Friday, March 31, 2006

Strip Squad

Ok... How much fun is this one!?!? A really cute indie pop band with perverted sex lyrics. I couldn't resist this one. Strip Squad is a young five member band from Sweden. I had to listen a couple of times to understand all of the words, but once I did I was laughing enough to have to shut my office door at work. This is fun x10. Check out the Strip Squad website for more songs that really are just as good and fun as this one. You can also pick up their debut album The Adventures of Strip Squad there for $7 and if you don't have a credit card they say you can even put the money in an envelope to send. I might just try that ah? (I'm serious)... Anyway, great group that also has a MySpace page. I just sent them a friends request.

Happy Friday.

MP3: Unreliable Narrator

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Katie the Pest

I think it's because I grew up listening to crappy cassette tapes I mixed on an old boom box, but the lo-fi thing never really appealed to me. After hearing today's band, however, I must admit that a great exception was made on my part. Mary Suzuki and Tonia Rose make up the Pasadena, CA duo Katie the Pest. With only one guitar, drums and a ton of reverb they had this sceptic giving their music repeated listens.

Check the Katie the Pest website for more songs off the 2005 release This Giant Will Kill You. Also check the online store there... Some unique items such as a flower brooch and candy are available. And, as ever, they have a MySpace page for you to check out also.

MP3: Sober

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Made Milwaukee Famous

What Made Milwaukee Famous sounds like yet another great band from Austin, Texas. I nixed the music I was planning to feature here after listening to this song at work today. You can find it on their 2004 self-released CD Trying to Never Catch Up, which is available on the WMMF website for US$10. The reviews I read all had similar things to say about the band... They were compared to just about very other good band under the sun, and they give an outstanding live performance. Check out their MySpace page to hear more. I can't really figure out any specific genre to place WMMF under... and that's a very good thing. WMMF is playing tonight at Pianos in NYC and tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge (also NYC).

MP3: Mercy Me

Thursday, March 16, 2006


This band from Stockholm, Sweden started out in 2004, originally going by the name Novak, and releasing one album under that name. Following a change in line-up and a shift in their musical style, they thought a name change was in order too, and decided to call themselves Antennas. They're signed to indie label Novoton and released their first (or second, depending on how you look at it!) album, Sins, earlier this month. This song, Adapt! is set to be the first single release from the album, and it's such a wonderfully catchy and melodic piece of indie pop that if there's any justice in the world, it'll get plenty of airplay and really get the band noticed.

If you check out the Antennas website, you can hear more songs from the album, as well as the stuff they released under as Novak (there's also a couple of Novak tracks to download) - and it's all available to buy from their label's download store (prices are in Euros) and mail order store (USD $14/GBP £9, inclusive of shipping) - they accept credit/debit cards via Paypal. Oh, and I almost forgot... they are (of course) on MySpace.

Nice stuff... enjoy!

MP3: Adapt!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit originally began life as Solomon, under which name they had one release, a limited edition seven-inch single, on Black Cat Records. Then, following a name change, they put out their first record as The Duke Spirit on the City Rockers label in 2003 - this home-recorded seven-inch is known as the Darling, You're Mean EP after its title track. They released another EP, the six-track Rock, Spirit, Roll, which really started to attract them attention from the music press. They were working on an album intended for release in September 2004, but suffered a setback when City Rockers went out of business due to financial difficulties.

After a period of uncertainty about if and when they'd be able to release the album they'd been putting together, they signed to former NME editor James Oldham's Loog Records, and the album Cuts Across The Land was finally released in May 2005. This song, Dark is Light Enough, was originally released a year earlier, in May 2004.

Check out the Duke Spirit website for the usual news, tour info and suchlike - there's also a few songs to download, and you can buy all their available releases through the site too. Oh, and they have a MySpace page too... but then, who doesn't?

MP3: Dark Is Light Enough

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Pigeon Detectives

I can't seem to find out much information about this five-piece from Leeds, UK, apart from that, well, they're a five-piece and they're from Leeds, UK - but that's probably more down to my laziness than an actual lack of information. The biog on their website, however, doesn't give away much at all. What I can tell you is that they've been going since around 2002/2003, they're signed to the (also Leeds-based) Dance_To_The_Radio label, and they've released one single, I'm Not Sorry (available to buy from the label's site - they take Paypal, which always makes things easier), and their second single, You Know I Love You is due to be released on July 17th.

