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  • This year we're starting a new end-of-the-month feature that will summarize all of the posts, playlist mixes, special features and new releases for the month. So, if there's anything you missed, it's all here in one quick glance, including on-going series such as In Dee Mail, New Releases, One Man Bands, Band of the Week, Favorite Songs of 2009, Singer & Songwriter Spotlight.

    New Releases

    Best New Releases This Week: Beach House, The Magnetic Fields, No Through Road, Woodpigeon, Retribution Gospel Choir, Citay, Boy Genius & More

    Best New Releases This Week: Spoon, Surfer Blood, The Eels, Feral Children, Editors, Big Star, Dinowalrus & Len Price 3

    New Releases This Week: Vampire Weekend, Dreamboat Money, Final Fantasy, Technoir MA, The Scruffs and More

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. IV: Superchunk, Sonic Youth, Deleted Scenes, Julie Peel, Peter Doherty, St. Vincent and More

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. III: Neko Case, Public Radio, Bishop Allen, Harlem Shakes, Deer Tick & More

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. II - The Big Pink, The Thermals, Dan Auerbach, Telekinesis, Faunts & More

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. I: Animal Collective, Bon Iver, 1900s, East Hundred, Odawas and More

    In Dee Mail Special Series

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. VIII: The Middle East, The Love X Nowhere, Emanuel and the Fear, Solfege Radio and More

    In Dee Mail Special Edition Vol. VII - Essex Chanel, Scares The Daylights and The Binary Marketing Show

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. VI - Sore Eros, The Melloncollies, Himalaya and Matias Aguayo

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. V: Army of Me, Threes and Nines, Trees and Trashcans and Lefse Records' Artists

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. IV: Tiny Tin Hearts, Flotation Walls, Twilight Revival, Oryan, Sidewalk Driver and Rolf Lislevand

    Artists and Bands in the Spotlight

    Band of the Week: Boston's Elephantom Endorsed by Grizzly Bear; Blog Exclusive of Track for Upcoming LP

    One Man Bands - LA's Fox Fagan and Detroit's JellyEyes

    RIP: Garage/Punk Rocker Jay Reatard Found Dead at Age 29 in His Memphis Home

    Singer/Songwriter Spotlight Series, Vol. III: In Memory of Vic Chesnutt, 1964 - 2009

    Indie Artist of the Week: French Teenage Singer/Songwriter Louis Aguilar

    Sigur Ros' Vocalist and Guitarist Jonsi Birgisson Releases Advance Track from Upcoming Solo LP

    Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009, Vol. I - Ex Norwegian, We All Have Hooks for Hands, Pistol for Ringo and Fredrik


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       January 31, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The In Dee Mail Special Edition series is meant to highlight artists and bands that sent their music directly to us (thus, the silly title 'in dee mail' - but it's now a staple of this site) who - for one reason or another - we did not have a chance to feature in 2009, usually because their submissions came to us late in the year, or in some cases, in the past few weeks. If you haven't already seen the other posts and mixes of this special series, we encourage you to because there is some fabulous music in those posts.

    The Middle East are an Australian band that have really turned on the turbo engines in the past year or so, landing scheduled shows at this year's SXSW and Coachella, and are an IRC Band to Watch in 2010 thanks to the release of their EP, The Recordings of the Middle East last fall. Thankfully, they sent us two fantastic songs from the EP to share with all of you.

    "Blood" - The Middle East from The Recordings of the Middle East (2009)

    "The Darkest Side" - The Middle East from The Recordings of the Middle East (2009)

    The Middle East official website

    The Love X Nowhere - High Score Blackout

    The Love X (as in "times") Nowhere's latest LP, High Score Blackout, was released last summer on Redgummy Records. The album oozes with Cocteau-heavy guitars dripping with the sway of chorus and delay; analog synth as at home with The Cars as Meddle-era Pink Floyd; a rhythm section adept in thick, explosive grooves and awe-inspiring dynamics.

    "The Diz" - The Love X Nowhere from High Score Blackout (2009)

    The Love X Nowhere

    Emanuel and the Fear - Self-Titled EP

    Brooklyn's 11-piece band Emanuel and the Fear, released a self-titled debut EP late in 2009 to enthusiastic reviews in publications like the Village Voice, Deli Magazine, Absolute Punk and NME. Headed by NYC resident Emanuel Ayvas, EATF creates and delivers magnificently crafted, and complex, yet accessible songs. Their self-titled debut EP was released last January on Paper Garden Records and included contributions from musicians who have previously played and toured with Sufjan Stevens, The National, Akron/Family and Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears.

    "The Rain Becomes the Clouds" - Emanuel and the Fear from s/t EP (2009)

    "Comfortable Prison" - Emanuel and the Fear from s/t EP (2009)

    Emanuel and the Fear on MySpace

    Solfege Radio - Eleven!

    New Jersey's melodic pop punk band Solfege Radio released their debut album late in 2009 on Danimal Records to fairly good press and reception from fans. The band of teen musicians demonstrate a true talent at a young age for crafting tight rock songs with a shimmering undertow. We'd be curious to know what you think about this single.

    "Eleven!" - Solfege Radio from s/t debut (2009)

    Solfege Radio on MySpace

    Jacob Faurholt - Why Write

    In December, we featured Danish musician Jacob Faurholt in the In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. I, post. Now, Faurholt has another song to share, "Jesus on a Stamp," which sounds like the Editors mixed with Interpol, accompanied by bright keys and booming drums, hand-clapping and flowing choruses.

    "Jesus on a Stamp" - Jacob Faurholt from Why Write EP (2009)

    Jacob Faurholt on MySpace

    Franklin for Short - Swell

    Franklin for Short hails from Ventura, California, a quiet little beach town 75 miles north of L.A. Living off a diet of burritos, coastal fog and reverb, the band has been incubating their latest release Swell for a year and a half. The result is a 14-song epic that winds its way through a landscape half ethereal and half earthbound.

    "Brother Bird" - Franklin for Short from Swell (2009)

    Franklin for Short on MySpace

    Other songs from In Dee Mail:

    "Everything" - Adam Ashbach from Puzzle Pieces (2009)

    Adam Ashbach on MySpace

    "Tired of Missing You" - Andrea Gauster from Reverie EP (2009)

    Andrea Gauster on MySpace

    "Beasts Around You" - Idolae from Through The Straight Lines (2009)

    Idolae on MySpace

    "Soft" - Capybara from Try Brother (2009)

    Capybara on MySpace

    You Might Also Be Interested in These Posts:

    Best New Releases This Week: Beach House, The Magnetic Fields, No Through Road, Woodpigeon, Retribution Gospel Choir, Citay, Boy Genius & More

    Band of the Week: Boston's Elephantom Endorsed by Grizzly Bear; Blog Exclusive of Track for Upcoming LP

    Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009, Vol. I - Ex Norwegian, We All Have Hooks for Hands, Pistol for Ringo and Fredrik

    Best New Releases This Week (1/19/10): Spoon, Surfer Blood, The Eels, Feral Children, Editors, Big Star, Dinowalrus & Len Price 3

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. III: Neko Case, Public Radio, Bishop Allen, Harlem Shakes, Deer Tick & More

    In Dee Mail Special Edition Vol. VII - Essex Chanel, Scares The Daylights and The Binary Marketing Show

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. II - The Big Pink, The Thermals, Dan Auerbach, Telekinesis, Faunts & More

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       January 29, 2010    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    In our on-going look back at our favorite songs from 2009, we are now on Vol. IV, highlighting singles we posted about in April 2009. To follow all of the installments of this series - there will be 12 in total - you can check out the landing page for Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009. Enjoy.

    "Misfits & Mistakes" - Superchunk from Leaves in the Gutter EP

    "Sacred Trickster" - Sonic Youth from The Eternal

    "Ithaca" - Deleted Scenes from Birdseed Shirt

    "Chug Along" - Trainwreck Riders from The Perch

    "Pale Bride" - The Von Bondies from Love, Hate and Then There's You

    "Unfold" - Julie Peel from Near The Sun

    "Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up" - The Strange Boys from ...And Girls Club

    "Inagural Trams" - Super Fury Animals from Dark Days/Light Years

    "New Love Grows on Trees" - Peter Doherty from Grace/Wastelands

    "The Strangers" - St. Vincent from Actor

    "Traps and Traps" - Oceans from Nothing Collapses

    "Calculator" - Micachu & The Shapes from Jewellery

    "A Boy and His Genius" - Lima Research Society from Don't Give Up, Don't Get Down

    "Melt Down The Knives" - Sin Fang Bous from Clangour

    "Fearless Vampire Killers" - Fearless Vampire Killer

    "Lessons" - downdime from Knowing Too Much

    "The Sun Goes West" - The Faraway Places from Out of the Rain, the Thunder and Lightning

    "From The Hips" - Cursive from Mama, I'm Swollen

    "The Letter" - The Veils from Sun Gangs

    "On This Day" - Robert Gomez from Pine Sticks & Phosphorus

    "Land of Freak" - King Khan and The Shrines from From What Is?!

