Archive for January, 2008

Jan 19 2008

Jeff Tweedy is the Man

Published by under MP3's,Muse News,Video

Or crazy. The fantastic blog Aquarium Drunkard just made me aware of the guys playing in 1985 before Uncle Tupelo, under the name The Primitives. Jeff Tweedy is playing the bass. He is also wearing a dress. Too bad he doesn’t still cross dress–it would make it a whole lot easier getting my hands on a pair of Wilco tickets for DC. It is fascinating seeing how Jeff Tweedy has evolved over the years. Through a lot of experimenting, he seems to have found his sound. The boys were just nominated for a Grammy for Sky Blue Sky, an award they most definitely deserve.

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Uncle Tupelo – Looking For A Way Out

Uncle Tupelo – Fatal Wound

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Jan 15 2008

New Track From Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Published by under MP3's

I listened to Broom a few days ago and I forgot how much I enjoyed their simple indie pop/rock. I’d post their new MP3 on here, but I have to give credit to Stereogum for premiering it.

I’ll let you read what they have to say about it.

They’ve seemed to have improved their recording quality and I agree with Stereogum in comparing them to Pinback but I also hear a little Ben Kweller in there as well.

Their new album Pershing is due in March

Some Older Tracks

MP3: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – I Am Warm + Powerful (from Broom)

MP3: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Half-Awake (Deb) (from Not Worth Fighting Single)

Go to their website!

Listen to more tracks at the Hype Machine!

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Jan 14 2008

Billy Bragg: “Jail Guitar Doors”

Published by under MP3's,Muse News

I was just recently made aware of Billy Bragg’s fascinating “Jail Guitar Doors” program. The initiative basically gives inmates musical instruments, with the idea that it will give them a hobby, other than, say, killing people. So far, the re-conviction rates of those who have participated in the program is only 10%-15%, opposed to the 61% national average in the UK. Truly impressive. Music plays a significant role in our lives, and our western society, including corporations, has done a relatively good job recognizing the importance of music in our over scheduled lives. I think we need to continue supporting music programs at public schools, and ensure that schools with less government funding have the necessary means to sustain these programs. Unfortunately, the schools with the least government funding are often in neighborhoods were crime is most persistent. Sure, the program may be a little expensive, but so is locking a person up for 80 years. This way, maybe we can help avoid needless crime, and perhaps even get a good band or two out of it. The Independent just recently covered a story on “Jail Guitar Doors,” and I highly recommend you read the article. When they interviewed Bragg he said:

I never ask the prisoners I meet why they are inside. When I’m with them, I’m dealing with them strictly as individuals. What they did to get themselves in here in the first place is none of my business. I don’t want to judge them on that, not least because they’ve been judged on it already – they’re banged up, aren’t they? And anyway, these instruments aren’t presents, they’re a challenge, a challenge for them to try to make something of themselves. My hope is that they will see this as an opportunity to take that first step on the path back to society.

I believe the program “Jail Guitar Doors” is only a UK run program. I am not personally knowledgeable about specific organizations in the US that have similar programs, but am sure they exist. If any one has any information, either for donating instruments to schools or prisons, or wherever, please leave a comment below– I will update the post. I care about this issue, not only because I think it’s important to help prevent crime, but also because I think everyone has the right to explore music, and their inner passion. I’m not particularly good at any instrument, but it’s not from a lack of opportunity. Right now, I play the guitar a little, and like playing, but over the years I have dabbled in the Saxophone, Piano, and Drums. If you are on this site you obviously have a deep passion for music as well. It’s just interesting to think about how lucky we all are, and question what would have happened if the musicians we treasure were born under different circumstances where they didn’t have access to instruments.

Mermaid Avenue:

Billy Bragg & Wilco – California Stars

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Jan 13 2008

Disc a Day: Week 2

Published by under Disc a Day,MP3's

January 7th

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Pavement – Brighten the Corners

MP3: Pavement – Shady Lane

MP3: Pavement – Starling of the Slipstream

January 8th

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Scout Niblett – This Fool Can Die Now

MP3: Scout Niblett – Kiss

MP3: Scout Niblett – River of No Return

January 9th

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Islands – Return to the Sea

MP3: Islands – Swans (Life After Death)

MP3: Islands – Rough Gem

January 10th

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Kind of Like Spitting – In the Red

MP3: Kind of Like Spitting – Aubergine

MP3: Kind of Like Spitting – Sheriff Ochs

January 11th

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Norfolk and Western – A Gilded Age

MP3: Norfolk and Western – Porch Destruction
MP3: Norfolk and Western – We Were All Saints

January 12th

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Lightspeed Champion – Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

MP3: Lightspeed Champion – Galaxy of the Lost
MP3: Lightspeed Champion – Dry Lips

January 13th

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Tunng – Good Arrows

MP3: Tunng – Bullets
MP3: Tunng – String

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Jan 13 2008

Awesomely Awesome Tapes From Africa…

Published by under MP3's

First off, I’m not really sure where this site stands, legally, but I’m going to tell you why Awesome Tapes From Africa is more important as a device for the globalization of music than any of us give credit for.

