Archive for December, 2008

Dec 12 2008

The Shins cover ‘Strange Powers’ (Magnetic Fields)

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


The Shins did a great Magnetic Fields cover of the song “Strange Powers” (that I came across by way of Aquarium Drunkard). I have to agree that this cover is better than the original, but at the same time, could The Shins ever write love songs that are as rewarding as the ones written by Magnetic Fields? I don’t think so.

(MP3) The Shins – Strange Powers (Magnetic Fields Cover)
(MP3) The Magnetic Fields – Strange Powers

(MP3) The Magnetic Fields – Absolutely Cuckoo

4 responses so far

Dec 11 2008

Little Joy – S/T (2008)

Published by under MP3's

Little Joy is a side project from The Stroke's drummer Fabrizio Moretti, singer Rodrigo Amarante of Los Hermanos, and singer Bikini Shapiro. This is a great little pop album; there's not a lot of lyrical substance, but it's very pleasant to listen to and it has a great production value. It sounds like an amalgamation of different pop music from the 50s to 60s that wants to be played in the sunshine.

From Rough Trade:

It's a tastefully executed cocktail of calypso-garage-folk that's reminiscent of both trashy lounge bars and tropical coast lines. Our favourite tracks include the scratchy and glorious sunshine pop of 'No Ones Better Sake', and the heart breaking acoustic number 'With Strangers' which sounds like it was taken direct from a 40's acetate.

One of the samples, “Keep Me in Mind”, sounds like it could have easily been a Strokes song; some of the vocal melodies are very similar to Julian Casablancas style of singing. I'm probably going to break this album for out late spring of 2009 because I feel it might be a more appropriate context, but right now it'll be a little reminder of future and past warmer times.

MP3: Little Joy – The Next Time Around

MP3: Little Joy – Keep Me in Mind

MySpace | Rough Trade


Comments Off on Little Joy – S/T (2008)

Dec 10 2008

Fire On Fire – The Orchard (2008)

Published by under Folk,MP3's

Fire On Fire are a Maine based band that have similar vibes to Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes and

Akron/Family. Their sound is a combination of American folk genres ranging from bluegrass to Appalachian folk. It doesn't seem like they would have any problem encouraging you to sing along and stop your feet. Here's a little biography from their record label Young God Records:

They used to be the art-punk-prog-chaos collective Cerberus Shoal, but they ditched their electric instruments, went into hiding for a while, and now play all acoustic—stand up bass, mandolin, banjo, harmonium, accordion, acoustic guitar, dobro etc etc, and they all sing and harmonize on the songs. Live, they do it “old school” and just use two mics placed in front of them on the

stage, like a bluegrass band. They all live in the same house up in Maine, across from rusting green oil tanks, apparently. To me they sound like a backwoods, fierce, psychedelic Mamas And The Papas or a crazed and joyously vengeful gospel string band.

Their album The Orchard was just released yesterday. Go check it out. Go listen to the MP3s posted below.

MP3: Fire On Fire – Flight Song

MP3: Fire On Fire -Grin

MySpace | Young God Records


One response so far

Dec 09 2008

Bound Stems – The Family Afloat (2008)

Published by under MP3's

If you are in search for some catchy pop/folk music similar to Built to Spill or Modest Mouse, check out the Chicago band Bound Stems. They released their sophomore album in September called The Family Afloat, and although their complex song structures are a bit too experimental for my tastes at times, there are some really good tracks on the album. I like Bobby Gallivan’s vocals, which bring to mind Ed Harcourt.

“Winston” is the folkiest song on the album, and is also ( ‘therefore?’) my favorite. The song features a banjo and back-up female vocals–two elements that my heart has a big soft spot for. I’m also a fan of “Happens to Us All Otherwise,” “Cloak of Blue Sky,” and “Clear Water & Concrete.”

