Artists of JAN2010 – Who Covers Daniel Johnston?

January 12, 2010 by

The year 2010 is shaping up to be the year of Daniel Johnston.  Sure, it’s only January and I’ll probably have 20 other “favs” before the year ends, but DJ will be a tough act to follow.

THE LATE GREAT DANIEL JOHNSTON: DISCOVERED COVERED has all the indie greats (a la 2004) performing DJ songs; TV on the Radio, Bright Eyes, Beck, The Flaming Lips, the late Vic Chestnutt, Death Cab for Cutie, Tom Waits, the list goes on.  But for my money, Clem Snide has the best song. Their rendition of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Your Grievance,” is absolutely spot on.  Also be sure to check out M.Ward’s “Story of an Artist” and EELS “Living Life.”


John Hyatt cover “True Love Will Find You in the End”

Noah and the Whale cover Devil Town

Sparklehorse covers “Go”


Los Campesinos! Listed Decade Favs

January 6, 2010 by

Los Campesinos! is one of my favorite bands.  They’re English and they rock power pop anthems.  The band members listed their favorites records of the decade. Many of which are real gems.  Make sure you didn’t miss anything over the last 10 years!!!






Hooked on David Hasselhoff

January 5, 2010 by

This one is dedicated to Clyde.  Thanks for the great times.

Two Cool Links

January 5, 2010 by

Thru You video that mixes multiple performance and instrument instructional YouTube videos.  I like it.

What does it sound like when you mix Beastie Boys Intergalactic and Ratatat’s Track 01?  Click here

Mountain Goats : The Life of the World to Come

January 4, 2010 by

There is a chance that you haven’t heard of the Mountain Goats, even though the main force of the band, John Darnielle (above, right), has been recording music since the early 90s (epic indie folklore).  Darnielle’s stuff was mostly lo-fi and recorded independently until the early 2000s, but as far as I can tell he has left the low-fi sound more or less behind behind for something more like an angst-ridden acoustic concept rock.  (Yup, I just made that up).

As for style, John’s lyrics are decidedly literate, and he often toys with obscure themes.  For example, the entirety of the Goats’ ’02 release “Tallahassee” chronicles the slow, booze-fueled unraveling of a couple in the rural South – not exactly light fare.  (You can check out a great track from that album – as well as some fitting Darnielle commentary and the inevitable crowd sing-a-longers – here.)

Yet, despite all of the bizarre, smarty-pants things that go into his songs, Darnielle nearly always manages to blow me away with his haunting imagery and blatant  emotions.  If you ask me, this is the magic of the Mountain Goats.  And, the new album, “The Life of the World to Come” is classic Mountain Goats stuff.  Each song is based on a passage from the Bible.  For real.  And yes, I looked most of them up.  If you are in to the album, you should too.   Trying to follow the murky path Darnielle took to get from ancient Biblical times to some dingy haunt in middle america is a trip worth taking.

One of my fast favorites from the new(ish) album, no cross-referencing required, was Psalms 40:20, re-posted here from a performance a few months ago on the Steven Colbert show.


Scott Dunbar, YouTube Success

January 4, 2010 by

Scott Dunbar is from British Columbia.   Lucky bastard.  He sings Folk, Blues, Garage music according to his Myspace.  I found this video on, which I just stumbled upon.  I recommend checking it out.  Seems like another great site to waste hours and hours of time.

New York Times Kills Indie Rock Genre

January 4, 2010 by

I once got made fun of on the Internet for making a sports video with Arcade Fire in the background.  I believe the YouTube comment was,”this movie sucks and the indie shit music is ghay.” I felt proud of the harassment.  I finally got someone to comment.

Ben Sisario of the New York Times declared the death of “indie rock” in his article today, When Indie-Rock Genres Outnumber the Bands.  Ben’s argument is simple:  As indie rock has expanded into hundreds of subgenres the term has grown to mean everything and nothing.  When a friend asks “what type of music do you listen to?” you better be ready – “indie” doesn’t cut it anymore.

I agree with everything Ben says in his article – too many bands.  The scene is too big tent.  Kinda feels like the indie rock roller coaster has been climbing, ticking to the top of a very large drop, which isn’t far away.  But I feel the end is coming for another reason.

Here’s a list of things that make me think the end is near:

  • The National and Dan Deacon had songs used in Google Chrome commercial featured on  The National commecial
  • Matt & Kim song used in three different ads/sitcoms in 2009
  • Fashion.  Yes, the indie style is sold everywhere from American Apparel to Gap to Old Navy to Brooklyn Industries to Walmart.  It can be bought and sold and therefore is no longer relevant.

So what’s next?  Well, I see a return to the acoustic.  A return to the hippie indie rock.  Think Rusted Root, not Ryan Adams.  Please, don’t take this too literally, but I think Animal Collective has proven in the last few years that an abstract ‘hippie jam band’ can fit into popular culture given the right touch.

Other than that, I think it will just be harder to discover talent.  Most of the good stuff will be packaged and distributed to us via high cost concerts and simplistic advertising letting us know their company understands us.

Hipster Runnoff – Has Chillwave Gone TweenStream? – FUNNY

January 3, 2010 by

Neon Indians is now Demi Lovato’s favorite band!!!!!!!!

Click here for article.

