpLine, BlueBrain, Wakey! Wakey!

Disbanded: Band Break-Ups, Vol. I: New Faces, The Fake Fictions and The Catholic Comb

Best New Releases of the Week: Fang Island, Shout Out Louds, Shearwater, Holly Miranda, Blood Feathers, Quasi and More

San Francisco's Noise Pop 2010 Festival Guide: Artists, Schedules, Trailers, Venues, Ticket Prices and Resources

Some of the Best Tracks of 2009: Radiohead, Girls, Sunset Rubdown, Flaming Lips, Deer Tick, WWPJP and More

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   February 27, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Every Tuesday, we publish the Best New Releases of the Week. However, there are always releases that we don't have time or room to feature, or that we don't hear about until after their initial release date. This playlist features 2010 releases that we're featuring for the first time. They include new tracks from Boy Eats Drum Machine, Phantogram, The Exhibition, ArpLine, Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, Charlie Alex March, Bluebrain, Schooner, and Wakey!, Wakey!.

"Hoop + Wire" - Boy Eats Drum Machine from Hoop + Wire - released Feb. 16th
Boy Eats Drum Machine on MySpace

"Bright New Worlds" - The Exhibition from s/t EP - released Feb. 22nd
The Exhibition on MySpace

"When I'm Small" - Phantogram from Eyelid Movies - released Feb. 9th
Phantogram on MySpace

"Parts Unknown" - ArpLine from Travel Book - released Feb. 16th
ArpLine on MySpace

"Something, Somewhere, Sometime" - Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore from Dear Companion - released Feb. 16th
Daniel Martin Moore on MySpace
Ben Sollee on MySpace

"Ten by Ten" - Bluebrain from Soft Power - released Feb. 9th

"Twenty Two" - Wakey! Wakey! from Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said... - released Feb. 2nd
Wakey! Wakey! on MySpace

"Feel Better" - Schooner from Duke Kee Sessions - released Feb. 9th
Schooner on MySpace

"Black Glass" - Greg Gibson from Black Glass - released Jan. 17th
Greg Gibson on MySpace

"Carot No. 9" - Charlie Alex March from Home/Hidden - released Feb. 16th
Charlie Alex March on MySpace

Recent Popular Posts and Playlists:

Best New Releases of the Week: Bear Hands, Local Natives, The Hush Now, Field Music, Son Lux, The Good Listeners

Best New Releases of the Week: Fang Island, Shout Out Louds, Shearwater, Holly Miranda, Blood Feathers, Quasi and More

More Great Songs from 2009: Le Loup, The Perms, Jet, Netherfriends, The Vision, Loney Dear and More

Some of the Best Tracks of 2009: Radiohead, Girls, Sunset Rubdown, Flaming Lips, Deer Tick, WWPJP and More

Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009 Vol. III: Furcast, Ape School, Regrets and Brunettes, Lower Heaven and Pure Ecstasy

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   February 26, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Artwork by Toang Wei Shang

Two times fourteen. That's how we decided to do this year's Valentines playlist series - two playlists of 14 songs each. It takes two to love and Feb. 14 is the day. Sure, it's corny, but hell, we think we've put together a pair of mixes featuring songs you love, or might love for the first time, spanning the history of rock from the mid-1960s to some of the best indie rock of today.

"Real Love" - Beach House from Teen Dream (2010)

"Say Yes" - Elliott Smith from Either/Or (1997)

"Book of Love" - Magnetic Fields from 69 Love Songs (1999)

"Without Your Love" - Roger Daltrey from McVicar (1980)

"Kissing The Lipless" - The Shins from Chutes Too Narrow (2003)

"Our Last Time As One" - Essex Chanel from Love is Proximity (2009)

"Something Better Beginning" - The Kinks from Kinda Kinks (1966)

"It Looks Like Love" - Josh Rouse from Subtitulo (2006)

"Throw Your Arms Around Me" (Jon Archer) - Neil Finn from Encore (1999)

"Friday I'm in Love" - The Cure from Wish (1992)

"So Long Marianne" - Leonard Cohen from The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1968)

"Think I'm in Love" - Beck from The Information (2006)

"As You Turn To Go" - The 6ths from Hyacinths & Thistles (2000)

"Angela" - Bill Ricchini from Tonight I Burn Brightly (2005)

Dont' miss the second Valentine mix that will be posted on Saturday, Feb. 13th. In the meantime, you can also check out last year's Valentines Playlist Mix.

