Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

July News: Orphans, Youtube, and Allison Weiss

July 12, 2014

Here are some neat things that are happening in the music world.

Singer/songwriter Aaron Hale (whose music IC is quite fond of) is now part of The Orphan Care Network as the head of artistry and advocacy. Helping orphans through art? I would say that’s pretty much in line with everything I want to be about. He is currently booking house shows in the Texas/Arkansas/Tennessee/Alabama area. If you want to host/attend a house show, get more information, or support him financially, you can e-mail him at aaron@orphancarenetwork.org.

Andrew Judah is the best singer/songwriter you’ve never heard of (and I hadn’t heard of, until recently). He’s put up all his incredibly complex, unique and engaging work for free on Bandcamp so that you can get to know him better ahead of his upcoming release Monster (which I am absolutely thrilled for). So if you don’t feel like supporting artists but wants lots of music, this one’s for you!

Post-Echo Records created a movie called Passage, and then they created a remix of it that you the watcher can control. That’s pretty incredible. If you’ve ever read Choose Your Own Adventure books…

Julianna Barwick and Dogfish Head Brewery are two of my favorites at their respective games. (Julianna Barwick might be the only person in her loop-one-voice-into-dozens game, but the approval still holds!) They’ve teamed up to make a beer and an EP named Rosabi; the EP includes the sounds of the beer being made. The beer, however, does not come with a download of the album (wishful thinking!). You can pick it up wherever Dogfish Head is sold; it just went on sale 6/20, so hopefully there’s some left at your local store of choice.

Youtube just got way more music-friendly: Paste and Music Vault are now hosting their own channels. The Music Vault contains Daytrotter sessions, as well as a veritable treasure trove of historical finds. Go nuts, y’all.

Soundsupply continues to hone their niche in the punk/emo/hardcore world by featuring Say Anything and the beloved-by-pop-punkers Allison Weiss. (Allison Weiss is also beloved by Independent Clauses for being one of the most forward-thinking businesspersons in music.) Go get tons of music for relatively cheap and support artists!!

It was bound to happen at some point: a service called ARENA has busted out a “rent-to-own” plan for music. I have no idea whether this will catch on, but there is a quantifiable difference between a song I played once for research and listening to “Wild One” by Flo Rida 30 times because I run to it. Will keep you posted, if anything happens because of this service.

Speaking of running, IT’S TIME FOR THE RUNHUNDRED MONTHLY LIST!!! —Stephen Carradini

The Top 10 Workout Songs for July 2014

This month’s top 10 list plays host to an eclectic bunch of established and upstart musical acts. On the international front, you’ll find a reggae hit from the Canadian band Magic and a platinum single from Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz. Elsewhere country artists Jarrod Niemann and Lady Antebellum document their nights on the town. Finally,you can check out the latest from newcomers Tune-Yards and Charli XCX alongside chart regulars Katy Perry and Shakira.

No matter where your interests lie on the musical spectrum, there should be something for you below. So, if you’re looking for a few new tunes to liven up your summer workouts, this month’s playlist will give you 10 great places to start.

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

Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong – 121 BPM

Katy Perry – Birthday – 124 BPM

Charli XCX – Boom Clap – 93 BPM

Jarrod Niemann & Pitbull – Drink to That All Night (Remix) – 120 BPM

Magic – Rude – 72 BPM

Lady GaGa – G.U.Y. – 100 BPM

Shakira – The One Thing – 84 BPM

Tune-Yards – Water Fountain – 111 BPM

Far East Movement & Riff Raff – The Illest (Rell the Soundbender Remix) – 80 BPM

Lady Antebellum – Bartender – 101 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine. —Chris Lawhorn

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 RunHundred.com–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

Updates: Charlie Betts/A Road to Damascus/Run Hundred

September 6, 2011

Charlie Betts, whose “unique, divisive voice” I wrote about in January, has another whole album ready for alt-country fans. It’s very similar to his previous work, so old fans and newly interested parties can check out A New World at his Bandcamp.