    "Drowning" - Tara Jane O'Neil from A Ways Away

    "Starry" - Throcke from Sometimes Not Unpointful
    "Do You Hide From Saturday Night" - Litt'lans from Primitive World

    "Throwin Away My Money" - Wayne Hancock from Viper of Melody

    "Workin' at Workin'" - Wayne Hancock from Viper of Melody

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       January 27, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    All the hype over Beach House's new album, Teen Dream, out today via Sub Pop Records, is more than well earned. We are not just going to jump on the BH band wagon (after listening to Teen Dream again and again for two weeks straight), but, we're willing to go a step further - regardless of what other sensational releases come out in the next 11 months, we think Teen Dream could be the best album of 2010 (although Midlake is poised to pose a strong challenge).

    "Norway" - Beach House from Teen Dream (2010)

    Stream Teen Dream on Spinner

    Beach House on MySpace

    Magnetic Fields - Realism

    One of our favorite bands of all time, The Magnetic Fields, are back with their follow-up to Distortion, a folksy LP, titled Realism, which drops today via Nonesuch Records. Unlike the electric edge and reverbs of the appropriately named Distortion LP, Realism - meant to be a 'companion' piece' - centers more on acoustic strumming, folk sensibilities, flourishing keys and subject matter such as cults and shipwrecks. The blogger Spork wrote: "The Magnetic Fields continue their playful love-hate relationship with pop music with Realism, a new album full of love songs, un-love songs."

    "Walk on a Lonely Road" - The Magnetic Fields from Realism (2010)

    Magnetic Fields on Nonesuch Records

    Magnetic Fields on MySpace

    Magnetic Fields official website

    Have You Seen This? Free, Legal downloads of Magnetic Fields' covers

    Beastie Boys Vs. Alphabeat - "Intergalactic Spell"

    White Panda Records sent us a mash up yesterday of The Beastie Boys vs. Alphabeat on a song called "Intergalatic Spell." Pretty cool; nice going White Panda - we're really starting to love you guys.

    "Intergalactic Spell" - Beastie Boys vs. Alphabeat via White Panda Records from the Versus mixtape (2010)

    No Through Road - Winner

    Australian band, and Low Transit Industries recording artist, No Through Road, drop their second album, Winner, today. The songs, as evidenced by the "Girls Are The Devil" (but really, they're not) track below, demonstrate NTR's soaring, shredding and dark anthem-like rock, featuring elements of goth and punk - "like a Kiwi-distorted combo of Strokes, You Am I, Guided By Voices, Interpol and Pavement."

    "Girls Are The Devil" - No Through Road from Winner (2010)

    No Through Road on MySpace

    Get Winner from Low Transit's Bandcamp page

    Spirit Spine - Jungle Bridges

    One of our top featured unsigned artists of 2009, Spirit Spine (aka Joseph Denny), who impressed us last year with his DIY home-recorded self-titled debut, is back with a new EP. In the span of less than a year, Denny has signed with Lovegiraffe Records and opened for well-known indie artists such as Neon Indian and Toro Y Moi.

    "Slept Away" - Spirit Spine from Jungle Bridges (2010)

    "Crashers" - Spirit Spine from s/t debut (2009)

    Spirit Spine on MySpace

    Retribution Gospel Choir - 2

    Remember the spectacular slowcore band Low from Duluth, Minnesota? Well, they are one of the best 'underground' bands of the past two decades (and despite rumors, have not split up), and easily one of Minnesota's greatest contributions to the indie rock genre. Low's frontman Alan Sparhawk took some time off to form Retribution Gospel Choir in 2007 along with original Low bassist Steve Garrington and Eric Pollard on drums and vocals.

    Their new album, 2, drops today via Sub Pop Records. RGC are currently on tour through mid-April, with jaunts throughout North America and Europe. Check the tour dates via their website link below or their MySpace page.

    "Hide It Away" - Retribution Gospel Choir from 2 (2010)

    Retribution Gospel Choir website

    Woodpigeon - Die Stadt Muzikanten

    Die Stadt Muzikanten is Woodpigeon's third full-length album and follow up to the internationally acclaimed Treasury Library Canada. The band's latest album was released on January 12 in Canada, via Boompa Records, and is available today in the States.

    "Empty-Hall Sing-Along" - Woodpigeon from Die Stadt Muzikanten (2010)

    Woodpigeon on Myspace

    Citay - Dream Get Together

    Surprisingly, a lot of music folks don't know about one of San Francisco's best bands - the psych pop rock outfit, Citay. The band's new album, Dream Get Together, is colorful, vibrant and full of fire and thrust, as demonstrated on the LP's opening track, the swinging, seven-minute psychedelic rock jam, "Careful with that Hat." The LP drops today, January 26th, via Dead Oceans Records.

    "Cafeful with that Hat" - Citay from Dream Get Together (2010)

    Citay on MySpace

    Boy Genius - Staggering

    Jason Korenkiewicz began writing songs in 2006 for what was then a two-man acoustic project. At a party one night that year, someone declared them, "neither boys, nor geniuses," and thus the name of the Brooklyn indie pop band came to be.

    The band recorded their first two EPs, and their debut LP, Anchorage, with New York engineer Josh Clark, who is credited for his work with Beirut and the New Pornographers. For their latest album, Staggering - out today on Greenpop Records - the band worked with legendary producer and musician Mitch Easter, who is known famously for his work with bands such as Dinosaur Jr., REM, Pavement, Superchunk, Velvet Crush and many others.

    Boy Genius consists of Korenkiewicz (guitar and vocals), Marisa Cerio (lead guitar), Lisa Klimkiewicz (drums), and Jeffrey Mensch (bass).

    "Old New England" - Boy Genius from Staggering (2010)

    "Ramona Saves The Day" - Boy Genius from Staggering (2010)

    Boy Genius on MySpace

    Other Releases Today:

    "When You Walk in the Room" - Fyfe Dangerfield from Fly Yellow Moon (2010)

    "Spy on the Floor" - Chicago Underground Duo from Boca Negra (2010)

    "Hurried Feathers" - The Berndt from GBGBG (2010)

    Better Late Than...

    The following are tracks from other January releases that we missed for one reason or another.

    "Lovely Weather" - The Vandelles from s/t debut (2010)

    "City Kids" - Boy Without God from single release (2010)

    This track is provided under the Creative Commons license via Bad Panda Records

    "Poor Boy Can't Dance" - Barton Carroll from Together You and I (2010)

    Check out all previous installments of Best New Releases of the Week

    You Might Also Be Interested in These Posts:

    Band of the Week: Boston's Elephantom Endorsed by Grizzly Bear; Blog Exclusive of Track for Upcoming LP

    Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009, Vol. I - Ex Norwegian, We All Have Hooks for Hands, Pistol for Ringo and Fredrik

    Best New Releases This Week (1/19/10): Spoon, Surfer Blood, The Eels, Feral Children, Editors, Big Star, Dinowalrus & Len Price 3

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. III: Neko Case, Public Radio, Bishop Allen, Harlem Shakes, Deer Tick & More

    In Dee Mail Special Edition Vol. VII - Essex Chanel, Scares The Daylights and The Binary Marketing Show

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. II - The Big Pink, The Thermals, Dan Auerbach, Telekinesis, Faunts & More

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       January 26, 2010    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The members of Grizzly Bear are fans. And so are we.

    area band Elephantom, a musical collective of high school and college aged musicians, are IRC's first unsigned 'band to watch' of 2010. Plus, we have an exclusive new demo, "I Am Your Head," provided by the band to IRC for all to hear.

    But first, the back story.

    Comparing them to the Danish band Efterklang, Grizzly Bear members recently endorsed Elephantom's 2009 DIY debut LP, Swim. Toward the Sun. While the band were attending a Grizzly Bear show in Vancouver last year, Elephantom guitarist, trumpet player and vocalist Sam Pearce tossed a CD copy of Swim. Toward The Sun. on to the stage.

    He, along with his band mates, never thought that one of indie rock's biggest bands of 2009 would listen to the CD, let alone send Elephantom an email praising their music and wishing them success.

