Monday, July 28, 2014

Choir-Assisted Indie

     There are a number of motivations for blogging about music. At the top of the list is the enjoyment that comes with sharing something that is personally exciting. However, there are drawbacks. One negative is that the self-imposed pressure to post on a regular basis prevents the months-long dives into finding songs that share some feature, such as a particular instrument. We love our hard-earned historical lists.
     We still generate lists, but they are shorter, less historic in focus, and less comprehensive. [Now, doesn’t that statement generate a lot of confidence in the credibility of this blog post???] This post is a short, non-historic and non-comprehensive list of songs that use children choirs. So, it won’t reach back to Pink Floyd’s 1979 release of “Another Brick in the Wall.”
     The Young Wild is a San Diego/Los Angeles band. The members are Gareth Moore, Jarel Paguio, Calen Lucas, Bryan B. William, and Brandon Zedaker. The children's choir-assisted song is "Moment Goes."

     herMajesty is based in New York. According to the frontman of the band, “The motivation to use a children’s choir on the new single came from the idea that we are all struggling to come to grips with the promise of our youth and the reality of adulthood while maintaining a connection to the life affirming energy and sense of wonder of those early years."
       "One by One" by herMajesty (Currently, the band is offering the song as a free download - CLICK HERE.)

     Next is the Orchestral Indie of Marram from Edinburgh, Scotland. The core members are Jamie Chambers, Mike Brogan, and Colin Mclean. But it’s The Light of Love Children's Choir that landed the song on this list. Proceeds from the Transgressive North's 'Everything Is New Project' releases will go to Scottish Love in Action, a charity that provides food, clothing, education, and medical care to children in southeast India.
     “With Us Instead” (fundraiser) by Marram (ft. Owen Pallett)


     Youngblood Hawke is an Indie Pop Band in Los Angeles. They have a couple of contributions.
     “Stars (Hold On)" by Youngblood Hawke

     “We Come Running” by Youngblood Hawke

     Staying in LA, Mr Little Jeans is Monica Birkenes, a Norwegian singer who is now living in Los Angeles. The background vocals in “Oh Sailor” are provided by the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Youth Chorale, a non-auditioned group of singers within the range of 8 to 16 years old.
      “Oh Sailor” by Mr Little Jeans

     “We No Who U R" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
     "Stick Up Kids" by Kool Head - the free download is in the .wav format, if that matters.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

“Get Hurt” by The Gaslight Anthem – A Song Review

     This week, The Gaslight Anthem released ”Get Hurt,” the title track from their upcoming album. Indie Obsessive is “all in.” That is, we love the song and look forward to hearing the rest of the album.
     Almost all Indie bloggers seem to have been formed from the same mold. Indie Obsessive admits to having emerged from that mold. There is a thrill in tracking a band if it progresses from the status of near-unknown to the status of being a success. But after that success is achieved, the interest in the band drops dramatically. Certainly, one reason for the drop is that the thrill of the hunt is gone. But another reason is that second and subsequent albums are normally not as good as debut albums. There isn’t a shortage of theories as to why debut albums are often far superior to a band’s later work (for example, the songwriter of the band is no longer experiencing the type of hardships that motivated the early work). But the strengths and weaknesses of the theories are for a different post.
     Gaslight Anthem doesn’t break the mold. But for us, Gaslight Anthem is a band in a category with few other bands. With each album, we appreciate their work more. A touch of Punk, which is not our favorite. A touch of the late 1950’s/early 1960s, not our favorite. Importantly, The Gaslight Anthem doesn’t stand in one place. Our "album of preference" is their previous one – “Handwritten" from 2012.
     Nevertheless, we weren’t prepared for the song “Get Hurt.” The emotional depth exceeds anything from the band’s past. We will add the Soundcloud version of the song when Gaslight Anthem provides one. Until then, here’s the Youtube version. 

     “Get Hurt"

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beauty Is in the “Eye” of the Ear Holder

     When it comes to musical preferences, “Beauty is in the ‘eye’ of the ear holder.” Thus, a song feature that has a positive effect for one person will cause others to quickly move to another song. And the perception of one music lover may contradict that of another. 
     While listening to a satellite radio station this week, the introduction of a song went something similar to, “I am drawn to this song because it has a unique sound, which provides the variety that keeps music listening interesting.” Well, that intro grabbed our interest, and we wondered what song would follow. The song was one we enjoy – “We Are Done” by The Madden Boys. But if we were limited to twenty words to state the basis for the enjoyment, they would be “Because the song captures the Beck sound, but with enough of a difference to give the band credibility.”
     So, we like “We Are Done” because of its similarity to another band, while another “ear holder” likes the song because it doesn’t sound like another band.  But as Dave Mason said in “We Just Disagree,” way back in 1977:
There ain't no good guy,
There ain't no bad guy
There's only you and me
and we just disagree. 

     The Madden Brothers are Benji and Joel Madden. The are now based in Los Angeles. 
     “We Are Done” by The Madden Boys