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  • Hip-hop artist and rapper Jay-Z, along with Beyonce, attended Jelly NYC's free Grizzly Bear show at the Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn Sunday night. But it is what Jay-Z told MTV after the show that has people talking.

    In a video-taped interview, Jay-Z said he hopes that the "inspiring" nature of "the indie rock movement" will "push" rap and hip-hop artists to become more creative and take risks.

    The following is Jay-Z's full quote to MTV today:

    "[Grizzly Bear is] an incredible band. The thing I want to say to everyone - I hope this happens because it will push rap, it will push hip-hop to go even further - what the indie rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring. It felt like us in the beginning. These concerts, they're not on the radio, no one hears about them, and there's 12,000 people in attendance. And the music that they're making and the connection they're making to people is really inspiring. So I hope that they have a run where they push hip-hop back a little bit, so it will force hip-hop to fight to make better music. Because it can happen. Because that's what rap did to rock."

    Jay-Z just gave one of the best definitions of what "indie rock" is all about nowadays, and touched on another aspect of what helps define indie rock - taking risks, experimenting with new sounds, mixing genres, incorporating various musical styles and having fun in the process.

    Jay-Z said his love of different forms of music is the reason his "second Blueprint" was "so all over the place." The world famous rapper also commented on how people are regularly surprised to see him at indie rock shows. See a video of Jay-Z's quote broadcast on MTV this afternoon.

    The comments Jay-Z made got me thinking about when Run DMC teamed up with Aerosmith to produce the legendary video remix of "Walk This Way." As a result of that video that premiered on MTV in 1986, millions of music lovers in both the rock and rap music markets came to appreciate musical styles they may have previously not enjoyed, thought wasn't cool to enjoy, or simply were not exposed to in a way that talked to them, so to speak.

    When the idea of re-recording the song was originally presented to Run and DMC by Jam Master Jay, the guys had no idea who Aerosmith was and didn't want any part of the project. Nevertheless, it is that video, and the album it appeared on, that catapulted the rappers to international fame and resurrected the career of Aerosmith.

    Wikipedia's official entry supports this connection, and is perhaps, in part, what Jay-Z was alluding to: "The 1986 version of the song is often credited as helping break rap into mainstream popular music as it was the first rap song to hit the Top 5 in The Billboard Hot 100, and the remake demonstrated how elements of rap music can be part of rock and pop songs."

    Kayne West is another hip hop/rap artist who is known to enjoy indie rock music. In fact, last February, West's endorsement of Floridian band Blind Man's Colour played a part in the band being signed to a record deal. West had seen a review of BMC on Indie Rock Cafe and linked it from his personal blog, Kayne University.

    Check out some great photos of Grizzly Bear, Jay-Z and Beyonce from Brooklyn Vegan.

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       August 31, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    YouTube video of Pearl Jam performing "Black" at Outside Lands Festival, Saturday

    The second annual Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park closed last evening with the eccentric acoustic metal band Tenacious D playing to a crowd of thousands of people. Clearly, the chilly temperatures, created by a mix of heavy fog and winds coming off the Pacific Ocean only blocks away, made the closing hours of the fest a challenge for everyone, including festival goers - some with only T-shirts and shorts - performers and festival staff.

    Luckily, it was the only foggy, chilly day of the three-day festival. First-timers to San Francisco seemed baffled, and were often under-dressed, for the typical San Francisco summer time weather. On Sunday, a woman from Canada said, "It's warmer in Alaska right now then it is here. So much for sunny and warm California." She missed Saturday and Sunday, which were warm and mostly sunny days.

    Promoters and organizers are calling the second annual festival a success, even though attendance appeared to be down over last year, especially on the opening day of the fest. Rolling Stone reported that attendance was 100,000 over the three days. Headliners like Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Ween, Modest Mouse, Incubus, Black Eyed Peas and Thievery Corporation helped bring a good chunk of the ticket sales, but it was the diverse mix of dozens of other well-known artists and bands from nearly every popular music genre that helped make the festival an overall success for music lovers.

    For many people, the biggest damper for this year's Outside Land's happened before the festival even started, with the sudden cancellation by the iconic hip hop trio Beastie Boys. The band canceled their appearance at the festival (and their concert tour) in June after band member Adam Yaunch learned he had cancer. Yaunch has been recovering at his home following his August 5 surgery.

    Headlining artist MIA wanted to back out of her performance after learning that Tenacious D would be replacing the Beastie Boys. The sentiment among many Beastie Boys' fans was similar. In fact, some people left before the Tenacious D set; others who stayed seemed baffled, even annoyed, by the Beastie Boys replacement. In fairness to the organizers, how do you possibly find the right replacement for the Beastie Boys, especially within a few weeks of the festival launch?

    Celebrity and Tenacious D. co-founder Jack Black apparently told MTV that he wasn't insulted by MIA's Twitter messages in which she made public her displeasure of performing on the same stage before Tenacious D rather than the scheduled Beastie Boys. MTV reported that MIA was not going to perform, but the threat of a lawsuit forced her hand.

    Nevertheless, many festival writers, and her loyal fans, were uninspired and disappointed by her lackluster performance. Thankfully, seeing Ween on the opposing stage in the massive area of Golden Gate Park was an alternative, even though their set was a bit of a let down.

    In the end, MIA should have never been a headliner at Outside Lands from the get-go, and hopefully festival organizers will learn, as Coachella organizers learned earlier this year, that more consideration is needed to booking big name acts that have a broader appeal - like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, or even Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

    Band of Horses at Outside Lands' Sutro stage in Lindley Meadows (photo:IRC)

    The bright spots for Sunday came from performances by lesser known indie and alternative rock bands like Cage The Elephant, Band of Horses, Dead Weather, Calexico, Avett Brothers, Morning Benders, Lanka and Heartless Bastards.

    Yet for many of the festival goers in the indie and alternative rock/folk/country collective, if you will, it was when the Sunday schedule was revealed a couple of weeks ago that things looked less than ideal. As a music writer of a San Jose metro newspaper wrote, and this writer agrees, fans of bands like Calexico, Modest Mouse, Matt & Kim and Dead Weather had no chance of seeing each band play a full show due to some unfortunate scheduling.

    Having to make the decision to skip Jack White's (The Raconteurs and The White Stripes) latest band project, Dead Weather, and Matt & Kim, in order to see part of Calexico, and most of Modest Mouse shows, turned out to be a bad decision in retrospect. Surprisingly, Modest Mouse didn't even sound like the same band that fans grew to love over the past decade and more. Perhaps it was the cold weather - or coming on before MIA - that played a part in a mediocre set from Modest Mouse.

    Built To Spill put on one of the best shows at Outside Lands 2009

    One of the best shows of the entire festival was clearly Built To Spill's set on Saturday afternoon on the Land's End stage. The band played beyond expectations and the crowd grew and grew during the band's set that included fan favorites like "The Plan" and a couple of new tracks from their forth-coming LP.

