OnlineRock Blog

30 September 2011

Free Music Friday - September 30, 2011

I love Free Music Fridays and I'm not afraid to say it! I will scream it from the rooftops, and proudly, because I don't care who knows! So you can wipe that smug look off your face and just tell me you love me, too. Oh, you do? Okay. Then on to the music, and away from this conversation with myself.

This week is just as fantastic as usual, as we've gleaned some of the best new downloads from the web, both exclusive freebies from well-known names and fresh new tidbits of music from artists you've probably not heard of - until now. What would life be without discovering new music? Drab and dry, I'm sure. So keep yourself colorful and drenched in awesome with this new batch of tunes, all specially coated in a layer of Online Rock free music love.

Plus, three bonuses this week! Who doesn't love bonuses?

*Featured*
1. Big Black Delta - BBLDP1
(free download with e-mail)


This week, I'm featuring BBDLP1 from Big Black Delta, the solo project of Mellowdrone frontman Jonathan Bates. The album is a big, dark, droney, pounding thing full of synths and drum machines, reminiscent at times of Depeche Mode. Good stuff, and it's only available for free from Big Black Delta for a few more days -- so click away.

-Contributed by Podcast Personality Andrew McNair

2. Young Galaxy - We have Everything EP
(free download with e-mail)


Don't be misguided by the title: this EP is actually 5 different remixes of this Montreal-based band's single, "We Have Everything." This made me a little skeptical at first, but after listening to the EP all the way through, the remixes are almost deceiving in that they are all markedly different, and all great in their own way, though they'd all do nicely in the stereo of a car on a Friday night. I think the reason five different artists can pull off remixing the same song in five uniquely different ways is probably because the base song is excellent to begin with, and made up of so many elements for other recording artists to tweak to their liking. The song is originally a melodic art-rock/pop-synth medley aching in its sincerity, yet catchy enough to be played almost anywhere. Young Galaxy just released their third album Shapeshifting from Paper Bag Records. For more info, visit their page on Paper Bag Records.

Bonus: To hear the original song and also be terrifically blown away by the amazing, animated, purely delightful music video, watch below: (And don't be surprised if you see us double-feature this on our Music Video Mondays post. It's just that good.) More Young Galaxy? Yes, please.



3. Oh Ye Denver Birds - "I Believe in Love, Kid"
(click to download)


Continuing in a similar vein of heartfelt yet happy, genuine yet catchy synth-based pop not lacking a good dose of instrumentation, this song does not disappoint. It's like a star-studded journey through a first love discovered amidst a vibrant display of fireworks at night. It's good, it's fun and it might just make you smile. Since forming in 2009, this Brisbane-based trio has only released three tracks, but they are now touring and ripening their sound. Check them out at their Myspace.

4. Mild Mannered - "Wonder"
(click to download)



To take it now in a more simply rocking direction (we've got guitar, drums and heart here), this single is by a Cleveland-based duo that describes themselves as "one part rock, one part indie-pop, and one part tenacity." Fronted by a female singer, Mild Mannered delivers 90s-esque garage rock with a little taste of pop, and a lot of ferocity. The band's album Believeland is out now from Finished Basement Records, so just mosey on over to their website to get it.

Bonus: The band is holding a contest right now for all aspiring filmmakers: Now, after listening to the song "Wonder," create your best music video for it. Winners will receive a $300 gift card and an interview to be featured on the band's website. The deadline for submissions is October 11th, 2011. Instructions for contestants: privately upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo, then e-mail the link and password to dany@planetarygroup.com. Good luck!

5. goodbyemotel - Wish Your Way EP
(free download with e-mail subscription)


Almost falling into the category of 90s alternative/"emo" rock, this Melbourne-based band does the heart-on-the-sleeve, almost-angsty lyrics well, with a backdrop of power chords and a pulsing rhythm. I especially enjoy the bass line in the third song off the EP, "Remember." Fans of bands like Taking Back Sunday and Saves the Day will no doubt be smitten by these dudes' energetic style and suffering sentiments. Wish Your Way, via Nice bike Records, is the bands' first EP.

6. Alessi's Ark - "Maybe I Know"
(click to stream or right click to save as)


Once again, ending the set with something a little special, I'd like to highlight the entrancing folk stylings of 20-year old British siren, Alessi Laurent-Marke, also known as Alessi's Ark. Her debut album Time Travel just hit stores this week, and one of the songs, "Maybe I Know" is her absolutely spellbinding take on a song originally by 60s pop princess Lesley Gore. Tranforming a pop song into a mesmerizing folk-pop song, Alessi sings it in a way that brings to mind entrapped sailors being devilishly drawn to innocent-looking sirens on the horizon. She's got a rapturous quality to her voice, controlled and harmonic - beautiful. If you're charmed, visit her website for more information and more music available to stream.

