Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2014

nevergiveup

2013 is over, but the 10th year of Independent Clauses marches on. It was an amazing year, full of shows and releases and old friends and new friends and more good music than I could possibly cover. It was one of my favorite years of Independent Clauses, as I feel that I’ve finally hit my stride in what I want to be doing here.

Never Give Up: Celebrating 10 Years of the Postal Service was our 10th anniversary, but that was only the beginning, not a swan song. That release ran its time, and is now gone but for the torrents running about on the Internet. You can still hear Jenny & Tyler’s excellent version of “We Will Become Silhouettes” on their charity covers album For Freedom, and I recommend you do that. It was an amazing project, and I’m thankful to the many, many people who helped make it happen, as we raised almost $500 dollars for Hurricane Sandy relief (along with making some really awesome music).

Here’s to many more years of Independent Clauses: more projects, more reviews, and more shows. More friends, especially. More friends.

challenger

And here’s Challenger‘s two-song New Year release, which features a quiet, piano-led original and a version of “Auld Lang Syne.” It’s an unexpectedly chill turn from a big, bold synth-pop project, but both tracks are perfect for sitting back and thinking about the year that was and the year that will be. Christmas gets all the love, but Challenger is sticking up for New Years. In the same way, some bands may get all the love, but Independent Clauses is sticking up for the young, new, and small artists out there.

Jenny & Tyler set their stamp on 7 tunes for charity

November 14, 2013

Jenny-Tyler-For-Freedom-Cover-Art

When I was in an art-rock band in high school, we managed to agree on only three cover songs in our four-year history: Coldplay’s “Parachutes,” Fall Out Boy’s “Dance Dance,” and “Hotel California.” (If you can figure out what those have in common, let me know.) My latest endeavor with the cover song was much more coherent, as I got 22 bands to contribute to a Postal Service covers album. I’m still incredibly thrilled with the final product, although I certainly do not want to run a similar project any time soon.

Folk-pop duo Jenny & Tyler, who were featured on Never Give Up, have put together their own covers album in For Freedom. As the title would suggest, the 7-song album is a project that benefits International Justice Mission‘s work to end slavery. Not only do you get their excellent arrangement skills, songs you love, and guest musicians (Sara Groves! JJ Heller! A virtual choir of hundreds of J&T fans!), you get to support justice in the world. What are you waiting for?

“We Will Become Silhouettes” is included here in remastered form, sounding even more gorgeous than before. It would easily be my favorite (and not just for sentimental value; the crescendo from beginning to end is heart-pounding) except for the absolutely stunning “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Jenny & Tyler temper Bono’s original desperation with their warm, gentle arrangement skills, using oboe, clarinet, and cello to create an alternate vision of what that place we’re all looking for sounds like. If that wasn’t enough, they enlist the excellent Sara Groves and a choir of fans to guest vocal, creating a simply masterful take on the song. I could listen to this one all day.

They turn Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” from an angsty rager into a twee-pop tune, complete with glockenspiel. “The Sound of Silence” is suitably haunting, with their voices and clarinet (aside: I just love that they give the clarinet good press) giving a new tension to Simon & Garfunkel’s original. “The Scientist” includes a harpsichord/autoharp sound, but no piano; it’s an ambitious move that pays off.

Overall, Jenny & Tyler have set their unique and particular vision on these tracks, and that’s all that I ask from covers. The fact that the tunes are alternately heartbreaking and heart-pounding is a testament to the skill with which they can realize that vision. Highly recommended.

Sometimes "I LOVE THESE THINGS" is the right title

July 30, 2013

Brook Pridemore’s second video is as much fun as his first one. Punchline: Brook takes his guitar everywhere–really, everywhere. The Mountain Goats-esque power-pop is also awesome.

Kodacrome’s elegant “Strike The Gold” has a perfect video: super-slo-mo of a horse getting ready for a run and then doing it. I can’t even explain how perfect this video is for this song.

In June, I got to see The Postal Service live. It was such an incredible experience that I couldn’t find words to adequately explain it. Instead, The Creators Project got together and made a 14-minute video about PS’s tour. It is beautiful. You should watch all 14 minutes.

Such Great Heights 3-song single released!

May 1, 2013

NeverGiveUp

So, back in February I announced that Independent Clauses is organizing a 20-band compilation album covering Give Up by The Postal Service as a 10th birthday celebration. Well, the full release of the now-21-band album is two weeks from today! To get everyone excited about this, we decided to drop a three-song single in advance. And that’s live today!

You can go to Independent Clauses’ Bandcamp and check out three versions of “Such Great Heights” from Kris Orlowski, Seven Handle Circus, and Venna. They each put a distinct spin on the song, which just shows the incredible quality of the tune.

The first 250 downloads are free! Stay tuned for more tunes on May 15!

10 Years! Never Give Up! Kickstarter!

February 8, 2013

NeverGiveUp7

Independent Clauses’ 10th birthday is coming up, and we promised loyal IC readers a present/surprise at the beginning of the year. Today is the day that we unveil that present. We are putting out a 20-band compilation album of covers from Give Up by The Postal Service called Never Give Up: Celebrating 10 Years of The Postal Service. It will be out May 15 on Bandcamp.

We’re running a Kickstarter campaign to finish up the funding of the mechanical licenses. We’re only looking for $695, because this project isn’t looking to change the world: we just want everyone to get paid legally. So, if you want to support Independent Clauses, get some sweet free tunes, support one of the bands below, or generally be awesome to each other, you should hit up the Kickstarter Page and check out the prizes. I’ll handmake you a mix CD! With art!

Folk Side:
1. “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” – The Collection
2. “Such Great Heights” – Venna
3. “Sleeping In” – Andrea Caccese (of Songs for the Sleepwalkers and I Used to Be a Sparrow)
4. “Nothing Better” – The Duke of Norfolk
5. “Recycled Air” – Jacob Furr
6. “Clark Gable” – The Parmesans
7. “We Will Become Silhouettes” – Jenny and Tyler
8. “This Place Is a Prison” – Carl Hauck
9. “Brand New Colony” – Elijah Wyman / Decent Lovers
10. “Natural Anthem” – Stephen Carradini and the Midnight Sons

Indie-pop Side:
1. “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” – Fairmont
2. “Such Great Heights” – Kris Orlowski
3. “Sleeping In” – The Lovely Few
4. “Nothing Better” – Oh Look Out!
5. “Recycled Air” – Josh Caress (of Come On Pilgrim!)
6. “Clark Gable” – Dr. Pants
7. “We Will Become Silhouettes” – Young Readers
8. “This Place is a Prison – Western Romantic (Dan McCurry of Run Dan Run)
9. “Brand New Colony” – The Noise Revival
10. “Natural Anthem” – Gregory Pepper

So that’s the deal! We’re corralling our favorite bands together into a compilation of one of our favorite bands, and giving it away for free with your help. Let’s make it happen!

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

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