Three Artists of Jan2010 – Daniel Johnston, Death Vessel, Black Cab Sessions

January 3, 2010 by

Welcome back and welcome to 2010.  According to Rolling Stone we all should have been here on NYE.  If I wasn’t booked to play Dominion with my GF and a couple good friends I definitely would have went to see The Flaming Lips in OK City.  Moving on.

Here are three artist I picked to investigate during Jan2010; Daniel Johnston, Death Vessel, Black Cab Sessions.  I know I’m stretching on the Black Cab Sessions, but they put together a creative medium for artist to communicate with an online audience, so I included them.

Daniel Johnston

About a month and a week ago, maybe more, a friend invited me to watch a documentary called, The Devil and Daniel Johnston.  I couldn’t muster the energy to get over there, but my friends pitch was catching.  He said something about a crazy kid, singer-songwriter, that wrote during the 80s and a lot of famous musical acts had covered his songs since.

Last weekend I downloaded The Devil and Daniel Johnston and I’m hooked.  Sure I find most of the recordings unlistenable, but about 10% of the stuff I hear and love and connect with.  For example:



Daniel Johnston was discovered by most when Kurt Cobain wore a Daniel Johnston ‘frog’ t-shirt to the 1992 MTV  Music Awards.  Daniel was also invited to record with Sonic Youth, but he freaked everyone out with his mental insights, specifically his evangelicalism.

Death Vessel

Death Vessel is led by German born, Maine raised Joel Thibodeau.  He   lived all over New England, including Boston, Brooklyn, and Providence, RI, where he currently resides.

Joel put out his first album under Death Vessel in 2005.  He called it Stay Close.  In Aug of 2008 he released Nothing is Precious Enough – a much slower, and well crafted album.

Black Cab Sessions

I wish I came up with the idea.  It’s very cool and I love watching the internet purposed videos.  Basically, artist are picked for their low-fi and indie excellence.  However, some big acts like Death Cab for Cuties, The New Pornographers, and My Morning Jacket have taken part.  The artist take a ride in the back of a black cab, usually in London, and they perform “one song, one take, one cab,” as Black Cab Sessions’ motto states.

Top 10 Songs of 2009

December 31, 2009 by

With 2010 on the horizon, I wanted to share my top 10 songs of 2009. Cheers, Happy Listening and Happy New Years!

10. Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks

Expanding on the sound of their previous album, Yellow House, these Brooklynites have come through with some incredible songs, tight harmonies, and lovely musical arrangements. “Two Weeks” features soaring vocals that seem to float on a simple piano and guitar soundscape. I can’t get enough of these vocals.

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll

Dark yet catchy, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have done wonders with their latest. “Heads Will Roll” takes the band in a more danceable direction with epic synths. The lyrics conjure an image of an Alice in Wonderland disco party.

8. Passion Pit – Little Secrets

Uplifting, pretty and upbeat, Passion Pit’s “Little Secrets” hits many correct notes with its electronic indie and synth instrument approach. This is the kind of music where you don’t have to pay attention to enjoy it.

7. Fever Ray – If I Had a Heart

Gloomy and minimalistic, Fever Ray provides a dark soundtrack for a cold autumn or winter evening with “If I Had a Heart.” Hear it for yourself. The video is beautiful.

“crushed and filled with all i found underneath and inside
just to come around
more, give me more, give me more”

6. Girls – Lust for Life

By far one of my favorite new artists of 2009, Girls’ “Lust For Life” can make any rainy or snowy day feel like a sunny day at the beach. With lots of reverb and tremolo drenched guitars, Girls offer the perfect summer album.

5. Metric – Twilight Galaxy

There is a lot to love from Metric’s Fantasies. “Twilight Galaxy” is powerful in its beauty, simplicity and almost muted introduction. The song builds itself from Emily Haines’ angelic vocals until the song vibrantly peaks with glitter and guitars.

4. The Dead Weather – 60 Feet Tall

Fans of The Kills know singer Alison Mosshart needs no introduction. Also as the lead singer of supergroup The Dead Weather, she shakes, whispers and screams in “60 Feet Tall.” In this bluesy track about being addicted to a dangerous beau, Mosshart will rock her way into your heart or break it trying.

“You’re so cruel and shameless but I can’t leave you be
You’re so cold and dangerous I can’t leave you be
You got the kind of loving I need constantly
I can take the trouble
Cos I’m 60 feet

3. Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes

Yet another summery song, “Summertime Clothes” is my love song of 2009. With a broken air conditioner and a restless night, a close friend is called around midnight and the two friends spend the night wandering through the city until dawn. This song makes me want to hold someone’s hand and dance through balmy city streets. True love.

2. Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts

“Wild Young Hearts” is undeniably my favorite song by the Noisettes. It captures a certain soulful rock that compliment Shingai’s playful vocals. Playful and fierce, it’s a fun and funky take on indie rock only the Noisettes can pull off.

1. Florence + the Machine – You’ve Got the Love

Though not her song, Florence rocks “You’ve Got the Love” originally by The Source (featuring  Candi Staton). With a beautiful and powerful voice, she takes this song to new heights. I can’t listen to this song without smiling. Her beauty and talent is something I want to share with anyone willing to listen.  My Number 1 of 2009 without a doubt.