Archive for the ‘’ Category

Children Of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From The World Of Independent Music

Art by Kathie Bayne

Disclaimer:  Folks, if you don’t know by now, your further searches into this project will show that, yes, this is my project.  And I am basically using my own pull to advertise my own work.  I am the editor and coordinator of this project, came up with the idea and what not.  I feel as though I can rationalize doing this since we have so many other great folks involved with this project that deserve all the recognition they can get.  And we are doing it all to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.  So leave judgements at the door, and you will find something awesome below!

With the holiday season upon us, an almost nearing completion, it might be a good time to start thinking about one of the finer, and probably more noble, sides of the season – The Giving.  But, as most of us know, but may not want to admit, sometimes the benefit of giving is actually the getting.  So how we solve the dilemma of trying to give back, and at the same time receiving something awesome in return?  I’d like to say, “there’s an app for that”.  And there may very well be.  But, there is also a nice charity project in development that could very well offer just what we need.

The project is a book entitled Children Of Mercy:  Tales and Teachings From The World Of Independent Music.  It shall be a collection of essays and poems written by several elite individuals from all over the world, as well as all over the independent music spectrum telling tales of glory and woe they have experienced in this somewhat deviant, yet delightful world we call independent music.  Contributors to the book include artists, journalist, bloggers, label owners, dj’s, etc.  And in some cases, a contributor might hold all of these titles. (more…)

Bright Eyes preview track “Shell Games” leaves my head spinning

Bright Eyes - The People's Key

There’s about as much variety in the latest song from Conor Oberst (this time, as Bright Eyes) as you could probably pack into one single four-minute outing without sounding, well, messy. “Shell Games” manages to avoid that mess by establishing a theme early on, and sure, the post-punk interludes mesh without too much trouble with the crowd shouts, stomping synth, and Oberst’s vocals, but there’s something off here.

[audio:|titles=Bright Eyes – “Shell Games”]

The track opens with ragged piano and some sort of warbly noise (perhaps it’s the signature warble from Conor Oberst transplanted,) but the road it goes down isn’t just a little back-and-forth: It’s almost wacky in its machinations. Still, sometimes, I can’t help but tap my foot to the beat, and sometimes, I find I’m really caught up in the song — it’s certainly no travesty, but it’s all over the place.

It’s nice to hear Oberst knee-deep in Bright Eyes again, because his solo material just droned on and on as he looked for heartfelt country-folk-rock (or whatever he decided to term it,) but I, for one, hope the rest of the album manages some sort of consistency. If it’s all as disjointed and scatter-brained as “Shell Games” is, I doubt I’ll be able to listen more than once or twice.

2010 in Review #4: The Indie Rock Two Hour Block

Power 91 Radio

In June, I began a stint as a radio personality on our university station, Power 91 (KSUU 91.1 in Cedar City, Utah). “The Indie Rock Two Hour Block” featured rambling to the nth degree — and as a bit of a Christmas “treat,” I’ve linked to a set of archives of the show. If you’d like to listen to some bizarre rambling, check it out. It should return in January, and you can listen live at

2010 in Review #5: The build up to some of the year’s greats

The Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

In this series, Matthew Montgomery takes a look at five of his favorite happenings in the music world. Between today and the end of the year, you’ll get a chance to read the top five.

Waiting in eager anticipation can be fun, but when you’re incrementally fed exciting bits of music before a release, it’s that much better. Case in point: “I Didn’t See It Coming” from Belle and Sebastian’s Write About Love and “The Suburbs” from the Arcade Fire‘s chart-topping outing.

It may be in part because I’ve grown to love both groups since my teenage years, and they’d both waited several years to hit the new releases section of your favorite record store — but boosting that anticipatory glee can only be a good thing. Can you imagine being hit with the new album from your favorite band without a moment’s notice? It would be disorienting! That anticipation helps to build expectations so they can either be let down or boosted, depending on your perspective. (more…)

Rural Alberta Advantage issues anticipatory track

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departed

My love for The Rural Alberta Advantage is not really a secret. Their full-length, Hometowns, held a very special place in my record player, and it was easily one of my most-listened albums of 2009, when it was reissued. When Departed was announced, I became, well, a little giddy. I don’t think this should come as too much of a surprise — I get giddy at the merest mention of new things from bands I enjoy, and when it’s a band I have an unabashed affection toward, make no mistakes: I’m like a little school girl. Well, I mean, I’m like a little school girl in some respects, not all.

At any rate, I snagged an e-mail this morning from Paper Bag Records advertising a track from the upcoming Departed, which is due out March 1. I jumped from the couch I’d fallen asleep on, grabbed my laptop, and the listening took off.


Recession Proof Music: Top Ten EPs of 2010

I’m not sure if the recession really had much to do with it, but short track lists didn’t seem to be in short supply this year.  In my tenure as an indie music blogger and investigator, I’ve usually been able to pick out a couple EPs throughout a year that acted as more than just a promotional tool for a forthcoming LP or simply as a demo of a band’s talent.  But in 2010, it seemed as though many artists decided they would stuff 12 tracks worth of brilliant material into just a few songs (in some case, just two tracks.) Were they in a rush?  Were they just broke?  Or did they simply realize that they can express everything they wanted to in a much quicker fashion?

In the end, it doesn’t matter. Some wonderful tunes were made, and that is all that really matters.  So, here is a list of ten of my favorite EPs from the year:

10)  The Flying Change – Singer/Songwriter.  Sam Jacobs went an entirely different route than he did on his 2009 album, Pain Is A Reliable Signal, that appeared on many “best of” lists, including mine.  He traded in the acoustic guitar for some dancable beats.  Although it is only two tracks, it is very exciting.  I wouldn’t expect to hear an experiment like this from Jacobs again, as he is constantly looking to create something new.  Just be thankful he did this at all.


Music Geek: Ten for 2010

School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire

Given how quickly 2011 is approaching, here’s a quick list of ten of my favorite records of the year. If you ask me what they are tomorrow or at any time in the near future, my answers will change. Just saying. Check it out!

1. School of Seven Bells — Disconnect From Desire (@sviib)
Dream pop on steroids for the 21st century — I can’t resist it.

2. Belle and Sebastian — Write About Love (@bellesglasgow)
More from the band that’s brought you great indie pop for 14 years. Mix in some soul and R&B and you’ve got Write About Love.

3. The Tallest Man on Earth — The Wild Hunt (@tallestman)
Folky pop music with some real power behind everything. Just pure goodness here. (more…)

Danko Jones: Live in Spokane, Dec. 9th

Danjo Jones

Danko Jones

Hard rock has earned an ill report lately in certain artistic circles.  And sadly, some of the negativity being thrown at the genre is actually well deserved.  What with some of the same tired old bands screaming out lyrics you can’t understand to the same 3 or 4 chords bursting with enthusiasm but lacking any creativity, it does make sense.  But thankfully there is still hope.  Yes, spread out amongst the damned and bitter under world, there are some things to get excited about.  And making his way, after a very long journey, through the current mainstream is none other than the Canadian guitar-wielding maestro of the insane, Danko Jones.