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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Help fund Kickstarter project Sound Through Sight!

There’s a really cool new site called Kickstarter that allows people working on independent projects to raise funding through friends, family, and awesome folks around the internet. And better yet, funders usually get some really neat swag in return (i.e. an artist trying to raise money to record an album, will often times send it to a supporter for free). You are bound to find amazing people on this site–and given they are seeking help from the community, it’s fair to say most of them are extremely modest, unlike some of their industry “(insert mean word)” counterparts.

One project that gets a big IndieMuse stamp of approval is called Sound Through Sight: A Gonzo Road Trip to Understand Music In 2010. It’s started by Tom Williams (writer), Sarah Mulligan (photographer), and Rahawa Haile (filmaker).

Here’s a small blurb from their Kickstarter page explaining the project:

Picture Chuck Klosterman and Alexis de Tocquevillie joining Hunter S. Thompson, going not on a drug-fueled rampage across Las Vegas but on a trip of discovery across America, seeking to understand where music and the music industry stands in 2010, how we got here, and where we’re going. We are three passionate young music lovers who intend to do just that. To understand these questions and to look for answers, we are going on a Gonzo road trip, searching for insights and answers on the back roads of America. We will then write a book on the trip which attempts to answers those questions we just posed. We will also create a book of photography from our travels across North America and a short documentary about the music we encounter on this trip.

The money we are seeking to raise here will go towards printing the first edition of the book, as well as the gas, food, and other minor travel expenses we’ll need to complete this trip. (more)

If you have a few extra dollars in your pocket, you should consider helping out! A $15 donation will even score you a free copy of the book once it’s published!

Song of the day: Avi Buffalo – Where’s Your Dirty Mind

Top 10 Albums of 2009

So, here is IndieMuse’s “Top Albums of 2009″ list. I know what you’re thinking… there’s only a few hours left in 2009 and we must have rushed to get this up last minute. The truth is, we wanted to make sure that we listened to every single album released in 2009 before publishing an official list. What if Wilco or another band released an amazing, secret album on December 31st? We couldn’t leave it up to chance.

10. Fanfarlo – Reservoir atlantic

I first came across Fanfarlo a few years back before they played SXSW, and was really impressed by their song “Fire Escape.” Their debut album is fantastic. Reminds me a lot of Clap Your Hands, but I like their arrangements more.

(mp3) Farfarlo – Harold T. Wilkins Or How To Wait For A Very Long TIme

(mp3) Fanfarlo – Finish Line

official site

9. Le Loup – Family hardly art

Le Loup brings to mind Animal Collective and Born Ruffians. They have a really cool worldly sound.

(mp3) Le Loup – Forgive me

official site

8. Grand Hallway – Promenade

Grand Hallway in an eight piece orchestral pop band from Seattle, Washington. I came across their music through one of the musicians in the band, Shenandoah Davis, whose solo music I really like. This album hasn’t received much exposure, but definitely deserves to be on more lists.

(mp3) Grand Hallway – Raindrops (Matsuri)

(mp3) Grand Hallway – Blessed Be, Honey Bee

official site

7. Passion Pit – Manners frenchkiss

I don’t usually listen to electronica, but I’ve always been a fan of Passion Pit. I wasn’t sure if the band would be able to live up to all the hype they were receiving from “Sleepyhead,” given they didn’t even have a debut out… but sure enough, they released a really solid album.
I know that some people think the band is over-hyped or even “untalented.” But you may be surprised to know that some members of the band, such as Ian Hultquist, have professional training from places like the Berklee College of Music. In other words, their success isn’t a fluke…

(mp3) Passion Pit – Sleepyhead

(mp3) Passion Pit – Little Secrets

official site

6. Fruit Bats – The Ruminant Band sub pop

The Fruit Bats have been one of my favorite bands for a long time, and I can’t believe that they’re still such a big secret. Let’s just say that they are so catchy that The Shins stole frontman Eric Johnson away for a few years to play in their band. We loyal Fruit Bat fans had to wait four years for this release!  I also highly recommend their 2003 album, Mouthfuls.

(mp3) Fruit Bats -The Ruminant Band

(mp3) Fruit Bats – Being on Our Own

official site

5. Bombadil – Tarpits and Canyonlands ramseur records

This album is great. Again, it’s an example of a band that just lacks exposure. They should be on more lists.

(mp3) Bombadil – Honeymoon

(mp3) Bombadil – So Many Ways To Die

official site

4. Various Artists – Dark Was The Night 4ad

This album is on my list for several reasons. First, the music is all great. Second, it’s one of the first compilations out there that doesn’t blow. Every now and then you’ll see a compilation or tribute album that has some big names on it, but after a quick listen, it feels more like a marketing stunt than passion project. That is not the case with Dark Was The Night. The National’s Dessner brothers put a ton of time into making this compilation and got musicians such as Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Beirut, Sufjan Stevens, and pretty much every other established indie artist to produce exclusive, top quality content. And lastly, all the proceeds from the album go to the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS.

