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The official line-up for Coachella 2009, April 17 - April 19, has been released on the official Coachella website and it looks like another great year for the fest. While southern California is in the midst of a three-year drought, there is no drought in talented artists lined up for this year's Coachella fest.

Headliners include Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, Beirut, Conor Oberst, Crystal Castles, The Killers, TV on the Radio, Thievery Corporation, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Black Keys, Dr. Dog, Calexico, M. Ward, Hold Steady, Girl Talk, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paul Weller, Peter Bjorn and John, Okkervil River, No Age and a rare appearance of that pesky, infamous band from San Francisco The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The list goes on and on.

Tickets for Coachella 2009 are now on sale. Don't forget, camping passes go quickly. The popular three-day passes are priced at $269.00 and single day passes, which usually sell out the fastest, are $99 per day.

Many people complain about the cost, but if you look at the line-up and think of the enormity of the event - a lifetime memory - I think it's still worth it. In a disastrous economic situation across the nation, chances are the festival will still sell out or come close to it.

"Eraser" - No Age from Nouns
"Strange Times" - The Black Keys from Attack & Release
"White Winter Hymnal" - Fleet Foxes from self-titled debut Fleet Foxes
"Lost Coastlines" - Okkervil River from The Stand Ins
"Cape Canaveral" - Conor Oberst from self titled debut Conor Oberst

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   January 31, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Today's playlist of new songs include Here We Go Magic, Plus Minus, Ancient Crux, Of Montreal and It Hugs Back.

It Hugs Back will release their debut album, Inside Your Guitar, in early April on Beggars Group Records.

"Work Day" - It Hugs Back from the upcoming debut Inside Your Guitar

"First Time High Reconstructionist (Remix of An Eluardian Instance)" - Of Montreal from the new EP Jon Brion Remix

"In Teen Dreams" - Ancient Crux from Interracial Coupling EP Limited on Family Time Records.

"Unsung" - Plus Minus from X's On Your Eyes on Absolutely Kosher Records

"Tunnelvision" - Here We Go Magic (the moniker for Brooklyn musician Luke Temple and his band) will be available February 24 on West Vinyl Records.

Download a new song from The Doves by email.

Check back tomorrow for more bands, labels and music from IRC or get the feed

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   January 30, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Glasgow's rock trio 1900s play a mix of dance and glam rock reminiscent of the sounds of T. Rex and modern bands like CSS and The Gossip. In 2007, they released their widely-acclaimed debut Cookies.

The 1900s' sophomore album, Kicks, is set for release in March on Rough Trade Records. The album was recorded in rocker Edwyn Collins' London studio and produced by Bernard Butler, the former Suede guitarist who has also produced The Libertines.

1990’s are Jackie McKeown (vocals, guitars), Dino Bardot (bass, vocals), and Michael McGaughrin (drums and vocals).

"The Box" - 1990s from forthcoming Kicks

Check out the 1990's MySpace page for more music and news from Kicks

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   January 29, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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David Berman, the prolific frontman of the 15-year old indie-alt rock band Silver Jews, has announced the official break up of the band, according to a statement posted on the band's official forum.

In a posting, Berman wrote: "Yes I cancelled the South American shows...I guess I am moving over to another category. Screenwriting or Muckraking. I've got to move on. Can't be like all the careerists doncha [sic] know. I'm forty two and I know what to do...I always said we would stop before we got bad. If I continue to record I might accidentally write the answer song to Shiny Happy People."

Berman went even further in subsequent posts taking direct aim at his infamous father, the controversial Washington, DC spin dictor Richard Berman, best known for his dirty tactics to sully the reputations of groups working for causes related to the environment, employment equality, labor rights, anti-smoking measures and so on.

The younger Berman's disgust with his father has brewed for years, he writes, and ultimately led to his decision to disband the group and pursue a screen writing career.

Now that the Joos are over I can tell you my gravest secret. Worse than suicide, worse than crack addiction:

My father. You might be surprised to know he is famous [sic]*, for terrible reasons.

My father is a despicable man. My father is a sort of human molestor [sic]. An exploiter. A scoundrel. A world historical motherfucking son of a bitch. (sorry grandma)...

A couple of years ago I demanded he stop his work. Close down his company or I would sever our relationship. He refused. He has just gotten worse. More evil. More powerful. We've been "estranged" for over three years. Even as a child I disliked him. We were opposites. I wanted to read. He wanted to play games.