In an interview with New City Chicago, Evan Sult, drummer in the band (and former Harvey Danger member), responded when asked about shaking up traditional song structures:

I always feel the need to do that. To me that was a fundamental starting point for Bound Stems. Not to be weird, but just to, measure by measure, be as interesting as possible. I think, at least in my mind, it’s funny to hear somebody talk about the left turns in the songs, because those parts seem more natural to me than a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure… I really think it comes from the fact that we don’t have much interest in repeating something a lot of times. We have a lot of ideas.

As a fan of relatively traditional song structures, I found this to be a pretty interesting quote. Pitchfork, who gave the album a high rating of 7.8, addressed the Bound Stems attempt to be interesting, saying “For all their ambition, there are still moments on Family Afloat that feel forced– more ‘Look what we can do!’ instead of simply, ‘Look what we do well.'”

Bounds Stems is Bobby Gallivan (vocals), Dan Fleury (guitar), Dan Radzicki (bass, keys), Evan Sult (drums), and Janie Porche (multi-intrumentalist and backup vocals). The band released the EP The Logic of Building the Body Plan in 2005, and their debut album Appreciation Night released in 2006. They are signed to Flameshovel Records.

The Family Afloat (2008):

(mp3) Bound Stems – Winston

(mp3) Bound Stems – Happens To All Us Otherwise

Site | Amazon | iTunes | Myspace

2 responses so far

Dec 09 2008

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Arrested by FBI

Published by under MP3's

Although I currently reside in Washington DC, I still call the great state of Illinois home. So imagine my surprise, or I should say unfortunate lack of, when I heard that our governor was arrested today by the FBI on claims of “wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that included Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife.”

Political corruption has become a norm in the United States and it’s bullshit, for lack of a better word. Whether it’s the guys over on Wall Street, the CEO’s in Detroit, a President disregarding the constitution, or a Governor selling a senate seat, I think the lack of accountability by our leaders needs to end. There are too many honest, intelligent people in the US to allow this to keep happening. The people who are passing laws shouldn’t be the same ones breaking them. Am I crazy here?

(Video) Funny “Daily Show” segment featuring Rod Blagojevich. Turns out he didn’t know the “Daily Show” was a comedy show.

No responses yet

Dec 08 2008

Video: She and Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

Published by under Alternative,MP3's,Video

I think I’m in love with Zooey Deschanel. Actually, I think I’ve been in love with her since I first saw Almost Famous. But this video drove it home. Apart from being a relatively-famous actress, she’s the voice behind She and Him, her being the She, the phenomenal M. Ward being the Him. IndieMuse readers are probably already familiar with the two, but they play brilliant 60s throwback pop-country complete with winding, jangly, reverb-soaked country riffs, haunting piano arrangements and Zooey Deschanel’s poignant, crisp voice. It fits coming out of a crackly AM receiver just as well as it does over the internet, streaming from MySpace. It’s natural and unaffected. “Why Do You let Me Stay Here?” is more of a straightforward pop song, and I love it.

Also, here’s an instrumental M. Ward gem, from End of Amnesia:


I don’t have any of She and Him’s music, so this video will have to do. Also, check out Pitchfork’s top 40 videos of the year. A great way to kill an hour…or four.


3 responses so far

Dec 07 2008

Hauschka – Ferndorf (2008)

Published by under Experimental,MP3's

Prepared piano is a piano which has had its sound altered by placing objects (preparations) between or on the strings or on the hammers or dampers (Wikipedia). German experimental musician Volker Bertelman uses this prepared piano technique to create his original and intersting compositions. John Cage coined the term and pioneered the technique, but Volker expands on the idea and creates a blend of classical and indie pop sensibility. Along with prepared piano, Hauschka incorporates strings, horns, and synthesizers to create music that sounds like a cross between Múm and Philip Glass. He has released several albums over the past few years, and his newest album Ferndorf was released a couple months ago. I haven’t had much time to listen to his older stuff, but I can tell you that his most recent album is a great collection of music.

To learn more about how Volker uses the prepared piano, take a look at this Wired interview from earlier this month.