Bonus: Watch a performance of the original song by 60s teen icon Lesley Gore:


That's all for this week. Hope you loved it as much as we love you.
-Nancy Woo

27 September 2011

Free Music Friday - September 23, 2011

Free Music Friday

Once again, we've put together a really wild, varying and dynamic set of free music downloads to help you get through the very last day of the workweek. Ranging from straight up sing-along pop to rock-backed folk to a song created solely through synth to melodic alternative rock, there's something sure to please your ears in the set below. And just as with every Free Music Friday, all the downloads are secure and free, so you can listen, share and if you feel so enamored, buy the rest of the album. We want to support the artists, after all. So cheers! And get to listening.

*Featured*

1. The Rest - "Always On My Mind" / "Last Day"
(free from Bandcamp)


This week I've found the "Always On My Mind" / "Last Day" single from The Rest. The music has the reverb and drone of the Ravenonettes or My Bloody Valentine and the vocals remind me a bit of Pablo Honey-era Tom Yorke. The music is richly layered (upon a third listen now I'm still picking apart the different layers in both songs). A good, dense single and excellent introduction to their forthcoming album Seesaw, which will be out next February.

-Contributed by Free Music Expert Andrew McNair

2. Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps - "Calliope"
(click to stream or right click to save as)


Bonus OLR points for making me want to jump into your album cover.

If you like Conor Oberst, Mason Jennings, or Leslie Feist, you should give this one a listen. "Calliope" is a folk gem sung by a woman with a compelling and controlled, quivering alto timbre. There is enough movement and background rock to culminate in the perfect experience of heartfelt emotion and crescendoing build up of guitar and drums. The song is off Little Wind, the band's sophomore album just out September 20th from United Interests. Their sound is rooted in indie rock but not without the whimsy folk that seems to come so naturally to Caroline Smith. Find out more about this Minneapolis-based group from www.thegoodnightsleeps.com.

3. Sonoio - "Can You Hear Me?"
(click to stream or right click to save as)




Starting out with a grinding electronic beat like a motor running, and filled to the brim with poignant electronic pop rhythms interspersed with high-pitched lyrics, there's definitely a rave tune in these catchy beats. You're going to want to take this song out to party. Jolly good then. Sonoio, a solo artist recording who uses a single, custom-made synthesizer as his tool of the trade, will be embarking on a tour with Ladytron this month, so find out how to catch them where you are from www.sonoio.org.

Fun fact: All of the songs on this artists's records are based on the meaning of his moniker Sonoio, which comes from
the Italian phrase “sono io,” meaning, “it is I.”

(Bonus: If you enter your e-mail you can download the first four songs from the album Red. Plus watch the music video for "Enough," which is actually quite good.)

3. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - "Reap"
(link to secure download)





Alternative rock act The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is back and touring this fall to promote their third album, Am I The Enemy. If you're one of the two million people who've bought an album from them already, you know their amped-up, hard-hitting yet melodic fighting style, and this song "Reap" doesn't disappoint. The album is out now, but if you haven't heard it yet, download this teaser song first. Frontman Ronnie Winter says of the song, "I think it's one of the best, because it pretty much spawned the entire sound for the new record." Get more info, order the album or sing along with lyrics to "Reap" from http://redjumpsuitalliance.ning.com/

4. Correatown - "Turn On Turn Up"
(click to stream or right click to save as)



We featured Correatown's song "Isomer" as a teaser to the band's sophomore album Pleiades, and we're more than happy to see them again now, this time after the album's already dropped. While "Isomer" is a melodic soundscape of dreamy surrealism, "Turn On Turn Up" takes a much more uplifting and pop-driven direction. The soft vocals of Angela Correa float along perfectly on top of grinding guitars and hints of little bells, and the refrain of "Electric" is all-too-fitting. It's a great song and made me wonder what the rest of the album is like. To satisfy my raging curiosity, I listened to it and was pleasantly swept away by the light and dreamy yet catchy and compelling qualities all the way through. If you're wondering, too, you can stream the entire album for free from Spinner or buy it from Bandcamp.

5. The Sweet Ones - "Kids at the Bottom"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

Bonus OLR points for cat.

Starting out strong with a sweet little line of harmonica backed by happy drums and a background guitar, this song doesn't try to be deep or subtle. It's a straight up, simple pop anthem driven by a chorus of male voices chant-singing together, lamenting about the dirty state of their city. It's fun and catchy, and you might sing along while drunk. The song is off their album Big Mistakes, which you can buy from http://bloodywaiters.com/.

(Bonus: You can also download another single by The Sweet Ones, "Carburetor," and watch the gruesome video for it.)