Don't forget to show your love for your favorite artists and bands by purchasing their music, going to their shows, snapping up some merchandise and telling your friends. All songs are displayed for promotional reasons only and are the sole property of their respective owners.

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   February 10, 2010    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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freelancewhalesSong titles that include names in them are nothing new; there are literally thousands of such songs that span the history of music. This playlist focuses on mostly indie rock songs that fall into this category. This is the second Names in Songs mix (see Mix One featuring Throw Me The Statue, M83, Deastro and more).

The opening track in this latest mix is from Freelance Whales, one of the biggest "buzz" bands of the second half of 2009. In fact, Freelance Whales kick off a five-week tour with Fanfarlo tonight at Moe's in Englewood, Colorado. This mix also includes sweet tracks from Loney Dear, The Kinks, The Border Cops, Conor Oberst, Animal Collective, Yo La Tengo, The Fratellis, Gordie Tentrees, Red House Painters, The Dodos, Sunfold, Apples in Stereo and a double-shot from Travis.

"Hannah" - Freelance Whales from Weathervane (2009)

"Danny Callahan" - Conor Oberst from s/t debut (2008)

"Wicked Anabella" - The Kinks from The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

"Derek" - Animal Collective from Strawberry Jam (2007)

"Allie & Donnie" - The Border Cops from Musical Beatings for Your Inner Metrosexual (2007)

"I Am John" - Loney Dear from Loney, Noir (2005)

"Madeline" - Yo La Tengo from And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (2000)

"My Friend John" - The Fratellis from Here We Stand (2008)

"Alfred" - Gordie Tentrees from Mercy Or Sin (2009)

"Find Me, Ruben Olivares" - Red House Painters from Shanti Project Collection (1999)

"Jodi" - The Dodos from Visiter (2008)

"Sara The American Winter" - Sunfold from Toy Tugboats (2008)

"Stephen Stephen" - Apples in Stereo from Stephen Stephen (2006)

"Sarah" - Travis from J. Smith (2008)
Double-shot: "J. Smith" - Travis from J. Smith (2008)

Popular Posts This Week:

The Musical Genius of Singer-Songwriter Will Stratton

Today's Best Indie Rock Releases: Zack Martin, Anders Ponders, Tommy T, Pants Yell and Bears In Heaven

The Interestingly Eccentric Indie Rock of Brooklyn's One Man Band Brad Oberhofer

New Videos from Grizzly Bear, Yo La Tengo, No Age, Beck and The Record Club and The Valentines

Indie Cover Songs, Vol. V: The Format, Ruby Weapon, Radiohead, Broken Social Scene, Dr. Dog & Band of Horses


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   November 13, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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batforlasheshalloweenGhoul evening ghost, goblins and vampires: here is the second to last mix of indie rock songs with a Halloween theme. The entire series of Halloween Indie Rock Songs has been a smash, with thousands of people digging through over 120 songs. From everything we've seen, this is the largest collection of indie Halloweenish songs anywhere on the web. Mauh-hah-haah.

The final mix will be published tomorrow, Halloween Day. By then, we'll have completed the goal to publish 13 Halloween-themed playlist mixes, each featuring 13 hand-picked songs each.

"The Wizard" - Bat For Lashes

"Cemetery Polka" - Tom Waits

"Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" - Wolf Parade

"That Ghost" - The Red Bow

"Vampire"- Pink Mountaintops

"Witch" - Maps and Atlases

"Halloween" - Dead Kennedys

"Dead and Broken" - Godsmack

"I Walked With The Zombie" - Elf Power

"Season of The Witch" - Donovan

"Cobwebs" - Ryan Adams

"Monsters" - Electric President

"Sirens of the Apocalypse" - Martin Bisi

Extra Treat: "Diablo Rojo" - Rodrigo y Gabriela

See all of the Halloween playlists.

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   October 30, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Bat For Lashes' Natasha Khan

Today we are publishing two 13 song Halloweenish indie rock playlists, leaving five more, four of which will be published as doubles as October 31st fast approaches. First up is a Bat For Lashes' cover of The Cure's original haunting post punk song, "A Forest."

