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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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As some of you probably know, Tuesdays are typically the big day of the week for new releases, and this week is no exception, featuring new stuff from Vampire Weekend, No Age, Devendar Banhart, The Clientele, Neon Indian, Spiral Beach, Le Loup, The Perms and many others. Today, Vampire Weekend made available a free MP3 titled "Horchata" off their upcoming sophomore album, Contra, due for release in early January 2010.

To everyone at San Francisco's 10th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (that also featured performances from Neko Case, Dr. Dog, Galactic, World Party and many other 'hardly bluegrass' artists and bands) this past weekend, thanks for the great time and special thanks to billionaire Warren Hellman, for the free, three-day festival in Golden Gate Park - it was amazing! Rolling Stone online is reporting that more people - some 500,000 - attended the SF fest - "more than Coachella, Lollapalooza and All Points West combined." We were also intrigued by San Francisco's own The Ferocious Few, a lo-fi, garage rock duo.

Up next for San Francisco area music lovers, The Treasure Island Festival on October 17 & 18, featuring The Flaming Lips, The Decemberists, Grizzly Bear, The Walkmen, MGMT, Beirut, Yo La Tengo and dozens more! IRC will be doing a pre-show feature and coverage from the festival (follow us on Twitter for more on that). Coming up this week, the first couple of batches for the Halloween indie music songs playlist series, more Rarely Heard Indie Songs and a special feature of In Dee Mail.

"Horchata" - Vampire Weekend from Contra (release date Jan. 2010) - link via Stereogum or download it at

Related: Limited Time Offer (as of 1:30pm PST): Get 3 free MP3s from The Very Best's new album, including track with Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig. No strings attached. Download at Or, purchase the album (it's a great LP, debuting today). Thanks to Green Owl Records, a label by musicians for musicians!

"You're a Target" - No Age from Losing Feeling EP (2009)

"Baby" - Devendra Banhart from What We Will Be (2009)

"Harvest Time" - The Clientele from Bonfires on the Heath (2009)

"Psychic Chasms" - Neon Indian from Psychic Chasms (2009)

"Domino" - Spiral Beach from The Only Real Thing (2009)

"Beach Town" - Le Loup from Family (2009)

"A Funeral Dressed as a Birthday" - We Are Willows from A Collection Of Sounds And Something Like the Plague (2009)

"Running Away" - The Perms from Keep You Up When You're Down (2009)

"I Hit Another Wall" - Tim Williams from Careful Love (2009)

"Repetition" - Willowz from Everyone (2009)

"I Got the Answer" - Supercluster from Waves (2009)

"Genesis 3:23" - The Mountain Goats from The Life of the World to Come (2009)

"Priestess" - Imaad Wasif from The Voidist (2009)

"Seven" - Sunny Day Real Estate from Diary from Remastered (2009)

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

"Your Mere Presence" - The Ams from The Release of An American Soul (2009)

"And Suddenly" - The School from Searching for the Now 6 (2009)

"Big Boom" - Windmill from Epcot Starfields (2009)

"Skin Orders" - Historics from Strategies for Apprehension (2009)

"Die Young" - The Danks from Are You Afraid of the Danks? (2009)


"Give It Back" - Evan Voytas

"White Light" - Sinkane

"Origami - Shai Erlichman

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New Indie Releases This Week: Why?, The Pains, The XX, Jack of Heart, Fool's Gold, The Mary Onettes & More

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   October 5, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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The new Vampire Weekend album, Contra, will be officially released on January 11th in the UK and January 12th in the US on XL Recordings.

Contra is the band's long-awaited follow-up release to their wildly popular 2008 debut album, Vampire Weekend. The band is easily one of the most popular 'indie' rock-pop bands of the past couple of years; they have skyrocketed to international fame thanks to their unique 'Soweto' style academic pop and a relentless flurry of mainstream media, music blog admiration, endless touring and various appearances on dozens of TV shows (including Saturday Night Live) and radio programs over the past year.

"White Sky" - Vampire Weekend from Contra (2010)

Here's an unplugged, informal version of "White Sky" by Vampire Weekend via My Taratata.

