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I've always been a sucker for indie bands that have great web sites, especially those that are built with Flash, despite it's limitations (such as embedded audio tracks - MP3, please). But The Spinto Band's new website is something to behold.

The site has a starry-midnight-moon-glow theme going on, which is somehow with Halloween approaching. Right now, the content is a bit thin, but the band plans to offer new material each Tuesday up to the October 7 release of their new album release, Moonwink.

MP3: "Summer Grof" - The Spinto Band from Moonwink

Bonus Tracks:

"Vivian, Don't" - The Spinto Band
"Needlepoint" - The Spinto Band

The site design and navigation in Flash is awesome, so check it out if you a fan, or are curious about the band.

There are no official MP3s from Moonwink available, but there is a Flash stream for some songs on the album including "Summer Grof".

The band's new UK label calls the album "11 tracks of bendy indie pop behaviour that very occasionally sounds like ELO being played backwards." We shall see, fluff masters.

Last week, The Spinto Band signed with Fierce Panda Records after what the label calls "months of intense negotiations." The band exploded onto the indie rock scene in 2005 after their song "Oh Mandy" became an unexpected hit record.

Soon, the band to watch were opening for established rockers like The Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Art Brut and Rilo Kiley.

To up the ante for their latest release, The Spinto Band signed on producer/engineer Dave Trumfio (Wilco, Built To Spill, Billy Bragg, Mates of State) and mixing engineer Tchad Blake (Tom Waits, Los Lobos, Cibo Matto, Paul Simon).

- The Spinto Band MySpace Page

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eMusic's FREE Daily Download!

   August 30, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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I've always believed that if indie rock artists and bands want to attract a loyal following, one of the most important things they need to do is offer free, no-frills MP3s for download on their official website.

Evidence that this approach works follows a path of logic and a huge demand for such a service by music lovers searching to discover new bands.

During the past year, popular rock bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have offered for free to anyone a full download of their most recent albums. The response to both has been overwhelming.

Not only does an indie group or a more 'established' rock band get plenty of positive publicity for
offering their music for free download, but they also build and solidify coalitions of loyal fans who
will often promote the band via the irreplaceable WOM (word of mouth), purchasing merchandise, buying their other music and attending their shows.

We all know how much that can cost, especially after TicketMaster and LiveNation often charge in fees up to, and more, than half of the original price of the concert ticket itself.

Over the next year, IRC will be featuring artists and bands, ranging from indie rock to 'mainstream' rock, who offer free MP3 downloads of their music on their websites, whether individual songs or entire album downloads.

In the first installment, IRC spotlighted NIN's newest album, The Slip. After announcing that the entire album would be available to anyone for free after a simple registration, the album has been downloaded tens of thousands of times on NIN's official website.

Here is that story and information on how and where to download the album in MP3 format.

This installment features the popular Austin, Texas indie rock band The Octopus Project. While there are no full album downloads, nor no free downloads for their latest release, individual tracks from all of their albums dating back to 1999 are available at the following link:

Download Free Octopus Project MP3s:


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eMusic's FREE Daily Download!

   August 26, 2008    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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It is hard to believe that August is half over and soon we will be saying good-bye to another summer. If there was only a way to make the summers stretch out like they seemed to when we were kids.

In the past month, there have been dozens and dozens of major music festivals across the United States and the world.

The much-anticipated rock fests for August are Chicago's famed Lollapalooza, The Virgin Festival in Baltimore, the New York City metro area's (actually Jersey City, NJ, just across the river) new, major rock festival - the All Points Festival, aka "Coachella East", not to mention the much anticipated Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco's beautiful Golden Gate Park Polo Fields, just a few hundred feet from the ocean amongst the carpet green grounds and Monterey pine trees.

After years of trying, promoters were granted license to hold a major outdoor festival this year featuring dozens of top indie bands and artists, with Radiohead playing two nights of the three day festival.

Nearly two weekends ago, the Download Festival 'San Francisco' (actual location was Mt. View, CA, about 30 miles south of the city) was held at the Shoreline with disastorous results, giving a totally different meaning to "down" and "load". The attendance was shockingly down from the previous year, almost off 60 percent and it showed by the thin crowds. There was not much "load" to the fest as far as line-up, especially when you consider that there are so many major festivals this year (including the debut of the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in September).

hove festival - norway - june 23-26 - beck, the raconteurs, brain jonestown massacre, panic at the disco, the raconteurs, the kooks, yeasayer, foals, flogging molly, les savy fav, the cool kids, stars, dinosaur jr. and more.

rock werchter - july 3-6 - belgium - headliners: the national, rem, my morning jacket, the hives, panic at the disco, editors, beck, band of horses, air traffic, cool kids, hot chip, radiohead, the kooks, neil young and many others.

o2 wireless festival - july 3-6, london - jay z, hot chip, beck, the raconteurs, the national, morrissey, black kids, sea wolf, the whigs, cornershop, fatboy slim, goo goo dolls, counting crows, the hold steady and dozens more.

fib heineken 2008 - july 17-20 - the brian jonestown massacre, my morning jacket, gnarls barkley, the raconteurs, my bloody valentine, sigur ros, death cab for cutie, leonard cohen, spiritualized, justice and many others.

ruis rock 2008 festival - july 4-6 - finland - him, floggy molly, anti-flag, interpol, the national, bullet for my valentine, primal scream, the sounds and others.

optimus alive 2008 - july 10-12 - portugal - neil young, bob dylan, spiritualized, interpol, ben harper and the innocent, rage against the machine, galactic, the hives and a dozen others.

