Sunday, July 21, 2013

An Increased Use of Trumpet in Indie Music (Inspired by Alan L.)

A little more than a month ago, we went to a festival with a friend who is a trumpet player with serious skills. Because of his background, Alan L. enjoys opportunities to see Indie bands who feature the instrument. After watching the high energy performance of Capital Cities with their charismatic trumpet player (Spencer Ludwig), Alan decided that it was time to buy some songs of Capital Cities.
     We didn’t discourage Alan from moving forward with his decision. But we did talk about additional opportunities. Within the last twelve months, the use of the trumpet in the Indie pool of songs has noticeably increased. Technically, some of the songs have been in the Indie water for more than a year, but are only now surfacing. For example, the song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities was originally released in 2011, but it didn’t explode until 2013. Another good example is the song “Hello World” by the Capitals, which hit our play lists in 2011, but wasn’t on an album until June, 2013.

     So, we started thinking about a CD of our favored trumpet-containing songs. Typically, we can get nineteen songs on a CD. The rule is that the nineteen tracks must either have gained attention since the start of 2012 (preferably 2013) or have an emotional connection for us (such as the song “Raindrops” by Grand Hallway, which is dedicated to one of our favorite couples – Michelle and Mark D).
     Coincidentally, this list was inspired by a friend and his trumpet background, and it includes three trumpet-containing songs with the term “friend” in the title. The order of songs in the list is primarily based upon our order of preference, starting with our favorite. But this post entry is a result of the performance by Capital Cities, so we grouped their two entries together.
Driver Friendly
     Wake up world, Driver Friendly exists!!! (And Driver Friendly, if you increase the fidelity of your offerings, more of the music world will notice you.) 
     There are so many features of “Harsh, Harsh, Harsh” that should be appreciated. It's not easy to shout while singing in a manner that can be enjoyed. The energy surges keep the interest of the listener throughout the song. But it's the interplay of both the trumpet and trombone with other instruments (voices and otherwise) that sets this song apart from the many other songs we play on a regular basis. “Harsh, Harsh, Harsh” is an anthem. It doesn’t deserve the respect that a National Anthem receives, but it deserves more respect than it gets.
     #1 - "Harsh, Harsh, Harsh" by Driver Friendly

     #2 - But wait, there is another blogworthy song from these Austin-based guys. Driver Friendly also offers “Messidona,” which would be first on this list if not for “Harsh Harsh Harsh.” The band is allowing free downloads of "Messidona" at its SoundCloud - just CLICK HERE. But we enjoy the Tom Hanks-approved video, so it's embedded below:

Driver Friendly Facebook:

The third and fourth songs on the list are from Capital Cities.
     #3 - "Safe and Sound"

        #4 - "Kangaroo Court" this one is available for free download

     We need to explore the music of Dark Mean from Hamilton in Canada. We love “Happy Banjo,” but we haven’t taken the time to see what other songs we might enjoy.
      #5 - "Happy Banjo" - yet another song that is a free, legal and recommended download

     #6 - Next on the list is a song we have mentioned in a past blog entry – Quiet Company, who impressed us in Austin last year.   "You, Me & the Boatman" is also free, legal and recommended.

     Now the three songs with "friend"-related titles. The first is older than most on this list, but the age is offset by the second, which was released in the last month.
     #7 - "Friends and Family" by River City Extension. 

     #8 - "Friends" by Eliza and the Bear

     #9 - "Good Friend" by Cloud Cult

    #10 - Finishing the top ten is a song that seems to have been abandoned by the band. The Night is a band from Sydney, Australia. A trip to their website or their Facebook page identifies other music by the group, but not "Put Me Out," which is their best. The only place we can find it for public listening is

    #11 - "Dreams of Cannibalism" by Typhoon

    #12 - "Raindrops" by Grand Hallway

    #13 - "The Match" by The Eastern Sea

    #14 - "Hello World" by Capitals

    #15 - "We Are the Tide" by Blind Pilot

    #16 - "Small Talk" by Of Monsters and Men - this would be much higher on the list if it hadn't been played so often on radio stations

    #17 - "Sonsick" by San Fermin

    #18 - "Tucumcari, NM" by Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues

    #19 - "The Plan" by Playground Noise - the trumpet is only at the end of the song, or it would be higher on the list

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