Posts Tagged 'indie music'

today’s tunes: a hand to take hold of the scene

I learned about this band Okkervil River from the old independent radio station WOXY out of Cincinnati.  as is often the case, I prefer the live, and in this case acoustic, version of this song to the original album version.

 When we’re so far from right,
When we’re losing the fight,
When we are letting the light weaken its beam
Oh, oh, Is there a hand to take hold of the scene?


today’s tunes: the system only dreams in total darkness

the 1st single off the upcoming new album from The National.

am I excited? yep, maybe just a smidge.

the new album will be released September 8, 2017 and is titled “Sleep Well Beast”. you can pre-order the album here.

  • Nobody Else Will Be There
  • Day I Die
  • Walk It Back
  • The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness
  • Born to Beg
  • Turtleneck
  • Empire Line
  • I’ll Still Destroy You
  • Guilty Party
  • Carin at the Liquor Store
  • Dark Side of the Gym
  • Sleep Well Beast

mistaken for strangers

………….and now for something completely different…………

this is a trailer for an upcoming documentary from one of my favorite bands, The National.

In 2010, The National embarked on the biggest tour of their career… Lead singer Matt Berninger invited his younger brother, Tom, to join the tour’s crew.

Tom’s at sea in the world of indie rock, and living in his brother’s shadow brings out the younger sibling in him – he drinks, complains, and struggles to balance his ambition with his tour responsibilities.

A cinematic juxtaposition that locks comedy and stoicism together on a tour bus, Mistaken for Strangers delivers an entertaining story of family, music and artistic aspiration.

I’m definitely looking forward to their new album and this documentary.

today’s tunes: leap year by plus/minus

in honor of today’s date, here is a song titled “Leap Year” by a band called +/- (Plus/Minus).  I don’t really know a whole lot about the band – but it is once again a band I was introduced to by

She says, “Here is someday. 
We’ll find some way.”
Nothing’s put upon me

Search lights, helicopters
Sound the all clear
Someone’s pulling me in

She smiles and I leave my feet
She tries to bring the world out of sleep

All my indecision
Lacking vision
She holds a skeleton key

Leap year in our own way
Armistice Day
She is everything

She smiles and I leave my feet
She tries to bring the world out of sleep

She said, “Here is someday. 
We’ll find some way.”
And pulled me in.

toronto day 1: the National concert

I previously covered the train ride to Toronto.  after our dinner at the Chinese restaurant, my parents took our three boys back to the hotel, and my wife and I jumped back on the subway to head back to Union Station, followed by a short walk after that to the Air Canada Centre (where the Toronto Maple Leafs play hockey) to see the concert.  my wife had bought the tickets a few months ago as my birthday present – but the 2 closest shows were either Chicago or Toronto, and my parents love to visit Toronto so they volunteered to join us and watch the boys during the concert, and then spend a few days sight-seeing with us.

concert tickets and a transit day pass

we missed most of the opening band, but I had never heard of them (Wye Oak) so I wasn’t too upset.  the 2nd opening band was Neko Case – she and her accompanying band were pretty solid, but I only knew two of the songs they played (Hold On, Hold On & Red Tide).

after a brief break, the headlining show came on stage – it was The National, probably my favorite band right now.  I can (and do) listen to them almost every day – I have all of their albums loaded onto my little iPod Nano, and I can just set that on random and listen all day.

the National live at the Air Canada Centre

here’s a photo I snapped with my iPhone – it’s a tad grainy, but you can see the large projector screen they had set up behind the stage, to show video of the band members playing live or in this case, random video shots that went with the song.  I believe this was during their song Abel.

I kept track of the songs – noting at least the main lyrics in case I couldn’t remember the song title, and then figured out the correct songs when I got home.  here’s the setlist:

  1. Runaway  
  2. Anyone’s Ghost
  3. Mistaken for Strangers
  4. Baby,  We’ll be Fine 
  5. Bloodbuzz Ohio
  6. Slow Show   
  7. (Drum solo) Squalor Victoria 
  8. Afraid of Everyone 
  9. Conversation 16 
  10. Son
  11. Apartment Story  
  12. Abel
  13. Sorrow
  14. I Need my Girl (live debut of a new song)
  15. England
  16. Fake Empire


  1. Rylan (live debut of a new song)
  2. Mr November 
  3. Terrible Love 
  4. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks (acoustic, no microphones)

it was a fantastic concert, I knew all of the songs – except for the 2 new songs, and it was pretty awesome to be at the concert where the 2 new songs made their live concert debut.  my wife doesn’t listen to The National as much, but she said she did recognize about half of the songs, and she enjoyed the concert as well.

I got lucky with my iPhone, and the 2 songs I tried to get video for were the 2 new songs – the video quality isn’t great, but the sound quality was surprisingly awesome.  in lieu of me trying to upload them to Youtube, though, here’s a live video of the new song “I Need my Girl”, unveiled on Q Live in Toronto at the Glenn Gould Studio on the same day as the concert we attended.

and here’s a good review of the show from Jesse Kinos-Goodin of the National Post. I certainly agree with this:

That came just in time for The National to unveil two surprises — a new song, I Need My Girl, and the addition of Canadian Owen Pallett, whose syncopated violin perfectly complemented the finger-picked guitar and heart-breaking lyrics (Pallett should definitely be featured on the studio version of this track when it’s recorded for the next album).

today’s tunes: skin of my yellow country teeth (CYHSY)

for today’s tunes, a catchy tune from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (CYHSY) titled: “Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth”.  the video was made by some students, but it’s not really clear who they are or where they are students, but it’s pretty creative:

Just listen to me I won’t pretend to
Understand the movement of the wind
Or the waves out in the ocean or how
Like the hours I change softly slowly
Plainly blindly oh me oh my!

CYHSY is yet another indie band that I discovered several years back listening to their Lounge Act podcast from while living in Cincinnati.  they have a very distinct sound, and the lead singer’s voice is… well… interesting.  the band’s music grows on you, though, really it does.  the band’s 3rd album, Hysterical, is set to release soon (September 2011).


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