    For any band that knows why Grizzly Bear is such a hit nowadays - largely due to their critically acclaimed 2009 release, Vecktimest - a thumbs up from GB is an enormous endorsement, and is likely to get bloggers, music sites, and most importantly, indie fans, to take notice.


    According to keyboardist and vocalist, Matt Aucoin, Grizzly Bear's email hailed the Elephantom album as "really lovely," adding, "we are in Vancouver all listening...thanks so much for sharing this with us. I hope you guys go far."

    The band features Pearce, Aucoin, bassist and guitarist Mike Cotter, guitarist and vocalist Trudie Kaiser, drummer and guitarist Nick Pope (who designed the album cover above), and lead guitarist, bassist and drummer Zach Trahan. All six of the band members are songwriters and multi-instrumentalists.

    With Swim. Towards The Sun, Elephantom have created a breath-taking, rich, beautifully composed and produced album, full of spacious orchestrations, academic-style song titles and themes, spot-on vocals and harmonies, and oozing with a musical maturity that hints at a band that is headed for bigger and better things. They exhibit an enthusiasm and natural ability to sculpt songs that combine story-telling with elements of indie rock, jazz, cabaret, classical, folk, synth pop, psychedelic rock and so on.

    In response to one of our questions, the band cited their major influences as Radiohead, Broken Social Scene and The Arcade Fire. Nevertheless, Elephantom have created their own original sound that really cannot be compared to anything else we've heard. There's so much happening on this album - and the diversity of songs is so profound - that you may find yourself going back to listen to it again and again, and each time, likely discover new and fantastic things in the process.

    Listening to the track "Aurora Surrealis," you can close your eyes and imagine drifting away on a cloud on a glorious summer day, lifted by soft piano keys, French horns and the gorgeous vocals of Trudie Kaiser. "Citizen of the Earth" begins theatrically, and then eases into a seductive and sensual cinematic-cabaret swagger, interrupted by big blasts of sounds like some kind of cosmic orgasm.

    We are excited to share a blog exclusive with you all - a demo version of Elephantom's newest track, "I Am Your Head," which Aucoin hopes will be on the band's next album, even though a release date and title for the follow up to Swim have yet to be determined.

    If all the right pieces falls into place, you are likely to hear a lot more about Elephantom in 2010.

    "I Am Your Head" (demo) - Elephantom, from Nick Pope's solo album St. Deviations Attack on The Castle Of Love, and planned for release on the band's upcoming album (date and title TBD)

    "Aurora Surrealis" - Elephantom from Swim. Toward the Sun. (2009)

    "Citizen of the Earth" - Elephantom from Swim. Toward the Sun. (2009)

    Here's a YouTube video of a recent live performance of "I Am Your Head," which created so much excitement among music listeners on Indie Bands Blog, that Elephantom were voted the top band of the week this past weekend.

    Elephantom on MySpace

    Elephantom official website

    Download Swim. Towards the Sun. for free

    Other Posts That You Might Enjoy:

    Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009, Vol. I - Ex Norwegian, We All Have Hooks for Hands, Pistol for Ringo and Fredrik

    Best New Releases This Week (1/19/10): Spoon, Surfer Blood, The Eels, Feral Children, Editors, Big Star, Dinowalrus & Len Price 3

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. III: Neko Case, Public Radio, Bishop Allen, Harlem Shakes, Deer Tick & More

    In Dee Mail Special Edition Vol. VII - Essex Chanel, Scares The Daylights and The Binary Marketing Show

    Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, Vol. II - The Big Pink, The Thermals, Dan Auerbach, Telekinesis, Faunts & More

    Much more amazing music is on the way...

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       January 24, 2010    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The idea for this playlist is simple - a collection of great songs from 2009 that most people probably haven't heard. But we're doing our little part to change that in this on-going mix series.

    From the first spin of Ex-Norwegian's debut CD, Standby, early in 2009, it was clear that the Miami band were going places. Although they are still mainly a little-known band with big talent, they've made rumbles within the indie rock world - especially in Florida - thanks to songs like the mini-hit, "Something Unreal," the staccato rhythms of "Fujeira in My Dreams," and the power pop hooks of "Fresh Pit."

    While their band name may not capture the imagination of the masses, their music is spirited, engaging and often irresistible. Put me on the mailing list for your next CD too guys!

    "Something Unreal" - Ex-Norwegian from Standby

    Ex-Norwegian on FaceBook

    It's not often that you hear about a band from South Dakota, a state better known for Mount Rushmore and Wounded Knee than a hotspring of musical talent. But Sioux Falls indie folk-pop band, and Afternoon Records recording artist, We All Have Hooks for Hands, have secured their piece of the Mid-West indie scene in recent years with their energetic, chorus-filled songs. Their second, and latest LP, The Shape of Energy, didn't receive much buzz, but it's a fine follow-up to their 2007 full-length debut, The Pretender.

    "Made Up of Tiny Lights" - We All Have Hooks for Hands from The Shape of Energy

    We All Have Hooks For Hands on MySpace

    It's hard to be a standout band - or even create a buzz - in a big, music-centric city like San Francisco, even with acclaimed singer/songwriter, playwright, author, and one-time troubadour piano man Sonny Smith at the helm. But the ever-changing line-up of Sonny and The Sunsets pump out "busted beach pop" that tells stories that touch on despair, aging, sexuality, and the absurdity, irony and humor of everyday life.

    "Too Young to Burn (Tomorrow Is Alright)" - Sonny and the Sunsets from Tomorrow is Alright

    Sonny and the Sunsets on MySpace


    With a name like Pistol for Ringo, you can probably already guess what the most common question this LA-based band is asked; however, it's more likely the band's name is derivative of the 1965 Italian-Spanish spaghetti Western, A Pistol for Ringo, than pop music's most famous drummer, Ringo Starr.

    That said, the band's penchant for 80s synth pop and well-crafted rock compositions won them praise for their debut LP, Solid State Neo-Hedonist. Pistol for Ringo's 2009 four-track release, Slow Roller, failed to garner the same enthusiastic kudos as their accomplished debut LP, but still demonstrates AllMusic Guide's 2008 declaration that the band have the "potential for making an unreservedly great dream pop/rock album."

    "Love Is Like Water" - Pistol for Ringo from Slow Roller

    Pistol for Ringo on MySpace

    What is it about Sweden that has been turning out so many amazing bands in recent years? And a lot of them are otherwise under-the-radar. This next band, Fredrik, is no exception. Their latest album, Trilogi, was largely overlooked, much to the dismay of folks who realize this is a band with talent and plenty of promise in the years to come. Put Fredrik on your bands to watch list for 2010 and beyond.

    "Locked in the Basement" - Fredrik from Trilogi

    Fredrik on MySpace

    Check back, there will be more Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009 and other 09 mixes, plus the hottest new releases of 2010.


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    Volume Three of ours and your favorite songs of 2009 continues with songs that came out or were featured on IRC during March 2009. Some songs that would otherwise be represented are not because their MP3 links expired, but still this is a playlist still full of great tracks.

    "Middle Cyclone" - Neko Case from Middle Cyclone

    "Forgot Love" - Public Radio from Sweet Child

    "Dimmer" - Bishop Allen from Grrr...

    "Strictly Game" - Harlem Shakes from Technicolor Health

    "Lalita" - The Love Language from s/t debut

    "The Letter" - The Veils from Sun Gangs

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

    "Easy" - Deer Tick from Born On Flag Day

    "Living Time Like These" - Pinstripe 45s from s/t debut

    "Running with the Wasters" - The Takeover UK from Running with the Wasters

    "Elegy" - Caroline Weeks from Songs for Edna

    "Fun Times at Whiskey Bar" - Caddywhompus from "EPs"

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

    "La Llorona" - Beirut from March of the Zapotec

    "The Hero Is A Graduate" - Mumblin Def Ro from Senor My Friend

    "Tree Full of Ghosts" - Hungry Villagers from Little Fingers

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

    "Permanent Scar" - O+S from s/t debut

    "Long Live The Modern World" - Young Galaxy from Invisible Republic

    "They Won't See" - InBirdsEye from Tres Songs

    "We Sing In Time" - The Lonely Forest from We Sing The Body Electric!

