The Dodos

Helllllloooooooo! I am back! I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and got to spend time with those you love. I spent the day with my family which, for the first time included my brother-in-law. I’ve learned that events are much funnier with him there. We spent the whole day cracking jokes, eating, watching movies, and just enjoying each others company. I was nice, especially since that was probably the last time I’ll get to see all my full family before I start classes up again on Jan. 2nd (BOOOOOOO!).

Since I am going back to my dorm where I have limited bandwidth, I’ve been trying to make time for music exploration while I can. This last Saturday my dog and I laid around all day, cuddling and looking for new music. I ended up finding a lot of new bands I enjoy. One in particular caught my fancy so much that I decided to deviate from my plans and feature them today instead.

I’m really late to this train so you might already know about them. The Dodos.

There isn’t a ton on their website about the band it’s self, but I did a little exploring and this is what I found out. The Dodos are a San Francisco based indie rock band currently consisting of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber. They came together in 2005 and in  2006 released their first EP (Dodo Bird) and their first full length album (Beware of the Maniacs).  The next year they were signed to Frenchkiss Records (one of my favorite indie record labels) and in 2008 they released their second album, Visiter.

“Fools”  from their album, Visiter

If you are anything like me, you would have looked and thought, “that’s not how you spell visitor…” An interview done in 2008 revels the story behind the album title:  “The reason it’s misspelled is because it’s from a drawing this kid gave us. We played a show for a bunch of kids in South Central L.A.—Dorsey High. A friend’s sister [Barbara Lempel] is a special-ed teacher there, so we went down there to her class and we played for the kids and it was super fun.”

The band has had a few other people join them temporarily, but in the end, it seems that Long and Kroeber prefer to be a duo. In this next video you can see Joe Haener who played the vibraphone and other percussive instruments with the band for their 2009 album, Time to Die.

“Fabels” from their album, Time to Die

Can we take a second to realize that Kroeber is playing the tambourine…with his foot while drumming. What a boss!

Last year (2011), they released an album entitled No Color. The first song off the album, “Black Night” is what drew me to the band. I head this song and automatically wanted to hear more.

I love how this band doesn’t sound like just another indie rock band. There’s something special about their sound. Some point to Long’s short study of West African drumming. He states that the influence came more from him realizing that there were other ways of playing than that of the “typical American” rock band.  He wanted to do something different.

The band just announce a UK tour where they will be opening for Calexico. If you want to see the dates or just want to hear more music from them, you can find it all here at their website: http://www.dodosmusic.net/

What you can also find there is an unreleased track, “So Cold” for FREE!

You can also get “Black Night” for free right here just by pressing the download button.

So what do you think? Do you like them? Had you known about them before now? If so, what is your favorite song? Let me know down in the comments!

Well that’s all for today, folks. Next time you hear from me I will be back at school slaving away at papers and assignments. Since Tuesday is New Years Day, I’ll being pushing my next post back til Thursday the 3rd. I’ll be unveiling something very special to me to start off the new year. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

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The 7 Days of Christmas

As mentioned in a previous post (“Close to Home”: Little Light), I am not the biggest fan of Christmas music. That being said, I don’t HATE Christmas or Christmas music. I just don’t like the over playage (not a word, but you know what I mean) of Christmas songs on radios and in stores.

But like every year, now that its a week before Christmas, I’m getting into my Christmas music mood. So to prove to you that I’m not the Grinch, I’m going to tell you some of my favorite Christmas songs.This is probably my last post before Christmas so I just wanted to say thank you to all my lovely readers by giving you some free holiday music.

[edit: Soundcloud is being weird and keeps displaying my picture instead of the album cover…sorry about that. At least the picture is with John Barrowman :)]

Alright, enough talking. I now present to you, The 7 Days of Christmas.

1. Love is Christmas- Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles released this last Christmas and it has become one of my favorite songs. I listen to it even when it’s not Christmas because it’s a song about love and how we don’t need a big meal, presents, or even a particular season to love one another:

Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it.
Love is simply joy that I’m home.

2. Jingle Bells- Anna Vogelzang

Anna Voglezang is a really awesome artist that lives in Wisconsin  If you don’t know who she is, don’t fret; I’ll be posting about her at a later date. I really like this Voglezang’s version of jingle bells because it’s super upbeat and adorable. It makes me smile every time I hear it.

