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  • It's not a surprise at all nowadays to discover another great indie band that I was unaware of previously - there are dozens of them that I hope to introduce you to in the coming weeks.

    In this case I'm talking about the English pop/country duo The Boy Least Likely To comprised of composer and multi-instrumentalist Pete Hobbs and songwriter/singer Jof Owen. Earlier this month they released their new album The Law of the Playground.

    Owen and Hobbs attended school together in the village of Wendover, Buckinghamshire in England. While classmates in school they began to write music together. In 2003, they released their first record in 2003. The duo's eclectic sound features pleasing blends of banjos, pianos, guitars, bass, drums, chimes, violins and electronic sound effects accented by dynamic vocal arrangements.

    BLLT have a real knack for creating totally unique, upbeat songs that thoroughly explore the landscape of musical possibilities, ranging in sounds similar to obvious influences from The Beatles (i.e., "The Boy Least Likely To Is A Machine") to ELO ("Every Goliath Has Its David), and more modern bands like Camera Obscura and Architecture in Helsinki.

    Buy this album. If you like the songs below, you're sure to like just about every track on this album including songs like "The Boy With Two Hearts," "A Fairtale Ending" and "A Balloon On A Broken String." The track "Saddle Up" is a perfect example of BLLT's pure and original talent to mix country and pop and make it sound really good.

    The Law of the Playground is one of the most masterful pop albums of 2009 hands down, and likely to be one of IRC's best albums of 2009. Sure, it's early still to say that, but this one is a guarantee.

    "Saddle Up" - The Boy Least Likely To from The Law of the Playground
    "A Balloon On A Broken String" - The Boy Least Likely To from The Law of the Playground

    Get the album


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       March 31, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Because so many of you demand it, I am resuming the on-going playlist/profile series, More Great Indie Albums of 2008. You can get a good sense of a band's popularity by searching its name on Google, checking their plays on music sites like MySpace and LastFM and so on. But this is no measure of so many talented artists that have yet to be discovered by the mass of indie and alternative rock music lovers.

    So here's a nod to another promising band I didn't know about until they sent me a link to download their debut released last October.

    Boston indie-pop quintet The Hush Now have made an indelible impression on music critics and fans with their “lush sugar-spun melodies of shoegaze’s dreamy heyday”.

    The band’s self-titled debut quickly climbed the independent radio charts and drew comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Poole and The Ocean Blue, among others.

    The Hush Now's magical debut record is a boost for any band. After listening to the album more than a few times, it's hard not to appreciate its rich, layered pop songs opulent with waves of melodies and harmonies accented by memorable keyboard riffs and catchy beats.

    Can't wait to hear their next release. The following songs are from their self-titled debut in October 2008. The first track, "Vancouver", is my personal favorite. If you like the band, add them on MySpace.

    "Vancouver" - The Hush Now
    "Traditions" - The Hush Now
    "Subtle Like Bombs" - The Hush Now

    Get The Hush Now's debut album for free

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       March 30, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    War Child Heroes is a recently released compilation benefit album that was inspired by pictures drawn by children living in war torn countries.

    The producers asked a select group of some of rock's best classic groups and artists to choose a song of their own and who they wanted to cover it (see the album cover image above for details). Bowie, for example, asked TV on the Radio to cover his song "Heroes" and Dylan requested Beck cover his track, "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat". Beck does a splitting R&B rock cover; I thought I knew all of Dylan's songs, but not sure I heard of this one before. But, still, nice choice Bob.

    Not only is it a good cause to support, but the album, for the most part, is a great collection of cover songs from artists and bands such as The Kooks, TV on the Radio, Hot Chip, Beck, Franz Ferdinand, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many others.

    The only thing I don't understand is the seemingly lack of editorial sensitivity with allowing song titles themselves like "Search and Destroy" (Iggy Pop and Stooges), covered by Peaches (and not very well at that) and "Straight to Hell" (The Clash) covered by Lily Allen with Mick Jones. Sure, the originals are great songs, but maybe not for a benefit album for children ravaged by war? Oops.

    "Victoria" (The Kinks) - The Kooks from the benefit covers album War Child - Heroes Vol.1

    "Victoria" - The Kinks from the classic 1969 Brit rock album Arthur (the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). The album, and the popular hit track, still rock today; the song was featured in the movie The Parent Trap)

    "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" (Bob Dylan) - Beck from War Child - Heroes Vol. 1

    Your purchase of War Child Heroes compilation will go directly to help children - innocents caught in the middle, and the victims of, the shit that stupid adults do. It's maddening. As adults, whether we have our own children or not, it is our responsibility to protect children where ever they are threatened in the world. I feel really strongly about that.