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There are few things more enjoyable regarding online music experiences then to discover a great record label that you didn't already know of. This month's indie label honor goes to Dead Oceans Records.

The label is based in Austin, one of the country's top indie/alternative rock cities, where each year two of the music industry's biggest events - the South-by-Southwest Conference and the Austin City Limits Music and Arts Festival - are held. Smart place to start a record label if you don't mind the Texan heat.

Dead Oceans has a great line-up for a relatively small and new label, including indie and alternative rock bands like Explorers Club, Bishop Allen, White Hinterland, The Bower Birds and Evangelicals.

The label has just released The Explorer's Club new debut album, Freedom Wind. This is an interesting album and definitely worth a try, especially if you enjoy the following free track from the album.

MP3: Do You Love Me - Explorers Club

You can purchase Freedom Wind at from Dead Oceans

MP3: Skeleton - Evangelicals

Another recent release from the Dead Oceans indie record label worthy of checking out comes from The Bower Birds. This is a new and pleasant discovery here at IRC. Many fans are enticed by the band's Middle-Eastern influenced tracks that are adeptly mixed with a kind of indie rock that is rarely heard.

The band's song "In Our Talons" embodies this ecelectic offering of influences on The Bower Birds sound.

MP3: In Our Talons - The Bower Birds

View amazing artistic, albeit low budget, music video for "In Our Talons" featured on MTV2 and YouTube.

Canadian Director Alan Poon describes the making of the video to subterraneanblog:

"The images were created by taking individual snapshots of each animal in each position [for] approximately 5 seconds...per day...features three different nature vignettes - a crow (we think), a pair of preying mantises and a crab - and there are three members of Bowerbirds."

In a way coming upon the Dead Oceans Record label was a bit jarring and coincidental for me . Only two days earlier, I had heard a report on NPR about "dead ocean zones" increasing worldwide. The dead zones, a major concern of enviornmentalists and governments worldwide, are growing at an alarming rate worldwide.

The dead ocean zones take over when high concentrations of oxygen-sucking algae form at the mouths of major rivers. Fertilizer run-off from farms flow into streams and then major rivers where they amass in piles, choking the ocean zone's oxygen and killing marine life.

In places like Florida, Japan and Europe, there have been an alarming increase in the number and size of dead ocean zones during the past four decades. Marine environmentalists and oceanographers around the globe say that dead ocean zones are the greatest threat to the world's already threatened oceans.

Hopefully bringing this issue to your attention might get a few people to write their Congressional representatives (it's our democracy if we want to take it).

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   August 17, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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After writing about Nine Inch Nails a few weeks ago, a number of you have written to me pointing out that I did not include the link to NIN's new album free download.

Oops! You're right, I did, and now after having listened The Slip by NIN's for a few weeks, I'm convinced it's worth downloading, especially for free.

There are few 'big name' indie and alternative bands out nowadays willing to offer their music for free, but if you think about it, the strategy is a smart one. Not only do you create loyalty with long-time fans, but it's also a great way to attract new fans. And thus, sell more concert tickets and merchandise.

Let's face it, the give-our-music-out-for-free approach is working, as bands like NIN have shown. Now it's up to many other music artists and bands to follow their lead, and in return, grow their base.

The record industry made windfall profits off CD sales for decades; but the formula has changed and the sooner they embrace it, the better off they will be in the long haul.

If you're a Nine Inch Nails fan, you probably already know that the band will be performing tomorrow, August 10th, at the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore. Check back later for YouTube and other videos from the 2008 Virgin Festival lineup.

Download The Slip for free at NIN official website.

The following is the official NIN's music video for the track "Lights in the Sky" from their latest free release, The Slip:

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   August 9, 2008    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Lollapalooza 2008 kicked off today in Chicago's Grant Park. The event set for this weekend (August 1-3) features dozens of top indie artists and bands is expected to sell out of tickets, especially the high-priced three-day pass.

Friday's Lollapalooza 2008 line-up includes popular indie bands like Bloc Party, The Raconteurs, The Kills, Mates of State, Rogue Wave, Holy Fuk, Yeasayer, Gogol Bordello and Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks.For reasons unknown to IRC, Radiohead is not being webcasted during what is expected to be a nearly three-hour set.

Other artists performing on Friday (but not via the webcast) include Black Keys, The Black Lips, Cat Power, VHS or BETA, The Cool Kids, Manchester Orchestra, Louis XIV, Enemy UK, CSS and more.

If you've forgiven AT&T Blue Room for censoring Eddie Vedder (who called out Bush's ruinationof the world) at last year's Lollapalooza, then you can watch performances throughoutthe weekend (provided you have a beefy Internet connection and fast computer - and that AT&T has enough pipes set-up).

Saturday's Lolla line-up for the AT&T webcast includes The Gutter Twins, The Go! Team, DeVotchka,Explosions in the Sky, Broken Social Scene and Wilco. On Sunday, you can watch The Whigs, Office,G Love & Special Sauce, Blues Traveler, John Bulter Trio, Flogging Molly, Love and Rockets, The National.

Not featured on the Blue Room on Saturday are bands like Okkervil River, Battles, Brand New and for the hard rock fans, Rage Against the Machine. Sunday's Lollapalooza line-up also features The Weakerthans, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Iron & Wine, Nine Inch Nails, Love and Rockets and Kayne West.

All-in-all, the line-up is not as powerful as Lollapalooza 2007, but there's still enough power house rock and indie to keep fans entertained.

AT&T Blue Room webcast from Lollapalooza.

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   August 1, 2008    1 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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