Music Monday (SXSW edition): Fenster

Fenster

Local artist to: Berlin Germany

RIYL: Chamber Pop, Miranda Sykes, Sin Fang

Fenster makes de-constructed pop music. Their lyrics are often carefully constructed dream narratives, finding inspiration in the world of ghosts, graveyards. trains, religious imagery, and broken machinery. In their music, they build songs around errors, blending melodic chords with broken beats or minimal percussion. Their instruments range from banjo to synth to inanimate objects, using slamming doors and city soundscapes. source
Fenster is signed to Morr Music, which is one of my favorite labels and they are one of my picks for SXSW 2012. Check back every Monday for a new band to check out at the next SXSW.

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Music Monday (SXSW edition): Motopony

Motopony

Local artist to: Seattle Washington

RIYL: José González, Iron & Wine, indie pop, folk rock, acoustic

Often, the combination of two opposites makes for a harmony previously unknown, a sum greater than its parts. Motopony is the embodiment of this notion – a band built on a bedrock of contrasts and the gorgeous alchemy of seemingly conflicted sounds, and the feelings mapped over them. Guided by soulful machines Daniel Blue and Buddy Ross along with guitarist Brantley Cady and drummer Forrest Mauvais, there is a warm efficiency to the hard-soul/glitch-folk contained on the quartet’s self-titled debut. continued here..

Check back every monday for a new band to check out at SXSW 2012.

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Best Songs of 2011: Part One

these lists are often difficult to compile, but this year it was quite easy to find the top songs. some of the artists chosen are old favorites while some bands are discoveries as recent as a month ago. i could probably list 20 or more, but more than ten seems a bit overkill. i love reading other music lists to check out stellar stuff that i might have missed in the last year. largehearted boy does a fantastic job at compiling some of the best end-of-year music lists on the web.

in alphabetical order, these are my choices for best singles of 2011. what are some of your favorites?

astronautalis – contrails (featuring tegan quin of tegan & sara)

astronautalis (aka andy bothwell) is a touring machine and has made an interesting progression with all of his album releases from his electro/rock/spoken word beginnings to his current alt hip-hop sound. i’ve been a fan for years since his days as a resident of north texas (he has since lived in seattle and now local to minneapolis). and can say his fourth full-length album, this is our science, is incredible from start to finish. check him out live if you have the chance. i took some friends to see him at sxsw and they were incredibly impressed.

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bad lamps – never know the difference

this is a catchy song with an interesting video… so interesting that it was all over reddit so naturally the song got some notice. bad lamps are a dude duo with just four songs under their belt, aka the soultronic ep. hopefully they will release more in the near future.

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beirut – santa fe

zach condon continues to pop out amazing albums one after the other. the most recent album, the rip tide, has the same balkan sound we all love about beirut while adding a bit more pop. i’ve been a fan of beirut since 2006’s gulag orkestar and finally got to see zach live for the first time a few months ago. i guess that is what happens when touring is mostly spent overseas and that hiatus when beirut’s future was in question. one of my favorite songs of all time will always be postcards from italy.

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dom – living in america

i don’t know much about dom but i stumbled upon this song somewhere on the interwebs and i like them. a lot. dom reminds me a bit of css.

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the drums – money

i dare you to listen to this track from the drums and tell me you don’t like it. the band’s second album, portamento, was just released a few months ago and already this song is in heavy rotation, especially on kexp. the album is fantastic!

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check back tomorrow for part two!

also coming this month…best music festival, best live shows and best beers list!

Music Monday (SXSW edition): Balthazar

balthazar

local artist to: ghent belgium

riyl: millionaire, the van jets, das pop

balthazar are an alternative pop band, with rock, electro and hiphop influences. they were formed in 2004 in kortrijk-belgium and anticipated their first album with gigs all over europe and a tour in south africa. their debut album “applause” was released march 2010, and both the album as well as their live performances were received with much critical acclaim. source
balthazar is one of my picks for sxsw 2012. check back every monday for a new band to check out at the next sxsw.

