Category Archives: Indie

Time to get excited

Back on  Friday Sigur Rós released some solid info about their upcoming album Kveikur. Not only did they tell us that Kveikur will be released on June 16, but they also released an EP entitled Brennisteinn and a music video to go along with the title track. So if you haven’t heard “Brennisteinn,” or seen the music video to it, here ya go.

So there is a definite new direction Sigur Rós is headed with this song, and that direction is 180 degrees from their last album Valtari. Instead of the very relaxing and borderline ambient stuff we heard, our ears are now blasted with a dark, intense, industrial influenced tune. Sigur Rós hasn’t been dark or brooding since their debut album Von, especially “Sigur Rós,” which is downright frightening at times. So I’m excited to see just how “Brennisteinn” feels in context of the new album. Is the whole album going to be a venture on the dark side? If not, how is Kveikur going to balance out? Only time will tell, so until then we’ll just have to listen to “Brennisteinn” a few dozen more times.


Weekly Dig 3/3 – 3/9

Buke & Gase – General Dome

General DomeYou might think this band bears a strange name, well you’re right, but when you learn that this group treats your ears to a couple of hand made instruments, the baritone ukulele (buke) and the guitar-bass hybrid (gase) the name makes some sense. Buke & Gase uses those instruments to create an experimental, folky-indie kind of sound with a very syncopated style fueled by a very prominent kick drum. “Houdini Crush” opens the album up perfectly giving you a taste of what to expect and then “Hiccup” follows that up marching to a steady beat. That one, two punch is some great fun and General Dome keeps the fun times rolling. It’s not always pretty, especially when this duo comes dangerously close to a post-punk/grunge kind of sound. They quickly show you they are not afraid of experimenting, and why should they be? They created their own instruments, and then they didn’t rely on their homemade instruments as a gimmick, but backed them up with  some really well crafted and interesting songs. Go give them a listen.

Menomena @ The Urban Lounge 3/2/13

So it’s been a few months since I’ve been to a concert. I finally got to fix that and saw Menomena Saturday night. The show was at The Urban Lounge so it was that small show setting that is the just the best for concerts. Guards was the opening band, and they were pretty much all you can want out of an opener. They played some upbeat indie rock. I wasn’t really digging the first couple of songs they played. I’m not sure if was me just not quite being in concert mode yet or the songs being not that good. It was probably the former, although I do remember being a little disappointed by these guys. When they were setting up they had four mics for their five member band. I saw this and got my hopes up to hear some nice harmonies, especially a female male combo between the keyboardist and guitarist, but those backup mics didn’t give much besides some ooh’s and echoing the lead singer. I got over my unwarranted expectations pretty quickly when Guards broke things down for a bit and just jammed. They did some fun things dynamically building into a loud ruckus and then bringing things down really soft only to build it up again. Before you know it Guards wrapped things up leaving the Lounge energized and ready for the main event.

Menomena opened their set in the same fashion as the last time I saw them, a.k.a. the pure awesomeness that is “Strongest Man in the World.” If your not familiar with Menomena let me explain something. They were formerly a trio of Justin Harris on the bass, saxaphone, foot synthesizer, and sometimes the guitar; Brent Knopf on the keyboard and guitar; and Danny Seim on the drums, and they all took turns singing on different songs and adding harmonies. Now they are just a duo of Justin and Danny, but on tour they pick up a couple buddy’s to fill in on the keyboard and guitar. So there is a keyboardist and a guitarist, they’re there, but we really don’t care about what they’re doing. Okay, I know there were some poorly constructed sentences in there, but hopefully it wasn’t too confusing. “Strongest Man in the World,” fantastic opener. That song is great because it lets Danny pound away on his drum set. The dude is a monster on the drums, the dude is a monster in general ( a.k.a. he’s really, really tall.) It’s kind of hard to explain why he’s so good at the drums. He plays on a fairly simple kit, only one cymbal besides the hi-hat, but he spices it up with some little things here and there. On some songs he wore a bracelet with a bunch of bells on it, for another he replaced on of his drum sticks with a shaker, but mostly he just plain rocks. Then you have Justin center stage rocking on his bass, and when he’s not playing that bass he still manages to make the whole lounge rumble with that foot synthesizer of his. Literally rumble, soo much rumbling that I had to constantly scratch my nose, and forced a sneeze out of a few people, but it was soo awesome that it overcame the annoyingness of an itchy nose. Then, on top of that he would occasionally bust out that saxophone which is just a lot of fun.

