If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s trolling the internet for new music.
I was checking out the Twitter feed of a music intern from Riot Act Media when I came across an @reply that stopped me in my tracks. I happened to stumble upon the website of a songwriter from San Francisco named Chloe who combines folksey sentimentality and mournful cello lines with light-as-air lyricism.
Her newest album, Puppeteer (released January 2011) was produced by Chris Chu of the Morning Benders, so you know it’s got some musical chutzpah behind it.
Here’s my favourite track off the album, Apollo & Daphne which you can pick up from Bandcamp for a buck.
North American news stations have a nasty habit of picking up a story about a devastating natural disaster, blasting the public with updates for about a week or two, then promptly dropping it to cover more important news. (What would I do without prompt updates on the whereabouts of Sarah Palin’s hairdresser or the fluxuations of Kim Kardashian’s ass size? Die, probably.)
However, back at the locations of tragedies, victims don’t just disappear when we flip to TLC to catch a rerun of Cake Boss. It’s really sad that our attention span for global tragedy is so shortsighted.
Remember the Japanese Tsunami on March 11th, 2011?
The earthquake in Haiti on January 12th, 2010?
The BP oil spill on April 20th, 2010?
Yeah, they’re still cleaning up after those.
So imagine my happiness to discover that a few of my favourite artists have pieced together a benefit cd called Recorded for Japan. It’s chock-filled with psychedelic guitar licks, silky keyboard pulses and funky drumbeats. Proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross. Keep your ear out for contributions by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Chairlift, Kurt Vile, and R. Stevie Moore (feat. members of MGMT) in the sampler below.
If you’re looking for another awesome cd that supports relief efforts in Japan, the Morning Benders put out an incredible benefit EP called Japan Echo this year. Click here to buy it; you won’t regret it.
Another amazing compilation that supports a worthy cause is 2009’s Dark Was The Night, released by the Red Hot Organization in support of HIV/AIDS awareness. Produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, the compilation cd features amazing covers and collaborations by Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird and over two dozen other indie heavyweights.
Two of my favourite tracks off Dark Was The Night are Knotty Pine and Deep Blue Sea by Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear, which was recorded in Rossen’s own home.
Knotty Pine – David Byrne and The Dirty Projectors:
Listening to music helps people. So the next time your mom starts shouting at you to “…shut off your Goddamned boom box and come help with the groceries!“, tell her you’re helping to save the world, one track at a time.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m the host of a weekly radio show called Indie-licious on CFMU 93.3. As a special treat, and since I have absolutely nothing to do on this long bus ride home, I’ve decided to post the links to as many free mp3s from my show playlist as I can cram into this blog post! Think of it as my apology for neglecting SFLN of late.
Less Unless – Civil Civic
I couldn’t be happier to start my show off with this great track this week. It sounds like a less Ratatat-y version of Ratatat. Very stoked to check out more of this band, and I really liked where it got fuzzy, messy, and hectic in the middle. Wasn’t expecting that the first time I listened to it. Download it!
On the beach, lookin' all badass
Friday Night in Butch Heaven – T H O M A S
T H O M A S sports a sweet mustache and even sweeter tunes. When I think of Butch Heaven, I definitely don’t think of funky guitar riffs and a crooning male voice. This track could be straight out of the playlist for a 70’s dentist’s waiting room, if that waiting room were TOTALLY AWESOME. Unfortunately, I can’t include any mp3s of Thomas for the blog, because he has yet to become widely known yet. However, if you like what you hear, and you know me, I will lovingly give you a digital copy.
Ambergris – Snowblink
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Daniela from Snowblink (she signed my cd!). Although I found that Snowblink were much better live (as in, put me in a trance live), this track is still really pretty. The cool thing about Snowblink is that during their live show, Daniela has a guitar with antlers, a headset, and gives the audience a long, frayed rope with dozens of bells. Huge bells, tiny bells, pretty ones, and creepy ones – all for the front-row audience to use at the right time. Some audience members were a bit too enthusiastic at some points, but overall, it was a fantastic use of audience participation that made me envious that I wasn’t sitting in the front row. This is one band that I would definitely see again live. Ambergris is delicate, breezy, and strong at the same time. CBC Radio 3 describes it as surf folk. Check out the CBC Radio 3 page for Snowblink and stream Ambergris!
