indie rock cafe

In this third installment of the In Dee Mail Year End Special Edition series, you will hear music from an impressive line-up of artists and bands, including Elephant Stone, Clock Hands Strangle, The Sun, Aeroplane Pageant, Six Simple Songs, Lemonwilde, Cracked Latin and Lugo.

For those of you unfamiliar with the In Dee Mail profile series, it has become a cornerstone of what sets this blog apart from the rest, and a popular platform to introduce relatively unknown, and talented, artists and bands (all who sent their music to us unsolicited) to music lovers worldwide; most of whom probably would otherwise have never heard many of the songs featured in the series anywhere else. Due to the overwhelming number of great songs submitted this year, the In Dee Mail series for 2009 will spill-over in to 2010.

First up, it's not another Stone Roses tribute act. Instead, the Montreal-India collective Elephant Stone is actually ex-High Dials' guitarist Rishi Dhir's new band. Elephant Stone's debut LP, The Seven Seas, delivers jangly indie pop infused with a distinctive Eastern influence.

We loved The Seven Seas 'hindie rock' from the get-go; it's nearly impossible to resist the LP's shimmering guitar riffs, lush harmonies and accomplished vocal work. No wonder Elephant Stone made the list of nominees for this year's Polaris Music Prize for best album, which was ultimately awarded to Toronto's F*cked Up for their 2009 release, The Chemistry of Common Life.

"I Am Blind" - Elephant Stone from The Seven Seas (2009)

Elephant Stone on MySpace

Melbourne, Florida's Clock Hands Strangle follow-up their CMJ Top 50 charting-debut with Distaccati; an evolution of their classic rock-influenced indie folk sound. Distaccati was mixed by legendary producer Geza X (Dead Kennedys, Meredith Brooks) at Satellite Park Studios.

Cognoscenti singer/songwriter, Todd Portnowitz, holds a degree in poetry from the University of Florida, and is currently attending the University of Wisconsin with the goal of receiving a master's in Italian. Throughout Distaccati, Portnowtiz and the band take the listener on a sonic and literal pilgrimage from an arid desert to the concrete miasma of New York City to an Alabama cotton field, weaving a story of the moon's eternal loneliness and a stone that questions its sculptor.

"Distacci" - Clock Hands Strangle from Distacci (2009)

Clock Hands Strangle on MySpace

The second music video from Distaccati, "The Moon Looks Back," features a collage of archival footage from B-movie sci-fi and monster flicks.

Although we already featured The Sun's second, and last album, Don't Let Your Baby Have All the Fun, as one of the best overlooked LP's of the year, it is so good that we have to share two more tracks with you all that were not included the initial review.

Unfortunately, Don't Let Your Baby Have All The Fun represents The Sun's break-up album, and yet, thankfully, the band left us with a magnificent LP that we'll cherish years from now. Like The Format, we'd love to see this band get back together some day. Fingers crossed. You can hear the influence of Spoon's producer Mike McCarthy all over this LP, which is, amazingly, available as a free download from

"Alien" - The Sun from Don't Let Your Baby Have All the Fun (2009)

"Do The Sucker" - The Sun from Don't Let Your Baby Have All the Fun (2009)

The Sun on MySpace

Singer and songwriter Daniel Bellmann and bassist Olaf Borchert began to collaborate in a meadow near the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany back in 2003. They started with just six simple songs and an old acoustic guitar. Three months later they were recording their material at Gentle Art Studio in Hamburg with help studio owner Karsten Deutschmann on guitar and session drummer Florian Brandel.

Deutschmann and the studio's co-owner and drummer, Henry Sperling, were so impressed with the music that they asked Bellman and Borchert to form the band, Six Simple Songs.

Band members of Six Simple Songs cite The Beatles, The Clash, Social Distortion, The Descendents, Hüsker Dü, Dramarama, The Replacements, Art Brut, U2 and Coldplay among their biggest musical influences.

"You Want It (To Be With Me)" - Six Simple Songs from Upside Down (2009)

Six Simple Songs on MySpace

Back in May we featured the Brooklyn band Aeroplane Pageant. Now we have another single from their latest - and widely acclaimed - LP to share with all of you. The band's first single, "Stars Still Pretty," was one of AOL's Top 10 tracks of 2009.

Aeroplane Pageant's 2007 debut LP Wave to the Moon paved the way for the band to open for bands like Vampire Weekend, The Hold Steady, Dr. Dog and Tokyo Police Club.

"Stars Still Pretty" - Aeroplane Pageant from Even The Kids Don't Believe Me (2009)

"I Remember I Think" - Aeroplane Pageant from Even The Kids Don't Believe Me (2009)

Aeroplane Pageant on MySpace

Lemonwilde is an unsigned, Los Angeles alternative rock band that create dark, spacious tracks full of crooning vocals, ambient guitars, and seductive drum and bass that at times are reminiscent of Radiohead, Muse and Franz Ferdinand.

Such bold comparisons pan out on the band's debut EP, Red Room, released earlier this year. The sprawling and forbidding track, "Danse," has helped make Lemonwilde a hit in the alternative rock scene. Another single, "Just This Ashtray," was featured on IRC this past summer. You can also listen to more songs from Red Room on Lemonwilde's official website.

"Danse" - Lemonwilde from Red Room EP (2009)

Lemonwilde on MySpace

This next couple of songs are definitely different from most of the music we usually feature on IRC. Cracked Latin's (yes, terrible band name) "Caracas Shakedown" is an enthralling and eclectic mix of genre-bending styles, including tropicana pop, Havana-New Orleans hybrid jazz with a Squirrel Nut Zippers meets They Might Be Giants feel throughout.

