Moonalice. Heard of them? Yeah, you and no one else outside of Silicon Valley either. Luckily lead guitarist Roger McNamee knows a thing or two about technology, being one of the Valley’s most well-known venture capitalists. TechCrunch reported that the band staged it’s first Twitter-integrated concert at a venue in San Francisco recently and logged 3000 downloads of their music using the platform. Pretty impressive for a band no one’s ever heard of and an eye opening tactic for bands to successfully leverage Twitter as a viral marketing tool.
These so-called Twitter Concerts work something like this: immediately following each live song performed, it’s digitized, uploaded then tweeted about it’s availability with a TinyURL where users can listen and download the song. It’s like a virtual live concert feed. And if a small local band can see that much success, imagine the impact if well known artists jump on the Twitter Concert bandwagon. By golly, I think we’ve just spotted a trend in the making – Twitter Concerts!
According to The Underwire, hip hop artist K’naan is leveraging the Twitter platform in equally innovative ways to promote his music as well. Here’s to Web 2.0!
I love the drums and have become obsessed with girl drummers. Not so long ago they were all but a rarity, or just a novelty act associated with an all girl band. It seemed that being a drummer was strictly part of the macho boys club. While female singers and guitarists have earned respect, female drummers still struggle to be taken seriously (think Meg White). And if they do get credit, it’s in that ‘not bad for a girl’ kind of way.
But more and more I see girl drummers turning up in new, up and coming indie bands. They’re not just a novelty act anymore. And I love it! So much so that I’ve been compiling a list of these hot young ladies to be featured in this trendspotting series: Girl Drummers.
Note: my intent with this series is to uncover the new, fresh talent. Not to shortchange the pantheon of fabulous and established female drummers out there – like Sheila E., Samantha Maloney (Hole), Cindy Blackman (drummer for Lenny Kravitz), Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill) or even Karen Carpenter (yes, she was a drummer!) – but I’m going to stay away from the history lesson and fast forward to now.
Meet Alice Talon (on the left) of LA-based Eagle and Talon, a post-punk girl band whose stripped-down minimalist rock “makes you wonder whether you’re being pet by a kitten or mauled by a lynx.” They’re primarily a guitar and drums-based affair and from some of the video footage I’ve seen, this girl can play drums. Alice is a classically trained pianist who started drumming when she went to Taiwan to discover her roots and subsequently spent many an afternoon drumming in the basements of Taipei.
No friends, this is not a My Bloody Valentine blog, though that was where my mind first went as well. This appears to be perhaps the first indie music blog conglomerate, so to speak. MBV is a new website bringing together five great indie music blogs: Said the Gramophone, Fluxblog, Large Hearted Boy, Catbirdseat and Chromewaves. All of their sites will be syndicated here and will include additional content as well.
An interesting concept and possibly an emerging trend? Let’s watch and see.
Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be an unusual number of up and coming indie bands of late with the word f**k in their name. There’s Fuck, Fuck Buttons, Holy Fuck, Starfuckers, Fuck the Writer, Fucked Up. And those are just the bands. I’m not evening delving into recent album titles using said profanity. I guess we’re just one pissed off generation. We are amidst tumultuous times, but instead of adopting the peace, love and rock-n-roll attitude of the 70s, I guess we’re just going for piss and vinegar.
I personally would like to see a little more Hope, Faith and Sunshines in our world, but I tend to be a bit of a Pollyanna like that. That being said, I do like the sounds these f**ckers are putting out. Aside from Fucked Up, these bands don’t really sound at all what you would expect them to. Take a listen.
“Holy Fuck, these guys rock!” That’s probably how the Toronto-based lo-fi electronic group got it’s name. Their music is created entirely with old analog musical and non-musical instruments — including a 35mm film synchronizer.
I like the mellow pop grooves and overall cheekiness of this Portland-based group. I imagine these three guys sitting around the kitchen table giggling as they brainstormed their band name and song tracks like ‘German Love’ (I’m gonna give it to you). Their self-titled debut, released earlier this year, is quirky and easy on the ears.
Fuck the Writer is Emil van Steenwijk from the Netherlands. Amsterdam-based indie folk. Go figure. He’s had a couple of solo albums so far: ‘Maar Ik Dans Niet’ and ‘Keeping The Aspidistra Flying’. Don’t ask me what any of that means or how to pronounce it. I just know it sounds good.
Okay, you’ve probably heard of this band. Their debut album, Visiter, was a darling of many a music critic. And for good reason; it’s exceptional. To see them perform live is spellbinding. They are one of those artists whose energy and passion translates better in a live forum. Their world tour is already underway, so all of you international readers have no excuse!
Another Bay Area indie pop group on the verge, their new album, Talking Through Tin Cans, was my go to album of the summer. Fresh and irresistible. That and my little boy loved it. He’s got a good ear, that kid. It was his first concert too. If you’re local, be sure to catch their last show of the year, December 5 at The Rickshaw Stop with The Muslims and Miniature Tigers.
I caught this guy opening for another local favorite, Girls, recently and was smitten. Admittedly, when I first saw this virtual one man band take the stage with his jerry-rigged drum kit and guitar, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Oh Christ.’ Which was quickly followed by ‘holy shit!’ He’s touched with that way back sound I love so much. Just take a listen and you’ll see what I mean.
San Francisco/Oakland-based Raised by Robots pays homage to a multitude of musical influences – among them early 90s indie, soul, post punk, country, and hip hop. Sort of a multiple personality disorder perhaps, but I really like this track.
Bay Area indie pop rockers, Scrabbel, are highly influenced by all things ’65-’75 and you can hear it in their music. Sunny, sweet songs that have a bit of that Belle and Sebastian feel. On the dark side, they also do a nice cover of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Sometimes‘.
Described as ‘the love child of Karen O and Jesus and Mary Chain,’ The Blacks flat out rock. I completely fell in love with them this year at SXSW. It was tambourine player JDK Blacker that did it for me. He plays the tambourine like he’s exorcizing demons. It’s spellbinding. The SF/NY based trio are known for their short, blistering stage shows and laser-beam intensity. Their debut full-length “Nom de Guerre” was released in 2007 on Tricycle Records. “Tiger Songs” is their latest EP.