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

    "The Year Without A Summer" - Coltrane Motion from The Year Without A Summer

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

    "A Hand At Dusk" - Swan Lake from Enemy Mine

    "My Love Explodes" (reissue) - XTC as Dukes of Stratosphere from 25 O'Clock

    "Have A Nice Day" - Kinetic Stereokids from Kid Moves

    "I Know My Ocean" - The Traditionalist from Season to Season

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       January 23, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    It is still early in the new year, new decade, and so much fantastic music from 2009 that has spilled over that we would be remiss not to share it with all of you. Plus, our site stats show a lot of you are still looking for music from 2009 that you might have missed. In this on-going special edition of our popular In Dee Mail series, we are now on Volume Seven, with at least four to five more installments to publish in the coming weeks, not to mention 2010 releases as they come in, and the 12-part Favorite Songs of 2009 series.

    Travis Lee Wiggins
    started Essex Chanel in Chicago in 2005 as an effort to go in different musical directions than his first band, Fetla. After Fetla imposed a two-year hiatus in the fall of 2005, Essex Chanel became Wiggins’s primary focus. Since then, in addition to creating the Sweet Goodness record label, Wiggins collaborated with a collective of local musicians to perform his songs, all of which - nearly 250 tracks - are now available for free - a remarkable and charitable gift, especially considering the caliber of the music.

    We first heard Essex Chanel's 2009 album, Love is Proximity, last fall, and they immediately went up on our radar. Love is Proximity Sessions, Disk 2, will be available on January 26th.

    "Skinny Dippin" - Essex Chanel from Love is Proximity (2009)

    "She Cuts His Hair" - Essex Chanel from Love is Proximity Sessions, Disk 1 (2009)

    "It Was All Because of the Icy Stairs" - Essex Channel from January 2007 (2007)

    Essex Channel on MySpace

    Download hundreds of their songs for free


    Brooklyn-based musical project Scares The Daylights released a folk-pop drenched, prog-rock heavy LP, Burn The Bed, late in 2009 that went largely unnoticed by most music blogs, to the detriment of indie music fans. The musical project is the brainchild of White Shoe Records' founder Neil Lipuma. The label has spawned indie artists such as The City and Horses, The Exeter Popes and Twice As Bright, all of whom contributed to Burn The Bed.

    Lipuma's project is largely influenced by the break-up with his long-term girlfriend, and leaving his day job to work as an assistant engineer with Sear Sound, where he contributed to releases from The Killers, Richie Havens and Lykka Li & Bjorn Yttling. Burn The Bed is the product of an introspective man whose adolescence was dominated by the music of R.E.M. and The Smiths, and whose adult life coincided with the onset of the indie rock explosion. Lipuma's songs are quirky, fun, mellow, and colored by his distinctive vocals, arrangements and poetic, even silly, lyrics, with an underlying ode to Americana.

    "Divorces" - Scares The Daylights from Burn The Bed (2009)

    "Lion Chair" - Scares The Daylights from Burn The Bed (2009)

    Scares The Daylights on MySpace
    White Shoe Records official site

    Here are some other free MP3s from White Shoe Records' recording artists:

    "You Are The Sun" - Water Fai from Girls In the White Dream (2008)

    "I Love The Girls" - The City and Horses from I Don't Want to Dream (2009)


    Another Brooklyn band, The Binary Marketing Show, have made ripples in the huge indie music pond of the NYC borough in the past year or so, especially thanks to their new LP and opening gigs for Animal Collective, Explosions in the Sky, MGMT and Miccachu and the Shapes.

    BMS's music is dense, experimental, minimalistic pop, full of African-influenced drum beats, nasaly vocals, ambient loops and sound effects. TBMS started as the musical project of Abram Morphew and Jason Meeks in 2000 in Conway, Arkansas.

    By the time they moved to Brooklyn in 2007, Meeks and Morphew were playing shows as a duo that eventually involved into a full quartet. Last summer, they released their third full-length record, Pattern, with the stand-out track, "Shape of Your Head."

    "Shape of Your Head" - The Binary Marketing Show from Pattern (2009)

    "Tesseract" - The Binary Marketing Show from Pattern (2009)

    The Binary Marketing Show on MySpace

    Previous Installment of the In Dee Mail Special Edition series:
    (oodles of fab music you've probably never heard; sent to IRC in the mail)

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. VI - Sore Eros, The Melloncollies, Himalaya and Matias Aguayo

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. V: Army of Me, Threes and Nines, Trees and Trashcans and Lefse Records' Artists

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. IV: Tiny Tin Hearts, Flotation Walls, Twilight Revival, Oryan, The Sidewalk Driver and Rolf Lislevand

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. III: Elephant Stone, Clock Hands Strangle, The Sun, Six Simple Songs, Aeroplane Pageant, Lemonwilde & More

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. II: Dylan in the Movies, The Fling, East Hundred, Maklak, Said The Whale & Nheap

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

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       January 21, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Earlier this week, we published the first installment of what were ours, and by measurement, your, favorite 2009 songs. The decision was made not to make a 2009 "best of" list because it's presumptuous, and depends on the definition of what qualifies as "best." Sales? Social media mentions? MySpace page views? Late night talk show appearances? Google searches? All that and more?

    It's simply too complicated to pick "best" songs, and much easier to pick favorites. So, this series of playlists in coming weeks will feature favorite songs we posted throughout 2009, by the month they were originally posted, not necessarily the official release date. The song order on each playlist is random - no top tens for this series.

    Last week, we covered the month or January, today is February's mix, and thereafter each subsequent month until December. 2009 was a blockbuster year flooded with one amazing indie or alternative music release after another.

    In some cases, fantastic songs that were originally posted on IRC, and provided by bands, labels and promotion companies, have since expired and could not be included. February was a fairly thin month, but in upcoming posts covering much of the spring, summer and fall of 2009, there were many terrific releases.

    In addition to this 12-part series that will run for the next few weeks, we still have plenty of sweet tracks to share with you in the on-going In Dee Mail Special Edition, featuring great music that was mailed to us by mostly unsigned, or small label, artists and bands from around the world.

    February 2009

    "Dominos" - The Big Pink from A Brief History of Love

    "Everyday" - Vetiver from Tight Knit

    "Now We Can See" - The Thermals from Now We Can See

    "Explain" - Faunts from Feel Love Thinking Of

    "I Want Some More" - Dan Auerbach from Keep It Hid

    "Loss of God" - Wolves in the Attic from Electronic Hearts

    "Come Back (Now That I'm Here)" - Leopold and His Fiction from Ain't No Surprise

    "Ship" - Throw Me The Statue from Purple Face

    "Future Primitive" - Papercuts from You Can Have What You Want

    "Flic Knives" - The Understudies from split 7"

    "Coast Carolina" - Telekinesis from s/t debut

    "Two" - The Antlers from Hospice

    "Everything With You" - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart from s/t debut

    "I Have Laid in the Darkness of Doubt" - Mazes from s/t debut

    "Exposure" - Peasant from On the Ground

    See the first installment Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009, featuring Animal Collective, Bon Iver, Titus Andronicus, In Flight Safety, It Hugs Back, 1900s, New Villager, Strand of Oaks, East Hundred, Friendly Foes, Odawas, Cotton Jones, Cut Off Your Hands, Deastro, AC Newman and Or, The Whale.

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       January 20, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Every Tuesday, IRC posts what we think are the best new releases of the week. We shift through, and filter out, dozens and dozens of new releases each week, so that you don't have to. The artists and bands featured on IRC over the years are those which we invest in as well - we buy their music, go to their shows when we can, tell others about them, and so on.

    Today's new releases include the long-awaited Transference from one of the best garage rock bands of the past decade, Spoon; plus fresh tracks from Florida's Band to Watch in 2010, Surfer Blood, The Eels, Feral Children, Major Stars, Editors, The Len Price 3, Dinowalrus.

    Easily one of the best indie garage rock (or whatever you want to label them) bands of the past decade, Spoon, is back with a new album out today, Transference. While we haven't had the chance to listen to it thoroughly enough to give a reliable opinion, if the first single, "Written in Reverse," is any indication of the rest of the album, it looks to be yet another fantastic album from Spoon. Stream the album here. So far, it sounds fantastic.

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

    surfer blood

    Surfer Blood, a Floridian indie pop band signed with Kanine Records, have exploded in popularity in recent months, especially after appearances during CMJ in New York, and the release of advanced singles from their debut LP, Astro Coast, out today. The band, who lists their influences as female American authors, will launch a two-month tour of North America (and a brief jaunt in the UK), ending with four sets at Austin's South by Southwest.

    Surfer Blood are touring with some of our favorite indie bands, including fellow Floridian indie band, Holiday Shores (whose 2009 debut LP is one of the best of the year), jungle surf -retro classic rock Nashville band, Turbo Fruits, plus other greats like British Sea Power, Pete and the Pirates, Monotonix, and two of Brooklyn's hottest new rock/tropical pop bands, The Drums and Beach Fossils.