Read the entire posting from Dave

"Strange Victory, Strange Defeat" - Silver Jews from Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

Berman's wife and fellow band member, Carrie, is having a harder time than he is. However, he made it quite clear he could not, would not, continue with the band (perhaps a bit unfair to hard-core fans?).

"This winter I decided that the SJ's were too small of a force to ever come close to undoing a millionth of all the harm he [Richard Berman] has caused."

*Editor's note: If someone is 'famous' for 'terrible' reasons, they are in fact infamous.

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   January 27, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Brooklyn's New Villager caught attention recently by performing with High Places and are set to release their new 7 inch. Take a listen.

"Rich Doors" - New Villager

Pre-order the Rich Doors 7" at twosyllable Records via their MySpace page.

The Sea Lions, out of Oxnard, California, north of Los Angeles, dish out fast and excited dance-pop. Check out their debut new single from YAY! Records.

"Beautiful Day" - The Sea Lions

Fans of Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, especially their album 3, and now the band is back with a new EP titled 1999. Hey guys, you can do better, but sharing with SKWBN fans and the curious anyways.

"1999" - SKWBN from 3

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Seems like a lot of people are still interested in collecting great songs from 2008. Therefore, here's a quick playlist featuring some of my favorite songs from 2008. Enjoy.

"Good Fight Fighting" - The Very Most from Congratulations Forever

"In The Bedroom" - Xylos from Bedrooms

"Stop Smoking Asshole Cigarettes" - Netherfriends from Feathers & Dots E.P

"Bag of Hammers" - Thao from We Brave Bee Stings and All

"Ordinary Song" - The Little Ones from Morning Tide

Check out more great indie songs from 2008

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Andrew Bird has done it again. Bird's 2007 album Armchair Apocrypha was widely hailed as one of the best albums of that year. It's almost a sure bet that his newest release, Noble Beast, will go down as one of the finest albums of 2009. I've had the album on a near loop for days, and it's a grower - the more I listen to it, the more I am sure it will probably remain on my essential albums list years from now.

Bird, who is currently on tour, really expands as an artist on Noble Beast and yet manages to perfect the framework that made him famous and keep his compositional idiosyncrasies that so many fans treasure still interesting, such as his signature whistling.

Few artists can get away with as much whistling as Bird spreads throughout this work because it is always appealing and woven in with the music just perfectly. For example, on the track "Take Courage" Bird whistles like a musician, not just some guy walking down the street.

"Souverian" is a love song that would go well with a road trip through quiet places. It's also a split single in that it transforms in to another style of music half-way through. Split singles are becoming a trend in recent years, and Bird is a natural when it comes to creating such a song. Other album highlights include "Oh No", "Anonanimal" (see new video above) "Fitz and the Dizzyspells" and "Tenuousness".

There is a limited edition double CD version called Useless Creatures, a collection of new instrumental works. Orders for the limited edition are being taken at

Please note: I have not heard the bonus CD except for one ten-minute track titled "The Barn Tapes". Let's just say that song is not a keeper - an unusual occurrence with Bird's music catalog.

It must also be noted that some critics will argue Noble Beast is not as ground-breaking as Armchair Apocrypha, or as accessible, but the overall collection of songs on Noble Beast is a solid follow-up to AA and will easily survive any nit-picking.

by Andrew Bird from Noble Beast

Stream songs from Noble Beast at Andrew Bird's MySpace page.

Get Noble Beast at or iTunes
Official Release for Europe: Feb. 15 (how romantic)

Bird is performing Monday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn and the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City Wednesday night.

With the exception of a two-week break in early March, Bird will be touring until the end of April. Chances are he will sell out just about everywhere he plays, especially as word about his newest release spreads.

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   January 25, 2009    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Alright, so I always hated the name of this band.

That said, Cut Off Your Hands makes some great music and they've really gained a following of loyal fans. Like many others, I completely missed their 2008 release, You and I, which is strangely similar to one of the most acclaimed albums, You and Me by The Walkmen.

So if you missed it to, it's definitely worth checking out. A late recommendation yes, but if you like their previous releases, you're almost sure to like You and I.

