Being in a young, indie band is tricky stuff: Try to stay afloat on your own, and you’re eating Ramen for every meal of your tour and peddling your personal possessions to buy gas for the van. Try to make a little extra cash here and there, and you may end up with a Band of Whorses type debacle. But instead of selling plasma for $30 a pop or tap-dancing on street corners for spare change to press a few more LPs, scantily funded artists are hitting up an innovative new website that puts the power to help out in the hands of the fans.
Band Members: Alden Penner (guitars, vocals), Brendan Reed (drums), Ben Borden (multi-instrumentalist), Lisa Gamble (drums), Nick Scribner (multi-instrumentalist)
For Fans Of: Broken Social Scene, The Sea and the Cake, The Microphones
Clues, the collaboration between former Arcade Fire drummer/vocalist Brendan Reed and former Unicorns frontman Alden Penner, has deftly eluded most would-be hype, slipping beneath the radar despite their vast potential for buzz. Despite the band’s name, the Montreal musicians have offered little evidence of their existence, playing mostly small, unadvertised shows and and boasting an almost nonexistent Internet presence, which Penner calls a “tactical absence.” But public attention isn’t the only thing Clues has eschewed—the ethereal soundscapes and eerie experimentation of its debut album, Self-Titled(out now) are as puzzling and enigmatic as the band itself, the tangled blend of post-rock instrumentation and experimental art pop nearly genre-proof. It’s hard for even the band members to pigeon-hole their sound. Continue reading
After recording and performing for nearly two decades, the members of Tortoise seem to possess a calm, slow patience not unlike that of the reptile with which they share a name. In a world of buzz bands and supergroups releasing multiple albums a year, these guys prefer to take their time and do it right. And at a rate of eight studio albums over their history of nearly two decades, that’s exactly what they’re doing. After 2004’s tepidly received It’s All Around You, the post-rock pioneers rescinded back into the studio for five years to craft their next album. The result, Beacons of Ancestorship, is the carefully cultivated product of writing, recording and revising, over and over again. The album is an enormously complex amalgam of influences that comprise one of their most unconventional works yet, proving that age-old aphorism which Aesop taught us all long ago: slow and steady melts your face. Continue reading
Looking slightly bedraggled after a long drive from a show the night before, Damion Suomi sits down at Corner Pub in Decatur, Ga., lights up a cigarette and orders a beer. “I have a constant stream of beer and coffee and Diet Coke,” he explains with the gravelly voice that epitomizes the gritty, bare feel of his debut album, Self Titled (out now on P is for Panda). Throughout the album, he flies and dives from high to low, fueled by a love for honesty and torrid relationships with women, booze and spirituality.
From Paste, September 2009:
Electro-rockers subtract originality.
With Armistice, New Orleans quartet Mutemath veers further and further from the myriad genre references that comprised its intriguing debut, taking one step closer to middle-of-the-road alt-rock anonymity. Continue reading