"Caracas Shakedown" - Cracked Latin from s/t debut (2009)

Nuyorican R&B and Latin Soul recording artist, and nephew of baseball legend Roberto Clemente, Lugo, is back with a new track that he is making available today for all of you called "Subway Songs," a cut from his latest LP, Oye. Lugo has traveled as a USO Armed Forces performer to Afghanistan, Korea, Spain, Italy, Japan and the UK to entertain U.S. troops deployed around the world. Lugo is signed to the independent label Love Kiss Music.

"Subway Songs" - Lugo from Oye (2009)

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   December 29, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Bands That Rock! is a new playlist mix series that we're adding to IRC. The first band we want to share with you came as a pleasant surprise. After sending a couple of songs to us via email, the Argentinian rock band Lunaria immediately impressed us with their forward-driving beats, hooklicious guitar riffs and plenty of rock and roll attitude. Lunaria are absolutely on the indie rock radar.

After the split up of Vengador Toxico, surviving band members Javier De Luca (vocals, guitar) and Christian Urquijo (bassist) teamed up with Luis Cutone (drummer) to form Lunaria in 2006. Combining the prog-rock stylings of bands like the Editors and Interpol, as well as the punk, post-punk and alternative rock influences of bands like Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Sonic Youth, Bauhaus and Joy Division, Lunaria are poised for greatness beyond the borders of Argentina. Almost all of the band's songs are mesmerizing; here is a triple threat of singles from their amazing 2009 LP release, Uniworse.

"Bleed It Out" - Lunaria from Uniworse (2009)

"Paralysed" - Lunaria from Uniworse (2009)

"The End Begins" - Lunaria from Uniworse (2009)

Lunaria on MySpace

The Doups crossed our radar after the band sent us a few songs from their EP, Six O'Clock Shadow, produced by Harvey Birrell (Dananananaykroyd, Johnny Foreigner, The Buzzcocks). The band have quietly been climbing up the ladder of notoriety, having opened for Franz Ferdinand earlier this month in their home country of Portugal.

The Doups formed in 2007 in Setúbal, and include band members João Rodrigues (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Nuno Cunha (lead guitar and back vocals), Gustavo Andrade (bass guitar) and André Rosa (drums). In 2008, The Doups placed in the Top 5 of the fan-driven Supajam "Fast track to Heineken FIB" Competition out of over 900 other bands across Europe. The band are currently unsigned and planning to release their debut LP in the spring of 2010.

"Dirty Fingers" - The Doups from Six O'Clock Shadow (2009)

"Try, Lie, Die, Whatever" - The Doups from Six O'Clock Shadow (2009)

The Doups on MySpace

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   December 26, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Hey everyone: trying something completely different; setting music to the classic Christmas poem, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.' The songs that accompany each stanza are not meant to be literal, and not necessarily related to Christmas or the holidays.

This is merely an experimentation in free form tape mixing. The end goal is - as always - to share great music with the tens of thousands of people from all around the world who visit IRC each week. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

We have a lot of great music, profiles, special playlists, new bands and more to come for the last week of 2009 and all throughout 2010 - which is already looking promising for alternative and indie rock music.

Twas the night before Christmas
"Christmas Eve" - The Sugarcubes

And all through the house
"Our House" - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Not a creature was stirring
"Creature of the Night" - Arthur Dodge & The Horsefeathers

Not even a Mouse
"Quiet as a Mouse" - Margot & The Nuclear So Sos

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
"Hanging Up My Stockings" - Squirrel Nut Zippers

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
"Little Saint Nick" - The Beach Boys

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
"Children" - The Delta Spirit

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
"Put Some Sugar On It" - Half Japanese

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
"Feather in Your Cap" - Beck

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
"I Go To Sleep" - The Kinks

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
"Come On Let's Boogie to the Elf Dance" - Sufjan Stevens

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
"We Awoke" - Between The Pine

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
"At My Window" - Lessons in Time

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
"Shutter" - City & The Horse

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
"Fallen Snow" - Au Revoir Simone

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

"Shine A Light" - Wolf Parade

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

"Eyes" - Rouge Wave

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

"Reindeer Ride" - Roger Lavern & The Microns

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

"Drive On, Driver" - The Magnetic Fields

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

"Donde Esta Santa Claus" - Guster

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

"The Reindeer" - The Headcoats

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Look at the Reindeer Rock" - Jimmy Boyd

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

"The Happy Reindeer" - Dancer, Prancer and Nervous

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

"Donna and Blitzen" - Badly Drawn Boy

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

"Wonderwall" - Oasis

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

"Dash After Dash" - Matt and Kim

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

"Maple Leaves" - Jens Lekman

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

"Fly" - Nick Drake

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

"The Roof" - New Bomb Turks

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

"Santa Claus is Coming To Town" - Bruce Springsteen

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
"On The Roof" - The Feelies

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

"The Hoofs" - Why?

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

"Cold Hands" - The Sun

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

"Father Christmas" - The Kinks

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

"Fur Soft As Fur" - The Boy Least Likely To

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

"Ashes to Ashes" - David Bowie

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
"All The Best Wooden Toys Come From Germany" - BSS

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
"Jump Into This Sack" - Daniel Paquette

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
"In the Twinkle of an Eye" - Eerie

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
"Rosy Cheeks" - Her Majesty's Orchestra

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
"Close Your Mouth It's Christmas" - The Free Design

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
"Santa Claus" - Belle and Sebastian

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
"The Pipe" - Vulture Whale

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
"Cinder and Smoke" - Iron and Wine

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
"Belly" - Swanton Bombs

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
"Jelly Belly" - The Smashing Pumpkins

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
"Jolly Jolly Ego" - Dirty Projectors

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
"If I Laugh" - Cat Stevens

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
"One Wink at a Time" - The Replacements

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
"Darlin Do Not Fear" - Brett Dennen

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
"Did You See The Words" - Animal Collective

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
"Santa Left a Booger in My Stocking" - Aqua Teen Hunger Force (w/Neko Case)

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
"Nose" - Mailbox

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
"Jingle Hell (Stuck in the Chimney" - Soundtrack of Our Lives

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
"Sleigh Ride" - Reliant K

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
"Milk Thistle" - Conor Oberst

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
Look at the Sky" - Ulrich Schnauss

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."
"Happy Christmas (War is Over)" - John Lennon
"Good Night" - The Beatles

(Still waiting for Peace on Earth)

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   December 22, 2009    4 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Nirvana cover of Meat Puppets "Lake of Fire" from 1993 MTV Unplugged Broadcast

We love cover songs. The following playlist represents the seventh mix of fantastic cover songs from splendid artists and bands who we feel do justice to songs we already love from some of the best bands ever. Hopefully, you'll agree, especially if you browse the previous cover mixes.

