Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Uncut's 15-Track Guide to "New" North American "Indie"

The music from a Victrola causes an American flag to burst into flames. Whoa, what an image! Powerful, a little quaint, might make an anti-technology or anti-American statement, and not entirely respectful. What music could cause an American flag to spontaneously combust? (Besides the music of your least-favorite band?) Gotta be punk! Nah. Folk? Bzzz. Why this image was selected to represent new American and Canadian independent music (with fire-themed songs). Oh, those wacky Brits. Yet for the latest Uncut disc, they assembled a collection of music that isn't entirely new (2001's "Know Your Onion"), and it isn't all-independent. Looking for fire songs might have distracted them from the theme of the compilation.

I read the disc's track listing; I didn't buy the magazine. I'm Boycotting the RIAA in March, as is Kofi's hat.

The disc does contain a lot of independent music, but only 4 tracks are from this year. And people music-savvy enough to read Uncut have probably already heard several of the tracks. A real independent music disc would have been swell.

Info about the tracks is listed below. A few of the groups have made these tracks available on their websites; those are posted. An alternate song Uncut perhaps could have used instead of The Decemberists track is also posted.

Track Listing for Wake Up: 15-Track Guide to New North American Indie:

1. Band of Horses - Weed Party (on Everything All The Time, 2006)
2. Broken Social Scene - Fire Eye'd Boy (on Broken Social Scene, 2005)

3. Swan Lake - All Fires (on Beast Moans, 2006), one of two Swan Lake MP3s available for free at their record label website. The free songs are a smart way to spread word about the first CD from the band (which includes Dan Bejar, Carey Mercer, and Spencer Krug). And "All Fires" is good stuff -- moody, quavering vocals are accompanied by a gorgeous mélange of sounds. Bit like Band of Horses.

4. Tapes 'N Tapes - Insistor (Listed with an RIAA warning for a Japanese pressing of this single and Loon the album it appears on, which was first released in the US in 2005.)
5. Metric - The Police And The Private (on Live It Out, 2005)
6. Beirut - Postcards From Italy (on Gulag Orkestar, 2006)
7. TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me (On Return to Cookie Mountain, which was released by an independent label in the UK, which is why it's mentioned here... because it was released by a major label in the US.)

8. Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives (on the Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP, 2006). "Mothers" is one of four tracks available for free, all at high bitrates, at Voxtrot's official website. Of the MP3s available at bands' websites, Voxtrot's was at the highest bitrate and they did the best job of tagging their track. And the song is great. It's an irresistibly catchy earworm. Listen once and it will get stuck in your head. Listen much more, and it might infiltrate your dreams. It's great, but beware its mighty power.

9. Deerhoof - The Galaxist (on Friend Opportunity, 2007)
10. The Dears - There Goes My Outfit (on Gang of Losers, 2006)
11. Of Montreal - Suffer For Fashion (on Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, 2007)

12. - a song by The Decemberists which was released by a member of the RIAA - I don't want to identify it because I think that's tantamount to promoting it. If Uncut felt strongly about including a track by The Decemberists, why not choose an older track, from when the band was still with an independent label? "A-ha!" you might declare. You might also add a question on the heels of the exclamation, "Isn't it the Guide To New North American Indie?" Yes. Yes it is. That's a great question. In fact, it's such a great question, I'm not going to answer it right now. I'm going to answer it in just a moment.

* Alternate track: (recommended if you're making a Real Independent Music mix, and recommended in general. It sounds nothing like The Decemberists, but fits well with other songs on the disc): Lying in States - Turn (on Wildfire on the Lake, 2006) One of four songs available on the band's official website. A confident rocker, with a great stop-start rhythm, and angsty but determined lyrics. *

13. Final Fantasy - This Lamb Sells Condos (on He Poos Clouds, 2006)
14. The Shins - Know Your Onion! (on Oh, Inverted World, 2001) The Shins 2007 album was released by an independent label, so what gives? If "new" means "modern era" as in the last ten years or so, then what's fine for The Shins should have been fine for another group too.
15. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Underwater (You and Me) (on Some Loud Thunder, 2007), one of four free tracks available at the band's official website. I like the strong bassline and the interplay of softly chirping and loudly clanging bells, but I find the vocals annoying, and the song too meandering.

Voxtrot Tour Dates:


25 Austin, TX - Emos (CD Release) with Au Revoir Simone All Ages
27 Phoenix, AZ - Anderson's Fifth Estate with Au Revoir Simone
29 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey with Au Revoir Simone and Sound Team All Ages
30 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall with Au Revoir Simone and Sound Team AA


1 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir 21+
2 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile 21+
5 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock All Ages [5 PM]
6 - Grand Rapids, MI - Intersection with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons All Ages
7 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons All Ages
8 - Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dees with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons 19+
9 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa with Au Revoir Simone
10 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons All Ages
11 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons All Ages
12 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons All Ages
13 - Washington, DC - Black Cat with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons and Favourite Sons All Ages
14 - Boston, MA - Middle East with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons 18+
15 - New York, NY - Webster Hall with Au Revoir Simone and Favourite Sons 18+
16 - Philadelphia, PA - Pure (Making Time) 21+

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Tour Dates:

April: (with Elvis Perkins)

10 - Lupos Heartbreak Hotel - Providence - RI
11 - Pearl Street Night Club - Northampton - MA
12 - Higher Ground - Burlington - VT
13 - Metropolis - Montreal - QB
14 - Kool Haus - Toronto - ON
15 - The Town Ballroom - Buffalo - NY
17 - Cannery Ballroom - Nashville - TN
18 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta - GA
19 - 40 Watt - Athens - GA
20 - Freebird - Jacksonville - FL
21 - The Club at Firestone - Orlando - FL
22 - Revolution - Fort Lauderdale - FL
24 - Republic - New Orleans - LA
26 - Warehouse Live - Houston - TX
27 - Granada Theatre - Dallas - TX
28 - Stubb's BBQ - Austin - TX
30 - Kansas City, MO - VooDoo Lounge

May: (opening act TBA)

1 - Columbia, MO - The Blue Note
2 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
3 - Indianapolis, IN - Vogue Theater
21 - Melbourne, Australia - Hi Fi Bar
22 - Melbourne, Australia - Hi Fi Bar
23 - Sydney, Australia - Enmore
24 - Brisbane, Australia - The Zoo
25 - Brisbane, Australia - The Zoo


29 - Naeba, Japan - Fuji Rock Festival


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