Last week, Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor released his debut solo 7" single using the moniker CANT via his own Terrible Records. Gorilla vs. Bear provides this track which it calls "Taylor's gorgeous and haunting (and aptly titled) contribution" to the Halloween indie music collection. Don't miss Volume VII that was published earlier today. All the Halloween playlist volumes are available here.

"A Forest" (The Cure) - Bat For Lashes

"Ghosts" - CANT

"I Want To Kill" - The Crocodiles

"Brandenburg (Monster Island)" - Beirut

"Snakes Got A Leg" - Sunset Rubdown

"Teen Creeps" - No Age

"Calling All Skeletons" - Alkaline Trio

"Here Comes the Phantom" - The Clientele

"Skulls and Flesh and More" - Fields

"Hunchback" - Kurt Vile

"Our Haunt" - Palomar

"Whistlin' Past The Graveyard" - Tom Waits

"King Kong" - Herself

Extra Treat: "Blackie's Dead" - Scarlett Johansson & Pete Yorn

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   October 25, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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deastroOakland's electro-pop prodigy Deastro

How's your Halloween playlist coming along? Well, here are 13 more Halloweenish songs for you to consider, including the following tracks and treats from Deastro, Pavement, Band of Horses, Tegan and Sara, The Fratellis, Nirvana, Rodrigo Y Gabriella, Explosions in the Sky, Bon Iver, Sonic Youth, Ra Ra Riot, Modest Mouse, Jarvis Cocker and Colin James. You can also listen to, and download from, volumes 1 & 2. Enjoy.

"The Shaded Forests" - Deastro

"The Hexx" - Pavement

"Wicked Gil" - Band of Horses

"Lake of Fire" - Nirvana

"Walking With A Ghost" - Tegan and Sara

"Chelsea Dagger" - The Fratellis

"Buster Voodoo" - Rodrigo Y Gabriella

"Welcome Ghosts" - Explosions in the Sky

"Creature Fear" - Bon Iver

"Ghosts Under Rocks" - Ra Ra Riot

"Spitting Venom" - Modest Mouse

"Halloween" - Sonic Youth

"Black Magic" - Jarvis Cocker

Extra Treat: "Howlin Wolf Boogie" - Colin James

Other Posts/Playlists You May Enjoy:

In Dee Mail: New Music from Beautiful Small Machines, Looking Glass, Inkwell, Lemonwilde, Cool Devices & More

Halloween Indie Rock Songs, Vol. II: Dead Weather, Flaming Lips, Sufjan Stevens, The Kinks, Radiohead, Cut Copy & More

In Dee Mail: One Man Band Series with Washed Out, Stuart Newman and Labrador Labratories

Halloween Indie Rock Songs, Vol I: Arctic Monkeys, Spoon, The Kissaway Trail, Flaming Lips, Beach House, Cat Power...

New Indie Releases From Vampire Weekend, No Age, Devendra Banhart, Neon Indian, Spiral Beach & More

New Music Videos from The Bright Light Social Hour, Pearl Jam, The Flaming Lips and IndieDoc Film 'East of Sunset'

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   October 12, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Video for Good Old War's "Coney Island," listened to over half million times on MySpace.

We pretty much drilled down into the best indie songs of 2008 for most of last year and the first couple of months of this year. But, even this far into 2009, the site stats show a lot of interest in 2008 indie music from regular visitors to IRC.

Therefore, thus begins a three-part series of Last Call for Great Indie Songs of 2008. Many of the songs in this playlist mix series were discovered in 2009 thanks to recommendations from others.

You can also check out and download tons of great 2008 indie songs after reviewing this playlist. There's a good chance you'll find some new music and bands that you may have never heard of before. Enjoy and support the independent music movement! Check out your favorite bands' official web sites, tell friends, buy their albums and go to shows.

