Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

September Video Highlights!

October 11, 2013

Here’s the best video stuff I received last month (and early this month).

Hey Geronimo have combined one of my favorite songs of the year (“Lazer Gun Show”) with a suitably awesome video that includes cheesy sci-fi and a giant cat. I just love this.

Rykka’s video for the slick, classy “Blackie” starts out like something out of The Knife but ends up in a significantly happier space.

Paper City’s surf-pop album Summer of Love came out recently, and they decided to put together a trailer for it. I’m usually not a big fan of trailers, but this one kept my attention with a huge number of costume changes and goofy props. Love it.

If you’ve got approximately 75 minutes and a love of hymns, Roots and Wings: The Story of Indelible Grace and the RUF Hymns is on YouTube. I haven’t had 75 minutes to watch the whole thing yet, but I’m very much looking forward to it.

Singles: Keep That Summer Alive

September 11, 2013

Here’s 11 tracks of indie-rock, indie-pop and folk that I’ve been loving recently.

Keep That Summer Alive

1. “Little Lucy” – The Worriers. Somewhere between early 2000s garage rock and highly stylized Vaccines pop-rock sits The Worriers’ excellent track. Viva la indie rock.
2. “Lazer Gun Show” – Hey Geronimo. If you aren’t screaming out “LA! ZER! GUN! SHOW!” by the end of this tune, you’re doing it wrong. You may also be dead. Thank you, Hey Geronimo. Thank you so much.
3. “Who You Are” – Natural Animal. In a perfect world, this song dominates radio, wins VMAs, and is crowned song of the summer.
4. “Science of a Seizure” – Challenger. Ratatat percussion eventually gives way to the best sort of ’80s revival pop. Challenger can make even brittle beats warm and enveloping.
5. “Tell Teri On Me” – Sir Wes Al Gress. Wobbly dub plus bubblegum vocals, shimmering synths, and a walking-pace beat. It’s completely bizarre, but infectious in a strange way.
6. “Once a Servant” – Psychic Teen. In a perfect world, this song dominates… wait. (Generationals, meet your new opening band!)
7. “When He’s Down” – The Lonesome South Comfort Company. Folky, Southern, psychedelic: this band knows how to hit you hard and early. One of the best singles I’ve heard all year.
8. “Robber Barons” – Cloud Person. Celtic vibes from a big string section give this full-band folk assault an anthemic, epic quality. If you think indie-rock is a little too American-sounding.
9. “Ramble” – Rivals of the Peacemaker. The Civil Wars get a little more outlaw (as you’d expect with that excellent name). Try to get this one out of your head, I dare you.
10. “Silent Film Reel” – Breathe Owl Breathe. The orchestral folk-pop of BOB is always earnest, infectious, and delightfully off-kilter.
11. “Happiness Is a Sad Song” – Owls of the Swamp. There are a certain group of people who agree innately with this song title and therefore will be in love with this smooth, mellow tune.

Video jam, pt 3

October 8, 2012

Spring Offensive’s clip for “Not Drowning But Waving” is mysterious, evocative, and engaging while still interpreting the song. The melancholy visuals feed off the tension of the acoustic-led indie-rock.

I have no idea what is going on in Exitmusic’s “The Modern Age” video. Is it a continuation of their last head-scratching clip? Why all the buffalo? Did someone say, “Just wave these roadside flares around and it’ll be cool”? All I know is that the song is great, and the band was invited to be part of the completely stacked line-up at Moogfest.

You know how I said I’m a sucker for a pop song? The Adele-ification of pop music can’t proceed fast enough for me. You go, Lindsay Beth Harper.

It’s all fun and games until…

Singles love

June 16, 2012

Zula’s “Technocrat Motorist Coping” is all the weirdest moments of Death Cab for Cutie’s work jammed into one song. The slightly psychedelic indie-pop track is oddly endearing and engrossing, as all the parts come together incredibly well. I like!

Guess what! Another Australian band is fantastic! This time it’s Hey Geronimo on a return single, after conquering my psyche with “Why Don’t We Do Something” last November. “Carbon Affair” is a summery slice of hand-clappy, tom-crazy, Vampire Weekend guitar stealing, pop/rock goodness.

