Tuesday, May 29, 2007

MML: Indie Classics Vol. 2 (Minneapolis)

Hopefully, a few of you had a chance to check out our first indie classics post (1985 - 1986) in March [original feature + downloads]. For those who did and were wondering, we will most definitely be following up, however random and sporadic the updates may seem. Today we jump all over the time line, but at least were able to stay within the same city to do so. The now famous Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota music scene of the 1980s was one of the first I was fortunate enough to discover as a teen and continues to influence my own taste as well as the music of indie/garage bands all over the world. It always surprises me to find that many people are not aware of post 80s music from this city, so we thought it compulsory to add subsequent projects of artists from the early to mid 1990s who were a part of the original scene. Don't expect much in the way of historical blather this time... There are links below for your own investigation. Enjoy the music and YouTube videos. Oh yes, and also please give MML a heads up on new music from the Twin Cities. We would love to listen.

Soul Asylum

Yes... I still have my original cassette tape of Time's Incinerator from 1986, but after repairing it with nail polish multiple times over the past 20 years, I am afraid to report that it might finally be toast. It was an amazing compilation of b-sides and gems that really should be re-released, if only for my own benefit. That same year, the band that once called themselves Loud Fast Rules released two full length albums in Made To Be Broken (produced by Bob Mould) and While You Were Out. These two records were a staple of my late teenage music experience and remain an excellent listen to this day. The last cassette I can remember owning, as part of my collection, was the 1988 release Hang Time which is also a must-have. The unfortunate media blitz (depending on whose bank balance you check) started with MTV somewhere between the 1990 breakthrough ...And The Horse They Rode in On and a follow up you are probably far too familiar with. After a revolving cast of percussionists and the tragic cancer death of bassist Karl Mueller in 2005, plenty of folks might have written Soul Asylum into the books, but there is a current lineup for the band and the links are listed below. Just do yourself a huge favor and listen to the early stuff first.

From the January 1986 release Made To Be Broken:
MP3: Tied To The Tracks

From the November 1986 release While You Were Out:
MP3: Closer To The Stars

Soul Asylum Website
Soul Asylum MySpace

The Magnolias

I'm not sure that there has ever been a more over-looked or under-appreciated Minneapolis band than The Magnolias. Ok ok, that might be quite an overstatement, but when I listen to these songs again, I have to wonder why this band never really stumbled to ridiculous heights as did some of the other acts (see above) from the area. Maybe that's a good thing? I originally heard the first featured track on an NPR affiliate station in a car on the way to my first year of college in Athens, Ohio. It was 1992 and the album Off The Hook had just been released. The band had been in existence since 1984 but this was my first exposure to them. After a few years of this album on my stereo blasting as neighbors and college party going guests inspected the inner sleeve, I finally left it to rest. It wasn't until a few years later that I would be horrified by a major television advertisement campaign with the song Complicated Fun as its theme jingle. All this aside, John Freeman (guitar, vocals) and his constant rotation of band mates continue, with their latest performance I am aware of being SXSW 2006. Off The Hook remains one of my favorite gems of the early 90s... take a listen.

From the 1992 release Off The Hook:
MP3: When I'm Not

From the 1996 release Street Date Tuesday:
MP3: Even Without You

The Magnolias Website
The Magnolias MySpace Fan Page

The Replacements

Last year we posted a brief review of another Minneapolis favorite [original feature + download]. As a follow up, we wanted to post what I think is a fairly unnoticed YouTube video of two songs performed live in 1981. The video is an absolute must-view and the songs just so happen to be a couple of the best I can remember from the early 80s catalogue of The Replacements. As a bonus, I've added a track from the 1992 solo release Horseshoes & Hand Grenades from ex-Mats drummer Chris Mars.

The Replacements MySpace Fan Page
The Replacements Fansite

From the 1992 Chris Mars release Horseshoes & Handgrenades:
MP3: Reverse Status

Chris Mars Website

Hüsker Dü

How could I end this without giving you a classic video of my favorite band of all time?