"Coney Island" - Good Old War
Bonus: "Looking For Shelter" - Good Old War

"The Baltic Sea" - The Social Services

"Everybody Say" - Takka Takka

"Water, Here" - Bodies of Water

"No Excuses (The Autumn Cantata)" - Air France

"My Lonesome Only Friend" - Rx Bandits

"Oviedo" - Blind Pilot

"Factories" - Winter Gloves

"St. Cecilia" - The Swimmers

"The Song Entire" - You Me & Iowa

"Guns & Ammo" - Minus The Bear

"Pastures" - We The They

"St. Cecilia" - The Swimmers

"Chain" - School of Seven Bells

"Love in Our Hearts" - Electric Touch

"Hard Feelings" - The Constantines

"Farther Away" - Apple Bros

"Ships In A Bottle" - Butch Walker

"Exclamation Love" - Ariel Abshire

"From Stardust to Sentience" - High Places

"Rockist" - School of Language

"Strand the Test of Time" - Wilderness

"Summer of Hate" - Crocodiles

The second installment of this series will focus exclusively on hot songs from 2008 sent (usually during 2009) to IRC directly by bands and artists. The playlist will basically be a fairly large special edition of the on-going In Dee Mail profile/playlist series.

If you're looking for more of the best indie songs of 2008, check out the following pages:

- Best Indie Rock Songs of 2008 - Free, legal MP3s of some of the best songs of 2008 from bands and artists like The Hush Now, Pete and the Pirates, Annuals, The Sound Arrows, The Very Most, Thao, Born Ruffians, Cut Off Your Hands, TV on the Radio, White Denim, Mates of State, British Air Power, Mates of State, The Ruby Suns, Ra Ra Riot and dozens and dozens more.

- Best 2008 Indie Albums - Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen, MGMT, The Little Ones and Melpo Mene, plus a listing of the best indie and alternative rock albums of 2008.


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   September 18, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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songs about the moonTonight is the August full moon. There is something particularly romantic and special about a full moon on a summer's night. Since the time of the first humans, the moon has been the subject of man's fascination, wonder and curiosity, inspiring entire civilizations and fueling the work of countless writers, scientists, artists, musicians, and lovers for centuries.

The phases of the moon have served as the basis for calendars, religious practices, age-old customs and more, and have had a profound influence on the shaping of human civilization. Nowadays, we know that our moon is not much more than a giant rock. Yet that fact has never lessened its beauty, its magnetic power and its significance to people worldwide.

Just last month, the world celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing. For those of us who did not get to experience that monumental moment in human history, it is hard to understand what a thrilling time it was in world that was increasingly troubled. So with this being the first full moon night since all of the media coverage of the moon landing anniversary, it seems like a good time to make a playlist featuring great songs about the moon.

While this site focuses most of the time solely on indie music, from time to time, it's nice to mix it up and include great music from classic rock, folk, jazz, hip hop, blues, new wave and so on.

Casting out a big net like that when putting together a playlist mix of songs about the moon creates a particular challenge. This is not meant to be a definitive list of the best moon songs, but hopefully it comes close. Next month, on September's full moon night (Sept. 4), the second moon mix - featuring songs that could not fit on this list - will be published.

"Moon And Moon" - Bat For Lashes from Two Suns (2009)

"Silver Moons" - Sunset Rubdown from Dragonslayer (2009)

"Climbing To The Moon" (Jon Brion Remix) - Eels from Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006, Vol. 1

"Tokyo Moon" - Windmill from Puddle City Racing Lights (2009)

"I Wish I Was The Moon" - Neko Case from Blacklisted (2002)

"Sail To The Moon" - Radiohead from Hail To The Thief (2003)

"Man on the Moon" - R.E.M. from Automatic for the People (1992)

"Red Moon" - The Walkmen from You & Me (2008)

"My Moon My Man" - Feist from The Reminder (2007)

"Walking On The Moon" - The Police from Reggatta de Blanc (1979)

"If We Can Land A Man On The Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart" - Beulah from When Your Heartstrings Break (1999)

"Tahitian Moon" - Porno For Pyros from Good God's Urge (1996)

"Drunk On The Moon" - Tom Waits Live on KWFM (1975)

"Index Moon" - Grand Archives from The Grand Archives (2008)

"Blue Moon" - Atlas Sound from Covers Two Songs For My Dad EP (2007)

"Lovers From The Moon" - The Magnetic Fields from The Wayward Bus/Distanct Plastic Trees (1991)

"New Moon" - Sambassadeur from New Moon (2005)

"Moon Pulls" - Mum from Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy (2007)

"Madame Moon" - Zooey, unreleased (2009)

Because there are so many notable songs about our moon, it will be necessary to follow up this playlist with another moon mix next month featuring artists and bands like These United States, Mount Eerie, Melt Banana, Pavement, Odawas, Belle & Sebastian, Great Lake Swimmers, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Cloud Cult, Soundpool, Deerhunter and more.