    Doubling, and tripling, up with such an amazing line-up of buzz bands on an extensive tour is a clear indication of a band's respect in the indie-sphere - with fellow musicians, critics, bloggers and, most importantly, indie music fans. We've already listen to Astro Coast again and again, and it is definitely one of the 2010 albums you want in your collection.

    Although the release would have been suited more appropriately for a summer release, it might just be comforting to delve into the sun soaked harmonies, breezy melodies and hot rythyms of Astro Coast as an antidote to the depths of winter that grip most of the country right now.

    "Swim" - Surfer Blood from Astro Coast (2010)
    Surfer Blood on MySpace


    Some critics are calling The Eels newest album, End Times, out today, perhaps their best release ever. At first listen (it's available for full stream via Spinner), that just may be the case. Time will tell, but so far, End Times is likely to satisfy new and old fans of one of rock's most quirky, talented bands.

    Also, don't miss Seattle band Feral Children's new single from their fresh LP dropped today, plus new releases from Major Stars, Editors' latest, In This Light & On This Evening, available as a full album stream (via Spinner.) and other releases worth noting from Dinowalrus' %, and the UK's The Len Price 3's newest LP, Pictures.

    "Little Bird" - The Eels from End Times (2010)
    "End Times" - The Eels from End Times (2010) - via Stereogum
    Get End Times on CD, digital or vinyl

    "On A Frozen Beach" - Feral Children from Brand New Blood (2010)
    Feral Children on MySpace

    "The Space You Know" - Major Stars from Return to Form (2010)
    Major Stars on MySpace

    "Papillon" - Editors from In This Light and on This Evening (2010)
    Editors' official website

    "Nuke, Duke 'Em" - Dinowalrus from % (2010)
    Dinowalrus on MySpace

    "After You're Gone" - The Len Price 3 from Pictures (2010)
    The Len Price 3 on MySpace

    See/listen to last week's best new releases.

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       January 19, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    You've probably already come across oodles of "best music" lists of 2009. No list is right or wrong (theoretically) , and they vary between the big media music sites and the popular blogs.

    The songs we have chosen are not strictly our favorites, but are often also the same songs all of you have responded to the most (and why we started the Top Ten of the Week series) throughout the year. The Favorite Indie and Alternative Songs of 2009 series will be a 12-part series.

    To avoid the madness of categorizing songs from "the top down," or "best to good," we've decided to break up the list into 12 playlist, starting with January 2009 based on the date we posted the songs, not necessarily the actual release date.

    In addition, we'll be posting - for some time to come - 2009 songs and albums that we "missed" or forgot about, as well as the continuing In Dee Mail Special Edition 2009 series. There is no great pressure to automatically stop posting notable 2009 songs because a lot of people are still searching for 2009 music, which is fairly typical - we've found over the years - in the first two months of a new year.

    After that, 2009 will inevitably give way to a spike of interest, and releases, of 2010 music. We already have a bunch of new 2010 in the pipeline (especially each Tuesday for new releases), with occasional flashbacks to other years in music history for special playlists and mixes (like the Ears To The Music or The Great Unknowns series).

    You may also want to browse through the archives for 2009 - and before then - during which time you're likely to discover music you really like - even love - that you otherwise would never know about, or remember to seek out. More than half of the music we feature on IRC is from talented unsigned and relatively unknown artists and bands, but we're not going to turn away from great music that fits into what some might call "mainstream indie" and alternative rock (i.e., Animal Collective, Radiohead, Vampire Weekend).

    These playlist mixes are not necessarily represented of all of our favorite songs of 2009; some of the MP3 links provided by labels, bands and others have since expired, and so have not been included in this compendium of 2009 music. And, of course, we have lots of great 2010 music to share with you in coming months, and throughout the year. If 2010 is as good as 2009 for indie and alternative music new releases, it'll be a busy year.

    Let's get started with songs originally posted in January of 2009.

    January 2009

    "My Girls" - Animal Collective from Merriweather Post Pavilion

    "Titus Andronicus" -Titus Andronicus from The Airing of Grievances

    "Blood Bank" - Bon Iver from Blood Bank EP

    "Actors" - In-Flight Safety from We Are an Empire, My Dear

    "Work Day" - It Hugs Back from Inside Your Guitar

    "The Box" - 1900s from Kicks

    "Rich Doors" - New Villager from Rich Doors 7"

    "End in Flames" - Strand of Oaks from Leave Ruin

    "Slow Burning Crimes" - East Hundred from Passengers

    "Get Yr Sh*t Together" - Friendly Foes from Born Radical

    "Harmless Lover's Discourse" - Odawas from The Blue Depths

    "Blood Red Sentimental Blues" - Cotton Jones from Paranoid Cocoon

    "Turn Cold" - Cut Off Your Hands from You & I

    "The Shaded Forests" - Deastro from Moondagger

    "Submarines of Stockholm" - A.C. Newman from Get Guilty

    "Call and Response" - Or, The Whale from Light Poles and Pines

    Don't forget: We will still post songs from 2009 that we either didn't have time to post or have just learned about, most of them will be assembled in the on-going In Dee Mail Special Edition, Singer/Songwriter, One Man Bands and other such playlists in the next couple of months, as well as new 2010 music as it comes in.

    Volume Two of this series will be published next week and cover favorite songs posted in February of 2009.

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       January 17, 2010    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Los Angeles indie alt rock artist Fox Fagan, a native of Australia, catches many people's attention with his upbeat pop rock and intriguing lyrics. The EP, which has been added to playlists of more than 50 college and non commercial radio stations across the U.S and Canada, features Fagan’s tasty brand of indie pop and a British swagger reminiscent of the old English punk rockers.

    At times, Fox Fagan sounds a tiny bit like the old Arctic Monkeys, most especially on the song "Wouldn't Change A Thing," clearly one of the best tracks from his Never Fall in Love with a Stranger EP, available for free at Other songs like "Shelia" are reminiscent of 70's AM pop radio. Again, another original talent that most people will never know about, and that's that we do this.

    "Wouldn't Change A Thing" - Fox Fagan from Never Fall in Love with a Stranger EP (2009)

    "Shelia" - Fox Fagan from Never Fall in Love with a Stranger EP (2009)

    Fox Fagan on MySpace


    In November 2008, Detroit area musician Jason Zito lost his job as the auto industry began crumbling around him. With a huge mortgage, a family to care for, and no new work coming in, he locked himself in his studio, crafting songs that echoed his situation. Those songs became the album (Scary Noises) Gods Stand Up!.

    Zito calls his project Jellyeyes, a moniker (and the album title) taken from Shakespeare's King Lear, which he had buried his head in for several weeks prior to the album's creation. Jellyeyes art rock/folk pop can be roughly compared in style and sound to Bon Iver, Wilco and Sigur Ros. He has previously opened for bands like Elliott and The Great Fiction.

    "The Dead Girl and The Sandbox" - Jellyeyes from (Scary Noises) Gods Stand Up! (2009)

    "Coming For Me" - Jellyeyes from (Scary Noises) Gods Stand Up! (2009)

    JellyEyes on MySpace

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       January 16, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    For those of you not familiar with this series, IRC regularly profiles the best and most talented new and relatively unknown musicians and bands who send their music via email (thus, the silly title, In Dee Mail) by following the submission guidelines published on IRC's about page.

    First up, the collective of musicians who have collaborated with members of Animal Collective is ever-expanding, and our next featured artist is just one of dozens. Sore Eros is the musical brainchild of Robert Robinson and has seen a number of different incarnations over the past decade.

    In 2004, Robert moved to L.A. and, through a mutual friend, began to collaborate with Ariel Pink, who had recently signed with Animal Collective’s Pawtracks label. That led to Robinson being recruited by Animal Collective's Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) to accompany him on his British tour preceding the release of one of the best albums of the last decade, Lennox's debut solo release, Person Pitch.

    "I met Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) about 12 years ago," Robertson told IRC. "We were both going to school in Boston. We kind of made up this band called The Hunted with a few of our friends. We only recorded a few songs, and those tapes are now lost (thankfully)....For the Panda Bear tour, I was supposed to play in Ariel Pink's band, but he got deported, so Noah was kind of enough to let Gary War and I to play in his band. I never heard any of the songs (neither did anyone else) that he was doing for that tour. Those songs would later become Person Pitch."

    Upon the completion of the tour with Panda Bear, Robinson reignited his Sore Eros project. During the process of writing and recording his solo effort, Robinson collaborated with high school friend Adam Langellotti to produce the brilliant debut LP, Second Chants, released in February of last year via Shdwply Records.