They played quite a few songs off of their new album Moms which was great, because it’s starting to win the fight to become my favorite album by them. “Don’t mess with Latexas” was a real highlight for me. It translated live much better than I was expecting it too, not that I was expecting it to be bad live, it was just especially good. All the songs they played were great, but some others I thought were especially good were “Heavy is as Heavy Does,” and “Plumage,” also from Moms, “Five Little Rooms” and “Pelican.” This was the last show of their tour so if you didn’t catch them on this round, I highly recommend catching them when they come through your town next.

Weekly Dig 2/24-3/2

The Lumineers – The Lumineers
The Lumineers The Lumineers seem to have been really blowing up recently so they might not be all that new to some of you, but if you haven’t heard of them, this indie folk group is worth a few listens. Back a couple years ago when Mumford and Sons boomed into super stardom and showed the world that folk music could be super popular, it gave some room for bands like this. And while The Lumineers are lacking a finger-plucking banjo, they do have a few tracks that rock out with a mandolin. They also have a cello and occasionally sport the accordion which allows them to avoid their songs blurring together and make their debut an easy listen. If your still not convinced to give these guys a shot give The Lumineers a chance to convince you themselves and watch them play the two strongest tracks from their album “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love.”

Weekly Dig 2/17 – 2/23

Local Natives – Hummingbird

HummingbirdHummingbird  is Local Natives long awaited follow-up impressive debut, Gorilla Manor. The band has taken the time between albums to refine their sound and they have shown that they have some staying power. Their second album seems a little more somber or subdued. There aren’t any tracks on this album as charged as ‘Sun Hands’ was from Gorilla Manor, but that doesn’t mean that Hummingbird lacks potency. In fact I would say that Hummingbird just edges out their debut as a better album, it seems more consistent and more relevant. It’s not that their sound has changed much, you’ll still find the great vocal harmonies, and instrumentation (I especially enjoy their drumming.) The lead single ‘Breakers’ hooks you in with some gorgeous Oo’s, and along with some brightly toned guitar work, gives a great taste of what to expect from the rest of the album. “You & I” and “Heavy Feet” are some other tracks I would strongly recommend.

Here’s Something

James Blake ‘Retrograde’

‘Retrograde’ is the first single off of the upcoming sophomore album from James Blake, Overgrown. From what you just listened to (hopefully you listened to it or else why even come to this page?)  it sounds like it’s going to be a worthy follow up. His mix of soul and dubstep/electronica is the perfect chillin’ music, and is soothing to my soul. Also did I mention that this music video is also pretty cool. You should probably watch it again.

Weekly Dig 9/23-9/29

Menomena – Moms

ImageIt’s been somewhat of a worrisome wait for this release. I say that because very soon after Menomena’s  last album Mines this trio became a duo. Now most people, at least those familiar with Menomena, are probably wondering how much losing Brent affected the music they write. Well, things are a different, but Moms delivers another very enjoyable listen just like what you’ve come to expect from this band be it a duo or a trio. Moms is darker than previous albums. It is more focused and has more to tell us than what we might have thought coming from a Menomena album, and while sometimes I miss the quirkiness, just about everything benefits from the tighter song structures and deeper meanings. Maybe it’s not as good as old Menomena, maybe it’s better, I’m not too sure right now, but it’s definitely a great collection of tunes.