One to Watch: Lia Ices – “Grown Unknown”

Artist: Lia Ices
Album: Grown Unknown
Release Date: 1/25/11
Label: Jagjaguwar
Featured Track: Grown Unknown”

When my friend told me about his girlfriend the musician from Brooklyn I didn’t think much about it. When he said she has an album coming out on Jagjaguwar I thought…hold up, I need to check this out. Because when a label with that kind of reputation signs an artist it’s for a good reason. And listening to this track it’s clear what that reason is. She’s quite the talented songstress and could easily follow the same trajectory of Feist and Cat Power. Her debut album, Grown Unknown, is slated to be released on 1/25/11 and includes a track with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

One to Watch: Cloud Control

Artist: Cloud Control
Album: Bliss Release
Track: “Meditation Song #2”

Yet another outstanding band hailing from Australia, this four piece from the lovely Blue Mountains seem to be on par with buzz makers Tame Impala. Soooo good. Their much anticipated debut album, Bliss Release, hit Australia earlier this year and is slated for the rest of the world in 2011 (though you can get it on iTunes now). This track, “Meditation Song #2”, will be released as their single in November 22. With their 60’s era boy/girl harmonies and psychedelic jams, what’s not to love? And they keep good company too. The band is currently on tour in Europe with the likes of Tame Impala, Local Natives and The Temper Trap. Yeah, it’s that good.

Depression State Troopers – “Take My Hair”

Artist: Depression State Troopers
Album: The Reason for the Fall
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Track: “Take My Hair”

While I’m not usually a big fan of the alt country category, there are two things I do have a soft spot for – the pedal guitar and singer/songwriter Tim Williams. Both of which are featured on the debut project by him and Jacob Jones called Depression State Troopers. But don’t let the name get you down. It’s a refreshing breath of fresh air in a sea of music sameness. Lovely.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Nothing But Our Love”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Nothing But Our Love

I’m betting on Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Why? Because I know how to pick a name. Ask my Dad. Being the daughter of a race horse breeder, I spent far too much time at the race track learning how to gamble at a tender age. Oh, the countless hours he spent trying to make me a shrewd and savvy horse gambler. Teaching me how to read the programs, analyze the stats, make a wager. Instead I would tune him out and study all the race horse names and their intended puns…B Sharp, Flurtini, Let’s Make Ideal, Minor de Best.  See, isn’t that so much more fun than crunching numbers and stats? I think so.

So I’m putting $5 on Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. to Show. Described as “Michigan’s answer to The Morning Benders”, I love their EP Horse Power with it’s Beach Boy-esque harmonies and bubbly beats. It’s pure feel good music. Plus I appreciate the duo’s ethos to become professional men of music and leisure. Let’s all support them in this quest, shall we? You can start by seeing them September 8 at The Rumble San Francisco. RSVP here.

New Music: Black Lips – “Before You Judge Me”

Black Lips – “Before You Judge Me

“Before you judge me/Better find somebody else. Before you judge me, take look at yourself.” That’s right, gosh darn it. The tyranny of judgement. Has anyone escaped it in life? We’ve all experienced the condemnation of judgement at some point in time.  Or perhaps have been the perpetrator ourselves. But as a wise woman once said “if you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

So judge not, my friends.  Unless it’s music, of course.  For I do believe that one can accurately judge a man’s character by the music he keeps. But rest assured, adding this Black Lips track to your collection will surely save you from the purgatory of bad music taste. The single was released this week as part of The Adult Swim series of 8 tracks released over 8 weeks. Check it out.

Sea of Bees – “Gnomes”

Sea of Bees“Marmalade”

Check out the haunting arrangements and beautiful melodies of Sea of Bees. Sea of Bees is comprised of Julie Ann Bee (aka. Jules), a virtual one woman band who released a debut EP last year and is quickly following it up with a full length album called, Songs of the Ravens. She’s already earned the favor of notable musicians like Jon Vanderslice and Jason Lytle.  With that kind of endorsement, you might want to check out her live performance this Sunday, June 6 at The Rite Spot in San Francisco and see for yourself what the ‘buzz’ is all about.

On The Verge: The Hundred In The Hands – “Ghosts”

The Hundred In The Hands – “Ghosts

Think hazy, ethereal, dream-like experimental soundscapes.  Think dream pop. Think Cocteau Twins.  Now meet The Hundred in the Hands.  A boy/girl Brooklyn-based duo with electronic tendencies and French pop influences.  Their new EP ‘This Desert’ is due out May 18 on Warp Records and a debut LP expected sometime later this year. As an extra special bonus, the electronic veterans will be making their SF debut at San Francisco’s PopScene on June 3rd at 330 Ritch.

Know Your San Diego Indie Bands [Free EP Download & Vinyl Giveaway]

Beaters – “Fishage

The Paddle Boat“Air Conditioned Nightmare”

Single Screen Records wants you to know their favorite San Diego indie bands. You know, the ones that unfairly languish in obscurity. The ones that are worthy of your attention but never seem to make it over the fence. So founders Jackson Milgaten and Craig Barclift started a label to change all that. Since the label’s inception they have released 14 records from San Diego artists. They do not like to be confined to any niche or genre, however. The only common thread is the artists’ integrity and commitment to their craft. To promote their efforts, they’ve released a digital EP in an attempt to show the world the best of what is currently going on in the San Diego scene. AND I’ve got some vinyl to give away.  A copy of The Paddle Boat and Beaters album to the first person to hit me on email (theocmd at gmail dot com) or Twitter (@indierockgirl). Enjoy!

Download Single Screen Records Digital EP

1) The Paddle Boat- “Air Conditioned Nightmare”
2) Beaters- “Fishage”
3) Illuminauts- “Acid Hands”
4) The Vision of a Dying World – “Manta / What Is and What Is Not”
5) Nude Boy- “D. I. Dad”
6) Neon Dick- “Pre-existing Condition”

Lo-Fi Love: Burnt Ones – “Gonna Listen to T-Rex (All Night Long)”

Burnt Ones “Gonna Listen to T-Rex All Night Long”

Yay! One of my favorite bloggers, Dodge of My Old Kentucky Blog, has a new label called Roaring Colonel and has released his first 7″ for a local Indianapolis band called Burnt Ones – whose fuzzed out, lo-fi sound is right up my alley. Lo-fi love. Check it out. And be sure to give Dodge some love too.  He needs it after Google shut down his site last week. The tech company that once was the Silicon Valley ‘can do no wrong’ darling, is fast becoming the new evil empire.  Larry Ellison, move over.

SXSW Preview: Nive Nielsen – “Room”

Wow, check out this enchanting songstress from Greenland, Nive (pronounced Nehvee) Nielsen. The Inuk will perform at SXSW with an all-star cast of stellar indie musicians for this special occasion. Expect members from Giant Sand, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Ralph Carney (Tom Waits, Pixies, Black Keys) to be part of this unique set up.  Later this year, her debut full-length album “Nive Sings – as played by Nive Nielsen & The Deer Children”, will be released featuring an all-star list of collaborators, including John Parish (PJ Harvey), Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), Ralph Carney, Patrick Carney (Black Keys), Eric Craven (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), Lisa Gamble (Hrsta, Evangelista), Alden Penner (Clues, Unicorns), Matt Bauer (Alela Diane) and Arlen Thompson (Wolf Parade). I think some people are banking on her to be big, no?

3/17/10                                  Austin, TX @ Gibson Room  @ 4PM (Crossing Border Event/SXSW)
3/18/10                                  Austin, TX @ 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn @ 10PM (SXSW)
3/21/10                                  Austin, TX @ tbc