"Happy As Can Be" has a driving new wave type of beat rounded out with soaring choruses and shimmering keyboards. The band's sound is definitely pop rock that is somewhat reminiscent of Kaiser Chiefs, especially on the song "Expectations", which also has a mean electronica riff and definitely a song to get the girls dancing. Yet it also has a predominant rock feel to it. Check out the music video.

One of the album's best tracks "Oh Girl" has a catchy, jangle pop sound around a story about a guy obviously in love with a girl. I must be getting in the Valentine's spirit.

"Oh Girl" - Cut Off Your Hands from You and I

"Happy As Can Be" - Cut Off Your Hands from You and I

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Blind Man's Colour, a duo of college students from St. Petersburg, Florida is officially on the indie radar for 2009 and we hope you'll agree.

Currently unsigned, and looking for a label to call home, Kyle Wyss and Orha Chettri have a new album, Season Dreaming, which they are hoping to release soon.

Wyss and Chettri have been making and mixing music together since childhood.

"We've been playing together since 8th grade," Wyss told Indie Rock Cafe. We've always loved electronic music as well as really out there rock since we've met. We're looking for a record label to release our first album."

Over the years, the duo have released a number of self-produced mixes of music they've recorded, but nothing serious enough that they are comfortable with as an official release. These tracks are available as downloads from their blog.

The guys also have a great taste for music as witnessed in this mix for Olo Radio featuring songs from Evangelics, Of Montreal, Yo La Tengo and The Microphones.

We think the guys have got something good going.

"Jimmy Dove" - Blind Man's Colour from the album Season Dreaming

"Taste" (Animal Collective cover) - Blind Man's Colour

Blind Man's Colour MySpace page:

You can download full zip files and MP3s from Blind Man's Colour and Chromatic Flights at their blog,

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   January 24, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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It's that time again. A band I didn't know about before, but should have known. Vetiver, the brainchild of San Francisco singer/songwriter Andy Cabic, creates dream-like folk pop full of sweeping moods and introspective lyrics.

Tight Knit is the fourth LP from Vetiver. If the following single is representative of the rest of the album, then we expect Vetiver to make a splash in 09.

"Everyday" - Vetiver from Tight Knit

Tight Knit will be released on February 17, 2009 on SubPop Records.

Recorded in Sacramento at The Hangar and in Los Angeles at Melva, Tight Knit was produced by longtime Vetiver collaborator Thom Monahan. Accompanying Cabic were
Sanders Trippe on guitar, Kevin Barker on guitar, Otto Hauser on drums, Brent Dunn on bass and guest musicians including The Shins' Eric Johnson (also of Fruit Bats) Jonathan Wilson, "Farmer" Dave Scher, and Adam Peters.

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   January 22, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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The wild popularity of Animal Collective's newest release, Merriweather Post Pavilion, has fans and music critics already calling it one of the best albums of the year. Hello? It's only January.

Under usual circumstances, this would be enough to hold off for a while before making such a proclamation. But after listening to Merriweather over and again, it's hard to believe that it will fizzle out or lose its appeal coming later this year. It's just amazing!

Right now the band has an awesome Flash-created music video unlike anything we've ever seen. Yet best of all it's for the amazing, sweeping and sparkly song, "My Girls". Click the photo above to start the video, sit back and soak it up. Chances are you'll watch it more than once, especially if you are an Animal Collective fan. :)

Even if you're not an Animal Collective fan, there's something magical about Merriweather, and if you're new to their work, check out Merriweather first. Animal Collective kicked off an extensive 2009 world tour last evening at New York's Grand Ballroom.

"My Girls" - Animal Collective

Stream Merriweather Post Pavilion uninterrupted in its entirety.

Animal Collective's MySpace page
Animal Collective official website
Animal Collective label website

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   January 21, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Philadelphia's East Hundred formed in 2004 as a 'basement recording project', toured relentlessly, built a following and have just released their debut LP, Passengers.

Comprised of brothers Brooke and Will Blair, and Beril Guceri on vocals, the band creates synthesized pop with low beat tracks, reminiscent somewhat of The Sundays.

"Slow Burning Crimes" - East Hundred from Passengers

Stream East Hundred at MySpace:

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This is probably the only time you'll read about Kanye West in this blog, but you gotta read this.

Just a few minutes ago, a CNN reporter was interviewing Kanye West right after performing at one of the dozen or so inaugural balls for Obama tonight. When asked what he thought about Obama and the historic moment, he muttered something about Obama connecting to "humanity".

