Archive for the 'Experimental' Category

May 05 2010

Congratulations – Juice and Syrup

Published by under Experimental,Folk,Indie pop,MP3's

One of my friends recently introduced me to the Portland band, Congratulations. If you like Boy Least Likely To than you should check them out. They incorporate everything in their music that I dream to incorporate in my imaginary band one day: horns, xylophone, hamornies, hand claps… it doesn’t get much better than that.

Congratulations is made up of members from the former band, Eskimo and Sons. I’m still a little hazy on the details, but it sounds like the band decided to refocus their music and, therefore, changed band names. They were starting to attract a pretty loyal fan base as Eskimo and Sons, so it’s cool that they stayed true to their music and went with their hearts. Congratulations doesn’t have much music to their name yet, but their song “Juice and Syrup” and work in Eskimo and Sons has definitely made me excited for their debut. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks to Hallie for the rec. You should buy one of her hats on Etsy, they are awesome!

(mp3) Congratulations  - Juice and Syrup

(mp3) Eskimo and Sons – The Blizzard

Myspace | Brave Records

5 responses so far

Mar 30 2010

Hezekiah Jones – Come to Our Pool Party

Published by under Experimental,Folk,MP3's

I’ve spent quite a bit of time as of recent listening to Hezekiah Jones. For whatever reason I had never checked out their music, assuming they were an Israeli ska rap group or something of that nature (which is what I often default to when I don’t know a band). But turns out they actually make really great folk music!

I highly recommend Hezekiah Jones’ 2007 release, Come to Our Pool Party.  It contains super catchy folk melodies, including my personal favorites “Cupcakes for the Army,”"Knives of Summertime,” and “Rain-stars.”  There’s a lot of personality coming through Herekiah Jones’ music, which is one of the reasons why I really like them. The poetic lyrics are cleverly written and clearly the band isn’t afraid to experiment and have a little fun. Their debut, Hezekiah Says You’re A-Ok, is really solid as well.

Hezekiah Jones is based out of Philadelphia and is the brainchild of Raphael Cutrufello. He writes the songs and plays piano, guitar, rhodes piano, harmonica, melodica, slide whistle, vocals, pots and pans!, kazoo, xylophone, and accordion. Raphael is backed by a rotating group of friends, and if you look at it Myspace, you’ll see he has more bandmates than perhaps any artist in the history of music.

Come to Our Pool Party (2007):

(mp3) Hezekiah Jones – Cupcakes for the Army

(mp3) Hezekiah Jones – Knives of Summertime

site | CD Baby | Myspace

6 responses so far

Mar 29 2010

Ben Cooper is awesome

Published by under DC,Experimental,Folk,Fun!,MP3's

On Friday night, Ben Cooper (Radical Face/Electric President), played a house show in Washington DC.

It’s the start of a new “project” where instead of playing clubs, he just connects with his loyal fanbase and plays in cool places. While donations are accepted, he doesn’t charge a cover.

I probably get more mushy over this stuff than most people do, but things like this make me really, really happy. I’m not anti-capitalism,  but I think it’s telling that most of my fondest memories are things that I didn’t have to pay a luxury price for. Whether it’s just talking with a friend, taking a stroll through a park, or making an elaborate dinner (I don’t cook), these are the experiences that I really remember the next day. And I think most people feel the same way.  Sure, I’ve been to great shows before where I’ve paid a lot to get in, but I just think it’s awesome when the artist plays music for no other reason than for the love of sharing his/her music.

Of course, it’s not very sustainable for a musician to play free shows (Cooper told me that the van he had to rent just to get from Florida to DC ended up costing a ton of money… there is no way he broke even). But over the upcoming years, I really hope that with the expansion of technology, the independent community can organize and make things like this happen more frequently. In the meantime, keep up to date with Cooper’s site, as he’ll be adding more tour dates soon.

(mp3) Electric President – Science of Sound

(mp3) Radical Face – Welcome Home, Son

Site | Patients (another cool side project of Cooper’s) | MF (download the Patients album for free)

2 responses so far

Mar 02 2010

Pale White Moon – Call of The Wolf Peach (2010)

Published by under Experimental,Folk,MP3's

I’m in love with NPR, and in particular the podcasts “This American Life” and “Radiolab.” They should be mandatory listening, as far as I’m concerned. Apart from featuring incredible stories, and addressing fascinating questions, they also contain really, really good music. As you may know, “This American Life” recently became a TV series on Showtime (you can stream on Netflix!), and their soundtrack includes some music from the band, Pale White Moon. If you are a fan of instrumental music definitely check out the debut album that released today called, Call of The Wolf Peach.

Pale White Moon’s music has an elegant, baroque sound that I really enjoy. “Heirlooms” and Yann Tiersen-esque “Sir Basil Humphrey’s House Oh The Hill” are my two favorite tracks on the album. And believe it or not, the band was able to somehow pull off using cicadas as instruments in the song, “The Seven Year Cicadas!” It’s actually enjoyable to listen to and they get major points for quirkiness. Instead of buying a sound sample of cicadas, frontman, Doug Slawin, went around New Haven, Connecticut to record. Awesome.