You can get this song and a few other Christmas songs by her  for free here (It’s name your price so you can just put $0 and get it for free. Or, if you have some extra cash, you can give some money and support this awesome artist)

3. Snow- Sleeping At Last

Sleeping At Last is actually from the Chicago area (close to where I attend college) and I got to see them earlier this year. Ryan, the lead singer, is a very talented and kind man. This song was a part of his Yearbook project he did last year. He’s currently working on a new project which looks very promising. I’ll be making a post about that soon, so if you like this song, make sure to keep a look out!

So let the bells keep on ringing
Making angels in the snow
May the melody surround us
When the cracks begin to show

Like the petals in our pockets
May we remember who we are
Unconditionally cared for
By those who share our broken hearts

You can get this song and the rest of Sleeping At Last’s Christmas collection for free here

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Music for Miles: How to Get Free Music

As promised in my previous post, today I will share some of my free legal music sources with you. Those of you who frequent the internet as much as I do may know about some of these already, but for others, this is like opening a whole new world. Let’s put it into perspective: a lot of people download music illegally from web because they think it’s the easiest way. Well not only is it, well, illegal, but it’s also unnecessary. There are tons of free LEGAL sources online to get great music.

 

One of my long time favorite sites is Noisetrade 

“NoiseTrade is a Nashville, Tennessee based company committed to promoting the fair trade of music by and for artists and fans via the Internet.” Artist submit their music to be put on Noisetrade for FREE. Then you, the average internet going person, is allowed to download said music. It’s really that simple. You can tip/ give them money if you want, but you don’t have to. Some of my favorite music I’ve found over the past year has been through this website. Each artist usually puts up anywhere from 1-10 songs. They also release samplers which are kind of like mix tapes. Just today they put out 4 Indie Label Samplers.

Check them out at: www.nosietrade.com.

You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter

 

Another website that I absolutely LOVE is The Wild Honey Pie.

This is a new found gem. TWHP is a music blog based in New York. They post about new music, new albums, review concerts, and more! One of my favorite features on the site are the sessions they record themselves and put up for download. There are two types of sessions: “Buzzsessions” and “Honey I’m Home”. Buzzsessions are when staff members of TWHP “travel with a different band to a different part of New York City and record sometimes-intimate/sometimes-wild versions of two or three songs which are given away for free.” Honey I’m Home is a segment where TWHP “welcomes a different band into Sounds Like A Fire home studio in Brooklyn and record intimate versions of two or three songs” which are then also given away for free.

Click here to check out the sessions: http://www.thewildhoneypie.com/category/sessions/

You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter 

 

Both those sites have a TON of amazing music, so I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ve decided to make this, the whole sharing music blogs and such, a new part of my blog and have entitled it, “Music for Miles”. Not entirely sure how often I’ll be doing these posts…it depends on how nice you all are to me 😉

I’m off to take more medicine and eat ice cream; it’s one of my sick person privileges. Hope your day is better than mine!

Concert: Holy Ghost Tent Revival

moving panoramaYo. Sorry this is coming at you later in the day, but I just got back from Florida like 6 hours ago. I wrote this on the plane and just put the finishing touches on it. Florida was AUH-MA-ZING! I got to visit my best friend and went on many adventures, one of which included attending a Holy Ghost Tent Revival concert. Yes, that is a bands name (awesome, right?). I heard about them though Emily Hope Price and her 365-day project (which I will most definitely be posting about sometime in the future). While planning out my trip, my friend, Siara, and I were trying to find a concert to go to.  It just so happens that the North Carolina based band was touring in Florida and their schedules aligned with mine. It was practically meant to be!

As previously mentioned, HGTR is from Greensboro, NC. The band came together and released their first album, So Long I Screamed, in 2008. Their newest album, Sweat Like The Old Days, that was released in September of this year includes 11 catchy tracks that are sure to rock your world.

The concert took place at Will’s Pub in Orlando. The pub is pretty sweet: it’s tiny (which is always great sound wise), had band stickers all over the walls, and a photo booth. One of the things on my bucket list is to go to a venue with a photo booth so now I can cross that off.

HGTR broke through the starting gate with a finger strumming, hips shaking, foot tapping song entitled Needing You. The video is pretty adorable!