Did You Know?: Did you know that because our luna has a synchronous rotation with Earth, we will never see the "dark side of the moon" looking up at the night sky.

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   August 6, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Some time has passed since the second installment of The Great Unknowns, a popular playlist series that highlights great songs, and albums, by relatively obscure indie and alternative musicians and bands.

Kicking off this playlist mix is the rarely heard song "Smother + Evil=Hurt" from the Danish band The Kissaway Trail. "Smother + Evil=Hurt" is a catchy pop rock tune with some stellar lyrics. Not sure why this band isn't a bigger blip on the proverbial 'indie music radar,' but then again, based on the cascading tide of independent music being released all of the time, there are many talented indie artists and bands that even the so-called indie blogs miss.

The second song in this mix is the title track from Brooklyn indie band Creaky Boards' debut album released last year - one which somehow bypassed a lot of people, including the standout track "Now I'm In The City" - a song that sounds much like The Beach Boys repackaged for city life, rather than the beach.

Western States Motel is the moniker of singer and songwriter Carl Jordan, a one-man band from Los Angeles who's 2000 debut received little attention in comparison to it's larger-than-life brilliance. Jordan was also one of the first featured artists when Indie Rock Cafe launched in 2006.

Next up is AM/FM and the song "A Best Man" from their 2001 album Mutilate Us. AM/FM are a Philadelphia post punk duo featuring musician Brian Sokel - who played with the band Franklin - and former Of Science's Michael Parsell. There are many good songs on the album and one of the most memorable is "Best Man (Put My Girlfriend On Fire)".

Hexes and Ohs is a Montreal duo of former high school sweethearts Edmund Lam and Heidi Donnelly. After transitioning from a pop quartet called Jolly Bean to an electronic band A Vertical Mosaic, Lam and Donnelly ultimately formed Hexes and Ohs in 2004, morphing the sounds of each former band into their own style of '80s electro-pop. The track featured in this mix is "Alive Until Saturday Night" from their 2008 album Upstairs Recordings.

Paper Route is an alternative rock band that released an album last year "Are We All Forgotten" that won critical acclaim in the so-called indie blosophere. The song featured here is the title track from the album.

Earlier this year IRC featured indie band The Lonely Forest who's debut album released back in February was a delightful surprise. From the first listen, it was crystal clear just what an achievement the album is, and over time, it can grow on you, with each listen verifying The Lonely Forest status as a great unknown band.

Arlington, Virginia band Barcelona's 200X album Simon Basic was one of the most under rated independent releases of the year - full of brilliant post punk influenced indie pop songs. The album's was named after Simons' BASIC programming language, developed for the Commodore 64. Featured in this mix is the memorable track, "Why Do You Have So Much Fun Without Me?" was chosen for this mix. The band's music is often called geeky; and no wonder with songs like "The Downside of Computer Camp", "I Have the Password to Your Shell Account", and "Paging System Operator".

Canadian indie pop band Two Hours Traffic have been compared to 80's pop band Big Star, but THT band members prefer to pick Nick Lowe as their primary. For this playlist mix, I chose the song "Stuck For The Summer". Enjoy.

"Smother + Evil=Hurt" - The Kissaway Trail from The Kissaway Trail (2007)

"Now I'm In The City" - Creaky Boards from Brooklyn Is Love (2008)

"Oh World" - Western States Motel from Painted Birds Flying in the Orange Mirror Sun (2008)

"A Best Man" - AM/FM from Mutilate Us (2001)

"Alive Until Saturday Night" - Hexes and Ohs from Upstairs (2008)

"Are We All Forgotten" - Paper Route from Are We All Forgotten (2008)

"We Sing In Time" - The Lonely Forest from We Sing The Body Electric! (2009)

"Why Do You Have So Much Fun Without Me?" - Barcelona from Simon Basic (2006)

"Stuck For The Summer" - Two Hours Traffic from Little Jabs (2007)

