Posts Tagged ‘indie’

Politics and Music: Mark Berube

Mark Berube and the Patriotic FewMark Berube, a Canadian indie musician who performs folk-inflected indie with his group, Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few, discusses his perspective on music and politics. This is the third in a series of interviews with musicians discussing political perspectives. 

What role do politics play in your music?

Politics in modern music can very easily have the tendency to be preachy. I avoid this sort of statement as much as I can, unless I really want to put some balls behind something. I prefer subtlety, like “Ojala,” by Silvio Rodriguez, probably one of the most potent and subtle statments made in a song against Castro.

Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few – “Flowers on the Stones” | download

What role do you think music should play in politics?

Music has always been a reference point for society to bounce itself against, or it has been pure escapism. Most of the time it fills an entertainment quota in politics … you only have to look as far as Palin’s use of “Barracuda”. (more…)

Review: Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst’s self-titled release hit shelves August 5th.Conor Oberst
Conor Oberst
Merge Records, 2008

When I first heard Conor Oberst, I was an impressionable 14 year-old in grade nine. Following the recommendation of Bright Eyes by a friend whose musical interests I trusted (“Download ‘The City Has Sex With Itself,’ by Bright Eyes” he told me,) I engaged in musical exploration, learning of a great many styles, genres, and tepid over-classification, all of it new to me.

It wasn’t more than a year after my discovery that I ran into Conor Oberst’s first album he recorded and released: 1993’s cassette-only Water, an uncertain, less-confident release by the man that became, for all intents and purposes, Bright Eyes. He was a young 13 at the time of the release, and it was the first on Lumberjack, which later became the now-influential Saddle Creek Records.


Released This Week: The OaKs – Songs for Waiting

The OaKs - <i>Songs for Waiting</i> The OaKs
Songs for Waiting
March 4, 2008

The OaKs, previously the subject of a spotlight, self-released Songs for Waiting Tuesday. Opening track, “The Two Calls (of Dietrich Bonhoeffer)” — posted below for download and streaming — isn’t rough, and it’s certainly not too soft. The historical narrative, written by one of two founding members, Ryan Costello, is, at the very least, interesting. The arrangements involved in this new release are well planned, providing a listening experience that’s bound to impress.

The OaKs / Photo by Steven Taylor, Courtesy of Fanatic Promotion

The OaKs – “The Two Calls (of Dietrich Bonhoeffer)” | download

The OaKs – “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” | download

Review: A Faulty Chromosome — As An Ex-Anorexic’s Six Sicks Exit, …

A Faulty ChromosomeReleased Feb. 19, 2008; self-released.

A Faulty Chromosome, previously the subject of a Feb. 19 spotlight, is an unruly shoegaze group; while they do pull from a variety of influences — and it’s evident, it’s not just some blurb on the band’s MySpace — they create music that sounds as if it’s all essentially the same song, repeated ad infinitum. It’s not a bad song, though, just a bit on the repetitive side.

A Faulty Chromosome — “Jackie O” | download


Spotlight: A Faulty Chromosome

A Faulty Chromosome / Courtesy of Fanatic PromotionA Faulty Chromosome produces fairly engaging music that, while pulling from a variety of influences, maintains a fairly distinct shoegaze tone. At times a little offsetting, the band doesn’t “pull any punches,” per se, with their usage of several slightly grating guitar tones. Still, the two tracks I’ve posted below, “Jackie O” and” Them Pleasures of the Flesh” are interesting and worthy of a listen, but if you’re looking for the melodic tendencies of Lush, it’s probably best to work elsewhere. This band isn’t going to be known for ethereal, beautiful vocalizations, but more a more-or-less gentle sort of repetitivity that, while not the high point of musical achievement, does provide something interesting and surprisingly listenable, considering. Two tracks are posted below for listening and downloading, and a video is posted after the jump.

A Faulty Chromosome — “Jackie O” | download

A Faulty Chromosome — “Them Pleasures of the Flesh” | download


Bright Eyes release awarded with Grammy for art direction

Bright Eyes — <em>Cassadaga</em>Bright Eyes, the brainchild, if you will, of Conor Oberst, was awarded with a Grammy today in the category of “Best Recording Package” for Cassadaga. The release, designed by Saddle Creek graphic artist Zack Nipper, beat out Portland indie rockers Menomena’s Friend and Foe, Black Sabbath’s The Dio Years, The Fold’s Secrets Make You Tick, and GTS’s White Horse for the prize. The 50th Grammy Awards took place tonight in Los Angeles, Calif. The Flaming Lips, while nominated for “Best Surround Sound Album” for At War With the Mystics failed to pick up the prize; Wilco were nominated for “Best Rock Album” for Sky Blue Sky but likewise failed to net the “prestigious” awarding.

Bright Eyes — “Four Winds” | download


An interview with Lazy Goods

Lazy Goods Lazy Goods is a side project for Chad Felix, also in the Las Vegas, Nev. band called The Tramlines. Though each project is somewhat similar, they are also very different. Lazy Goods is comprised of country & folk melodies along with great vocals by Chad. Lazy goods have a few other occasional members who are on a few tracks of Lazy Goods. Mike Busch, Tyler Mckusick, and occasionally Michael Catalano — the drummer of The Tramlines — join in on the music making of Lazy Goods.

You are in two similar music projects, The Tramlines and Lazy Goods. Is folk/indie your music of choice?:

I can’t really say that I prefer any specific genre of music. I find myself listening to different things every day. I think it is important that people listen to music, and make a conscious attempt to find something good about it. No matter what you are listening to there is something worth your while (minus the obvious exceptions). It is just a matter of time and patience.


Spotlight: City and Colour

City and Colour -- Courtesy of Dine Alone RecordsCity and Colour, also known as Dallas Green from Alexisonfire, will be releasing a new full-length album coming February 12. The indie and folk-rock driven acoustics and enchanting vocal melodies that Dallas creates strongly accentuate the emotion behind his lyrics. A great success of a solo career! Dallas, a native of Ontario, will be kicking his tour off with a show at MuchMusic in Toronto on the 12th. They have also recently released a video for “Waiting.” Full tour dates can be found at Read after the jump to view the video.