But what followed was perplexing. Rather then using his nationally broadcasted spotlight to say something profound about the first black president, Kanye West quickly diverted from one of the most historical days in history to talk about Bush.

Yup, you heard it right. West skipped right over the magnitude of the day to express dismay that former president George W. Bush didn't do more to "save his legacy". He also suggested that Bush's 'legacy' was 'overshadowed' by events not in Bush's control.

Huh? That suggests that there was something redeeming of Bush's legacy. Perhaps West meant that Bush screwed up, but he sounded rather sympathetic.

Seriously, he did. "Save" his legacy? Mr. West, are you the same guy that blamed Bush for the deaths of hundreds of people in New Orleans following Katrina? Wow.

But the main point is you had a golden opportunity to say something, anything, of substance about Obama. How could you miss that dude? Earth to Kanye: It's Obama's night man!

So, Judge Roberts (who messed up twice administering the freaky 35-word oath of office today to Obama - see video below), you've got company baby!

Here's a witty CNN report about the so-called "Oops Oath"

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   January 20, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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On this special day, it seems fitting to pay tribute to a man who raised awareness of the modern-day injustices of racism and bigotry. While he definitely was not a saint by any means, his impact was enormous.

Tupac Shakur was not simply one of the best rappers of his time, but a spokesman and a participating member of an oppressed, angry and disaffected youth. Much of his music was rejected by critics as 'gangsta rap', and rightfully so, but a good chunk of his music, in songs like "Letter to the President" and "Changes," brought the plight of the black community to a new generation in a format they could relate to. And, he made people think.

"Changes" - Tupac Shakur

Moreover, part of Tupac's genius was that he made his music, and more importantly his words, accessible to a much larger audience that included millions of white youth. He rapped about the struggles of blacks in America in modern times, from police brutality and institutional racism to the explosion of gangs, guns and drugs on the streets of the nation's cities.

Tupac did not only speak out against racism by whites, but he also called on blacks to make change because 'the old way wasn't working.'

We gotta make a change
it's time for us as a people to start making some changes
let's change the way we eat let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other
you see the old way wasn't working
so it's on us to do what we gotta do to survive

Tupac was very much an activist rapper and he received plenty of push back, ridicule and dismissal from many young black men and fellow rappers at the time. And Tupac seemed to play a line between the philosophies of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This may have broadened his appeal to a larger audience, but either way, people listened to Tupac, and people did make changes because of his influence, that lasts to this day. If Tupac Shakur were still alive, he would have been 37 years old. He was shot in Las Vegas in 1996 by a drive-by shooter and died six days later.

For the most part, Tupac never would have believed there would be a black president in his lifetime, had he lived. But that is what is so great about today. It plays right into the amazing progress we have made in a short time. For all the problems, there are triumphs happening all of the time. Yet for still too many black youth, these triumphs, even the triumph of a black president, are still faraway things in their daily lives.

Also in the song "Changes", Tupac saw the reality of a black president as "heaven sent" because it did not seem possible then, or in many ways, even two years ago when Obama set out on what many thought was an impossible dream.

and although it seems heaven sent
we ain't ready to see a black president
it ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed and it's filled with blacks

Tupac, in his own legendary way, deserves some of the credit for helping make this day, January 20, 2009 happen because he was such an influential voice with a powerful message of social change. He helped further the discussion in a way that brought many whites and blacks together in mind, at least, and helped inch us all a little bit closer to the fulfillment of the American ideal - that all men are created equal and born with the unalienable right to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

Today, we are a lot closer to fulfilling that promise - there's still a way to go - and it feels damn good.

And let us not forget that while we celebrate a historic leap forward in American experiment, we face troubled, if not dire, times. President Barack Obama did not win the presidency so America could 'feel good' about itself for its crimes and other injustices against blacks, he won because he is remarkably skilled in all of the ways that have the potential to reveal a great leader.

He won because he is the embodiment of the American Dream, the idea that no matter how different we may be we have common values that are consistent with the hopes of our forefathers. He won because he made his case about a new era for America, one in which most of us crave, in which we will get back on the right course and charter a new path into the future that could truly fulfill the promise of America, and to a larger extent, the world. And at the same time we need to save a planet in peril, save an entire economy from collapse and figure out a new agenda for two wars.