This is literally one of the classiest bands I have ever seen. Their style is a mix between rock and, with the help of a fantastic trombone player, jazz with a little bit of bluegrass. They’re like something out of the Rockabilly 1950’s.

The members are constantly moving around the stage, dancing and swinging around each other. It was so entertaining to see them just let loose and really get into the music. They ended up playing one of my favorite songs, Mr. Sister.

 Fun fact, Stephen Murray (lead singer, guitarist, and banjo player) saw me singing along to this song and commented on it afterwards. Needless to say, it was a very good moment in my life. 😉

As mentioned above, after their set was over I got to have a short conversation with Stephen. He was really sweet and gave me their set list. Side note: for those of you know don’t know, I collect set lists; this makes number 8 from this year.

I was also able to get a picture with him. Like I said, super nice, cool guy.

20121208_002347 (Thanks Stephen!)

(Edit: as my friend Siara pointed out to me, she took this picture so photo credit to her. She’s the best)

I’m really glad that I got to see them live and hope that I will get to experience it again sometime. Thank you for playing your hearts out, boys.

If you want to hear more of their music, you can find them on iTunes and/or Bandcamp:

iTunes

Bandcamp

Also, if you’d like to see more of what these classy gentlemen have to say, you can find them at various places online:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube

Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for…FREE MUSIC!

Alpha Dogs (right-click on the page and “Save as”)

**As a treat for me being late on today’s post, I will make an additional post this week sharing some of my free music secrets with you. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out! Just scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up to follow my blog. You’ll get an email after you’ve subscribed asking you to verify that you do, indeed want to follow my posts. I’ve had some questions about that so I thought I’d clarify.

Thank you so for reading! Now go rock out to HGTR and make sure you tell a friend.

I’m super sick with strep throat so sorry for any errors in this post. You should comment and/or tell a friend about this post. That’s sure to help me feel better 🙂

Ivan & Alyosha

Hurry, jump in the *virtual* car, buckle up, and don’t ask questions! I have a special treat for you today. You see there’s this band called Ivan & Alyosha… ever heard of them? If so, reach in your pocket and give yourself a dollar, because you’re a winner! I just found them recently myself thanks to Noisetrade, one of my favorite websites, and I am in love.

Ivan & Alyosha is a folk-pop band from Seattle, WA that formed in 2007 when Tim Wilson met Ryan Carbary; the two bonded over Wilson’s innovative writing style and decided to make beautiful music together. The group’s name originated from a pair of characters in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

In 2009, Wilson (lead vocals and acoustic guitar) and Carbary (guitars, piano and vocals) released their first EP entitled The Verse, The Chorus. By the time they recorded their second EP, Fathers Be Kind, the group had expanded to include Tim Kim (electric guitar and vocals) and Tim’s brother Pete Wilson (bass and vocals).. Very soon, the group will be putting out a full-length album, which is titled All the Times We Had (Edit: The band just announced their album release show which will take place in Seattle in February.) As stated on their website, this first album allowed the band to further showcase their music gift:

“All the Times We Had, Ivan & Alyosha’s first full-length album, encapsulates the personalized blend of rousing songcraft,             infectious melodic hooks and thoughtful lyrical introspection that’s already endeared the band to just about anyone who’s witnessed one of their effortlessly uplifting live shows, or who’s heard either of their two prior indie EP releases.”

Since day one of finding their music, I have been hooked on “Don’t Want to Die Anymore.”

 

[Recorded by Sleepover Shows in January 2012]

I know the title seems like a downer, but hopefully you’ve clicked on the video and are listening along as you read. I love this song because it’s a story about change and realizing that there’s more to do in this life. It has a “Prodigal Son” feel to it, doesn’t it? Every time I listen to it, I play out the story being told in the lyrics and imagine someone who tried anything to fill the void in their life only to realize that the answer couldn’t be found in a joint or bottle. They no longer wish to die because now they realize that they have so much more to do.

Another song that I really like is “Be Your Man.” I can’t help but bob my head and sing along to this track (even if I am a girl haha); it’s so catchy and fun!


