Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Indie Hit Parade

Some quick hits today for our friends at Breakthru Radio. Recently, I got a note from the Washington, DC band Bellman Barker (they’ll be at the North Star in Philly on September 22). These guys are a tightly-wound tinderbox, a classic guitars-bass-keys set-up with melodies and harmonies to spare. Fans of The Format (or Nate Ruess’s new band, fun) will dig them. Download a basketful of tracks here. They’re on the road with a hirsute, heavy-rocking dude from Iceland (yeah, I know) named Mugison. You’ll want to check him out, too. Pay particular attention to the embedded video. The man does not lack charisma.

We mentioned regional biases in our introductory post, and here’s a midwestern band I discovered on Breathru Radio. It’s Jumbling Towers from St. Louis, a rock and roll collective with arty flourishes, spiritual descendants of the original American new wave bands. The vocals remind me of Dan Bejar of Destroyer and New Pornographers fame, and the music bears more than a passing resemblance to Modest Mouse. Definitely worth your while to download their free EP, Classy Entertainment.

And I know these guys don’t technically qualify as “indie” inasmuch as they’re on a tiny Atlantic imprint, but (musically, at least) it’s a distinction without a difference. Kansas City’s Republic Tigers make lush, classic pop music (think the Shins) with subtle hooks that dig in deep. They’re ambling about Europe at the moment, opening for Travis, which seems an ideal pairing. Plus, the bass player’s in-laws live across the street from me, and they’d rather the kids not have to move into the basement, so as a personal favor to me, please give them your support.

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