This new mix includes an eclectic batch of songs from Green Day (covering The Kinks), Radiohead (Oasis), Venice is Sinking (Okay), Blind Man's Colour (Animal Collective), Pavement (Echo and the Bunnymen); Trappers Cabin (Simon and Garfunkel); Atlas Sound (Fleetwood Mac); The Harvey Girls (The Flaming Lips), plus electrifying live covers from Gnarls Barkley, Prince and Keane. There are also covers of Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead" (done magnificently by Run Toto Run), and covers of King Harvest and Fiery Furnances.

But first up, Green Day delivers one of the best covers ever of The Kinks' classic "Tired of Waiting." Listen to the original in the YouTube video above from 1965.

Does anyone know why all the girls back then screamed so much? That's one of the reasons The Beatles gave up on touring after only three years, according to Paul McCartney. Anyways, Green Day's cover version of "Tired of Waiting" demonstrates their immense musical talents and the respect they have for one of their favorite bands.

"Tired of Waiting" (The Kinks) - Green Day

"Compass" (Okay) - Venice is Sinking

Brothersport (Animal Collective) - Blind Man's Colour

"Wonderwall" (Oasis) - Radiohead

"The Killing Moon" (Echo and the Bunnymen) - Pavement

"April Come She Will" (Simon & Garfunkel) - Trappers Cabin

Walk A Thin Line (Fleetwood Mac) - Atlas Sound

"Take Meta Mars" (The Flaming Lips) - The Harvey Girls

"Sleepyhead" (Passion Pit) - Run Toto Run

"Reckoner (Live)" (Radiohead) - Gnarls Barkley

"Dancing In The Moonlight" - (King Harvest) - Toploader

"Charmaine Champagne" (Fiery Furnances) - The Delfields

"Creep" (Radiohead) - Prince

"Cast No Shadow" (Oasis) - Keane

Listen to all of the cover song mixes in one place.

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   December 19, 2009    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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whitestripeschristmasEveryone's busy with the holidays; so, no time, or need, to write any reviews about this mix of rock, alternative and indie Christmas and holidays songs. The music speaks for itself. One more big list of Christmas and holiday songs to go; plus, a special mega-mix featuring songs set to the words of a famous Christmas poem.

"Candy Cane Children" - The White Stripes

"White Christmas" - Mark Kozelek

"White Christmas (Demo for Tom Waits)" - The Flaming Lips

"Christmas Time is Here Again" (Live on WFPK) - My Morning Jacket

"Wishing You A Happy Christmas" - The Hush Now

"Run Run Rudolph" - Chuck Berry

"Snoopy's Christmas" - The Royal Guardsmen

"The Christmas Song" - Owl City

"Xmas Song" - Fireflies

"Queuing for Christmas" - The Keys

Check out some 150 additional Christmas and holiday songs - perfect for making your own playlists to play for family and friends this holiday season.


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   December 17, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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lennonxmasThe days are fast counting down to Christmas and Hanukkah is in full swing. Some of you are probably putting together your own special Christmas and holiday playlist mixes for your iTunes, iPod or to share with friends and family.

Therefore, here's another batch of interesting alternative Xmas songs to check out, in addition to the huge 12 mix collection we already published back in 2007, now available on a special page which has seen over 40,000 hits in just three weeks!

This mix includes some of the best Christmas songs we haven't published before (with just a few exceptions), including a "Christmasy" song from Band of Horses (even though the song title doesn't indicate so). There will be one more mega-mix coming up tomorrow.

"Happy XMas (War is Over)" - John Lennon

"Come on Santa" - The Raveonettes

"The First Song" - Band of Horses

"Christmas at the Zoo" - The Flaming Lips

"Ghost of Christmas" - Manic Street Preachers

"Christmas Is Coming Soon" - Blitzen Trapper

"Believe In Me" - Fun

"O Come Emmanuel" - Belle & Sebastian

"We Three Kings" - Blondie

"Silent Night" - The Briggs

Listen to and download more than 150 additional Christmas and holiday songs - perfect for making your own playlists to play for family and friends this holiday season.

Credits: Thanks to AM, thenFM,, KollegeDaily and others for their contributions to this mix.


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   December 15, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Last week we kicked off In Dee Mail Special Edition with part one of the series. That playlist was quite a success, and there is still more great music that has been emailed to us that we are eager to share with all of you. We hope you find some keepers in today's mix, and become a friend/fan of an artist or band that you never heard of before until now.

First up: Dylan In The Movies is the musical brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Brian Sullivan. In 2006, Sullivan and his Boston band DIY'd their debut EP, Feel the Pull, and caught the attention of deejays at the popular rock radio stations KCRW and KEXP, as well as many bloggers.

The band's debut LP, Josephine If You Only Knew, will drop in the spring of 2010 on American Laundromat Records, featuring guest spots from The Watson Twins and Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, Breeders, Belly). If you dig Echo and The Bunnymen, you're bound to enjoy this band's music. Looking forward to this LP; in the meantime, here's an advanced single.

