Fionn Regan

If you’re a fan of Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Ben Kweller, or Sondre Lerche, you should check out Irish singer/songwriter, Fionn Regan. He’s a lively musician who places a lot of emphasis on his lyrics, continually balancing his quirky and dark sides.

In 2006, Fionn released his self-produced debut album, The End of History. He compares the album to opening a “lemonade stand,” saying that “no one really had any expectations, and then it took off.” Since then, he’s been doing quite a bit of touring, and just released his follow-up album, The Shadow of an Empire. It’s notably different than his debut, containing darker lyrics and a new instrumental approach, riding more along the lines of folk/punk, than his previous lush, folk melodies.

Like many of his fans, I probably prefer The End of History. But  I think both albums are great, and I can’t wait to see what Fionn has in store for his next album. I think it’s really cool that he stays true to his music, regardless of where it steers him, and that he still handles all the creative aspects of his music. He says, “if you work with a producer, it seems all the time is spent telling them what you want to do. I suppose until I meet someone with that Lennon and McCartney thing, who just gets it, I’ll do it myself.”

Fionn Regan is based out of Wicklow, Ireland. I read a few interviews with him, and am pretty fascinated by all the imagery he uses when he talks. He throws around quirky metaphors like it’s no one’s business. Such as the above example with comparing himself to a lemonade stand, or when asked why he became a musician: “You make a pact with something invisible. After that you can trip and fall into a river, or you can follow a lot of crayon maps drawn by demented people, but you still have to do it, because you’d suffer if you didn’t.” I couldn’t have put it better myself!

The End of History (2006)

(mp3) Fionn Regan – Put a Penny in the Slot

(mp3) Fionn Regan – Be Good or Be Gone

The Shadow of an Empire (2010)

(mp3)  Fionn Regan – Lord Help My Poor Soul

itunes | myspace

This video for “Be Good or Be Gone” is wonderful.


Google stop bullying music blogs–it’s not very Google-like!

Google we love you for things like this Pac Man logo/game. Please remain that Google.

If a blog publishes a post that contains a downloadable mp3 that allegedly infringes United States copyright laws, the record label will use the DMCA to contact Google. With no questions asked, Google will then reset your post to Draft status (allowing the blogger to remove the ‘offending’ content and republish it) and send you a Blogger DMCA Takedown Notification email…Google keeps track of all Blogger DMCA Takedown Notifications they send out and when it reaches their magic number, they shut down your blog. And that’s what has happened to The Pop Cop on May 14. Three years worth of work gone. No right of appeal.” (Pop Cop).

I don’t usually vent on IndieMuse like I’m about to vent (we try to stay positive!), but this issue has been bugging me for a while now.

It’s nothing new that the RIAA and similar organizations have very little understanding of  psychology, economics, and what some may even consider common sense. A little objective marketing research would show just how influential and effective music blogs are towards artist promotion. I would love to see the RIAA actually take the time to survey the fans of one of the artists that they “protect.” How did the fans discover their client’s music? It certainly wasn’t telepathically, as these organizations would have you believe.

The fact of the matter is that successful artists and labels would not have the reach they have today without music blogs serving as little pro-bono worker bees for them. And most of them will be the first to tell you that. It’s downright silly  for the RIAA (and the like) to treat music bloggers like they are nuisances. Besides, I’ve never known a blog that posts a sample track and is unwilling to take it down if requested (requests very rarely happen). It’s common sense that if these blogs were really looking to be uncooperative, they would just post/link to the entire album.

At this point, this is expected behavior by the RIAA and other “anti-piracy” organizations . But it is completely unacceptable coming from a “don’t be evil” company like Google. I’m not insinuating that Google is evil at all, but this is an issue that they need to actually sit down and talk about. They have every right to kick someone off their service (Blogger), but since they aren’t taking the time to hear both sides of the story, they should at least have the decency to just unpublish the content in question, and if it becomes a repeated “offense,” email the blogger and give them the opportunity to access their data or appeal. This just shouldn’t be an issue. Google, you do too much good in the world to embarrass yourself like this. You can’t just strip three years of somebody’s life away when they didn’t actually do anything wrong.