Here's the track listing for Contra:
1. Horchata
2. White Sky
3. Holiday
4. California English
5. Taxi Cab
6. Run
7. Cousins
8. Giving Up The Gun
9. Diplomat's Son
10 I Think Ur A Contra

Related Posts:

- Vampire Weekend Members Release New Musical Projects With Other Popular Indie Artists

- Vampire Weekend Offer Peek at New Album at San Francisco Easter Sunday Show

- More Vampire Weekend posts (some audio tracks have expired)

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   September 16, 2009    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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vampire weekend discovery border=
Chris Thomson, Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij,Chris Balo of VM (photo by Larry Busacca)

New York indie band Vampire Weekend have had quite a wild ride since their 2007 song "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" first won over music fans in the U.S. and U.K. Now, nearly two years since they appeared on the proverbial indie rock radar, the band has become one of the biggest buzz bands of the past 18 months, gracing the cover of Spin magazine, appearing on Saturday Night Live, and touring extensively to sold out crowds on three continents.

Vampire Weekend's unique blend of catchy indie pop with upbeat African influences - the band prefers to call it 'Upper West Side Soweto' - has made them extremely popular. But some other music fans dismiss the 'Vampire Weekend hype' arguing the band has only put out one album (their follow-up album is due out this fall).

While taking a break from Vampire Weekend, two of the band members have been working on other music projects. Keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij teamed up with Ra Ra Riot leader singer and friend Wes Miles - who began recording together back in 2005 - under the moniker Discovery. Their spectacular debut album, simply titled LP, was released earlier this month. LP oozes with electro pop and hi-fi sonic sounds, sounding at times like Kayne West meets Animal Collective meets Vampire Weekend.

So it is no surprise that Vampire Weekend vocalist Erza Koenig leads vocals on one of the album's best tracks, "Carby." Other highlight tracks include "Orange Shirt", "Osaka Loop Line" and "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend."

In a separate collaboration that has been making the rounds this week, Koening also steps in to sing on a new The Very Most song called "Warm Heart Of Africa".

"Osaka Loop Line" - Discovery from LP (2009)

"Warm Heart Of Africa" (featuring Erza Koenig) - The Very Best, '7 inch (2009)

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   July 30, 2009    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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We covered Vampire Weekend quite a bit since they burst onto the indie scene last year at this time. So, in the on-going series, More Best Indie Albums of 2008, here's to Vampire Weekend's wildly, and sometimes over-hyped, debut album.

It is rare for a new band to get so much coverage - from Rolling Stone to New York Times - from a debut album. Vampire Weekend came up with a fresh sound, some call it gimmicky (not I), that caught on. Within a few months they were the buzz band of early 2008. They've even been on Saturday Night Live which just propelled VW into another sphere of musical success.

The band's album debut is full of fun, upbeat songs with an underlying swasi-indie pop sound they are so known for. Songs like "A Punk", "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" and "Oxford Comma" made the album a big hit in 2008.

There is no doubt that we loved this album and the band's sound - even went to one of their shows in San Francisco - but over the year it became mundane. Now the pressure is really on these fellows from Brooklyn to come out with a solid follow-up to their popular break through debut.

"Ottoman" - Vampire Weekend available as a single only while awaiting word on when a new album is set for release. Interesting single and definitely a new sound.

So far as we can tell, there is only one relatively new song called "Ottoman" and is available for streaming on Vampire Weekend's MySpace page.

Listen to Vampire Weekend's DayTrotter Session from as early as October 2007, just a few months before their name and music exploded on the college radio and indie blogs.

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   February 27, 2009    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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With a catchy name and unique sound that combines indie rock-pop and Afro influences, New York's collegiate 'indie' sensation Vampire Weekend have managed to become one of the the hottest bands during the past two years, selling out shows, performing on Saturday Night Live and garnering a massive amount of buzz in the mainstream press and on countless music blogs.

But there are disadvantages of being so popular; there are music fans who absolutely love the band, and there are others who declare VW are vastly over-rated.

Live MP3: Vampire Weekend performing "M79" at SxSW 2008

Yet the soaring popularity of the band appears to be unabated. That can be a good and a bad thing, as we’ve seen so many times before. Nonetheless, I’d bet my Cadillac that many record labels are in a bidding war for these guys right now.

The band has toured relentlessly since early 2007, and there is no sign that they intend to take a break. In fact, VW are booked solid through the end of September when they will play at the famous Austin City Limits festival.

Here's Vampire Weekend's tour dates for the next four months. It seems as if they are playing nearly every music festival this summer, not just in the U.S., but worldwide:
If you'd like to see the band live, it is strongly recommended to get tickets once they go on sale, since tickets have regularly gone for double and triple the price on eBay and other third-party ticket auction sites.