    The following information is from the War Child organization's literature:

    About War Child

    War Child helps protect children by:

    • reintegrating child soldiers with their families
    • getting children off the streets, after war has forced them to leave home
    • separating children from adults in prison
    • rebuilding schools destroyed by war
    • lobbying politicians to do more for children affected by war
    • empowering the public to get involved.


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       March 28, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    A bit of a bizarre name for a modern pop rock duo, Pinstripes 45's (sounds more like some kind of barber shop quartet, huh?) from Nashville have a catchy melodic sound woven in layers of harmonies, hand clapping, acoustic guitar and accomplished vocal arrangements that lend influences to bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and artists like Bob Dylan.

    The duo, comprised of multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Marshall Hanbury Jr. and stand-up bassist Gina Black had the good fortune to work with producer Jacquire King whose resume includes Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse and Tom Waits. Songs from their forthcoming (date not provided) release include the pop ballad "I Don't Know What Hit Me", and the Neil Finn-sounding track "Living Times Like These."

    "I Don't Know What Hit Me" - Pinstripe 45s
    "Living Time Like These" - Pinstripe 45s

    Pinstripe 45s on MySpace


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       March 27, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    WAVVES, aka Nathan Williams, the popular noise pop one-man band, was a big hit at South By Southwest this year. Check out these tunes from his set (via lullabyes):

    To The Dregs
    So Bored
    ...Tried to Stop Me

    See IRC's previous post about WAVVES.

    Look out for more new releases and songs coming in the next couple of days. Sign up for the Feed Me Indie RSS feed or follow IRC on Twitter.

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       March 26, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    There is an exciting, new two-man indie band from New Orleans named Caddywhompus (which means, basically, ass-backwards, broken and uneven) that officially released their debut "EPs" this week.

    My first taste of the band came earlier this month when they sent an email with a couple of songs attached. I was going to write about them weeks ago, but things have been backlogged here at the cafe. Nevertheless, after listening to their music for a few weeks now, Caddywhompus is officially an IRC band to watch in 09.

    Caddywhompus' sound comes at you with in-your-face exuberance of raucous noise pop hipsters. There are rave-like romps, driving drum beats, psychedelic infusions, and fuzzy, dreamy harmonies. Songs like "This is Where We Blaze the Nuggz"' and "Fun Times at Whiskey Bay" are perfect examples. Noise pop lovers will probably enjoy these songs and others including the interestingly-named track "Eat Chest" and the "...But Not Before A Show".

    There's one problem: There is another band that they sound like so much and I cannot think of that band's name. And yet I know if someone says it, I'll be like, "Dude! That's fricking it!" If you know, tell, please, tell. :-p

    "This is Where We Blaze the Nuggz" - Caddywhompus from "EPs"
    "Fun Times at Whiskey Bar" - Caddywhompus from "EPs"
    "Eat Chest" - Caddywhompus from "EPs"

    Caddywhompus on MySpace . Buy "EPs" from the band's official website.

    Here's an interview with the guys from Static Television

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       March 25, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Having surfaced to the indie music scene for all the right reasons in recent years, and now signed with the Dandy Warhols' label Beat The World, Logan Lynn has released a set of new singles from his anticipated third album release, From Pillar to Post, due out later this year.

    Lynn teamed up with producer Carlos Cortes of the Portland DJ collective Assemble The Empire to record From Pillar to Post. The result: An amazing collection of upbeat, sprawling electro-pop tracks that are not over-produced but engineered to be original and free-flowing.

    There's a lot of musical experience and talented wrapped neatly in this well packaged upcoming release. The guys sent these fresh tracks to share with all of you. Enjoy.

    "Feed Me To The Wolves" - Logan Lynn off From Pillar to Post
    "Burning Your Glory" - Logan Lynn off From Pillar to Post

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       March 24, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    As a Beirut fan, the double EP release of March of the Zapotec & Realpeople: Holland marks a charter into new areas of musicianship, including more experimentation with instruments, styles and concepts. Put your musical journey jacket on before delving in.

    March of the Zapotec EP consists of songs written by Beirut and recorded with Oaxacan march masters The Jimenez Band in southern Mexico. March sounds a lot like Beirut meets the Mexican Godfather, especially on songs like "La Llorona". But it still has that unique Beirut sound - brassy, stuttered romps and old Euro carnival instrumentation.

    Holland, featuring songs from band leader Zach Condon and recorded under the moniker Realpeople, includes the previously released tracks "Venice" and "My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille". Other tunes like the 1970s electronica-sounding "The Dice" and the sci-fi Burt Bacharach styled "The Concubine" make for an interesting listen.