"Josephine" - Dylan in the Movies from Josephine If You Only Knew (2010)

The Fling recently sent a song titled, "Wanderingfoot," and we were immediately intrigued by their 60's-era psychedelic rock sound mixed with elements of folk, and filled with multi-layered pop harmonies. The band include among their favorite bands and artists, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Richard Swift, Arlo Guthrie and Led Zeppelin.

In addition to their fellow Long Beach residents, Avi Buffalo, The Fling will be a southern California band to watch in 2010. You can buy some of their music on the band's official website.

"Wanderingfoot" - The Fling from Out of My Head 7" (2009)

Welcome to Ashley is a Chicago band that mixes the influences of post punk and power pop to create an original sound that has begun to creep out from the Windy City to other areas of the country. Their sophomore LP, Absent Man, was self-released. The band formed in Chicago with members of the former Missouri indie band The Bennies. It's hard not to want to hear more from a band that list among their favorite albums, The Stone Roses' self-titled debut, The Replacement's Don't Tell a Soul, and Jesus & Mary Chain's Darklands. Check out Welcome to Ashley's MySpace page for more.

"Nothing But Grey Skies Ahead" - Welcome to Ashley from Absent Man (2009)

In and around their home base of Philadelphia, the band East Hundred have been garnering positive reviews and building a loyal and growing fan base. Their debut album, Passengers (2008), was produced by Brian McTear (Matt Pond PA, A-Sides) and recorded at the Philly studios of Miner Street Recordings.

"Slow Burning Crimes" - East Hundred from Passengers (2008)

This next song sounds like early Velvet Underground meets The Doors; we dig the spacey, mysterious and psychedelic slow jam of the song "Strange Transmissions" from Orlando, Florida's Strangers Family Band.

"Strange Transmission" - Strangers Family Band from s/t EP (2009)

With credits on The Lonely Forest's excellent debut LP that we featured earlier this year, Seattle resident Michael Perkins has recorded some songs under the moniker Maklak, one of which we are featuring here called "Cutting Clouds." On the song, Maklak plays all of the instruments himself.

Drawing from the local influences of Nirvana and The Melvins, to name a few, Maklak serves up melodic alternative rock that is beginning to attract a fan base outside his following in the Pacific Northwest.

"Cutting Clouds" - Maklak, single release (2009)

The response to our featured article on the Arizona duo The Smiles and Frowns was huge - there were hundreds of downloads of their songs over the course of two weeks. See the original post here. Therefore, to meet the demand, and thank their many new fans, the band is sharing another single from their new, debut self-title LP.

"When The Time Should Come" - The Smiles and Frowns from s/t LP (2009)

Canada's Said the Whale newest album, Islands Disappear, is full of songs about Canada. The songs are folk inspired for the most part, and rely heavily on guitar picking and prolific lyrics. Last month, STW won the CBC Radio 3's Bucky Award for "Most Canadian Song" - "Emerald Lake, AB." You can buy the album containing that song, and other great tracks, on the band's official website.

"Holly, ON" - Said the Whale from Islands Disappear (2009)

This next artist was a nice surprise in our email box. We've always been fans of jazz, and Nheap, the moniker of Italian composer and musician Massimo Discepoli, delivers his own brand of jazz on the new release, Skymotion. It's not traditional jazz, but much more of a fusion with electro pop elements.

The first song, "Hldrrr," is sweet, even Christmas-y; perfect for a visit with guests sitting in front of the fire with your egg nog or Baileys. The follow up track, "Aphelion," sounds just like something that could work on a soundtrack to the TV show, Heroes.

"Hldrrr" - Nheap from Skymotion (2009)

"Aphelion" - Nheap from Skymotion (2009)

More noteworthy songs sent In Dee Mail:

"The Gospel Of Carlos, Norman And Smith" - Rickie Lee Jones from Balm in Gilead (2009)

"We're Gonna Make It" - The Orange Peels from 2020 (2009)

"The Glitch" - Zealots from Flowers For My Broken Head EP (2009)

"Motorcycle" - A Brief Smile from Restaurant Airport EP (2009)

"Sacred" - The Belated from Belief in the Process (2009)

Part One of the In Dee Mail Year-End Special Edition features:

- Sean Walsh & The National Reserve
- Devries
- Jupiter One
- Julian Plenti
- Parlour Steps
- Fin Fang Foom
- Sabrosa Purr
- Jacob Faurholt
- Summer Dregs
- A Classic Education
- Mist and Mast

You can also view the entire In Dee Mail series on one page.

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   December 14, 2009    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Adding to our extensive playlist mix collection of Christmas and holiday songs, we have a bunch of never-before-published (on this site) Xmas songs to share with you in the next week, including an exhaustive collection of great songs paired with a famous Christmas story.

Let's get started with a a fresh cover from The Dandy Warhols that the band sent us a couple of days ago, followed up by a new Xmas track from The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas' debut solo LP, 11th Dimension. Also, check out other notable holiday-style songs from The Snowballs, St. Etienne, Richard Hawly, Asobi Seksu and more.

This is the first of a few such playlists that will be posted in the next week, including a special playlist based on a famous Christmas poem. You're not gonna want to miss that one, so check back. Additionally, we're going to do a "best of" holiday songs mix based entirely on which tracks all of you have listened to, and downloaded, the most from Thanksgiving Eve to Christmas Eve.