I think the story behind this album is really cool. Instead of Pale White Moon being a band, it’s more of a collective started by  Slawin. He dedicated the album to his hometown of New Haven, CT and got various people around his community to contribute. Read more about Pale White Moon at the New Haven Register.

Call of The Wolf Peach (2010):

(mp3) Pale White Moon – Heirlooms

(mp3) Pale White Moon - Sir Basil Humphrey’s House On The Hill

Buy at MF (only $6!)| Myspace

One response so far

Mar 01 2010

Jordie Lane – Sleeping Patterns (2009)

Published by under Experimental,Folk,MP3's,Video

Jordie Lane’s music is one of the best kept secrets out there. Lane’s 2009 debut album, Sleeping Patterns, literally makes me want to go door to door and spread the goodness. His music and songwriting is beautiful and refreshing in every sense of the word.  Sleeping Patterns is a must hear for any music fan (especially recommended for fans of Wilco, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash).

One thing I love about the album is its diversity. Lane has a gift for connecting genres in a way that expands what I imagine is most listeners’ comfort zones. His album is influenced by folk, bluegrass, country, and other genres.  While his folk songs “I Could Die For You,” “The Day I Leave This Town,” and “War Rages On” are gems and most like the music I typically listen to, tracks such as “Fell Into Me” “Walking that Way,” and “John W. Thistle” are throwbacks to the 60s (“There Once Was Life to Come” is fantastic and brings Johnny Cash to mind). Lane’s music is extremely cultured and is a great homage to all the musicians who have helped us get where we are today in music.

It blows my mind that Jordie is only 25 years old, and wrote most of Sleeping Patterns when he was 21.  He is based out of Melbourne, Australia, and makes up one half of the duo Fireside Bellows, alongside Canadian songwriter, Tracy McNeil. He’s shared the stage with Neko Case and Cat Power, and it’s only a matter of time before his music spreads far and wide.

Sleeping Patterns (2009):

(mp3) Jordie Lane – I Could Die Looking At You

(mp3) Jordie Lane – Walking That Way

Myspace | Buy

YouTube Preview Image

One response so far

Feb 19 2010

Cuckoo Chaos – We Are From Deerplants (2010)

Published by under Experimental,Folk,MP3's

I’m really digging Cuckoo Chaos’ new EP, We Are from Deerplants. The band will be releasing their debut later in the year, and this is a sign of good things to come. If you’e a fan of Devendra Banhart, The Bowerbirds, or that general folk sound, I highly recommend checking them out.

My favorite track on the EP is “It’s Easy, Ya Know. ” It’s short and catchy, and among my favorite songs of the year. I’m also drawn to the tracks “Hymn Number Twelve,” and “Preparing for the Eternal Winter, We,” both of which creatively incorporate eerie, staticy voices to fully drive that lo-fi sound.  Overall, just a solid EP. Keep your eyes on Cuckoo Chaos.

Cuckoo Chaos is based out of San Diego, and is fronted by Scott Wheeler.

We Are From Deerplants EP (2010)

(mp3) Cuckoo Chaos – It’s Easy, Ya Know

(mp3) Cuckoo Chaos – Slowly Counting Down To Nothing

Myspace | iTunes

No responses yet

Feb 10 2010

Cuddle Magic – Picture (2010)

Published by under Boston,Experimental,Folk

If you’re a fan of large, multi-instrumental bands be sure to check out Cuddle Magic’s sophomore album, Picture. It just released yesterday, and includes some great tracks.

The ensemble is based out of New York and Philadelphia, and made up of  12 musicians, or more, at any given time (and a 3-foot plastic penguin). Their sound covers a wide range of genres, including folk, world, and avant-pop. The diversity won’t be for everyone, but it’s always interesting to see how bands craft their music with such a variety of instruments (strings, percussion, vibraphone, clarinet, keyboards, guitars, and a whole lot more). Several tracks I recommend include “Expectations,”"Anyone,”"One Useful Song,” and “Say When.”

I might need to take a breather in between, but here’s the current roster in the band: Alec Spigelman, Ashley Paul, Ben Davis, Bridget Kearney, Christopher McDonald, Cole Kamen-Green, Dave Flaherty, (inhale-exhale), Eric Lane, Kristin Slipp, Lucy Railton, Max Haft, and Mike Calarese. Many of them got their training from the New England Conservatory.

Picture (2010):

(mp3) Cuddle Magic – Expectations

(mp3) Cuddle Magic – Anyone

site | label | MF (IndieMuse’s new music store where artists keep all the proceeds, cause we love em)

One response so far

Dec 14 2009

Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) Contest Giveaway

Published by under Electronic,Experimental,MP3's,Tour

STS9

photo credit: Paul Addotta @ Red Rocks

I don’t listen to all that much electronica, but one band that I love seeing live is Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9). For those who aren’t familiar with the band, they are basically an electronica jam band that combines live instruments with samples. The first time I saw them perform was Bonnaroo 2007, and I’ve seen them live two times after that… each show being extremely rememberable.