6. Hamlet Wonderbark - Danish Shakespeare Songs
(download full album free from Bandcamp)



If I can end the set with something really wild, outrageous or different, baby, you know I will! This time, I am chuckling inside my britches about this diamond of a find. We all know our homie Shakespeare wrote plays and love poems, but in case you weren't aware, the bard also wrote songs. During the "lost" years of 1585 and 1592, some biographers think he wandered around Denmark before finally settling in Straford-upon-Avon at the age of 28. The history lesson leads to this: some good-natured bloke named Ken Kleinfield has a field day recreating the lost Shakespeare songs under the moniker Hamlet Wonderbark. And the songs are actually catchy, hook-laden, guitar-riffing little pop gems that aren't half bad. So if you're a Shakespearean nerd, too, get to exploring! And Ken Kleinfield has a bunch of other projects going on, which you can find at www.kenkleinfeld.bandcamp.com.

Are you giggling your socks off yet?
I hope so,
Nancy Woo

Only a few more days to enter September Facebook contest!

By Nancy Woo

How many days are there in September? I can never remember, but there are actually 30. Today is the 27th, which means there are only three days left to enter our September Giveaways contest!

Here's the easy one: Just write on our Online Rock Facebook wall to be entered into the Facebook contest. The prize this month is a must-have for guitarists: a sweet guitar-cleaning kit by Dunlop.

Here's what the manufacturers say about the Dunlop Guitar Maintenance Kit:

The Dunlop System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit contains 1 each of every Dunlop guitar care product: Formula 65 Polish, Bodygloss 65 Cream of Carnauba Wax, Ultraglide 65 String Saver, Fingerboard 01 Cleaner/Prep, Fingerboard 02 Conditioner, and 2 cotton polish cloths.

NOTE: Fingerboard 01 Cleaner/Prep and Fingerboard 02 Conditioner are not for use with maple fingerboards.





Keep your baby looking shiny and new.

It's so easy to enter: just post a comment on our Facebook page. You're on the face-space all the time anyway.

For official rules and stuff, visit our Giveaways page.



Three days left! Go go go!

22 September 2011

The Kooks Stop By Fingerprints For a Secret Show

By Nancy Woo

The line was out the door and around the corner, halfway down the block, for a special live performance by happy-go-lucky Britpop band The Kooks last Monday - not surprisingly! They make some damn catchy feel-good pop music and who wouldn't want to get washed away in happy pop tunes in their favorite Long Beach, CA record store, Fingerprints? In fact, when I asked Luke Pritchard, lead singer, why they decided to stop in and play a show at Fingerprints, he said, "We just love Fingerprints! It's a great little record store." Luke, I couldn't agree more.


The crowd starts to file in around 8:00 p.m.

The Kooks stopped through Long Beach on their way through to LA on Monday, September 19th to play one of many CD release shows for their third album Junk of the Heart, which hit stores only 6 days before this secret show. That's right. This show was not advertised. In order to get on the guest list, you had to call or come in to Fingerprints and pre-order Junk of the Heart. Only $17.38 for a brand-spankin new CD and that was the ticket in.


Following Konks in 2008, Junk of the Heart is the Kooks' third album, released September 13, 2011.

And even though it was a secret show, word spread fast and it sold out quick! These guys, I can safely say after seeing them in concert, are just chock full of that happy, upbeat energy that just makes people want to be around them. And I don't think it's just because they're rock stars - they seem like the type of guys you would love to just sit around and shoot the shit with. They don't take themselves seriously at all, and you can tell they are just having a ton of good old fun. I wasn't quite sure what to expect since they're a pretty huge pop sensation, comfortable climbing UK and US charts, with MTV awards to boot. Happily, they all treated their fans like those friends you met that one time, and they lacked the ego I might have expected.

If you're familiar with their music, you know they can craft a catchy pop tune that will make you smile like no other, and they are proud to do it. "Junk of the Heart (Happy)," the first song off the new album, features an adorable croon by lead singer Luke Pritchard as he sings, "I wanna make you happy, I wanna make you feel alive..."

Well, there were plenty of girls (and guys too) that were made plenty happy by this small, intimate performance on a small stage set up in the back of the record store, outlined by a makeshift red curtain, with only about 180 people in attendance, according to the Facebook statistics.


Crowd shot from the back - the energy is high and people strain to capture the Kooks on camera.

At this point, I couldn't see a damn thing, my vertically challenged 5 foot 1 frame not doing much good here. Luckily, I wielded some Online Rock VIP power and made my way upstairs, where the view was much better:

The Kooks play at Fingerprints in Long Beach, CA.


The Kooks started playing around 8:15 p.m. and ended around 9:00 p.m., so it was a pretty short set, though crammed with pop-rock energy, jokes in between songs and plenty of whistles, coos and shouted love letters from the audience. The crowd was definitely jumpy, excited and into the music. One of my favorite parts was when they played "Do You Wanna," from the Konks album because cutie frontman Luke bounced the question around, "Do you wanna make love to me?" to which various audience members of both genders shouted a vociferous "YES!" There was one tall guy in the middle who was definitely the most vocal, shouting, "Yes, I want to make love to you!"

