indie rock cafe

Hey Everyone:

You may have already noticed that Indie Rock Cafe is getting a total redesign. Hopefully, you like it more than the old design; if you haven't seen it yet, check out and let me know.

Advancements will also include more information and access to the newest releases, indie and alt rock news, venue and cafe locations, concert and festival listings, and more MP3s, streams, podcasts and music videos from the greatest and latest independent (with some mainstream sprinkled about) and alternative rock artists and groups.

Check out the new site design and content (still on-going but mostly all is good).

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   January 28, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Some rock critics argue that 2007 was not a great year for music.

Maybe that's because many of them don't listen to, or appreciate, independent and alternative rock. There are plenty of excellent songs from 2007.

Here is IRC's third installment of "Great, Best, Favorite Songs" from 2007:

- Add Your Light To Mine Baby - Lucky Soul

- Aly, Walk With Me - The Raveonettes (pictured to the right)

- And I Remember Every Kiss - Jens Lekman

- Du Og Meg - Beirut

- Heart It Races - Architecture in Helsinki

- If You Found This It's Probably Too Late - Arctic Monkeys

- Kid on My Shoulders - White Rabbits

- No One Would Riot For Less - Bright Eyes

- Now, Now - St. Vincent

- Oh Be One - Oh No! Oh My!

- Our Life Is Not a Movie or Is It? - Okkervil River

- Pioneer to the Falls - Interpol

- Snow Tip Cap Mountain - The Octopus Project

- Start a War - The National

- Suffer for Fashion - Of Montreal

More to come Tuesday.

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While this blog is primarily focused on independent and alternative music, there are some mainstream bands that are too talented to ignore and who somehow seem to transcend all of the trappings that normally taint once-indie bands that 'crossover'.

mp3: Heaven Forbid - The Fray
How To Save A Life - The Fray

According to The Fray's official website, the Denver-based band are taking time off after nearly two years on the road. A new full-length release is expected this some time in mid-2008.

The Fray's 2003 independent debut EP Reason has been re-released. The new 'digitally-enhanced' re-issue of Reason includes all of the recordings not found on their 2006 double-platinum, worldwide blockbuster How to Save a Life.

There are some videos, photographs and an online journal of the band's time on the road, but on the whole, considering the 'fame' of the band, their website offers surprisingly little for fans.

You'd think Sony/Epic would put some of its immense resources into creating a website that would at least make an attempt to 'wow' fans. There's not even one MP3 offered on the studio's Fray page, but if you sign-up for the mailing list from their 'official' website, you apparently get one free download. Whoopie! (play smack audio clip here)

But that website is on the U.K. domain system because both and more importantly,, are taken. Apparently the owner of the latter was either never offered any money for the domain or is holding out.

So, here are some other Fray websites:

MySpace - The Fray
AllMusic - The Fray
Facebook's iLike - The Fray


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   January 22, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Organizers of the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have released the official line-up for this year's event, slated for April 25-27, 2008.

Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters, Kraftwerk, Portishead, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie, Love and Rockets, Spiritulalized, Hot Chip, Madness and Fatboy Slim are just some of the headliners for the three-day music fest and art show. Nothing that great really.

Here is the full line-up in its entirety:

April 25 – Jack Johnson, the Verve, the Raconteurs, the Breeders, Fatboy Slim, Tegan and Sara, Madness, the Swell Season, the National, Animal Collective, Slightly Stoopid, Mum, Pendulum, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Stars, Battles, Aesop Rock, Midnight Juggernauts, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Minus the Bear, Spank Rock, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobies Pip, Diplo, Adam Freeland, Santo Gold, Jens Lekman, the John Butler Trio, Vampire Weekend, Dan Deacon, Architecture in Helsinki, Sandra Collins, Busy P, Cut Copy, Black Lips, Datarock, Professor Murder, Reverend and the Makers, the Bees, Porter, Rogue Wave, Modeselektor, American Bang and Lucky I Am.