    All in all though, this double EP release from Beirut features some good music, just a bit of a departure. I guess I was looking for something bigger to build off the success of their last amazing release The Flying Club Cup.

    "La Llorona" - Beirut from March of the Zapotec
    "Venice" - RealPeople from Holland
    "A Sunday Smile" - Beirut from The Flying Club Cup

    U2 perform their classic hit "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

    U2 of Old is Better Than U2 of Now

    The ironically titled new release by Ireland's "most famous" rockers, U2, No Line on the Horizon, may be telling of the band's waning relevancy. In recent years, U2 has become overly-commercialized, trendy, glitzy rock celebs. I bet Bono and the boys would never dare to offer an album for free on the Internet like Radiohead did; and that's just part of my point.

    Over the past decade, U2 has enthusiastically accepted the sugary media saturation bestowed on them without much a nod to those who made them multi-millionaires (yeah they do some charity work - cool, all for that).

    U2 was one of the first bands that launched my obsession with rock music years ago. But they've now become mediocre musically in contrast to the god-like status the mainstream media gives them. I was really hoping for something special from the new U2 album, but again, it's just OK.

    But don't get me wrong; I'll always love the U2 music from their debut right up to Joshua Tree; by now, it's classic rock through and through.

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       March 23, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    This week you'll see some reviews of much talked about recent releases by groups like The Decemberists, Beirut and U2. I'm probably going to get some spitfire emails, but just trying to keep it real (one person's opinion). Let's start off with a band that was a favorite of mine for years.

    Then, not so long ago, The Decemberists 'crossed over' and signed with a major label - Capitol Records. That was a bit hard to take for a band that helped boost the popularity of true indie labels. Anyways, my fear that their music would change has come true, and not in the best way.

    And so what is the freaking hype for? First off, I have been a huge Decemberists' fan since first hearing The Crane Wife. After hearing that record, I immediately bought everything they ever released - and I was hooked man. The upcoming release of The Hazards of Love marks a new direction for the band that personally I am not a fan of.

    There are really only a handful of songs on Hazards that are keepers for me, among them "The Rake Song" and "The Wanting Comes in Waves". I am more inclined to go back and listen to their merchant sailing songs and bucolic ballads from bygone days.

    The NPR music dudes from All Songs Considered recently "bet" after The Decemberists' SXSW show last week in Austin that Hazards will be the best album of 2009.

    What?! First of all guys, it's only freaking March. Secondly, I've heard dozens of better albums so far this year from bands few have heard of. Sometimes NPR irks me. For the last few years, NPR's musical staff druels over a handful of bands and commonly declare, prematurely notwithstanding, the contenders for 'best albums of the year', and eagerly enough, the sure-fire, got-to-be, hands down winner - with an entire freaking nine months in the year left.

    Please guys. Time for a reality check at NPR music. If you don't believe me, dig through the IRC archives for this year and check out some of the other albums on the list to the right of this page; I promise there are better albums in that list than The Hazards of Love.

    Next up in "Just OK" New Releases: Beirut and U2

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    Alexis Babini at Summerfest 2008. Photo by Laura Burton

    With all that has been going on with South by Southwest there hasn't been much time to catch up on music submissions. The quantity of music that comes into IRC is reaching unmanageable proportions. The backlog is getting out of control but I know there are some nugs in those emails and CD cases.

    The following are just a few of the best artists and songs that have come in the mail in the past month or so - essentially, part of the back-logged. This installment has a different spin on it with a focus on artists from cities around the United States.

    Bean Town Artist Gets Noticed

    Alexis Babini is a singer/songwriter from Boston who has made waves in the past year by selling out venues in the northeast and winning the Berklee Performer Songwriter Contest. His debut album was released on March 3.

    "Sometimes" - Alexis Babini from Breaking It In
    Alexis on MySpace

    NYC Radio Producer Releases New Free Tracks

    Fuzzy & Blue is a music project by Jonathan Mitchell, a composer and radio producer living in New York City. These songs explore a period of misfortune set to the sounds of powerpop and 1980's new wave music.

    "Rubber Porcupine" - Fuzzy & Blue (aka Jonathan Mitchell) from s/t EP

    Listen to and download free tracks from Fuzzy & Blue

    Portland Has an Edgier Side, Too

    King Black Acid are a Portland, Oregon alt rock-techno band whose song "Let's Burn" was is featured on the film soundtrack for Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans.

    They wrote: "We just made a music video for "Let's Burn" in our garage using bed sheets and gaffers tape. Our friend Jeremiah Scott did the camera work and editing."