    Contributors to the album also include Kurt Vile, Gary War and Andy Tomasello (aka, Eat Cloud). Second Chants received wide critical acclaim, mostly on indie music blogs; here's an excellent review of the LP from TinyMixTapes.

    There are so many terrific, even gorgeous, songs on Second Chants that it was a bit difficult to decide which to include without posting half of the LP's songs; that said, we strongly recommend getting a copy of this debut. We are almost sure that more people - especially Animal Collective/Ariel Pink/Panda Bear fans - will likely appreciate the work of Sore Eros.

    Robinson has been working on the follow-up to his debut LP, and has been kind enough to share a new demo track, "Giraffe's Kiss," exclusively with IRC. He has also revealed exclusively to us that the new album title will be Know Touching, with hopes of releasing it sometime in the next month via Shdwply Records.

    Robertson described to IRC the production of Know Touching: "We are still trying to grasp the
    vibe for this record. Second Chants was a very inner record. Most of the songs were improvised and written in a very subconsciousness flowing way. I took most of the sketches that seemed to have interesting melodies and built them from there...Adam Langellotti came up with some really amazing orchestrations, and the sketches actually became songs."

    "We recorded Second Chants in Pro Tools, where there was unlimited tracking and we went kind of crazy with layering and effects, creating that "chant" effect...with Know Touching, we are taking a different approach (by) recording...on 1/2'' 8-track reel-to-reel. This is limiting our use of layering and effects and forcing Adam and I to concentrate more on the actual song writing itself. The album is much more tangible."

    From the yet unreleased new LP:

    "Giraffe's Kiss" - Sore Eros from Know Touching (2010)

    "Fooled Me" - Sore Eros from Know Touching (2010)

    From the magnificent debut Second Chants:

    "Lips Like Wine" - Sore Eros from Second Chants (2009)

    "Whisper Me" - Sore Eros from Second Chants (2009)

    "Smile on Your Face"- Sore Eros from Second Chants (2009)

    Purchase Second Chants via InSound
    Sore Eros on MySpace

    The Melloncollies are the latest in a hallowed line of Brooklyn-bred quintets to unfurl the witty sonic flag and punch back: yes, pop can be daring. Their debut album, Goodbye, Cruel World, is abrasive, edgy and full of sheen. Another Brooklyn band poised to breakout in 2010.

    "Simple Naive Someone" - The Melloncollies from Goodbye, Cruel World (2009)

    The Melloncollies on MySpace

    Formed in Brooklyn in 2007, and founded by former members of Philadelphia's Asteroid #4 and psych-pop ensemble Three Four Tens, the band Himalaya is making its hallucinogenic mark on NYC with its signature sound, and a self-titled debut that packs a psychedelic punch.

    Employing deep drones, ghostly melodies, and spacey, noisy waves of guitar, Himalaya calls to mind their influences - from Spiritualized and Spaceman 3, to the Jesus and the Mary Chain and Pink Floyd. Himalaya's self-titled debut is a collection of nine songs that embody the band's distinct voice, unrelenting style, and sonic spaciousness.

    "Melt Away" - Himalaya from s/t debut (2009)

    Himalaya on MySpace

    Matias Aguayo’s "Rollerskate" is an exercise in how catchy a simple, repetitive hook can be. Out on Kompakt Records from his latest release, this tune is a body-moving beast, a dance floor hit at heart with a chill-out backbone. Fans of El Guincho or LCD Soundsystem will likely dig this track.

    "Rollerskate" - Matias Aguayo from Ay, Ay, Ay (2009)

    Matias Aguayo on Facebook

    Stay tuned, we have oodles of music to share with you all in coming weeks. In the meantime, you can also browse through the In Dee Mail series to pick up a lot of great tracks from talented artists and bands you probably won't hear about anywhere else.

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       January 14, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Jimmy Lee Lindsey, Jr., aka Jay Reatard (1980 - 2010) photo from Matador Records

    Update: 1/14/10 3:20 pm: Pitchfork is reporting that Reatard's death is now a homicide investigation and the Memphis police are asking the public for any information as well as offering an award for leads.

    Garage/punk rocker Jay Reatard, 29, was found dead this morning in his Memphis home. While details are still sketchy, early reports say that Reatard, whose birth name was Jimmy Lee Lindsey, Jr., apparently died in his sleep last evening. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

    A fairly cryptic message from Reatard's Twitter feed on Jan. 9th stated: "If I don't get well soon I'm gonna eat myself into pig champion/tad teritory." His last Twitter message, delivered on Monday, January 11th, was also somewhat cryptic, but did not hint at any indication of what he meant two days earlier about apparently not being "well."

    It said: "I will give anyone a hundred bucks per tire that they pop on the band liquor stores van! Yes I'm serious". Perhaps in true Jay fashion, that was apparently his last public statement to his fans worldwide.

    "Wounded" - Jay Reatard from Watch Me Fall (2009)

    Reatard's record label, Matador Records, issued this statement just hours ago: "We are devastated by the death of Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., aka Jay Reatard. Jay was as full of life as anyone we’ve ever met, and responsible for so many memorable moments as a person and artist. We’re honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him terribly."

    The alternative music world has lost another great talent, and much too young at that, for the second time in the past three weeks. Last month, on Christmas day, legendary singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt died after lapsing into coma following a rumored overdose of muscle relaxtants.

    The rebellious, often controversial, Reatard made a name for himself in the alternative rock world for his fast, short and often furious punk songs and live stage peformances. In 2009, he released a less raucous, more pop-inflicted album, Watch Me Fall, to mostly critical acclaim. Reatard was known for his strange, sometimes violent, stage antics and played in a number of bands over the years, including Lost Sounds, Nervous Patterns, Destruction Unit, and the new wave garage rock outfit, The Final Solutions. This past October, for reasons never made clearly known, the members of Reatard's solo band quit.

    "It Ain't Gonna Save Me" - Jay Reatard from Watch Me Fall (2009)

    Last month, on December 9th, Reatard made headlines when he stormed off-stage near the end of a show at an Austin nightclub. While performing, two fans jumped up on stage and attacked Reatard. According to a reporter from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, Reatard retaliated by "swinging his microphone stand and departed mid-song, giving the at-time rambunctious audience the finger as he exited the stage." The fans jumped the stage after Reatard announced it would be his last song of the 40-minute set. Both men were later arrested.

    The day after the incident, Reatard's publicist issued the following statement: "Jay was attacked, totally unprovoked, by two different people, both of whom were later arrested. One guy bolted onstage and came swinging at Jay, but security took him away pretty quickly. Soon after (the band hadn’t stopped playing, by the way), another guy sprinted onstage and hit Jay. Unlike the first guy, Jay didn’t even see this guy coming. So Jay defended himself with the mic stand until security took that guy away, too. Jay is safe and unhurt, and the cops were there for about an hour afterwards."

    The following night after a performance in Dallas, Reatard posted this message about the incident on this Twitter feed: "Another epic tour comes to an end ... Thanks to all the good folks that came out and f--- you to the sh-- heads in Austin! How was jail haha."

    "See-Saw" - Jay Reatard from Matador Singles '08 (2008)

    "Always Wanting More" - Jay Reatard from Matador Singles '08 (2008)

    "My Shadow" - Jay Reatard from Matador Singles '08 (2008)

    This is a video of Jay Reatard performing in Dallas; his last known live performance:

    The following clip from Jay Reatard at the Goner Fest 6 in September:

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       January 13, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    It's not all about Vampire Weekend, but as far as new releases this week, it largely is all about Vampire Weekend. In an addition to our special feature here of the release of their new LP, we want to share with you great music from Dreamboat Money, Technoir MA, Final Fantasy, We+Are+The+City, The Scruffs, Jason Boesel, Nana Grizol and The Paperbacks (in no particular order).

    So, one of the most anticipated sophomore albums of the past few years is finally out; Vampire Weekend's new album, Contra, the follow-up to their half-million-selling, self-titled debut, hit the store shelves today. From our very early listen - thanks to an album stream on the band's site, and via NPR, Contra is an impressive collection of fun, witty and masterfully written and recorded songs that will surely refuel the band's astronomical success.

    That said, it will take some time to absorb the complete LP in its entirety; the danger is in the fact that the band has been so exposed (over-exposed?) and wildly popular (hyped?) in the past year and a half - propelling them out the 'indie' scene to the mainstream - that Contra will be held to a higher standard than if they were just another band.