"Christmas Treat" - Julian Casablancas

"Little Drummer Boy" - The Dandy Warhols

"Song About Christmas" - The Snowballs

"My Christmas Prayer" - St. Etienne

"Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight)" (The Ramones) - Asobi Seksu

"The Christmas Where It Ends" - Soda Fountain Rag

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - Parker Lewis and Friends

"Silent Night" - Richard Hawley

Thanks to the blogs, and and Indy Music Files for some of these tracks.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Ears to the Music, VIII: Monogold, Old Canes, Slideshow Freak, Japanese Motors, Langhorne Slim and Laura Veirs

Band of the Week: The Genre-Bending Music of Hosta

Today's Best New Releases (12/8): The French Semester, STS9, Avi Buffalo, Smashing Pumpkins, Midnight Masses and More

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Part I: Sean Walsh & The National Reserve, Devries, Jupiter One, Julian Plenti and Parlour Steps

Band of the Week: Austin's Wiretree Release One of the Best Under-the-Radar Albums of 2009, 'Luck'


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   December 12, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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hostathebandThere are still plenty of fantastic songs and albums from 2009 that we're catching up to, and we suspect that will extend into the first couple of months of the rapidly approaching 2010. Wow, it's almost a new decade; let's hope it is a better one than the 2000s - for everyone. You might want to check back daily over the next few weeks - not only do we have barrels of great 2009 music you probably have never heard in the pipeline, but also additional alternative and indie Christmas songs; best songs and best albums year end lists and lots more.

This week's Band of the Week is Hosta, a folk rock band from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Admittedly, it took us a while to get around to featuring this band; the more we have listened to their self-titled debut over the past half year, the more it has proven itself as one of the best under-the-radar debuts of the year. It's baffling that the rest of the blogosphere, if you will, missed out on what is a fantastic album from start to finish.

Hosta is a trio of musicians: Iris Shepard (bass/vocals), Greg Moore (guitar/keyboards/vocals) and Randy Kehne (drums). The genre-bending band mix blues, ska, folk and experimental rock to create fun and interesting songs with likely comparisons to Weezer (and to some extent Pavement; hear "Hope You're Not Sorry"), which is especially evident on the geo-centric song, "Cali," and the quirky, ska-infused, "Secret Self."

Greg Moore
Band member Greg Moore is also a Fayetteville artist

While the band primarily tours in the Midwest, we hope they will come out to Cali (actually, someone easily gives themselves away as a newcomer when they call California 'Cali,' sort of the same idea as calling New York, "The Big Apple," or D.C., "Washington, DC"). Hosta were awarded the Northwest Arkansas Music Award in the category "Best None of the Above" this year. We strongly recommend getting the entire LP if you like the songs featured below.

"Cali" - Hosta from s/t debut (2009)

"Secret Self" - Hosta from s/t debut (2009)

"Hope You're Not Sorry" - Hosta from s/t debut (2009)

Hosta on MySpace

Coming Up: More alternative Christmas songs; a new installment of the Singer/Songwriter Spotlight Series; In Dee Mail Special Year End Edition, Vol. II and much more.

Other Recent Posts You Might Enjoy (and faster loading pages):

Ears to the Music, VIII: Monogold, Old Canes, Slideshow Freak, Japanese Motors, Langhorne Slim and Laura Veirs

Today's Best New Releases (12/8): The French Semester, STS9, Avi Buffalo, Smashing Pumpkins, Midnight Masses and More

In Dee Mail Special Edition, Part I: Sean Walsh & The National Reserve, Devries, Jupiter One, Julian Plenti and Parlour Steps

Band of the Week: Austin's Wiretree Release One of the Best Under-the-Radar Albums of 2009, 'Luck'

Today's Best New Indie Releases (12/1): The Delfields, Spoon, Morningbell, Tristeza, The Dimes and More

The Splendid Debut LP from Arizona's Talented Music Duo The Smiles and Frowns

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Los Angeles band The French Semester top today's featured new releases. The band craft jangly and sunny tracks with an unmistakable 1960's pop influence. Guitarist and vocalist Riaz Tejani says the band formed in 2007 after discovering they had a common interest in writing and recording songs "derivative of the sixties and nostalgic for the eighties," but with "a subtler approach to the roots while trying to say something new." It is no surprise then that TFS include among their biggest musical influences Guided By Voices, Syd Barrett, Neutral Milk Hotel, Donovan, Leonard Cohen and The Rain Parade.

In a short period of time, The French Semester have built a following across the globe, and found themselves opening for bands like Vampire Weekend, Olivia Tremor Control, The Zombies, The Rain Parade and Apples in Stereo. That's an impressive track record for a band that is only two years in the making. The French Semester's new album, Forces Afield, is out today and follows the release of their critically acclaimed LP, Good Friends Only I Could See, that came out earlier this year.

"The Large Bouquet" - The French Semester from Forces Afield (2009)

"What's in the Bag" - The French Semester from Forces Afield (2009)

"Backwards Rolling" - The French Semester from Good Friends Only I Could See (2008)

The French Semester's official website

Long Beach's Avi Buffalo, officially release their 7" inch vinyl single today via the legendary indie label Subpop Records, with the B-side "Jessica." You can order the 7" inch vinyl from the Subpop website. Last week, Avi Buffalo announced they will be touring in January with Final Fantasy. AB were an IRC band of the week back in October, and will release their debut LP next spring.

"What's In It For?" - Avi Buffalo from 7" single (2009)

Avi Buffalo's official website


Relocated from Georgia to Santa Cruz, California dub-heavy, break beat-infused psychedelic band Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) are back with a new EP, Ad Explorata, out today via 1320 Records. STS9's huge, loyal fan base will not be disappointed with the band's newest release, which will be followed up by an extensive, cross-country tour in February and March of next year. The band is known for their intense live shows and performances at big-time festivals such as Bonnaroo, Cochella and Lollapalooza.

"Phoneme" - STS9 from Ad Explorata (2009)

STS9's official website

Other releases out today include a new track from The Smashing Pumpkins, Midnight Masses and two vinyl releases from Arctic Monkeys and Sigur Ros.

"A Song for a Son" - Smashing Pumpkins via Stereogum from Teargarden in Kaleidyscope (2009)

"Walk On Water" - Midnight Masses from Rapture Ready, I Gazed at Bodies (2009)

"Cornerstone" - Arctic Monkeys from 7" vinyl (2009)

"Gobbledigook" - Sigur Ros from 7" vinyl (2009)

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   December 8, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Special Bonus Xmas Mix to our email, feed and podcast subscribers. Enjoy and best wishes to all of you during the holidays and all year long.

