Incredible String Band was the in group once upon a time…
The Fugs were pretty good, too – or Holy Modal Rounders.
My favorite indie mixtape is a recording of my ten-year-old self singing slave songs for a MLK musical I was in, interspersed with a bit of “Gangsta’s Paradise” and my friends and I pretending to be secretaries.
…secretaries? like, Uhuru or something?
We were just saying things like “Mr. so-and-so, you have a call waiting on line four” in nasal voices.
the fact that you were singing slave songs and doing acting at 10 beats my playing with Ninja Turtles and discovering my dad’s porn any day of the week.
Check out Zach Hill the drummer from Hella!
Well, first there is Tom Waits…
The Tiger Lillies. Neo-Brechtian, corrosive tunes sung in falsetto by Martyn Jacques while playing accordion, and accompanied by one of the most minimalist, yet most swinging rhythm sections around. Their stage play “Shockheaded Peter” is brilliant. “Brothel to the Cemetary” is a great introduction to them.
Gogol Bordello. Punk-fueled tunes with mad vocals and lots of Eastern European influences in the melodies. Like the Lillies, at times not for the easily offended.
Aterciopelados. Big in Colombia, definitely ‘niche’ in the US. Sharp, innovative pop-rock with political leanings, with vocals by the wonderful Andrea Etcheverry. You don’t need to speak Spanish to love them. “Evolucion” (basically ‘greatest hits’) if you want just one by them.
Lhasa. Mexican-Jewish singer with two albums to her credit. Sultry ballads and up-tempo tunes with surprising twists. I highly recommend “La Llorona.” Again, as above, language is no barrier.
The Unkool Hillbillies. Scorching Rockabilly with a killer pianist and drummer. Swedish band, Eastern European drummer…..gotta love music.
Iron and Wine
Willard Grant Conspiracy
I saw The Decemberists once and I was all… this is annoying. They have lots of cool instruments, though, and i think they even had a cute lady in the band. What’s-his-name’s lispy drone is just… bleh.
Claus — thanks for your recommendations with explanations. I’d never heard of Lillies (although I did see Shockheaded Peter onstage), Gogol Bordello, Aterciopelados, or Lhasa before. Was Lhasa featured in Taymor’s “Frida”, perchance?
I scooted over to Amazon, found all the albums, read the user reviews and bought six new CD’s. Something new for my ears. I have so many “indie-rock” musician friends who all love to introduce me to their favorite groups. I’ll be mischievously gleeful to put these new CD’s on when they’re around and hear them ask me whose music it is. I’ll act surprised and say, “Oh, haven’t you heard ‘Aterciopelados’ before? Oh yeah, they’re great!” Instant cred!
Thanks again, Claus. I’m so depthless.
Monoliths & Dimensions, the new Sunn O))) disc is astonishing. The last track, “Alice”, is glorious. A real breakthrough.
Checking out Yo La Tengo.
I never pass up the chance to spread the good word and show people how cool I am at the same time. Here’s what I’m liking a lot right now:
BAABA MAAL Television
JOHANN JOHANNSSON And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees
THE WILD SWANS English Electric Lightning ( I can’t believe they’re back and sounding better than ever)
COCOROSIE Coconuts plenty Of Junk Food
MOUNT EERIE Wind’s Poem
Wolf Eyes- Always Wrong
Zu vs. Mats Gustafsson- How To Raise An OxSonny Sharrock
Neutral Milk Hotel
It’s a couple years old now, but I still play it every other day at least:
THE SHOCKING PINKS self titled cd.
THE greatest band of the last 10-15 years or so.
I can listen to Merriweather Post Pavilion over and over again and not get tired.
Guided By Voices
Stars of the Lid
William Elliott Whitmore
Tallest Man On Earth
to name a few…
I can list some favorites from this year, because going into favorites for all my music would take me too long.
Here we go:
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post PavilionAssemble Head In Sunburst Sound – When Sweet Sleep ReturnedAu Revoir Simone – Still Night, Still LightBrakes – TouchdownCamera Obscura – My Maudlin CareerA Camp – ColoniaCasper & The Cookies – Modern SilenceThe Dear Hunter – Act III: Life & DeathDirty Projectors – Bitte Orcadredg – The Pariah, The Parrot, The DelusionThe Fiery Furnaces – I’m Going AwayFranz Ferdinand – Tonight: Franz FerdinandLittle Boots – HandsMetric – FantasiesThe Pains Of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains Of Being Pure at HeartPhoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus PhoenixPJ Harvey & John Parish – A Woman A Man Walked ByReverie Sound Revue – Reverie Sound RevueRoyksopp – JuniorSoap&Skin – Lovetune for VaccuumSt. Vincent – ActorSuper Furry Animals – Dark Days / Light YearsVoila! – OdessaWhite Lies – To Lose My Life
I can easily say music is my second love in life. At the MOMENT my current favorite out of these is the White Lies album, which after a couple of months I played again and realized it’s genius.
-Do Make Say Think
-Old Crow Medicine Show
Why does it have to be Indie? Should a great band like MGMT be punished/excluded from the list because they’re on a major label?
Anyways, Animal Collective’s “Merriweather Post Pavillion” is the best album of the year so far. Absolutely outstanding, I saw these guys at Bonnaroo this year as well and they put on a great, trippy show!
Passion Pit put out a solid debut and Phoenix’ “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” is the best album of their career thus far, truly awesome.
MGMT a great band?
Are you kidding me? MGMT is a great band. Solid hooks, incredibly great ear for melody, plus each song is full with tons of layers and sonic depth to it. Add the psychedelic slant to their songwriting and the eerie sounds that they choose and you’ve got the 2008 version of the Flaming Lips who are almost as good.
…in response to Ryan, technically almost everythnig here is actually on a major label. The term “indie” sort of bugs me in that regard since it refers more to a scene rather then actually being independent.
uh…but yes, MGMT is technically a indie band, genre-wise.
I shall go with New Pornographers though.
I can’t even remember what’s come out this year, let alone what I liked of it. I dunno, 2009 for me has been the kind of year where I can’t bring myself to keep super-close tabs on anything — lately I’ve been content to just cast out a net and see what it takes in, rather than aggressively pursuing a specific target.
That said, Clone is — or was — or something — an independent label, and I’ve been listening to a lot of the stuff that they put out lately. It’s fine music. If you have the same taste in electro as a bunch of Dutchmen, anyway.
a side-not to MN music.
Don’t get me started on hip-hop. though lucy ford was a pass.
fog and dosh and an always interesting noise scene are where it’s at… among others.