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  • Feetz to Da Beatz is yet another new playlist mix series that offers our listeners a unique perspective on artists and bands that they might not hear elsewhere. In recent years, dance, soul, R&B, blues and hip hop styles have been increasingly incorporated under the growing umbrella term of 'indie rock,' which is just fine with us, but also confusing to many others.

    That said, who doesn't like to move their feetz and dance to da beatz? Regular visitors to IRC know by now that we have an eclectic taste in music; the bottom line being - great music is simply great music no matter what genre it is labeled as, regardless of who makes or where it originates - you know it when you hear it.

    Armed with an arsenal that includes vocoders, glockenspiels, graceful vocals and forceful percussions that sync to deliver a kinetic dynamite sound that even grandpa would find hard to sit through, Body Language have risen from the DIY scene to become one of NYC's most popular new dance bands of 2009-10, branding their own flavor of driving beats, sunny (and at times dark and heavy) synths and soaring, catchy choruses. Body Language is the ass shaking combination of Grant Wheeler and Matt Young graced by the soul styles of Ms. Angelica Bess, and the drum work of Ian Chang, known best as a member of Mickey Factz.

    In September, Body of Language released a five-track EP, titled Speaks. The EP features the hopping grooves of the unforgettable song, "Huffy Ten Speed," which our friends at I Guess I'm Floating called: "..a darker/heavier sound with glitchy synths and forceful beats to boot - not to mention they've crafted a chorus as catchy as it is locomotive.."

    "Huffy Ten Speed" - Body of Language from Speaks EP (2009)

    After cutting their teeth on the local circuit and becoming one of NYC's most in demand party bands of 2008, Body of Language were recruited to collaborate on the production of Passion Pit's widely acclaimed 2009 debut LP, Manners, and Machinedrum's 2009 Late Night Operation EP.

    The band was also contracted to back up Theophilus London in live shows dressed as 'The Lovers,' in addition to playing with Passion Pit, School of Seven Bells, Ninjasonik & Jimmy Edga and We Have Band.

    Another excellent song from the Speaks EP, "Work This City," was featured on the collector's compilation, Moongadget: The Noctural State, released in 2009 via Ghostly International. The band is also working on remixes of tracks from Yes Giantess, Shuttle, and Alaska. This is one band that you don't want to miss in 2010.

    "Work This City" - Body of Language from Speaks EP (2009)

    Body of Language on MySpace

    Since Boston's Yes Giantess has a tie-in with Body of Language, it is convenient, and fitting, to include a track from this popular electro-dance band that has created quite a stir in the past year or so with their groovy beats, pop-punk attitude, and intoxicating synth-gaze compositions. Make sure to heck out the band's MySpace link below for remixes and other tracks, plus the 411 on their upcoming performances at SXSW and the Sasquatch Festival.

    "You Were Young" - Yes Giantess from 7" (2009)

    "Tuff N Stuff" - Yes Giantess from 7" (2009)

    Yes Giantees on MySpace

    Up next in this Feetz to Da Beatz mix is Friends Electric, a group comprised of talented young lads from Neath, South Wales. One blogger described them as "a blend of seriously radio-friendly pop-candy and dance-synth/electro." The band's electro, keys glazed pop is hard to ignore, and is among our favorite new dance bands. Remarkably, like Yes Giantees, Friends Electric are unsigned. The band is currently working on new material for a 2010 LP, but no release date has been announced.

    "Beep Beep Beep" - Friends Electric, single release

    "Hours" - Friends Electric, single release

    Friends Electric on MySpace

    Popular Posts This Week:

    2010 Releases You Might Have Missed: Boy Eats Drum Machine, Phantogram, ArpLine, BlueBrain, Wakey! Wakey!

    Disbanded: Band Break-Ups, Vol. I: New Faces, The Fake Fictions and The Catholic Comb

    Best New Releases of the Week: Fang Island, Shout Out Louds, Shearwater, Holly Miranda, Blood Feathers, Quasi and More

    San Francisco's Noise Pop 2010 Festival Guide: Artists, Schedules, Trailers, Venues, Ticket Prices and Resources

    Some of the Best Tracks of 2009: Radiohead, Girls, Sunset Rubdown, Flaming Lips, Deer Tick, WWPJP and More

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       February 27, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Every Tuesday, we publish the Best New Releases of the Week. However, there are always releases that we don't have time or room to feature, or that we don't hear about until after their initial release date. This playlist features 2010 releases that we're featuring for the first time. They include new tracks from Boy Eats Drum Machine, Phantogram, The Exhibition, ArpLine, Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, Charlie Alex March, Bluebrain, Schooner, and Wakey!, Wakey!.

    "Hoop + Wire" - Boy Eats Drum Machine from Hoop + Wire - released Feb. 16th
    Boy Eats Drum Machine on MySpace

    "Bright New Worlds" - The Exhibition from s/t EP - released Feb. 22nd
    The Exhibition on MySpace

    "When I'm Small" - Phantogram from Eyelid Movies - released Feb. 9th
    Phantogram on MySpace

    "Parts Unknown" - ArpLine from Travel Book - released Feb. 16th
    ArpLine on MySpace

    "Something, Somewhere, Sometime" - Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore from Dear Companion - released Feb. 16th
    Daniel Martin Moore on MySpace
    Ben Sollee on MySpace

    "Ten by Ten" - Bluebrain from Soft Power - released Feb. 9th

    "Twenty Two" - Wakey! Wakey! from Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said... - released Feb. 2nd
    Wakey! Wakey! on MySpace

    "Feel Better" - Schooner from Duke Kee Sessions - released Feb. 9th
    Schooner on MySpace

    "Black Glass" - Greg Gibson from Black Glass - released Jan. 17th
    Greg Gibson on MySpace

    "Carot No. 9" - Charlie Alex March from Home/Hidden - released Feb. 16th
    Charlie Alex March on MySpace

    Recent Popular Posts and Playlists:

    Best New Releases of the Week: Bear Hands, Local Natives, The Hush Now, Field Music, Son Lux, The Good Listeners

    Best New Releases of the Week: Fang Island, Shout Out Louds, Shearwater, Holly Miranda, Blood Feathers, Quasi and More

    More Great Songs from 2009: Le Loup, The Perms, Jet, Netherfriends, The Vision, Loney Dear and More

    Some of the Best Tracks of 2009: Radiohead, Girls, Sunset Rubdown, Flaming Lips, Deer Tick, WWPJP and More

    Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009 Vol. III: Furcast, Ape School, Regrets and Brunettes, Lower Heaven and Pure Ecstasy

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       February 26, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    It sucks when good bands break up. In the past year, we've seen a number of bands split, and the band members go their separate ways, including Page France, the awesome indie duo The Format, the sensational band, The Sun, and a relatively unknown (in comparison to their talent), but fantastically promising, New Faces.

    Seattle's New Faces split in November of last year, sending mini-shock waves through the Puget Sound music community. In a post on their MySpace page on Nov. 16th, the following statement was issued: "Due to irreconcilable conflicts, we have decided to break up. We want to thank everyone that supported us...Sorry there wasn't a second album."

    The New Faces received a flood of critical praise, especially in the Seattle area, with the release of their debut EP in 2007, and their debut LP, Two Years, in 2008. They had an undeniable gift for enthralling music, a sound refined beyond their time as a band, and a potential that could have made them international rock stars (if they wanted it) - those are not usually characteristics of a fresh, unsigned, totally DIY band.

    "My Alarm" - New Faces from Two Faces (2008)

    "She's Like The Snow" - New Faces from s/t EP (2007)

    "Ms Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" - New Faces from Two Years (2008)

    But with as much promise as New Faces had, and the praise of music critics throughout the Northwest and beyond, it's a blow to all music fans when a spectacular band ends before they hardly got started. In 2008, the Seattle blog, Sound on the Sound, proclaimed: "I'm often asked what are the best new things I’ve been hearing...In the New Faces, I finally feel without reservation that I have an easy (and good) answer to that question."

    Artists and bands that influenced New Faces: David Bowie, The Smiths, The Libertines, Interpol, The Strokes, The Clash, Franz Ferdinand, The Rakes, The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Arctic Monkeys, New Order, Violent Femmes, Joy Division, NWA, The Cure and XTC.

    When the punk pop band The Fake Fictions announced in January on their official website, "The Fake Fictions are done. It has been a wild ride. We played our last show on Nov. 20, 2009..." fans of the band were understandably disappointed. The band had delivered a steady stream of edgy, engaging albums and EPs since their formation early last decade.

    Thankfully, however, the band has been good enough to offer much of their music as free MP3s, spanning a total of seven releases.