"Christmas Card from a Hooker" - Tom Waits

"I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" - Pedro The Lion

"Christmas in the Looney Bin" - Daniel Johnston

"The Christmas Sound" - The Swimmers

"Christmas Time is Here Again" - The Beatles

"This Xmas No Trees Just Soul"- His Clancyness

"The Christmas Song" - Stevie Wonder

"Christmas" - New Bomb Turks

"Last Christmas" (Wham) - Tiger House

"(Christmas) Bells of St. Ignacious" - Wormburger

"Rock N Roll Christmas" - George Thorogood and the Destroyers

"Run Rudolph Run" - CCR

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

"Away In A Manger" - The Layaways

"Snowbird" - Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem

"Little Drummer Boy" - The Almost

"Xmars Song" - Tiny Tide

"Good Time Christmas" - Lou Rawls

"A Very Delfields Christmas" - The Delfields

"Silent Night" - Andrew Kunz

"Mrs. Christmas" - Jessie Baylin

"Christmas Time is Here" - Steve Vai

"Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" - Orquesta Sanfer

"Looks Like Christmas" - Hollywood Drunks

"Little Drummer Boy" - Slaraffenland

Listen to and download more than 150 additional Christmas and holiday songs - perfect for making your own playlists to play for family and friends this holiday season.

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   December 5, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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This mix is a special edition of In Dee Mail, featuring music from a variety of artists and bands who have sent their music to IRC. We literally receive hundreds of submissions a month, and therefore, we try to pick the best songs to share with you. As 2009 rapidly closes out, we are launching this multi-part series to catch up with some of our favorite submissions.

Brooklyn based multi-genre rockers Sean Walsh & The National Reserve mix traditions of country, honky tonk, Motown and classic rock on their debut LP, Homesick, a compendium of songs about heartbreak, highways, and the lonesome human condition that were written by Walsh during a one-month stint in Ontario, Canada.

Walsh recruited a band
band - The National Reserve - and enlisted producer and engineer Kyle "Slick" Johnson (Modest Mouse, The Hives, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Rogue Wave) to bring the songs to fruition. The LP was subsequently released on the band's own label, Lover's Dream Records, and includes vocal contributions from Michelle Casillas of Ursa Minor. Since the release of the LP, the band has shared the bill with bands like Dr. Dog, Vampire Weekend, Vandaveer, and Hymns.

"You Know" - Sean Walsh & The National Reserve from Homesick (2009)

Sean Walsh & The National Reserve on MySpace

Travis DeVries, of legendary Seattle band The Turn-Ons, has embarked on a new band project, simply named DeVries. Much like his former band, his new work draws from the golden age of Britpop-Manchester bands like Suede and The Stone Roses, with lyrics that touch on a wide range of range of topics from trans-gendered children (“Boys are Bores”), to global warming (“Slowing Down”), and economic upheaval (“Black Thursday Repeat”). Death to God was released last month via Noise on Noise Records.

"Darkest Summer" - Devries from Death to God (2009)

Devries on MySpace

The next artist, Jupiter One, hails from New York City, and are hardly an unknown band. In addition to their well-received new album, Sunshower, they also opened for Regina Spektor on a recent, successful tour of the States. Jupiter One has a vintage pop rock sound and reminds us a lot of an artist or band we've heard of, but we just can't put our finger on it, and so far, iTunes' Genius, hasn't provided any reliable clues. Do any of you have an idea? The track featured here, "Flaming Arrow," was made available via Ryko Records.

"Flaming Arrow" - Jupiter One from Sunshower (2009)

Jupiter One on MySpace

Julian Plenti of the prog-rock band Interpol made a big splash this year with the release of his debut solo LP, Skyscraper Is. Plenti also just wrapped up a U.S. tour that was, by all accounts, a huge success. Here is a song from his debut that was sent in from one of our favorite labels, Matador Records.

"Fun That We Have" - Julian Plenti from Skyscraper Is... (2009)

Julian Plenti official website

Parlour Steps hail from Vancouver, and have just released their third full length, The Hidden Names, an ambitious affair that features sweet acoustic ballads; intricately arranged tracks and epic, energetic rockers in the style of The Decemberists and Franz Ferdinand.

"Bleeding Hearts" - Parlour Steps from The Hidden Names (2009)

"Little Pieces" - Parlour Steps from The Hidden Names (2009)

Parlour Steps on MySpace

Chapel Hill, North Carolina post punk band Fin Fang Foom return with their first new LP in six years. The album showcases the riveting interplay between Michael Triplett's pensive, yet powerful, guitar playing, Eddie Sanchez's rumbling bass guitar and restrained singing, and Mike Glass' dynamic drumming. Monomyth is a testament to Fin Fang Foom's ability to overcome hardship, following the death of the band's first drummer, Peter Enriquez, and by Triplett's near-death experience with spinal meningitis in 2004.

"Magnetic North" - Fin Fang Foom from Monomyth (2009)

Fin Fang Foom on MySpace

Sabrosa Purr is a genre-defying rock band from Los Angeles, California, comprised of members Will Love, Jeff Mendel, Ry Sarmiento and Angie Mattson. In 2006, they released their self-produced debut EP, Music from the Violet Room on Dangerbird Records, landing in the top ten album lists of and Bagel Radio.

From a dingy recording studio on Santa Monica Blvd., Sabrosa Purr propelled forward, opening for bands like Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids and 30 Seconds to Mars. Their new EP Volaras, produced by Tracy Chisholm (Stone Temple Pilots, Belly) was released this past summer. The track featured here is hauntingly beautiful, mysterious and trippy.

