Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Dat News: August 2014

August 5, 2014

Here’s some news of the world.


The Music Collaborative
is an extended group of friends centered around one woman (who also runs Sushi and Queso Designs). The idea is simple: e-mail all her friends and family each week for what they are listening to, then make a playlist out of it and put it on Spotify. You can access the playlists from Facebook or Spotify itself. The list is extremely diverse, with showtunes, rap, indie-rock, top 40, and classic rock all getting rep. Fun times! If you want to contribute to the mix, you can post on the Facebook wall. If you want to know what I’m listening to each week outside of stuff I cover, here’s a good way to find out. (Not a big secret, though: It’s mostly Mountain Goats songs.)

The Lightning Magazine proposes to be a quarterly counterculture magazine (printed on real paper, because who does that anymore?) that has a 20-album series associated with it. That’s a ton of music. Most notably for IC readers, old-school IC faves Pontiak are in on the thing. Here are some other people involved, listed as they styled the names:
SHINJI MASUKO (DMBQ/BOREDOMS) / CY DUNE / WOODEN WAND / PEOPLE OF THE NORTH / SAM AMIDON / CHRIS FORSYTH / WILLIAM TYLER / GREG SAUNIER (DEERHOOF) / AMERICAN CULTURE (and a bunch more). Finally, here’s a short video and description of it in their own words.

IC faves Soundsupply have teamed up with IC faves Deep Elm (as well as The Militia Group) to put out a drop that includes unsung emo heroes Brandtson’s full discography. Seriously, Brandtson and The Appleseed Cast pretty much were Deep Elm to me for a long time. You owe it to your emo-revival-loving self to check out Brandtson if you haven’t. 10 albums! 15 bucks! Totally!

Finally, I have been tapped to join the board of directors for North Carolina non-profit record label Croquet Records. This is really exciting to me, because who doesn’t want to be on a board of directors? Just kidding. I’m really pleased that I’ll be able to work with North Carolina-based singer/songwriters through this record label. (And I’ll make sure to publish any conflict of interest statements that are necessary.) The label will spring into action in 2015, so get ready for that.

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

May News!

May 19, 2013

Soundsupply has released Drop 8! The 10-albums-for-15-bucks project this month features Fort Atlantic, Little Tybee, Jenny O, and IC faves Maritime. Hit it up!

Deep Elm Records has easily been one of my favorite record labels over Independent Clauses’ decade. The good folks over there are offering 7 whole compilation albums–99 songs–for free in exchange for passing the link on. And the link’s not even that long: http://www.deepelm.com/free . So hit that up.

And, because I’m running again, it’s time for the RunHundred monthly. —Stephen Carradini

The Top 10 Workout Songs For May

This month’s top 10 highlights the return of several workout favorites. Daft Punk released their new material since the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. The Jonas Brothers and Avril Lavigne offered previews from their upcoming albums. Lastly, Paramore—whose future was uncertain after two founding members left the band—topped the Billboard chart for the first time in their career.

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

Ash – Arcadia – 151 BPM

Krewella – Alive – 128 BPM

The Band Perry – Done – 102 BPM

Daft Punk & Pharrell – Get Lucky – 116 BPM

Alex Gaudino & Mario – Beautiful – 128 BPM

Jonas Brothers – Pom Poms – 148 BPM

Will.I.Am & Justin Bieber – #thatPOWER – 129 BPM

Avril Lavigne – Here’s to Never Growing Up – 83 BPM

Paramore – Still into You – 137 BPM

Carly Rae Jepsen – Tonight I’m Getting over You – 126 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

News Now

April 24, 2013

The good guys at Soundsupp.ly do monthly “drops” that include 10 really good albums for 15 bucks. This month they’re doing weekly Mini Drops of 5 albums for $10! This week’s is “Two X Chromosomes and a Microphone,” which features bands led by women. IC faves Venna and Secret Mountains are both included! Seriously, check it out. These guys are working hard to get good music out to the public at an affordable rate.

Fiery Crash, whose recent album Carbondale I really enjoyed, has dropped a compilation album of b-sides and covers called Gable Woods. I highly recommend that fans of Elliott Smith check it out.

And, because I’m getting back into running shape for a half-marathon in November, it’s time for the RunHundred update.

The Top 10 Workout Songs For April

Collaborations reign in this month’s workout playlist. Justin Bieber lent Will.I.Am a hand on the latter’s latest. Italian super producer Alex Gaudino turned the mic over to Jordin Sparks. Lastly, Pitbull and Christina Aguilera urged folks to seize the day–while seizing, for themselves, the hook from ’80s classic “Take On Me.”