On one side, the ATfA plays a game we know well and good in the blog word. It is a “Full Album Blog” that posts all the tracks from various tapes and albums from that continent across the Atlantic (Ghana, especially). The B-side is a much interesting story. Awesome Tapes From Africa isn’t just another blog that helps the listener bypass the economics of the music industry and “steal” their favorite artists’ music, it’s great publicity for the creator and mind expansion for the usual blog-savvy community.

The artists featured are some of the biggest names around as well as some lesser. Many of the artists featured on the blog would never be heard, never have been heard or at least found it extremely difficult to make their names familiar to a western civilization that holds most of the power in deciding what trends, musical or otherwise, will catch on globally. Musically, African music is ridiculously diverse and original with each group representing strong values and intent–each region yielding a new and particular sound. Our concept of time-signature, key, tempo and very well our entire musical system is only one style to some of these artists. Almost always fusing their traditional (and sometimes extremely local) sound with something that hails to a much greater concept of popular music ends with some of the most lush and complex as well as simple and effective music I’ve heard in a long time. We forget there is a world out there…

In America, a completely networked system, we can obviously spot the difference between East Coast and West Coast rap or share our thoughts on pre- and post-Nirvana grunge bands in Seattle during the 90’s. It is a well documented musicology. So while we have LA, NYC, Miami, Austin, Seattle, Chicago, etc. each with its own musical style and history, then how can we group all of Africa into one stereotypical genre in our minds? We must explore and never has the simple blog community had the chance to open doors this way. This morning I sampled rap from all around the continent. I even found music from my homeland of Kenya. Now, in some small way, I can stay connected and learn about a culture by virtue of spending time with albums from the artists that are popular and influential there. Here are some favorites:

MP3: Wakimbizi – “Hallo Hallo (Radio Edit)” from Nairobi, Kenya

MP3: Mah Damba – “Sosoly” from Mali

MP3: Alhassan Ibrahim – “Zuu Mahamu Akonsi” from Northern Ghana

MP3:  Yoro Diallo – “Kobê Wati Yé” from Mali

Now, I’m not saying that this is the only way to explore the music of the world. In fact, I’d like to find out more about other systems. Finding the sound that shakes you to the core is certainly not impossible, it is a humble joy. And hopefully, with a keener interest in the music of the world, we can expand our interest in the fuel behind the music… the current events. Remember… every city (and every village) has news, even on a slow day.

There is much more to be had at the awesome Awesome Tapes from Africa.

Also, feel free to share your favorite world music. I’m down for everything.

One response so far

Jan 13 2008

Some Indie Muse Shenanigans + Recaps

Published by under MP3's,Muse News

Hello everyone,

So I have a few things I would like to quickly bring up. The first thing is irrelevant to most of you, the second is a favor I need to ask of you. The third is “the best of Indie Muse”–Mp3’s that hopefully you will like. Indiemuse.com has been here for a while, but some of you are newcomers. For those of you who don’t have time to go through all of my first band posts, I want to aggregate some of the Mp3’s so you can have a listen. If they are on this site, it means we endorse them. We don’t post for quantity–we post for quality. We want Indie Muse to be a place where you can come if you have similar music tastes, and find music that you will hopefully like. We aren’t hot shots who think we are so cool or more “expert” than you in regards to independent music, because we run a music blog. We simply love music and want to share our tastes.

1) If anyone has extra Wilco tickets for either night (February 26 or 27th) at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, please let me know. Those of you who have visited the site before know Wilco is my favorite band, and I’ve been following them in Chicago for a long time. I still haven’t washed my hands since shaking one of them with Jeff Tweedy, while he sang “Hummingbird.” But yeah, getting tickets has been a disaster. I won’t bore you with the details.

Wilco -  More Like The Moon 

Wilco – Radio Cure (live-kicking the television)–brilliance at its finest. This live version makes me want to weep. I can’t believe I missed this show in Chicago. Please, if you have extra DC tickets I can purchase. You will be my savior.

2) Musicfloss.com. Do you like the domain name? Not as a replacement domain for this blog, but for a little music website I’m working on. I can tell you a little bit more about it later. But the domain name..if you can offer any feedback, it would be greatly appreciated. Your opinion really matters to me here. Don’t worry, it’s not a site that sells dental floss that plays music, although that would be a good idea. I just want to know if it’s catchy, easy to remember..non-offensive. Thank you in advance for your help.