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   July 18, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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New York City has been a mecca for popular music going all the way back to Harlem's Cotton Club and greats like Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show, the rise in popularity of rhythm and blues, the folk rock movement of the early 1960s, spurred largely by Bob Dylan, followed by The British Invasion (The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks) and Fillmore East and psychedelic rock, the advent of funk and soul, disco and Studio 54, and successive waves of the punk, pop, rock, rap, hip hop, indie and the list goes on and on. Whatever music genre you're looking for - from acid jazz to shoe gaze, Mississippi blues to garage rock, city-slicked bluegrass to Broadway musicals, New York, the world's music capital, has it all.

From The Velvet Underground to The Ramones, Billie Holiday to Simon and Garfunkel, The Strokes to Animal Collective the list of iconic New York musicians and bands is mind-boggling, but not more so then the sheer number of songs recorded in the past nearly 100 years that reference New York in some way, either in the track title or song lyrics.

In this first installment of three special playlist mixes, IRC features some of our favorite songs about NYC. This mix is an extension of the popular State of Music playlist mixes, an on-going series that has focused mostly on songs that are about the 50 states. In time, there will be more mixes of songs about cities around the U.S. and the world. But right now it's New York time.

"NYC, Gone, Gone" - Conor Oberst from Conor Oberst (2008)

"Walk On The Wild Side" - Lou Reed from Transformer (1972)

"New York State Of Mind" - Billy Joel from Turnstiles (1976)

"Hello Brooklyn" - Jay Z and Lil Wayne from American Gangster (2007)

"New York City Heat" - Dead Heart Bloom from Chelsea Diaries (2007)

"The Last Tango In Brooklyn" - Frightened Rabbit from TLB4 CD2 (2009)

"Piazza, New York Catcher" - Belle & Sebastian from Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)

"Fairy Tale Of New York" (Pogues Cover) - Stars from Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (2005)

"Brooklyn" - Creaky Boards from Brooklyn is Love (2008)

"New York, New York" - Cat Power from Jukebox (2008)

"New York City" - They Might Be Giants from Factory Showdown (1996)

"Harlem Sunrise" - Rainbow Arabia from Kabukimono (2009)

"Chelsea Hotel" - Leonard Cohen from So Long, Marianne (1999)

"New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" - LCD Soundsystem from Sound of Silver (2007)

"Brooklyn" - Blue Train from No Free Lunch (2002)

See Songs About New York, Mix II

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   June 20, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Orcas are just one of many threatened species in the world's oceans (photo:

The planet faces a number of dire environmental threats, not only the problem of global warming. The oceans of our good earth are threatened, from the Atlantic and Pacific to the Arctic and Indian oceans. The ridiculous theory that floated around for decades was that the oceans were too big and deep to be affected by man's polluting ways and from the pillage and plunder that has been wagged against them for the past century.

On Monday, June 8, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people worldwide, will honor, in various ways, World Ocean Day. Started in 1992, and given an official declaration this year by the United Nations, World Ocean Day is a symbolic gesture to raise awareness and encourage conservation and preservation of the oceans by governments and people everywhere. (See World Ocean Days by country)

In celebration of World Ocean Day, here's a little mix with the hopes of raising even just a little awareness about how we all can turn the tide back in the oceans' (and thus our own) favor.

"Oceans & Streams" - The Black Keys from Attack & Release (2008)

"Oceans" - The Format from Dog Problems (2006)

"Delicious Ocean" - Love and Rockets from Lift (1998)

"Diamond Sea" - Sonic Youth from Washing Machine (1995)

"Sailing Man" - Neil Halstead from Seasons (2002)

"Ocean" - Velvet Underground, unreleased (1969)

"Out At Sea" - Pete Kilpatrick from Yesterday Love (2005)

"Ocean Breathes Salty" - Sun Kil Moon from Tiny Cities (2005)

"Oil Sea" - Vampire Hands from Virgin Dust American Lips (2009)

"Pacific Ocean Blues" - Dennis Wilson from Pacific Ocean Blue (2008)


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   June 6, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Nonesuch Records will re-issue a remastered OMGCD this week

In April, a new playlist, "State of Music Playlist Mix," featuring great indie songs most people have never heard, kicked off featuring songs about towns, cities, landmarks and places unique to the United States.