    "Parallel World" - The Fake Fictions from Magic Infinity EP (2010)

    "Laugh Track Loser" - The Fake Fictions from Les Faux Fictions (2008)

    "TV Snow" - The Fake Fictions from Krakatoa (2009)

    The Catholic Comb, only months after announcing work on a new album, Halloween Street, suddenly broke up last summer. In a non-explanatory post on their MySpace blog, dated August 4, 2009, and titled, 'Comb Over', the band wrote: "We are no longer a band. Sincere thanks to anyone who ever supported us in any way." The Catholic Comb were Adam Dishart, Daniel Awand, Ryan Rene Wansley and Andy Rice, all from the San Francisco Bay Area.

    The band first rose to national, and in some cases, international, recognition with their 2005 single, "Sixteen to Twenty-One," which was later used as the soundtrack to a Corey Duffel skateboarding video.

    "Sixteen to Twenty-One" - The Catholic Comb

    The band described their music as "a morbid bicycle ride." But that doesn't begin to explain the far-reaching, intoxicating sound they had cultivated, and which was being gobbled up within the circuitry of the underworld alternative rock network.

    The past year has seen plenty of evidence of culture's long-standing obsession with vampires, whether in film or music, but somehow most people missed out on The Catholic Comb's splendid track, "Vampire Life."

    Not surprisingly, the song is all about the dreaded existence of life as a vampire, but with a musical twist that infuses acoustic pop, prog rock and goth to create a song that is hard to pin down, and even harder to ignore. Despite it's subject matter, the song is intriguingly bright and melodic.

    The lyrics of "Vampire Life" fit perfectly with the tempo of the song, while being slightly ironic and direct: "I go out at night/I eat what I like/I sleep where I might/the vampire life..." Hmmm, is this The Smiths slowed down to a ballad pace or The Cure with folksy abandonment?

    "Vampire Life" - The Catholic Comb from s/t 7"

    The Catholic Comb on MySpace

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       February 25, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    This is a blockbuster week for music releases as evidenced by the sheer number of tracks featured in this post. Brooklyn's prog-rock quintet, and grads of the Rhode Island School of Design (which has also given us The Talking Heads, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Les Savvy Fav), Fang Island, belt out punk inspired pop with spirited vigor, triumphant harmonies, riff-heavy jams and uplifting tempos.

    The Shout Out Louds return with their third album, Work, that will be followed by an extensive European and North American tour, including a sold out show next week at New York's Music Hall of Williamsburg. Shearwater are back with a new album, The Golden Archipelago, and the featured track, "Black Eyes."

    Denmark's experimental pop band Efterklang released their new album, Magic Chairs, and will kick off a U.S. tour next week. The recently disbanded The Fate Fictions dropped their final album today, and the long-awaited new album from San Francisco's Brian Johnstown Massacre also dropped today. Another San Francisco band, Man/Miracle, released their new LP, Shape of Things, today. The band will perform tomorrow night as part of the city's 18th annual Noise Pop festival.

    We also have new singles from fresh releases from Blood Feathers, Wolf People, Toro Y Moi, We Are Wolves, Holy Fiction, Xiu Xiu, Quasi, Holly Miranda, The Exhibition and others. Enjoy.

    "Life Coach" - Fang Island from s/t debut
    "Daisy" - Fang Island from s/t debut
    Fang Island on MySpace

    "Walls" - Shout Out Louds from Work
    Shout Out Louds official website

    "Black Eyes" - Shearwater from The Golden Archipelago
    Shearwater official website

    "Hot Sprawl" - Man/Miracle from Shape of Things
    Man/Miracle official website

    "Modern Drift" - Efterklang from Magic Chairs
    Efterklang on MySpace

    "Parallel World" - The Fake Fictions from Magic Infinity EP
    The Fake Fictions official website

    "Let's Go F**king Mental" - Brian Jonestown Massacre from Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?
    Brian Jonestown Massacre

    "Don't Know You at All" - Blood Feathers from Goodness Gracious
    Blood Feathers on MySpace

    "Repulsion" - Quasi from American Gong
    Quasi on MySpace

    "October Fires" - Wolf People from Tidings
    Wolf People on MySpace

    "Blessa" - Toro Y Moi from Causers
    Toro Y Moi on MySpace

    "Gray Death" - Xiu Xiu from Dear God, I Hate Myself
    Xiu Xiu official website

    "Iron Eyes" - Holy Fiction from Hours From It
    Holy Fiction on MySpace

    "Colors" - April Smith & The Great Picture Show from Songs For A Sinking Ship
    April Smith & The Great Picture Show

    "Waves" - Holly Miranda from The Magician's Private Library
    Holly Miranda on MySpace

    "Rapture" - Elaine Lachica from I Think I Can See the Ocean (feb 23 via
    Elaine Lachica on MySpace

    "Half Truth" - Dead Leaf Echo from Truth
    Deaf Leaf Echo on MySpace

    "Bright New Worlds" - The Exhibition from s/t EP
    The Exhibition website

    We realize that all of this music is a bit overwhelming, but it would be a disservice to our regular visitors, subscribers and new visitors to exclude certain tracks for the sake of creating a smaller list of releases - we feel all of the tracks we represent are worth the space they consume. While we do filter which tracks from new releases to present to you all (many do not "make the final cut"), we also try to be as thorough and eclectic as possible, and let you decide which songs you like the most in an effort to help you decide which albums you want to purchase for your music collection.

    Reminder: You can stream continuously all of the songs in any of the playlists featured on IRC - while you do other things - just by clicking on the first song.

    Next Week: Rogue Wave, Dinosaur Feathers, Portugal. The Man, The Whigs, Butterfly Explosion, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Peasant, Kiki Pau and more.

    Previous New Releases Mixes

    2/16/10: Music Bear Hands, Local Natives, The Hush Now, Field Music, Son Lux, The Good Listeners

    2/9/10: Music Showstar, Yeasayer, Hot Chip, Galactic, Vinca Minor, Drew Danburry, FM Belfast and More

    2/2/10: Music from Midlake, The Album Leaf, King of Prussia, Seth Augustus, The Heligoats and More

    1/26/10: Music from Beach House, The Magnetic Fields, No Through Road, Woodpigeon, Retribution Gospel Choir, Citay, Boy Genius and More


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       February 23, 2010    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    San Francisco's 18th annual Noise Pop festival, featuring indie rock artists, independent films, and special events that will take place at venues throughout the city over a span of seven days, starting this Tuesday, February 23rd.

    Artists and bands scheduled to perform include an eclectic line-up, ranging from folk and rock to pop and electronic. Some of the headliners include Rogue Wave, The Magnetic Fields, The Dodos, Zee Avi, !!!, Edward Sharpe and the Zeros, John Vanderslice, Atlas Sound, Memory Tapes, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Thao Nguyen, Mark Kozelek, Foreign Born, Far and The Soundtrack of Our Lives.

    Claudia Gonson Of Magnetic Fields will present the keynote speech at the opening ceremonies at the Industry Noise. A number of shows have already sold out, including performances headlined by Rogue Wave, Atlas Sound, Four Tet, Memory Tapes, Edward Sharpe and the Zeros and The Magnetic Fields' Monday night show at the Herbst Theatre. Some film screenings have also sold out (see details below; plus plenty of trailers).

    The Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band will perform for the first time in San Francisco in 15 years opening night at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. Performing with Yoko Ono will be her son, Sean Lennon, With Cornelius, Yuka Honda and Deerhoof.

    This is the full schedule for Noise Pop organized by music and film, and including information such as artists, venue names and locations, show times, ticket prices, song streams, and video trailers.

    Wednesday, Feb. 24th


    Rogue Wave with Princeton, Man/Miracle, and Two Sheds at Bottom Of The Hill (website | 1233 17th St. ) - 8 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. All ages.

    "Good Morning" - Rogue Wave
    "Sadie and Andy" - Princeton

    The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger at The Independent ( website | 628 Divisadero St. ) - 8 p.m. Tickets: $20. Ages 21+.

    Harlem, Best Coast, The Sandwiches and Young Prisms at Cafe Du Nord (website | 2170 Market St. ) . Tickets: $12. Ages 21+.

    "Friendly Ghosts" - Harlem
    "This Is Real" - Best Coast

    Foreign Born, The Fresh & Onlys, Free Energy and The Splinters at the Rickshaw Stop (website | 155 Fell St. ) - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. All ages.

    "Vacationing People" - Foreign Born
    "Free Energy" - Free Energy


    Austin, Texas: Live Music Capital of the World? at the Roxie Theatre (website | 3117 16th St), 7 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages.

    Related: See a three minute, cool promo video mashup of Austin with some great shots of the music scene and other Austin attractions, via and set to music by Vallejo.

    P Star Rising at the Roxie, 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages.

    Thursday, Feb. 25th


    Citay, Greg Ashley and Tape Deck Mountain at Cafe Du Nord - 8 p.m. Tickets: $12-$14. Age requirement of 21 years.

