Yellow Ostrich – The Mistress (2010)

photo by sarah mulligan

Yellow Ostrich’s release, The Mistress, is among my favorite albums from 2010.

Alex Schaaf, the main guy behind Yellow Ostrich, is a treat to listen to for several reasons. First, he makes fantastic music — some have even started comparing his unique style to a modern day Neutral Milk Hotel. And second, he is the rare musician who has a true sense of what music is all about. Instead of hiding in the crevasses, attempting to create a masterpiece for years (and promoting it for even more years), Schaaf has been completely transparent with his development as an artist. Since 2009, he has released 3 albums and 4 EPs. Some of these bedroom recordings are better than others, but that raw look in is completely genuine. Artists often times are afraid to risk putting out music that might not gain traction–and are often discouraged when they don’t instantly receive positive reinforcement. It appears that Schaaf isn’t like that at all. He is on a journey with his music and has invited us along for the ride. He can make an EP with the lyrics being only words from Morgan Freeman’s Wikipedia page, and feel good about it. I think that’s pretty awesome.

The Mistress is Schaaf’s stand out album. A few of my favorite tracks include “WHALE,””Hahahaohhoho,” and “Mary.”

Schaff is from Appleton, Wisconsin (Midwest, represent!) and recently moved to New York City. He just announced a US tour supporting Say Hi (dates below), and you should definitely try to see him if possible. As rumor has it,  part of the joy of  seeing him live is watching him multitask with his pedals, kind of like Andrew Bird. He is backed by Michael Tapper on drums, who has played with We Are Scientists and Bishop Allen.

The Mistress (2010):

Yellow Ostrich – WHALE (mp3)

Yellow Ostrich – Mary (mp3)

Fade Cave EP (2010)

Yellow Ostrich  –  Bread (mp3)

site | bandcamp (FREE!)

tour dates after jump:

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Jenny and Johnny – “Scissor Runner”

It’s a special week for rock-pop aficionados. Jenny and Johnny, a spankin’ new music group formed by Jenny Lewis and her Scottish boyfriend, Jonathan Rice, just released their first single, “Scissor Runner,” as a free download. The song, a deliciously fun anthem just in time for summer, will be on the group’s forthcoming debut, I’m Having Fun Now.

Yet don’t think every Jenny and Johnny track will match the cutesy lyrics of “Scissor Runner.”

As their site states, “The exuberance of love songs like ‘Scissor Runner’ mask some of the record’s darkness, with Lewis chronicling the economic demise of her beloved California in ‘Big Wave,’ Rice’s haunting vocal on ‘Animal,’ and both songwriters raising a middle-finger kiss off in the acerbic ‘My Pet Snakes.’ The overall result is genuine and original pop music for Right Now.”

Lewis, of Rilo Kiley fame and also a pair of solo albums, met Rice about five years ago while working on her solo debut, Rabbit Fur Coat. The pair struck up a creative friendship and lent help to each others’ respective recordings. Rice has actually performed with Lewis for every live show of her solo career to date.

Touring for the album, which may drop as early as August 31st, kicks off September 1st at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz, CA. The full list of cities and venues is available here.

Noticeably missing from the tour are stops in Arizona. Due to the state’s new immigration policy, which Jenny and Johnny say “legalizes and sanctions racial profiling,” the group refuses to play there.

“To all our rad southwestern peeps, we’re sorry that the brutes are running the show and we hope they get voted out of office.”

I’m Having Fun Now (2010)

(mp3) Jenny and Johnny – Scissor Runner

site | myspace

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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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


SXSW 2010 Music Recommendations

Are you going to SXSW this year? Well, lucky you. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend this year (IndieMuse’s contributor, Nick, is going and will be keeping everyone up to date via IndieMuse and our twitter feed @musicfloss). I wanted to go ahead and include some bands that I highly recommend checking out if you do make it down to Austin. This list is far from complete, but with the overwhelming number of bands performing, we thought it would be a good idea to share some “IndieMuse approved” artists. A lot of these artists are more on the alternative folk side, but if you’re looking for “indie rock” music recs, check out Nick’s post. If we missed anyone, please include them (and a Myspace link) in the comments!

note: some of these artists are playing multiple days so check for venue, dates, and times.


Bowerbirds, Califone, The Veils, Fanfarlo, Frightened Rabbit, Born Ruffians, Joe Purdy, Princeton, Dustin O’Halloran.

(mp3) Bowerbirds – Northern Lights

(mp3) Joe Purdy – Wash Away (Reprise)


Midlake, Centro-matic, Miles Kurosky (Ex-Beulah), Rogue Wave, These United States, Le Loup, Avi Buffalo, Seabear, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Lissie, Cary Brothers Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene, and Amber Rubarth.

(mp3) These United States – Will it Ever

(mp3) Avi Buffalo – Where’s your Dirty Mind?


Dosh, Vandaveer, Twin Sister, Jail Guitar Doors (Documentary showing), Memory Tapes, Tape Deck Mountain, She & Him, Zeus, The Low Anthem, Metric, and Sebastien Schuller.

