Alongside world-dominating superstars Snoop Dogg, Big Boi, Drake & Kid Cudi, our boys The Chicharones have landed a song on the NBA 2K11 video game soundtrack. For the uninitiated, NBA2K is currently the top selling basketball game of all time and the featured Chicharones track ‘Little By Little’ off of When Pigs Fly is perfect. Score the song from YAWMA here
*Portland! Go see The Chicharones live this weekend with Raise the Bridges at Dante’s
What kind of music is Moxie Black? Electro, hip hop, pop, indie rock? I don’t know. Highly danceable, hook-laden, crossover anthems mostly about getting drunk. Future Pop? Produced by YAWMA favorite Dekk. Pay What You Want for this album… NICE
The production on How Did This Happen? ranges everywhere from indie rock guitar harmonies to sleazy club bangers to new wave synth pop, all strung together with the formidable skills Dekk has come to be known for. Emcee iLLA coats each track with his melodic rap style, balancing the sensitive-but-partying-hard verses with layered harmonized hooks. This new release has yet to take over the mainstream radios, but these dudes already have a follow-up full length record finished and ready for the world. Stay tuned & stay wild. #thatsmoxie
Check out So Much Better
What’s The Balconies secret formula? Perhaps the brother/sister/boyfriend blueprint? Chart Attack suggests “The turmoil that must occur within this template may be the fuel behind their energetic brand of kinda punk, kinda pop rock ‘n’ roll” and I am inclined to agree.
Pulling from the art-rock funkiness of Talking Heads and the whirlwind guitar noodling of Sonic Youth, The Balconies have sprinkled their own flair of boy-girl melody into the cauldron to create a unique brand of driving indie pop. With loads of talent and really slick instrumentation, they have done more with the bare bones guitar-bass-drums formula than most brother/sister/boyfriend trios could dream of. Watch out for these kids!
Roger Houdaille (the dude in green pants on the right) is more than just the singer/guitarist of Miami’s alterna-poppers Ex Norwegian, he runs Dying Van Gogh Records, produces an online sitcom, and has played in a laundry list of Florida bands. Ex Norwegian’s music reminds me equally of The Kinks and the movie Clueless (not Alicia Silverstone acting dumb, but the general 90’s alternative-slacker vibe Clueless captured so well). If you don’t believe me, jam “Seconds” off their new album Sketch at the bottom of this post. Roger has been extremely cool to us and agreed to answer some questions about the merits of independent record labels and what he’s been listening to.
Bands are still popping up every day, but the infrastructure of the indie music ‘industry’ is rapidly changing. What are you predictions for the future of independent music? the music industry at large?
I think the future will be independent music. At least, let’s hope it will be! As the mainstream dies off…and not because there aren’t fans (let’s face it, the Lady Gaga’s has millions of them) but because it costs too much money to create the pop acts and maintain them. Those kind of bank accounts don’t exist at the majors anymore. I enthusiastically predict that independent music will keep on growing as it’s been…particularly now that the distribution gate keepers are no longer there and concepts like Yawma exist. As far as the music industry in general, well it will probably get de-industrialized. In this case, however, I think that’s a good thing! Music business is a bit of an oxymoron anyway and I think it’s simply not exciting anymore. Who gets excited about being ripped off? Especially when you can get on Billboard chart from the strength of an auto-tune YouTube song! So I predict that as the music industry will shrink back to a decent size, and more power will reside with the people and artists. Let the people choose what they want to hear and support.
You’ve called the merging of Ed Hale’s TMG label and your Dippy imprint a “super indie” label. Can you explain what you mean by “super indie” ?
We created a label out of the strengths of both TMG & Dippy labels and called it Dying Van Gogh. I guess the idea of “super indie” just came from that fusion of the two, distinctly different beasts, into one. In fact, it may have been a bit too powerful - which is why the 2nd Ex Norwegian album came out in Dippy vs. DVG. But things will be picking back up soon for the new label, with some new releases scheduled for the end of the year.
Will Ex-Norwegian always remain on an independent label?
I can’t say we’ll always remain independent, but I’d say a good 98% chance that we won’t be interested in a major label deal. I’ve read too much, took music business courses, have friends who have been screwed and know too much rock ‘n’ roll history! I wish that wasn’t the case, as I grew up with that rock ‘n’ roll fantasy but once it grows out of you, I think it’s actually very liberating and then you can get down to real business. A bigger indie is although something on the look out for.
What advantages do you have, as an artist & label owner, remaining indie as opposed to signing to a major?
Control is the keyword. Having the artistic control, owning the masters, access to sales reports, arranging direct deals…sure, it can be lot of work, but it you know what you’re doing you stand a good chance to make music not just your passion, but your bread and butter. It’s a trend that some artists, Jack White, Mars Volta come to mind, seem to be doing successfully.
What is the last great new song/album/artist you’ve discovered?
I’m still heavily into older music, 60s, 70s pop/psych/prog/freakbeat stuff. But one of my favorite new artists is Mother Mother. Lots of great songs on both albums! Some of the production reminds me of the first Ex Norwegian album actually. Then there is MGMT’s song “It’s Working” which is brilliant. I can’t really say that about their whole album though. I’ve also re-discovered the 90’s Welsh indie band Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.
Listen to Seconds off of Sketch:
On their debut record, Boston’s The Honors dish out 8 servings of the home-brewed indie pop they call “Cave Wave” with remarkable consistency. Each of these 3-minute Morrissey-meets-The Killers tunes maintains a catchy head-bobbing pace highlighted with a danceable, singalong chorus. Isn’t that what you wanted?
East Coasters can catch them thrice this Halloween weekend. Not only do they have their sound dialed in, you’ve got to give these dudes credit for their graphic design skills…
Give a listen to Some Will Say off the album xoxo:
Sometimes there is a band who serendipitously pulls a thousand loose ends together to make perfect music.
Meet Twin Sister
Top 3 reasons we love them:
1. Their album art (see below!)
2. They recorded and released both EP’s themselves
3. All of their songs are dreamy
Here are some Top 3’s from Twin Sister’s Keyboardist, Dev:
What are the top 3 inspirations for Twin Sister’s music?
1. Animals, mostly the domesticated variety.
2. The music our friends make.
You guys have posted stem files for most of your songs on your website, inviting fans & friends to remix Twin Sister. What are your Top 3 Twin Sister Fantasy Remixes?
1. Jacques Lu Cont
3. Juan Atkins
What’s the coolest TS mix you’ve heard?
We’re fans of the Teen Daze remix of All Around and Away We go
Top 3 reasons to record and release your band your self?
1. Total control over all the rights and presentation of your music
2. No studio costs
3. Lying in bed and mixing at the same time
What are the Top 3 artists you’ve recently discovered or are excited about?
1. Modern Lovers
3. Solar Bears
What’s the best/weirdest place Twin Sister has played? Do you have a Fantasy show?
We played in our friend George’s backyard for a Halloween show last year. We got to do all the decorations. We’d like to play a show in North Korea one day.
Listen to Lady Daydream off their latest EP Color Your Life: