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Me: I feel like we can all agree that technology has added a lot to the musical landscape since forever ago. I mean, electric guitars, right? You: Duh. Me: BUT, while its awesome to hear someone create music using sound boards and keystrokes or pedals and reverb, theres something even more mesmerising about someone who can step back from that technology and create music acoustically, right? Take Nicole Atkins, for instance. Before opening for The Black Keys at The Lawn at White River State Park, Atkins performed for our crew in downtown Indy by the canal. She came strapped with just an acoustic guitar and her voice, and all we had to do was mic her up and start filming. Thats when shit got real. read more comments
Epstein has been a part of many bands in the past, (most recently Neutral Uke Hotel,) and decided to find his current line-up through Craigslist ads. He and his wife/bandmate/drummer Sophia Cacciola rounded up a small troupe of insanely talented women, handed each an instrument or two, and told the ladies to have at it. The first song, Amylee, exemplifies the result: beautifully sung harmonies, an impressively full, round, rich sound, and the constant entertainment of taking it all in. The girls all sparkle and shine, in their snappy red and black ensembles, and their use of what seems to be each and every instrument that they could possibly fit into their van impresses time after time. read more comments
Tim Kinsella, the only permanent member of Chicagos Joan of Arc, has been cranking out his own eclectic brand of math pop since the mid-90s. He and his ever-changing back-up band recently joined at Lovebird Recording Studios, delivering a crisp, punctuated session, featuring the songs Love Life and What Whorse You Wrote Id On. read more comments
If Freelance Whales were a coffee, they would undoubtedly be a blend. Their sound tastily combines the aged, nostalgic warmth of folk with the smooth sweetness of pop. Its relaxing, yet its energetic. Its ethereal, yet its urban. Its conventional, yet its cool. South American coffee growers can harvest their crop to it and Starbucks customers can receive their warm espressos to it. In case you didnt already know, Starbucks did in fact use their song, Generator ^ First Floor in a television commercial, so there is some truth to that last juxtaposition at least in the minds of Starbucks executives. Numerous companies and television shows have likewise used Freelance Whales music, driving home the point that they are simply a good and much desired mix. read more comments
Neon Indian is a bit of an underdog in the scope of recent electro/synth-pop revival in that it doesn't attempt to relive any of the worn cliches trampled by many others. Founder Alan Palomo builds his brand electronic sound collages without forgetting what makes a great song: memorable hooks and throttling rhythm. Neon Indian is the third, and finest, project imagined by the ambitious Palomo. Some wondered if the magic would transcend beyond the studio. We decided to give Alan and his live outfit a shot in the old library of Earth House Collective. Affirmative evidence is shown in these videos as the band proves the strength of the songwriting easily transitions to the live performance. read more comments
Regarding the word Elsinore, there are several possible definitions. Theres the city in Denmark where Shakespeare set Hamlet; the small town in Utah; the lake and corresponding city in Sacramento, California; the historic theatre in Salem, Oregon; the car model by Honda; and last but not least, the indie rock band from Champaign, Illinois. Not a whole lot seems to connect the various definitions, but then again, maybe theres some underlying synchronicity at work here and Im too oblivious to see it. Have fun looking for it, and let me know if you find anything. read more comments
When you talk with people who geek out about music (*cough), they can often tell you theyve got a favorite Dylan/Bowie/Lou Reed/prolific songwriter period. Dont get me wrong, the body of work is great, but theres a few albums that were released over the course of a few years that really speak to you. These albums are what you immediately think of as defining that artist, despite the decades worth of music they created; do you think about Blonde on Blonde or Highway 61 Revisited, Ziggy Stardust or Heroes, Loaded or Transformer? For me, Johnny Cash is no exception to this pantheon and that kind of explains why Murder by Death is so great. read more comments
Returning to his solo career and releasing his latest album, "My Old, Familiar Friend," Brendan Benson showcases his skill for writing catchy pop songs that still have some of the grit from his days as a Raconteur. While at The Pop Machine he played three such songs for us, stripping down his stage plot to just a beautiful acoustic guitar and his scratchy, straightforward vocals. read more comments