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

Alex Gaudino & Jordin Sparks – Is This Love – 129 BPM

Miranda Lambert – Mama’s Broken Heart – 112 BPM

Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks – 107 BPM

Will.I.Am & Justin Bieber – #thatPOWER – 129 BPM

Kylie Minogue – Timebomb – 128 BPM

Afrojack & Chris Brown – As Your Friend – 128 BPM

One Direction – One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks) – 163 BPM

Pitbull & Christina Aguilera – Feel This Moment – 137 BPM

Avicii – Silhouettes (Syn Cole Creamfields Mix Radio Edit) – 128 BPM

Macklemore, Ryan Lewis & Ray Dalton – Can’t Hold Us – 148 BPM

Chris Lawhorn

Soundsupply Drop Five is here!

October 16, 2012

I’ve written about the good guys at Soundsupply before, and I’m happy to announce that their project has made it to its fifth iteration. Their newest collection of 10 albums for 15 dollars is a bit heavier than previous drops, with IC fave Polar Bear Club, Hit the Lights, and Circa Survive among the loud stuff. But they still make room for songstresses Jen Wood and Laura Stevenson; Stevenson’s Sit Resist was my fourth favorite album of 2011. I’ve been hearing a ton about Buried Beds since they went on tour with faves MeWithoutYou; and then, of course, there’s John Frusciante, who needs no introduction.

Overall, it’s an impressive collection, one that is definitely worthy of your 15 bones. I’d pay 10 bucks for Stevenson’s album alone. Check it out here.

Full list:
1. Circa Survive “Violent Waves” (Self-released)
2. Hit The Lights “Invicta” (Razor & Tie)
3. Jen Wood “Finds You In Love” (New Granada)
4. Polar Bear Club “Clash Battle Guilt Pride” (Bridge 9 Records)
5. Buried Beds “Tremble The Sails” (Self-released)
6. Rodeo Ruby Love “This Is Why We Don’t Have Nice Things” (Pentimento)
7. Pswingset “All Our False Starts” (Topshelf Records)
8. Make Do And Mend “End Measured Mile” (Paper + Plastik)
9. Laura Stevenson & The Cans “Sit Resist” (Don Giovanni)
10. John Frusciante (from Red Hot Chili Peppers) “The Empyrean” (Record Collection)

News: Hoodie Allen & G-Eazy / Soundsupply / RunHundred

August 21, 2012

Hoodie Allen and G-Eazy are going out on tour together! The indie-rock-flipping rappers will be traveling all over the East Coast and Midwest in September; I’ve already got tickets to the Atlanta date. I’m stoked to finally see Hoodie live; IC has been covering him for a long time.

Soundsupply, the music-discovery service whose creators I interviewed recently, is back with a new 10 albums for 15 bucks. This one includes IC faves I Used to Be a Sparrow, Mason Jennings, and Mansions; from the clips in the video below, I’m super-excited about La Dispute and Talons.

Soundsupply Drop 4 from Soundsupply on Vimeo.

I’m getting back into running (it’s always more fun to be a runner than to turn yourself into a runner), so I need music. And RunHundred is there for me, with its monthly Top 10. —Stephen Carradini

If you were working on a workout music time capsule—trying to show future generations what folks listened to in the gym in 2012—the highlights from August alone would nearly do the trick.

In this month’s top 10, running favorites LMFAO, Flo Rida, and Pink all made appearances. Pitbull turned up twice—once in a remix and once with Shakira. And, the year’s two biggest hits (“Call Me Maybe” and “Somebody That I Used to Know”) were both reinvented as club tracks.

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

Flo Rida – Whistle – 103 BPM

Pitbull & Shakira – Get It Started – 129 BPM

The Wanted – Chasing the Sun – 129 BPM

Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo – Let’s Go – 130 BPM

Pink – Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – 113 BPM

Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time – 126 BPM

Pitbull – Back in Time (Play-N-Skillz Remix) – 128 BPM

Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (Coyote Kisses Remix) – 124 BPM

LMFAO – Sorry for Party Rocking (Wolfgang Gartner Remix) – 130 BPM

Gotye & Kimbra – Somebody That I Used to Know (Tiesto Remix) – 129 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

Soundsupply: 10 albums, 15 bucks, everyone's happy.

