Wartime Blues – Doves & Drums

Wartime Blues

The Montana music scene isn’t well known to people who aren’t from the great state of the Grizzly bear, but I’ve actually heard some really great bands out of the region. One of them that especially stands out is the Missoula, MT based grassroots, folk group Wartime Blues. If you are a fan of  M. Ward, Wilco, or Modest Mouse, check em out!

They just released a new album, Doves & Drums, that’s one of the most solid releases of the year. The album has a heavy classic rock influence and front man Nate Hegyi’s voice could easily be compared to that of Dylan’s.  A few of my favorites on the album include  “Doves & Drums,” “Youth,” “Saul Whitewater,” and “Judas Horse.”

The eight piece band is made up of Nate Hegyi, Jesse Netzloff (guitar), Ben Prez (mandoline), Sam Luikens (banjo), Bethany Joyce (cellist), Lisena Brown (keyboard), Tyler Knapp (bass), and Martin McCain (drums).

Doves & Drums (2009):

(mp3) Wartime Blues – Youth

(mp3) Wartime Blues  – Doves & Drums

Official site | MF (where artists earn all the money from sales. a new project I’ve been working on!)

Tour dates:

Dec 15th, 2009 – Badlander w. Jerry Joseph

Dec 31st, 2009 – Old Post New Year’s Eve Bash

Feb 10th, 2010 -  Spokane, WA (Empyrean)

Feb 14th, 2010 – Portland, OR (The Woods)

Feb 26th, 2010 – Greeley, CO (Crabtree Brewery)

Lost In The Trees – All Alone In An Empty House

lost in the trees

Chapel Hill, NC based, Lost in the Trees, is one of the most impressive groups making music today–I recommend them to fans of Bound Stems, Bombadil, Seabear, and Ratatat. The nine piece band has a diverse sound that incorporates a ton of instruments such as the violin, cello, piano, tuba, accordion, and pretty much every other instrument you can think of (even the ole’ glock!).

The music is composed by front man Ari Picker, and merges classical, folk, and other genres. Last year they released a fantastic debut album, All Alone in An Empty House. A few of my favorite songs off the album include “Fireplace,” “Song for the Painter,” “Love On My Side,” and “For Leah and Chloe.” “Mvt 1. Sketch” is also a gorgeous composition that classical fans will probably really dig. In many ways, Picker’s music also brings to mind some composers who I love like Yann Tiersen, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Jon Brion. Given he studied studied Film Music at Berklee, I could definitely see him doing some compositions for the big screen. Most of his tracks include vocals, but he actually has a great voice and some of the most thoughtful lyrics you’ll find out there.

Picker started composing music in 10th grade. After a few years of studying at Berklee, he moved back to North Carolina and got a group of local musicians together to help him move forward with songs he had been secretly composing over the years. He stated in an interview with GoUpstate that Lost in the Trees’ sound will likely evolve into a “classical opus” if they release another album. Picker wrote his first symphony last year and made it into a charitable project to give back to the community.

All Alone In an Empty House (2008):

(mp3) Lost In The Trees – Song for the Painter

(mp3) Lost In The Trees – Mvt 1. Sketch (classical goodness)

Time Taunts Me EP (2007):

(mp3) Lost In The Trees: Tall Trees (highly recommend)

(mp3) Lost In The Trees -Lost In the Snow

site | myspace | trekky (buy!)

Amber Rubarth Interview


Amber Rubarth, a singer/songwriter whose beautiful music is getting worldwide attention, just got back from a US tour with Joshua Radin and Gary Jules. We got a chance to catch up with her and learn about the tour, her life as a independent artist, and what inspired her to pick up a guitar for the first time at the age of 20 and pursue a career in music.

IM: Hey Amber, welcome back from the tour! How was it?

AR: The tour was AMAZING!!!!  Truly fantastic.  I was familiar with Gary Jules & Josh Radin’s recorded music but hadn’t seen them much live… so first and foremost it was wonderful to see their shows every night and fall in love (over and over again) with their music.  Second, it was my first time on a tour bus (!!) and my first time to Canada!  Loved both. In fact, I’m missing it still.