To learn more about how you can help get The Pop Cop, a legitimate and high quality Scottish music blog reinstated, follow this link. From the site: “Please email Google – – and demand that The Pop Cop blog gets reinstated so I can at least get three years of my life back and move the content elsewhere. If I don’t win this fight, I’m not sure I can bring myself to start from scratch.”

Thanks for listening.

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Little Joy – “Don’t Watch Me Dancing”

The LA band, Little Joy, has some really great songs that bring to mind one of my very favorite bands, The Velvet Underground. In particular, Binki Shapiro sings the lead vocals on the second to last track, “Don’t Watch Me Dancing,” and has a striking resemblance to Nico. It’s a beautiful song. And it only helps matters that they both have super weird names.

Rodrigo Amarante sings main vocals on most of the tracks, and reminds me quite a bit of another musician I like as well, Willy Mason.  Some songs that I enjoy in particular on the band’s 2008 self-titled debut include “Play The Part,””The Next Time Around,” and “Unattainable.”.  Seriously–I can’t get enough of Binki’s voice. Perfect for a Saturday.

S/T (2008):

(mp3) Little Joy – Don’t Watch Me Dancing

(mp3) Little Joy – The Next Time Around

myspace | itunes


Nathaniel Rateliff – “Boil & Fight”

Photo Credit: Jesus Christ

A few months back, Alie featured Nathaniel Rateliff on the site. His debut album, In Memory and Loss, is gorgeous. You should definitely check it out  (preferably while looking at the above photo) if you’re into that country-folk sound. I heard Nathaniel puts on a great live show, and I’m really bummed that I’m missing his tour this go around.

Nathaniel is currently based out of Denver, and I found this interview with the Denver Post to be pretty fascinating. Basically, Nathaniel had two bands, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel (who we are currently featuring) and Born in the Flood. The record label Roadrunner (home to Nickelback), offered to sign Born in the Flood and essentially wanted to turn them into the next Nickleback. Rateliff, realizing just how much Nickelback sucks, knew that he wouldn’t be happy going that route, even if it brought him great fame and fortune. Therefore, he signed his other band to the more modest Rounder records–a 39-year-old folky label that is home to the Woody Guthrie archives, Nanci Griffith, and Delta Spirit.

Our friends at Yours Truly recently filmed  a live session with Nathaniel Rateliff, where he played “Boil & Fight.” It’s an intimate recording that took place on a back porch near Austin. Check it out!


In Memory and Loss (2010):

(mp3) Nathaniel Rateliff – Boil & Fight

Site | Buy | MySpace

Light Pollution – “Oh, Ivory!”

Recently I’ve been posting a fair amount of folk music, because let’s face it, folk is awesome. But it’s time to change things up a bit (at least for this post).

I’ve really been digging Light Pollution’s song “Oh, Ivory!”. Definitely worth your time to check out.  Their debut album Apparitions is releasing June 15 on Carpark Records.

Light Pollution is based out of Chicago and has that shoegaze, psychedelic, Animal Collectivey sound. Band members include James Cicero, Matthew Evert, Nick Sherman, and Jed Robertson.

Apparitions (2010):

(mp3) Light Pollution – Oh, Ivory!

myspace | carpark

continue for tour dates…

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Scott Avett covers Bombadil

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.


(mp3) Bombadil – Honeymoon

(mp3) Bombadil – Marriage

Site | Store | iTunes | Myspace

see more photos on Bombadil’s Facebook fan page.

Lost in the Trees start US tour!

Just wanted to share an update to let you guys know that Lost in The Trees just started their US tour. We featured the folk-orchestration band back in December and are big fans. They actually just signed to Anti- Records, who will be releasing a new and enhanced version of All Alone In An Empty House on August 10th, 2010 (originally released on the awesome Trekky Records). Check out the tour dates and video below to see what’s in store.