June 19, 2012

Angst goes in waves, and surely there has been an outpouring of angst about music recently. People want to pay less and less for music, at the same that it’s becoming more and more important to us via portable listening that allows integration of music and daily life with unprecedented ease. However, Soundsupply wants you to pay for music. Granted, it’s 10 albums for 15 dollars, which is less than one CD was going for in the heyday of the big major label. Still, I can guarantee bands get paid better than $0.06, which is what 10 streams on Spotify will get you. If you’re lucky. When you go buy one of Soundsupply’s bimonthly Drops, you’re paying for hand-picked music from the guys who introduced me to The Felix Culpa (Tim and Eric Mortensen ran Common Cloud Records, which released Commitment all those years ago) instead of ripping off bands. I’ll take that every time.

Tim graciously responded to a request for an e-mail interview, where he expounds on how Soundsupply is doing its thing to help out in the crazy world of the new music industry.

1. How did you decide to start Soundsupply?

My brother Eric and I started Soundsupply after closing down the record label we had been running for a few years. We wanted it to be easier for bands to be discovered. The old days of buying an album you picked up in a store simply because you liked the cover art are almost over. Soundsupply is our attempt to bring back music discovery through ownership.

2. How do you find/pick bands for Soundsupply?

A lot of the bands we’ve worked with so far have been friends (or friends of friends), which made it easier to get started. Pitching the idea without any evidence that it would work is less difficult if it’s to someone who has slept on your floor when touring.

We choose bands who have enough similarities that there’s a chance that if you like one of the 10 albums in a Drop, you’d probably like most of them. We like to spotlight hard-working bands who tour a lot and are doing something unique.

3. What’s in the current drop?

Drop 3 is our widest variety of artists so far. We’ve got some more well-known bands like Hellogoodbye, The Dear Hunter, The Get Up Kids and Asobi Seksu. There’s some under the radar bands like The Small Cities, Young Statues and Tall Ships, who all NEED to be heard. We’ve got some heavier stuff like Pianos Become The Teeth. Some lighter stuff with Via Audio. And Gobotron continues a trend from Drop 2 of an album made by a member of Manchester Orchestra. There’s also two amazing, potential bonus EPs by Wildlife Control and Bearcat.

4. What is your payment model for consumers?

We try to keep it simple. You can purchase the Drop for $15 and it comes with both MP3 and FLAC formats, or you can purchase a Year Supply, which is the next 6 Drops (or 60 full length albums) for just $75. With the Year subscription, you also get all Bonus releases included and you can download each Drop a day before it goes on sale to the public.

5. How do bands get paid?

Each bands make an as-large-as-possible cut of the purchase price. It’s definitely a deep discount from their normal gain from an album, but given the quantities we deal with in a 10 day period, it’s a good experience for everyone. The main goal is exposure. Each band gains the chance to get their album in the hands (or iPods) of a bunch of music fans looking to discover their new favorite band.

6. How have the previous drops gone?

The first two Drops went really great. The bands we got to include were all fantastic. The biggest thing for us is the community that is starting to develop around the idea of Soundsupply. Anytime someone comments that they can’t wait for the next Drop or that they’re going to see a band on tour that they discovered through downloading from our site, we feel that we’re accomplishing what we set to do.

7. How do you see this business model working in the future? Do you hope that this will affect the industry at large?

We hope to continue introducing new bands and growing the music community around discovery. Anything that helps an artist get their music out on the internet, while also seeing money in their Paypal account is good progress. If it does anything for the industry, I hope it allows bands to do things on their own and make decisions that are best for their art and their careers. I don’t think we’re setting out to disrupt the industry, but if it happens along the way we wouldn’t hate to see it get better.

8. What’s the most important good trend in music right now (other than Soundsupply)?

I think the best thing lately has been when bands embrace technology. The music industry typically isn’t the first onboard for new and inventive things, so when a band releases an iPhone app or live streams their practices, it’s the fans that win. The access a fan can now have to a band can be almost constant. The artists that harness that are the ones that are going to succeed.

9. What’s the most important bad trend? How do you propose we stop it? (We can be anyone from consumers to bands to labels or beyond)

In my opinion, the toughest trend I’ve seen lately is the disconnection between listening to music and supporting a band. With the amazing things that technology brings, it also makes it easier to be passive towards the artists that are creating the music we listen to everyday. In the past, “liking” a band would mean purchasing their album, buying tickets to see them on tour, making a mix to give to friends. All these very active things. Now, you can experience a band by clicking a link on your cell phone. There’s very little investment on the listener that it sometimes means massive disengagement. The solution is that everyone needs to be more creative. Bands need to work harder to create opportunities for listeners to support them. Music fans should be getting more creative, too. I heard some people the other day talking about taking their most listened to artists on Spotify each month and buying a piece of merch from their website. It’s small, but a start?

10. When are the next Soundsupply drops?

Drops are available every other month. The current Drop will end at midnight EST on June 27th. The next bundle goes live in August.

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

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