This leaves me speechless...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


An extended weekend of traveling and a few recent events have not been conducive to posting on a regular basis here, but we will try to get back into the swing of things. New music files are beginning to back up on my computer desktop and today's featured track is one I've been meaning to post for a week or so. Bahnhof is an indie rock quartet consisting of Janus Kortermann Jauch (guitar, keys, vocals), Ulf Benzon Soll (bass, backing vocals), Jesper Hother (guitar, backing vocals, keys) and Anders Urbak (drums) from Århus, Denmark. The song featured here belongs to the band's debut full length album Reverse which was released on Strange Ears Recordings (Strange Ears MySpace) just over a week ago. I'm not sure who the female vocal contributor is, but her voice lends a really nice opening and closing element to the song. To listen to a few more tracks from the album, visit the Bahnhof MySpace. There are also 3 more songs on the Bahnhof website but the site is mostly a work in progress. Also, from the new album Reverse, here is a YouTube video of the first single, Speed...

MP3: A Brighter Day

Friday, May 18, 2007

Adam Franklin

As update on one of our favorite musicians of the early 90s, we need to give a "heads up" on the latest project of legendary Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin. Our original post this past April featured the classic Swervedriver track Never Lose That Feeling [original review + download] and received plenty of attention for our little blog. If you continue to adore the Creation Records era music of artists including Swervedriver, Bob Mould and MBV, you will definitely appreciate this latest music from Adam Franklin. The new 13 track album titled Bolts Of Melody will be released through San Diego, CA. based Hi-Speed Soul Records (HSSR MySpace) June 26th and you can pre-order it now. The lead track of this new release, Seize the Day (if I'm not completely mistaken) is a song that was originally a part of the 2001 album Everyday, Rock n' Roll Is Saving My Life by Adam's first solo project Toshack Highway (Toshack Highway MySpace). If this is so, it would make perfect sense since another track, The Hitcher, from that same release is an old Swervedriver B-side. Past/present/future blending...you get the picture. Adam Franklin's new music submission seems to combine the more organic post-Swervedriver sound of Toshack with the sound we are all too happy to remember and embrace once again. This is a must-purchase and a high recommendation from MML.

MP3: Swervedriver - Never Lose That Feeling (1991)
MP3: Swervedriver - Girl on a Motorbike (1993)
MP3: Toshack Highway - The Hitcher (2001)
MP3: Adam Franklin - Seize The Day (2007)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Salty Pirates: New EP!

Last August we featured Salty Pirates, an excellent indie pop five piece from Halmstad, Sweden [original review + download]. I've seen a few postings regarding the new EP Back With A Vengeance over the past couple of weeks and finally got a chance to listen for myself. If you've heard any previous music from Salty Pirates, it won't be a surprise when I tell you that the new material is extra fun and catchy. The 4 song EP, as well as a few older tracks are available for free on the band's download page. For more info and music, also visit the Salty Pirates MySpace page. The band's next live performance will take place tomorrow night 5/16 at Gothenburg venue Jazzhuset with additional artists Powerblade and Utah Rangers. Great new stuff... take a listen.

MP3: Common Sense
MP3: Survivalist Guide

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sorting the Shoe(gaze) Cupboard

It honestly came as a complete surprise when we found our blog listed on several other websites as being shoegaze-related. Don't get me wrong, it is very much appreciated. It just got us thinking that it might be a good idea to go back and sort through our posts and figure out how we earned this particular distinction. After spending some time listening and falling in love all over again, it became obvious we needed to do something about it. To be clear, some of these songs are not pure shoegaze by classic or even nouveau standards, but there is enough of an influence involved to include them. In any case, this will serve as a quick reference and entertaining way to waste a few moments of your time... These are some of our favorites.

Asobi Seksu

Website & MySpace
MP3: New Years
MP3: Red Sea


Website & MySpace
MP3: Temptation By Your Side

The Black Watch

Website & MySpace
MP3: Williamsburg

Broken Robots

Website & MySpace
MP3: 1.2 Million Candle Power

C'est La Mort

Website & MySpace
MP3: Collapse (With Silence)


Website & MySpace
MP3: Scarytale

Dah Da Candy

Website & MySpace
MP3: Red Flower

Daylight's For The Birds

MP3: To No One

Drop Nineteens

Fan MySpace
MP3: Kick The Tragedy


Website & MySpace
MP3: Walking Tour of Space

For Those Who Know

Website & MySpace
MP3: Night At The Dance Club


Website & MySpace
MP3: Object Lessons


MP3: February Fourteenth


Website & MySpace
MP3: Yuriko

My Bloody Valentine

Fansite & Fan MySpace
MP3: By The Danger In Your Eyes

Panda Riot

Website & MySpace
MP3: She Dares All Things


Website & MySpace
MP3: Context


Fansite & Fan MySpace
MP3: Today


Website & MySpace
MP3: Blanket of Stars

Secret Shine

Website & MySpace
MP3: Deep Thinker

The Sky Drops

Website & MySpace
MP3: Million
MP3: Now Would Be
MP3: Sentimental


Fansite & Fan MySpace
MP3: Alison

Spotlight Kid

Website & MySpace
MP3: Can't Let Go (This Feeling)