    "Let's Burn" - King Black Acid from Underworld: Rise of the Lycans soundtrack

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       March 21, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Fans of Austin band Voxtrot - who have been on a hiatus for two year - may be glad to hear that the band has a new song produced, recorded and mixed by Spoon's Jim Eno called "Trepanation Party." No word however from the band about an upcoming album.

    Below are also new tunes from Pomegranates, The Grates, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Neko Case. All songs have been reviewed and approved.

    "Trepanation Party" - Voxtrot, newly released single

    "Kid Gloves" - Voxtrot

    "Corriander" - Pomegranates from Everybody, Come Outside!

    "Zero" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs, newly released single

    "Middle Cyclone" - Neko Case from Middle Cyclone

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       March 20, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The Spinto Band throw it down

    With SXSW at full throttle, here's the final playlist of bands performing over the next four days.

    You can check the official schedule for show times or check out this nicely compiled day/time/venue schedule. The following represents bands - from S to Z - that are particularily of interest this year.

    The previous two playlists: A to M | N to R

    "Northwestern Girls" - Say Hi from Seattle WA

    "Snow Leopard" - Shearwater from Austin TX

    "Ghost Town" - Shiny Toy Guns from Oklahoma City OK

    "I'm a Machine" - Slaraffenland from Copenhagen, Denmark

    "Summer Grof" - The Spinto Band from Wilmington DE

    "SIQ" - Supersonic from Bupadest, Hungary

    "Everybody Say" - Takka Takka from Brooklyn NY

    "The Gardner" - The Tallest Man On Earth from Karlstad, Sweden

    "Coast of Carolina" - Telekinesis from Seattle WA

    "Bag of Hammers" - Thao from San Francisco CA

    "Non Dairy Creamer" - Third Eye Blind from San Francisco CA

    "Honor Amongst Thieves" - These United States from Washington DC

    "She Had a Knife" - This Drama from Spain

    "Everyone Know Has a Smile" - The Uglysuit from Oklahoma City OK

    "Every Day" - Vetiver from San Francisco CA

    "Kid Gloves" - Voxtrot from Austin TX

    "Never Had Nobody Like You" - M Ward from Portland OR

    "Beach Demon" - WAVVES from San Diego CA

    "Learn to Learn" - The Week That Was from Sunderland UK

    "Quiet Little Voices" - We Were Promised Jetpacks from Glasgow Scotland


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       March 18, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Austin band Okkervil River

    Today marks the officially beginning of the South by Southwest music conference. Yesterday, we published a list of 35 artists and bands to look out for at SXSW 09. Here is the completion of that list featuring songs from SXSW booked artists, letters N through R.

    "Automatic Blues" - Neat Neat Neat from Hamburg DE

    "Beast" - Nico Vega from Los Angeles CA

    "Eraser" - No Age from Los Angeles, CA

    "Lost Coastlines" - Okkervil River from Austin TX

    "Hard Times in America" - Willie Nile from New York NY

    "Wet Gold" - The Octopus Project from Austin TX

    "Let's Get It Started" - Oh No Not Stereo from Los Angeles CA

    "Ferocious" - OK City OK from Tokyo Japan

    "Sofa Surfer Girl" - The Orchid Highway from Vancouver BC

    "Young Adult Friction" - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart from New York, NY

    "No Place Like Home" - Out From Animals from Chester UK

    "Walk On" - Palomar from Brooklyn NY

    "Sleepyhead" - Passion Pit from Boston MA

    "Mr. Understanding" - Pete and The Pirates from Reading UK

    "Gimme Chemicals" - The Pink Spiders from Nashville TN

    "I Woke Up Today" - Port O'Brien from Cambria CA

    "Tora Tora Tora" - Pretty & Nice from Boston MA

    "Dying is Fine" - Ra Ra Riot from Syracuse NY

    "New Scissors" - Royal Bangs from Knoxville TN

    "Frank AB" - The Rural Alberta Advantage from Toronto ON

    Bands S through Z coming up.

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    This is another stellar year for South by Southwest. Even though the world's most famous music conference doesn't officially kick off until tomorrow, there is so much going on that even a team of 15 reporters (like some media outlets have) cannot possible cover it all.

    The following playlist is just a sample of the many artists and bands performing at SXSW 09; out of necessity, I parred down the full list of artists to those which I like the most. Enjoy.

