It’s been an exciting week for indie music. I know! Fucking weird, right? Has there ever been an exciting week in indie music? Unless you count that time your band ran into the guy who does keyboards and loops for TV on the Radio at some shitty venue that he also happened to be playing, the answer is “no.”
Clowning around aside, this week has spawned the final album from indie Messiah Bright Eyes and the announcement that garage rock icons The White Stripes were officially calling it quits. I bring you exciting news, though: life is not over. There is a plethora of decent music out there! Even if you’re stuck in an abyss of unemployment, daydreaming of a time when music didn’t completely suck, there is hope. Here’s five albums that may or may not change your mind that there are still good bands pumping out some pretty rad tunes. So, check out these albums!
Matt & Kim–Sidewalks (2010)
There’s nothing quite like fun, poppy, almost-punkish music by two cute indie kids. You’ve most likely heard Matt & Kim at some point if you’ve watched television or listened to the radio in the past year or so. For a 21st Century Brooklyn band, they have a lot to offer. Not to sound condescending, but New York bands tend to mesh together and the best ones get lost in the fold. Matt & Kim have been consistently awesome and never lose their sweet style, heart-pounding beats, and childlike wonder. I sound like I’m reviewing something off of Radio Disney, but trust me on this one.
Ghostface Killah–Apollo Kids (2010)
For a rapper who has received varying degrees of success from his library of (I’m estimating here…) 10,000 records(?), Apollo Kids is safe but captivating. The return to the gritty, engaging style of the Wu-Tang Clan was essential to Ghostface’s career after his R&B albums took many fans by surprise. It may not be the greatest rap album you’ve ever heard, but there’s no denying that it’s solid and fun. And, worst case scenario, you can listen to it while roaming around South Philly and feel a little less white and a little more married to the streets.
If you’re upset about Bright Eyes going away, or miss Dashboard Confessional, this is right up your alley; especially if you’ve grown up a little bit. I don’t particularly understand when bands create “genres” for themselves just to pigeonhole their music. Not knowing much about a band that characterizes themselves as “Grime” or “Shoegaze” music can get confusing and does a hell of a job turning off people who aren’t totally gay for one particular sub-sub-sub-genre. I try not to let this bother me when I hear powerful, interesting, and relate-able music…but it doesn’t dismiss the thought that maybe Christopher Mansfield could be a total D-Bag. Maybe.
The Limousines–Get Sharp (2010)
Electropop is a fascinating beast. It’s got a face that only a mother could love and everyone who hangs out with it is a total dick, but once in awhile it can be fun to hang out with Electropop. Maybe once or twice a week, when it’s not too drunk or stoned. Electropop will walk you home, keep you company on the bus, make you smile, cheer you up, and let you say “fuck it, let’s dance.” Then, at the end of the night, when you and your real friends are tired you can lock Electropop outside in the cold and as you wipe the tears from your eyes, shout, “Get out of here, Electropop! I never loved you anyways! Just go!”
Deer Tick–War Elephant (2007)
It may seem tacky or out of place (at least on this list) to review an album that’s four-years old, but I’m gonna go with it…because I’m a rebel. Truth is, Deer Tick is such a creative and amazing band that I think you should start listening to their albums from the beginning. There are only 3, so it won’t take you too long. You’ll find a lot to fall in love with here, from the old school blues/folk/country vibes to the modern tortured soul poetry of white American youth. The mid-western vibe is so crisp that it’s easy to forget that the band’s from Rhode Island. As with bands like The Black Keys and Two Gallants, their passionate and honest music makes you forget that they’re just a bunch of white kids singing black folks’ music.
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