    [Editor's Note: Oops! The first filing of this story incorrectly identified the songs "The Lazy Eye" and "The Royal We" as Built to Spill songs. They are Silversun Pickup songs. It was a long three days. Thanks to those of you who spotted the error. ]

    But BTS also has some work to do to appease die-hard fans - some of whom have been fans since BTS's humble early years - who were uncomfortable at best when BTS signed on to Warner Bros. Records. Still, Built To Spill, next to Pearl Jam, put on one of the festival's best and most memorable rock shows.

    On Friday night, despite Eddie Vedder's self-confessed 'tickle in throat,' which was really not that apparent, Pearl Jam rocked a massive crowd into the late hours and delivered one of best shows of the entire festival. The crowd broke out into many remarkable sing-a-longs during Pearl Jam's electrifying two-hour set. The most memorable was when thousands of fans literally sang the lead vocals on "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town."

    Being amongst the packed crowd of Pearl Jam fans in every direction, with the band playing in top form, you couldn't escape the sense of being part of a big moment in rock history. The crowd also took over on major portions of "Daughter," "Alive" and "Even Flow." The band, as a whole, sounded as good as they did a decade ago.

    Jenny Lewis with Conor Oberst and The Mystic River Valley Band (Photo: IRC)

    Other highlights of Outside Lands' festival for myself and company (it's impossible to see all the shows, and with preference to mostly non-headliners, makes this a biased view) include Conor Oberst and The Mystic River Valley Band, Silversun Pickups, Akron/Family, TV on the Radio, Portugal The Man, Midnite, The Duke Spirit and The Dodos, among others.

    Overall, when compared to Outside Lands 2008, this year's festival line-up had a bit less of a rock emphasis. Last year featured a more powerful line up, with phenomenal shows by Radiohead, Beck, Wilco, Andrew Bird, Jack Johnson, Cake, Regina Spektor and Broken Social Scene, as well as fine performances from The Walkmen, Stars, Cold War Kids, Devendra Banhart, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Lupe Fiasco, M. Ward, The Black Keys, Rogue Wave, Primus, Bon Iver, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Steve Winwood, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Widespread Panic, Galactic and dozens more. Ahhh, now that was a festival!

    All in all, Outside Lands 2009 was a good festival and all those involved deserve a thumbs up for pulling off such a huge event as smoothly as they did in the middle of a major city. What organizers might want to consider for the expected 2010 Outside Lands Festival is to have a line up that looks more like 2008 than 2009, and pay more attention to scheduling conflicts and headliners, especially for the closing day. Everyone knows that a festival needs a strong closing day to be considered a success all the way around.

    Finally, as all music festivals should be, it would be nice to see ticket prices come down just a bit to allow more people to attend. Festivals are not supposed to be all about making money but they are becoming more like that every year. Yes, they are enormously expensive to put on, but they also bring in huge profits - so it would be nice to see the line move more in the direction of the emphasis on music and community and less on money and commercialization. Still, Outside Lands does a better job already (only it's second year) than many other big music festivals that have been around for many years.

    Related Outside Lands' posts:

    - First-Ever YouTube Live Streaming of Outside Lands Festival

    - Second Annual Outside Lands Festival Starts Friday

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    Dave Matthews Band will perform Saturday night at Outside Lands

    For the first time ever, YouTube is streaming a live music festival to the world. The event is San Francisco's second annual Outside Lands Festival, a three-day music fest in the city's famed Golden Gate Park.

    Tonight, at 7:50 pm Pacific time, YouTube's Outside Lands coverage will feature the entire two hour set of legendary alternative rockers Pearl Jam. An hour before that, at 6:50 pm, Silversun Pickups will play for the live stream.

    Click to watch YouTube's Outside Lands Live Stream.

    View the full schedule for all three day's at Outside Lands' official website.

    The fest features headliners like Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, Modest Mouse, Ween, Mars Volta, Band of Horses, in addition to dozens of other bands like TV on the Radio, Calexico, Conor Oberst and the Mystic River Valley Band, Jason Mraz, Blind Pilot and dozens more. YouTube live streaming coverage kicked-off this afternoon with alternative rock icons Built To Spill - an impressive set that got thousands of people moving and having a blast.


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       August 28, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Tomorrow is the kick-off for this weekend's second annual Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Last year, there were an average of 60,000 people per day at the three-day long festival which was considered a success for the premiere of the new festival. Some music sites have described OL as the Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza of the West. It's a bit early to make that analogy, but clearly OL has become a contender for one of the country's major music festivals.

    Although one of the major headliners at this year's Outside Land Festival, the Beastie Boys, had to cancel, organizers mobilized and got Tenacious D as a replacement. Other headliners include Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Incubus, Black Peas, Mars Volta, Ween, Modest Mouse and Thievery Corporation. What is not clear is why Band of Horses, Built to Spill and Calexico haven't been promoted as headliners.

    In addition to the headliners, there are many top seed indie and alternative rock bands on the schedule, including Built to Spill, Band of Horses, The Dead Weather, TV on the Radio, Silversun Pickups, The National, Conor Oberst and the Mystic River Valley Band, The Dodos, Calexico, Akron/Family, The Duke Spirit, Blind Pilot, Bat For Lashes, Portugal, The Man, Cage The Elephant, The Avett Brothers, John Vanderslice, Heartless Bastards, Matt & Kim and dozens more. View the full line up of artist and bands playing the Outside Lands Festival.

    In preparation for the festival, IRC is highlighting some of the top bands in this special festival playlist. Whether you're going to the festival or not, it's a good representation of the bands playing Outside Lands. If you'd like to see the exclusive, live webcast from San Francisco, you can watch Outside Lands on YouTube.

    This playlist features songs from just a few of the bands playing this weekend's Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Fest starts at noon Friday.

    "They Will Appear, Behold" (Live) - Akron/Family

    "No One's Gonna Love You" - Band of Horses

    "Nikorette" - Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

    "Across The Wire" - Calexico

    "Panic Switch (Bobby Evans remix)" - Silversun Pickups

    "So Far Around The Bend" - The National

    "Fables" - The Dodos

    "Your Party" - Ween

    "Tiny Little Robots" - Cage The Elephant

    "Microcastle" -Deerhunter

    "People Say" - Portugal. The Man

    "Need You Tonight (INXS cover)" - Dirtbombs

    "If I Were A Carpenter" - Heartless Bastards

    "Pete Evans Pritchard" - The Mars Volta

    "Planet of Green Love" - Tea Leaf Green

    "Moon And Moon" - Bat For Lashes

    Profiles and songs from headliners and other bands playing Outside Lands Festival the weekend.

    "The Plan" - Built To Spill

    "World Wide Suicide" - Pearl Jam

    - Modest Mouse

    "Boom Boom Pow"
    - Black Eyed Peas
    "Wonderboy" - Tenacious D
    "Air Batucada" - Thievery Corporation
    "Gettin Up" - Q-Tip

    The weather for the festival is supposed to be warmer and sunnier (and that's saying a lot for San Francisco in the summer time) than last year, which was predominantly foggy.