April 26 – Portishead, Kraftwerk, Death Cab for Cutie, Cafe Tacuba, Sasha & Digweed, Rilo Kiley, M.I.A., Dwight Yoakam (this year's token country act, also appearing at Stagecoach the following weekend), Hot Chip, Cold War Kids, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, DeVotchKa, Flogging Molly, Mark Ronson, Turbonegro, Scars on Broadway, Islands, Enter Shikari, Calvin Harris, Boyz Noise, Junkie XL, Cinematic Orchestra, Jamie T, the Teenagers, VHS or Beta, Carbon/Silicon, Erol Alkan, Yo Majesty!, Bonde Do Role, St. Vincent, Akron Family, MGMT, Institubes DJs, Surkin, Para One and Orgasmic, James Zabiela, Sebastian, Kavinsky, Dredg, the Bird and the Bee, Grand Ole Party, New Young Pony Club, 120 Days, Yoav, Eletric Touch and Uffie.

April 27 – Roger Waters, Love and Rockets, My Morning Jacket, Spiritualized, Justice, Gogol Bordello, Chromeo, the Streets, Metric, Simian Mobile Disco, the Horrors, Danny Tenaglia, Booka Shade, Murs, Dimitri from Paris, Autolux, the Field, Linton Kwesi Johnson (in a spoken-word appearance), Les Savy Fav, the Cool Kids, Sons and Daughters, Sia, Black Kids, Black Mountain, the Annuals, Kid Sister with A-Trak, Man Man, Duffy, I'm From Barcelona, Manchester Orchestra, Deadmaus, Austin TV, Shout Out Louds, Plasticenes and Brett Dennen.

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The focus of this series remains fixed on talented, original and under-rated independent music, especially that which rises to the level of the famous blogger buzz.

However, there are some entries in this series that feature mainstream artists. Nevertheless, they are often not artists that are not household names, and I'm always good with that. I guess the best artists fail when they 'sign over', like Taking Back Sunday and The Decemberists.

IRC's own 'Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2007' series includes songs that are not found on many site's lists of lists for best music of 2007 (to be published later) low).

However, there is no ranking of songs. That's up to all of you, who are best critics. There are definitely songs from 2007 that I haven't heard that would otherwise be on published on IRC's 'best songs of 2007' playlists.

IRC's Favorite Songs of 2007 - Playlist Two

I'm Home - Starlet

It Ends Tonight - All American Rejects

7 Stars - Apples in Stereo

Milk - Magpie

Spitting Venom - Modest Mouse

DdiamondD - Panda Bear

Powerlines - Western States of Motel

Download and listen to 2007 Playlist One

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   January 20, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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With the #1 album in the U.S. and other markets around the globe, Radiohead has probably received more attention from the mainstream music press and the music blogs worldwide than any other band in the past six months. And it was no accident.

Radiohead broke out and totally embraced rock fans in a revolutionary way, initially having released their classic album In Rainbows on the Internet last fall and allowing fans to decide how much they were willing to pay for and download it. (However, now you have to buy the album, but it is arguably worth it.)

Through such innovative marketing and distribution techniques, like free and name-your-price offerings of its music, specially packaged disc sets by the band members (and not a major label) and live webcasts (such as last evening's London webcast at

In addition, by setting up and regularly updating pages on various social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, Radiohead has made In Rainbows not just one of the most important albums of 2007 and 2008, but perhaps one of the decade's best albums of all.

Not only is the band remaining relevant 15 or so years after rising to fame with releases like Creep, The Bends and OK Computer, band members Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar), Ed O'Brien (guitar, vocals), Jonny Greenwood (guitar), Colin Greenwood (bass), and Phil Selway (drums) are pursuing all kinds of multimedia projects using the Internet and pushing the envelope in ways to reach fans and attract new fans as well.

But at the end of the day, the evidence is in the music. If In Rainbows sucked, it wouldn't have mattered how much the band and their two new labels promoted it. The band decided to sign on with TBD and XL Records, ditching EMI after a failed reunion with their former label.

Thom was so enraged by "lies" about what went on 'behind the scenes' that led to the rift with Radiohead and EMI, and wrote this semi-rant on the band's blog right after Christmas (left all of Thom's own writing style):

we did not ask for a load of cash from our old record label EMI to re- sign. that is a L I E.
The Times in the UK should check its facts
before it prints such dirt.

whAT we WANTED WAS some control over OUR WOrK and how it was used in the future by them-that seemed REASONAblE to us, as we cared about it a great deal.

Mr Hands was not interested. So neither were we.

We made the sign of the cross and walked away. Sadly.

We are extremely upset that this crap is being spread about.