Wouldn't it be nice to be in the mountains, fighting over a guitar?
Radar Detector – Darwin Deez
Darwin Deez is a Hipster. Darwin Deez makes great music. I’ve heard he can be off-key live, but this track is so fantastic that I just don’t give a damn. Kind of like an indie-electric version of Motion City Soundtrack without the alcohol addiction. Excited to get the rest of this album and dance away this dreadfully cold May weather.
I Wanna Be Like You – Morning Benders
It should be mandatory for every up-and-coming indie-band to cover Disney songs as part of breaking into the scene. Think about how awesome it would have been if MGMT covered Kiss the Girl? If Vampire Weekend covered Just Can’t Wait to Be King? If Animal Collective covered The Circle of Life? Genius. Download it!
Collector – Here We Go Magic
This song might be my favourite of today’s show. It’s got a wonderful, strong, pulsing beat to it, really catchy vocals, and it’s perfect for driving around to. I really wanna get my paws on the Secretly Canadian Spring Sampler 2010 as soon as I can because it has a few bands I’ve been curious about, as well as some I’m already in love with. Download it!
Baby Boomer – Monsters of Folk
Monsters of Folk is a SUPERGROUP! Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, M. Ward, and Jim James from My Morning Jacket. This song has the exactly perfect combination of country-folk and rock which doesn’t sound twangy or tangy, just head bobbingly awesome. Download it!
Told You Once – Apples in Stereo
I’ll always remember the Apples in Stereo as being the first band I had to HUNT for the cd for. This was before I had a credit card, so I wasn’t accustomed to purchasing online, and I was on a hunt in every HMV in the area code for New Magnetic Wonder. I finally found it in an HMV in Toronto and I’ve cherished it ever since. I’m very excited to see what else, other than Told You Once, is on their new album Travellers in Space and Time. Pitchfork gave it a 7.3, in case you’re curious.
ROCK ON, BALDY!
DLZ – TV On The Radio
My first few encounters with TV On The Radio were not exactly positive. However, playing and listening to this song is my final attempt to make peace with this band. I think it’s JUST harsh enough for me to like, and was perfectly moody enough for the bad weather we had this afternoon. Download it!
New Theory – Washed Out
I’ve played Washed Out on my show before, but now’s the time to continue checking them out, now that I’ve also discovered Toro Y Moi and gotten more into Neon Indian. Washed Out definitely falls into the category of spacey, hazy, somewhat drugged summer music that has been shockingly popular with the under-30 set recently. Download it!
I love this photo. Her hair is sexy.
Intervales Theme – Javelin
Found this band from the music blog The Life Signs Project, which, much like our beloved SONGSFROMLASTNIGHT, is a warm-and-fuzzy collaborative music blog between friends separated by their residence in far-flung cities. Now, going back to Javelin – I can’t get enough of this band, especially the NSFW-song STD Fury. Intervales Theme is much safer for PG13 ears – it’s sweet – a groove that reminds me of an old-school cop chase scene.
Just Impolite – Plushgun
Another song borrowed from The Life Signs Project. I did end up cutting it off with a minute and a half left, because it’s just TOO poppy to go on for so long. I think this was the sugariest I’ve ever gotten in a radio show before. I’m not sure I’ll reveal that much of my secret (embarrassing) taste again any time soon. Download it!
Moonsoon – Delorean
I found this band while on iTunes one day. It was one of those winding “See What Others Have Bought” times when you just keep clicking on related artists until you find one that really piques your interest. I personally think that Delorean really sounds like Passion Pit (in a great way). My friend Maria did remark that they did sound a bit too technoey in some over their other tracks, which I am inclined to agree with. So as far as their album Subiza goes, I think it’s rather hit and miss.
WELL. That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post!
I got this The Morning Benders song Excuses from one of my favourite monthly playlists– provided by Shankly (no idea who this person is, but thank you for all the great additions to my iTunes). This is just such a happy song, meant to be listened to on a sunny day.