    There is no doubt that Vampire Weekend is a band of immensely talented, young musicians who weave upbeat and interesting songs that incorporate various musical styles (from Afro-pop to Latin fusion), instrument experimentation, falsetto vocals and choruses and compelling lyrics that result in memorable, catchy tracks.

    In the end, despite what the critics and bloggers say, it will be the fans of Vampire Weekend, as well as the more casual listeners, who ultimately decide the success of the band's sophomore release in the coming months.

    After having seen Vampire Weekend perform live at least four times in the past 18 months, we must say that, if you get a chance, they are a spectacular live band, and often prefer to play in smaller venues, as their most recent tour so well demonstrated.

    Following a CD release party tonight at the Ford Theatre in Los Angeles, the band are setting out on a four-month European and North American tour that includes a string of already sold out shows in the UK. Check Vampire Weekend's MySpace page for the full tour schedule.

    - Order the LP and stream individual tracks via Beggars Group or XL Recordings
    - For a limited time orders of the CD or LP will ship with a bonus 3 song CD* containing:
    1. "Contramelt A" (album mega-mix version A)
    2. "Contramelt B" (album mega-mix version B)
    3. "Cousinz" (Toy Selectah Mex-More Remix)

    "Horchata" - Vampire Weekend from Contra (2010) - via Stereogum

    "White Sky" (Live on Jimmy Fallon) - Vampire Weekend from Contra (2010)

    See all of IRC's posts about Vampire Weekend dating back to early 2008.

    The next band from Vancouver, British Columbia, we think are one of the newest Canadian bands to watch in 2010. Dreamboat Money's impressive debut, If Found Please Listen, was released officially today via Hipjoint Records, and is available as a free download on Active Minds Productions.

    "I Can't Wait To Come Home" - Dreamboat Money from If Found Please Listen

    "It's About Time?" - Dreamboat Money from If Found Please Listen

    Technoir MA made the decision to record a second EP merely days after completing their first back in May of this year; the thought being that the new EP would become a slightly harder hitting companion piece. When they cut the tracks the third weekend of September, they spent more time with the overdubs, often improvising them. As a result, the Ramones-meets-New Order pulse of "Desire" was given a jangle-like lilt, "Sparks" became simultaneously more aggro and more shoegaze, while the guitar-break in "Use of Force" became an elaborate three-part "surf orchestra".

    Hitting their groove, "Return" was recorded on the fly creating a neatly guided detour into darker and spacier territory before the sonic jump of "Use of Force". Having finished the overdubs and mixing in early October, the EP was realized to be a document well beyond a companion piece to the first record and christened it 2/B. The band will be promoting 2/B in 2010 as if it were a proper LP, with plans to take it on the road along with a batch of new songs.

    "Sparks" - Technoir MA from 2/B (2010)

    Other songs from new releases today you might enjoy:

    "Lewis Takes Action" - Final Fantasy from Heartland (2010)

    "There Are Very Tiny Beasts in the Ground" - We+Are+The+City from In a Quiet World (2009)

    "Treasure Girls" - The Scruffs from Conquest (2010)

    "Hand of God" - Jason Boesel from Hustler's Son (2010)

    "For Things That Haven't Come Yet" - Nana Grizol from Ruth (2010)

    "Slow Learners" - The Paperbacks from Lit from Within (2010)

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       January 12, 2010    5 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    "I never intended for anyone to hear this music", says Army Of Me singer/songwriter Vince Scheuerman. But we are sure glad Scheuerman decided, at the encouragement of a friend, to release the remarkable Make Yourself Naked EP to the world, even though it has received surprisingly little attention on popular indie blogs and major music sites.

    The EP, released in October, was written on paper and recorded on Scheuerman's laptop, in his Washington, D.C. bedroom during the winter of early 2009, and then taken into the studio to mix with the band. The end result is easily one of the best overlooked DIY releases of 2009. Here is yet another example of terrific, original music that flies under the radar and leaves us scratching our heads when compared to the constant flow of crappy and mediocre music that floods the popular media on a weekly basis.

    The band Army of Me are not completely unknown in the indie folk rock world. Following the release of their widely acclaimed 2007 debut, Citizen, the band toured heavily, opening for major artists like The Dave Matthews Band, Switchfoot, OAR, The Used, Blue October, and The Almost. Yet the D.C. band's new EP is almost the polar opposite of the band's debut LP - it is stripped down and more focused, completing Scheuerman's intent that "less is more."

    In listening to Make Yourself Naked's magnificent set of acoustic tracks, it's nearly impossible to avoid comparisons with the brilliant Neil Finn (The Church), and perhaps early Verve, REM and Oasis recordings. That is a testament to Scheuerman's elegant vocals and poignant lyrics which are the centerpiece of the EP, resulting in compositions that are original, organic, honest and heart felt. In two words: simply gorgeous.

    "Don't Be Long" - Army of Me from Make Yourself Naked EP (2009)

    "Heart of Love" - Army of Me from Make Yourself Naked EP (2009)

    Army of Me official website

    Army of Me on MySpace


    Even though they officially formed in 2004, Threes and Nines have recently raised eyebrows, and won the praise of some bloggers, following their set at the Bowery Room in NYC during October's CMJ Musical Festival, and after opening for Patrick Watson's at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

    The band's currently unreleased album was recorded at Connecticut's Carriage House under the direction of Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes ), and engineered and mixed by Phil Palazzolo (Neko Case, Okkervil River, St. Vincent). The band is currently looking for a label to release the songs presented here.

    "Carnival" - Threes and Nines from s/t debut, unreleased (2010)

    "Won't Look Back" - Threes and Nines from s/t debut, unreleased (2010)

    Threes and Nines on MySpace

    Trees and Trashcans was formed in Denver in early 2008. Evan Malouf and Brad Wright met through common friend Heather Nester and started jamming. Their musical styles meshed seamlessly and the band was formed. Later bassist Mark Henry joined to fill out the sound.

    Wright and Malouf co-wrote all the music and continue to do so to this day. The music toucheson a variety of different topics, issues and subjects and is influenced by various genres, making it difficult to pin down the band's style.

    "He She We Me" - Trees and Trashcans from Littering The World (2009)

    "The Bike Song" - Trees and Trashcans from Littering The World (2009)

    Trees and Trashcans on MySpace

    The following three tracks were sent in from Lefse Records. The label's growing rooster is turning out some terrific music as demonstrated by the promising bands My Summer As A Salvation Soldier, Tape Deck Mountain and A Grave With No Name.

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

    "Ghost Colony" - Tape Deck Mountain from Ghost (2009)

    "Open Water" - A Grave With No Name from Mountain Debris (2009)

    Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. IV: Tiny Tin Hearts, Flotation Walls, Twilight Revival, Oryan, Sidewalk Driver and Rolf Lislevand

    Sigur Ros' Vocalist and Guitarist Jonsi Birgisson Releases Advance Track from Upcoming Solo LP

    In Dee Mail Special Edition, Part III: Elephant Stone, Clock Hands Strangle, The Sun, Six Simple Songs, Aeroplane Pageant, Lemonwilde & More

    Indie Artist of the Week: French Teenage Singer/Songwriter Louis Aguilar

    Singer/Songwriter Spotlight Series, Vol. III: In Memory of Vic Chesnutt, 1964 - 2009

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       January 10, 2010    4 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Vic Chesnutt: RIP (1964 - 2009) photo by Eric Lawson

    In an on-going playlist series featuring fantastic singer and songwriters, we are honoring the memory of the great Athens, Georgia singer-songwriter, Vic Chesnutt, who passed away on two weeks ago on Christmas after lapsing into coma following a rumored suicide from an overdose of muscle relaxants.

    Chesnutt was well known for his witty, dark songs and collaborations with members of various alternative and indie bands, such as Elf Power, Fugazi, Godspeed!, You Black Emperor, Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra,Widespread Panic, Cracker, Lambchop, Throwing Muses and M. Ward, to name just a few. Fellow Athens, Georgia resident and long-time friend, REM's Michael Stipe, produced Chesnutt's first two LPs.

    In 1996, Chesnutt received national prominence after an album (Sweet Relief) of his songs were covered by Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna, REM and Garbage. Chesnutt was paralyzed at age 18 in a car accident, and he has required constant medical care ever since. Earlier last year, he told Spinner that he was terrified by the fact that he was being sued by the Athens Regional Medical Center in Georgia for up to $50,000 - even though he had health insurance. "Right now," Chesnutt said, "I am in huge trouble in that the hospital is suing me for $35,000 for payment, which is terrifying - and the rub is that I have health insurance."