Website & MySpace
MP3: In Your Arsenal
MP3: Pure Gold Reason


Website & MySpace
MP3: Aidan Quinn

The Twilight Sad

MP3: ... and she would darken the memory of youth

Friday, May 11, 2007

Florence Valentin

Last week I spent some time poking around the blogosphere and found an excellent song posted over at Swedesplease. After Michelle and I listened to the track a few times, we found ourselves scrambling to try and figure out exactly which classic by The Clash this song kept bringing to mind (it was driving us mental). I just wanted to get that out of the way first, in case you thought you were the only one having trouble putting you finger on it. Regardless of influence(s), Vårby Gård is a great song and a fun way to kick off the weekend. If you hadn't guessed by now, the lyrics are Swedish language, but that really makes no difference with something this catchy.

From what little information I could find in English, Florence Valentin is a numerous member Swedish pop outfit and ongoing music project of Love Antell (guitar,vocals) along with primary musicians August Berg (drums), Sebastian Ross (bass), Daniel Sundström (organ), Mats-Peter Krantz (saxophone), Cezary Tomaszewski (trombone) and Magnus Jonsson (Trumpet). To hear another new track, check on upcoming live dates and add the band as a friend, stop by the Florence Valentin MySpace page. There is also a Florence Valentin Website with basic information but not much else. The next live performance will be held June 13 at Stockholm venue Kafé 44. I also found a couple of YouTube videos for the band. The first one is for today's featured song Vårby Gård, while the second is a television performance from 2003. Enjoy.

MP3: Vårby Gård

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I hardly feature enough ambient electronica on MML, so when I finally stumbled upon an artist who combines this music style with her exceptional vocal talent, posting it here was not a difficult decision to make. Damero is the music project of Marit Posch of Berlin, Germany. Her extensive vocal training began in East Germany and, if you read her bio, is truly international in scope. The song featured today, Mope, is the lead track from Damero's debut full length CD Happy In Grey. This March 2007 11 track release is available through Ellen Allien's Berlin based BPitch Control record label (they have a currency converter for international purchases.) There is also a BPitch Control MySpace page to check out. Since the Damero website is currently a work in progress, you will need to visit the Damero Myspace page to hear a few additional songs from Happy In Grey. Although the backing music stands well enough on its own, the beautiful vocals of Marit Posch are what make this a recommended listen.

MP3: Mope

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


One of the obvious benefits of keeping a music weblog would be the CDs I receive in the mail. It's nice to open the post to find padded envelopes from around the world, but it also serves a purpose. It really does help to hear the music away from the computer and as a complete package instead of just a song or two. That's exactly what I had the opportunity to do with the music of today's featured artist. This time our mail was from California and my preferred place for listening ended up being the car. The first thing I noticed while listening, is that the sound quality is without many common bells and whistles similar bands tend to overuse. Not really lo-fi but close enough to keep this music out of the pop category and in the garage where it belongs. It must have only been around 2 or 3 songs into my listen when I started thinking that Dreamdate could easily have fit into the old Homestead Records lineup. A specific comparison can be made to mid 80s female trio Salem 66. Anyone familiar with the 1980s Boston music scene would most likely consider that comparison a high compliment.

Dreamdate is the all-female garage rock trio of Emily (drums, vocals), Anna (bass, vocals) and Yea-Ming (guitar, vocals) from Oakland, California. The two tracks featured today belong to the band's brand new full length debut release Come Over Now which is available through Chocolate Covered Records (CCR Myspace). For more music, including a cover of the song Monster Mash, stop by the Dreamdate MySpace page. Also visit the Dreamdate website for further info and upcoming performance dates. The next live show will be held in San Francisco May 29 @ The Make Out Room (fitting venue ah?) I'm really liking this CD and will keep it playing in the car for some time.

MP3: Break Up
MP3: Why Don't You Make Me

As a bonus, below is a track from Salem 66 I found at Little Hits. Listen for yourself and let me know if you hear any similarities...Enjoy!