"One Weak Moment" - Sabrosa Purr from Volaras (2009)

Sabrosa Purr on MySpace

Last month, Danish singer/songwriter Jacob Faurholt's released a new EP titled Why Write? via Canadian label What A Mess. The EP is recorded in the summer of 2009 with good friends in Denmark and mixed and mastered by American producer Kramer (Galaxie 500, Daniel Johnston, Low, Half Japanese).

"Burning Holes" - Jacob Faurholt from Why Write? (2009)

Jacob Faurholt on MySpace

The following tracks are simply awesome and don't require much writing about. Dig the cool sounds of Summer Dregs, Mist and Mast and A Classic Education. These were sent to us from Banter Media & Management in Sacramento, California. They also manage Surfer Blood, Neon Indian, Furcast, Technoir MA, Boomsnake and The Traditionist, among others.

"Bones" - Summer Dregs from From Gold to Green (2009)

"What My Live Could Have Been" - A Classic Education from 7" release (2009)

"X-Ray" - Mist and Mast from Action at a Distance (2009)

Stay tuned, there are many more great artists and bands from In Dee Mail Year End Special Edition, Part Two coming up soon.


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New video for Wiretree's song, "Days Gone By"

We have not been able to stop playing one of 2009's most brilliant pop albums since it crossed our radar a few weeks ago. The album title is Luck from the incredibly talented Austin power pop band Wiretree. If you love masterfully crafted, infectious, melodic pop with vintage 60's and retro hipster underground influences, chances are you'll want to add Luck to your CD collection.

Fans of the Matthew Sweet, Paul Weller, Velvet Underground, The La's and Elliott Smith are the most likely music lovers to turn on, and tune in, to Wiretree. It is bands like Wiretree that keep our faith that independent music is far from dying out.

Wiretree is Kevin Peroni (vocals, guitar, keys), Rachel Peroni (bass), Joshua Kaplan (guitar), and Daniel Blanchard (drums). Their debut, a self-titled EP, was released in 2005 via their own independent label, Cobaltworks Music. In January of 2007, the band released their first LP, Bouldin. If you enjoy Luck as much as we do, you'll want to get their debut album as well.

There are so many wonderful songs on Luck that it was hard to pick only the three tracks we've presented here; choosing just one is nearly impossible. The LP gets better with each spin, which explains why we've been listening to it so much. See the video above for the upbeat and catchy song, "Days Gone By."

The track, "Back in Town," is one of the band's best songs; a mix of 80's style power pop guitar riffs, xylophone chimes and passionate vocals that you might just find yourself listening to again and again. "Falling" is a sweet, drifting pop song about love and longing that would be great for a movie soundtrack or a Valentine's mixtape. The hooks and choruses of "Satellite Song" makes it one of the many standout tracks on the album.

"Back in Town" - Wiretree from Luck (2009)

"Falling" - Wiretree from Luck (2009)

"Satellite Song" - Wiretree from Luck (2009)

"Big Coat" is an irresistible hook-driven masterpiece that reminds us a lot of Elliot Smith, yet it is brilliantly original. Other great tracks on Bouldin include, "Travelin' On," "Summercity," and "Feel Me."

"Big Coat" - Wiretree from Bouldin (2007)

It is always surprising to us that when a remarkable LP is pretty much missed by the majority of popular music blogs and websites, which is a big reason why we choose Bands to Watch that are, for the most part, unknown to even die-hard indie music fans.

It's not that Wiretree haven't been praised by other publications and blogs; it's just that they haven't received the wider exposure their music deserves. The blog, Absolute Powerpop, writes that Luck retains the band's "signature sound yet broadens it to point where I could see the intelligentsia of indie rock and the poobahs at Pitchfork giving it a thumbs up if they take the time to check it out."

Why a label like Sub Pop, Merge or Asthmatic Kitty haven't signed this band is baffling, to say the least. But, in the end, that doesn't matter; we have Wiretree at the top of our 'lesser known bands' lists with four and five stars in iTunes for most of their songs. We can only hope that more people get to hear this fantastic band.

Get Luck via iTunes

Wiretree's official website

Stream more songs on Wiretree's MySpace page or their official website.

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Band to Watch: Charlotte, NC's Indie Garage Rockers Coma League

The Splendid Debut LP from Arizona's Talented Music Duo The Smiles and Frowns

Random Mix of Great Indie Rock: Hurricane Bells, Here We Go Magic, Royal Bangs, Scanners, Furcast and Static Jacks

The Sun Break From A Major Label Deal, Team Up With Spoon Producer and Shine On Their Second, and Last, LP

Names in Songs, Mix II: Freelance Whales, Conor Oberst, The Kinks, Animal Collective, The Dodos & Yo La Tengo

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   December 2, 2009    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Last week, Morrissey was a guest on a BBC Radio 4 program called Desert Island Discs. The show features guest musicians who visit the studios in London, answer questions with host Kirsty Young and play eight songs they would want to have if they were a castaway on a deserted island.

In addition to a fascinating interview in which Morrissey talks about his childhood, distaste for conventional life and suicide, the program intertwines The Smiths' former frontman's eight tracks, which we have replicated in today's mix. Morrissey's choices of the New York Dolls, Marianne Faithful, The Ramones, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The Velvet Underground and others help paint a portrait of one of rock's most celebrated musicians.

In addition to these songs, Morrissey would bring a bed, Oscar Wilde's works and sleeping pills. Morrissey's songs are presented in order that they were played during the Desert Island Discs program, which you can stream via BBC Radio's iPlayer.