One of the most interesting things about a band from New York City is that they have a number of songs about Massachusetts in their limited music repertoire ("Boston", "Ladies of Cambridge" and "Cape Cod Kawasa Kawasa")

The band describes their sound as “Upper West Side Soweto” - a reference to their early gigs playing at frat and literary parties for NYC social elites where people began to take notice of their unique blend of joyous indie rock infused with melodic Afro-beat rhythms.

Vampire Weekend's band members are Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson. The group derived their name from a college film project shortly after forming in 2006.

Their first release, the EP Mansford Roof, caught the attention of music critics, including The New York Times. Word spread quickly about Vampire Weekend's unique sound and lyrics (the track "Oxford Comma" refers to a comma use in a list of three items), buoyed by the band's self-released EPs, which they recorded in locations spanning their Columbia dorm rooms to a family barn.

The buzz around Vampire Weekend reached a feverish peak in 2007; that summer, the band embarked on a seemingly endless tour in 2007, made several appearances at that year's CMJ Music Marathon, and eventually signed with XL Records that fall.

Since then, Vampire Weekend has continued to grow in popularity, evidenced by the fact that most of their shows for this spring and summer have already been sold out.

Some worthwhile VW links, including audio and video performances:

Vampire Weekend: Fresh blood on campus - UK Telegraph

See more Vampire Weekend on IRC including a special and exclusive video performance shot at San Francisco's Rickshaw Stop show on Easter Sunday.

Streaming Video Session: Vampire Weekend live on KCRW

Webs: Vampire Weekend's official website and MySpace page.

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   May 15, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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The video above features Wolf Parade performing "This Heart's on Fire"

There's always too many indie rock articles and items of news and never enough time to write about them. So, as an antidote, IRC has come up with the 'linkstorm' concept to deliver to you the best in what's happening in the indie music world. Enjoy.

Akron, Ohio's The Black Keys cover 70's icon Captain Beefheart in the song "I'm Glad" (via Stereogum). Get the MP3 while you can because it could expire at any time.

Vampire Weekend: Fresh blood on campus - UK Telegraph - See more Vampire Weekend on IRC including special performance from San Francisco's Easter Sunday show.

Adaline transcends singer-songwriter label - The Vancouver Sun

Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic with fresh taste of success - Melbourne Herald Sun

Bands to Watch For - Spaces For Morning - Princeton Record Exchange Blog - View Spaces For Morning's MySpace page.

Son Lux's Ryan Lott - Remember Me—But, ah, Forget My Fate - The Brooklyn Rail

Broken Social Scene - Canadian Indie Rock Army on Stage - Turkish Daily News

Bonus: BSS's Brendan Canning will release his first solo effort on July 22, 2008.

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   May 8, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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It was another sold out, packed-to-capacity venue show at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco Easter Sunday as the sensation over the New York City indie pop band Vampire Weekend continues to grow unabated.

The following is a short video clip of the band jamming to the yet-unreleased song "Little Giant, with Rostam on guitar (by the way, Rostam is not Latino or 'Mexican'; he's Persian. Plus, I met him on Sunday and he doesn't look like that David kid on American Idol, ok?! I'm sure Rostam is sick of hearing that comparison.)

Vampire Weekend's signature brand of indie pop mixes reggae and hip hop sounds with songs about Cape Cod, garbage in New Jersey, mysterious people ("Blake"and "Walcott") and that damn "Oxford Comma". They are one of the few 'buzz bands' that demonstrates a genuine interest in their fans, as they made clear throughout their performance at the Rickshaw Stop.

Watch this fun video from the Vampire Weekend video (which the photo above was taken from) to see evidence of musical genius, but also more evidence that they are not letting their unprecedented success get to them too much.

Streaming Video Session: Vampire Weekend live on KCRW

Live MP3: Vampire Weekend performing M79 at SxSW 2008

Webs: Vampire Weekend's official website and MySpace page.

P.S. Did anyone else at the Vampire Weekend show at the Rickshaw Stop take photographs that have orbs in them? I don't know if it's a lighting or camera issue, but I have orbs on all my photos, but they did not appear at any other recent indoor, darken venue except here. Looking at some of these pictures you can see what clearly look to be one or more orbs moving around, so to me I just call it "Dancing with Orbs" (a new band name?).