Their sound was crisp, clean, pulled together like they'd done it a million times before - as they probably have. Luke and Hugh seemed to have an especially brotherly relationship, as I noticed them catching each other's eye as they jumped around in rhythm. The drummer, Paul Gerrard, also sweated with a smile, keeping the dance beat alive.

The first two or three songs they played were from the new album, songs that I recognized but hadn't yet learned, then "Do You Wanna," and the closing song of their set was the bubbly "Junk of the Heart (Happy)," which most audience members seemed to already know. It was a crowd pleaser and the perfect song to end their first set with.


"Junk of the Heart (Happy)" live at Fingerprints.

Though they began the set with some newer, lesser known songs and then moved into the more popular tunes, as is expected, they couldn't end the show without an enthusiastic encore. As they left the stage after finishing "Junk of the Heart," the drumming and chanting began immediately, and for such a small venue, the sound hit all the walls. Five to ten minutes later, the boys reappeared and played, to everyone's delight, "Naive," the hit single off their first record Inside In/Inside Out. "Naive" topped the UK charts of 2006 at number 5. And it's just a warm, fuzzy feel-good tune that can't help but get those toes tapping and that smile blooming.

The Kooks play an up close and personal show for their closest 180 Long Beach fans.

Lead singer Luke Pritchard and bassist Peter Denton.

Luke Pritchard and lead guitarist Hugh Harris.

Drummer Paul Garred.

The Kooks caught in a moment of musical rapture.

The full band.

Lead guitarist Hugh Harris.

This girl's dreams came true that night.

So happy!

This girl was Numba One Fan by far. She was waiting in line for the show since 3 p.m. - and it paid off for her when Luke leaned over and asked "What do you want to hear, sweetie?" as they came back onstage for their encore. She answered, "Sway," and although Luke told her he couldn't play that, he hoped she would like "Naive," another crowd favorite. I was overjoyed they played it, anyway! If they hadn't played at least one of their big hits, they would have been letting a lot of people down. "Naive" was no doubt the highlight of the set for me. I was singing along, tapping my feet, and grinning like an idiot.


Another best part for fans was the CD/Vinyl signing afterwards. Since buying a CD or Vinyl record was the ticket in to the show, fans received their merchandise as soon as the band finished. No matter the long line - eventually everyone got up to the front to have all four band members sign their CD or Vinyl. Everyone also got a Kooks poster.

After the show, the band mingles with the crowd, signing CDs and posters.

Some of the more daring girls asked for a hug or even a kiss from their favorite, and never did I see any of them deny. It was all smiles and laughs, high fives and jokes - cracked, of course, in four fast-talking British accents.

Outside Fingerprints, some fans lingered, hoping to entice the boys to go out for drinks or take a picture with them. Hugh stepped outside for a cigarette and got bombarded for pictures - though he was a good sport about it, he'll probably be rethinking that one next time.

Below are three of some of the Kook's biggest fans. Natalie Byrnes, middle, celebrated her 23rd birthday at the show, complete with receiving a hug and kiss from Luke and Peter, and she said she couldn't think of a better way to spend the night.

Three satisfied fans: Katrina Oliveros, Natalie Byrnes, Linda Shi.

Thanks, you kooky Kooks for coming all the way across the pond to play at Fingerprints in Long Beach, CA!

And thank you, Fingerprints!

All in all, it was the perfect in store appearance - a fun crowd, a well played set and even personal interactions with the band members. Plus, a new CD or record.

If you are in Long Beach and are pouting right now because you didn't know this was happening, go ahead and sign up for the Fingerprints newsletter, which you can find at http://www.fingerprintsmusic.com/

20 September 2011

Enter to Win an Electro-Harmonix Distortion Pedal

By Nancy Woo

September 2011 Mailing List Giveaway
Don't forget to sign up to be on the Online Rock mailing list during the month of September for your chance to win this month's free giveaway: a really rocking guitar pedal.

If you sign up on our mailing list with a valid e-mail, you could win an Electro-Harmonix XO Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal. Now that's a mouthful. This pedal is a best seller item from Musician's Friend and is valued at $89.25. But you could get it for freee!