So I had the idea to invent some stuff on the strings, to get a kind of electronic sound on top of the piano sound, and that’s actually where the whole thing started. I found out that paper sounds like a high

hat, and then I used beer bottle caps, three of them, on one rope, and they sounded suddenly like a tambourine. So I levitra normal dose had on certain tones a tambourine, and then I had some high hats, so I was thinking in a kind of band arrangement, you know?

Two MP3s can be found in that interview, but I will post them here in case you never get around the reading the article.

MP3: Hauschka – Blue Bicycle

MP3: Hauschka – Freibad

Hauschka | MySpace

One response so far

Dec 06 2008

Karl Blau – Nature’s Got Away (2008)

Published by under MP3's


Karl Blau is one of those lo-fi, folky musicians from the Pacific

Northwest similar to Phil Elvrum, Mirah, Woelv, and Calvin Johnson.  The All Music Guide has this to say about Blau: “working out of the small town of Anacortes in northern Washington state, Karl Blau has released several cassettes, as well as a CD, Shell Collection, on the small Knw-Yr-Own label. Shell Collection, from 1997, is comprised of four-track recordings that are among the more intriguing and versatile sounds to have come out of the lo-fi indie underground. With a vibe that is both down-home and whimsical, Blau grafts parts of winsome folk-rock onto lazy jamming blues, vintage rocksteady reggae, high ’70s soul harmonies, and ceremonial-sounding flutes in his unpredictable and shifting mixture of elements.”

Here’s what Blau has to say about his new album:

Invoking the fates and listening deeply into the forces present– the room, the instruments, the players, listening to the microphones, listening to the wood grain– the director of a musical piece may find that the less heavy handed one can be, the more one can approach hands free and even getting out of the way of a ‘happening.’ And if you use your hands to guide you in the forest on a clouded night you will not forget this experience.

If that description was a little unclear and esoteric, then it’s best that you just listen to the music and find out for yourself. Below are two new tracks from Nature’s Got Away. There’s some nice guitar work in here: nice tone and nice solos. It almost sounds like the slowed down the recording just a little bit so the whole album is a couple pitches then what it was actually recorded out. This gives his voices a very unique and haunting quality that it difficult to describe.

I hope you enjoy prix cialis en france them.

MP3: Karl Blau – Mockingbird


MP3: Karl Blau -  Before Telling the Dragons

Karl Blau | MySpace

One response so far

Dec 05 2008

Ben Kweller – Hurtin’ You

Published by under MP3's

Ben Kweller was one of the first musicians that got me into the indie music scene. I listened to Sha Sha on my Sony Walkman over and over again (I actually have Sha Sha in my car stereo right now). The first concert I saw in NYC was Death Cab for Cutie with BK opening. His collaboration with Ben Folds and Ben Lee blew my high school mind as Ben Folds was God to me. Kweller’s music has always held a special place in my iTunes library. Sometimes I forget about him, but when I stumble across him again it’s like reuniting with an old friend.

His new album reuinites Kweller with his Texas roots with a country/western influenced album called Changing Horses as you will hear on this new track “Hurtin’ You”. On Ben Kweller (his last album) he played all of the instruemnts, but this time he has gotten a band together including Kitt Kitterman on pedal steel guitar (which really adds a lot to this song). I’m pretty interested in seeing how the rest of the album will sound and where Kweller will be heading towards in the future. I have a feeling it will be a pretty mature album from a guy who’s only 27.

MP3: Ben Kweller – Hurtin’ You


MP3: Ben Kweller – Sundress

MP3: Ben Kweller – Commerce, TX

MP3: The Bens – Stop!

Ben Kweller | MySpace 

3 responses so far

Dec 05 2008

Happy Birthday David

Published by under MP3's

Hey, it’s your birthday. Celebrate with some of your favorite

indie artists!

MP3: Andrew Bird – nuevo viagra femenino The Happy Birthday Song acheter viagra

MP3: Sufjan Stevens – Happy Birthday

Make sure to wish the founder of Indie Muse a very happy birthday.

6 responses so far

« Prev - Next »