    On the first night of the new festival in August 2008, the famous San Francisco fog rolled in as Radiohead took the stage and performed one of the most phenomenal and mind-blowing shows I've ever witnessed (and many others said the same) with a spectacular light show that created beams of blue, yellow and white lights that criss-crossed through the fog, illuminate the packed crowd of tens of thousands and was amazingly choreographed with the band's stunning performance.

    During the show, which came right on the heels of Beck's impressive set, and looking in awe at the rainbow of beams shooting through the dense fog, I remembered wondering if famed director George Lukas, who lives in the SF Bay area, got the idea for the laser beams in Star Wars movies from this dazzling phenomenon?

    Somehow, I can imagine him in the fog-drenched redwood forest with a flash light, being amazed, as so many who experience this phenomenon are, how even a small flash light can create such a magnificent beam of light for as far as the fog mist carries it. There was also a glimpse of this as well in scenes from Steven Spielberg's classic film E.T.

    You can follow IRC on Twitter during the Outside Lands Festival this weekend as we send out updates about which bands are playing and whatever else happens.

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       August 27, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Topping the list of the most played songs on IRC in the past week is the new song from Grand Archives, followed by Free Energy, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Radiohead, Times New Viking, Fruit Bats, Sonic Youth, Plus 49, Low Water and Lightning Dust.

    "Oslo Novelist" - Grand Archives

    "Free Energy" - Free Energy

    "Wind Phoenix" - Cymbals Eat Guitars

    "My Twisted Words" - Radiohead

    "No Time, No Hope" - Times New Viking

    "My Unusual Friend" - Fruit Bats

    "Sacred Trickster" - Sonic Youth

    "Naive Brother" - Plus 49

    "Voodoo Taxi" - Low Water

    "Never Seen" - Lightning Dust


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       August 24, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    free-energy-bandPhilly's Free Energy is a relatively new band on the indie rock radar that have been catching some good buzz from blogs and music fans in the past month following their DFA Records' limited debut 7" featuring the energetic and memorable garage rocker "Free Energy."

    Earlier this summer, Free Energy self released the attention-grabbing single titled "Dream City," which is included in this mix as a double-shot from Free Energy since both songs are good summer playlist material (and we desire to defy the waning of summer). Free Energy kicks off a predominantly northeast U.S. tour next Wednesday night at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C.

    Following Free Energy is another relatively new rock pop band from the other side of the world - Paris, to be precise. The Wallpapers are a quartet of Parisian teens (ranging in age from 16 to 18) who self-released their debut "We Are On The Wall" last summer via MySpace that got the attention of Grammy-winning producer David Kahne (The Strokes, Paul McCartney and Sublime). Fast forward: U.S. label Revel Records signed the band in February and they are currently in New York recording with Kahne. The Wallpapers will play the Mercury Lounge in NYC on Wednesday night.

    Aside from a few recent releases, most of the songs in this mix are off new albums that will drop sometime in September, including Grand Archives, These United States, Evan Voytas, Mayday!, Vic Chesnutt, A.A Bondy, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Hopewell and Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse/Wayne Coyne.

    "Free Energy" - Free Energy from debut 7" (2009)

    "Dream City" - Free Energy from single self-release (2009)

    "Waiting In A Coma" - The Wallpapers from single on Revel Records (2009)

    "Oslo Novelist" - Grand Archives from Keep in Mind Frankenstein (2009)

    “I Want You to Keep Everything” - These United States from Everything Touches Everything (2009)

    "Getting Higher" - Evan Voytas from self-released single (2009)

    "Technology" - Mayday! from single released (2009)

    "Chain" - Vic Chesnutt from At the Cut (2009)

    "When the Devil's Loose" - A.A. Bondy from When the Devil's Loose (2009)

    "Ashes Grammar/Ashes Maths" - A Sunny Day in Glasgow from Ashes Grammar (2009)

    "Stranger" - Hopewell from Good Good Desperation (2009)

    "Revenge" - Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and Wayne Coyne (2009)

    View all the summer mixes for 2009.

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       August 22, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    lowwaterindiebandBrooklyn band Low Water is an unsigned, indie rock band whose music conveys a sincerity and depth that is increasingly rare in an industry that too often relies on cookie cutter formulas, gimmicks and overly polished productions. Low Water's music has rightfully won resounding praise among radio stations, music publications and blogs, as well as national media such as PBS and NPR.

    Their new, self-released album, Twisting The Neck of The Swan, proves this is no run-of-the-mill Brooklyn indie rock band. Low Water deliver high caliber, soulful, melodic pop rock music that is refreshingly authentic, free flowing and memorable. Their moody, crisp songs are easily accessible to anyone who appreciates well crafted and honest rock and pop.

    Low Water's Twisting The Neck of The Swan is full of poetic lyrics, bright guitar riffs, pop experimentation and awesome vocal ranges that all pull together nicely on song after song. The opening track, "Voodoo Taxi," is melodic, catchy pop rock tune that people are probably going to play more than a couple of times.

    One of the album's stand out tracks is the dreamy, folk pop of "She Shined Down," one of the most Wilco-sounding (in a good way) songs in recent memory. Featuring story-telling lyrics, uplifting harmonies and perfectly time melodies and percussion, "She Shined Down" gradually progresses into a full-on band jam that last for about a minute until the song's triumphant end.

    A common MO, if you will, throughout Low Water's music, is how so often there are changes in tempo and style at different points within the same composition. And yet, every time, at every turn, it is done masterfully and somehow remains cogent and luring.

    Sometimes one of the indications of a great band is in their ability to create a long song that is actually engaging and enjoyable all the way through. In the case of the song "Charge," the band took a shot at an 11 minute experiment of Beatlesque pop rock, and pulled it off with amazing results.

    The song brilliantly shifts from cheerful pop melodies and old school guitar jams to dreamy choruses and 70's AM radio harmonies. There are a few points in the song when, if you're not watching the player, you might think the song is finished, and like a pleasant surprise, it continues on. There are not many songs this long that are keepers, but in my book, "Charge" is one of them.

    Even though the band gives the impression that they've been making rock music for a long time, band members, John Leitera (guitar and vocals), Dave Rubin (guitar), Joe Burch (drums) and Turner Stough (bass) only released their debut album five years ago.

    Low Water's 2004 self-released debut, Hard Words In A Speakeasy, was followed up in 2007 by the release of Who Said That Life Is Over?, featuring, among other impressive songs, the infectious pop tune, "House In The City," and the catchy, garage rocker "Brooklyn."

    Some of Low Water's biggest musical influences, according to Rubin, are Elvis Costello, The Kinks, George Jones, Spoon, and clearly, Wilco and The Replacements. The amazing thing about that is that you can clearly hear those influences in their music with such compelling, yet original, results.

    Rubin also cited Abbey Road (The Beatles), Marquee Moon (Television), #4 (You Am I) and Horsepower (The Phoenix Foundation) among the band's favorite albums.

    All things considered, Low Water is clearly one of the best unsigned bands in Brooklyn at the moment, and easily deserving of a "band to watch" declaration.