Vampire Weekend Concert Tour Schedule through August 2008

Mar 19 2008 - 8:00P The Casbah (SOLD OUT) San Diego, California
Mar 20 2008 - 8:00P El Rey (SOLD OUT) Los Angeles, California
Mar 22 2008 - 8:00P The Independent (SOLD OUT) San Francisco, California
Mar 23 2008 - 8:00P Rickshaw Shop (SOLD OUT) San Francisco, California
Mar 25 2008 - 8:00P Doug Fir Lounge (SOLD OUT) Portland, Oregon
Mar 26 2008 - 8:00P Neumos (SOLD OUT) Seattle, Washington
Mar 27 2008 - 8:00P Richards on Richards (SOLD OUT) Vancouver, British Columbia
Mar 29 2008 - 8:00P The Badlander Missoula, Montana
Mar 30 2008 - 8:00P Neurolux Boise, Idaho
Mar 31 2008 - 8:00P In the Venue Salt Lake City, Utah
Apr 1 2008 - 8:00P Bluebird Theater Denver, Colorado
Apr 3 2008 - 8:00P The Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 4 2008 - 8:00P The High Noon Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 5 2008 - 8:00P Turner Hall Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Apr 6 2008 - 8:00P Metro (SOLD OUT) Chicago, Illinois
Apr 11 2008 - 8:00P Brown University Campus Green Providence, Rhode Island
Apr 25 2008 - 1:00P Coachella Indio, California
May 1 2008 - 8:00P Bistol Bierkeller Bristol, UK
May 2 2008 - 8:00P Birmingham Academy 2 (SOLD OUT) Birmingham, UK
May 3 2008 - 8:00P The Liquid Rooms Edinburgh, UK
May 4 2008 - 8:00P Oran Mor Glasgow, UK
May 6 2008 - 8:00P Northumbria University Newcastle, UK
May 7 2008 - 8:00P The Cockpit (SOLD OUT) Leeds, UK
May 8 2008 - 8:00P Manchester Academy 2 (SOLD OUT) Manchester, UK
May 9 2008 - 8:00P Camber Sands Minehead, UK
May 12 2008 - 8:00P Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth, UK
May 13 2008 - 8:00P Electric Ballroom (SOLD OUT) London, UK
May 15 2008 - 1:00P Brighton, UK
May 20 2008 MelkwegAmsterdam, Holland
Jun 7 2008 - 8:00P The SocialOrlando, Florida
Jun 8 2008 - 8:00P Cafe ElevenSt. Augustine, Florida
Jun 12 2008 - 1:00P BonnarooManchester, Tennessee
Aug 10 2008 Summer Sonic - OsakaOsaka, Japan

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   March 25, 2008    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Even before their 'big time' appearance on Saturday Night Live earlier this month, Vampire Weekend was one of the biggest new bands of 2008, if not the biggest new band of the year, at least as far as the 'buzz factor' goes.

Weeks leading up to the February release of their debut self-titled album on Beggar's Banquet, VW had captured the attention of bloggers, music critics and 'indie' fans, mostly due to their performances last year in concert, at music festivals and their Feb. 1st U.S. network debut on the David Letterman Show.

Vampire Weekend - Boston
Vampire Weekend - Walcott
Vampire Weekend - A-Punk

(Watch and listen to Vampire Weekend play a 40-minute session clicking the video further down the page)

Many fans were disappointed by VW's performance on SNL (the string section wasn't synced with the band). Even the full-length clips of Vampire Weekend performing on SNL have been removed from YouTube; however, they have reappeared on Stereogum.

But, really, you can forget about the SNL show. Without question, it is the band's 40-minute studio session on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic this past Valentine's Day that shows Vampire Weekend at their best. Not only that, but everyone watch it. This is one of the best things about the Internet.

Die-hard fans all around the world who have been unable to see Vampire Weekend in concert should really enjoy this session. It may be the closest many come to see the band in concert, and in some cases, even better.

During the 40-minute studio performance, Vampire Weekend's band members play almost every song from their debut album. The video and audio quality, and camera work, are superb (unlike most videos on YouTube) - no screaming, background noise or shakiness. See the set list below and some lyrics.

The first set of VW's KCRW February 14, 2008 studio session features, in order played, Mansun Roof, Oxford Comma, A-Punk, Cape Cod Kawassa Kawassa and Boston. Following the first set, there is a brief and wonderfully conducted interview with the band.

During the second set the guys play Bryn, Campus, I Stand Corrected, The Kids Don't Stand and M79.

View more Vampire Weekend lyrics at their official website.

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   March 18, 2008    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Current and upcoming releases (US dates)

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

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