Morrissey's top eight tracks as a castaway:

"(There's Gonna Be a) Showdown" - New York Dolls from Too Much Too Soon

"Come and Stay With Me" - Marianne Faithfull from Tears Go By/Stay With Me

"Loudmouth" - The Ramones from Ramones: All The Stuff (and More)

"The Black Angel's Death Song" - The Velvet Underground from The Velvet Underground & Nico

"Der Nussbaum"
(YouTube audio) - Klaus Nomi from Klaus Nomi: The Collection

"I'm Not Saying" - Nico from Folk Rock & Faithful: Dream Babes, Vol. 5

"Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" - Iggy & The Stooges from Raw Power

"Sea Diver" - Mott the Hoople from All The Young Dudes

Bonus: "Every Day Is Like Sunday" - Morrissey

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New Jersey indie pop band The Delfields' new EP, Sooner Than You Think, is a out today and available from their MySpace page. The first single from the EP, "Madeline," is a song rich with sweet harmonies and melodies. The band is clearly influenced by The Beach Boys, but in their own original way. This is evident again on the track "Untitled." Sooner Than You Think is a sweet EP, and comes on the heels of their self-released, and equally enjoyable, debut LP, Ogres. In addition, you can download for free the band's debut EP, Twilight Town.

Some of the band's songs, including "Madeline," also have an unmistakable likeness to the sound of The Shins. This is evident as well on the track "A Slippery Slope," although it inexplicably ends suddenly, almost as if it were cut short by accident. Nevertheless, there are other worthy tracks on Ogres, including the title track and the irresistible song, "Honest."

Althought there have been a number of impressive bands to surface from the Garden State this year (Real Estate, The Black Hollies), it is fair to say that The Delfields are one of New Jersey's bands to watch in 2010.

"Madeline" - The Delfields from Sooner Than You Think (2009)

"Untitled" - The Delfields from Sooner Than You Think (2009)

"A Slippery Slope" - The Delfields from Ogres (2008)

Spoon released a new 7" single today as an advance from the upcoming release of their latest LP Transference, due to drop Jan. 5, 2010 via Merge Records. This recording of the track is from their live performance at this year's Pitchfork Festival. You can buy the official single version here.

"Written in Reverse" - Spoon from Transference (2010)

We really like this next band a bunch and anticipate many others will as well. Morningbell have a unique style and a forward driving, amped up sound, especially on the incredibly infectious song, "Marching Off To War." Another track, "Stay in the Garden," from their new LP, Sincerely, Severely, is reminiscent of Tom Waits, and would have been a great song for a Halloween mix. Put Morningbell on your 'bands to watch' in 2010 list.

"Marching Off to War" - Morningbell from Sincerely, Severely (2009)

"Stay in the Garden" - Morningbell from Sincerely, Severely (2009)

After more than a decade of various lineup changes and stylistic incarnations, including extensive tours that touched nearly every corner of the globe, Tristeza's new album, Fate Unfolds demonstrates the band's continued talent for blending multiple musical influences - ranging from Afro jazz and funk, Spanish flamenco, tropicalia, Krautrock, Indian raga, punk and psyche.

Over the years, the band has built a loyal, worldwide following, and shared the stage with bands like Bright Eyes, Yo La Tengo, Curvise, Interol and Guided By Voices, to name just a few. Tristeza kick-off their new tour tonight with a show at The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, California.

"Tension Futura" - Tristeza from Fate Unfolds (2009)

"Manitas" - Tristeza from Fate Unfolds (2009)

Stream the album Fate Unfolds and watch the fan video of "Tension Futura".

Other tracks from new releases out today that we recommend include songs from Halifax, Nova Scotia indie punk band A History Of; Southern California experimental outfit Regrets & Brunettes; Portland, Oregon's folk pop group The Dimes; Iceland's gothic, post punk band My Summer As A Salvation Soldier; Toronto rockers The Parkas, and Minneapolis' powerpop threesome Arms Akimbo.

"Action in the North Atlantic" - A History Of from Action in the North Atlantic (2009)

"Post Punk" - Regrets Brunettes from At Night You Love Me (2009)

"Tough Love" - Regrets Brunettes from At Night You Love Me (2009)

"Walden and the Willow Tree" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

"Monuments" - My Summer As A Salvation Soldier from Nytt (2009)

"The Gang's All Gone" - The Parkas from You Should Have Killed When You Had The Chance (2009)

"Giving Up for Good" - Arms Akimbo from You Want It (2009)

Recent IRC 'Tweets' You Might Have Missed:

Two days left to win two free tickets to see Phoenix at a private party in NYC (Let's see the Obama party crashers crash this one)

The Strokes will play their first show in four years at Isle of Wright (via Isle of Wright website)

Morrissey lists the records he'd want if he was stranded on an island (via the BBC)

Nine Inch Nails auctioning equipment; plus The Slip LP is still a free download

Go crazy and download free and legal MP3s from bands like Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Girls, Native, Beach House, Kurt Vile, Nirvana, Fu*ked Up, Raveonettes and dozens more. (via ThinkIndie)

Stream 30 second samples of all the songs from Vampire Weekend's new album Contra - due out Jan 11 (via AMZ)

Due to popular demand, we are bringing back the Top Ten Indie Rock Songs of the Week Mix.

Most Popular Alternative Christmas Song on IRC this week - The Kinks' "Father Christmas" (UK version of Santa Claus)

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Current and upcoming releases (US dates)

12/7/09 Ólafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909
1/12/10 Vampire Weekend - Contra
1/19/10 Cold War Kids - Behave Yourself EP
1/19/10 Spoon - Transference
1/26/10 Beach House - Teen Dream
1/26/10 Basia Bulat - Heart Of My Own
2/1/10 Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring
2/2/10 Midlake - The Courage of Others
2/9/10 Yeasayer - Odd Blood
2/23/10 Shout Out Louds - Work
2/23/20 Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
3/2/10 Rogue Wave - Permalight
3/2/10 The Whigs - In The Dark
3/9/10 Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks
3/9/10 Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks
3/16/10 Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
3/16/10 The Whigs - In The Dark
3/22/10 Jónsi - Go
3/23/10 She & Him - Volume 2
5/4/10 The New Pornographers - Together

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