    In September, Chesnutt released the critically acclaimed LP, At The Cut, and was touring to sold out crowds. In honor of the prolific Chesnutt, here are a pair of songs from his own website - one from At the Cut, and another from his 2007 classic LP, North Star Deserter, and a couple of videos. The irony of the first song in this mix is heart-wrenching. Rest in Peace, Vic; we'll miss you.

    "Flirted With You All My Life" - Vic Chesnutt from At the Cut (2009)

    "You Are Never Alone" - Vic Chesnutt from North Star Deserter (2007)

    Download a free six-song sampler from Vic's official website.

    Vic Chesnutt on MySpace

    Michael Stipe, Patti Smith and others talk about the passing of their friend.

    See other posts in IRC's Singer and Songwriter series.

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       January 9, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Artwork for Old Man Poems by Agripine

    Louis Aguilar, a 19-year-old French musician who composes mellow, minimalistic folk songs, has already made a name for himself by opening and performing with artists like Moriarty, Micah P. Hinson and Devendra Banhart, among others.

    One of Aguilar's newest songs, "Six Feet Under," from his latest LP, Old Man Poems (released by Noize Maker Records), is a nearly eight minute long track that will get stuck in your head for a very long time. Aguilar also provided us with another song, "Sailor Jerry," from his latest LP, available for purchase from Amazon.

    Aguilar started playing music when he was merely seven years old, picked up the guitar at 11, and wrote, recorded and produced his first album, Hairly Tales, at the age of 16. He quickly gained an underground following throughout France, which paved the way for appearances with established artists.

    While admittedly lofty comparisons, Aguilar's music has been likened to Townes Van Zandt and Bob Dylan by the French music webzine La Blogotheque. We were immediately struck at how mature Aguilar's voice sounds - far beyond his years - and couldn't help but to hear a likeness to M. Ward in his singing, with a sensibility similar to singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and the late Vic Chesnutt (RIP; look out for a special dedication to Chesnutt in the next few days). Aguilar told IRC: "I was a big fan of Vic Chesnutt. I am still really upset by his death."

    Currently, Aguilar is majoring in Art at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, with the goal of becoming a tattoo artist; however, we hope he does not abandon his career as a musician. Thankfully, he plans to return to France and go back on tour after completing his schooling in Missouri.

    He has recently begun writing new music, he told IRC. In response to a question about how he approaches his writing, Aguilar said: "I don't really have a songwriting process. It just kinda happens, you know. It sometimes comes from the melody, and most of the time from the story."

    Aguilar's previous recordings before Old Man Poems were all released via Ohayo Records: Hairy Tales (2007), Green, Green is the Live (2008), Cloud Blowin' Child (2008).

    "Six Feet Under" - Louis Aguilar from Old Man Poems (2009)*

    "Sailor Jerry" - Louis Aguilar from Old Man Poems (2009)

    Watch the YouTube video for "Short Stories"

    Watch the Vimeo video for "Everlasting Sunshine and Queen Butterfly"

    Louis Aguilar on MySpace
    Aguilar's Homeless Heroes blog

    Bad Panda Website

    *Track is provided under Creative Commons licensing.

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       January 8, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The fourth installment of In Dee Mail Special Year-End edition spills over into the new year with 2009 songs from noteworthy artists and bands (who sent their music to us in dee mail and unsolicited).

    There will be more of these songs featured in this series alone over the next few weeks, in addition to dozens and dozens of the best new 2010 songs off recent and upcoming releases.

    First up is a band that sent in two tracks that have been on regular re-play in the past two months. Austin is a hard place for a band to break through nowadays due to the saturation of musicians who have flooded this southern music mecca during the past few years.

    But the latest release from the band Tiny Tin Hearts is quite good. Sure the band doesn't exactly have a 'cool' name, but dorkiness has become an asset for other bands, why not these guys? Tiny Tin Hearts deliver flourishing, sprawling pop rock embellished by trombones, violins, cellos and French horns.

    The eclectic band actually came together as a result of ads placed on Craigslist by band leader Seth Osborn; his previous attempts to form a band in New Jersey did not pan out. Tiny Tin Hearts, now numbering eight members, definitely have a sound that is worth checking out, and they have started to build a following. Last March, they were selected as one of the top five best new bands at the Austin Music Awards.

    "Small Catastrophe" - Tiny Tin Hearts from Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator (2009)

    "The Aviator" - Tiny Tin Hearts from Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator (2009)

    Tiny Tin Hearts on MySpace

    Columbus, Ohio band Flotation Walls mix choral, psych-folk, and orchestral music with a beautiful cinematic quality on their debut album, Nature. Next, Provo, Utah musical duo and couple Adam & Darcie craft soft folk pop songs with a revolving cast of musicians; this year they released their sophomore LP, California Trail.

    "Willis The Fireman" - Flotation Walls from Nature (2009)

    Flotation Walls on MySpace

    Boston's unsigned band Sidewalk Driver offer up a powerful mix of power pop, glam and rock on their latest release, For All the Boys and Girls. The band's music is high energy, highly-infectious and hook-driven. Lead singer Tad McKitterick's voice has power and clarity, is expressive, but forceful, without canceling out his vocals more subtle moments. The songs are delivered with unique oddity but are accessible enough to welcome you to join in the celebration like a carnival barker hyping a freak show.

    "Jenny Don't Really Like The Boys" - Sidewalk Driver from For All the Boys and Girls (2009)

    The Sidewalk Driver on MySpace

    The New Platz, New York progressive folk band Oryan - which could have easily been called something like 'The Band of Ryands' - formed in July of 2008 after co-workers Ryan Megan and Ryan Schoonmaker decided to do something about the "dismal state of the local music scene."

    Teaming up with bassist Ryan McCann and guitarist Adam Gosney, Oryan released their self-titled EP earlier this year, featuring music they tag as: "Tom Waits on a strong dose of acid." The band has opened for Rusted Root, The Kin and The Rhodes.

    "The Ride" - Oryan from s/t EP (2009)

    Chicago's Americana indie rock/power pop band Twilight Revival (formed in 2006 via Craigslist) have won the praise of the city's big daily newspapers, influential blogs and music lovers, often drawing comparisons to Wilco, REM and The Replacements.

    Part raucous rebellion and part folk revival, Twilight Revival's 2009 release, Parlour, alternately growls with rock and roll intensity and simmers in the more mellow aspects of folk rock, featuring tales of heroes and ghosts, loss and redemption, despair and salvation.

    "Helicopter" - Twilight Revival from Parlour (2009)

    Twilight Revival on MySpace

    You may not have heard many modern songs featuring the lute - afterall, it was an instrument that enjoyed its heyday centuries ago - but musician Rolf Lislevand excercises the power of the ancient instrument to a degree that a "guitar-slinging rocker" would be hard-pressed "not to be impressed by his fleet-fingered playing," according to

    "Satlarello" - Rolf Lislevand from Diminuito (2009)

    Rolf Lislevand on Andante

    Get more great songs from IRC's popular In Dee Mail playlist series.

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       January 7, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    We are excited to share with you a new track from Sigur Ros' vocalist Jónsi Birgisson's upcoming solo album, Go. The track, "Boy Lilikoi," is clearly of the caliber that one would expect from one of Iceland's - and for that matter, the world's - most talented and accomplished singer/songwriters.

    Birgisson, who is blind in his right eye, is also one of the few openly gay indie superstars of our time. His partner, Alex Somers, does much of the graphic work for Sigur Ros, collaborates with Birgisson on art projects, and helped write and record the couple's first album, Riceboy Sleeps, a fantastic instrumental LP released in 2009 that won critical praise. The Economist said: "…it’s up there with the best of Sigur Rós," and The Guardian called it "a delicate, sad, little record, but one that ripples with beauty."

    Riceboy Sleeps is a gorgeous and intoxicating 68-minute instrumental album recorded solely with acoustic instruments from Iceland, and features appearances by Amiina and the Kópavogsdætur Choir.

    The upcoming release of Go is being produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Tokyo Police Club) and is scheduled for release in March 2010 on XL Recordings. On December 1, 2009, Birgisson's official website,, was launched, where fans can go to get the free advanced MP3, and view the making of Go.

    "Boy Lilikoi" - Jonsi Birgisson from Go (2010)

    "Happiness" - Jonsi & Alex from Riceboy Sleeps (2009)

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       January 2, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Current and upcoming releases (US dates)

    12/7/09 Ólafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909
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    1/19/10 Cold War Kids - Behave Yourself EP
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    2/23/20 Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
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    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
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