Here's a short description of what this pedal is all about:
The Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker is a guitar effects pedal that taps into the sonic power of the legendary Big Muff Pi, and creates new tonal possibilities at the flick of a switch—or two. Use the Wicker switch to open up 3 high-frequency filters for raspy, sustaining distortion with top-end bite, or flick on the Tone switch to bypass the tone control for unabated tonal slam. Want the original Big Muff sound? Just switch off the Wicker and turn on the Tone. The ability to create your own personal Big Muff sound is what truly makes this guitar pedal the Wicked Wicker.
And here are some of its cool features:
  • True bypass
  • The Wicker switch opens up 3 high-frequency filters providing a sustain that is raspy and defined
  • The Tone switch completely removes the tone control, providing a devastating broadband Big Muff slam
  • With the Wicker switch off and the Tone switch on, you have the original Big Muff Pi
  • 9V battery included
  • Optional power supply available (not included)
Visit the official product page for more info. 

About the contest:

We will pick one winner on October 1st, so you have until the end of the month to enter your e-mail on our mailing list, or refer your friends to sign up if you are already subscribed. In addition to being entered in this contest to win a distortion effects pedal, you will also get our monthly newsletter chock full of our new music updates, including our artist profile, new CD reviews, artist interviews and more. But we won't clog up your inbox - we only send it once a month!

So if you're a guitar player who loves to experiment with distortion, sign up now! And refer your friends!

19 September 2011

Music Video Monday - Warpaint "Warpaint"

By Nancy Woo

This video for the song "Warpaint" by the band Warpaint may already have 118,000 views on YouTube, but we think it's a huge fish in a big sea, and still excellent enough to post three months after its premiere. Warpaint is an all-girl indie rock band that's made quite a splash lately, gracing the cover of NME magazine and attracting people with their hypnotic vocals and mesmerizing guitar lines all rolled into gorgeous, sprawling otherworldly anthems.


The music video for "Warpaint" is unique and captivating, themed perfectly for the tone of the song. Some of the underwater camera work where the girls are swimming in those long, elegant dresses is simply breathtaking, and notice that they are actually singing underwater and coming up for breath in slow motion. Ted Newsome, director of the video, does some very nice work, from the optical illusions in the fish-eye scenes to the overall skipping-record, old film style
. I love that the video switches back and forth between black and white film for the modern day scenes, and beautifully digital color for the mystical underwater scenes.

Excellently crafted in a style that fits the understated art rock glamour of these four babes, "Warpaint" is a video worth watching, sharing and watching again.


Warpaint - "Warpaint"



The song "Warpaint" is off Warpaint's 2010 album
The Fool, via Rough Trade Records.



Warpaint is Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals/guitar), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass/vocals), and Stella Mozgawa (drums).


Learn more about these badass chicks from http://www.warpaintwarpaint.com/

P.S. This is my favorite YouTube comment for the video: "have you heard of the song warpaint? it's so underground it's underwater"

Merry National speak Like A scurvy pirate Day!

By Nancy Woo

Arr matey, it be ye favorite shore leave this day - that's right, National speak Like A scurvy pirate Day. To celebrate 'tis swashbucklin' occasion, we'd like to offer a free download 'o Lambchop's song, perfect fer 'tis occasion, called "National Talk Like A Pirate Day."


Lambchop be an alternative country band from Nashville, Tennessee wit' an astoundin' ten studio albums under their belt, now signed to Merge Records. 'n what we especially lust 'bout Lambchop: they be knowin' how to celebrate National speak Like A scurvy pirate Day.

Ye can download th' song "National shout Like A scurvy pirate Day" from Soundcloud here.

Th' song be off their 2008 album called OH (Ohio).
'N here's a clip from a live recordin' at XX Merge:



'n yarr, National speak Like A scurvy pirate Day means that fer th' whole day we be goin' to speak, type 'n mime in scurvy pirate!

16 September 2011

Free Music Friday - September 16, 2011

Free Music Friday

I don't know what it is about this week, but the remix rivers are flowing like gold. And all the remix submissions we've gotten are actually great, like a spunky spin on "Gimme Shelter" that we posted yesterday. This week, our featured download is a whole EP of Harry Nilsson remixes (of "Put the Lime in the Coconut" fame), by way of "bastard psych-catchy-pop" Chicago-an Netherfriends. Quite an interesting listen. And there's so much more as the list goes on, including Florence and the Machine, psychedelic blues band Cowboy Junkies, African beats master El Rego, and more. Go ahead. Dive in. It's all for you.

1. Netherfriends - Netherfriends Does Nilsson EP (link to Bandcamp)



This week I'm featuring the Netherfriends Does Nilsson EP. This is a poppy little record of Netherfriends originals with backing tracks made up entirely of samples from Harry Nilsson songs. All six songs are catchy, in no small part to the liberal application of Nilsson, with a vaguely psychedelic tinge. Good for a quick afternoon listen and fun to try to identify the samples.

