OnlineRock Blog

28 October 2011

Free Music Friday - October 28, 2011

It's the best time of year - Halloween. Though this awesome set of songs isn't traditionally spooky, you will find a vampiric melody from Cameras and a startling array of songs from Frightened Rabbit; sometimes walking down memory lane, as Nada Surf encourages in their song, can be scary, and perhaps you'll fall in love all over again with pumpkins all around after listening to Family of the Year. Please be sure to end the set right by listening to the trippy electro-dream from Red Eye Fugu, which is enjoyable for monsters of all varieties. Boo!


*Featured*
1. Frightened Rabbit - A Frightened Rabbit EP
(free download with email)


This week, I've found a free EP from Frightened Rabbit, titled simply A Frightened Rabbit EP. Prior to this week, the EP was only available on their summer tour, but now with the nominal cost of signing up for their mailing list, you can get it for free. The EP, released in anticipation of a new FR album in the coming months, features three songs: ranging from up- to down-tempo (and the second song, "Fuck This Place" features vocals from Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell), but all three are equally intense and as good as we've come to expect from Frightened Rabbit.

-Contributed by Andrew McNair


2. Cameras - "I Know"
(free download from Bandcamp)

LP: In Your Room

Bonus OLR points for clever album title.

Those who have followed the so-far successful career of these three Australian natives are probably very excited to know: Cameras released their debut album, In Your Room, just three days ago, and this vampiric, mellow and eerie track is right off it. Melodic but haunting, this song is a seasonally appropriate backdrop for some Halloween hauntings, driven by a dark piano, soft, wailing vocals and some Poe-esque lyrics, from what I can tell. Look for Cameras' first single from the album, "Defeatist," and follow them at http://www.camerasmusic.com/


3. Nada Surf - "When I Was Young"
(free download with email)


LP: The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy




A song to melt the heart and drench you in nostalgia, "When I Was Young" is a teaser track from Nada Surf's newest album The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, not set for release until January, 2012. Listened to in the right context, this song can really trigger the walk down memory lane, as these soft indie rockers are wont to do - the lyrics wonder at the passing of time and being grown up, hearkening back to dreams of the past. Catch the wave at http://nadasurf.com/


4. Family of the Year - "St. Croix"
(free download from SoundCloud)


EP: St. Croix


If this innocent indie-pop love song doesn't give you that refreshing jolt you need at the end of a long work week, I don't know what will. With a little reverb on the guitar, a little echo on the vocals and a super catchy chorus, this is a feel-good tune that should make you smile. Family of the Year is a band gathered from all corners of the country that has been gaining popularity through their grassroots style of self-producing and old fashioned word of mouth. Check them out in more depth at http://familyoftheyear.net/

5. Red Eye Fugu - "Primanocta"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

LP: Watchers



Okay, now this one is a real nice and easy trip. Red Eye Fugu is the ambient, electro-rhythmic solo project of Enzo Tiano, and this song simply slides from one world into the next, beginning in an ambient, spherical room, moving into an underwater, kindergarten dome, then continuing on into a clear, beat-driven slow dance. And you'll just have to listen 'til the end, when the wispiest vocals join the arena. My only wish is that the dream could've lasted longer. If you have this same wish, check out the debut LP, Watchers, out now, and visit the artist's website at http://redeyefugu.tumblr.com/

-Nancy Woo

26 October 2011

Music Is More Accessible Than Ever - Infographic

By Nancy Woo

Here you are, on the Internet, checking your Gmail, browsing YouTube, posting on Twitter and casually glancing at Facebook while simultaneously streaming Pandora - all typical afternoon activities. We have entered the days of Extreme Multi-Tasking, and thankfully, it's easier than ever to listen to music online, stream new artists, grab some free downloads, follow your favorite bands on tour and just generally be immersed in music as much as you are immersed in the Internet. And for most people, that's no small amount.

So, for you during your small fun work break at the office, we present an infographic about the Internet music scene, which is growing at the speed of the Universe. It touches upon the endless channels that we use to keep that constant stream of music ever-flowing around us. There are so many avenues to listen to music that a full, comprehensive graphic would flow for many Internet miles... But we want to know, what's missing for you?

Tell us in the comments: what are your main sources of music immersion? Spotify? Smartphone apps? Last.fm? You can also leave a comment on our Facebook wall.