    "Stay Son" - A Classic Education from Bologna, Italy

    "Dimmer" - Bishop Allen from Brooklyn NY

    "Around Your Neck" - Annuals from Raleigh NC

    "Gila" - Beach House from Baltimore MD

    "Oh Katrina" - Black Lips from Atlanta GA

    "Old Home Movies" - The Botticellis from San Francisco CA

    "24 Hour Heartbreak" - The Cloud Room Brooklyn NY

    "Crystal Stilts" - Crystal Stilts from New York NY

    "Turn Cold" - Cut Off Your Hands Auckland NZ

    "Fa-Fa-Fa" - Datarock from Bergen, Norway

    "All The Money I Had is Gone" - The Deep Dark Woods from Saskatoon SK

    "Longtime" - Deer Tick from Providence RI

    "Capture and Develop" - The Details from Winnipeg MB

    "The Hangmen" - Dirtblonde from Liverpool UK

    "Seasickness Pills" - Drink Up Buttercup from Horsham PA

    "Face Down in the Right Town" - Earlimart from Los Angeles CA

    "Welcome Ghosts" - Explosions in the Sky from Austin TX

    "Red Gun" - The Forms from New York NY

    "Two Sinners in the Garden" - David Garza from Austin TX

    "Spirited" - Laura Gibson from Portland OR

    "Pharmacy" - Golden Boys from Austin TX

    "Deep Sea Diver" - Grizzly Bear Brooklyn NY

    "OK Goodbye" - Adam Heldring from Stockholm, Sweden

    "Robin" - Little Black Dress from Houston TX

    "Let It Rain" - Living Things from Salt Lake City UT

    "Ordinary Song" - The Little Ones from Los Angeles CA

    "Year of the Dog" - The Lovely Sparrows from Austin TX

    "Ignorant Boy" - Loney Dear from Jonkoping Sweden

    "Hey Boy" - The Magic Kids from Memphis TX

    "At the Mountains of Madness" - Magic Lantern from Long Beach CA

    "Sleepy Lion" - Magic Magic from Boston MA

    "Wake the Sun" - The Matches from Oakland CA

    "Meet Me in the Garden" - Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele from Oxford MS

    "The Cannibal Queen" - Miniature Tigers from Phoenix AZ

    "Bus Stop Lovers" - My Federation from Hove UK

    Artists and bands N-Z will be published tomorrow for the official first day of SXSW 2009.

    Cool SXSW Links

    SXSW Official Website - Check official show times and venues

    Free South by Southwest Sampler from NPR

    SXSW 2009 Twitter Visualizer

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       March 17, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    At first I wasn't impressed. Strange how that happens on first listen with albums that on second listen reveal their relevancy. The upcoming release from Royksopp's titled Junior (due out March 24), offers a fine collection of dance-driven pop with lush vocals and tight arrangements and moments of ambient genius. Although Royksopp's music is not so much my thing - it's a bit too Madonna-esque for my tastes, Junior has some standout tracks.

    Sounding more like Swedish charged pop, Junior features infectuous dance beats, intricate mixes and spot on vocals like are found on tracks like "Tricky Tricky". This is sure to be a memorable track. The heavy and slow flows of evolving keyboard arrangements on the instrumental "Silver Cruiser" would be perfect in a movie sequence. The opening track "It's What I Want" is reminiscent of the new wave sound of the 80s draped in a 2009 dance track.

    Also, "This Must Be It" is another catchy, awesomely arranged and executed track and will likely be playing in clubs worldwide not long from now. "One Vision" oozes with techno grinds, digs and curls that remind me of Daft Punk at times. All in all, Royksopp fans, your Norweigen peeps haven't let you down. This will be one of the biggest dance/techno pop albums of 2009.

    "Tricky Tricky" - Royksopp from Junior
    Get the album from the band's website

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       March 16, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    viernesThis installment of In Dee Mail features R&B slicksters Tortured Soul, singer and songwriter Darrin Kohavi and former Flux Punch lead Stephen Rockford Hammond.

    "Did You Miss Me" - Tortured Soul from Did You Miss Me

    "Please Believe Me" - Darrin Kohavi from s/t EP

    "Certainty" - Stephen Rockford Hammond from Flux Punch (originally released in 2008)

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       March 15, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Nathan Williams, aka WAVVES, photo courtesy of SPIN magazine

    One thing that WAVVES, Deastro and Alaska in Winter have in common is that they are essentially one-man bands that all have emerged to prominence in the past year and each use monikers rather than their real names, adding an extra element of intrigue to their art.

    Attendees of the ultimate indie music event, South by Southwest, will have multiple chances to see all three artists perform at different venues at different times during SXSW in Austin next week - March 18-22.

    So we decided to do a little feature on each artist because they share so much in common - not to mention that they are each amazing musicians. First up is WAVVES. From mixing and recording his own songs influenced by The Beach Boys, Nirvana and Sonic Youth on the Mac software GarageBand to near instant stardom in the alt music world, 22-year-old San Diego resident Nathan Williams is on his own wave of success.