"Letter to the President" - Tupac Shakur (this song has a whole new meaning today)

After at least six years of misery, mischief, mismanagement and 'mistakes' that have put America in a fragile situation, most people are ready to do away with old formulas and ideas that do not work and do things different. That is part of the equation that fueled Obama's amazing journey to the presidency. 

If anyone can manage these multiple crisis', many people obviously feel President Obama can, of course with our help. Getting through adversity seems to be a common thread in his life, so it looks like we've got a good shot at getting it right - hopefully sooner than later.

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After the release of their 2007 second full-length album Raven and the White Night on Jagjaguwar Records, Bloomington, Indiana indie psychedelic band Odawas, are set to release a new album, The Blue Depths, on February 17.

Odawas is Michael Tapscott and Isaac Edwards and a somewhat revolving door of a group of other musicians, including at least one they clearly don't like according to a photo caption on the Odawas' MySpace page.

"Harmless Lover's Discourse" from The Blue Depths

In 2006, Tapscott released a home produced solo LP under the moniker More Animals of the Artic. The band will be performing a show during San Francisco's Noise Pop Festival on February 27, 2009 at the famous Cafe DuNord.

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   January 19, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Colin Meloy and The Decemberists, satisfying a craving of fans for some sounds from the upcoming release of their new album, The Hazards of Love, have made the track "A Rake Song" available as a free download.

To get the song, just go to the band's official website and provide a valid email address. You will be emailed a link to download the song.

The album is scheduled for release on March 24.

Die-hard fans can follow Colin on Twitter.

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   January 18, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Everyone has their picks for the best songs of 2008, even if the songs were not released in 2008. For example, the established advertising publication, Ad Age, has released a list of the top ad songs of 2008.

Interestingly, the selection includes a long-forgotten Kinks' song - "Everybody's A Star" - that is now a rock classic thanks to its being featured in a popular Converse ad series by the same name.

Whenever I have a chance to write about The Kinks, I try to do it. For those of you who know ALL of the spectacular music they made - not just "You Really Got Me" and "Lola" and "Come Dancing" - you know just how vastly under appreciated The Kinks were.

The past decade has seen a long review of The Kinks' legacy by the press, fellow rockers and music historians. Pretty much, the conclusion is always the same: The Kinks were one of the most important and influential rock bands ever. Rocker and music mogul Bob Geldof, a long-time Kinks' fan, once said the band's song "Waterloo Sunset", an unquestionable classic, is one of the best pop songs ever written.

The Kinks were my first real personal favorite band partly because not everyone knew who they were like they did The Beatles (even though almost everyone has heard at least one Kinks' song). After buying and listening to something like 30 of their albums, I was hooked, and never got unhooked.

No wonder they were among the first group of rock bands inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While their place in rock history is now well established, it never ceases to amaze how vastly under-rated The Kinks were for so long. And, I am still in awe time and again by the brilliance of so much of their music that most people have never heard. It's like belonging to an exclusive, honored kult. Kool!

MP3: "Wicked Annabella" by The Kinks from The Village Green Preservation Society

Yet I do have a bit of a thorn in my ass by the commercialization of The Kinks' music in recent years. Yet at the same time, I am happy that they are getting the attention because it has opened up their music to an entire new generation that may have only known them for one or two songs.

Unquestionably, a good part of The Kinks resurgence in popularity in recent years has been driven by the commercialization of their music. It really started during the past decade when "Nothing in This World is Gonna Stop Me Worrying About That Girl" from the soundtrack of the movie Rushmore and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" from the blockbuster In The Name Of The Father.

Then, back in 2003-04, the wildly popular HP ad series in which people held up frames that magically caught their images and froze them to the danceable and memorable song "Picture Book" hit the airwaves. You could actually hear people humming it or singing to it at the time. It was a huge hit and drove sales for their now considered classic LP, The Village Green Preservation Society (1968) on which "Picture Book" debuted.

One of the more recent Kinks' songs to be used in a TV commercial was released originally in 1976 on the album Soap Opera, which was widely considered a flop in the music press and at the cash register.

"Waterloo Sunset" - The Kinks. Widely considered one of the best songs ever written.
"Days" - The Kinks. One of the band's best songs ever, but known to only a few.

