WVAU: The Indie Muse Show


Just wanted to let you guys know that Chris and I will be starting our radio show up again today at WVAU.org. We’ll be on at 2-4 EST. Click the picture above to stream. If you are ready for some great music and awkward air breaks, please tune in. Thanks!


As a special treat, here’s the first song we’ll be playing.

Passion Pit -  Sleepy Head


The New Year – “Folios”

The past few weeks, I’ve been frequenting “Folio,” the first track on The New Year’s self-titled album which releases September 9th. I love the instrumentals in this song. The band reminds me a lot of John Vanderslice,  Midlake, and Beulah.

Prior to forming in 1999, The New Year were the Bedhead. The band is comprised of Matt and Bubba Kadane, Peter Schmidt, Mike Donofio, and Chris Brokaw. They are located in various areas across the US and make music by sending each other tapes, and by meeting up for recordings and tours. Matt and Bubba Kadane (who live in Ithaca, NY and Dallas, TX respectfully) intended to be a duo, but asked their longtime friends to help support them on tour, and they gradually became part of The New Year. This album is going to be The New Year’s first release in four years, and they will be supporting the album on a US and Europe tour.

Self-Titled (September 9, 2008)

The New Year – Folios

Site | Myspace

Why Michael Ian Black Hates Whatever Music You Like

Michael Ian Black (Stella, Best Week Ever, Sierra Mist spokesman) is one of the funniest comedians. Ever. I read a post about music on his blog yesterday and I thought I’d share it with you.

People ask me all the time “what kind of music I’m into.” I hate this question because what they’re really asking is, “Are you as cool as me?” I can answer right now. No. No I’m not. No, I’m not into that twee British act you read about it in Gravesitter or Thunderfuck or Quiznuts or whatever obscure music magazine you read. No, I didn’t go to the Bohemian Shithead concert the other night in Williamsburg. No, I’ve never heard of them, and no I don’t want you to burn me a CD of their “amazing new album.”

What’s on my iPod? Your dick.

Asking somebody what kind of music they’re into is exactly the same as asking them what their sign is, an attempt to discern something meaningful from the meaningless. What possible difference does it make? What are you going to learn from me if I tell you I like U2? That I’m into debt relief?

And there’s just no good answer. Turning the situation around, if I ask somebody the same question, here’s what I’m thinking based on their answer:

Jazz – douchebag
Classical – douchebag
Metal – douchebag
Country – douchebag
Rap – douchebag
Pop – douchebag
Classic Rock – douchebag
Christian Rock – douchebag
Alternative Rock – JUST LIKE ME!!!

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Death Vessel – Nothing Is Precious Enough For Us (2008)

Over the past few weeks I’ve been listening to Death Vessel’s newly released sophomore album, Nothing Is Precious Enough For Us. It’s been growing a lot on me, and I see myself listening to this when in need of a chill folk album. If you like Iron and Wine, Anthony and the Johnsons, or the Fruit Bats, you might like Death Vessel.

Several of my favorite tracks on the album include the opening track “Block My Eye,” “Bruno’s Torso,”  “Circa,” and “Obadiah in Oblivion.” Believe it or not, those vocals you hear are those of a guy, specifically Joel Thibodeau. I’m confident that I’m not the only one who originally thought the high falsetto had to be a female singer.

Death Vessel is based in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2006, they signed to Sub Pop, after releasing their debut album in 2005, Stay Close. While Thibodeau is pretty much the brains behind Death Vessel, he has plenty of support. Starting in last August, Death Vessel will be going on a lengthy US tour, check the dates below.

Nothing Is Precious Enough For Us (2008):

Death Vessel – Block My Eye

Death Vessel – Circa

Stay Close (2005):

Death Vessel – Deep In The Horchata

Death Vessel – Mandan Dink

 Site| Amazon | iTunes | Myspace

Song of the Day – 8/22/08


Being in a band is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when you’re young. It can seem stupid and foolish to pursue something with such vigor and intensity knowing well and good that you could fail at any moment. Regardless, one must accept that their innate connection to the art will keep them satisfied and must remember where it comes from. With years of practice, you can finally come out of your cave and share your work with the world–and hope that that child-like energy isn’t gone. But how can you be certain? Thus a band is born in tension, irony, anxiousness and excitement.