    "Careful with That Hat" - Citay
    "Ghost Colony" - Tape Deck Mountain

    Far (Reunion show) with Stomacher, Picture Atlantic, The Trophy Fire at Bottom of the Hill - 8 p.m. Tickets: $14. All ages.

    "Pony" - Far

    The Dodos with Magik Magik Orchestra Collaborative at the Palace of Fine Arts (website | 3301 Lyon St.) - 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. All ages.

    "Jodi" - The Dodos

    Zee Avi with The Hot Toddies, Leslie and the Badgers and Tiny Television at Rickshaw Stop - 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $12-$14. All ages.

    "First of the Gang to Die" - Zee Avi


    Blood Into Wine at Viz Cinema (website | 1746 Post St. ) - 7:30 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. All ages.

    The Heart is a Drum Machine at the Viz Cinema - 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages.

    Friday, Feb. 26th


    John Vanderslice with Nurses, Honeycomb and Conspiracy of Venus at Swedish American Hall (website | 2174 Market St.) - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. Ages 21+.

    "Me and My 424" - John Vanderslice
    "Asleep" - Nurses

    Atlas Sound with Geographer, Magic Wands and Nice Nice at Great American Music Hall (website | 859 O'Farrell St. ) - 8 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. All ages.

    "Walkabout" (featuring Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, of Animal Collective) - Atlas Sound
    "Can't You Wait" - Geographer

    The Mumlers with The Growlers, Sonny and the Sunsets and The Ferocious Few at Cafe Du Nord - 8 p.m. Tickets: $12-$14. Ages 21+.

    "Red River Hustle" - The Mumlers
    "Barnacle Beast" - The Growlers

    Wallpaper, The Limousines, Butterfly Bones and Battlehooch at Slim's (website | 333 11th St. ) - 8 p.m. Tickets: $14. All ages.

    "Pool Party" - Wallpaper
    "Dancing at Her Funeral" - The Limousines

    Four Tet with Nathan Fake, Rainbow Arabia and New Villager at The Independent - 8 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. Ages 21+.

    "Plastic People" - Four Tet
    "Harlem Sunset" - Rainbow Arabia
    "Rich Doors" - New Villager

    Scissors for Lefty, Judgment Day, Ghosts and the City, and Glaciers at Bottom of the Hill - 8 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. Ages 21+.


    Blood Into Wine at ATA (website | 992 Valencia St. ) - 7 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages.

    Downtown Calling at ATA - 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages.

    Saturday, Feb. 27th


    Memory Tapes with Loquat, Birds & Batteries, and Letting Up Despite Great Faults at Bottom of the Hill - 9 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. All ages.

    "Plain Material" - Memory Tapes
    "Sit" - Loquat

    The Magnetic Fields at Fox Theatre in Oakland (website |1807 Telegraph Ave.) - 8 p.m. Tickets: $32.50. All ages.

    "I Don't Believe You" - The Magnetic Fields

    True Widow, P.E.E., Ovens, and Grass Widow at Cafe Du Nord - 8 p.m. Tickets: $12-$14. Ages 21+.

    "Duelist" - True Widow
    "Time Could Bend" - Grass Widow

    We Were Promised Jetpacks with The Lonely Forest, Bear Hands, Tempo No Tempo at Slim's - 8 p.m. Tickets: $16. All ages.

    "Conductor" - We Were Promised Jetpacks
    "What a Drag" - Bear Hands

    Thao Nguyen with Mirah and Horse Feathers, Dave Smallen, Carletta, and Sue Kay at Swedish American Hall - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. Ages 21+.

    "Beat" - Thao Nguyen
    "Curs in the Weeds" - Horse Feathers

    The Soundtrack of Our Lives with Nico Vega, Music for Animals, and Imaad Wasif at The Independent - 8 p.m. Tickets: $16. Ages 21+.

    "Firmament Vacation" - The Soundtrack of Our Lives
    "Beast" - Nico Vega
    "Red Cells" - Music For Animals
    "Wanderlusting" - Imaad Wasif

    Mark Kozelek with Laura Gibson, Paula Frazer, and Fences at The Great American Music Hall - 8 p.m. Tickets: $26/$30. All ages.

    "Celebrated Summer" - Mark Kozelek
    "Come By Storm" - Laura Gibson

    !!! with Maus Haus, Sugar & Gold, and My First Earthquake at Mezzanine (website | 444 Jessie St. ). Tickets: $20. Ages 21+.

    "Take Estasy With Me (Magnetic Fields)" - !!!
    "Rigid Breakfast" - Maus Haus

    Black Prairie (with members of The Decemberists), Trainwreck Riders, Billy & Dolly, and Birds Fled From Me - 8:30 p.m. at Rickshaw Stop. Tickets: $14. All ages.

    "Engine Driver" - The Decemberists
    "Chug Along" - Trainwreck Riders


    Unusual Heroes: John Darnielle and Lou Barlow at ATA - 2 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages

    Woodstock: Now & Then at ATA - 4 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages.

    Sunday, Feb. 28th


    Dizzy Balloon with The Houds Below, Visqueen and Laarks at Bottom of the Hill - 1 p.m. Tickets: $12. All ages.
    "Raise A Glass" - Dizzy Balloon
    "All The Words" - Laarks

    Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros with The Watson Twins, AB & The Sea, and The Northern Key at Bimbo's 365 Club (website | 1025 Columbus Ave ) - 7:30 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out.

    "Daydream" - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
    "Sky Open Up" - The Watson Twins


    The Secret to a Happy Ending at ATA - 2 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. All ages.

    All My Friends Are Funeral Singers at ATA - 4 p.m. Tickets: $10. All ages.

    A Film About Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields at Mezzanine - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. All ages.

    Monday, March 1st - The Finale

    The Magnetic Fields with Mark Eitzel at Herbst Theater (website | 401 Van Ness St. ) - 8 p.m. Tickets: Sold Out. All ages.

    "All The Umbrellas in London" (Live at KVRX, 1999) - The Magnetic Fields

    Tickets for all performances listed above can be purchased on the Noise Pop full schedule page

    Note: The official website homepage's top menu links - Artists, Schedule, etc. - do not contain the updated 2010 information, for some strange reason; a bit confusing, but make sure to click here for all of the information for the 2010 event. The Bay Bridged put together a cool feature of free Noise Pop events.

    We're gearing up for Noise Pop! Thanks to Tell All Your Friends PR and Noise Pop organizers for helping us out in planning for the festival.

    Labels: , , ,

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       February 22, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    There have been literally hundreds, probably thousands, of blogger and mainstream music media "best of" lists of 2009 for indie and alternative rock and pop.

    No list is right or wrong. However, we don't pretend that we can put together a definitive 'best of' list for an entire year because it's frankly too difficult, and perhaps pretentious. Plus, everyone has there own set criteria and personal tastes. This playlist mix is merely a representation of some of our favorite tracks of 2009 and also ones that all of you responded to the most when we originally posted them during 2009. You can also view hundreds of sweet songs from 2009 via the Ears To The Music playlist series.

    "Hellhole Ratrace" - Girls from Album (2009)

    "My Twisted Words" - Radiohead, single (2009)

    "Apollo & the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Oh!" - Sunset Rubdown from Drayonslayer (2009)

    "Pink Sabbath" - Dananananaykroyd from Pink Sabbath (2009)

    "Quiet Little Voices" - We Were Promised Jetpacks from These Four Walls (2009)

    "Roses in the Park" - Liechtenstein from Survival Strategies in a Modern World (2009)

    "Silver Trembling Hands" - The Flaming Lips from Embryonic (2009)

    "Know Better, Learn Faster" - Thao with the Get Down, Stay Down, single (2009)

    "Easy" - Deer Tick from Born On Flag Day (2009)

    "Bow Down and Die" - The Almighty Defenders from s/t debut (2009)

    "Paralyzed" - Starlight Mints from Change Remains (2009)

    Fantasy Nation - Kordan from Fantasy Nation (2009)


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       February 20, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    furcastthebandThe Best Rarely Heard Songs series continues today with music from bands that many of you have probably never heard of: Furcast, Ape School, Regrets and Brunettes, Lower Heaven and Pure Ecstasy.

    indie duo Furcast - comprised of Johann Carbajal and Vincent Mazza - evoke a dark, cinematic film noir sound on the track, "Grey is Old," a composition which could have fit nicely on a Kill Bill soundtrack. Shortly after the mid-point of the nearly seven-minute track, the song explodes into a brief fury, and subsequently transforms into a creepy, shifting piano and percussion piece that ultimately winds down and fades away, leaving the listener transfixed. Chances are if you like this track, you'll enjoy most or all of Furcast's debut EP, Together. Massive Attack fans take special note.