-Contributed by Podcast Personality Andrew McNair

2. Florence and the Machine - "Shake It Out" (sorry, no download for this one, but you can click to stream)


We posted the music video for Florence and the Machine's teaser track, "What the Water Gave Me," off the upcoming album Ceremonials last month. We're pleased to follow up on that by offering the official first single, "Shake It Out" to stream. It's just as epic and layered, soul-powered and vocally impressive as is expected from this dynamic artist. The much-anticipated sophomore release will hit UK stores October 31st by way of Island Records, and it will see the light of day in the US sometime in November via Universal Republic. Visit http://florenceandthemachine.net/ for more teasers.

3. Cowboy Junkies - "Sing in My Meadow" (Stream below and click here to exchange your email for a free download)


This song is off an album by the same name, Sing In My Meadow, which was recorded in four days in order to, as band leader Michael Timmins says,"reference an aspect of our live performances that we don't dig into very much in our studio recordings. We wanted the album to revolve around those psychedelic, blues-inspired forays we are so fond of exploring on stage." I think it hits its mark, recalling a bit of Allman Brothers in the beginning and blossoming into something psychedelically satisfying. These ambitious musicians are slated to release four albums, fondly called "The Nomad Series," in an 18 month time period. Follow their progress here: http://latentrecordings.com/cowboyjunkies/

Bonus: Entering your e-mail also enters you in a contest to win a bunch of merch-related goodies. Woohoo!

4. The Asteroid Shop - "Dandelion" (click to stream or right click to save as)


Strikingly intimate and vaguely reminiscent of 80s electronic pop, this song takes the listener into a world full of elegance and pain, of ease and tension all at once. A solid synth beat that's on the heavier, more solemn side sets the backdrop for the impressive, deep vocal range of Eric Brendo, the steering force of the group. There's something ethereal and tender about this song, a little too brooding to be classically beautiful but impressively affecting in its own way. The album by the same title of the song will be in stores October 18th, so watch for it here.

5. Nerves Junior - "As Bright As Your Night Light"


Now here's a choppy, electronic-tinged, lush weirdo garage rock song from the album of the same name. Crafted in the vein of Deerhunter, Indian Jewelry, and Lower Dens, this song features a prominent, nonchalant bass line amid smooth vocals and an intermittent crying electric guitar. It's one of those songs I can't quite put my finger on, but is something a little different, and halfway through the crescendo will take you for a ride. If you're hooked, you can listen to the rest of the album on Bandcamp.

6. El Rego - "Hessa"


I usually like to end the set with something a little off the beaten path, and this week's song takes the cake for underutilized awesome. Not that electro-pop, indie rock and retro blues aren't scrumptious enough as it is, because they are, but to close out today, I want to share a rhythmic, delightfully danceable, deliciously fun song that originates from another continent altogether. "Hessa" is a gem of a tune built on a foundation of African beats, crafted by 60s and 70s funk/Afrobeat legend El Rego. Haven't heard of him? Well, he lives in Benin, Africa and because DJ Frank Gossner spent years tracking down and collecting his music, Daptone Records will be releasing a handpicked collection of his best tracks on October 11, 2011. Until then, download this classic for free, and wait for the album to drop from http://www.daptonerecords.com/

Okay, now here comes the hard part: that's all we've got for now, so hold onto your britches 'til next Friday.

Ciao,
Nancy Woo

15 September 2011

Remix Round Up - Head Like a Kite Does "Gimme Shelter"

By Nancy Woo

Remix Round Up

In the day and age of the Internet, the pickings are ripe for remixing a little tune here, remaking a whole song there, sampling, layering, mashing or just generally combining the forces of two or more already awesome entities into something even more dynamite. (Of course, some newbie remaking an old favorite isn't going to please everyone, but hey, we admire the effort and balls it takes to grab someone else's work and put your own spin on it, especially knowing the critics will abound. And sometimes, some really great stuff happens.)

This column might not be a regular weekly occurrence, but we'd like to use the Remix Round Up to feature new artists remixing or remaking classic songs or songs by their peers. Of course, we post the ones that we think are exceptionally good. And we'll post a link or video of the original, just for good old reference's sake.

Dave Einmo of Head Like a Kite.

This week the song being remixed/covered is the classic Rolling Stones song "Gimme Shelter." Head Like a Kite mastermind Dave Einmo puts a fun electronic dance spin on it, and though it's almost unrecognizable (replacing that handy bit of guitar work with synth) except for the unmistakable chorus and background "oohs" (which in this case, are a little eerie), it's just about a perfect dance club rendition of one of the best Rolling Stones songs. If you like classic rock and you like to boogie, this remix will be for you.

First, here is the original, and if you've never heard this song because you've been living under a rock, listen to it NOW!



And the best part: download the Head Like a Kite remix for free below, then bust it out on your iPod the next time the gang is together for a night out. You'll have some heads spinning for sure.

Head Like a Kite - "Gimme Shelter"
(click to stream or right click to save as)
What's his secret, you say? Panda, he answers.