Only Starlings, TN could make a song called “(Tonight) I’m Just Looking To Get Laid” into a depressing tune. Combining weeping guitar, aching strings, and Steven Stubbefield’s down-and-out vocal musings, the band manages to do just that. If you’re into Americana, check it; if you’re into seeing how such a hair metal sentiment can go into “tears in my beer” song, also check it.

Bermuda Bonnie’s “Shimmer” is the sort of party jam I love: it has elements of ubiquitous hip-hop and/or house (in this case a persistent, vaguely tribal beat that sounds like you should dance to it) but it takes those things in weird directions that people don’t realize until they’re on the dance floor (in this case, flutes, weird electronic noises that kind of sound like animal/insect noises). Totally cool track.

And it’s not one track, but a bunch of tracks next: Chris Lawhorn over at Run Hundred has put together the top running songs from May. –Stephen Carradini

With summer nearly upon us, there’s a mess of new music bumping in a gym near you. The singles from Usher and Linkin Park’s new albums are out now—along with Pitbull’s contribution to the Men in Black III soundtrack. Also, on the movie tip, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” returns to the top 10—albeit in a dark, retro remix that works the American Idol veteran into a groove straight out of the Scarface or Drive soundtrack.Lastly, the top 10 is rounded out by trio of collaborations wherein Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, and Cee Lo paired up with Wiz Khalifa, B.o.B., and Slaughterhouse.

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

Avicii – Levels (Skrillex Remix) – 142 BPM

Pitbull – Back in Time – 126 BPM

Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa – Payphone – 110 BPM

Demi Lovato – Give Your Heart a Break – 123 BPM

Usher – Scream – 129 BPM

Linkin Park – Burn It Down – 111 BPM

Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (Hotline’s Miami Vice Club Remix) – 118 BPM

Slaughterhouse & Cee Lo Green – My Life – 137 BPM

B.o.B. & Taylor Swift – Both of Us – 127 BPM

Katy Perry – Part of Me (Jacques Lu Cont’s Thin White Duke Remix) – 130 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

Saturday tunes

November 12, 2011

With Stanford getting unexpectedly stomped, my evening plans took a turn for the boring. So, I’m breaking my usual moratorium on Saturday work by sharing these tunes with you.

Hey Geronimo is (yet another) Australian band blessing my ears with its wonderful tunes. Their gleeful single “Why Don’t We Do Something?” features enthusiastic acoustic guitars, tambourine, perky bass, maracas, a guitar solo and a guy yelling “Yeehaw!” Where do I sign up for more?

The Finger mixes modern rock guitar tone, dance-rock grooves and a female vocalist to create a memorable tune in “In a Fragment of Time.”

Starlings, TX is no stranger to tragedy, in life and in song. So it’s fitting that he was moved by the wildfire that devastated a huge section of Bastrop State Park that he wrote a beautiful alt-country tune about it. Proceeds from the pay-what-you-want download will go toward recovery efforts.

I have been known to malign the Ohio State football team as “the national champions of Ohio” based on their Buckeye State-centric non-conference schedule. But wonder-filled indie-poppersBreathe Owl Breathe is about to become the musical national champions of Michigan, and that’s nothing but admirable. Check this touring sched with Little Wings, who will appear on all shows except the early Nov. 26 engagement:

Fri. Nov. 25 – Grand Rapids, MI @ DAAC
Sat. Nov. 26 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Wealthy Theater – 3pm
Sat. Nov. 26 – Grand Rapids, MI @ DAAC – 8pm
Tue. Nov. 29 – Evanston, IL @ SPACE
Wed. Nov. 30 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Arbor Vitae
Thu. Dec. 1 – Kalamazoo, MI @ The Strutt
Fri. Dec. 2 – Ypsilanti, MI @ Dreamland Theater
Sat. Dec. 3 – Detroit, MI @ ‘Noel Night’ at The Scarab Club
Sun. Dec. 4 – Brown Town, MI @ House Show
Tue. Dec. 6 – Marquette, MI @ Up Front & Co.
Wed. Dec. 7 – Hancock, MI @ Orpheum Theater
Fri. Dec. 9 – Traverse City, MI @ Higher Grounds
Sat. Dec. 10 – Petoskey, MI @ North Woods Studio
Sun. Dec. 11 – Bellaire, MI @ Shorts Brewery

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

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