IM: Do you have any memorable experiences you can share?

AR: Tons and tons of memorable experiences, but some of my favorites were (1) bike riding through new towns with Joshua ~ he found a pawn shop in Toronto where all the bikes were $80 so we took ours on the bus with us…. and (2) my birthday 9/21 where all the boys surprised me with a big cake in Ohio.  And (3) singing on stage with Josh and Gary the last night, that was a ton of fun.  I love those guys, the whole band, the whole crew…. everyone was truly wonderful.

IM: That’s awesome. Who invited you onto the tour?

AR: I’ve heard two different things of how I was asked… I found out through someone I know at MySpace who said they submitted me as a “good idea” as an opener, Josh said he heard of me from Brett Dennen a while ago (who I opened for in CA, he’s amazing!!) and told his management he wanted me to open.  I had met both Josh and Gary once at the Hotel Cafe where we all were on the same night for a benefit they were having, but hadn’t really talked more than a few minutes to either before the tour.  Now I count them both as close friends and it looks like we might be touring again.  Everything was so perfect, I was smiling every day of the tour.

read more of the interview after the jump.

Good Mystery (2009):

Amber Rubarth – Pilot

Site | Myspace| or buy Good Mystery at MF, where artists earn all the money (a new project I’ve been working on!)


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John Vanderslice to reissue albums on vinyl


One of my favorite musicians, John Vanderslice, is going to reissue his entire back catalog on the Minneapolis based label Afternoon Records! They’ll be pressing Time Travel Is Lonely (2001), Life and Death of an American Fourtracker (2002), Cellar Door (2004), and Pixel Revolt (2005), all on high-quality RTI-vinyl. His most recent albums, Romanian Names and Emerald City, are still in-print, hence not needing to be reissued.

Pixel Revolt is one of my favorite albums to listen to on vinyl–I highly recommend getting it. The original pressing of 500 copies sold out six days after the release, so it’s really awesome that Afternoon Records took an initiative to get more copies of these records out there. If you aren’t familiar with John Vanderslice, I’d say check out Pixel Revolt first. Some people give me a hard time when I say I like Pixel Revolt more than Cellar Door (which is also great), but I dunno, that album just really connects with me (and Pitchfork agrees with me and gave it a higher rating than Cellar Door too…and Pitchfork knows all, right?)

But hey, if you have the cash,  just buy all four vinyls for $70. They’re really good. You can pre-order here (release date is December 8th; they all come with mp3 codes).

Pixel Revolt (2005):

(Mp3) John Vanderslice – Exodus Damage

(Mp3) John Vanderslice – Trance Manual

Life and Death of An American Fourtracker (2002):

(Mp3) John Vanderslice – Underneath The Leaves

JV’s site | Afternoon Records

Hey Marseilles – To Travels & Trunks

hey mersailles

If you are a fan of the Decemberists, Beirut, or Yann Tiersen you’ll probably really dig the indie/gypsy folk sound of the Seattle band, Hey Marseilles. As you can see in the photo above, the band consists of seven members, and they play a bunch of super sweet instruments like trumpets, cellos, accordions, and a sousaphone.

Hey Marseilles’ 2008 self-released debut, To Travels & Trunks, is phenomenal, and unfortunately hasn’t gotten the exposure that it deserves because of its limited release.  If you are looking to boost your productivity today, listen to the tracks “To Travels & Trunks” and “Rio.” Hey Marseilles makes intelligent music that will inspire you to do great things (not to sound like a fortune cookie, but it’s true).

And if you’re like me, you may be wondering how  the collaboration process works in a large, instrumental band like Hey Marseilles. Of course it varies from band to band, but I often think, who was it who decided to put that little horn there? How did you decide to put it there instead of here? Why can’t I be this talented!