Dave Einmo, the brains behind Head Like a Kite, is joined by a revolving door of musician friends, but his claim to fame is his knack for making eclectic electronic pop and his tendency to break down genre barriers.

Head Like a Kite's third album Dreams Suspend Night is out now off off Roll Call Records, but if you liked the remix here, he also has a Covers and Remixes EP available to download from his website in exchange for your e-mail.

The tracks are as listed below:

1. "Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
2. "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones
3. "Ain't Talkin Bout Love" by Van Halen
4. "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell



Bonus: Dave Einmo's other project, Daydream Vacation, has a free download of their song "That Girl Don't Sleep" from their Facebook page.

14 September 2011

Feist Announces Special Guests For October 8th Show (+ Goats)

By Nancy Woo

Feist and/or her expert marketing team are really doing a hell of a job promoting her soon-to-be-released album, letting small bits of information leak out slowly, like droplets falling from a faucet. And I would prepare yourself for a Niagara Falls of an album once it finally does hit the stands. Metals sounds great so far, judging by the single, "How Come You Never Go There." And after four years of waiting for Feist to follow up her debut hit record Reminder (2007), which made it all the way to the Grammy's, the build up seems to be only fitting.


Leslie Fiest, the angelic singer of "Mushaboom" fame, is even unlocking a series of video vignettes on her webpage as the album release date nears. October 4th should see all those little video windows able to be played fully through, just like reaching the end of the chocolate countdown to Christmas.

Here is the latest vignette sneak preview, featuring Feist's clear and shining folk style with that soulful set of pipes for the last song of the album, "Get It Wrong, Get It Right." And who can resist a big "awww"?



Tour

Feist will be touring in support of Metals and anyone who is going to witness the first live performance for the album will have a few very happy surprises. The kickoff release show of October 8th will now include a whole rollicking set of talented musicians: Mocky, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear), Bry Webb (The Constantines), Doug Paisley, Joel Gibb and more. This special performance doesn't look like it's an actual part of the tour, which officially begins October 15th, but it will be held at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio, and man, is it going to be a party. Portions of the concert will be broadcast during Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s 75th anniversary celebrations on November 2nd.

To stay updated on the progress of the new album, see tour dates and catch those vignettes as they are released, bookmark http://www.listentofeist.com/.

12 September 2011

Music Video Monday Sep. 12, 2011 - Guadalupe Plata: "Pollo Podrio"

By Nancy Woo

So here's an idea: every Monday we're going to start posting the best music video(s) we've come across in the past week. However it captures us, it will be the one (or more) totally awesome music video(s) worth sharing. Whether bizarre, beautiful or batty, it's got to have that something extra that makes us go, "hey that was something I'd watch (and listen to) again."

The intersection of film and music gets more interesting every day, so let's honor the fine filmmakers and musicians who come together to give you that old fashioned joy from moving pictures put to music.

This week I want to show some love for a band that hasn't quite made a splash in the United States - yet. I am so excited for you to jump into the psychedelic/swamp blues/punk stylings of badass Spanish rockers Guadalupe Plata. If rhythmic Delta blues, screaming Detroit punk and Spanish lyrics and culture had a threesome, Guadalupe Plata would be the happy ending. These guys are phenomenal. I've been listening to a YouTube mix and it is blowing me away. Let's just start you off with this music video "Pollo Podrio" to give you an idea of their style, which no doubt consists of wailing electric instruments, a breakneck beat, grungily uttered garage vocals and ribcage rocking composition. No frills here, just a straight up howling good time.

Let's not forget the great guys from NYSU films who put together this original, amusing and electrifying music video. Watch below.

Guadalupe Plata: "Pollo Podrio"




Okay, how awesome was that?

You might now be asking yourself, what the heck was that thing emitting that sick bass line? It's a primitive bass, handmade with a zinc washtub, a wooden stick and a chainsaw string, just one of the tools that lit the fire between the three Spanish swamp blues worshippers, Pedro de Dios Barcelo, Carlos Jimena and Paco Luis Martos, who consummated the band in 2006 in Ubeda, Spain.

This is how they roll.

Other than playing what had to be a mesmerizing show at South by Southwest 2010, the States hasn't been fortunate enough to see too much of them. Now, I think that's going to change.

And here I'm going to tell you a secret that is best shared. Guadalupe Plata's entire 2011 self-titled album is available to download for free from Bandcamp.com. Please do yourself a favor and if you enjoyed that video, get the album here.

Guadalupe Plata (2011).

For how impressive these guys are, they're asking no dinero, just an email. And I'm asking you to support the artists by sharing this. (There's a little social media link at the bottom of this blog post.) If you like the Black Keys, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Tampa Red, The Dirtbombs, The Spencer Blues Explosion, I assure you, you'll be smitten.