Today I listened to an album by New York’s Ravens & Chimes. A group of wonderful musicians who fight against the all-too-common outcome of a band losing track of what’s really important. These are people truly singing of what they know and are well aware of what they tend to project. I’m a sucker for layering, and these guys layer themselves musically as well as poetically. The results could not be a finer debut album–one full of peaks and valleys but is all tied together by a sense of proud urgency. I haven’t taken a lot of time to get into the album, Reichenbach Falls, but I will tell you, after my first listen I’ve had numerous hooks and imagery stuck in my head.

It’s a grunge at times–at others it’s a folk explosion. In an attempt to disassociate with the tendency to simply describe an artist in terms of others, I suggest you take these beautiful pop songs as they are. If you are interested in these emotion behind these tracks, you will love their album. Buy it. Now.

Today’s SotD were two chosen at random. Almost every song on this album has some truly fine quality and to decide on a definitive description would be unfortunate for the creative and talented members of this band. Please, let me know what you think. It’s been a little while since I had the time to listen to music, so I’m excited to get back to it.

MP3: Ravens and Chimes – “Far Away Sound of Cars”

MP3: Ravens and Chimes – “Saint Jude in the Village Voice”

MP3: Ravens and Chimes – “…and I Came Upon It in the Clearing”

Home | MySpace | Hype Machine | Better Looking Records

Support this band: Amazon | iTunes | InSound | Better Looking Records

Check out this beautiful intimate performance on Brightest Young Things: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQACN9TMTRE[/youtube] Awesome.

Muxtape vs. The RIAA (and what we can learn)


This week Muxtape shut down indefinitely due to conflicts with the RIAA. Muxtape is a simple service that allowed users to upload music and make mixtapes that were easily sharable. It was a great way to find new music, and by only allowing users to stream mp3s, many purchased music they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Users knew that the site was in jeopardy of being shut down due to obvious copyright conflicts, but its death is not going to help record sales. It’s an interesting issue that is not as black or white as either side makes it out to be. The music industry, and consumers, would benefit from understanding two realities:

1) If a musician doesn’t blow off their label, fans shouldn’t either.

2) A compromise needs to be reached that will work in favor of labels, bands, and fans. This is achievable with a basic approach. 

Addressing the first issue:

Sure, bands have other ways of making money, like touring, and yes, they don’t make as much money from their record sales as they should. At the same time, though, consumers need to understand that no one is forcing bands to sign into this marriage. Labels invest time and money into their artists, and without their marketing, the band might  have remained under your radar. If there is a band that you really like, there is no excuse for not buying their music, other than not wanting to cough up the money (like other art forms which are nearly impossible to steal, i.e. paintings).

Which leads to issue two:

The RIAA’s refusal to let listeners hear full songs before purchasing them is like an art gallery only allowing a buyer to see a third of a painting. People are forced to make up their minds after listening to a short preview of a song or hearing it once on the radio. To me, that seems like an unreasonable expectation.

A compromise needs to be found.

For example, imagine if a site like Muxtape allowed you to stream one-hundred songs in their entirety for every one song you purchased digitally via an iTunes or Amazon affiliate link. Users could fully utilize the service of Muxtape with a reasonable assumption that they will really like at least 1 out of 100 songs that they previewed. If they didn’t like any of the songs, would Muxtape really be a valuable service for them anyway?

A process like this would guarantee revenue for the music industry, a music store, and Muxtape–as well as satisfy users’ needs. There will be users out there who complain and say that they like to buy a physical album, but hey, that’s all part of the compromise–look at it as a small (.89-.99) fee for a great service. 

Instead of taking an approach like this, the RIAA tries to cut off these useful services like Muxtape and Pandora, which won’t help promote music at all, and is a lose/lose for everyone. It also leads to more piracy. I don’t expect the RIAA to understand this concept, because after all, that isn’t really their job. However, musicians and record labels must take more of an initiative before they allow the RIAA’s practices to bury their music. 


With a little forward thinking, it doesn’t have to be good vs. evil.