Play The Music
[Via Klipsch]

Online Rock: The name says it all. We are all about exploring the new frontier for the music experience. Tell us where you steer your ship in cyberspace.

21 October 2011

Free Music Friday - October 21, 2011


Let's get it started, then! Free Music Friday this week is a gosh darn big mix of new and old, favorite and obscure noteworthy artists. Download our featured EP for a 25-song long recap of the catchy and swiftly-moving career of David Mead. Then we've got some art rock lined up for you, followed by a sonic ballad, some electronic dance and a grand finale by dark electronic group Kasabian.

Where do you get your dose of novelty music? That's right, Online Rock. Woohoo!

*Featured*
1. David Mead
- "25 Days to 'Dudes'"
(download from Noise Trade with email)

Collection: 25 Days to 'Dudes'

This Friday, I've found another sampler: this time from folky popster (or poppy folkster?) David Mead. This 25 song collection spans his 13-year career with songs and outtakes from his previous albums (leading up to the release his new album Dudes in a few weeks). This is unabashed pop music in the vein of Elvis Costello, The Beatles or Rhett Miller: catchy, foot-tappingly good and full of surprises.

-Contributed by Inernet Music Expert Andrew McNair


2. Mutiny Mutiny - "The Damage is Done"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

LP: Constellation

Bonus OLR points for cool album cover.

These math rockers supply the perfect balance of loud, noisy art rock with a softer side. Punishing guitar riffs give way to a female vocalist softening the dischordant rhythms, then back again to in-your-face vocal roaming and clashing of instruments. The female vocalist in this song gives the perfect amount of reprieve, lessening the energy a tad bit, only for it to explode back out again. Mutiny Mutiny is a math rock band from Seattle; if you love bands like Sonic Youth, Unwound, Jawbox and Slint, you're probably dig Mutiny Mutiny's style. Check them out at http://www.mutinymutiny.com/


3. Races - "Big Broom"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

EP: Big Broom


Right away, this song opens with a huge, sweeping electronic soundscape punctuated by punching percussion, and a nostalgic bass beat in the background immediately conveys a feeling of nostalgia. The vocals are slightly toned down in favor of the rich texture of the instrumentation, but both the male and female vocals add perfectly to the many intricate layers in this song. It's sort of like a sweeping ballad, beautiful and tender, but with the right amount of rock rhythm moving it forward. Listen for the chimes. Los Angeles sextet Races is set to release their Big Broom EP on November 15th from Frenchkiss records, so if you liked this song, be sure to follow them at http://racesband.tumblr.com/

4. autoKratz - "Becoming the Wraith (Feat. Peter Hook)"
(download from Soundcloud)

EP: Becoming the Wraith


Alright, time to get to dancing. This is our club song for the set, a dark electronic pop song driven by mixed beats, garage techno stylings and an almost frantic sense of moving away from something. I imagine this song in a chase scene in a movie, and with that, you can tell it is a song that will make you want to move. autoKratz released an EP of "Becoming the Wraith" mixes, and this song, free from Soundcloud, features Peter Hook, bass player and co-founder of New Order and Joy Division. If you dig it, be sure to check out autoKratz's recently released full-length album, Self Help for Beginners. Find the band at http://www.autokratz.com/

5. Kasabian - "Switchblade Smiles"
(free download from Facebook with email)

LP: Velociraptor!


Alrighty, ending the set with a bang is how we like to do it. Kasabian, world famous electronic rock forerunners, have recently released a brand new album, Velociraptor! and in celebration of the event, they are offering a free download of one of the best songs from the album, "Switchblade Smiles." If you haven't heard Kasabian, download this song now and enter its world of deep, writhing, pounding electronic weirdness, that easily transitions into soft, light, benign harmonies. Kasabian's song elements are unique, and they keep pushing the boundaries of their own music. Take a taste here, and find more at http://www.kasabian.co.uk/gb/home/

-By Nancy Woo

14 October 2011

Free Music Friday - October 14, 2011

We've got a pretty eclectic mix for you this week. Just take a look at our featured download. I listened to the 10 free tracks and felt like I was in another time and another place, a time when stories were passed down through song by grandmothers who retold the myths from their childhood. It's very cool. And that's just the first track.

Then, somehow, we've managed to run a few themes (unintentionally) of children, friends and singles, embedded in some blues-punk, some "math rock" and some indie pop. Take a gander.