Check out the Pigeon Detectives website to hear (and download) a couple more songs - there's also more to listen to (including a preview of the new single) on their MySpace page. Oh, and if the reviews I've read are anything to go by, they're definitely worth going to see live.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Okay... we adore this. All I can say is, if you've not heard Tomihira yet, you're missing out... you need to listen now.

San Francisco, California-based Tomihira is the music of Dean Tomihira, along with Markkus Rovito and Jeff Kay. They've been playing live together since late 2004, but the songs include material that Dean had been writing and recording for over a decade. He cites influences including The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Echo and the Bunnymen, Radiohead and so on... and whilst you can certainly hear those influences in the music, the result is something that goes way beyond that. It's wonderful, melancholy stuff, all gorgeous vocals and... ahh, just go and listen. Now. Trust me, you'll love it.

Finished listening? Right, you're obviously going to want to know where you can hear more, so I'll finish by directing you to the Tomihira website, where you can download a few more tracks and (for an insanely cheap US $5 INCLUDING shipping) buy the self-released album, Play Dead, and also to the Tomihira MySpace page, where there's more stuff to listen to.

Did I mention that we love this? Tomihira is going to go far...

MP3: World Class

Friday, March 10, 2006


Since I'll be visiting London, UK next week I figured it would be nice to feature a band from there. This is the "folktronica" I was referring to the other day. Tunng is the London-based project of producer Mike Lindsey, who has roots in thrash metal, and singer/guitarist Sam Genders. Genders is influenced more by classic genres. From what I read, they record their music in the basement of a lingerie shop. You actually have to go through the changing rooms to get to their studio!! The new release "Mother's Daughter and Other Songs" became available this past Monday in North America through Ace-Fu Records; you can also get it through their UK label, Full Time Hobby. The official release date is March 21st. Check out the band website, and of course the mandatory MySpace page for news updates and downloads also. They will be playing for the first time here in the states at the SXSW festival. (Ace Fu Showcase March 16th).

MP3: Tale From Black

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Girls in Hawaii

Well... this band is not in Hawaii, nor are they girls. What they are is a really good rock band from Brussels, Belgium. The two front men of Girls in Hawaii are Lionel Vancauwnberghe and Antoine Wielemans. If you are up to par with your French language skills you can check out the band website/blog once you get redirected from the front page.

The song featured here was released in Europe and Japan in 2004 but was only just released in the US last month on their label China Shop Music. Girls in Hawaii are yet another good reason to make the pilgrimage to Austin, Texas for the upcoming SXSW festival this month. The band also has a MySpace page to visit.

MP3: Flavor

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bishop Allen

Most blogs I've visited recently have done something on this New York City band so I thought I'd feature them here also. Christian Rudder and Justin Rice met in Cambridge, Mass. during college where they formed the punk band Pissed-Officers. I read in an old NPR review about them that a favorite pastime was throwing furniture off the roof of the apartment they inhabited at the time. (damn I miss college). That apartment was located on Bishop Allen Drive, which ended up being the inspiration for the current band name. If you check their website you will find the current EP entitled February. This is one of twelve EPs that are to be released this year. Yes you heard me correctly. One per month!! Bishop Allen is also on MySpace.

MP3: Vain

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Today's slice of dreamy shoegaze loveliness comes from yet another Swedish band, Aerial... yep, we really do have something of a fixation with the music that's coming out of that country right now. And with good reason.

Aerial are a four-piece signed to the Nomethod label, who have apparently (according to the extremely brief bio on the label's site) been described as a "perfect mix between Sonic Youth and Mono". The Sonic Youth influence in particular is very evident - their music instantly brings most of Daydream Nation to mind every time I hear it.

You can hear more on the Aerial website (there's a video to watch on there too), as well as on their MySpace page - and if you check out this page on Nomethod's site, you can buy the mini album that this song is taken from, Black Rain From The Bombing, either on CD or as MP3s.