The Ruby Suns- Sea Lion


January started off the year nicely with New Zealand’s The Ruby Suns release of Sea Lion, their second LP, on Sub Pop. The album is a dreamy mix of acoustic driven indie pop anthems and intimate folksy pieces. “Tane Mahuta” is undeniably catchy with its choir vocals and upbeat rhythms while “Kenya Dig It?” sounds like a glossy mix between Grizzly Bear, Beach House and Caribou track with its atmospheric dancing flutes, floating keys and punching bassline. The impossible-to-not-like “Oh, Mojave” is a thumping folksy romp reminiscent of something from Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs. Sea Lion is a delightful trip that creates an amazing atmosphere and is surely not an album to be missed in 2008.


mp3: “Oh, Mojave”
mp3: “Kenya Dig It?”


Paul Mawhinney on Records, Legacy and the State of Music Today.

[vimeo 1546186]

By: Very Ape Productions

I heard about this when it was first publicized… to realize nobody wants this is very sad.

We do a lot with digital tracks these days. This blog wouldn’t be possible without it. However, if you haven’t truly invested vinyl I suggest you take the time. Maybe you never really realized how good it can be. In the past months, I’ve been turned onto it and I can safely say that  physical, analog interaction with sound multiplies your appreciation tenfold.

Roommate – We Were Enchanted (2008)


Over the past few weeks I’ve been listening on and off to Roommate’s 2008 release, We Were Enchanted.  The album is a little on the darker side, and reminds me somewhat of John Vanderslice’s albums, such as Time Travel is Lonely and Emerald City. Both artists give off a paranoid feeling at times, but Roommate is even more eerie.

Truthfully, I’m a bigger fan of their lighter toned songs like “Day After” (half way through)  and “Night (Rhombus Cover).” Some of the songs that are more rigid are less appealing to me, similar to how I feel about some of Vanderslice’s work, but overall I would still recommend you check out the album.

Kent Lambert originally started Roommate as a solo-project in 2000, and after moving from Iowa City to New York, recorded an EP, Celebs. Soon after 9/11 he relocated to Chicago, and has been there ever since. In 2004, Lambert formed a live band with a variety of members–you can see the list on their Myspace. Members of the live band change based on availability, playing instruments such as musical saw, banjo, violin, theremin, Buchla Music Box, and bassoon, as well as hand percussion and traditional rock instruments.

For more on the band and recording check out Chicago Reader.

We Were Enchanted (2008):

Roommate – Night (Rhombus Cover) – This doesn’t represent rest of band’s music.
Roommate – Day After (wait through intro)

Songs The Animals Taught Us (2005; re-released 2006):

Roommate – Tuesday

 Site | Amazon | iTunes | Myspace


Emerald City (2007):

John Vanderslice – Kookaburra 

TV On The Radio Announce New Album, Tour


Brooklyn post punk phenomenons TV On The Radio have announced that they will release a new album entitled Dear Science on September 23rd via Interscope Records. The album is the highly anticipated follow up to 2006’s Return To Cookie Mountain, an album that was named one of the best albums of the year by SPIN Magazine and Pitchfork Media to name a few. Following the release of Dear Science, the band will embark on a national tour with openers The Dirtybombs. I got a chance to see TV On The Radio this summer on the Outernational Music Tour and they put on one of the greatest shows I have ever witnessed. They didn’t play any new material which surprised me but given the band’s repertoire, I think Dear Science will be a contender for the album of the year. So pick up Dear Science on September 23rd and catch the band if they come near your area, you won’t be disappointed.


Fri/Oct-10 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Sat/Oct-11 Providence, RI Lupos
Mon/Oct-13 Boston, MA Wilbur Theatre
Tue/Oct-14 New York, NY Brooklyn Masonic Temple
Wed/Oct-15 New York, NY Brooklyn Masonic Temple
Sat/Oct-18 Cincinnati, OH Bogarts
Sun/Oct-19 Indianapolis, IN Vogue Theatre
Mon/Oct-20 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue (2 Show Offer)
Tue/Oct-21 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Wed/Oct-22 Chicago, IL Riv
Fri/Oct-24 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Festival
Sat/Oct-25 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
Sun/Oct-26 Knoxville, TN Bijou Theatre
Tue/Oct-28 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theater
Thu/Oct-30 Austin, TX Stubbs
Fri/Oct-31 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
Sun/Nov-02 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Thu/Nov-06 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern


mp3: “Dirtywhirl”

mp3: “Bomb Yourself”