    "Voodoo Taxi" - Low Water from Twisting The Neck of The Swan (2009)

    "She Shined Down" - Low Water from Twisting The Neck of The Swan (2009)

    "Charge" - Low Water from Twisting The Neck of The Swan (2009)

    "House In The City" - Low Water from Who Said That Life Is Over? (2007)

    Low Water on MySpace

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       August 21, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    grandarchivesfrankensteinOne of the best indie rock bands to come out of Seattle in recent years is Grand Archives. Now, after what may have seemed like forever in the minds and hearts of die-hard fans, the band has released two brand new songs from their forthcoming SubPop Records sophomore album Keep In Mind Frankenstein.

    Thanks mostly to a 2007 Pitchfork feature of the band's demo tracks, Grand Archives, led by former Band of Horses guitarist Mat Brooke, were picked to open for Modest Mouse on a seven show West Coast tour.

    The success of that tour paved the way for signing a record deal with SubPop Records which released Grand Archives' masterful debut album in 2008. In addition to Brooke, other band members include Curtis Hall, Jeff Montaño and Thomas Wright. Ron Lewis left the band earlier this year to join The Shins.

    The new album will drop on September 15th. The band will kick off a month-long North American tour on September 22nd in San Francisco.

    "Oslo Novelist" - Grand Archives from Keep In Mind Frankenstein (2009)

    "Silver Among the Gold" - Grand Archives from Keep In Mind Frankenstein (2009)

    Grand Archives on MySpace
    Grand Archives on SubPop Records

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       August 20, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    After meeting at a gig in Omaha, Nebraska, local indie folk pop band Thunder Power recorded some new songs that were recently released on a split EP, Friend Ships, with London recording artist Alessi Ark.

    For the purposes of this review, the focus is on the magical music of Thunder Power. After a decade of making music together, the band has only recently revealed to indie music lovers their perfected, unified sound that draws on their appreciation of different music styles, including folk, pop and rock, and their various talents as musicians.

    While there are only three of them, the Thunder Power songs contained on the split Friend Ships EP are tantalizing and wistful, masterfully spanning a spectrum of moods from melancholy to jubilation within a relatively limited bandwidth. The array of sonic experiences that colors Thunder Power's music is potentially as enjoyable for listeners as it appears to be for the band - that's always a good sign.

    The tender and unforgettable voice of Thunder Power's lead vocalist Kacynna Tompsett is a perfect match for the band's well-honed sound; a case of one complimenting the other. Tompsett's voice at times is strikingly similar to Chan Markshall (Cat Power) and yet retains its own identity and charm.

    The first Thunder Power song, "Postscripts," is a dreamy, love sick ballad fused with lush harmonies and a free-flowing accordion. The following track, "Sleep, Not Violence," is a folksy lament that morphs into a rock song backed by ambient organs, slide guitar and a snare drum. "Blood Water," the final track on the EP, is an epic tale of struggle and loss in the haze of the 'American Dream.' It will be interesting to hear what the band does for their first full length, even though there is no official word that a debut LP is in the works.

    Thunder Power caught the attention of Slumber Party Records back in 2007 and signed on to record and release their highly-acclaimed debut EP Love Yourself which was produced by Ian Aeillo (Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst, Cursive).

    The success of the EP paved the way for the release of Friend Ships, which Aeillo and Saddle Creek Records also contributed to. Among the band's musical influences include Nick Drake, Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Elliott Smith, Johnny Cash, Loney Dear and The Smiths.

    "Sleep, Not Violence"Thunder Power from Friend Ships (2009)

    "Postscript" - Thunder Power from Friend Ships (2009)

    Thunder Power on MySpace

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       August 19, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    cymbals eat guitarsStaten Island band Cymbals Eat Guitars

    Summer is still alive and kicking, and that's a good enough excuse to share more great new songs from 2009 that have been favorites this summer.

    Kicking off this mix is a great new track from Cymbals Eat Guitars called "Wind Phoenix." The song is full of catchy pop harmonies and melodies that transform into a discordant crescendo full of guitar feedback and punk style vocals only to mellow out again to the sing-along charm the song opens with. The band's impressive, self-released debut, Why There Are Mountains, is one of the best independent debuts of 2009.

    Other songs in this summer playlist include hot new singles from Times New Viking, Sonic Youth, Fruit Bats, Plus 49, Lightning Dust, A Lull, Kurt Vile, Harlem Shakes, The Radio Dept. and a new remix from Animal Collective.

    "Wind Phoenix (Proper Name)" - Cymbals Eat Guitars from Why There Are Mountains (2009)

    "No Time No Hope" - Times New Viking from Born Again Revisited (2009)

    "Sacred Trickster" - Sonic Youth from The Eternal (2009)

    "My Unusual Friend" - Fruit Bats from The Ruminant Band (2009)

    Naive Brother -Plus 49 from Integrity and Injury (2009)

    "Never Seen" - Lightning Dust from Invincible Light (2009)

    "Skinny Fingers" - A Lull from Ice Cream Bones (2009)

    "Overnite Religion" - Kurt Vile from Childish Prodigy (2009)

    "David"- The Radio Dept. from TBA (2009)

    "Strictly Game" - Harlem Shakes from Technicolor Health (2009)

    "Daily Routine" (Phaseone Remix) - Animal Collective, unreleased (2009)

    Check out more 2009 Summer Mixes

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       August 17, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Nashville indie rock band Mellow Down Easy are not easy to put into a musical genre, which happens to be one of their biggest advantages. The band's sound combines twangy classic guitar rock with elements of country and blues. Their latest album, Cosmisutra, features song after song of genuine, riveting rock that has won them approval of fans and critics around Nashville and throughout the world.

    And if all of that isn't enough, Mellow Down Easy has also received critical acclaim from country rocker Ryan Adams, the one and only George Jones and the surviving members of the wildly popular 1970s southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Before his death in 2003, the Man in Black himself - the legendary Johnny Cash - reportedly heard the band and gave them a hearty and powerful thumbs up. An endorsement from Johnny Cash is big, really big.

    What Johnny Cash saw in the band all those years ago has come to fruition on MDE's new record. Right off the bat, of all the songs on Cosmisutra, perhaps the most likely to appeal to wider audience is the catchy, gritty single, "I Am The Universe," which is garage rock at its best.

    The band's hip, energetic blues rock style is evident on other songs like "Love Money" and "Pure Gold." The latter topped the indie charts earlier this year on Mellow Down Easy deliver edgy, infectious rock reminiscent of modern bands like The White Stripes, and nostalgic psychedelic rock that would make bands like Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience proud.

    Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Andrew Adkins understands and appreciates the musical roots of modern day rock as demonstrated by songs packed with heartfelt lyrics, melodic guitar riffs and top-notch vocals. What makes it all come together and work so well owes a great deal to the impressive contributions of band mates Daryl Dasher (bass and vocals) and Rodney Russell (percussions and programming).

    In a recent interview with Leicester Bangs, Adkins described Cosmisutra this way: "It's full of various flavors and shades of sounds and music. The result of 3 years of pulling ourselves apart and piecing ourselves back together again...this band had went through so many things. Self-destructive things, really dark areas in our life. Writing and making this record was our way of getting through and moving on from all of that."