    "Grey is Old" - Furcast from Together
    Furcast on MySpace

    On "Wail to God," one-man band Michael Johnson, aka Ape School, carries along the torch of film noir influenced music, and takes it to another level with the ascent of firey, almost disco-esque, beats accompanied by a neo-psych, Moog-heavy flare. The two and a half minute reverb-loving track closes with a steady descent "back to earth," complete with space alien-like sound effects. Throughout the Ape Man debut, Johnson's influences, which range from Phil Spector and Brian Eno to The Beach Boys and Animal Collective, are unmistakable. Before founding Ape School, Johnson was briefly a member of two terrific bands, the Lilys, and Florida's indie outfit, Holopaw.

    "Wail to God" - Ape School from s/t debut
    Ape School on MySpace

    The attraction to Los Angeles indie rock band Regrets & Brunettes was immediate within the first half minute of hearing the band's song, "Tough Love," off their debut LP, At Night You Love Me, released last December. This single is the perfect precursor to the album itself, so if you really dig this track, you're probably going to love the album.

    "Tough Love" - Regrets and Brunettes from s/t debut
    Regrets and Brunettes on MySpace

    Lower Heaven are an accomplished quintet from the Silverlake area of Los Angeles that crafts haunting, reverb-heavy melodies obviously influenced by some of their favorite self-proclaimed bands, such as My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain. Lower Heaven took their name from the lyrics of an Echo and the Bunnymen song, and they've opened for bands such as the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Darker My Love and The Black Angels.

    "Fruitless" - Lower Heaven from Ashes
    Lower Heaven on MySpace

    Pure Ecstasy crafts sweet, lo-fi psychedelic pop reverberations that sound a bit like Wavves and Animal Collective in myosis. While we usually dislike songs that stop and restart at various points in the composition, Pure Ecstasy's track, "Easy," is too good to pass up. We hope the band will receive more "blog love" soon, and continue to grow their fan following.

    "Easy" - Pure Ecstasy from Voices
    Pure Ecstasy on MySpace

    Other installments in this series:

    Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2009, Vol. I - Sun Airway, The Ambience Affair, Brian Olive, The Bats, Land of Talk & More

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


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       February 18, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    In the on-going Singer-Songwriter Spotlight Series, we have a backlog of musicians to present to you in the coming weeks, with more new talent coming in all of the time. Most of the artists we feature are those who have sent their music in hoping to strike a chord, and more often than not, they do. With that in mind, we are expanding this particular feature to include more singer-songwriters into each installment just to keep up with them all.

    Nashville recording artist Andrew Belle, a native of Chicago, has made quite a name for himself in the past year or so, especially within the Nashville scene. In December, Belle was part of the Ten Out of Tenn tour, a collective of Tennessee musicians who hit the road to entertain concert goers across the midwest and west, performing a range of classic and modern-day Christmas songs as well as rare indie songs. Watch a promo video of the TOT rehearsals for their Christmas 2009 tour.

    In addition to Belle, the collective included Trent Dabbs, Butterfly Boucher, Katie Herzig, Andy Davis, K.S. Rhoads, Tyler James, Jeremy Lister, Matthew Perryman Jones, Erin McCarley and Will Sayles.

    Due in part to the success of the TOT holiday tour, Belle is now on the road again, performing a series of solo shows in Washington state, mostly at colleges and universities. In March, he will launch another tour of colleges and universities throughout the Midwest in support of the release of his first LP, The Ladder, which will drop on February 23rd. The LP is a self-release, and was mixed by Grammy award-winning engineer Vance Powell (The Raconteurs).

    After you hear the magnificent live cover of Bright Eyes', "First Day of My Life," and the wonderfully memorable, "Static Waves," you'll probably not forgot Andrew Belle anytime soon. Remarkably, Belle's voice reminds us both of Johnny Legend and Chris Martin, especially on "Static Waves." Some of you may recognize Belle's voice from his debut 2008 EP, All Those Pretty Lights, from which a couple of songs were featured on 90210 and MTV's The Real World. Last August, Belle won MTV's 'Chicago Break Out Artist' VMA award for the song, "I'll Be Your Breeze."

    Amazingly, his superb debut EP is available as a free download from Bandcamp.

    "Static Waves" - Andrew Belle from The Ladder (2010)

    "I'll Be Your Breeze" - Andrew Belle from All Those Pretty Lights EP (2009)

    "All Those Pretty Lights" - Andrew Belle from All Those Pretty Lights EP (2009)

    "First Day of My Life" (Bright Eyes) - Andrew Belle, live (2009)

    Andrew Belle on MySpace

    Americana singer-songwriter Chris Volpe is a self-taught guitar virtuoso who executes complex finger-picking styles akin to Leo Kottke and Paul Simon. Volpe taught himself to play piano, banjo, bass and drums, among other instruments and honed his skills for songwriting. After listening to half of a dozen of his songs from different releases, it becomes ever more apparent why Volpe has received as many music awards as he has in the span of five years.

    "Don't Go" - Chris Volpe from Shipwrecked (2009)

    In 2008, Volpe was picked to represent Nashville at the Forecastle Festival; earlier that year, Volpe won the international Lyric Writer Award for the song "Dusty Bibles," plus the Independent Music Award for the "Singer/Songwriter Album of the Year" category in 2006 for the LP, Refugee Blues. In fact, all 15 songs on the LP were recorded live in one take - a stellar recording feat. He won the studio time to record Refugee Blues as a prize for taking the "best song of the year" at the West Coast Songwriting Association's annual contest in 2004. Volpe's music is sometimes politically charged, as well as evidenced in "Dusty Bibles," which ruminates about Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and David Koresh, and sounds a bit like a Tom Waits song.

    Volpe’s top-quality songwriting and performing has also garnered him honorable mentions in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest and Billboard Worldwide Song Contest. The following lyrics from the song "1849 Revisited" are one example of Volpe's songwriting abilities: For all along the river banks there lives/A residue collected in the weeds/It smells of tasteless regret: a faint glimpse/Of hearts that sold the life they own to lease.

    With the help of Grammy award-winning producer Phil Harris, Volpe recorded songs that range in style from folk-jazz to Americana and country noir for his 2009 release, Shipwrecked. His band comprises some of Nashville’s finest musicians, including Jeff Coffin (Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band), Bryn Davies (Tony Rice, Patti Griffin), Donnie Herron (Bob Dylan, BR549) and Kenny Malone (Cat Stevens, Johnny Cash).

    "Dusty Bibles" - Chris Volpe from Shipwrecked (2009)

    Chris Volpe official website

    Chris Volpe on MySpace

    Check out previous installments from IRC's Singer-Songwriter Spotlight Series.

    If you or your band wish to submit music for our review, please read and follow carefully the submission guidelines on our About page.

    Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

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

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

    The Musical Genius of Singer-Songwriter Will Stratton

    Best New Releases of the Week: Bear Hands, Local Natives, The Hush Now, Field Music, Son Lux, The Good Listeners

    Band of the Week: Oregonian Band The Dimes Present a History Lesson of Colonial Boston in Song

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       February 17, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    This week's new releases include the fresh songs, as well as some tracks that have already made the rounds and are now being repackaged and re-issued in various forms. For example, Brooklyn's popular, but still unsigned, band Bear Hands, have re-issued their single, "What a Drag," today on white vinyl, and will celebrate this evening at The Studio at Webster Hall in New York, a kick-off show for an extensive tour of the U.S. with We Were Promised Jetpacks and Passion Pit. The band's shows with Passion Pit have already sold out in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Vancouver.

    Los Angeles blog buzz band Local Natives' LP, Gorilla Manor, celebrates its official release today, but some of the tracks - and good ones at that - were leaked last fall, making them a band to watch in 2010. Bear Hands kicks off a European tour tomorrow night with a sold out show in Paris, and will then return to the perform three shows at next month's South by Southwest in Austin, followed by sets at Coachella and Bonnaroo music festivals.

    Other tracks featured below from new releases include The Hush Now, Field Music, Son Lux, SPEAK and El May, as well as a handful of releases from last month that we didn't have time for, or that we just recently learned about, but are worth checking out.

    "What a Drag" - Bear Hands from What a Drag
    Bear Hands on MySpace

    "Sunhands" - Local Natives from Gorilla Manor
    Local Natives on MySpace

    "Constellations" - The Hush Now from Constellations
    The Hush Now on MySpace

    "Measure" - Field Music from Field Music
    Field Music on MySpace

    "Weapons V" - Son Lux from Weapons EP
    Son Lux on MySpace

    "Carrie (Mindfull)" - SPEAK from debut EP
    SPEAK on MySpace

    "Don't You" - El May from s/t debut
    El May on MySpace

    Los Angeles indie folk pop band The Good Listeners released their third album, Don't Quit Your Daydream, last month via Three Finger Records. The LP was recorded during a month long journey to twelve cities across the US, and also made into an indie film documentary by the same name. At each stop on their adventure, the duo collaborated with a cast of strangers and musicians who forced them to reconsider what a life dedicated to the pursuit of music really means.