    WAVVES debut album quickly became one of 2008's 'surprise' hits with raves on influential music blogs and even in the mainstream music press. And for good reason - this kid can rock - and do it all by himself. When performing live he has friend and drummer Ryan Ulsh lay down the beats. WAVVES new album, Wavvves, is set to drop March 17.

    "So Bored" - WAVVES from new album Wavvves
    "Beach Demon" - WAVVES from new album Wavvves

    WAVVES is slated to perform no less than nine shows at SXSW.

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       March 14, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Thrust into the national spotlight in recent weeks as the city with the highest unemployment in the United States, Elkhart, Indie-ana has more to offer than a magnet for misery-seeking TV crews; it's also the "RV Capital of the World."

    And, Elkhart has inbirdseye (how they spell it), a math rock band featuring Garrett Fitzgerald (guitar, vocals), Ty Thomas (guitar, vocals), Andrew Bozymowski (bass) and Ryan Lackner (drums). Personally I like the promise and rawness of their sound. InBirdsEye has the potential to accomplish big things, yet they may need a good producer to help them 'get there'.

    One of their fans wrote on their MySpace page, "like the Appleseed Cast meets Sonic Youth meets My Bloody Valentine." What do you think?

    "They Won't See" - InBirdsEye from Tres Songs
    Visit InBirdsEye new MySpace page

    Download all three songs from InBirdsEye via Mediafire.

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       March 12, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The Seattle garage rock-pop band The Lonely Forest is set to release their third album, We Sing The Body Electric!, on April 21 via Burning Building Recordings. In the interest of full disclosure, I was unaware of the band until their latest album came in dee mail.

    As I listened to We Sing The Body Electric!, it became apparent that I was hearing one of the best albums so far this year. Song after song reveals rich, raw, sophisticated, emotional, party-ready and wonderfully crafted music; there are no gimmicks or cookie cutter rock here. What worries me about bands that are this good is what can happen to them if they become too popular.

    Music producer Jack Endino, who worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney and Soundgarden said of The Lonely Forest: "These guys came out of no where...and blew my mind!"

    For reals. We Sing The Body Electric! may likely be on some best rock album lists for 2009 by year's end. Band members include Eric Sturgeon (bass and vocals), John Van Deusen (piano, lead vocals), Braydn Krueger (drums) and Tony Ruland (guitar).

    Some of the bands The Lonely Forest have played with include The Velvet Teen, The Thermals, Appleseed Cast, Mates of State, Viva Voce, Saturday Looks Good To Me, Cloud Cult, YACHT, Maritime and many others.

    MySpace has become one fairly reliable measure of a band's popularity. The Lonely Forest opened their page in July 2004 and have since racked up 265,824 profile views and amassed 5,958 friends in the extended (and sometimes over-extended) MySpace network.

    "We Sing In Time" - The Lonely Forest from We Sing The Body Electric!
    "Stars and Moons" - The Lonely Forest from Nuclear Winter (2007)
    The Lonely Forest on MySpace

    Both songs are currently available via Burning Buildings Recordings

    The gorgeous Pacific Northwest has played a major role in popularizing alternative and indie rock music for nearly two decades now, and The Lonely Forest are clearly one of the big shots in modern Seattle rock.

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       March 11, 2009    5 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Today's batch of new songs features artists who will be performing at this year's South by Southwest conference in Austin, from March 18-22. IRC will be featuring dozens of artists and bands from now until the end of SXSW, including live performances, updates, playlists, features and more.

    Here are new tracks from Portland's Gavin Castleton, Brooklyn's newest electro-pop sensation BELL, Texan singer songwriter Robert Gomez, Alabama's indie rockers All The Saints and another Portland artist Tara Jane O'Neil.

    "Coffelocks" - Gavin Castleton from Home
    Gavin Castleton on MySpace

    "Magic Tape" - BELL from Magic Tape coming out March 24nd
    "New Bridge"
    BELL on MySpace

    "Fire on Corridor X" - All the Saints from Fire on Corridor X
    All The Saints on MySpace

    "On This Day" Robert Gomez from Pine Sticks & Phosphorus out April 14th
    Robert Gomez on MySpace

    "Drowning" Tara Jane O'Neil from A Ways Away out May 5th
    Tara Jane O'Neil on MySpace

    To see the full list of artists and schedules for SXSW 2009, click here.

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    Sam Jacobs is a singer songwriter from New York with some major connections in the music industry. But it's clear that Jacobs has succeeded largely on his own with his solid musicianship and introspective lyrics.

    Many of the songs from his new release Pain is a Reliable Signal have been affected by the terrible pain his wife experiences as a result of a latent birth defect on her spine. The couple have been on a difficult journey looking for a solution to her incurable condition.