Nestled within the walls of the Earth House Collective, in a library lined with bright book spines and creaking hardwood floors, Ra Ra Riot performed a 3-song session, displaying their blend of classic instrumentation with indie rock whimsy. read more comments
These videos show the strength and capacity of front-woman Erika Wennerstroms vocals and prove an inherent energy lies within the songs themselves. The bands rocknroll sound flirts with country, blues, and pop, creating a rich, melodic sound that can be played loud or soft. read more comments
Portland, Oregon's The Thermals have carved out a beautiful niche in the punk-pop world over the last 10 years, but it hasn't always been the easiest road to glory. In 2010, The Thermals teamed up with Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla to create their fifth studio album, "Personal Life." Both songs in this session are featured on that album, and as says, they are "pretty damn catchy!" read more comments
The Grates hail from Brisbane, Australia. Thats right. If Men at Work were to sing to them, Do you come from the land down under? they would have to answer, Yes. As to whether or not they hear the thunder, I cannot say. Since forming in 2002, they have released two full length albums as well as numerous EPs and 7-inches. All four songs featured here can be found on their 2008 release "Teeth Lost, Hearts Won," an album that displayed the bands ability to progress as artists as well as have fun with their music. With an album due in the near future, itll be interesting to see what comes next. Until then, enjoy these videos and go put another shrimp on the barbie! read more comments
Portugal. The Man perform live at Vibes Music for read more comments
What you may not have gotten from watching these videos is that front man Van Pierszalowski used to be a fisherman, spending his summers fishing salmon off the coast of Alaskas Kodiak Island. Listening to songs, this seemingly arbitrary fact makes perfect sense as the songs do have a shanty-like quality about them, and much of Port OBriens earlier work directly addresses Vans life as a fisherman. The experience comes through much less often in lyrics nowadays, but it still resides firmly in their sound and will most likely continue to influence their future efforts.... read more comments
In the spring of 2010, Indianapolis-based rapper Oreo Jones released his Delicious EP, and in all truth, it seems like his presence has been felt ever since. Between his collaborations with acts like Jookabox, Woodhands and We Are Hex, his hilarious and completely singular Lets Do Lunch web series, and his ability to fit into practically any performance line-up with ease, Oreo Jones has spent the last year leaving no stone unturned. read more comments
Justin Townes Earle strolled into LUNA music last September, composed and genial. He greeted fans and browsed the shop before performing these five songs. Although his day in our city soon turned ugly, his performance for was soulful and personal, and his behavior towards the throng of people that came to see his in-store performance was appreciative and engaging. read more comments
Dreamers of the Ghetto perform live at Lovebird Recording for Dreamers of the Ghetto hail from Bloomington, Indiana. Their membership includes Luke Jones on bass and lead vocals, Jonathan Jones on guitar and vocals, Lauren Jones on synthesizer and vocals, and Marty Sprowles on drums. Earlier this year, they released their first record; a self titled, eight-track album. Two of those tracks Regulator and Tether are featured here. read more comments
When I first stumbled upon Clevelands Cloud Nothings, I was immediately impressed with the stylish simplicity of their melodic and raw recordings. Laden with pop-punk energy and layers of indie influences, their snappy, short songs still manage to elicit excitement, which is quite the feat in this era of lo-fi, garage-band sound saturation. When I discovered that these songs are the product of Clevelands resident kid-brilliant, 19-year old Dylan Baldi, I was even more thrown, and shocked that someone so young was capable of writing such gemsas well as a bit jealous that I wasnt this cool when I was his age. read more comments
This is the second part of a six-song, solo in-store set Kurt Vile performed at LUNA Music Midtown in Indianapolis late in 2010. Vile was out on tour, in support of his latest Matador Records 7" release In My Time, with his band The Violators as well as San Diego's The Soft Pack and fellow Philadelphians Purling Hiss. Kurt Vile will release his latest full-length, Smoke Ring For My Halo, through Matador Records in March. read more comments
Chicago's Maps & Atlases have been called many things. Every label from folk-rock, art-rock, prog-rock, and math-rock have been labels chucked on the band. They don't really care what you call them. If you're into one of those genres and believe they fit, they'll take it. During their session with, the band gave us three tracks from the album as well as a celebratory take on Bob Marley's Redemption Song. Marley's birthday was this past February 6th. read more comments