When asked about the writing process in a Three Imaginary Girls interview, Hey Marseilles frontman Matt Bishop said,

There’s kind of a few different ways that we do it. Some of the songs were songs that I brought to the table and then we would fill in the spaces and integrate it into the Hey Marseilles sound. A lot of the songs these days are coming out of the instrumentals that we’ll put together and then I’ll sit down and write melodies and lyrics on top of that. So it’s pretty dynamic in terms of the way they come together.

I can’t wait for the sophomore album to come out, and highly recommend you buy this album!

To Travels & Trunks (2008):

(MP3) Hey Marseilles- To Travels & Trunks

(MP3) Hey Marseilles – Rio

Official Site | or buy it at MF, where artists earn all the money (a new project I’ve been working on!)

Wisdom Tooth – Cathedral Park (2009)

wisdom tooth

If you keep up with IndieMuse, you are probably well aware of my love for the xylophone. I think it’s a great instrument. And fortunately, a lot of bands dig the xylophone too, so I can pretty much write about it to my heart’s content.

Another instrument that I really love, that I can’t write about as much, is the ukulele. The ukulele is a totally underrated instrument, and it makes me sad that there are some ukelele haters out there who think it’s a lame guitar wannabe. It’s not. It’s awesome.

If you are like me, and just want to listen to great ukulele folk/pop all day, you should check out Meagan Day, aka Wisdom Tooth. She recently released an album called “Cathedral Park” that I highly recommend.  Best of all, she gives away all of her music for free.

Meagan is a Texas native, attending Oberlin College in Ohio,  and has been writing songs since high school.

Cathedral Park (2009)

Wisdom Tooth – Cathedral Park

Wisdom Tooth – Wild Grasses

Myspace | CLLCT (download fo’ FREE!)

Bears – ‘Who Knows’


If you are a fan of Beulah (like myself), and cry yourself to sleep every night over their break up (like myself), then I highly recommend you check out the song below by the band Bears called “Who Knows.” Pretty much everything about the song brings to mind Beulah, from the instruments, to the catchy vocals… even the lyrics are Beulahesque. It’s really great.

Bears are based out of Cleveland, Ohio and band members include Craig Ramsey and Charlie McArthur (Pat McNulty, Devon Coffee, and Sean Sullivan help out live). These guys have some solid music and I also really appreciate their senses of humor from the little bit I’ve seen roaming their site. You’ll be seeing more Bears on IndieMuse soon, but in the meantime, check out their Myspace.

(mp3) Bears – “Who Knows”

Here’s an acoustic video version of the song they just posted today:


myspace | site | itunes

On an unrelated note: Sorry that we have been on an unannounced hiatus recently. A long story short, IndieMuse was hacked into by a spammer, and it’s been a huge headache to clean up. Between cleaning the site up and other projects keeping us busy (more on this soon), we’ve had a hard time updating IndieMuse. We finally have the site spam free (I think), so we are now back in business. Thanks for all your support!

The Dodos Album Stream

I’m a little late in posting this, but hell. I love the Dodos.

Earlier this week their new album, Time to Die, leaked to the internetz! In an effort to combat piracy, or something, Frenchkiss is streaming the entire album on TimeToDie.net. I’ve only listened once, but it seems to be a slightly more subdued affair than Visiter, maybe a cleaner, more touched-up return to Beware of the Maniacs. So far, “Longform” is killing it for me. It builds with the same optimism of “Fools,” falling into psyched-out guitar rants and a spastic finger-picking interlude. And of course, the percussion sections are huge and panning.

Check the full album stream of Time To Die here.

Here is the single from Time to Die, for your downloading pleasure:

The Dodos – Fables

Official Site | MySpace | Preorder Time To Die

Deerhunter: A review, of sorts

Over the past few months, Deerhunter have creeped their way from casual divergence to mindless obsession. Cryptograms was daunting in its expanse, building sonic landscapes from pulsing bass and shimmering guitar. And the moments it coalesced – when it dredged solid melodies from the swirling masses below – hinted at the brilliance to come with Microcastle.