Bonus:

Here are two more music videos if you are so inclined:

Guadalupe Plata: "Baby Me Vuelves Loco"



Now that is some sexy music.

Guadalupe Plata: "Serpiente Negra"



And that is a sexy dance.

Don't tell me you don't love it, because I'd know you're lying.

Okay, here's just one more song! I can't stop listening.

Guadalupe Plata: "I'd Rather Be a Devil"



Thanks for watching. See you next Monday. And don't forget to close the week out with Online Rock's handful of free downloads courtesy of the Free Music Friday fairy.

09 September 2011

Free Music Friday - September 9, 2011

Every Friday is musically exciting in its own way because, of course, Online Rock offers a handful of new songs available to download for free. As it is the first week after Labor Day, we said screw it and we wore white anyway, but we would like to honor the oncoming fall season with an especially September-y mix of great tunes. This week, we've got dark and dreamy for the fall fog, we've got bubbly and danceable for the days of Indian summer, we've got atmospheric autumnal hymns for the dimming dusk (say that ten times fast) and a few other things in between. How great, right? I know, so get to downloading!

*Featured*

1. Sloan - Select Singles 1992-2011 (The entire collection is available for free here.)



This week, I've got some Can-Con for you, but rest assured, this is the good kind of Can-Con.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, Sloan have released a collection of their singles (running from 1992 to 2011) for free. Sloan are an unabashed pop band, but the refreshing thing is that -- no doubt due to all four bandmembers sharing relatively equally in songwriting duties -- they can't quite decide what sort of pop band they are. In this collection we've got noise pop, indie pop, jangle pop and power pop. As catchy and eclectic as this collection is, I'd be surprised if there weren't at least a few songs that you immediately fall in love with (for me it's "Everything You've Done Wrong" and its horn-line/handclap brand of catchiness or the Beatles-esque "The Rest of My Life").

-Recommended by OLR Music Expert Andrew McNair

2. Husband - "Ordinary" (click to stream or right click to save as)



Aussie recording artist Michael Paolino (pow-leen-o) packs a punch with this gritty, bittersweet anthem rock song full of dark melodies and upward turns, pulled forward by his delightfully growling croon,which is backed by supporting vocals. After getting hitched young, Husband is only the perfectly appropriate moniker for this darkly melodic indie rocker, who is also a part of the bands Carl Fox and Luna Parade. Learn more about Husband's first body of solo work from his website. Ooh, brooding husband, and good looking to boot.

3. Sleeping in the Aviary - "Talking Out of Turn" (click to stream or right click to save as)



Fast-paced, frenetic and driven by a rapid bass line behind crashing drums and a fuzzy guitar, this song is almost too much to handle. Don't let the East Coast band's namesake fool you - there's nothing sleepy about this song. See if you can keep up with the chases and the turns from this Wisconsin-based indie rock band that Online Rock has favored before, and be sure to pick up their album released just this week, You and Me, Ghost. You can do that from their website, and I would check it out nonetheless since it's interestingly wacky looking.

4. HTRK - "Synthetik" (free download from Soundcloud)



Dark, dreamy, drippingly eerie, this song is an electronic elegy that is sure to get under your skin. Jonnie Standish's detached, androgynous vocals singing cryptically of mystery, voices, perfection, plastic echo the song's title resoundingly and make it worth a listen. Like dropping stones in a pool, the song ripples with fascination. The band's album Work (work, work) is said to be a romantic, stark soundscape of desire and submission (mm, sounds intriguing) and is available to order here.

5. Cosmo Jarvis - "She Doesn't Mind" (click to stream or right click to save as)


Taking a totally different turn now is the easy to kick back to, story-like song with a catchy chorus by English singer-songwriter Cosmo Jarvis. With an underlying funk-driven beat and medium-paced reggae-like sound, the song tells a witty little story about the the singer's perfect girl. Almost Jack Johnson-esque but with a little more funkiness, it's a nice tune for a barbecue or beach day. Jarvis's debut album Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange? will drop October 11, 2011 from 25th Frame Productions/The End Records, so watch for it from his website (where, hint hint, another song is available for download with e-mail).

6. Young Man - "Nothing" (free download from RCRD LBL)

(Extra OLR points for depth-defying album cover.)

To end the set seasonally, this song is like the first dreamlike step into fall, combining handpicked guitar, calming vocals and atmospheric keyboards and percussion from singer-songwriter Colin Caulfield. The song is off his home-recorded album Ideas of Distance from Frenchkiss Records, hitting the market September 27, 2011. Young Man first started as a YouTube sensation with covers of Deerhunter, Bon Iver and Beach House, but has now become a formidable solo act in his own regard. Follow his progress, buy the album or check tour dates from his website.

Happy listening!
Nancy Woo (Editor)