By the time you’re reading this, I will be in Florida visiting my best friend, Siara. Exciting right? Well tomorrow/ today for you (Dec. 4th) Ivan & Alyosha will be re-releasing “Running for Cover” as a single and it will be available on iTunes. If you like the songs that I’ve posted above, you should most definitely check iTunes for this song. Here, I’ll make it easy on you:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ivan-alyosha/id305962919

The album itself isn’t available on iTunes yet, but hopefully it will be soon! If you like their music, GO TELL THEM! I’m sure they’d love to hear from you. Here are the places you can find them online:

Tumblr (aka their official website: http://www.ivanandalyosha.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivanandalyosha

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IVANANDALYOSHA

Bandcamp: http://ivanandalyosha.bandcamp.com/

**Don’t forget to tell them who sent you 😉

Alright, free music time! As always, I promise to give you free LEGAL music whenever possible, because who doesn’t love free music? I & A put a few songs from their album All the Times We Had on Noisetrade (one of the best websites ever for music lovers). Click here for free music

Before you go, just wanted to give you a small update. I’ve decided that I will be posting regularly on Tuesdays. There will be other extra posts as well, so you should subscribe (using the widget at the bottom of the page) so that you’ll get an email about it. 

As always, thank for joining me. I shall drive you back home now as we listen to this sweet, sweet music together. Sound good?

“Close to Home”: Little Light

Hello all!

First of all, thank you (YES YOU!) for checking out my music blog. It’s always nice to have people actually look at what you do. Secondly, I’ve decided that once a month I will be posting about a local (meaning in the Chicago area) musician or band that I fancy, because who doesn’t like a little home lovin’? I have lovingly entitled these post, “Close to Home.”

Okay so down to business. Today I’m recommending you look at a local band called Little Light. Little Light is made up of the lovely Gia Margaret and dapper Alain de Courtenay. Both Margaret and Courtenay work on music independently, but somewhere along the way, they decided to collaborate and thus “Little Light” was born.  The two came together in 2010 and made their debut on Youtube with a song written by Courtenay entitled, “Blue Impossible Moon,” one of my personal favorites.

(Filmed by Rooftop Sessions Chicago in March 2011)

The duo continued sing with each other and in January of  2011 they released their music out into the world via Winter EP. Their EP is made up of four beautiful acoustic songs that no sane person can listen to without smiling. Their lyrics are touching and their voices go together like peanut butter and jelly.

(Shutter Speed written by: Gia Margaret, Performed by: Little Light)

I got the chance to see them live at The Union (a venue my school owns) and they were absolutely charming! Alan was all smiles and Gia was amazingly talented and plays more instruments than I can even begin to remember, let alone list off. They were both very kind and enthusiastic about their music. I’ve heard a rumor that they will eventually be recording a full length album. From what I can tell right now, the two are currently working on solo projects, but perhaps they are sneakily recording music together in preparation for the aforementioned album. One can hope, right?

 You can download the EP from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-winter-ep/id416104724

Also, one thing you will learn about me is that I am all about the free LEGAL music! Any time I recommend you something, I will always include a link to free music if it is available.

Here is Gia’s solo Soundcloud page where you can download some of her original tracks for FREE: 

This is Little Light’s cover of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

I will be the first to admit I am not the biggest Christmas music fan. Yes, I am one of those people who hate that radio stations start playing Christmas music before, or even close to Thanksgiving. That being said, there is something so magical about this rendition that it stays on my playlist all year long.

If you liked what you heard, please comment and let me know below in the comments! I love hearing from people. Also if you have any suggestions as to what I should listen to, please feel free to leave that pretty slice of information in the comments below as well. Hope you are having a spectacular day!

Where It All Begins…

I woke up this morning with a very Ferb and Phineas-esque mindset and thought, “What the heck am I going to do today?” You see, unlike many others my age, I do not have to go back to school until January. My college runs on trimesters, so we get a break from Thanksgiving until the New Year. So as I’m sitting and contemplating my day, I thought why not make a music blog? I like to write and I’m music obsessed (seriously ask my roommate, or my friends, or pretty much anyone who has ever come in contact with me)…it’s a perfect fit!

So here I am on the Internet making a blog, which will be about music. If all goes as planned I will be updating once a week with a new music recommendation. There might be additional posts if I go to a concert or I just simply cannot wait to inform the world about more music. We shall see 🙂

Be on the lookout for my first music review sometime later this week. To ensure that you don’t miss it, you can subscribe to my blog and you will receive an email once I post. Nifty, right?!

Hope you have a greet rest of the day!