(mp3) Arcade Fire – Lenin

(mp3) Beirut – Mimizan

official site

3. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion domino

(mp3) Animal Collective – My Girls

(mp3) Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes

official site

2. The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You atlantic

Some fans of the Avett Brothers think this album was overproduced. I think it’s really good.

(mp3) The Avett Brothers –  I and Love And You

(mp3) The Avett Brothers -  Laundry Room

official site

1. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast fat possum

Noble Beast was pretty much all I wanted to listen to for the first few months after its release. Mysterious Production of Eggs is still my favorite album of Bird’s (what’s up with the blue album art in Google?), but Noble Beast doesn’t fall too far behind. This album would probably be higher up on a lot of “Best of the Year” lists had it been released later in the year. People tend to have stronger feelings for more recent things.

(mp3) Andrew Bird – Masterswarm

(mp3) Andrew Bird – Effigy
official site

Thom Yorke and Flea… YES!

Well, if you haven’t heard about it already, Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame enlisted Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist along with producer Nigel Godrich and percussionists Joey Waronker and Mario Refosco played two shows in Los Angeles this week… yes. Here’s a clip of “Harrowdown Hill.”


If you ask me, there’s something right about seeing Flea rocking out over Thom Yorke’s… “dancing.” The LAWeekly Blog has a solid roundup of the project.

One thing is for sure. This isn’t any sort of vanity project. These guys are for real, and made music on Friday night that was both a logical extension of The Eraser — some sort of advance — and something very removed.

See what they mean, there are a few more videos on the website. I’m gonna wait to hear more… maybe a recording?

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.


Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Yellow House never really did it for me. The first three songs, ending with “Knife,” were beautiful and accessible. They drew me in and built a graceful momentum. But the remainder of the album, the other 8 songs, broke off, choosing to meander through sometimes aimless soundscapes with no discernible resolution. It was Department of Eagles, Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen’s side project, that restored, or initially placed, my faith in Grizzly Bear. I had a bunch to say about that here. Anyway, like the good lil’ music blogger that I am, on to Veckatimest.

Veckatimest finds Grizzly Bear at a point of self-realization. They have power – magic maybe – and they’ve chosen to wield it. With “Two Weeks,” a hook-fraught, stand-up chamber pop epic, Ed Droste finds a Frank Sinatara-swagger to his vocals. He waltzes across a staccato keyboard and through disembodied harmonies; he finds his stance and sets hold, confident, charming, nearly ebullient with pop-righteousness. But the power of Veckatimest is in it’s adaptability and emotive range. “Two Weeks” descends into “All We Ask”, a brooding, reverb-soaked ballad marked by Rossen’s trademark stomping baritone guitar. Instantly all that serotonin has vanished. The verse swells into the chorus, which wavers behind Rossen’s bop before gently eroding to the underlying current. The boys harmonize in a near whisper: “I can’t get out of what I’m into with you.” If  “Two Weeks” is a sunny summer’s day on a hillside, then “All We Ask” is the corresponding insomnia at two A.M. (Oh, is that what time it is? huh.)

After the first serveal listens my memory of the album felt like a sin graph; it peaked with certain hooks every few songs and descended into oblivion with others. The sequencing speaks to a calculated foresight, where each of their most accesible songs is spaced by several more brooding ones. It nearly follows the High Fidelity rules for making a mixtape. “Cheerleader” bumps between reverbed guitars and marching-beat drums while Droste ghosts over everything. “While You Wait For the Others”, basically a Department of Eagles song, follows Rossen’s heartbreak, reinforced by the most prominent harmonies on the album. I’ve fallen in love with the expanse of Veckatimest, the overwhelming density of sound, the swelling harmonies, the way each track tends to morph several times before resolving in a definite form. I Guess I’m Floating compared the Veckatimest anticipation to Srgt. Peppers. Then I thought it was hype, now I can only agree. This might be an album for the ages.

Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader

Grizzly Bear – While You Wait For the Others

And here is the video for “Two Weeks”:


MySpace | Label

Stream Wilco (The Album)


As of today, Wilco’s new album, Wilco (The Album), is available for stream on the band’s official website. I already listened through the album once, but think we all need to listen a few more times before passing any real judgment. As we already knew from the songs that Wilco has performed live, the album drifts towards Sky Blue Sky as opposed to their older more experimental works like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. All that I’ll say about the album right now is that I absolutely adore the song “You And I,” featuring none other than Feist on shared vocals with Jeff Tweedy.