Other Kinks' songs featured in TV advertising campaigns and in movies include:

IBM - "I'm Not Like Everybody Else"
Cingular - "Strange Effect"
Tide - "All Day and All Night"
The Sopranos - "Living On A Thin Line"
The Parent Trap - "Victoria"
Click (movie) - "Do It Again"
Juno (movie) - "Well Respected Man"

And, "You Really Got Me" everywhere else.

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   January 17, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Brooklyn's indie rock eclectic elective Why? is definitely one of the most original and versatile artists to to receive well deserved attention in 2008.

With the release of their refreshing collage of songs on Alopecia, Why has etched themselves a place in modern indie rock. Many of Why?'s songs are completely different from one another that in a blind test it would be hard to say definitively that they are a set of songs from the same group. Electric eclectic is an appropriate tag.

Why? are very creative and accomplished musicians with a knack for eccentricity. This is part of what makes Alopecia so enjoyable, and definitely one of the best indie releases of 2008.

Whether they lay down - quite successfully we say - the rap in hip hop lo-fi tracks like "By Torpedo or Crohn's" and "A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under" or engage in quirky musical experimentalism with songs like "Simeon's Dilemma" - evoking comparisons to the glimmer psychedelic folk sound of The Flaming Lips.

The song "Fatalist Palmistry" is a memorable chorus-soaked pop song very much in the tradition of 1960s folk rock. Somehow Why? once again manages to pull off what most artists simply could not.

Other songs like "Song of the Sad Assassin", featuring overtures to Billy The Kid and Lee Harvey Oswald, make it even harder to pigeon hole Why?'s sound more than any other band we've heard in quite a while. Next thing you know you're listening to the song "The Hollows" with its Cure-like underpinnings.

Next, bubble gummy pop and drum machines predominate "These Few Presidents", yet another original song that somehow manages to be kind of cool. Nevertheless, the album is not without its weaknesses. The short songs on Alopecia, like opener "Exegesis" and "Twenty Eight" (44 seconds in length) are forgettable.

The over-riding theme of Alopecia is one of constant surprises. Just when you think the band had out done itself, another track spins and proves you wrong. I've haven't heard a record in a while from a relatively unknown band that instead sounds like an awesome compilation of the great songs from a line-up of talented artists.

What strikes me is that a creative writer could probably write an amazing story based on songs on Alopecia. It has all the elements of a great movie, in addition to being a spectacular album. In fact, Alopecia may turn out to be in the years to come must-have in any reputable indie rock music collection.

Why?'s MySpace page

"The Vowels, Part 2" - Why? from Alopecia

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   January 16, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Atlanta's very own indie music magic makers Deerhunter have become one of the most talked about quirky indie psychedelic rock bands of recent years. And for good reason.

But the band's latest 2008 double release Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. solidifies Deerhunter as one of the best non-mainstream bands of the so-called 'indie scene' despite frequent band changes and a string of misfortunes.

Just about every indie music blog, and even mainstream press, are hailing the band's latest work, but more importantly, the amazing journey listeners are taken on through songs, sounds and stories all along the way.

The two albums offer listeners a compendium of dreamy, warm songs full of sprawling concepts, singing and choruses, plus instrument experimentation mixed with psychedelic and garage style rock songs.

Sure, it has detractors that kicked it for being too 'straightforward' and 'generic indie', but as a complete work, that criticism is overly simplified. There's something for everyone on this album.

Microcastle highlights include "Never Stops", "Nothing Ever Happened" and "Little Kids" among others. One thing that is a bit annoying about so many of Deerhunter's songs is the time it takes for the song to reach and groove on the inevitable song climax.

Numerous Deerhunter songs start off slow and pick-up pace near the end. And then once you're into the meat of the song, it's over. A good example of this Deerhunter template is the album title song "Microcastle" (listed below). Is everyone competing with Sigur Ros (who we love!) for the longest dream-like intros to songs that end triumphantly?

"Nothing Ever Happened" - Deerhunter from Microcastle
"Games of Diamonds" - Deerhunter from Microcastle
"Microcastle" - Deerhunter from Microcastle

Stream Deerhunter on MySpace
Stream Weird Era Cont. on Lala

Check out Deerhunter (and other projects of Bradford Cox like Atlas Sound) on the official blog
and download rare, demo and other tracks and mixes

Check out this exclusive live recording from the tribute to John Peel, the famous BBC DJ who brought post punk and other genres to the masses for more than a decade.