Many blogs cover pop-punk in great detail, which is why I’ve written about it less as of late. However, A Road to Damascus‘ brand of pop-punk/emo/screamo has been on my radar since early 2010. Their new self-titled album makes me think back fondly on the year 2003, when Tell All Your Friends/Your Favorite Weapon/War All the Time were the thing, yo. The band pulls out all the stops: pop-punk riffs, hardcore breakdowns, sky-high sung vocals, screams and melodic hooks galore. If you’re into emo/pop-punk, consider your day vastly improved. Pick it up from iTunes and/or check out this music video (which should also induce early ’00s flashbacks).

And Run Hundred released a list of top ten best songs from August to hear while running/working out. From founder Chris Lawhorn:

Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer – “Give Me Everything (Sidney Samson Remix)”
Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
Switchfoot – “Dark Horses”
Gym Class Heroes & Adam Levine – “Stereo Hearts”
Lady GaGa – “Edge Of Glory (Bare Noize Remix)”
Pitbull & Marc Anthony – “Rain Over Me”
Nadia Ali, Alex Kenji & Starkillers – “Pressure (Alesso Radio Edit)”
T.I. & B.o.B. – “We Don’t Get Down Like Y’all”
LMFAO, GoonRock & Lauren Bennett – “Party Rock Anthem (Russ Chimes Remix)”
Alexandra Stan – “Mr. Saxobeat”

Knowin' that this (stuff)'s gotta run! It's gotta run!

July 28, 2011

So I’ve been getting back in shape after 1.5 years of what I will euphemistically call “productive desk-sitting.” Changed up my diet (less Taco Bell, more Shakeology), started working out again (can I get a grunt for P90X?!?!) and, most ambitiously, started running.

I used to get all my running in from playing Ultimate Frisbee, but I’ve been out of that for a couple years now. So after getting up my guts by running with some friends, I’ve set out upon a course that will hopefully take me through a half-marathon on Thanksgiving. This is probably the most ambitious thing I’ve ever tried (other than that time I tried to start a magazine or whatever).

So I’ve needed some music. On the road trip that I’m still currently on, I’ve been rocking the bootleg of LCD Soundsystem’s last show at Madison Square Garden. (I don’t think it’s on Spotify, which makes me happy; but that’s a different post.) If you haven’t heard this, you’re just in the wrong. It’s almost three hours long, and LCD just goes for it on every song. “Yeah” and “Losing My Edge” together are almost twenty minutes of music, which is perfect for my two-mile runs. (The title of this post comes from “Yeah,” incidentally.)

James Murphy is probably one of the best motivators in the world: he absolutely loses his mind as he’s yelling “YEAH!” dozens of times. And in “Losing My Edge,” there’s a extra background vocal bit right when Murphy starts screaming out band names, accompanied by a drum freakout, which results in adrenaline infusion.

“Tribulations” and “Movement” are also killer run tracks, although “Movement” makes me want to run much, much faster than I can currently sustain. I’ll write a full review of the album (I’m counting it as an album) soon.

If you’re not up for LCD Soundsystem (I feel for you, truly), Chris Lawhorn of RunHundred sent over a list of ten tracks that users voted on as the best running tracks of 2011 so far. RunHundred is a running music community, and it’s pretty sweet. I’ll be hitting it up a lot in the next four months. Without further ado:

105 BPM – Adele – “Rolling In The Deep (Jamie XX Shuffle)”
122 BPM – Jason Derulo – “Don’t Wanna Go Home”
125 BPM – Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream (Kaskade Remix)”
127 BPM – Deadmau5 – “Sofi Needs A Ladder”
128 BPM – Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera – “Moves Like Jagger”
129 BPM – Cee Lo Green – “Fuck You (Le Castle Vania Remix)”
129 BPM – LMFAO – “Party Rock Anthem”
129 BPM – Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer – “Give Me Everything”
130 BPM – Tiesto, Diplo & Busta Rhymes – “C’mon (Catch ‘Em By Surprise)”
150 BPM – Avril Lavigne – “What The Hell”

Not super indie, but there is a Deadmau5 track! More interesting is the several remixes, proving that particular music method is becoming more and more important.

So run on, indie world. Run on.

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

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