    Adkins says he was strongly influenced as a boy by artists and bands such as The Beatles, CCR, Bob Dylan, T. Rex, Led Zeppelin, Velvet Underground, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and others.

    MDE is signed with Dualtone Music Group in Nashville. Contributors to Cosmisutra include Tommy Butler (pedal steel guitar) and Nathan Johnson (Wurlitzer piano, organ, Hammond b-3 organ).

    MDE set out on tour Friday and will be playing shows throughout the midwest and south on and off through December.

    "I Am The Universe" - Mellow Down Easy from Cosmisutra (2009)

    "Pure Gold" - Mellow Down Easy from Cosmisutra (2009)

    Official website:

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    Phoenix band A Life of Science deliver a mix of electro-pop and progressive rock on their debut release, The Apneist. The album, which is accompanied by a multimedia suite that includes comics, a DVD and a book, is a modern day rock opera that the label, Sundawg Records, says "will take the listener on an unforgettable journey through the subconscious in a future setting, as told by the man responsible for the apocalypse as he sinks to his death."

    The Apneist, which is intricately related to the word 'apnea' (as in sleep apnea), contains a number of accessible, high-octane pop songs, including "Yacht Life Nights" and "Evidence of a Lunar Orbit," which are included below. The album was produced by Larry Elyea (Jimmy Eat World, Eyes Set to Kill) and released this spring. Elyea called the recording session "one of the most challenging and enjoyable records I've done to date. This record is a rollercoaster ride into uncharted territories of sonics and emotion."

    The band's style and sound are a bit more polished and "OC rock" than we normally feature, but the concept, story-telling, and some of the songs, are worth noting. If you like bands like Angels and Airwaves, you might just dig A Life of Science. The songs featured below were submitted to IRC by the band.

    A Life of Science is set to kick-off a seven week long, cross-country tour on August 22. Founding band members James Keenan [vocals, bass, synth] and Zakk Geist [guitar, vocals, programming] began making music together in high school and were later joined by Scott Passamonte [guitar, vocals] and Angel Garcia [percussion, vocoder]. You can sample stream the album in on their record label page or listen to more of their music on MySpace.

    "Yacht Life Nights" - A Life Of Science from The Apneist (2009)

    "Evidence Of A Lunar Orbit" - A Life Of Science from The Apneist (2009)

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       August 15, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Modest Mouse video for "King Rat"

    The Radiohead enigma continues. Although it was already posted, we're reposting the supposedly new, leaked song - "These Are My Twisted Worlds" - from Radiohead. The song mysteriously appeared on a popular Radiohead fan site, Atease on Wednesday.

    Although the previously unreleased song "These Are My Twisted Words" has not been confirmed by Radiohead as one of their own, die-hard fans are convinced it is. The track certainly sounds like the band, and the vocals are unmistakenly those of singer Thom Yorke singing (note the similarity in sound with "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" from the band's classic In Rainbows release).

    All of this 'new Radiohead' buzz has made it the most intriguing mystery in music so far this year. If this is all an elaborate PR campaign by Yorke and the band to mitigate the hullabaloo Yorke created earlier this month (after he suggested to the publication The Believer that the band may never make another album), it certainly has been effective. We'll see what happens on Monday.

    Also included in this playlist are new songs from Blitzen Trapper, Dirty Projectors, Port O'Brien, Mission of Burma, Broken Records, Twin Atlas, The Bowerbirds, Builders and Butchers, Rainbow Bridge, David Mead, Mount Eerie, Jeff Merchant, Mellowdrone, Ramona Falls and Lou Barlow.

    "These Are My Twisted Words" - Radiohead from Wall of Ice EP (via Stereogum)

    "Black River Killer" - Blitzen Trapper from Black River Killer EP (2009)

    "Naked We Made It" - Dirty Projectors from The Glad Fact (2009)

    "Sour Milk/Salt Water" - Port O'Brien from Threadbare (2009)

    "1, 2, 3, Partyy!" - Mission of Burma from The Sound The Speed The Light (2009)

    "If The News Makes You Sad, Don't Watch It" - Broken Records from Until the Earth Begins to Part (2009)

    "Versions" - The Twin Atlas from Good Light (2009)

    "Northern Lights" - The Bowerbirds from Upper Air (2009)

    "Barcelona" - Builders and Butchers from Salvation is a Deep Dark Well (2009)

    "Big Wave Rider" - Rainbow Bridge from Big Wave Rider 7"

    "Stone's Ode" - Mount Eerie from Wind's Poem (2009)

    "Ancestors" - Throw Me The Statue from Creaturesque (2009)

    "Last Train Home" - David Mead from Almost & Always (2009)

    "Crazy Ship" - Jeff Merchant from City Makes No Sound (2009)

    "Russia" - Ramona Falls from Intuit (2009)

    "Elephant" - Mellowdrone from Angry Bear (2009)

    "Gravitate" - Lou Barlow from Goodnight Unknown (2009)

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       August 14, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    leaked radiohead song

    The web and social networks have lit up in the past few hours on the rumor that a mysterious 'new', or previously unreleased, Radiohead song has been leaked. Apparently, the song appeared on an unofficial Radiohead fan site. The music blog Consequence of Sound has reported that the song, "These Are My Twisted Words," showed up on the message board of the site At Ease earlier today without any explanation.

    While there is no confirmation yet that the song is actually Radiohead, the track definitely sounds just like Radiohead. If it isn't, someone has pulled off an elaborate, and believable, hoax.

    On some P2P networks, the song is accompanied by a NFO file that contains the following note:

    i just wanted to reassure readers
    that following representations
    seeking confirmation
    that before your very eyes
    behind the wall of ice
    that the box is not under threat
    however they are set to remove
    other boxes
    in fact i have the list in front of me
    i went to a briefing on their plans
    and challenged them to tell me
    exactly what the cost would be

    they spoke in broad terms

    Could this actually be a clever reaction by the band to 'reassure' fans following the uproar frontman Thom Yorke ignited earlier this month when he said Radiohead may never record another album? Perhaps. If history is any guide, this 'rumor' is going to grow wings really fast.

    The link to the MP3 - the same link that spread like wildfire across the world in the past 36 hours no longer works, so check out the YouTube version of the song:

    Follow IRC on Twitter or grad the feed to find out as soon as we do whether Radiohead confirms this is a leaked song or not.

    This possible new Radiohead song comes only one week after the band released a new tribute song in honor of the UK's last remaining combat fighter from World War I, "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" (yes, that was his real name).

    You can purchase the song at for one British Pound or $1.65 in U.S. currency. Proceeds from the song purchases will go to the British Legion, according to Yorke's blog post on the official Radiohead website. Otherwise, you can stream it on the BBC's website.

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       August 12, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    dreamsongsItalian musician Alberto Arcangeli is a finance manager by profession and a one man band in his free time, writing and recording compelling music in his home in Tavullia. Arcangeli's music, featured for the first time in an English language music blog, is full of bright and catchy pop with influences of rock, Americana, folk and blues.