Stream Deerhunter live in concert at Ellyot Island in England. (Deerhunter fans will love this)

Also, see our reviews of a Bradford Cox playlist and IRC's playlist challenge.

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   January 15, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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M. Ward and National Public Radio have collaborated to offer a full stream of the talented artists' upcoming new release Hold Time.

The album is rich with what fans expect from Ward - acoustic ballads and songs that are soothing and bright. NPR said of Hold Time: "Hold Time, continues this tradition, with a gorgeously produced mix of finger-picked guitars, upright bass and shuffling rhythms, all tied together by his achy voice."

Stream the full album uninterrupted choose to listen to individual songs.

Ward was the other half of She & Him which received wide critical acclaim for their 2008 Volume One. The duo are working on Volume Two slated for release in 2010. Hold Time will be officially release on February 17, 2009 and the following day, Ward will kick-off a tour with a show in Boston.

According to Reuters UK the long-awaited album from Ward, My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis is also expected in 2010, even though Ward called the work on the album moving at a "glacial pace."

Free Merge Records 2009 sampler featuring Ward, Portistatic, Lampchop, Conor Oberst, Wye Oak, The Broken West and others.

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   January 13, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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In response to a playlist challenge to Deerhunter's Bradford Cox's previously published playlist mix, IRC is happy to offer you the following playlist featuring what we think are a great representation of songs of interest to Deerhunter, and non-Deerhunter, music lovers.

"Did You See The Words" -
Animal Collective (photo, top) from the 2005 release Feels

"Carrot Rope" -
Pavement from the 1999 release Wowee Zowee

"Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" -
Radiohead from the 2007/2008 release In Rainbows

"Cello Song" -
Nick Drake from the 1969 release Five Leaves Left

"Canadian Girl" -
The Walkmen from the 2008 release You & Me

"Is There A Ghost?" - Band of Horses from the 2007 release Ceases to Begin

"Disarm" -
Smashing Pumpkins from the 1993 release Siamese Dream

"Scythian Empires" -
Andrew Bird from the 2007 release Armchair Apocrypha

"Float On" -
Modest Mouse from the 2004 release Good News for People Who Love Bad News

"Knots" -
Pete and The Pirates from the 2008 release Little Death

Download the ZIP for this playlist

What do you think of this mix? Use the comments section below.

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   January 12, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Hard-core Deerhunter fans know about the band and it's many other projects, incarnations and collaborations.

Fewer know what kind of music the current and former band mates of this indie collective listen to. So, in summarizing a huge number of posts at their blog, here is series of personal playlist mixes from Deerhunter, Atlas Sound and Panda Bear.

First up, is Bradford Cox's playlist "mixed by Atlas Sound" titled Micromix 16: Bus Ambience, posted on May 25, 2008. Overall, most of the playlist is simply not really our kind of music (compared to all the great music out there); but hey, who's to say others won't enjoy it more.

Personally, I skipped over most of the songs, hoping for a jem within and found just about nada.

1. Animal Collective -
Chocolate Girl (Live on BBC) - Predictable, but good.
2. The Dovers -
What Am I Going to Do - OK, they have better stuff.
3. The Chills -
Pink Frost - Good, like The Chills for some time.
4. The Avatars -
Coil - SOK.
5. Jet Harris and Tony Meehan -
Some People (around 19 minutes in) - Not.
6. B-52's -
Theme From A Nude Beach - Umm, no thanks.
7. Birigwa -
Okusosola Mukule - Nice world music until the baby starts crying at the end (around 31 minutes in); seriously, in a 'mellowed out' song, the last thing you want to hear is a crying baby. Hello?!
8. Black Sabbath -
Solitude - Good. Classic and rarely mellow Black Sabbath from the 1970s.
9. Growing -
Disconfirm - Spaceship keyboards with drum band backgrounds. Crap?
10. Beach Boys -
He Gives Speeches - This is the freaking Beach Boys?!? OK, well this is the Beach Boys at their worst. With all the possible songs to pick from The Beach Boys!? Is this mix a joke?
11. White Magic -
Day - Not so much. I mean yes if you're on acid. How many of you are on acid right now? This track would be better without the awkward choruses/chanting and some more note progressions.

Alright, not digging Bradford's mix all that much. Sorry man, nothing personal. Your own music is better.

