Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

NEW CHALLENGER: Mule Variations

September 21, 2012

So I spend a lot of time doing reviews here, but I only occasionally throw down a thinkpiece. Independent Clauses is not really the place for long ruminations. So that’s why I’m thrilled that I’m now contributing pieces to online music magazine Mule Variations. The magazine is co-edited by Adam Caress, whose band T/The Troubadours I reviewed 7 years ago. And yes, he’s the brother of Josh Caress, who I write about all the time.

My first piece is up now at MV: “The Flattening of Professional and Amateur” is about the strangely small distance in sound quality between the pros and the up-and-comers at the moment, and what that means for music. Check it out!

A large amount of odds and ends that mostly have to do with Josh Caress

October 4, 2011

So, Josh Caress and his new band Come On, Pilgrim! are making a record, and they’re funding it with a Kickstarter campaign. If you love Caress’s work as much as I do, you’ll want more tracks that sound as incredible as “The Region of the Summer Stars.” If you read this blog consistently and don’t love Josh Caress’s work yet, I have utterly failed at one of my primary goals. Support Caress and correctly-punctuated band names everywhere by contributing some dollarz.

In other Josh Caress-related news, I heard from his brother Adam (whose old band I reviewed a very long time ago, and who co-runs the blog Mule Variations) that they have TWO MORE musical siblings, who are in this band Ponychase. The song sounds like it could have been lifted from (still) my favorite Josh Caress album, Letting Go of a Dream, which means it’s been chilling in the back of my consciousness since I first heard it. Do yourself a favor and jump on this dreamy wonder.

I rep Norman, Okla., proudly and often. But even if I wasn’t from the same town as The Nghiems, I would still love this video. If you ever played side-scrolling multi-player beat-’em-up arcade games (You know you loved X-men in the arcade), this indie-pop saga will make your heart swoon.

In still further related Caress news, Adam Caress just did an interview on MV with Red Wanting Blue’s songwriter Scott Terry. Red Wanting Blue has been covered here before, and their new album From The Vanishing Point comes out in January. But because they’re awesome, they’re streaming the album, one song at a time, until it’s all up and out in the universe. If you like good ’90s pop, you’ll love this.

And, finally, it’s October, which means Chris Lawhorn of RunHundred sent over the top running tracks of September from his website. I usually let the data stand, but his commentary (below) is quite interesting. —Stephen Carradini

This month’s list brings two questions to mind:

#1. For how many consecutive months will David Guetta turn up in these top 10 lists? (His new track with Usher made the cut–and he just barely missed making it again with his recent Nicki Minaj collaboration.)

#2. Will Calvin Harris, Benny Benassi or Afrojack be the one that unseats him? (All three are making their second appearances on the charts this month. And, like Guetta, each has begun being billed as the artist on his tracks—rather than being credited as the producer/remixer, which was the case a couple years ago.)

This month’s top 10 is rounded out by a new track from LMFAO, a Britney remix, and a song by Young The Giant—brought most folks’ attention by the band’s surprise inclusion on this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

Rihanna & Calvin Harris – “We Found Love”
Dev – “In The Dark”
Afrojack & Eva Simons – “Take Over Control”
LMFAO – “Sexy And I Know It”
Chris Brown & Benny Benassi – “Beautiful People”
Shortee & Faust – “Friday Night Special”
Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne – “Motivation (Rebel Rock Remix)”
Britney Spears – “I Wanna Go (Oliver Remix)”
Young The Giant – “My Body”
David Guetta & Usher – “Without You”
—Chris Lawhorn

More Spotify thoughts

August 3, 2011

If you’re interested in another take on Spotify, Adam Caress over at Mule Variations brings up two interesting points: Spotify has the potential to be wayyyy better than ASCAP for artists, as well as hold listeners musically hostage. It’s a good read.

Starting the final leg of the road trip tomorrow, which means posting will be sketchy until Tuesday.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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