Archive for the 'Fun!' Category

Jan 18 2012

Hezekiah Jones – Have You Seen Our New Fort?

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

Hezekiah Jones has been on my list of favorite artists for a couple years and consistently puts out fun, catchy albums that I find myself going back to on a regular basis. If you’ve been on the prowl for a new folk album, I highly recommend checking out their latest release, Have You Seen Our New Fort?.

You don’t have to listen long to discover that the band plays an insane number of lovable instruments, including piano, wurlitzer, glockenspiel, waterboards, trombone, flugelhorn, saxophone, and clarinet. I’ve long held the belief that every album out there would benefit from these aforementioned instruments, but few artists ever have taken me up on that. And those that have rarely make it sound as great as Hezekiah Jones does. A few of my favorite songs on Have You Seen Our New Fort?  include “Airplane Window,””Drawing Pictures,” and “Lift the Shadow From This Heart.”

Hezekiah Jones is based out of Philadelphia and has an interesting background. Frontman Raph Cutrufello was afraid of performing alone and would invite other local musicians up on stage to play with him. Before he knew it all these musicians learned the songs and more or less became part of the band. While there are a couple musicians who are now full-time members, there are over 15 artists who rotate in, giving it a very collective feel.

Two fun facts: 1) The band was named after Raph’s pet snail, which was named after a character in Joseph S. Newman’s poem, Black Cross (There’s a bootleg of Bob Dylan’s version of the poem that was playing when he brought the snail home). 2) Raph is left handed and learned to play guitar on a right handed guitar… so he just plays it upside down (These fun facts come to you thanks to Philly Venues‘ great interview).

Have You Seen Our New Fort? (2011):

Hezekiah Jones – Drawing Pictures (mp3)

Hezekiah Jones – Airplane Window (mp3)

Shaking Through Vol. 2 (brought to us by non-profit, Weathervane):

Hezekiah Jones – Borrowed Heart (mp3)

Facebook |Bandcamp | iTunes | Spotify | Yer Bird (label)

3 responses so far

Apr 29 2011

Welcome to Daytrotter

Published by under Chicago,Fun!,MP3's,Show Review,Video

Community is really important to us at IndieMuse, and I wanted to take a minute to feature one of our favorite websites that does a stellar job bringing together music lovers and keeping the independent community strong: Daytrotter.com.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Daytrotter is a recording studio/website run out of a small midwest town, along the Illinois/Iowa border, called Rock Island. Most local residents there are unaware that Daytrotter exists, and have absolutely no idea that amazing bands from around the world go out of their way to visit their small town to record a live, studio session (everything is recorded to analog tape and released for free digitally on Daytrotter’s website). Their studio, called the Horseshack, can be found on the third floor of an unmarked building, over a pizza joint, in an otherwise pretty dead downtown area that hovers over the Mississippi River (or sadly, sometimes under when the river floods).

We’re experiencing a time in the world where everything moves faster than it probably should, and it’s easy for a sense of community to get lost in the shuffle. The down-to-earth folks behind Daytrotter are a diamond in the rough in that regard, as they are on a mission to preserve culture just as much as they are to release great music.

For example, Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending Daytrotter’s 4th Barnstormer tour in the Chicago area. It’s a chance to see a handful of indie bands, such as Sondre Lerche and Hellogoodbye — who are mostly accustomed to playing loud, large clubs — play music in a small barn. This intimate environment is a complete, almost cleansing-like, change of pace for everyone involved. And the genuineness completely shines through.

Thanks to Daytrotter, I was able to be part of a gathering of true, respectful music lovers who just wanted to appreciate the moment.  I didn’t see the wave of smartphones documenting the event that I normally do at shows, and there was complete silence from the crowd as bands played. It was basically a rare opportunity for everyone to let their guard down and hang out for a couple of hours.

Maybe it’s the perspective that comes along with living in a small town, where the pace of life is a bit slower, that gives the guys (and girl) behind Daytrotter the ability to follow through on their vision so well. But the part that is truly inspiring for me is the way that they’ve been able to share those values with the world, and create and curate these bright spots for other people who are looking for the same things out of life. It leaves a lot of hope for what the future can bring.

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Sondre Lerche – Domino by sondrelerche


6 responses so far

Mar 07 2011

Happy Casimir Pulaski Day!

Published by under Fun!