    Therefore it is only appropriate that we give a well-deserved thumbs up to the Jacobs for their fortitude in the face of difficulty, and making some great music at the same time.

    "Dirty White Coats" - The Flying Change from Pain is a Reliable Signal
    The Flying Change on MySpace

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       March 10, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The following is a batch of new songs from current and upcoming albums from indie rockers Coltrane Motion, Ottawa folk inspiration The Acorn and Brooklyn lo-fi pop slickers The City and Horses. Enjoy.

    "The Year Without A Summer" - Coltrane Motion from The Year Without A Summer
    "Blue Maya" - Coltrane Motion from The Year Without A Summer
    Coltrane Motion's Official Website

    Ottawa's The Acorn are an indie folk band that have a sound similar to Fleet Foxes. Their new release, Heron Act, features a collection of songs from live recordings and demos. Heron Act is a must-have for fans of The Acorn and a good place to get to know the band for newbies to their sound.

    "Crooked Legs" - The Acorn from Heron Act
    The Acorn on MySpace

    While it's nothing new in recent years to say there's another interesting and talented band based in Brooklyn, The City and Horses is one of the bands to watch in 2009.

    "I Love The Girls" - The City and Horses from I Don't Want to Dream
    The City and Horses on MySpace

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       March 9, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    It was no accident. Back in January, after reading a post on the blog I Guess I'm Floating, we featured Blind Man's Colour as a band to watch in 2009.

    Not long after, Kanye West (yup, that Kanye West) gave a thumbs up to the band (and their art?) on his personal blog and linked back to our post. Needless to say, a nod from Kanye, and kudos from fellow bloggers, was enough to get the attention of various record labels.

    The St. Petersburg, Florida musical duo that comprise Blind Man's Colour is Orhan Chettri and Kyle Wyss. The guys create dreamy, trippy, chorus laden and synthesized electro pop with obvious influences from Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Animal Collective (more about that below).

    Last week, and not surprisingly, Chettri and Wyss announced that they had signed with Kanine Records to release their full length debut Season Dreaming this summer. We have been listening to the demos of Season Dreaming from BMC for six weeks now and look forward to the studio release.

    While those demos are no longer available on the band's blog, there are plenty of other songs available for free from the band's EPs 2006 - 2007 Recordings and Rainbow Faces to unreleased solo work recorded by Wyss under the moniker Chromatic Flights.

    Here is a selection of the band's downloadable songs from the band's free EPs.

    "Waterfall Freedom" - Blind Man's Colour from The Rainbow Faces EP
    "Heliocentrics (Tell Me Why I Fall)" - Blind Man's Colour from 2006-2007 Recordings

    The following video is the only known video featuring the band. It was filmed and produced by a fellow high school friend Sean Sekas for his digital film class.

    And the beat goes on; the duo also released four cover songs from Animal Collective's masterpiece Merriweather Post Pavilion. The covers are available as part of compilation produced by a group of independent musicians who met up on an Animal Collective message board. BMC's covers are quite impressive, as are a few others. Download Collected Animals.

    "Brother Sport" (Animal Collective cover) - Blind Man's Colour from the Collected Animals
    "Daily Routine" (Animal Collective cover) - Blind Man's Colour from the Collected Animals

    In case you missed the first posting we published on BMC, here is an awesome song - the one that really created the 'blogger buzz' about BMC - and a good indication of what their debut LP will sound like.

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

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       March 7, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Papercuts' Jason Roberts Quever (photo courtesy of Gnomonsong)

    After some time away composing, recording and touring, Bay Area musician Jason Roberts Quever has put together another strong collection of dreamy, introspective songs - all taped in analog - for the April release You Can Have What You Want.

    Quever carved out his place in the indie music industry with the release of Can't Go Back in February of 2007 on Devendra Banhart's San Francisco indie label, Gnomonsong.

    Unlike Can't Go Back, this new release is much more subdued and sluggish whereas Can't Go Back reached out with lighter songs and an emphasis on a mix of electro-pop and folk rock.

    In an interview in December 2007 with Salad Days Music, and with the buzz factor on high after the release of Can't Go Back, Quever talked about some of his major influences at the time, stating: "I have been listening to Broadcast a bit. My Bloody Valentine, of course. Leonard Cohen, Beach House, Issac Hayes, [and] Curtis Mayfield. I’m thinking of orchestrated stuff lately…Nuggets, always. Air." All good choices.

    The new album is good throughout, but the most notable songs include "Fatal Primitive", "Dictator's Lament" and the title track. If you are a big fan of melancholy, dream-like shoegaze, this album may be worth some of your precious bills. The album's overall sound weighs in heavily on stumbling organ layers with emphasis on vocal reverberations.