As an avid consumer and collector of mostly independent and alternative music, there is nearly an endless supply of great songs related specifically to geographic history and culture. Later this summer, the first geo-mix about places around the world will be featured, so keep an ear out for that.

Remember you can play and stream all of the songs uninterrupted on any page of this site by simply using the no-frills embedded Yahoo media player (the best such player on the web).

So, to the music. The first song in this mix is from the accomplished Providence, Rhode Island indie folk-rock band The Low Anthem. The song "To Ohio" is one of those songs that gets your attention and stays with you; and it's sort of about Ohio. In March, the band signed with Nonesuch Records, which will reissue a remastered version of their 2008 album Charlie Darwin, Oh My God. This song is the album's opening track.

"To Ohio" - The Low Anthem from Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
The Low Anthem Official Site

Brooklyn's Jeff Baron, Sasha Bell and Chris Ziter are the members of the indie folk and pop band The Essex Green, one of the best underrated bands in recent years. The band's song "Sin City" interestingly contains mentions of Pittsburg and Ohio, but most people know Sin City as Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Sin City" - Essex Green from Cannibal Sea (2006)
Essex Green Official Site

Philly's indie band The A-Sides got off to a good start when they formed in 2002 as Rough Trade picked up their first 7" for a widely-circulated compilation. The band got the mojo they needed to work with producer Brian McTear (Matt Pond PA, Mazarin) on The A-Sides first full length debut in 2005, Hello, Hello, an album widely hailed by critics and music fans for its eclectic pop arrangements and catchy, memorable songs.

The pick for this mix, "A Florida Grove", is featured on the band's 2007 follow-up release, Silver Storms. In October of last year, fans learned via the band's MySpace page that The A-Sides were disbanding to create a new band called Sun Airway.

"A Florida Grove" - The A-Sides from Silver Storms (2007)
The A-Sides Official Site

Since it was Sufjan Stevens that kind of motivated me to begin publishing a 'state of music' playlist mix (I have been organizing related mixes for years), it only makes sense to feature another one of his songs in the State of Music Playlist Mix series, this time around the Motor City inspirational song "Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head".

"Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)" - Sufjan Stevens from Greetings From Michigan
Sufjan Steves MySpace Page

Minneapolis indie rock band Tapes N Tapes formed in 2003 and found success early on with the release of their self-titled EP in 2004. Soon they were opening gigs for bands like the Streets, Metric, and the Futureheads.

While a number of songs on the band debut full-length The Loon could be consider for this playlist mix ("Manitoba" and "Omaha" to be specific) it is the catchy tempo, spiffy keyboards and dramatic shifts on the track "In Houston" which best encapsulates Tapes N Tapes sound.

"In Houston" - Tapes N Tapes in The Loon (2005)
Tapes N Tapes on MySpace

Check back for more playlists, including new mixes for State of Music playlist series. Next up: A special indie rock mix dedicated to New York City.

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   June 2, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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A good song doesn't necessarily have to fit a format, especially when it comes to the time lapse of a song. However, the mega-obsessed music industry has pretty much trained millions of people for decades that a song between three to four minutes is the perfect cookie-cutter formula for a hit record. Huh.

There are plenty of songs that can make a big impact in two minutes or less, especially in the independent and alternative music arena. The following are a collection of songs that come in, do their thing and get out. Nothing wrong with that. But too much of a short thing isn't always satisfactory, especially when it is something that you want to last longer.

Nevertheless, these songs each find their own way to make a short song work well. Included in this playlist are and the now disbanded Phoenix rockers The Format, the mostly unknown solo artist Super XX Man, the under-rated indie pop band Okay, 90's alt band Bells Of and London's new eccentric purveyors of pop Micachu and The Shapes .

"Closer" - The Format, unreleased (2007)

"Waiting For Your Return" - Super XX Man from Vol. IX (2000)

"Only" - Okay from Huggable Dust (2008)

"Star And Sun" - Bells Of from Two Dos Or Not 2 (1995)

"Lips" - Micachu and The Shapes from Jewellery (2009)

Other playlist series you might enjoy:

- The Great Unknowns
- The Songs of Spring
- Cover Me Indie Songs


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   May 17, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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peter von poehl

The response to the Songs of Spring playlist series was something else! Therefore, since it's still spring, why not listen to some more cool songs related to, or reminiscent of, spring?

Featured for this the last playlist for this particular series are Peter Von Poehl, Airborne Toxic Event, Stan Getz and Matt Pond PA. I'm so busy know with work and other things right now that there's no time to write a 'real' review. Hopefully you'll find these songs refreshing. Enjoy.

"Wombara" - Peter Von Poehl from May Day (2009)

"Something New" - The Airborne Toxic Event from s/t debut (2008)

"Spring Is Here" - Stan Getz from Jazz After Dark compilation (2004)

"Summer Is Coming" - Matt Pond PA from The Nature Of Maps (2002)


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   May 12, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Mothers are recognized one day of the year, but their love, support and dedication are every day of the year. You know who you are. ;)

Since I like sharing thematic playlists of great music with you, and introducing music lovers to bands they didn't know of previously, it's appropriate to feature a Mother's Day Playlist. Happy Mother's Day.

"Mothers Of The Rodeo" - Iron & Wine from Rare & Unreleased (2002)

"Some Mother's Son" - The Kinks from Arthur (Decline and Fall of the British Empire) from 1969

"My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist" - The Decemberists from Five Songs EP (2003)

"Good With The Mothers" - Melpo Mene, unreleased, year unknown

"Gold Star Mothers" - Hammock from Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow (2008)

"Mother and I" - The Wonder Stuff from The Eight Legged Groove Machine (1988)

"Oh Mother" - Mull Historical Society from Us (2003)

"Mother of God" - The Close Lobsters from Foxheads Stalk This Land (1987)


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   May 10, 2009    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Spring is the time of year when you want to listen to more music - walk in the park with your favorite songs humming your ears, discover new music with your girlfriend (or boyfriend) and hang out at a BBQ party with friends to catch up on the latest and greatest new releases. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of songs about spring time, or that 'sound like' spring.

This playlist features songs from Club 8, The Flaming Lips, The Boy Least Likely To and Afternoon Naps.

"Spring Came, Rain Fell" - Club 8 from Spring Came, Rain Fell (2002)

"Sun Will Shine" - Akron/Family from Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free (2009)

"Can't Stop the Spring" - The Flaming Lips from Oh My Gawd...The Flaming Lips (1987)

"Argyle Spring" - Afternoon Naps from Sunbeamed (2009)

"A Balloon On A Broken String" - The Boy Least Likely To from The Laws of the Playground (2009)

The first playlist for Songs of Spring includes songs from Annuals, Spinning Wheels, Fancy Dress Party, The Postmarks and more. The upcoming Volume III will feature Airborne Toxic Event, Peter Von Poehl, Matt Pond PA and Stan Getz.

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   May 7, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Photo from West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, California

Almost everyone, and everything, celebrates the arrival of spring. It's a time of rejuvenation, optimism, joy and warmer, longer days.

Plus, it's an excuse to create a playlist featuring great indie and alternative songs about spring. This installment features Annuals, Spinning Wheels, The Fancy Dress Party, The Boy Least Likely To, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The Postmarks.

"Springtime" - Annuals from Such Fun (2008)

"Allergy Season" - Spinning Wheels from Master (2008)

"Egg & Spoon Race" - The Fancy Dress Party from Off The Beaten Tracks (2008)

"I Box Up All The Butterflies" - The Boy Least Likely To from The Law Of The Playground (2009)

"Sunshine and Clouds" - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah from s/t debut (2005)

"Winter Spring Summer Fall" - The Postmarks from s/t debut (2007)

The second installment of the Songs of Spring playlist series will feature tracks from The Flaming Lips, Akon/Family, The Airborne Toxic Event, Stan Getz and Matt Pond PA.


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   May 5, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Current and upcoming releases (US dates)

12/7/09 Ólafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909
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2/23/20 Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
3/2/10 Rogue Wave - Permalight
3/2/10 The Whigs - In The Dark
3/9/10 Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks
3/9/10 Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks
3/16/10 Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
3/16/10 The Whigs - In The Dark
3/22/10 Jónsi - Go
3/23/10 She & Him - Volume 2
5/4/10 The New Pornographers - Together

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