*Featured*
1. The Mickey Hart Collection - 10 Free Tracks
(free download with email)


This Friday, I've got a bit of a curveball. The Smithsonian is offering a ten track sampler of songs from the Mickey Hart Collection, a set of 25 albums of folk musicians from around the world, many of whom perform music from traditions that are in danger of disappearing completely. And because he's Mickey Hart and a big hippie (I mean, he was one of the drummers in The Grateful Dead, after all), he occasionally plays along. But if these tracks are a representative sample, he does so in a rather collaborative and unobtrusive way. As to be expected, these songs are heavy on the drumming and great to lose yourself in.
-Contributed by Andrew McNair 

(click to stream or right click to save as)

Album: Liberty Bell
 


An unabashedly poppy track with easy-to-follow lyrics, chords and clapping, this song somehow retains enough "indie" to keep it in the bunch here and not on MTV (or did they stop doing music at all?). This is more like a mainstream, sunshine-y version of PJ Harvey than Sheryl Crow, using pretty minimalist instrumentation with a prominent electric guitar, and letting the vocals carry the song. Just looking at the title of the track alone is enough to warrant a listen. Though the themes may not delve too far into questions of duality, I can appreciate the personification of inner selves and the smoothness of the hook. It's fun, it's catchy, it's got a nice little electric guitar in there, and folktress Kate Miller-Heidke's album Liberty Bell hit stores this week. Check out her website.

3. LCTRISC - "Reach the Children (Book of Doom)"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

Single


Opening with a head-banging melodic hard rock rhythm, this song is a crazy ride they call "math rock." Combining a sort of Butthole Surfers singing/talking style, the whole song is like a steamroller of sound, from fritzing guitars to chimes on crack. Halfway through, the songs gets really wild, and you'll just have to listen to find out what I mean. This duo meets your ears all the way from Sweden, and in case you're wondering what the heck those letters are up to, their name is pronounced "elektrisk," from the Swedish word for electric. This song follows their popular single, "Sunbird," which you can listen to from their Facebook.

3. Henry's Funeral Shoe -"Anvil and Chains"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

Album: Donkey Jacket


If you liked that last one, you'll dig this rough, gritty Wild West ballad. It sounds like country blues done with a blaring punk rock background, and if you only listen to it for the killer harmonica, you'll have done no wrong. These guys are celebrating this week because it marks the release date of their second LP, Donkey Jacket, which you can find at their website.
 
4. Hello Electric - "Hook"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

EP: Dead Champion

 

The story behind this song is great. According to band leader Kirk Ohnstad, it's a "retelling of Peter Pan" with a "conceptual feel to it that is Hello Electric." Since they're from Portland, you can expect something a little off the beaten path, and what Hello Electric delivers is a barely audible-then-explosive clash of guitars with whispered vocals and a definite sense of pressure building from the tick-tocking percussion. Dead Champion will be out October 25th, and these guys are now on tour.

5. Hospitality - "Friends of Friends"
(Click the down arrow on Soundcloud)

Album: TBA


After an uncharacteristic, yet not uninvited, strange line-up of world folk, to indie pop, then straight through three harder-in-their-own-unique-way songs, we'll end with the pleasant sensation of simple, light fun. This band features some sassy female vocals and a solid set of musicians playing satisfyingly upbeat, emphatic pop lines in the background. This band was recently signed to Merge Records, and you can expect a full-length from them around January 2012.

Thanks for joining. See you next week.
-By Nancy Woo

05 October 2011

Free Music Friday - October 7, 2011

*Featured*

1. Memory Tapes - "Slaughtered"
(link to download from Modcast)


I'm not sure I've got a good handle on this new genre of the "mixtape." For one, there's often no tape involved (as they just tend to be collections of mp3s just labelled a "mixtape" by the artist and offered to the listening audience for free). Also, I'm never quite sure what differentiates a mixtape (magnetic tapeless or not) from just an EP or LP. The latest offering from Memory Tapes, though, could perhaps offer some answer to my question. "Slaughtered," a 23-minute long mix of (mostly instrumental) all-new Memory Tapes tracks, covers a lot of ground, from dark to danceable music, but does so seamlessly: you move from one idea to the next without the music ever letting up, yet each idea is distinct from the last and all are equally catchy.