Aerial are playing a few festival dates across Europe this summer, so if you're lucky, you might be able to catch them live...

MP3: Time is on Fire

Monday, March 06, 2006


There's really not much I can tell you about this one, as my research has been hampered somewhat by my total lack of knowledge of Scandinavian languages. Orangebox (not to be mistaken for any of the other bands called Orangebox or Orange Box out there, of which there seem to be quite a few) seems to be, as I understand it, Norwegian electronica project NortMiehd (something to do with someone called Daniel Lacey, which doesn't sound a very Norwegian name to me...), combined with Swedish singer Åsa, who have been working together for a couple of years now.

Orangebox recorded this track for an interesting compilation album 30 Days (this link takes you to a site that is in English, for a change, and you can download the rest of the album there too), which involved thirty artists working together to create thirty tracks in thirty days. They also entered a track into a competition to win a record deal and to be included in the score for a Norwegian film... however, if this is the results of that competition, I guess they didn't win. Oh well.

As far as I can tell, Orangebox don't have anything so mundane as their own website or even so much as a MySpace page, but if you go here, you will find a few more tracks to listen to and download.

By the way, if anyone out there can shed any more light on Orangebox, we'd love to know whatever you can tell us. Please feel free to get in touch and share any info you have!

**Note to self: must learn Norwegian. And Swedish.**

MP3: Our Lines

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Rum Diary

Formed in 2000, The Rum Diary are a four-piece who take their name from the title of a Hunter S. Thompson novel. They're based in Cotati, California, a sleepy town best known for the accordian festival held there every year. They combine the use of homemade instruments with a more classical approach to create a really nice kind of 'indie-rock-with-an-experimental-twist' sound.

The band have been pretty prolific in the recording and releasing of songs - they've put out three full-length albums and a handful of EPs, as well as contributing material to several compilations. This song comes from a split CD they released with Kilowatthours. For more information and to hear more songs, check out the Rum Diary website, as well as the band's MySpace page. You can buy their CDs (as well as some stuff on vinyl, and other assorted merchandise), including their latest album, We're Afraid of Heights Tonight by emailing the band direct or by visiting their label, Springman Records' website.

MP3: The Electroencephalograph

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists

Very quick writeup today... the song's more than good enough to need a lot of fanfare, for a start. After his previous band Chisel broke up in the late 90s, Ted Leo, living in Washington, DC at the time, started recording with Dave Lerner and Chris Wilson as Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, releasing their first album in 1999, and another three since. If you like what you hear here (the song comes from their fourth full-length album, Shake the Sheets, released on Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records), you might want to check out the Ted Leo & the Pharmacists website where there are several more tracks to listen to and download (as well as a shop where you can buy music & merchandise), and also their MySpace page, where you'll find a few tracks too.

MP3: Bleeding Powers

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Damien Jurado

Damien Jurado
's folk-influenced indie rock is something of a recent(ish) discovery for me (thank you, Casey), and one I'm very pleased to have made. The Seattle, Washington singer/songwriter, who used to be in the hardcore band Coolidge, has released seven full-length albums (as well as several EPs) over the past decade on various labels including Sub Pop and more recently Secretly Canadian - album number eight is due out this autumn.

This song comes from 2003's Where Shall You Take Me?, which is available along with several of Damien Jurado's other releases, from the Secretly Canadian online shop. There's also an online shop on Damien Jurado's own site; at the time of writing the mail order facility is unavailable, but check out the site anyway for the usual news, info & tour dates, as well as a few downloadable tracks you'll find there. His MySpace page is worth a look, too.

MP3: Texas To Ohio

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


A four-piece outfit from Fresno, California, who have drawn comparisons to The Flaming Lips and Pavement, Rademacher have attracted the attention of music bloggers and the indie music press with their two EP releases and live shows with the likes of The Rum Diary and The Chapin Sisters. Their laid-back, delicate guitar sound is quite hypnotic, and if you like what you hear here, you can find more to listen to and download at their website (you can also buy their EPs through the site, using PayPal) and, of course, their MySpace page.

This song comes from Rademacher's forthcoming third EP, the self-released Heart Machine, due for release this May. Why is this band not signed yet?

MP3: You're Never Gonna Hear From Me