Last Tuesday, the band released a new album Ad Explorata, and they will be going on a nationwide tour in early 2010. If they are rolling through your city, you should definitely check them out… it’s money well spent.

GIVEAWAY:

IndieMuse is taking part in an STS9 Giveaway were you can win some free stuff like an STS9 t-shirt, hat, or the new album. It’s not every day that you can win FREE stuff (right?), so you should take part in this!

Contest rules

In the comments below, write your location (i.e. Chicago, IL) and 3 of your favorite albums of 2009. We could pick the winner out of a hat, but that’s boring, so instead we are going to take out our big U.S. map and randomly point to somewhere. If your location is the closest, you win! And we will be giving away all three prizes separately, so there will be three lucky winners! We will pick the winners on Friday December 18th, so you basically have til the end of the week. And sincere apologies, but we can only ship prizes to the U.S.

Winner Update: So the whole map pointing thing turned out to be kinda a pain in the ass, cause I obviously picked places very close to the middle of two or three contestant locations and literally had to google map the number of miles… but I wanted to do this with integrity!

Winners: The shirt went to Tim (Columbus, OH), the hat went to Will (Atlanta, GA), and the CD went to Katie (Milwaukee, Wi). Thanks for participating!

(mp3) STS9 -Phoneme

official site

tour dates after the jump…

Continue Reading »

24 responses so far

Dec 09 2009

Lost In The Trees – All Alone In An Empty House

Published by under Alternative,Experimental,Folk,MP3's

lost in the trees

Chapel Hill, NC based, Lost in the Trees, is one of the most impressive groups making music today–I recommend them to fans of Bound Stems, Bombadil, Seabear, and Ratatat. The nine piece band has a diverse sound that incorporates a ton of instruments such as the violin, cello, piano, tuba, accordion, and pretty much every other instrument you can think of (even the ole’ glock!).

The music is composed by front man Ari Picker, and merges classical, folk, and other genres. Last year they released a fantastic debut album, All Alone in An Empty House. A few of my favorite songs off the album include “Fireplace,” “Song for the Painter,” “Love On My Side,” and “For Leah and Chloe.” “Mvt 1. Sketch” is also a gorgeous composition that classical fans will probably really dig. In many ways, Picker’s music also brings to mind some composers who I love like Yann Tiersen, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Jon Brion. Given he studied studied Film Music at Berklee, I could definitely see him doing some compositions for the big screen. Most of his tracks include vocals, but he actually has a great voice and some of the most thoughtful lyrics you’ll find out there.

Picker started composing music in 10th grade. After a few years of studying at Berklee, he moved back to North Carolina and got a group of local musicians together to help him move forward with songs he had been secretly composing over the years. He stated in an interview with GoUpstate that Lost in the Trees’ sound will likely evolve into a “classical opus” if they release another album. Picker wrote his first symphony last year and made it into a charitable project to give back to the community.

All Alone In an Empty House (2008):

(mp3) Lost In The Trees – Song for the Painter

(mp3) Lost In The Trees – Mvt 1. Sketch (classical goodness)

Time Taunts Me EP (2007):

(mp3) Lost In The Trees: Tall Trees (highly recommend)

(mp3) Lost In The Trees -Lost In the Snow

site | myspace | trekky (buy!)

No responses yet

Nov 02 2009

Bombadil – Tarpits and Canyonlands

Published by under Experimental,Folk,Fun!,MP3's

bombadil

I highly recommend checking out the band Bombadil. Their 2009 release Tarpits and Canyonlands hasn’t received all that much attention, which is really unfortunate given it’s one of my favorite albums of the year. I’m absolutely in love with the third track on the album, called “Honeymoon.” I would even go as far as saying that it’s my favorite track of the year. Its layered arrangements are gorgeous and seriously… it’ll blow your mind. Take a listen below.

Bombadil has a truly unique sound. It’s hard to classify them in a genre because their songs constantly evolve into something new. One second you can make the Neutral Milk Hotel connection. Next second,  Andrew Bird or the Minders. Perhaps with a dash of the Fleet Foxes.  Songs like “Sad Birthday” and “Honeymoon” have somewhat dark lyrics, but are among the most upbeat songs on the album. “Laurita” is sung in Spanish. The album is all over the place, and makes for one of the funnest concoction’s of the year. It’s pretty cool that the band and their label Ramseur (Avett Brothers) took the risk of putting this “multi-genred” album out. People might not like every song, but there’s definitely something here for everyone (at least on indie muse).

Bombadil is based out of Durham, NC, though they met while studying in Bolivia.  If you aren’t convinced that they’re a cool band yet, just take a look at their site where they pose their CD around the U.S. like Amelie does with the Garden gnome.

ameliegnomebombaldi rushmore

Tarpits and Canyonlands (2009):

(MP3) Bombadil – Honeymoon

(MP3) Bombadil – So Many Ways To Die

Site | Store | iTunes | Myspace

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