Wait and See

Finding a new band or artist that you like is like getting an early Christmas present. So enjoy.

Artist Profile: Los Campesinos!

This another example of a band who has been around for a while, but has managed to stay under the mainstream radar, meaning you won’t hear them on the radio like Foster the People.

Los Campesinos! bears a lot of resemblance to Arcade Fire, both in structure and the carefree music they produce. They are a seven piece band from Wales formed in early 2006, and their fourth full length album Hello Sadness came out earlier this month.

Everything they do is energetic and well-received live, like my favorite “You! Me! Dancing!”

This song, “By Your Hand”‘ is from their just released album, and is getting a lot of buzz.




A Beautiful Collaboration

Bon Iver and another angelic voiced artist, James Blake, teamed up together on a wonderfully poetic song, “Fall Creek Boys Choir.” Not sure what it is about, but it’s slow, melodic, catchy, tranquilizing. Perfect.

This collaboration is particularly fantastic because both artists are known for their haunting voices and melodies. The buzz about this song has been widely anticipated.

Fall Creek is the town in Wisconsin where Justin Vernon, the front man for Bon Iver, owns a studio.

Hopefully there will be more collaboration between the two, but for now we can enjoy what they have presented us.

Here is “Fall Creek Boys Choir.” Enjoy.

A Local Treasure

Some of Grand Rapid’s best kept secrets are a part of their music scene. A lot of the better bands keep themselves under the radar, but when they do surface the results are pretty amazing.

Alexis is one such band. The duo primarily focuses on electropop and electronica but there are experimental elements.They have an album and an EP out, and their appearance schedule is pretty nonexistent at the moment, though they do like to do surprise performances so keep a look out for those.

Here is an appearance they made on Grand Rapids eightWest performing “Goldstar”, which is also the name of their EP.

Grab Your Pitchfork

If you’re looking for a website that gives you a wide range of great music to listen to, and you’re not a fan of my heavy,obsessed love for NPR, then I have something for you.

Pitchfork Media is a popular site that includes just about every genre of music. It has handy reviews of new music releases, interviews, tracks, artist profiles, and anything else you can think of that fits within the internet’s cavernous spaces.

For example, I went to Pitchfork today just to check in, haven’t been there in a while, and I listened to a live version of a new song by Jens Lekman, one of my favorite crazy Swedish artists.

While I was there I saw a blurb about how MTV is bringing back “Yo! MTV Raps.”

I feel like I learned something today.

All Songs Considered–Seriously

It’s a known fact that I love all things NPR, and a lot of the music I post here is probably connected to them in some way. And today will be no different.

I’ve linked to different things on All Songs Considered before, but I’ve never spoken about what it is or what they do.

The NPR music division has many different elements, like Tiny Desk Concerts, and The Song of the Day. All Songs Considered is another branch of the tree.

There’s a 24 hour streaming music channel, which literally plays everything you can thing of. David Bowie, Beach House, strange chanting. Also there’s a podcast, a blog, and one of my favorites, live concerts for you to listen to.

Bob Boilen is the director of the program, and he does an amazing job.

Here is the link to the streaming music player…see what’s playing!

I Love The 80’s

So this is a little bit of a digression from the stuff I usually post about. I like to devote time to covering local bands and shows but there aren’t very many local shows coming up that I can put my weight behind. However, There is a show, a bi-monthly show at that, that I can personally vouch for.

Twice a month The Intersection in downtown Grand Rapids throws a raucous throwback party with a live band covering all your favorite 80’s hits.

The show is broken up into two sets. The first showcases songs by hairbands like Poison and Cinderella, and the second gives you all of the David Bowie, Hall and Oates, and Michael Jackson you can handle.

It’s crazy, people dress up, and the beer is expensive. But, it’s still worth it.

The next one happens November 26th, and it’s $10 to get in. Come early so you can grab a table, that way you can take some time off between dances. It gets intensely sweaty.

On a Cloud of Sound

Sometimes on Monday nights I hang out at a local joint called Billy’s to listen to dub-step. I prefer to go for 80’s nights, but sometimes I’m surprised by what I hear, and the locals truly love it.

If you’re into dub-step, or house music parading as dub-step, then you should take a trip over to Sound Cloud.

It’s another site that allows total user participation, and user creativity. You can upload songs that you’ve re-mixed and share music with others. Some of the tracks are available for free download.

You will find everything from The Beatles, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga in dub-step form.

Here is an interesting version of The Beatles Eleanor Rigby. While I prefer to leave the classics as they are, this gives you an idea of how far people can go to create something awesome.

Christmas For My Ears

My favorite part of each month is the beginning. My favorite playlists over at Indie Rock Playlists are released which means hundreds and hundreds of new songs for me to listen to and share my favorites with you.

I kind of cheated this month and I didn’t listen to all the songs…but skipped to one by one of my favorite bands. Yes, it is a cover by The Philistines Jr. but still, it’s the National, and it is a glorious song.

So, for your listening pleasure I have included the link to The National’s cover of “Twenty Miles to N.H. Part 2.”

Yes, I’m Really Posting This

For the few, and I mean very few, people who read this blog, you probably don’t think I have a clear idea of what i want to say to you, so, I’m going to clarify right here: new music can be found in the most unexpected places, and in very expected places, you just have to be open. (Okay, this probably isn’t exactly what I meant.)

That said, I want to talk to you about a gazillion dollar book and movie franchise that caters to giggly, sad, little girls, but also churns out consistently awesome movie soundtracks with a diverse list of bands: Twilight. Oh, yeah.

the first soundtrack had a couple of songs that made my day, “Eyes on Fire” and Paramore’s “I Caught Myself,” while the rest was just fodder. (And by fodder I mean Linkin Park and other junk.)

The next two were fantastic and the most recently released soundtrack for Breaking Dawn features some great bands. I will mention that is not as great as the second and third, but hey, what do you expect.

These soundtracks do wonders for new acts or lesser known ones such as The Joy Formidable, whose song “Endtapes” off of the soundtrack I’ve included for your enjoyment.

Tiny Desk Concerts

For those of you who don’t know, and I haven’t impressed this upon you yet, live music is AMAZING. Got it? So,how amazing would it be if you were at work, and an awesome band just played a bunch of songs while you were working, checking your e-mail, or eating lunch?

That’s what you get with NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. Bands bring their instruments and set up shop right in front of the desk of Bob Boilen, the host of All Songs Considered. 

What’s amazing is how it always appears that no one is really listening. I wouldn’t be able to get anything done, I can tell you that.

Here is one of my favorite Tiny Desk Concerts by Other Lives.

If you’re feeling inspired, check out the equally amazing concert by Beirut!