    After listening to it a few times, You Can Have What You Want is one of those albums that gets better with each subsequent listening, and again, especially if you like retro melancholy indie high on reverb and tracked in analog. You won't be jumping around your apartment so save this one for listening to when you are relaxed or even in a somber mood.

    "Future Primitive" - Papercuts from You Can Have Want You Want available April 14th - everywhere or via the band's label, Gnomonsongs.

    Other great songs from previous Papercuts' releases:

    "John Brown" - Papercuts from Can't Go Back
    "Take The 227th Exit" - Papercuts from Can't Go Back

    Prefix Magazine compared Papercuts' music to "paisley underground ’60s revival" and repeated the over-done comparison to Beach House with a different spin, which I think is spot on. Here it is: "Comparisons to label mates Beach House wouldn’t be inaccurate, but Quever has an idiosyncratic voice all his own." Indeed and indie.

    Listen to more tracks and get more information at Papercuts' MySpace page.

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       March 6, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    People across the northeast and even as far south as North Carolina don't need anyone to remind them that it is still winter. And out here in California the rain has been coming in buckets for the past couple of weeks - well-needed bands of storms. Even the mountaintops around the Bay Area are covered with snow.

    In the spirit of winter, and the knowledge it will soon give way to spring, here is the second installment of a winter time mix featuring solid songs from artists and groups such as Sea Wolf, Belle and Sebastian, Yeasayer, The Amazing Pilots and The Fairways.

    "Winter Wooskie" - Belle and Sebastian from Legal Man (2000)

    "Winter Windows" - Sea Wolf from Leaves In The River (2007)

    "Wait For The Wintertime" - Yeasayer from All Hour Cymbals (2007)

    "The Price of Winter" - The Amazing Pilots from South by Southwest (2005)

    "Winter Song" - The Fairways from Permanent Vacation (2000)

    Popular posts you might have missed:

    - Winter Time Fix Mix, Vol. I

    - Indie Bands' Paul McCartney Cover Songs

    - The Great Unknowns, Vol. I - Eric Bachman, Bill Richinni, Slowdive and more

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       March 4, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Seattle's Barsuk Records is the mother label of indie bands like Ra Ra Riot, Death Cab for Cutie, Mates of State, Rilo Kiley, Nada Surf and The Long Winters, and the list goes on. From time to time, we like to give shout-outs to record labels that we like - so cheers to Barsuk!

    The cleanly designed site features MP3s, albums, artist profiles and more, including a Flash rendition of the Barsuk Records Songwriters Show from April 2005 featuring Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, John Roderick of The Long Winters, John Vanderslice and Jesse Skyes.

    "November Was White, December Was Grey" - Say Hi from new release Ohhs and Ahhs
    "Soul Meets Body" - Death Cab for Cutie from 2005 release Plans
    "See These Bones" - Nada Surf from 2008 release Lucky

    Check out more free MP3s of artists in the Barsuk Records line-up and get some of the albums to hear all of the great songs from your favorites.

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    Who doesn't like a well-done cover song? There are countless numbers of brilliant cover songs that have been recorded through the years, most notably in alternative and indie rock. This is the beginning of yet another playlist series right here on IRC.

    Kicking off this debut playlist series are two cover songs from the new benefit album RAM On L.A., a compilation of Paul McCartney cover songs based on his 1971 solo release RAM.

    The album is a free download from Aquarium Drunkard, but you are encourage to donate to the vital work of the organization called No More Landmines. The artists who performed these cover songs gave their free time for this cause, so please help as you can by visiting the NML link above. (There are two cover songs in this playlist from the album; the others are various covers.)

    "Dear Boy" (Paul McCartney) - Bodies of Water
    Bodies of Water Official Website

    "Ram On" (Paul McCartney) - The Parson Red Heads
    The Parson Red Heads Official site

    "Waiting For War" (The Morning Benders) - The Submarines
    The Submarines on MySpace

    "Outlaw Blues" (Bob Dylan) - The White Stripes
    The White Stripes on MySpace

    "Taste" (Animal Collective) - Blind Man's Colours
    Blind Man's Colour on MySpace

    "Sweet Jane" (Velvet Underground) - Cowboy Junkies (live)

    Stay tuned for more cover songs. This is playlist series will run throughout 2009. You can grab the media feed, follow IRC on Twitter or add us to MySpace.

    Note: Because Facebook threatens its users' privacy, we are not using Facebook as a social network.


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       March 1, 2009    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    12/7/09 Ólafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909
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    3/22/10 Jónsi - Go
    3/23/10 She & Him - Volume 2
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