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Music Monday: Calhoun

calhoun

local artist to: fort worth, texas

riyl: blind pilot, pete yorn, doug burr, cataldo, alt-folk-rock

calhoun’s music has been described as catchy, irresistible, gorgeous, melodic, sorta poppy, sorta rootsy, sorta rockin’, and, in general, really splendid music. you can call it what you will, but lead singer tim locke says, “we’re just a pop band.” then he laughingly concedes a nod to the root-rock and alt-country influences that others hear in the band’s music. “well, let’s say we’re just a pop band with a pedal steel thrown in occasionally.” source   

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Music Monday: Walls

walls

local artist to: manchester, england & vasto, italy

riyl: four tet, delorean, drum machines, synth!

check out walls opening for battles this wednesday at neptune theatre in seattle.

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Music Monday: Cataldo

cataldo

local artist to: seattle washington

riyl: indie folk rock, ben gibbard, hey marseilles, alexander

cataldo is the recording project of eric anderson. an increasingly consistent though persistently shifty group of musician pals joins him live and in the studio. their music is generally of the “indie” variety–meaning pop/rock/folk which hopefully seems like it was composed by a hard worker with a mild taste for adventure. source

          

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Music Monday: The Robot Heart

the robot heart

local artist to: brighton uk

riyl: tunng, low, tim and sam’s tim and the sam band, indie folk

this video makes me want to visit brighton again. such a lovely seaside town!

i just love colorful animated videos.

pretty little song that reminds me of one of my fave bands, tunng.

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Music Monday: Pet

pet

local artist to: edinburgh uk

riyl: dreamy guitar pop

the single track ‘what you building?’ is easy to fall in love with with its dreamy sounds and vocals while other songs offer a more garage sound, which i like a lot. i hope to hear much more from this little uk band known as pet.

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Music Monday: Syd Matters

syd matters

local artist to: france

riyl: midlake, the eels, french folk

syd matters is jonathan morali from somewhere in france, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to his music. listening to the track, hi life, i thought it was new music from the denton band, midlake. i like the steady progression of his albums with brotherocean being my favorite.

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Music Monday: Skeleton$

skeleton$

local artist to: new york city

riyl: avant-garde, afro-pop, jazz rock, animal collective, dirty projectors

skeletons are a bit difficult to peg for a certain style of music. each song is different from the last but yet the ‘people’ album is oddly cohesive and well put together. i would love to see this band live!

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Music Monday: Oregon Bike Trails

oregon bike trails

local artist to: santa monica california

riyl: surf-pop, lo-fi, singer/songwriter

zach yudin has not released a full album yet, but read about him and his plans to release cassette singles here. listening to him makes me think of bicycles, the west coast, warm skin and ice cream. ahhhhhh summer!

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Music Monday: High Highs

high highs

local artist to: new york

riyl: ambient, dream pop, beach house, tennis

there is not much info floating around the interwebs about the high highs. i can say the band is my new dreamy obsession. i can easily get lost listening to them. so lovely! check out the only official video:

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Don’t Say Oh Well

for today’s music monday, i am re-featuring grouplove. i am super psyched for this show tonight at tractor tavern!!! so you should get acquainted with them if you have not already! there have been a few posts on here already like this one…and this one. grouplove is easily my favorite band of 2011 and they were my favorite performance at sxsw. the stateside tour schedule is quite short with the band staying on the west and east coasts over the next few months and lots of overseas dates. i’m also gonna see them at san francisco’s outside lands festival in august! i am giddy and will be front row for tonight’s show. the openers for tonight are walk the moon and people eating people.

Music Monday: Sarah Jarosz

sarah jarosz

local artist to: austin texas

riyl: americana, songwriter, markéta irglová, sarah jaffe

last night my friend, leslie, in austin was texting me like crazy telling me to check out miss jarosz. while the attempts for me to listen over the phone did not work, i checked her out and immediately fell in love with her voice. she is young at the age of 20 (!!) and i just know that she will have a long and prosperous music career ahead. check her out on sugar hill records. and she’s on tour!

sarah performing shankill butchers (the decemberists)

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