    "Insect Losing Balance" - The Good Listeners from Don't Quit Your Daydream
    The Good Listeners on MySpace

    January Releases from Cop Shades, Sun Hotel, The Houston Brothers and More

    In January, the experimental indie rock band Cop Shades released their debut album as a free download via Superbob Records - a label formed in 1993 by Ken Kelley, the drummer of The Monoxides. Cop Shades deliver gritty and fuzzy guitar rock almost guaranteed to attract rock fans who are hungry for something fresh and edgy.

    Sun Hotel
    is an indie band from New Orleans that we are really beginning to like; we'll have more about them in our upcoming Bands to Watch in 2010 issue. The band released their LP, Team Spirit, on January 28th. Also, check out tracks from January releases by Adam Green, The Houston Brothers, Gobotron, and Charlie Hunter.

    "I Sh*t Ponies" - Cop Shades from s/t EP
    "The Sorority" - Cop Shades from s/t EP
    Cop Shades on MySpace

    "Allways" - Sun Hotel from Team Spirit
    "Plantation Land" - Sun Hotel from Team Spirit
    Sun Hotel on MySpace

    "Castles and Tassels" - Adam Green from Minor Love
    Adam Green on MySpace

    "Confederate Dunce" - The Houston Brothers from The Archer
    "Wasted Youth" - The Houston Brothers from The Archer
    The Houston Brothers website

    "Never Turn Around" - Gobotron from On Your Mark, Get Ready...
    Gobotron on MySpace

    "High Pockets and a Fanny Pack" - Charlie Hunter from Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You That You Will Not be Getting Paid
    Charlie Hunter official website

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       February 16, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    When we first heard Portland, Oregon's The Dimes' splendid album, The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry, in December (after the band sent us some tracks), we were quickly head-over-heels, and since that time, the LP has become one of our favorite releases of 2009.

    The album serves as a history lesson (or "musical Cliff Notes") of early Boston, and the people and events that shaped American history. There are songs about the Great Boston Fire of 1872 ("Damrell's Fire"); Clara Barton ("Save Me, Clara"), the Civil War nurse who founded the American Red Cross; Abigail Adams ("Abigail, Don't Be Long"), the wife - and woman's rights advocate - of the second U.S. president, John Adams; the prolific Concord born writer, philosopher and historian, Henry David Thoreau ("Walden and the Willow"), to name just a few.

    "Damrell's Fire" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

    The Dimes' lush harmonies and unforgettable melodies are heavily influenced by the band's musical mentors, including Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles. The Dimes' first LP, The Silent Generation, was released in 2007, and received national and international acclaim, with enthusiastic reviews from SPIN, NPR, Under the Radar, The BBC, The Oregonian, and many others. Similar positive reviews for The King have also brought the attention of The Dimes to a growing number of music lovers, bloggers and mainstream art critics.

    The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (album cover above) showcases singer-songwriter Johnny Clay's, and the band's, incredible talents, featuring a baroque assortment of instruments, sixties pop sensibilities, and delightfully simple arrangements that solicit repeated listening.

    "Abigail, Don't Be Long" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

    For their sophomore release, the band turned again to the genius of engineer Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Death Cab For Cutie, The Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney), and a continuing appreciation for uniquely American historical themes that began with The Silent Generation.

    If you like the songs featured in this post, we strongly recommend visiting The Dimes' store. A purchase of The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry also comes with a free copy of the EP, William Dawes and Other Forgotten Jems.

    "Celia's Garden" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

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

    Bonus: "Catch Me Jumping" - The Dimes from The Silent Generation (2007)

    Check out the accompanying interactive Flash map of colonial Boston that ties in nicely with the release of their latest album. This is a band that really understands how to use the opportunities presented by interactive media to engage with their fans and market their remarkable music to a wider audience. We can only hope that the band's popularity will continue to grow so that they will embark on a national tour, and give more of you a chance to see them perform live.

    The Dimes on Twitter

    The Dimes on MySpace

    The Dimes on Facebook

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       February 15, 2010    4 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The year 2009 was a blockbuster year for indie and alternative music. In fact, there were so many amazing releases, we are still allocating time and resources to make sure you didn't miss out on some of the best songs and albums of the year, a good chunk of which are pretty hard to find anywhere else.

    But first, if you haven't already, we encourage you to browse through the many playlists of 2009 songs that we've already published - including literally hundreds of songs featured in regular mixes, such as Ears to the Music, In Dee Mail and 2009 Indie Songs mixes.

    In addition to those existing playlists, we'll be publishing more songs from 2009 (not already featured on IRC) for at least a few more weeks. The sheer volume of fresh tracks from 2010 are beginning to slowly build up, most of which - so far - have been featured in our Best New Releases of the Week series.

    Today's playlist mix includes notable tracks from 2009 that we didn't have time to present in 2009, so hopefully the caliber of the music will compensate for the minor annoyance of "looking back."

    "Forgive Me" - Le Loup from Family

    "Running Away" - The Perms from Keeps You Up When You're Down

    "Nunya (Beeswax)" - Netherfriends from Calling You Out

    "Puzzles" - The Mary Onettes from Islands

    "All My Exorcisms" - Beaujolais from Admirations

    "Wherever I Run" - The Vision from s/t debut

    "She's a Genius" - Jet from Shaka Rock

    "The Number" - Woods from Songs of Shame

    "Airport Surroundings" - Loney Dear from Dear John

    "Woman Pin Down" - Dan Satch and his Atomic 8 Dance Band from Black Man’s Cry


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       February 14, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The Alchemy of Love by collage artist Vivi Mari

    On Wednesday, we published the first of the Valentine's playlist mix, featuring tracks from Beach House, Elliott Smith, Magnetic Fields, The Shins, The Kinks, Beck The Cure, and many others more - a total of 14 great indie, pop, folk and classic rock songs dating from the mid-1960's to present day.

    Today, we present to you the second, and final, of our 2010 Valentine's mixes, showcasing an eclectic mix of artists and bands, including Bright Eyes, Nick Drake, Led Zeppelin, The Clientele, The Kinks, Cheap Trick, Tupac, Kings of Convenience, Woodpigeon, and Deer Tick, as well as lesser known indie bands like Old Lights, Army of Me, Marching Band, Avi Buffalo and Showstar.

    For those of you not familiar with some of these bands and artists - past and present - included in this mix, hopefully you'll find some songs that you'll cherish forever. Each track has earned it's rightful place in this mix. For example, it was really difficult to pick just one representative song from the first four artists in this mix. That is not more the case with any other than Led Zeppelin, who have been, and will always be, one of the most monumental and influential rock bands of all time - and that itself is an understatement. Not many bands can claim to have written and recorded so many absolutely kick-ass, classic rock masterpieces in such a relatively short period of time (roughly 1969 to 1975).

    On the same note, and at the other side of the spectrum of intense, brilliant composing, Nick Drake will forever be regarded as one of the most gifted singer-songwriters ever. Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes (and also solo artist and member of the supergroup Monsters of Folk) is easily one of the greatest wordsmith, composers and musicians of the past decade.

    And, of course, The Kinks, are on this list too, but for many people, it may be the first time they've ever heard this particular Kinks' song. It is one of the rare, unknown klassics of the Kinks' kronology in which the band's legendary guitarist, Dave Davies (the brother of lead songwriter-singer Ray Davies), wrote and sang the song himself.

    The track, "Trust My Heart," is a far cry from the chunky, hard-core guitar riffs the younger Davies (who was only 17 at the time) introduced in 1964 on the back-to-back hit singles, "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night," two songs that changed the sound of guitar rock forever, and some respected rock critics credit with inspiring the punk rock movement a decade later.

    "Trust Your Heart" demonstrates Davies under appreciated skill as a songwriter and vocalist, while simultaneously re-affirming his status as one of the best guitarists of the golden era of rock and roll. Finally, most of these songs just cannot be properly replicated on an MP3 for sound quality and depth as they are if you listen to them on vinyl with a pair of sweet speakers.

    "Lover I Don't Have to Love" - Bright Eyes from Lifted or the Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground (2002)

    "Northern Sky" - Nick Drake from s/t debut (1971)

    "Whole Lotta Love" - Led Zeppelin from Led Zeppelin II (1969)

    "Trust Your Heart" - The Kinks from Misfits (1978)

    "For Your Love" - Marching Band from Spark Large (2008)

    "What's It In For?" - Avi Buffalo from s/t debut (2010)

    "If You Come Over Tonight" - Old Lights from Every Night Begins the Same (2009)

    "Here Comes The Phantom" - The Clientele from God Save The Clientele (2007)

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

    "If You Want My Love" - Cheap Trick from One on One (1982)

    "Love" - Showstar from Think Ringo (2010)

    "Unconditional Love" - Tupac from Greatest Hits (1998)

    "The Ghost" - Deer Tick from Born on Flag Day (2009)

    "Mrs. Cold" - Kings of Convenience from Declaration of Dependence (2009)

    "Love in the Time of Hopscotch" - Woodpigeon from Treasury Library Canada (2009)

    Check out the first mix of this year's Valentine's playlist and last years Valentine's Playlist Mix.