    His new album, Dreamsongs, is his first full-length record in English and completely self-produced and released. The album opens with the track, "Dream Song," a surprisingly charming composition that combines a banjo, flute, hand-clapping and layers of harmonic vocals. Dreamsongs' opener leaves the listener wondering if there is more to this promising talent.

    The answer comes as the next track "Touch By A Cloud" unfolds, with its feel-good, almost intoxicating, charm - a nice representation for the 'dream concept' Arcangeli employs so well. "Oil Crash," with its celestial acoustics and accompanying flute, is yet another bright, memorable song. The upbeat blues rock sound of "I Cannot Wait" demonstrates the late 60s sound Arcangeli loves so much.

    It is one thing when a musician writes his or her own music, but it's a whole other level when a musician plays all of the instruments, sings all of the vocal tracks and masterfully pulls together the pieces to create an amazingly self-produced, self-released LP.

    "I record the songs on my PC at home," Arcangeli told IRC. "I usually start with an acoustic guitar part, structure and arrangement in mind, and then I add all the other instruments - bass, voice, drums. Sometimes everything fits well from the beginning; other times, I have to re-think all [of] the structure, because I feel that something's missing."

    The modesty implied in his music and words help to enhance Arcangeli's overall appeal. He only started recording in English two years ago, but you would never know that otherwise. When he was about 10 years old, Arcangeli's father gave him an album collection of the popular music from the 1960s. By age 13, Arcangeli began performing music, played jazz and classical music, and even toured for one summer with Italy's 'official' Beatles cover band Revolver.

    He realized over the years that if he wanted to reach a wider audience, English was the way to go. "I've been writing songs in Italian up until two years ago," he said, "when I realized I could do it in English too...[and] spread my songs worldwide, not only in Italy."

    Like the mark of any truly gifted musician, Arcangeli provides impressive cover versions of some classic rock and pop tunes. Covering The Kinks' classic "Sunny Afternoon" is a ballsy thing for any musician to do.

    And yet, Arcangeli's cover manages to capture the song's original intrigue and charm in a way that would probably make Ray Davies proud. Oddly, but nevertheless effectively, Arcangeli adds a hint of a country twang to his rendition of the song, a risk that he took, and pulled off. He also does impressive work covering the classic "Tobacco Road" (Nashville Teens), and other 60s rock songs "Kind Woman" (Buffalo Springfield), "Hey Grandma" (Moby Grape) and "This Will Be Our Year" (The Zombies) demonstrate Arcangeli's rightful place in the world of pop music.

    Arcangeli's musical influences include The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Cars, Neil Young, Steely Dan and many other artists and bands of the classic rock era. The Lennon-McCartney song, "Happiness Is A Warm Gun," is his favorite song ever, he says. And within the realm of modern indie pop and rock, Arcangeli cites albums from Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend), Dr. Dog (Fate), Fleet Foxes (Fleet Foxes) and Loney Dear (Noir).

    Again, as I wonder so often, how is it possible that such amazing music is only heard by a few and so much crappy music is heard by millions? There is no hype, marketing budget or promotional apparatus backing Arcangeli - and often, especially with an original talent, that's a good thing.

    "Dream Song" - Alberto Arcangeli from Dreamsongs (2009)

    "Touched By A Cloud" - Alberto Arcangeli from Dreamsongs (2009)

    "Sunny Afternoon" (The Kinks) - Alberto Arcangeli from Dreamsongs (2009)

    Official website:

    Note: You can download the entire album at Arcangeli's site above; although, we do encourage people who enjoy the music to make a donation of any amount on his site. By the way, the artwork demonstrated above was created by Arcangeli's father and the sleeve work by his sister.

    MySpace page:

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       August 11, 2009    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    indie folk soft hillsSeattle indie folk pop band The Soft Hills blend dreamy melodies and sublime harmonies wrapped around introspective lyrics and seductive, rich vocals. While not completely obscure within the indie music circles, The Soft Hills' new EP, Painted World, has somehow slipped by the more popular music sites and blogs.

    Painted World
    features five solid songs that demonstrate the best of the ethereal possibilities of experimental indie folk mixed with pop. The EP is not overly produced or reliant on musical gimmicks - an increasing, and often unfortunate, trend in pop music over the past decade.

    The raw talent of The Soft Hills is evident on the opening track, "Apples," an airy and meandering ballad that takes to heart the power of original songwriting and production. The next song, "Spent," is smooth and sublime, graced with low-key acoustic guitar and piano, almost absent of extraneous percussion. As the song flows gently along, singer and songwriter Garrett Hobba unveils the somewhat ironic lyric, "you've been drifting too far."

    Hobba draws inspiration for his lyrics from 20th century literary artists, Eastern philosophy, and symbolic dreams. Fans of Mark Kozelek, the prolific singer and songwriter of San Francisco indie folk bands Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters take note; the likeness of The Soft Hills' sound and story-telling is, at times, remarkably similar, whether intentional or not.

    The sprawling track "Wandering" features ambient, rich harmonies, and the Belle & Sebastian-esque song "Hills Like White Elephants" is easily the EP's most up-tempo song. The record's last song, "Diamond Road," paints a lush Mojave 3-like sonic experience with hints of the folksy charm of Band of Horses. The only draw-back is that the song is a bit too long, clocking in at just under seven minutes long.

    The Soft Hills began their journey in 2007 when Hobba moved to Seattle and met up with drummer Caleb Heinrich. Soon the duo were joined by fellow Seattle musicians Brittan Drake on piano, guitar and bass and Brett Massa on guitar, bass and vocals.

    "Apples" - The Soft Hills from Painted World

    "Hills Like White Elephants" - The Soft Hills from Painted World

    Official website:

    Did You Miss: IRC's Most Popular Posts Last Week:

    - Summer Indie Rock Mix, Vol. III: Songs from Opus Orange, Arctic Monkeys, The Raveonettes, Fanfarlo, Spoon and More

    - Songs From Bands That Played Lollapalooza 2009: White Lies, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, The Decemberists, No Age, Blind Pilot and Many More

    - It's Moon Night: Songs About The Moon from Bat For Lashes, Sunset Rubdown, Radiohead, The Walkmen, Windmill, Feist, The Police and Tom Waits

    - Debut Album from LA Alt Rock Band Black Them Boots

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    arctic monkeysTo kick off this special summer playlist mix, IRC is happy to debut two officially unreleased songs by OpusOrange, the moniker of L.A. composer Paul Bessenbacher. who was featured last week and received quite a bit of interest.

    The self-described 'fun little ditty' titled "Nothing But Time" was originally written on a ukulele. "It's Alright" is short, upbeat song that provides yet more evidence of Bassenbacher's talent as a musician; one can only wish the song went on for at least a couple of more minutes.

    In addition, check out new songs from Arctic Monkeys, The Raveonettes, Bad Veins, Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Spoon, Fanfarlo, The Boy Least Likely To, Cage The Elephant, Yacht and Choo Choo La Rouge.

