30 November 2009

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Etiquette (2006)

Owen Ashworth, aka Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, has been making music on a Casio keyboard since 1997. The perfect example of the 'indietronica' genre described below.
He's reasonably well known now, and while i admit this probably isn't for everyone, i really like it. Autumn/winter music for sure: pleasantly melancholy and bitter lyrics, synths, and an ever-present electronic drum machine.


Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Letting Up Despite Great Faults (2009)

Letting Up Despite Great Faults, from Los Angeles, is a band that probably falls under the category of 'indietronica'. Normally i hate portmanteau genre names but i think this one works. Electronic drum machines, synths, heartfelt lyrics and a melancholy sound. It's something different, and that's always good, right?


29 November 2009

The Gunshy - Souls (2005)

The Gunshy is Matt Arbogast, a man with a Tom Waits-y raspy voice who plays self-aware-ly sad, mostly acoustic songs. All of his albums are excellent but this is a great place to start.

Music for sweater weather. If the phrase 'music for sweater weather' doesn't mean anything then there's no hope for you.


Sonny & The Sunsets - Tomorrow is Alright

Modern indie pop/rock evocative of jangly '60s California pop like The Beach Boys and such things.


The Wooden Sky - If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone

Folk-rock from Toronto with a very apparent gospel influence.
Strong voice, powerful but fragile songs.
I'm not feeling very wordy today but it's really good trust me.


Brandon Peck - Demo

I don't have any idea where i found this, but i'm glad i did. One guy, a guitar, and some awkward, honest songs. Reminds me at times of Paul Baribeau.
If there's one thing i never get sick of it's homemade, heartfelt acoustic songs.


21 November 2009

Nothington - All In (2007)

Formed from the demise of Tsunami Bomb, Nothington is another fantastic example of gritty, southern-influenced punk rock like HWM, The Tim Version, etc. Raspy shouted vocals; catchy, driving punk rock.


19 November 2009

Kind Of Like Spitting - The Thrill of the Hunt (2006)

Kind Of Like Spitting was around from 1996-2006. KOLS was essentially a vehicle for singer-songwriter Ben Barnett's songs.
This was their last (and i think, best) album. Throughout KOLS's large discography there are tons of really amazing songs, but i think this is the most solid whole album. Something about it feels oddly, undeniably, familiar or nostalgic to me but i can't quite put my finger on it.


13 November 2009

Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis - Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis (2008)

Despite all appearances, Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis are actually a contemporary band. Three teenage (16, 21, and 18, respectively) multi-instrumentalist siblings from the UK that record '50s revivalist music on only '50s vintage instruments and equipment (no computers involved in recording at all). It's like a time machine. A brilliant time machine of revivalist perfection.
They have a very unique thing going on, and the fact that they're all younger than me actually depresses me a bit. Don't pass this up if you have any amount of appreciation for '50s music at all.


David Rovics - Behind the Barricades (2003)

Radical left-wing protest music, in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, etc., but about contemporary issues like Iraq, globalization and the exploitation of South American countries. Strong anti-corporatist, anti-elitist, and anarchist themes.
David Rovics allows free downloading of all his music on his website, saying:
"Feel free to download these songs. Use them for whatever purpose. Send them to friends, burn them, copy them, play them on the radio, on the internet, wherever. Music is the Commons. Ignore the corporate music industry shills who tell you otherwise. Downloading music is not theft, you're not hurting anyone, I promise."

Even if you don't agree with his politics, he shows that intensely political folk music is not just an anachronism from the 60s. Strong, singable melodies; inspiring lyrics; and energetic acoustic guitar. Worth checking out. This is a best of, and a good place to start.


Dead Hearts - Bitter Verses (2006)

Hardcore from Buffalo, NY. Similar to Ruiner or The Carrier. They split in 2008.


06 November 2009

Castevet - Summer Fences (2009)

Indie/emo in the tradition of Cap'n Jazz, American Football, etc (aka the good kind of 'emo'). It's great, and definitely worth checking out. Reclaim dishonoured genres!


The Ergs! - Jersey's Best Prancers (2005)

Speaking of The Ergs!, here's another album from them. More pop-punk gold.

Zatopeks - Ain't Nobody Left But Us (2005)


British pop-punk band with a strong '50s pop influence. It appears from the album cover that they have some pretty crazy eyebrows, but it's a very well-written, high-energy pop-punk album. This album in particular has a lot of '50s greaser culture nostalgia in it.
So think a British Buddy Holly/The Ergs! hybrid. Or Something.


01 November 2009

Pretend You're Happy - Pretend You're Happy (2008)

Pretend You're Happy. Don't ask questions, just do it.

One night they might be a stripped down acoustic 2-piece, the next an 8-piece electric entourage including two drummers, a doublebass player, and a clarinet-noise player. Their music takes influence from divergent genres such as folk, classical, and hardcore.


Hymie's Basement - Hymie's Basement (2003)

Part of the anticon family, Hymie's Basement is composed of Yoni Wolf and Andrew Broner (of Fog). Shares some similarities with other Yoni Wolf projects like WHY?, Reaching Quiet, and cLOUDDEAD. Indie-folk-hiphop, and unabashedly... anticon.


Radio Moscow - Radio Moscow (2007)

70's-styled psychedelic blues-rock trio. For fans of The Black Keys or 70's blues like Cream etc.