    Download the Zip of this mix.


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       February 12, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Helsinki, Finland musician Antti Reikko, who goes by the interesting moniker, Koria Kitten Riot, released a splendid debut album at the end of October of last year, that remarkably, went largely unnoticed.

    While Reikko is no newbie to indie rock enthusiasts, especially followers of the Nordic scene, so to speak, his solo work as KKR has not received the "blog love" it deserves. In fact, Reikko is probably best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the indie band Johnny Superhero.

    In 2006, Reikko established KKR, in order to create an outlet for his more "gentle, acoustic songs that didn't fit Johnny Superhero's style," he told IRC. "Koria Kitten Riot is a complete musical dictatorship."

    "The Streets and Their Names" - Koria Kitten Riot from s/t debut (2009)

    Reikko does just about everything on his debut solo LP, including songwriting, singing, acoustic guitar, synthesizer, mandolin, piano, glockenspiel, harmonica, and so on. Johnny Superhero drummer Tuomas Lankinen contributed the drum tracks, and the band's bassist, Matti Vasanen, was responsible for trombone work on some tracks.

    Working on a shoe-string budget, Reikko recorded all of the music himself in his bedroom using GarageBand, two microphones and a Behringer mixer connected to a MacBook.

    "I wanted to [record] an album anyone could do...and show people you don't necessarily need expensive equipment or studios to make music," Reikko told IRC. "I somehow felt very devoted to a DIY attitude at the time."

    A friend, Eino Anttila, mixed the album's final tracks after hearing the demos on MySpace.

    The track, "At the End of the World," from the album was recently featured in major film in Finland, titled, Toinen Jalka Haudasta (One Foot From the Grave) and released as part of the film's official soundtrack, although it differs from the original track because, Reikko said, the producers wanted a "more commercial version."

    "At the End of the World" - Koria Kitten Riot from s/t debut (2009)

    "There wasn't a lot of resources in recording the album," Reikko told IRC. "Finishing the album took over a year - things often progress slowly when there's no money or corporations involved. But some songs just need to be recorded, otherwise they won't leave you alone."

    Among his influences, Reikko cites Elliott Smith, Neil Young, Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes, Nick Drake, Jon Auer, Damien Rice, The Flaming Lips, Regina Spektor, among others. Usually someone with that kind of list really knows his music.

    A full-length album titled, Homes, from Johnny Superhero is also in final mixing and mastering stages, Reikko said, and a KKR follow up album is in early stages of production.

    "The Wedding Waltz" - Koria Kitten Riot from s/t debut (2009)

    "4 AM Cars" - Koria Kitten Riot from s/t debut (2009)

    Koria Kitten Riot on MySpace

    Johnny Superhero on MySpace

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       February 11, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Artwork by Toang Wei Shang

    Two times fourteen. That's how we decided to do this year's Valentines playlist series - two playlists of 14 songs each. It takes two to love and Feb. 14 is the day. Sure, it's corny, but hell, we think we've put together a pair of mixes featuring songs you love, or might love for the first time, spanning the history of rock from the mid-1960s to some of the best indie rock of today.

    "Real Love" - Beach House from Teen Dream (2010)

    "Say Yes" - Elliott Smith from Either/Or (1997)

    "Book of Love" - Magnetic Fields from 69 Love Songs (1999)

    "Without Your Love" - Roger Daltrey from McVicar (1980)

    "Kissing The Lipless" - The Shins from Chutes Too Narrow (2003)

    "Our Last Time As One" - Essex Chanel from Love is Proximity (2009)

    "Something Better Beginning" - The Kinks from Kinda Kinks (1966)

    "It Looks Like Love" - Josh Rouse from Subtitulo (2006)

    "Throw Your Arms Around Me" (Jon Archer) - Neil Finn from Encore (1999)

    "Friday I'm in Love" - The Cure from Wish (1992)

    "So Long Marianne" - Leonard Cohen from The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1968)

    "Think I'm in Love" - Beck from The Information (2006)

    "As You Turn To Go" - The 6ths from Hyacinths & Thistles (2000)

    "Angela" - Bill Ricchini from Tonight I Burn Brightly (2005)

    Dont' miss the second Valentine mix that will be posted on Saturday, Feb. 13th. In the meantime, you can also check out last year's Valentines Playlist Mix.

    Don't forget to show your love for your favorite artists and bands by purchasing their music, going to their shows, snapping up some merchandise and telling your friends. All songs are displayed for promotional reasons only and are the sole property of their respective owners.

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       February 10, 2010    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    The Belgian band Showstar have a new album titled Think Ringo

    The new releases for 2010 are starting to pile up folks, so we'll have a new batch of songs ever Tuesday from all the latest, and greatest, releases.

    Showstar are from the small Belgian town of Huy, and are quite popular in their home country, France and the UK, and are still chipping away at building a strong North American following. Think Ringo was produced by Gareth Parton (The Go! Team, Foals, Pete And The Pirates) and recorded in London and Belgium. Showstar has previously opened for bands like The Rakes, The Thrills, Ash, Mogwai, The Charlatans, and Stereophonics. Think Ringo is available for pre-order now, and officially drops on Monday, Feb. 15th. We'll have another track from Showstar in our Valentine's playlist mixes later this week.

    "Gold Mine" - Showstar from Think Ringo

    "We Are the Residents of the Lost Club" - Showstar from Think Ringo

    Showstar Official website

    Showstar on MySpace

    New Releases from Yeasayer, Galactic, Hot Chip and More

    More great releases this week worth your money include Yeasayer, Vinca Minor, Galactic, Hot Chip, Shellshag, Pantah Du Prince, Drew Danburry, Puerto Muerto. We also have new songs from recent releases from Yours Til Death, FM Belfast, and Brother Gruesome.

    "Ambling Alp" - Yeasayer from Odd Blood
    Yeasayer on Secretly Canadian

    "Many Are Cold" - Drew Danburry from Goodnight Gary
    Drew Danburry on MySpace

    "Waves" - Vinca Minor from Isolation
    Vinca Minor on MySpace

    "One Life Stand" - Hot Chip from One Life Stand
    Hot Chip official website

    "Dark Water" - Galactic from Ya-Ka-May
    Galactic on MySpace

    "The Splendour" - Pantha Du Prince from Black Noise
    Pantha Du Prince on MySpace

    "Resilient Bastard" - Shellshag from Rumors in Disguise
    Shellshag on MySpace

    "Your Neighbor's Trampoline" - Raina Rose from When May Came
    Raina Rose website

    "Drumming for Pistols" - Puerto Muerto from s/t debut
    Puerto Muerto on MySpace

    Recent releases from Yours Til Death, Brothers Gruesome & FM Belfast

    The following are songs that were either sent to us late, or that we didn't have time to listen to and publish prior to the release date. First up, a double shot from the Silverlake (an area of LA east of Hollywood) band Yours Til Death. The band was the brainchild of singer/songwriter Adam Ross, who recently completed a world tour as guitarist for Rihanna. Ahhh, but don't worry, the band, which also features drummer Hayden Scott and bassist Dave Berg - are alternative rockers who can deliver a thrashing, forward-driving sound ("Cut and Paste"), as well as catchy, melodic ballads, such as on the track, "Look the Other Way." Following Yours Til Death is Iceland's popular electro-indie band, FM Belfast and OK City's relatively unknown Brother Gruesome.

    "Cut and Paste" - Yours Til Death from their Delivered EP - released Jan. 7th

    "Look The Other Way" - Yours Til Death from their Delivered EP

    "Par Avion" - FM Belfast from How to Make Friends - released Feb. 2nd
    FM Belfast on MySpace

    "Naked" - Brothers Gruesome from s/t EP - released Jan. 12th
    Brother Gruesome on MySpace

    More Posts/Playlists You Might Enjoy:

    Best New Releases of the Week: (2/2) Midlake, The Album Leaf, King of Prussia, Seth Augustus, The Heligoats and More

    Best New Releases This Week (1/26): Beach House, The Magnetic Fields, No Through Road, Woodpigeon, Retribution Gospel Choir, Citay, Boy Genius & More

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

    Artist of the Week: DIY Singer/Songwriter Brent Nettles

    Indie Record Label Spotlight: Standard Recording's Everthus The Deadbeats, Amo Joy, Everything, Now! and Big Big Car

    Band to Watch: Nashville's The Vermicious K'nids

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

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       February 9, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    What happens to a young, talented musician when he breaks from a major record label contract after being in a semi-famous band? Well, in the case of San Diego area singer/songwriter Brent Nettles, he went completely DIY, and in the process, created a collection of mesmerizing, heartfelt solo recordings that we are grateful to be the first major blog to review.