    "Nothing But Time" - Opus Orange, unreleased web debut

    Bonus: "It's Alright" - Opus Orange, unreleased web debut

    "Crying Lightning" - Arctic Monkeys from Humbug (2009)

    "Suicide" - The Raveonettes from In And Out Of Control (2009)

    "Got Nuffin" - Spoon from Got Nuffin EP (2009)

    "Here to Fall" - Yo La Tengo from Popular Songs (2009)

    "Gold And Warm" - Bad Veins from Bad Veins (2009)

    "Drowning Men" - Fanfarlo from Reservior (2009)

    "Tiny Little Robots" - Cage The Elephant from Cage The Elephant (2009)

    "Psychic City" - Yacht from See Mystery Lights (2009)

    "A Balloon On A Broken String" - The Boy Least Likely To from The Laws of the Playground (2009)

    "It's Gonna Happen Fast" - Choo Choo La Rouge from Black Clouds (2009)

    Get more great, free and legal MP3s from these popular posts:

    - New Release from ex-Concretes' vocalist Victoria Bergsman band Taken By Trees

    - Ears To The Music, Vol. I - Songs from COYB, The Love Language, Firs, The Very Most and more.

    - Fresh Tracks from Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Dr. Dog, South Ambulance, Fanfarlo and another playlist from The Raveonettes, Why/Themselves, These United States and many others.

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       August 9, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Review of Lollapalooza Day One from Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune

    Lollapalooze 2009 Day One is over, and even though it was wet, the rain didn't stopped most of the 60,000 people from having a good time. Thunder storms and extreme heat, unfortunately, are forecasted for Saturday and Sunday.

    This year's Lolla has a great lineup compared to years past, featuring headliners such as Fleet Foxes, Depeche Mode, The Killers, Jane's Addiction, Vampire Weekend, The Decemberists, Kings of Leon, Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys, TV On The Radio, The Raveonettes, Passion Pit, Silversun Pickups, Band of Horses and many others. Below is a list of IRC picks for Lollapalooza 2009 shows, including band or artist, schedule time and stage name.

    White Lies - "Death"
    Bon Iver - "Babys"
    Heartless Bastards - "If I Were A Carpenter"
    The Virgins - "Basics Of A Conversation"
    The Decemberists - "Rake Song"
    Andrew Bird - "See The Enemy"
    Fleet Foxes - "Mykonos"
    Kings of Leon - "Use Someone"
    Of Montreal - "Suffer For Fashion"
    Peter Bjorn & John - "Living Thing"
    Depeche Mode - "Personal Jesus"

    Saturday, August 8 - Highlighted Lollapalooza Performances - The show time is followed by the venue (or stage) name.

    The Low Anthem - 12:00-12:45 (vitaminwater) - "Cage The Songbird"
    Gomez - 3:30-4:30 (vitaminwater) - "Other Plans"
    Blind Pilot - 4:15-5:00 (BMI) - "Paint or Pollen"
    Arctic Monkeys - 4:30-5:30 (Budweiser) - "No Buses"
    No Age - 5:00-6:00 (Citi) - "Eraser"
    TV On The Radio - 6:30-7:30 (Budweiser) - "Dirtywhirl"
    Animal Collective - 7:30-8:30 (vitaminwater) - "My Girls" - Live webcast at 7:30 PM Chicago time
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    - 8:30-10:00 (Budweiser) - "Zero"

    Sunday, August 9 - Highlighted Lollapalooza Performances. There are many more intriguing earlier performances on Sunday than the previous two days, but they will probably not attract the crowds they otherwise would for two reasons; one, the excessive heat that is expected and two it's the last day of the festival with a good chunk of people having to leave to get back for work on Monday. Yet overall, Sunday looks like the best day with many must-see and hope-to-see shows.

    Friendly Fires - 12:30-1:30 (Budweiser) - "Jump In The Pool"
    Ra Ra Riot - 12:30-1:30 (Chicago 2016) - "Dying Is Fine"
    Portugal The Man - 12:30-1:30 (PlayStation) - "People Say”
    Bat For Lashes - 1:30-2:30 (vitaminwater) - "Moon And Moon"
    Kaiser Chiefs - 2:30-3:30 (Budweiser) - "Heat Dies Down"
    The Raveonettes - 3:30-4:30 (PlayStation) - "Suicide" (new track)
    Neko Case - 4:30-5:30 (Budweiser) - "Middle Cyclone"
    Vampire Weekend - 4:30-5:30 (Chicago 2016) - "Oxford Comma"
    Passion Pit - 5:00-6:00 (Citi) - "Sleepyhead"
    Dan Auerbach - 5:30-6:30 (PlayStation) - "I Want Some More"
    Lou Reed - 6:30-7:30 (Budweiser) - "Perfect Day"
    Deerhunter - 6:30-7:30 (Citi) - "Never Stops"
    Band of Horses - 7:30-8:30 (PlayStation) "Monsters"
    Silversun Pickups - 7:30-8:30 (vitaminwater) "Little Lovers"
    Jane's Addiction - 8:30-10:00 (Budweiser) "Three Days"
    The Killers - 8:30-10:00 (Chicago 2016) "When You Were Young"

    - Check out all of the shows with the official Lollapalooza schedule.
    - Read news updates about Lollapalooza via Google News.
    - Follow Lolla Tweets all weekend.
    - Watch YouTube videos from Lollapalooza.
    - Watch the live webcast.

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       August 7, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    songs about the moonTonight is the August full moon. There is something particularly romantic and special about a full moon on a summer's night. Since the time of the first humans, the moon has been the subject of man's fascination, wonder and curiosity, inspiring entire civilizations and fueling the work of countless writers, scientists, artists, musicians, and lovers for centuries.

    The phases of the moon have served as the basis for calendars, religious practices, age-old customs and more, and have had a profound influence on the shaping of human civilization. Nowadays, we know that our moon is not much more than a giant rock. Yet that fact has never lessened its beauty, its magnetic power and its significance to people worldwide.

    Just last month, the world celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing. For those of us who did not get to experience that monumental moment in human history, it is hard to understand what a thrilling time it was in world that was increasingly troubled. So with this being the first full moon night since all of the media coverage of the moon landing anniversary, it seems like a good time to make a playlist featuring great songs about the moon.

    While this site focuses most of the time solely on indie music, from time to time, it's nice to mix it up and include great music from classic rock, folk, jazz, hip hop, blues, new wave and so on.

    Casting out a big net like that when putting together a playlist mix of songs about the moon creates a particular challenge. This is not meant to be a definitive list of the best moon songs, but hopefully it comes close. Next month, on September's full moon night (Sept. 4), the second moon mix - featuring songs that could not fit on this list - will be published.