Download it via MediaFire:

Total Time: 46:13

Next up, Panda Bear's Bookie Pad mix

Stay tuned for more plus our playlist challenge to the Deerhunter and Friends' Personal Playlists series.

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   January 10, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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One of the interesting things about the end of a year is that lots of people spend lots of time and money catching up on new music releases from that year - 2008 to be specific - including the folks here at the cafe.

While the Best Indie Rock Songs of 2008 playlist series officially ended last month at Vol.15, we are still finding music many may have missed, in addition to other great songs from 2008 releases that we already featured.

The following playlist features tracks from artists and bands like Sybris, The Suncharms, Secret Machines, The Tallest Man On Earth and Tigers Can Bite You.

1. "Oh Man!" - Sybris from Into The Trees

2. "Tranquility Day" - The Suncharms from You Can't Have It All

3. "Now You're Gone" - Secret Machines from Secret Machines

4. "The Gardner" - The Tallest Man On Earth from Shallow Grave

5. "Second Nature" - Tigers Can Bite You from Steve Ward Hears Voices

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   January 6, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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While receiving some blog acclaim in 2008, Deastro's release Keeper's failed, in some respects, to stir up the excitement that we believe it deserves. An example of this: We were stunned to find that Deastro's MySpace page, at the time of this printing, has received only about 125,000 profile views. WTF!? Talk about head scratchers.

One way to describe the man behind Deastro is that he is this musical prodigy who has been mixing music in his parent's basement since age 12.

Deastro is one moniker - another is Our Brother The Megazord - of indie electronica-pop artist, engineer and producer Randolph Chabot, a native son of Sterling Heights, Michigan. Chabot is not an unknown in the indie music spectrum, especially after the release of his 2007 double album Young Planets/Time The Teenage Twister.

Last summer, Chabot released his follow-up album, Deastro's Keeper's, as an Emusic exclusive digital download. Keeper's is a continium of one masterfully arranged track after another - an eclectic collection of wonderfully-written, well executed songs.

Keeper's is full of driving, lush beats and instrumental embellishments, sprawling and swirling compositions that are transcendental, harmonic and inspirational. Other songs, like the pop acoustic ballads "Child of Man, Son of God" help solidify Chabot's reputation as an amazing artist and technician.

Sprinkled throughout Keeper's are songs that range in style from German electronica, post-punk, new wave rock, shoegaze and psycho-pop. There is no template to pigeon hole Chabot's music - which is one of his strengths - other than a predictability that whatever he puts out has been impressive so far.

It very likely that once you start listening to this album, you won't stop. It might just grow on you, and songs like "Songs like "The Shaded Forests" "Open Up Ye Dark Gates!", "Light Powered", "The Goodman of the House" are hard to turn away from repeating. In fact, just about every song is

Thematically, it's hard to miss an overarching theme - nature, energy and an ode to another time and place. If there is a special place you would like to transcend to, chances are this album will take you there, and you might just find yourself going back to it time and again because "there" is a good place to be.

The entire album is a celebration of one man's ability to make a great record pretty much all by himself, from the writing, playing instruments to engineering and even drawing the album cover art. That makes Keeper's even more impressive, and definitely a keeper.

Enjoy the journey.

"The Shaded Forests"
- Deastro

"Light Powered"
- Deastro

Stream songs from the album at Deastro's MySpace page: and at

Randolph Chabot on Facebook

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   January 4, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Over the next month, IRC will publish our choices for the best indie releases of 2008.

There are too many great releases for 2008 to put out a rushed list. With that in mind, IRC will not rank the best albums for 2008 as so many reviewers do. Instead, we'll just publish what we think were the best indie albums of 2008 and let you decide which are your favorites.

For the actively curious, you can get a good sense of what our favorite albums will be by checking out the songs featured in our Best Indie Rock Songs of 2008 playlist series, but that's just a sampling.

So many other albums, the more we listen to them, are emerging on to the list, including releases from bands and artists like The Little Ones, The Rural Alberta Advantage, School of Seven Bells, Atlas Sound, The Tallest Man on Earth and others to be revealed in the coming month.

"Morning Tide" - The Little Ones from their debut full-featured album, Morning Tide

Download two other WMA music files from The Little One's previous releases and if you dig the band, we encourage buying their music - it's definitely worth it.

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   January 1, 2009    2 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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