5/18/2010 DENVER, CO Larimer Lounge* w/ Plants and Animals
5/19/2010 SLC, UT Kilby Court * w/ Plants and Animals
5/20/2010 BOISE, ID Neurolux * w/ Plants and Animals
5/21/2010 PORTLAND, OR Mississippi Studios * w/ Plants and Animals
5/22/2010 SEATTLE, WA Crocodile Café * w/ Plants and Animals & Frog Eyes
5/25/2010 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Independent * w/ Plants and Animals
5/26/2010 VISALIA, CA Cellar Door * w/ Plants and Animals
5/27/2010 LA, CA Troubadour * w/ Plants and Animals
5/29/2010 TUCSON, AZ Plush * w/ Plants and Animals
5/31/2010 DENTON, TX Hailey’s * w/ Plants and Animals
6/1/2010 AUSTIN, TX Emo’s  * w/ Plants and Animals
6/2/2010 NEW ORLEANS, LA One Eyed Jacks * w/ Plants and Animals
6/3/2010 DURHAM, NC Carrboro Arts Center
6/5/2010 ATLANTA, GA The Earl * w/ Plants and Animals
6/6/2010 ASHEVILLE, NC Grey Eagle * w/ Plants and Animals
6/7/2010 WASHINGTON, DC The Rock and Roll Hotel * w/ Plants and Animals
6/8/2010 PHILLY, PA Johnny Brenda’s * w/ Plants and Animals
6/9/2010 NY, NY Bowery Ballroom * w/ Plants and Animals
6/12/2010 CAMBRIDGE, MA TT the Bear’s * w/ Plants and Animals
6/13/2010 Montreal, Canada Divan Orange
6/15/2010 Toronto, Canada at El Mocambo
6/19/2010 Chicago, IL Schubas Tavern

All Alone In An Empty House (2010):

(mp3) Lost in the Trees –  All Alone in An Empty House

site | myspace


Isbells – S/T (2009)

If you’re like me, you are in love with Bon Iver (Justin Vernon), and want to ask him “Hey IVER–yeah you– when’s your next album coming out?!” Truthfully, it makes complete sense why it’s taking so long to get a sophomore album released. Similar to Sufjan Stevens, Vernon quickly became an icon for indie music, and now has a ton of pressure riding on his flannel-covered-shoulders.  It must be weird going from writing a reflective album, in complete solitude, to knowing that your next album will be critiqued by 100,000+ people (not to mention the wrath of a Pitchfork) just because your pseudonym is attached.

In the meantime, if you need your Bon Iver fix, you should check out Isbells. Instead of Justin Vernon, we have Gaëtan Vandewoude, and instead of an old cabin in Wisconsin, Vandewoude wrote the songs in an old stable in Belgium. Not to say that Isbells is a Bon Iver poser, as he’s certainly got his own thing going on. I’m just really enjoying his self-titled debut, and it immediately grabbed my attention, similar to the first time I heard For Emma For Ever Ago.

Isbells is based out of Leuven, Belgium. In addition to Vandewoude, band members include Naima Joris, Bart Borremans and Gianni Marzo.

S/T (2009):

Isbells – Reunite

Isbells – Without a Doubt

iTunes | Myspace | Zealrecords

Pale Young Gentlemen – Black Forest (Tra La La)

I’m embarrassed I haven’t featured Pale Young Gentlemen on IndieMuse yet. They are one of the best bands making music today, and an absolute must check out if you are an Andrew Bird or Arcade Fire fan (listen to one song and you’ll see the Bird reference).

Their 2008 release Black Forest (Tra La La) is a true gem. There are too many great tracks on the album to list them all here, but some of my favorites are “Coal/Ivory,””I Wasn’t Worried,” and “Kettle Drum (I Left A Note).”

Pale Young Gentlemen is based out of Madison, WI, and band members include Mike Reisenauer, Matt Reisenauer , Brett Randall, Beth Morgan, and Gwendolyn Miller. As a side note, I was reading The Red Alert’s interview with Pale Young Gentlemen’s frontman, Mike Reisenauer, and he was asked if geography has helped or hurt the band:

“I think it mostly helps us. Writers seem to think it’s interesting backstory.  For some reason, it’s weird to them that Madison, WI exists and that people play music there.”

As a midwesterner, I really appreciated that answer.  The band is currently working on their third album–I’ll keep you posted!

Black Forest (Tra La La):

(mp3) Pale Young Gentlemen – I Wasn’t Worried

(mp3) Pale Young Gentlemen – Kettle Drum (I Left A Note)


(mp3) Pale Young Gentlemen – Paper Planes (awesome M.I.A. cover)

Site | Science of Sound (label) | MF (buy)