As a Chicago based music blog, we feel it’s important to celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day — a holiday that mostly only Illinois residents (and really thorough Sufjan Stevens fans) know. Most people here actually have no idea who Pulaski was–and Sufjan’s song hardly addresses the issue, so we thought we would share these 5 fun facts from AOL News. Now if you’re ever on Jeopardy against Watson, and one of these questions comes up, you can totally kick its ass!

Happy Casimir Pulaski Day, everyone!!

Sufjan Stevens – Casimir Pulaski Day (mp3)

5 fun facts:

1. Polish war hero

From 1768 to 1771, Pulaski, who was born in Poland, fought against Russian and Prussian forces that were wielding enormous influence in Poland. But he was forced to leave Poland forever after being accused of plotting to assassinate the king of Poland.

2. Friend of Benjamin Franklin

After he fled Poland, Pulaski traveled to Turkey, then ended up in France. There, he came to know Benjamin Franklin and began to learn about the then-young American Revolutionary War. Pulaski, who had fought for Poland’s independence, was impressed by what Franklin described and decided to volunteer to help the American rebels. Franklin recommended him to George Washington

3. Brilliant military tactician

Pulaski headed to America to help with the war effort, where he took part in several battles. In the 1777 battle of Brandywine, he is believed to have saved George Washington’s life and uncovered a sneak attack by the British. His actions at Brandywine earned him a promotion to brigadier general. He was in charge of the first cavalry, giving him the nickname “Father of the American Cavalry.”

4. Killed on the battlefield

Pulaski once said, “I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.” Indeed, he did die for it, falling in battle in Savannah, Ga., in 1779. He was struck by cannon fire while riding on a horse.

5. An honorary American citizen

In 2009, Pulaski became just the seventh person to posthumously receive honorary American citizenship. He joins William Penn and Penn’s wife, fellow Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa and Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish man who helped save Jews during the Holocaust.

 

 

2 responses so far

Feb 09 2011

Sydney Wayser – The Colorful

Published by under Folk,Fun!,MP3's

If you’re a fan of Andrew Bird, Yann Tiersen, or Cat Power I highly recommend checking out multi-instrumental artist, Sydney Wayser.

I’ve been listening to her beautiful 2009 release, The Colorful, non-stop this week. With all the hand claps, banjo picking, whistling, and glockenspiel goodness the album offers, we once again see that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs hits it right on the mark. Nice work, Maslow.

A few of my favorite tracks on The Colorful include, “Lullaby,” “Banjo Bayou,” “La Di Da,” and “Oh The Places You’ll Go.” As a fan of Woody Allen’s classic movie, Annie Hall, I appreciate how one of the scenes was the inspiration of “La Di Da.” Wayser explains, “It was the scene on the rooftop after they meet at the tennis match… Diane Keaton gets embarrassed and doesn’t know what to say so she says ‘la di da’. It is this wonderfully awkward moment… and I feel like I have that moment a lot in my life.” Can I get a La Di Da to that?

Wayser is French-American and lives in New York (she’s originally from Los Angeles).  She’s only 24 years old, so we have lots to look forward to… and it sounds like she’ll be releasing a new album this year, called Bell Choir Coast. I’ll keep you posted!

The Colorful (2009):

Sydney Wayser – Lullaby (mp3)

Sydney Wayser – La Di Da (mp3)

SiteBandcamp (only $1!) | Daytrotter (2009)

6 responses so far

Jan 18 2011

Auditorium – Be Brave (2011)

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

As of today, you can grab a copy of Spencer Berger’s great debut album, Be Brave. Last year I featured Spencer on IndieMuse when he was recording under the name Field; however, because of the surprising number of bands with a similar name, he decided to switch the name over to Auditorium.

Berger’s voice makes Be Brave one of the most unique albums I’ve heard in the past few years. In my mind, I place his style somewhere between David Bowie and Flight of the Conchords. A few of my favorite tracks include “Sunday,””I’m the Enforcer,” “Saturday Soldier,” and “Oh, My Desperate Soul,” although really, this entire album is solid.

Spencer is based out of Los Angeles, and first made a name for himself as writer and actor of the SXSW Audience Award winning film, Skills Like This. If you’re in LA tonight (1/18) and want to attend the release party, you can find the details here. He plays with a live band, made up of Justin Hogan, Chris Littler, Elizabeth Berger (his sister), Daya Wolterstorff, and BK Etheridge.