(mp3) Sebastien Schuller РBalan̤oire

(mp3) Vandaveer – However Many Takes it Takes


Forest City Lovers, Electric President, Pretty Lights, and Hey Marseilles.

(mp3) Electric President – Safe and Sound

(mp3) Hey Marseilles – To Travels and Trunks

Band of Horses set to release new album, Infinite Arms.

Just the other day, I was listening to Band of Horses and this thought swept over me: “When the F*** [yes, I curse in my head] are BOH releasing their next album?!” Then, as if my inner-voice rained down on them from the heavens, they announced their upcoming album. It was magical. Their album is called Infinite Arms, and it comes out on May 18. It will not be released on Sub Pop, which means my April Fools report from a few years ago was dead on.

According to our friends over at Pitchfork, frontman Ben Bridwell said, “in many ways, this is the first Band of Horses record.” I guess we’ll see who makes better music–Ben Bridwell or Ben Bridwell & Co.

(mp3) Band of Horses – Ode to LRC

(mp3) Band of Horses – Monsters

site | myspace

Cool video from Lollapalooza:

‘continue reading’ for Tour dates:

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Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) Contest Giveaway


photo credit: Paul Addotta @ Red Rocks

I don’t listen to all that much electronica, but one band that I love seeing live is Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9). For those who aren’t familiar with the band, they are basically an electronica jam band that combines live instruments with samples. The first time I saw them perform was Bonnaroo 2007, and I’ve seen them live two times after that… each show being extremely rememberable.

Last Tuesday, the band released a new album Ad Explorata, and they will be going on a nationwide tour in early 2010. If they are rolling through your city, you should definitely check them out… it’s money well spent.


IndieMuse is taking part in an STS9 Giveaway were you can win some free stuff like an STS9 t-shirt, hat, or the new album. It’s not every day that you can win FREE stuff (right?), so you should take part in this!

Contest rules

In the comments below, write your location (i.e. Chicago, IL) and 3 of your favorite albums of 2009. We could pick the winner out of a hat, but that’s boring, so instead we are going to take out our big U.S. map and randomly point to somewhere. If your location is the closest, you win! And we will be giving away all three prizes separately, so there will be three lucky winners! We will pick the winners on Friday December 18th, so you basically have til the end of the week. And sincere apologies, but we can only ship prizes to the U.S.

Winner Update: So the whole map pointing thing turned out to be kinda a pain in the ass, cause I obviously picked places very close to the middle of two or three contestant locations and literally had to google map the number of miles… but I wanted to do this with integrity!

Winners: The shirt went to Tim (Columbus, OH), the hat went to Will (Atlanta, GA), and the CD went to Katie (Milwaukee, Wi). Thanks for participating!

(mp3) STS9 -Phoneme

official site

tour dates after the jump…

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If you like Bon Iver, Wisconsin, and beards, you need to check out Cedarwell. Erik Neave, the main man behind Cedarwell, creates music that excites me much in the same way Justin Vernon’s music did when I first set ears on For Emma Forever Ago.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his name quickly spread.

It almost seems too easy to compare Neave to Vernon,  but his music has a similar tone, he’s from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and  looks like he could be Vernon’s brother. Hopefully, he doesn’t mind the comparison, as it’s one he definitely will not be able to escape. Anyway, I think it’s a pretty big compliment myself, and he’s been making music for a while, as well, and is in no way a copy cat.

Cedarwell currently has two albums out and an EP (they’ve also made music under the name Amalgam), and they have plans on releasing another album in February. I’ll be keeping you posted. The band is currently touring in Europe, so go check em out if you can! From the videos I’ve watched they seem to put on very personal shows.

Live on

(mp3) Cedarwell – Burn Up The Sky (Which One)

Fall ’08 Tour EP

(mp3) Cedarwell – Black Lung (highly recommend)

Smoky Mountain Bear (2008):

(mp3) Cedarwell – Home

more mp3s on Cedarwell’s website. Buy albums here.


Princeton – Cocoon of Love (2009)


Fans of Jens Lekman, The Magnetic Fields, and My Morning Jacket should check out the L.A. band Princeton.  I’m really been digging their debut album, Cocoon of Love. It just released yesterday on Kanine records, and is a really solid folk/indie album. My favorite tracks off the album include “Shout It Out,” “Calypso Gold,” “Sadie and Andy,”  “Sylvie,” and “Stunner Shades in Heaven.”

Princeton is twin brothers Jesse & Matt Kivel, Ben Usen and David Kitz. In support of the new album the band is wrapping up a tour with Ra Ra Riot and will head out this fall with Art Brut and later with OK GO (dates after jump).

Cocoon of Love (2009):

(MP3) Princeton – Shout It Out

(MP3) Princeton – Sadie And Andy (Feat. Meredith Metcalf)

itunes | amazon | site | myspace

(Video) “Martina and Clive Krantz”

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