To bedigging up such bullshit, or more politely airing yer dirty laundry in public,
seems a very strange way for the head of an international record label to be proceeding.

On a happier note we took no 'BRead-HEAd' advances at all from both independent labels XL and TBD for our new record.

So judge for yourself.

AND we are really excited to be working with them. SHock!

AT least they do not behave like confused bulls in a china shop.

much love - Thom

However, the release is historic - on the level that The Bends was - and not only put Radiohead back on the rock map, it also has made their music available to a new generation of fans around the world.

It seems like every other day the band is releasing some new material, reworked and remastered recordings, announcements of concerts, alerts of new videos and live webcasts, such as the one the band performed last evening.

There was some confusion from fans in London who showed up at the Liverpool area Rough Trade shop for live, first-come, first-serve performance only to find that the location had been moved next door to the venue 93 Feet East.

Here's what Thom wrote on the RH blog about the change:
On the advice of the police and the local council, it was decided to change the venue to the larger one in the interests of public safety and due to the size of the crowd that turned up for the event. Rough Trade and the band apologise for any inconvenience caused.

While there is no official word yet on whether the webcast from last evening will be replayed, or available in full anywhere on the web, here are some great links to RH music, videos, news and more. As soon as we find the webcast, you will too. If you're not subscribed via a feed reader, choose one now or pick the ATOM or RSS plain feed.

Also, news is coming up soon about Radiohead's 2008 concert and festival tours. While no specific dates have been set, some of the 20 or so U.S. cities include Chicago, Boston and New York and San Francisco. (really!?!)

More Radiohead Links:

Contest: Contribute to Radiohead's BuzzNet rainbow and enter to win a special edition of
In Rainbows.

Watch: Radiohead play In Rainbows via the AT&T BlueRoom concert and festival series.

Visit: In Rainbows website put together by Radiohead and their new official TBD Records label

Coming Soon: Music Choice will be airing the Best of Radiohead on cable from January 21 to February 3, 2008 in a tribute to the band. For more information on how to tune in, check out the Music Choice

Watch: Check out this YouTube clip of "Videotape" from the recent Scotch Mist performances.

Subscribe to this feed to stay updated on the latest and greatest in indie and alternative rock.

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   January 17, 2008    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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There are always plenty of shows to see in Durham-Raleigh-Chapel Hill, North Carolina area, commonly called "The Triangle."

Upcoming performances include shows from Eberhardt, Butane Variations, Leon Russell, Lotus, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Yeasayer.

Despite their relative popularity right now in the 'underground' music world, Tri-Cities music critic Grayson Currin isn't expecting much from Yeasayer (who made many best indie songs of 2007 blog lists with the release of All Hour Cymbals):
Sonically, Yeasayer isn't far removed from the Technicolor melodic phases of TV on the Radio or the hard rhythm-versus-smeared sound technique of Animal Collective, but its apocalyptic images emerge from its sonic mess without much punch.
(What do you really think!?)

And if that wasn't enough, the tell-it-like-it-is (TILIS), Yeasayer-naysayer Currin also slams the venue owners of MGMT @ Local 506 for booking Yeasayer:
New York nothings with major-label moneys who fall in the same why-does-this-matter genus. Chapel Hill's Soft Company is the better band on the bill
Currin has the raw wit and unapologetic sting of a good music critic, especially considering there is so much music available nowadays.

In the same set of pre-show reviews, Currin also dismissed aging alternative 'rockers' Big Head Todd and The Monsters with a grapefruit-sized slingshot to the head, attacking the band members' lack of progress as musicians over the last two decades by reverting to "overly cared-for guitars and recycled riffs," adding that "one can only hope" that the band's upcoming release, All the Love You Need, is "more inventive." Currin, surprisingly, isn't optimistic: "Your odds would be better if you'd just learn poker

Currin's less-than-positive critiques surely piss-off some of the artists, labels and local venue managers, but if it saves a college student from wasting $20 or more on a show, he's doing his job in more ways than just one.

And so do the other writers of the staff, who also need to be recognized for keeping a pulse on the local scene. On an up note, Currin does like Butane Variations, deeming it as a "great band with a bright future."

MP3: Angels - Butane Variations
MP3: Golden Hawn - Butane Variations

Read more show announcements and reviews for "The Triangle" by checking out the "Hearing Aid Guide."