And remember this little advice from Auditorium’s Spencer’s site: You don’t have to call Spencer “Auditorium” in real life. He’s not like The Edge. In fact, if you called him “Auditorium,” he’d politely tell you to stop.

Be Brave (2011):

Auditorium –  Sunday (mp3)

Auditorium – I’m the Enforcer (mp3)

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Site | iTunes

2 responses so far

Nov 15 2010

Hello Strangers!

Published by under Fun!,MP3's,Muse News

photo^: girl talk

What they said: http://sorry.coryarcangel.com/ …more music features coming soon :)

Also, a new Girl Talk album, All Day, released for free download today… if you’re into that kinda stuff.

Girl Talk – Oh No (mp3)

Site | or grab from Mediafire

Or if you’re not into that “Oh No,” the one from Noble Beast is always great.

Andrew Bird – Oh No (mp3)

No responses yet

Jul 05 2010

SNOWBABY- Summer, the Banshee EP

Published by under Folk,Fun!,Indie pop,MP3's,Video

I’ve been meaning to feature the New Brunswick, NJ based band, SNOWBABY, on IndieMuse ever since seeing them play a house show in Washington DC (that Ben Cooper of Radical Face headlined).

If you’ve been following IndieMuse for a while now, you know how much I love xylophone, flute, shakers, triangle, and all those completely underrated instruments.

SNOWBABY is the kind of band that does an amazing job filling those needs! They are lots of fun.  They even have a recorder (which makes them contenders for my band)!

Their music hasn’t really been mastered, as you will hear, but it definitely adds to that lo-fi homemade sound I like so much.

Summer, the Banshee EP:

SNOWBABY- Summer, the Banshee (mp3)

SNOWBABY- Forest Hymm / You’ll be Warned (mp3)

Myspace

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One response so far

Jun 25 2010

Brite Futures

Published by under Electronic,Fun!,Indie pop,MP3's,Video

A few years ago I was at Seattle’s Capital Hill Block Party, and heard Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head for the first time. They were one of the first bands to play, and I just happened to be at their stage beforehand to see who would be playing over the course of the day. When I saw their name at the top of the list, I looked over to my friend and boldly declared “I have absolutely no idea who this band is, but we need to find out, so help us God.”

Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the slightest. The band’s catchy synth-pop sound is somewhat similar to Passion Pit (they formed a while before Passion Pit, pshhh), and they are super quirky. For example, one of their songs, “Beard Lust,” is the essential manual to having a beard. They are from Seattle, so a lot of the people there were their friends (or familiar with their music), and it basically turned into a big, 45-minute, dance party.

Believe it or not, after four years, the band decided to change their name to Brite Futures. “Why would they change from such a glorious name,” you ask?

We chose our band name on a whim when we were still in high school, and “Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head” has seen us through an unexpectedly amazing four years. Our love affair with Natalie’s name was like a summer fling that lasted… and lasted… and lasted… But now it is summer once again, and time for a change. Also, it has recently come to our attention that our muse Ms. Portman is not so keen on us using her name in ours… Ultimately we are lovers, not fighters, and our mamas didn’t raise no fools, so we feel it is time to move forward with a new name. We are BRITE FUTURES.

To fully appreciate NPSH Brite Futures you NEED to watch this video.

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(mp3) Brite Futures – Dog Eared Summer

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (now known as Brite Futures)

Glistening Pleasure (2008):

(mp3) Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head – L.A. Noir

(mp3) Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head – Mouth Full of Bones

Site | Myspace

6 responses so far

May 17 2010

Scott Avett covers Bombadil

Published by under Covers,DC,Folk,Fun!,MP3's,Video

Bombadil is a favorite over at IndieMuse–their album Tarpits and Canyonlands was on my Top 10 list last year. Simply put, they are a band worthy of everyone’s ears. It’s criminal that more people haven’t heard their music.

Instead of listening to a nobody like me though–consider this! Avett brother, Scott, recently did a video cover of Bombadil’s song “Marriage.”  Last time I checked, The Avett Brovers don’t cover just anybody.

I still can’t decide what I like more: the band’s music or their photos. As you can see below, their CD travels the world asking friendly strangers to capture his adventures. Everytime it comes home to the band they share the photos with the world to see.

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(mp3) Bombadil – Honeymoon

(mp3) Bombadil – Marriage

SiteStore | iTunesMyspace

see more photos on Bombadil’s Facebook fan page.

2 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

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