Microcastle gave Cryptograms the context I needed. The My Bloody Valentine guitar textures met sweeping pop arpeggios; Deerhunter formed sculptures from the malleable skeletons of Cryptograms. And with the temporally titled Rainwater Cassette Exchange, their recently released five-song EP, Deerhunter furthers their sound with tighter, more-buoyant pop constructions.

The title track opens with a waltzing pop reminiscent of songs half-forgotten, hailing from a time long ago when chocolate milkshakes and school dances were the epitome of social grace. But the buoyant exterior belies it’s intent, as singer Bradford Cox croons through a palpable haze: “Capture my heart and destroy me/destroy my mind and my body/invade me like a disease and conquer me.” His macabre desire for an all-enveloping, entirely devastating love is echoed through time, but novel in this setting: he wants what he’s had but not as he’s had it. And reflected in the music: they’ve borrowed a tune, but made it their own.  (See: Neil Young, Joanna Newsom. Both have lots to say on this subject.) More after the jump.

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Roundup: Wilco

(Photo Credit: Doug Mason)

(Photo Credit: Doug Mason)

After this year’s Bonnaroo I can safely say that YES, Wilco is a touring band at its prime. The recently released Ashes of American Flags tour DVD gave me new insight into the workings of a group that, in my opinion, has overcome considerable struggle and years of obscurity to finally be standing strong at the peak of their art. After previewing the stream, Wilco (The Album) felt empty without Tweedy’s anxiety and experimental energy–it’s what defined masterpieces like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born. Nonetheless, there are new, beautiful aspects of the band that shine bright this time around–in addition, the new album is also considerably different from Sky Blue Sky. In my obsession of what I consider to currently be “The Great American Band,” I’ve stumbled on a few blog-gems that I will share with you, leading up to the release of Wilco (The Album). First, here’s a few minutes of Wilco (at Bonnaroo ’09) courtesy of Billboard Music.


Recently, The LAist published an extremely insightful interview with Wilco guitarist (and “Guitar God”) Nels Cline. In the article, Nels is approached about the new Wilco album, due out in a week or so. He answers questions about Wilco’s songwriting process as well as thoughts on his own project, The Nels Cline Trio–an avant-garde jazz group. If for no other reason than to learn about a true artist and a dying breed, check out the article. There’s also a fantastic video of Nels’ part on “Handshake Drugs” as well as a link to Nels Cline’s list of his Top 200 Guitarists.

OneThirtyBPM wrote a post a month or so ago that covers all you’ll need to prepare for new Wilco, complete with track lyrics and live versions of many of the songs on Wilco (The Album). After listening to their new songs live, it is fantastic to see how they are adapted for the stage and it’s even more interesting to see how they’ve already improved on songs that haven’t even been released yet. It’s definitely a more time-consuming post, but it’s worth it. ZIP file included.

Finally, just a quick note on the June 30th release of Wilco (The Album), if you order from Wilco World before the album comes out you get a full 256kbs download on release in addition to the physical media. Also, if you pre-order, you can download the track “You Never Know” right away. This track, incedentally, is also going to 7″ for a limited time in honor of Vinyl Saturday (from the creators of Record Store Day). The 7″ will include “You Never Know” as well as “Unlikely Japan,” an unreleased Sky Blue Sky track–a precursor to “Impossible Germany.” Since we all love nerding out on b-sides and rarities… this is welcome. More info on that at Nonesuch Records.

Home | MySpace | NoneSuch Records | Hype Machine | AllMusic | Wiki

Pre-Order Wilco (The Album) NOW: The Wilco Store | NoneSuch Records | Amazon | iTunes | InSound

Don’t Worry, I’ll be posting Wilco’s show from Bonnaroo 2009 soon!

To end, I leave you with a Glenn Kotche interview by Nashville’s Lightning 100 fm. Kinda hard to hear, but it’s funny… just not ha ha funny.