Bonus MP3: Salem 66 - Across The Sea (1984)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bright Paper Werewolves

We left last week with an excellent Norwegian pop group, and will stay in the same country to kick off this week on MML. I was almost certain this was going to be another pop song after listening to the beginning of today's featured track, but soon the guitars kicked in and the song developed into solid indie rock that most definitely deserves repeated listens. The first clue this band was going to be good should have hit me when I realized their name is taken from a Guided By Voices song title. Bright Paper Werewolves are a five piece consisting of Silje Salomonsen (vocals, violin), Espen Bjerga (vocals, guitar), Knut Ingvar Nilsen (vocals, guitar), Eirik Lye (bass) and Chris Hansen (drums) from Stavanger, Norway. The song "We Will Not Take A Dive" is from the brand new EP titled Hope To Join The Fun which was released and is available through Out Of Tune(s) Records. To listen to more good music, visit the Bright Paper Werewolves NRK Urørt page or the BPW Myspace page. Also check out the BPW Website for videos and additional information on related artists. More great music from Norway.

Song: We Will Not Take A Dive

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Love Dance

For a band that has little information available on the internet about them, Bergen, Norway indie pop outfit Love Dance is getting plenty of attention from bloggers and music resource-type folks alike. After checking a few reviews at For The Eardrums, Indie Rock Mag (French) and Skatterbrain, I have to admit I was also hooked. The Sarah Records and/or shoegaze comparison might be a bit much of a stretch, but I will definitely agree with previous reviewers that this really is some of the best indie pop released so far this year. There is no Love Dance MySpace page that I am aware of, and the Love Dance website is nothing more than a blurry page with two email addresses listed , but if you go to this older Q&A bio there is at least some basic info. The first song featured below is part of the bands new 2007 full length release titled Result. There is also a track from their debut 2005 single for your review. Both were released by German label Marsh Marigold and are also available for purchase from Poppolar Records. Go ahead and list me among the growing number of bloggers who highly recommend this band.

From the full-length 10 song 2007 album "Result"
MP3: Losing Faith

From the 4 song 2005 single "You Should Know Where I'm Standing"
MP3: Stay Handsome

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


It might just be coincidence, after posting our latest review of an Italian indie pop artist, that I arrived home from work the same day to find a package in our post box from Italy!! Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a CD from last September 15th featured band Mersenne [read original review + download]. After a few back and forth trips to the office with this disc in my car audio system, I can report that the entire thing is a very good listen. The album, titled Stolen Dresses, was recorded last year at Bologna based studio AlphaDept. and was released in October of 2006 by the band's label Urtovox.

Leo Borrelli (vocals, guitar), Emiliano Colomasi (bass) and Cristiano Delfino (drums) are the indie rock trio from Bologna, Italy that comprise Mersenne. For additional information and music, visit the Mersenne MySpace page. Also, check out the Mersenne website as it is now up and running. Finally, below you will find a couple of YouTube videos of the band. The first one is of the song we featured last time, There's A Place, while the second is the band performing live in Milan, Italy. Enjoy!

MP3: Changing My Plans
MP3: I Can't Stop

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Year Zero (Sweet Trip Remix)

It's been almost a year since we last featured Los Angeles area musician Lili De La Mora with a project in which she contributed her beautiful vocals for experimental artist 11hz Robot [June 1, 2006 review + download]. After receiving a nice message from Lili last week, I learned that she continues to move forward as an extremely active musician since our last visit. The Year Zero is primarily the dreamy musical undertaking of Lili De La Mora and Rodney Sellars from Long Beach, California. Currently accompanying the duo are musicians Alex Villanueva, Jennifer Galdean and Chris Clawson along with the assistance of their trusty Tascam 424 MK (3?). The song featured today is actually a remix by Roby Burgos of the exceptional San Francisco area experimental pop outfit Sweet Trip. The original version of this song will be a part of an upcoming TYZ full length tentatively set to be titled Land of Relics. It will be released through the band's label Skipping Stone Records and, if this song is any indication, will be near the top of my must-purchase short list. For more information and a few more wonderful songs, check out The Year Zero Myspace Page. This remix is excellent in that it showcases the ambient sound The Year Zero is known for instead of overwhelming the original track. By the end of Made of Nothing, the borderline shoegaze that develops had me forgetting this was a remix at all. Great new stuff.

MP3: Made of Nothing (Sweet Trip Remix)