3) Like I stated earlier in this post, I like every song we put on Indie Muse. But these five are some of my older favorites..and I posted them back in 2006, when I first started the blog. Expect more “recaps” in the upcoming weeks. If there is an artist that you like here, type their name into our search on the left hand sidebar to see the original post.

Gary Jules – No Poetry

The Weepies -Gotta Have You

The Scourge of the Sea – Waterwings

Jeremy Messersmith – Beautiful Children

Ugly Casanova – Hotcha Girls

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Jan 12 2008

Radiohead – Scotch Mist [Full Current.tv Performance]

Published by under Video

Here’s the full-hour of Radiohead’s Scotch Mist shown on New Years Eve on Current.TV. It’s just about as intimate as you could get with a live performance, so enjoy it. Grab some popcorn. A glass of water. A bong. Whatever…

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More info on: Radiohead | Current

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Jan 12 2008

Song of the Day – 1/12/07 + THE GLORY OF THE PACKERS!

Published by under MP3's,Song of the Day,Video

A few weeks ago I got an album by The Bad Plus from a friend of mine. I didn’t catch too much from them but had heard things like their cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and ended up writing them off as a novelty thing, although great jazz musicians. Later I was searching my dad’s CD collection and stumbled on 4 volumes of NPR’s All Songs Considered. Somewhere in there I heard your song of the day for January 12th, 2008.

MP3: The Bad Plus – “The Big Eater”

The Bad Plus are a group of midwesterners, the bassist and drummer growing up in Minnesota and the pianist hailing from the great state of Wisconsin. Mixing rock, experimental and especially jazz theory into a volatile mix like this yielded amazing originality and success for the three. I had the honor of listening to three of their albums today and, while I decided my favorite was 2003’s These Are The Vistas, each one holds its own. Their songs are all truly small adventures–always keeping the listener guessing what will come next. Like a slightly less experimental and more traditional MMW, The Bad Plus gets creative and taps at the often overlooked “Contemporary Jazz” genre. I will forever have a special place in my music collection for these guys.

MP3: The Bad Plus – “Keep the Bugs Off Your Glass and Bears…”

MP3: The Bad Plus – “1972 Bronze Medalist” (awesome)

MP3: The Bad Plus – “Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana Cover)”

The Bad Plus: Home | MySpace | iTunes | Amazon

Here’s them doing a cover of Aphex Twin’s “Flim”:

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Jan 11 2008

Hayden – In Field & Town

Published by under MP3's

I credit Hayden as being one of the first musicians who really got me into the genre of music that you see on Indie Muse today. Back in the day, his song “Dynamite Walls ” on the 2001 release, Skyscraper National Park, was included on my then, brand new Dell desktop. I remember it like it was yesterday; it was an exciting day for me. I opened up Music Match (whatever happened to them?), and voilà –there were a few free songs. The second “Dynamite Walls” hit my Harmon Kadron speakers, I was hooked. On January 15, Hayden is releasing his first album in almost four years, In Field & Town. I can’t wait for the release, and if you pre-order the album this week via iTunes, you will receive the exclusive bonus track, “Disappear.” After listening to the new track “Where and When,” I can tell that this album has a lot of potential–let’s hope the rest is just as good and gets Hayden the attention he has deserved for a long time.

Here is his Bio:

“Hayden Desser is a Toronto based musician. He began recording on a 4 – Track in the early 1990’s. After a few singles and cassettes, his first full length record was released in 1995. Everything I Long For marked the beginning of a 13 year cycle of recording, touring and lots of time off.”

Discography:

1995 – Everything I Long For
1996 – Moving Careful (EP)
1998 – The Closer I Get
2001 – Skyscraper National Park
2002 – Live at Convocation Hall
2004 – Elk-Lake Serenade
2008 – In Field & Town

Hayden is on Tour in Canada, so if you are a friend up North, be sure to check out the dates. I’ll be sure to follow-up as soon as I’ve heard the album in its entirety. Hero Hill, a music blog I recommend you check out, has a good review on the album.

In Field & Town (2008)

Hayden – Where and When

Elk-Lake Serenade (2004)

Hayden – Home By Saturday

Hayden – Woody

Skyscraper National Park (2001)

Hayden – Dynamite Walls

Site| iTunes | Myspace| Music Videos

4 responses so far

Jan 11 2008

Trax Fer Yr iPod

Published by under MP3's

And movies for your face…

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – “The Owl”

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Lightspeed Champion – “Galaxy of the Lost”

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Radiohead – “Bodysnatchers” (Live)

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Have a nice weekend, all…

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