I’m also incredibly impressed by the band’s email that they just sent out. Streaming an album before it has released has become a norm these days, but promoting the fact that the album has leaked is far from standard practice. It shows a certain understanding and maturity you just don’t see in the music industry yet. Hats off to you, Wilco.

Well, we made it nearly a month with copies of Wilco (the album) floating around out there before it leaked. Pretty impressive restraint in this day and age. But the inevitable happened last night. Since we know you’re curious and probably have better things to do than scour the internet for a download (though we do understand the attraction of the illicit), we’ve posted a stream of the full album at . Feel free to refer to it as “wilco (the stream)” if you must.

We also have our usual guilt abatement plan for downloaders. If you have downloaded the record, we suggest you make a donation to one of the band’s favorite charities, the Inspiration Corporation — an organization we’ve supported in the past & who are doing great work in the city of Chicago. Information and donation button here:

That’s all. Enjoy the stream. Tickets for summer shows, etc. Note that we’ll be holding a free online midnight screening of the “Ashes of American Flags” film this Friday night (at both midnight US Central time and again at midnight Pacific). So get the popcorn or whatever together and be sure to log on and tune in on Friday.

Wilco (The Album) (2009):

Wilco & Feist – You and I

Site | Myspace

Indie Muse August Update

Every once in a while it’s time for another Indie Muse update. It’s like a quarterly update, from a CEO perhaps, but much more random and much less important…to a point where it’s really not like that at all. Oh well. Just think of this as mini-posts that wouldn’t on their own justify a real post.

1) has offered me the position of  “National Music Examiner” for the site. It’s really a great honor to have been asked, and you should check out my column, as it will be Indie Muse on steroids. Also, browse through the rest of the site. I’m not just saying that because I write for them, it’s really a great site with Professional (AP), National, and Local writers…I wouldn’t have agreed to write for them if I didn’t think so.

2) I’ve never posted this Midlake “Roscoe” remix by Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve. It’s great.

 Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Roscoe (Midlake Remix)

3) Three of the writers for the site, Akhil Bhatt, David Nyman, and Sam Doty are in a band. I like to think of myself as their manager, though we never really discussed anything. Just kidding.

Abandoned Hospital Ship – Aperture

Abandoned Hospital Ship – Immortality Institute

4) Looking for an apartment/house? Check out, the official apartment/housing search engine of (I work for them and they are awesome).

5) I got an email a few weeks ago from a reader asking about Amplive’s Tokyo Police Club remix featuring Aesop Rock and Yak Balls. Below is “The Baskervilles,” the final track from Tokyo Police Club’s recently-released Elephant Shell. Here is a video of Amplive working on the remix.

Amplive – The Baskervilles (Tokyo Police Club Remix)

6) Thanks again to all of our loyal readers! If you have any recommendations or just want to drop me a line, my email is David (at) indiemuse (dot) (com). I would love to hear from you. Have a good August everyone!

Jonathan Poneman’s 5 Favorite Sub Pop Records Songs

Sub Pop, my most beloved record label, is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year. Co-founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman started a radio show in 1979, which turned into a fanzine, later to become the official Sub Pop Records we’ve all come to love. It’s hard to say exactly when Sub Pop “started” because in a decade it morphed from strictly a passion to a business.

Sup Pop is partially responsible for surfacing the 90’s grunge scene in Seattle, releasing albums by Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney. The  label is now shaping the sound of indie music, signing bands such as The Postal Service, The Shins, Iron & Wine,  and a slew of other amazing acts.

Jon Poneman is still running Sub Pop, although Pavitt resigned in 1996 to raise a family and experience life’s other offerings. NPR recently interviewed  Poneman, at which time he gave an update on what’s going on at the label and listed his five favorite Sub Pop released songs.

If you are looking for a fascinating story, read more about Sub Pop. Not only are they the most revolutionary independent label of the last decades, but have had a truly inspiring battle to get there. They saw a lot of rough times, and weren’t always able to treat artists as well as they would have liked. Pavitt says in an interview with Pitchfork, “We opened the doors to our very, very tiny office on April 1, 1988, and by May 1, 1988– 30 days later– we thought we were going out of business.” The dark years at Sub Pop got so bad that they had to beg the phone company to give them 10 more days of service. Then in 1995, verging  bankruptcy after the label spent a lot more money then they could afford, Sub Pop was forced to  sell 49% of the company to Warner Bros.

Thanks Sub Pop for all that you’ve done!

Jonathan Poneman’s 5 Favorite Sub Pop Records Songs:

Iron & Wine – Lion’s Mane

Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal

Pernice Brothers- Monkey Suit

Zumpano – Here’s the Plan

The Vaselines – Dying For It

Sub Pop website | NPR radio interview with Poneman | Pitchfork interview with Pavitt and Poneman