Other artists from The Triangle area:

- Pressure Boys
- Superchunk
- Flat Duo Jets
- Southern Culture on the Skids.
- Polvo
- Squirrel Nut Zippers
- Ben Folds Five
- Archers of Loaf
- Corrosion of Conformity

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   January 16, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Arctic Monkeys, riding high on the success of their latest album Favourite Worst Nightmare, and their new single "Teddy Picker" (video below), are resting up following a nearly non-stop touring schedule in 2007.

Last month, the band launched a 11-day, seven-show sold-out concert tour of the U.K. and the Netherlands. The tour extended from Dec. 4 to Dec. 15 with the final show of 2007 performed at Manchester's Apollo Theatre.

For hard-core fans, you may be interested to know that
Warped Films - which has produced some wildly successful British film since 2003, including Dead Man's Shoes and This is England - was at the Apollo filming the show. The "theatrical" DVD special is expected to be released in the spring.

Warped also filmed Arctic Monkey's short film Scummy Man.

By the way, after much searching, I was able to get my hands on an exclusive and rare print (handed out at the shows in December) of the Arctic Monkey's "Christmas special" with
Big Issue magazine.

The spread includes many photos of the usually shy band members and an extensive article.

"Teddy Picker" video - released Dec. 31, 2007

Teddy Picker Lyrics

They've sped up to the point where they provoke
The punchline before they have told the joke
Plenty of desperation to be seen
Staring at the television screen

They've sped up to the point where they provoke
You to tell the f**king punchline before you have told the joke
Sorry sunshine it doesn't exist
It wasn't in the top 100 list

And it's the thousandth time that it's even bolder,
Don't be surprised when you get bent over,
They told ya,but you were dying for it

She saw it and she grabbed it and it wasn't what it seemed
The kids all dream of making it, whatever that means
Another variation on a theme
A tangle on the television and the magazine
D'you reckon that they do it for a joke?
D'you reckon that they make 'em take an oath?
That says "we are defenders
[Teddy Picker lyrics on]

Of any poseur or professional pretender around"

When did your list replace the twist and turn
like a fist replaced a kiss, don't concern us with your bollocks
I don't want your prayers
Save it for the morning after

And it's the thousandth time and it's even bolder,
Don't be surprised when you get bent over,
They told ya, but you were gagging for it

Lets have a game on the Teddy Picker
Not quick enough can I have it quicker?
Already thick and you're getting thicker
Lets have a game on the Teddy Picker
Not quick enough can I have it quicker?
Already thick and you're getting thicker

Assuming that all things are equal,
Who'd want to be men of the people
When there's people like you?

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   January 14, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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With the huge popularity of online social networks in recent years, combined with the unstoppable demand for everything music via the Internet, there are so many choices today that it is impossible for anyone to get a good grip on what are the best music websites, social networks, audio tools and downloads, widgets, musician hubs and more.

The Mashable Team has assembled perhaps the best all-in-one, 'essential' website directory for music and audio links ever published on the Internet. (Yeah, I know what you're saying: 'it better be good!')

Not only has the team provided screenshots, links and reviews of pre-approved quality music sites, but they also packaged it for ease of use and with no frills or hoops to jump through.

Categories include Internet radio, music discovery, social networks, music sharing applications and widgets, mobile music services, music marketplaces and charts, lyric and chart databases, music search engines and audio conversion tools.

A must have link! Hope you love it as much as I do. Thanks Mashable Team!

+ Online Music: 90+ Essential Music and Audio Websites


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   January 8, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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I've travelled by land across the continential United States at least five times now and have passed many trailer-park communities along the way. Sometimes in life, stereotypes have a tinge of truth in them, huh?

But this next video takes it to a new level by featuring two amateur actors (who do a fairly good job 'acting') participating in their own little twisted Trailer Park Fashion Show. It's not as trashy as you would expect a home-made video to be, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

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   January 6, 2008    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
1/12/10 Vampire Weekend - Contra
1/19/10 Cold War Kids - Behave Yourself EP
1/19/10 Spoon - Transference
1/26/10 Beach House - Teen Dream
1/26/10 Basia Bulat - Heart Of My Own
2/1/10 Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring
2/2/10 Midlake - The Courage of Others
2/9/10 Yeasayer - Odd Blood
2/23/10 Shout Out Louds - Work
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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