"Slaughtered" has been released exclusively as Modcast #95, the podcast from Modular People.
-Contributed by Resident Music Expert Andrew McNair


2. Color Radio - "Quiet House"
(click to stream or right click to download)

Album - Architect

Color Radio is a band with a sound for listeners to really sink their teeth (or better yet)ears into. Creating a rich sonic landscape of sound, this Chicago indie band conjures up comparisons to fellow indie artist Broken Social Scene. Their new album Architect offers intellectual depth with sweeping harmonies that will allow listeners to discover something new on each listen. Take a sample size offering the track "Quiet Eyes."



3. Radio Moscow - "Little Eyes"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

Album: The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz


Discovered and signed by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Radio Moscow, hailing from Iowa, blasts blues based psychedelia through the speakers that transports listeners back to the days of Cream and Jimi Hendrix. This track comes of their newest album The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz is bound to get heads rockin'.


4. Madi Diaz - "Let's Go"
(link to Soundcloud: click the down arrow in the lower right corner to download)

Album - Far From Things That We Know

Image

Madi Diaz's EP Far from the Things We Know acts as a precursor to their forth-coming full length album. With a mature and soothing pop sound, it points to very talented song writing by Madi Diaz and her band mate Kyle Ryan. If you enjoy this slice of the EP you're in for a treat when their full length LP is released.


5. Eight Bit Tiger - "Numbers"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

Album: Parallel Synchronized Randomness

Parallel Synchronized Randomness Cover Art

Eight Bit Tiger is an Electronic due composed of two brothers from Chicago. Fusing funk from its heyday in the 70's and early 80's, while taking a piece from the mold of Daft Punk, these guys mix it up to create a dance-fused funky atmosphere that will have you up and moving around the room faster than you can say, "What the funk just happened?"


6. Icebird - "Charmed Life"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

Album: The Abandoned Lullaby


Famed artist/producer RJD2 teams up with vocalist Aaron Livingston under the moniker Icebird to superbly craft a genre bending style of fused music guaranteed to make a splash commercially and critically. Get your smooth jazz and hip-hop fused fix right here.

By Tim Rosini

03 October 2011

Exclusive Album Preview: Stream "Career Culture" by Icarus Himself

By Nancy Woo

Oh my gosh, how excited are you for what I am about to tell you?

For a limited time only, in fact only a few extra-special, one-of-a-kind hours tonight, you can stream the new album Career Culture by Icarus Himself - the radiant electro-psych-folk trio from the town everybody adores, Madison, WI.

Have you never heard of Icarus Himself?? Of course, you know the ancient Greek story of the young and strapping, bit-too-daring Icarus, son of Daedelus, who flew too close to the sun and scorched his handmade wings until they were putty, thereby plummeting into the sea?


Icarus Him- wait a minute, the Greeks could fly?

Anyway, now since you know the tragic story of Icarus, for one preview night only, let your ears and your senses become bedazzled by Icarus Himself. We offered the song "On Your Side" as a free download during a previous Free Music Friday session, which you can still snag. And now, friends and fans, I am pleased to announce that in addition to this beautifully layered, achingly compelling absolute gem of a song, you can now stream the entire album Career Culture in its entirety below, one full week before the album will officially be released. However, this limited time offer really is limited - Icarus Himself, like Cinderella herself, will strip the Internet of its Career Culture privileges once the clock strikes midnight tonight.

I highly recommend streaming the album below for an enticing taste of this hypnotizingly, mesmerizingly soothing yet stimulating blend of some of today's best electronic/instrumental music. The way to listen to the album is this: go ahead and stream it once, letting it wash over you, then listen to it again later. The quality of this music is such that I almost guarantee the first time through, you will be in such a surreal state of a pleasant daydream that it will take the second time through to let the full shining brilliance of the album saturate your being entirely. Perhaps buying it when it hits stores (and digital stores) October 11th will do the trick. (*subtlety*)

Extra Online Rock props for socially relevant album title + cat.

So, please stream Career Culture by Madison, WI-based trio Icarus Himself below, but make sure to listen and share with all your friends before midnight tonight, because that's when this strappy little Soundcloud player will go *poof*.

Career Culture (Full Album Stream) by Icarus Himself:


Career Culture by Icarus Himself

To immerse yourself fully in Icarus Himself, jump on into the band's official website.