indie rock cafe

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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This is the second installment of The Great Unknowns featuring awesome songs from relatively unknown independent, unsigned or largely obscured music artists and bands. Showcasing relatively unknown but talented artists and bands lies at the core of the mission for Indie Rock Cafe.

The songs in this playlist mix series come from all types of sources - music sent by email and post, suggestions from regular readers and discoveries from other blogs and an enormously gigantic hard drive. Over the past year or so, I have been creating a massive playlist called The Great Unknowns. The first set of relatively unknown great indie songs featured Eric Bachman, Bill Ricchini, Aqueduct, Slowdive and American Analog Set.

For those of you who are well informed on indie and alternative music, some of the bands and songs featured in these playlists will not be unknown, but hopefully you'll agree they are great tunes.

"Stanley vs. Hannah" - Alamo Race Track from Black Cat John Brown (2007)

"Night After Night" - The Sounds from Dying To Say This To You (2006)

"Imaginary Girl" - Silver Seas from High Society (2006)

"Sisters at the Sound of Dawn" - Virgins of the Birds from Mixed Choir (2007)

"Crooked Legs" - The Acorn from Glory Hope Mountain (2007)

Stay tuned. More from this series, plus music from the Coachella line-up and much more great new music to tell you about in the pipeline. See a previous installment of The Great Unknowns.


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   April 17, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Eric Bachmann (seated) and band members of disbanded Crooked Fingers

We have a new musical journey to embark on. A common refrain on this blog is the fact there is a ton of amazing music out there that most people have never heard, or will never hear, if not for the miracles of the Internet. Sometimes it’s just one song by an obscure band. Other times it is an entire album full of amazing music that somehow slips under the radar.

In this new playlist series, "The Great Unknowns", you'll learn about musicians, bands, songs and albums that have gone largely unnoticed for whatever unfortunate reason 0r combination thereof - poor timing, bad management, band problems, lousy marketing, lack of focus and the list goes on.

During the past couple of decades, indie and alternative music have gained a wider audience. Much of this can be credited to the promotion of music by music lovers via music via the Internet. Songs featured in this series do not reflect new indie or alternative music (check the New Releases or MP3s sections of this site for those) but instead music released generally between the years 1990 to 2008.

One of the main purposes for this blog for more than two years has been to bring unknown or under appreciated music to the ears of more people, and to highlight the best of the best known indie and alternative artists and bands as well. If you know more than a couple songs on this list, then you must be a real indie die-hard. Enjoy the first installment of The Great Unknowns.

"Man 'O War" - Eric Bachman from To The Races (2006)

"Rain Parade" - Bill Ricchini from Ordinary Time (2002)

"Suggestion Box" - Aqueduct from I Sold Gold (2005)

"Alison" - Slowdive from Souvlaki (1993)

"Punk as Fuck" - American Analog Set from Know By Heart (2001)

Check back, grab the Feed Me Indie feed or follow IRC on Twitter to get the latest on new indie rock releases, bands and songs, plus the best of classic indie and alternative rock.

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   February 26, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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