    After leaving Warner Brothers two years ago while a member of the band The Finalist, Nettles returned Houston from California, began putting his song lyrics to music. The results are nothing short of remarkable.

    While in Houston, Nettles found himself in an unplanned, three-day confinement in a makeshift studio with producer and friend Tyler Halford, recording a handful of songs that he had been working on for many months. Another friend, Jay Snider, later added drum tracks to some of the songs, and Taylor Johnson sat in on one track to play electric guitar.

    The result is an impressive two set EP of mostly acoustic, Americana songs about love, rivers, faith and soul-searching. Nettles' music is completely original, which, for him, was key after being exposed to the corporate side of the music world.

    "I write songs that are not all that polished, but are honest, and I want people to hear them...I'm not really 'trying to make it,'" he told IRC, and referring to his former contract with Warner Brothers, "I don't really want to tango with the devil again."

    "I'm not bitter or anything like that," he added. "I was young - 17 when we signed the deal. We made a record that was never put out, and they kept us under a contract for a while until we asked to be released because they didn't do anything for us."

    At just 22 years old, Nettles' down-to-earth outlook demonstrates a maturity and self-awareness that much older, "established" singer/songwriters we come across all of the time simply lack. He is curiously humble, and low-key, about his musical talents.

    "I have worked really hard, and been really honest with these tunes. I have never tried to do a big push, or done any marketing, not because I'm lazy, only because my music is so personal. I didn't know if anyone besides my friends would care to hear it. I have been, and I still am, a bit insecure about my music. There is a lot of fear that comes with being honest."

    No reason to fear; we think people will love this music, and be happy that it made its way from relative obscurity to be shared with a wider audience.

    The first song from Nettles that we heard was, "It Must Be Nice," a mellow, beautiful song that progresses along smoothly, marked by a simple acoustic guitar strum, well timed drum beats, piano and keyboard infusions, and touching vocals.

    "It Must be Nice" - Brent Nettles from Houston, Do You Read Me?

    In addition to delivering songs about love, Nettles also has an astonishing talent for writing authentic American songs, as evidenced on songs like "In The Garden" and "Back to the River."

    "Back to the River" - Brent Nettles from Hot Shoe Shuffle

    Remarkably, his first two DIY EPs - Houston, Do You Read Me? and Hot Shoe Shuffle - are available for free download via Bandcamp, and we strongly recommend downloading them, especially since there are great songs that we didn't include here (because we didn't think it was kosher to re-publish his entire existing discography).

    "I am kind of considering the two EPs I have out now as demos. Pretty soon I am going to make a full length record, and spend more time on it. I may have to ask a small amount of money for those recordings, only so I can eat. But who knows...God may provide a way for me create a really good product for free. I am a firm believer that you should give freely as you have been given."

    "Leave the Ground Dry" - Brent Nettles from Hot Shoe Shuffle

    Nettles has only performed a couple of shows as a solo artist at the E Street Cafe in San Diego, but said he would eventually like to go on a tour. "I would love to tour, " Nettles said. "I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford it in the near future. But I hope to one day. I love touring."

    Nettles lives with his wife in the San Diego suburb of Encinitas, and credits her with inspiring many of his songs. In our opinion, Brent Nettles is already well on his way - it's just a matter of more people hearing his music, and the inevitable progression that will come as he grows as a songwriter, vocalist and musician.

    Brent Nettles on MySpace

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       February 8, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Straight outta Nashville, The Vermicious K'nids, definitely do not come even close to fitting the stereotype of a Nashville band - there is no country in their music, and we're not complaining. Rather, the band delivers earnest, addictive pop woven with seductive indie rock.

    The band's sound has received many labels: key-heavy circus-rock experimentalists, "if Pavement, the Pixies, and Mic Jagger all had a baby"; power-pop, post-rock indie and so on. You will quickly find this band's music hard to categorize, but you can't help but jump up and dance

    "Dynomania" - The Vermicious K'nids from s/t debut (2009)

    "Away Oh Way Oh" - The Vermicious K'nids from s/t debut (2009)

    "Snake Bite, Part 2" - The Vermicious K'nids from s/t debut (2009)

    The Vermicious K'nids official website

    The Vermicious K'nids on MySpace

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       February 6, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Today we feature a number of relatively unknown bands from the Standard Recording label, a little known, small indie label with some big talent.

    Up first is the band Everthus The Deadbeats, followed by the whistling, skipping melodies of Amo Joy; "King Basement" from Thunderhawk's upcoming release, VI; the alt country rock of Kentucky Nightmare; the White Stripes-sounding garage rockers, Big Big Car; and, Everything Now's semi-sordid story of life in a trailer park.

    "Organic Mechanics" - Everthus The Deadbeats from John Kill & The Microscopic Lullaby

    "A Regal Tomorrow" - Amo Joy from The Sane Design

    "King Basement" - Thunderhawk from VI

    "Caroline & I" - Kentucky Nightmare from Take Her Favour

    "The Limestone Stomp" - Big Big Car from Limestone Throne/Kid Fight

    "I Live in a Trailer Park" - Everything, Now! from Police! Police!

    Get the Standard Recordings sampler in zip format for free, and check out the label's website.

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    Bands That Rock! Vol. II: Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers and Stockholm's The Legends

    Way Back Now, Vol. I: Trendmill Trackstar, Flipper and Ring of Truth


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       February 4, 2010    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Every once and a while we get word of an indie or alternative band that has returned to the studio following a long hiatus from recording. In some cases, they are reuniting to record a song, an album, perform a reunion show or go back on tour. Whether the motive to get back to the music is driven by money or art - or both - band reunions are something that always get people's attention.

    This particular playlist mix, Way Back Now, is all about bands who've returned after many years apart to make music again.

    After releasing their first indie album back in 1994, Columbia, South Carolinian band Treadmill Trackstar signed to Atlantic Records in 1996 only to be dropped following the release of one LP, Only This. The band toured the U.S. from 1991 until they lost their contract in 1998, at which time they went their separate ways to start families and pursue other interests.

    Then, in 2008, after a ten-year hiatus, the band reunited to begin work on their latest LP, I Belong to Me, released on January 1, 2010 via their own label - Your Name (Here) Records, funded with money raised from fans and other contributors.

    Trendmill Track Star has proven that a decade hiatus from recording together seems to have only enhanced their maturity and abilities as professional musicians, while still maintaining the edge and original sound that built their relatively small, but loyal, following from the early 1990's to their disbandment in 1998.

    Angelo Gianni, singer, songwriter and guitarist for TMTS, wrote in a recent email:

    "Some promotors asked us to get back together for a charity concert in 2007. After some serious grumbling... we did. We couldn't believe how fun it was to be playing music together again, so we thought it would be even more fun to make a new record! So we sent emails out to all of our old fans asking for money to record with, and suddenly we had 13 thousand dollars."

    We think the results are something that people who have never heard of the band - and those that might remember them from long ago - would enjoy.

    "I Belong To You" - Treadmill Trackstar from I Belong to Me (2010)

    "Hands Off" - Treadmill Trackstar from I Belong to Me (2010)

    Treadmill Trackstar official web site

    Treadmill Trackstar on MySpace

    The seminal punk/grunk 80's band Flipper returned in 2009 with their first new album - Love - in 16 years! Together with Love, the band also issued a live album, titled, Fight. Back in the early 1990's, Kurt Cobain was a Flipper fan, wearing a self-made Flipper T-shirt on the booklet photos of Nirvana's In Utero, and again during the band's first Saturday Night Live performance.

    During all of these years, the band has gone through a number of line-up changes. Founding member and original vocalist Ricky Williams was ditched by the band before they recorded their first record. In 1987, vocalist Will Shatter overdosed, and bass player John Dougherty overdosed in 1992, not to mention a number of other band members who returned or were replaced over the years.

    The track, "Good Child", features Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who also briefly toured with the band in 2008. Domino Records reissued four of the band's early albums in 2009.

    "Good Child" - Flipper from Love (2009)

    "Scentless Apprentice" (Nirvana) - Flipper from Smells Like Bleach, A Punk Tribute (2001)

    Flipper on MySpace


    The story of the post punk band Ring of Truth began decades ago when the legendary UK DJ John Peel enthusiastically debuted the single, 'The Horse' - "a small-town documentary set to a rock and roll backdrop," in the words of Everett True.

    Inextricably linked with Sound Archive Recordings, Ring of Truth returned all these years later with their 2009 debut album, Everything’s The Same But in a Different Place, a sonic journey from the fire of the Bowery and London art-punk though post-punk Manchester and Glasgow to post-millennial New York and Scottish angular diaspora.