    "Moon And Moon" - Bat For Lashes from Two Suns (2009)

    "Silver Moons" - Sunset Rubdown from Dragonslayer (2009)

    "Climbing To The Moon" (Jon Brion Remix) - Eels from Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006, Vol. 1

    "Tokyo Moon" - Windmill from Puddle City Racing Lights (2009)

    "I Wish I Was The Moon" - Neko Case from Blacklisted (2002)

    "Sail To The Moon" - Radiohead from Hail To The Thief (2003)

    "Man on the Moon" - R.E.M. from Automatic for the People (1992)

    "Red Moon" - The Walkmen from You & Me (2008)

    "My Moon My Man" - Feist from The Reminder (2007)

    "Walking On The Moon" - The Police from Reggatta de Blanc (1979)

    "If We Can Land A Man On The Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart" - Beulah from When Your Heartstrings Break (1999)

    "Tahitian Moon" - Porno For Pyros from Good God's Urge (1996)

    "Drunk On The Moon" - Tom Waits Live on KWFM (1975)

    "Index Moon" - Grand Archives from The Grand Archives (2008)

    "Blue Moon" - Atlas Sound from Covers Two Songs For My Dad EP (2007)

    "Lovers From The Moon" - The Magnetic Fields from The Wayward Bus/Distanct Plastic Trees (1991)

    "New Moon" - Sambassadeur from New Moon (2005)

    "Moon Pulls" - Mum from Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy (2007)

    "Madame Moon" - Zooey, unreleased (2009)

    Because there are so many notable songs about our moon, it will be necessary to follow up this playlist with another moon mix next month featuring artists and bands like These United States, Mount Eerie, Melt Banana, Pavement, Odawas, Belle & Sebastian, Great Lake Swimmers, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Cloud Cult, Soundpool, Deerhunter and more.

    Did You Know?: Did you know that because our luna has a synchronous rotation with Earth, we will never see the "dark side of the moon" looking up at the night sky.

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       August 6, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    black them boots fancyIt's always nice when a talented new indie band emerges with a style all of their own. Los Angeles band Black Them Boots' debut album Fancy delivers an intriguing, melodic stream of witty, up-tempo songs that mix indie pop and alternative rock with folk and post punk influences.

    Taking their name from a verse in a "ring-play folk song", Black Them Boots was formed by singer and songwriter Larry Corte and guitarist Pat Martin during the summer of 2006. The duo's initial folk rock project gradually morphed into the distinct sound they have today. Part of the evolution of the band's music comes from the confinement and boredom Corte struggled with following a serious snowboarding accident in 2007. With little else to do but wait for his injuries to heal, Corte found an outlet in his songwriting. Following his recovery, bassist Mark Waters and drummer Chris Fischer joined the band to record the songs for Fancy.

    The result is an album full of attention grabbing, enjoyable music, as evident on the alt rock songs "Don't Look Back", "A Horse On A Hill" and "Locked Up". The main elements of the band's unique style - witty and ironic lyrics (mostly revolving around love), ambient guitar riffs, thick, thumpy bass lines and driving drum beats - are also evidenced on songs like "It Feels A Lot Like Love" and the post-punk revivalist track "One Way"(which sounds like the Brit rock band Editors).

    The do-do-do choruses and lighthearted pop melodies of "Dear Darling" provide another twist, and yet another opportunity, for Corte to sneak in his jaded view of love: "Oh yeah that’s my heart on my sleeve, you stab, you jab, you poke at me," the song goes; followed only seconds later by: "I have an angel on my mind, if you're not her, don't waste my time. I have a demon trapped inside, if you're an angel, it will hide."

    One of the album's stand out tracks - "Scar" - touches on the wounds of love, but it is delivered with such upbeat sarcasm and optimistic defiance that it's easy to miss the misery that exists between the lines of the song's lyrics. This is a common theme on BTB's debut; even the record's last song, a cover version of the otherwise somber (but with a silver lining?) Daniel Johnston "True Love Will Find You In The End," has an uplifting, even cheerful, spin to it.

    The band's musical influences include The Pixies, Gang of Four, Weezer, Nirvana, Cake, Pavement and Sonic Youth, among others. Black Them Boots have played shows in Los Angeles, where the band has a growing fan base. Now they're ready to take on the rest of the country with a month long tour (August 6 - Sept. 3) throughout the west and midwest. Fancy is a great debut from a promising band that I suspect we will be hearing more about in the years to come; that is, if heartbreak doesn't kill them first.

    "Don't Look Back" - Black Them Boots from Fancy (2009)

    "Dear Darling" - Black Them Boots from Fancy (2009)

    Bonus Track: "True Love Will Find You In The End" (Daniel Johnston) - Black Them Boots from Fancy (2009)

    Official website:

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    Learn about more bands and listen to more music from the In Dee Mail playlist series.

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       August 4, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Blindfold is a London based indie band from Iceland who play what is commonly referred to as 'cinematic indie pop'. The band's newly released sophomore album Faking Dreams is layered with artistic, textured and sprawling ambient rock songs that take the listener on a journey through hypnotic sonic landscapes. Fans of Icelandic indie pop will recognize similarities with other home grown indie artists like Sigur Ros and Sin Fang Bous.

    The band's frontman, founder and composer, Biggi Hilmarsson, described Blindfold's 'cinematic' sound like this: "We like building up songs with guitar crescendos and then pushing the mute button on all but 2 channels, we do it very roughly, but the outcome is often quite film-esque."

    Blindfold has already won praise in the UK press, but are still working on building a fan base in North America. The veteran UK rock zine NME - or New Music Express - called Blindfold's music "heart-harpooning melancholia beauty married to austerity."

    At times, Blindfold's music sounds similar to The Flaming Lips, Joy Division, and even Radiohead, as evidenced on songs like the fantastic "Don't Think It's A Sin" and the haunting title track "Faking Dreams". One of the measures of a good song is in its natural ability to evoke emotions. Blindfold does this again and again on Faking Dreams with songs like "Sad Face" (watch video) and the instrumental track "Wait".

    Of the number of stand out tracks on the album, the dreamy alt rock track "Falleg Depurd" is a mesmerizing single that drifts along on ambient guitar jams, percussions and vocals, patiently building and soaring to a delightful crescendo. After listening to Blindfold's new album a few times, it is clear why the English press is raving about their new release.

    In addition to Hilmarsson, band members are guitarist Svenni, bassist Teitur, drummer Jon Mar and Maddalena on cello. Attempts to locate the band members' last names have been exhausted; I guess it's on a first name basis kind of thing. Whatever the case, their music speaks for itself.

    "Falleg Depurd" - Blindfold from Faking Dreams (2009)

    "Don't Think It's A Sin" - Blindfold from Faking Dreams (2009)

    Get Faking Dreams now from Cine Pop Records

    Check out more on the Blindfold MySpace page

    More 2009 Bands to Watch:

    - We Were Promised Jetpacks - Glasgow, Scotland
    - Pet Lions - Chicago, IL
    - Coma League - Charlotte, NC
    - This Is A Shakedown - Cleveland, OH
    - - Hoboken, NJ
    - Klum - Monrovia, CA
    - - New Orleans, LA
    - - San Francisco, CA
    - Blind Man's Colour - St. Petersburg, FL

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       August 3, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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