    Everything’s The Same But in a Different Place contains all of the trappings that any post punk, John Peel fan could possibly want on one record. Matt Shimmer of Indieville, wrote: "The entirety of Everything's the Same But in a Different Place is an exercise in exuberant Brit-pop, with a clear eye for music of yore."

    "Well, I Walked" - Ring of Truth from Everything’s The Same But in a Different Place (2009)

    "Smile" - Ring of Truth from Everything’s The Same But in a Different Place (2009)

    "The Horse" - Ring of Truth, single release (1986)

    Ring of Truth on MySpace

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    The first installment of our new playlist series, Bands That Rock! was a huge success, introducing thousands of people worldwide to Lunaria and The Doups. There are many bands that we have lined up for this on-going series in the weeks and months to come, so if you are a rocker, you'll want to check back often.

    Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers deliver a wall of shoegaze noise, driven by big, aggressive guitar riffs, thunderous drumming and chunky bass playing, supported by the dark, loud vocals of singer and effects-pedal specialist, Oliver Ackermann.

    Last spring, the band signed to Mute Records, who released their sophomore LP, Exploding Head, this past summer. The band has just wrapped up a successful tour of Europe where they dazzled fans with their unrepenting energy and killer light shows.

    In Febuary, the band will play two shows in Australia before embarking on an extensive North American tour with fellow shoegaze rockers The Big Pink. The spring tour will kick off at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on March 10, 2010 and last through the end of April.

    "In Your Heart" - A Place to Bury Strangers from Exploding Head (2009)

    "To Fix The Gash in Your Head" - A Place to Bury Strangers from 10" single (2008)

    A Place to Bury Strangers on MySpace

    Back in June, we featured the Swedish band, The Legends. Since then, we've been listening to their other releases as well, including their break-through, widely-acclaimed debut LP, Up Against The Legends. and have some more songs from the band to share with you.

    The Legends' 2009 LP, Over and Over, featured the mini-hit, "Always The Same," featuring Liane Moccia from Tralala on lead vocals. The nine members of The Legends, hastily formed in 2003, belt out melodic power-pop with guitar and percussion driven white noise that has an energy and confidence similar to A Place to Bury Strangers.

    Although The Legends are difficult to place in one music genre, they readily admit to being strongly inspired by the Motown and C-86 genres, with a particular affinity for post punk trailblazers like Television Personalities and Comet Gain.

    The Legends are signed with one of our favorite European labels, Labrador Records, and in the U.S., they are distributed via Lakeside Records. The song, "When The Day Is Done," was featured in the official soundtrack of the film, Wicker Park, and their track, "The Kids Just Wanna Have Fun," was used by Nike to promote the 2006 ASEAN Football Championship.

    "Always The Same" - The Legends from Over and Over (2009)

    "Seconds Away" - The Legends from Over and Over (2009)

    "The Kids Just Wanna Have Fun" - The Legends from Up Against The Legends (2006)

    The Legends on MySpace

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       February 3, 2010    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Bella Union recording artist Midlake officially release their long-awaited 2010 album today, The Courage of Others. The band kicked off a three-month tour last week, and played to a sold out crowd Saturday night at Liverpool's The Willamson Tunnels. Midlake's tour will take them from the UK and throughout Europe through Feb. 18th.

    On March 1st, after a little more than a week off, the band will resume their 2010 winter tour in Tucson and jaunt up the west coast of the U.S. to Canada, then through the heartland with a final stop in their homebase of Denton, Texas on March 13th. After a month hiatus, Midlake will set out for a two-week long tour of Europe. No official word if the band will perform at SXSW, but it's possible, since they will not be out on tour during the south's biggest music event that takes place in Austin from March 17-21st.

    "Acts of Man" - Midlake from The Courage of Others
    Midlake official website

    Brooklyn band Bottle Up & Go have been rising on the indie rock radars in recent months, and no wonder. The band's 2009 EP, These Bones, is magnificent, and we're thrilled to share a new single with you all, produced and engineered by Jake Aron (Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer) and mastered by Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Black Dice, Obits) with Bear Hands' Val Loper on bass.

    Other new releases this week include new albums from The Album Leaf, King of Prussia, Seth Augustus, The Heligoats, and tracks from January releases that we missed, including LPs from Los Campesinos, The Tenant, Worker Bee and Oh No Ono.

    "Rather Be Dead" - Bottle Up & Go, single
    Bottle Up & Go on MySpace

    "Falling from the Sun" - The Album Leaf from A Chorus of Storytellers
    The Album Leaf official website

    "Waitin for Somethin'" - King of Prussia from The Time Of Great Forgetting
    King of Prussia on MySpace

    "Tiny Little Head" - Seth Augustus from To the Pouring Rain
    Seth Augustus official website

    "Fish Sticks" - The Heligoats from Goodness Gracious
    The Heligoats on MySpace

    January Releases We Missed:

    "The Sea is a Good Place to Think about the Future"
    - Los Campesinos from Romance is Boring - Jan. 26, 2010
    Los Campesinos official website

    "The Stranger" - The Tenant from Listening/Visitors - Jan. 5, 2010
    The Tenant on MySpace

    "No Dreams" - Worker Bee from Tangler - DIY on Jan. 11, 2010
    Worker Bee on MySpace

    "Old Soul" - Giant Cloud from Old Books EP - Jan. 19, 2010
    Giant Cloud on MySpace

    "Internet Warrior" - Oh No Ono from Eggs - Jan. 15, 2010
    Oh No Ono on MySpace

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       February 2, 2010    3 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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    Los Angeles folk pop band Family of the Year appeared on our radar in December, thanks to a friend who turned us on to their brilliant, and addictive, 2009 release, Songbook.

    The LP is one of those albums that you find yourself loving more and more with each spin, and that you go back to again and again. The band is now one of our favorite new bands, and definitely a band to watch in 2010.

    Family of the Year, who hail from LA's Silverlake area, a hilly region east of Hollywood, are not completely unknown in the world of music. They played four shows at New York's CMJ last fall, and toured the U.S. in a RV that they lovingly call Rosie. But it was the release of Songbook that really put them into a new category of prominence.

    Moreover, last September, conductor Keith Lockhart, and singer-songwriter Ben Folds, selected the LA folk pop band out of more than 650 applicants to open for Ben Folds’ performance with the Boston Pops on Friday, on October 2, 2009, at Symphony Hall in Boston.

    "Let's Go Down" - Family of the Year from Songbook (2009)

    There is some relevance to the band's name - it started as a project of brothers Joe Keefe (guitar and vocals) and Sebastian Keefe (drums and guitar), and Jamesy Buckey (guitar and engineer). The brothers, who grew up in Wales, first gained recognition on the local scene as part of the Martha’s Vineyard-based raw rock ensemble Unbusted. Not long after, they were featured in the Edgefest Cafe's broadcast on June 21 and 22, 2006, prior to the Boston Pops performances with My Morning Jacket.

    Family of the Year's assemble expanded with the addition of singer Vanessa Long, an Orange County, California native, and actor, whose feature films include XII, I’m On Fire, and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. Keyboardist Christina Schroeter, also from Orange County, is an entertainment public relations professional, and bassist Brent Freaney, hails from Long Beach, Mississippi. Contributing members include musicians Meredith Sheldon and Farley Glavin.

    Family of the Year's original name was Bogie Ogreton, but, at the urging of friends, family and their manager, they changed their name. Sebastian Keefe recently told Blast Magazine about the name change.

    "(Family of the Year) was nice-sounding, and we kind of evolved into a family, the six of us," Keefe explained. "We all live together in the same house and we all travel together … so it was kind of fitting."

    Keefe said the band's main influences - which are apparent listening to Songbook - are The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, Crosy, Stills, Nash and Young, and Bob Dylan.

    "Feel Good Track Of Rosemead" - Family of the Year from Songbook (2009)

    Mixing upbeat rhythms, sunny folk ballads, rich melodies, uplifting choruses, sweet pop harmonies, impressive story-telling, and even some dance beats, it's no wonder Family of the Year were chosen to open for Ben Folds and the Boston Pops.

    Because there are so many memorable, 'keeper' tracks on Songbook, it was quite a challenge to pick a few songs that stand out the most. We suspect that fans of the band who have listened to Songbook multiple times (and it's hard not to), face the same dilemma if asked to choose two or three favorite songs from the LP. Other standout tracks - and most songs on the LP are - include "Surprise," "No Good at Nothing," "Stupidland," and "Let's Be Honest."

    Family of the Year are selling their debut LP using the Radiohead model - basically name your price (minimum of $1). The CD version is $15 via their record label, Washashore Records.

    The band is performing tonight, February 1st, at the legendary Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.

    "Summer Girl" - Family of the Year from Songbook (2009)

    Family of the Year on MySpace

    Family of the Year on FaceBook

    Family of the Year on Twitter

    Here's a great interview with Sebastian from the blog, In Your Speakers.

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       February 1, 2010    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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