Category Archives: Independent Music

Vanish Valley – “Get Good” [NEW MUSIC] [EVENT]

Vanish Valley

Vanish Valley is a country-ish rock band from Los Angeles that recently released its’ sophomore album, Get Good.  Filled with heartfelt lyrics, twangy guitar rifts, harmonicas, and rhythmic percussion the album is definitely worth checking out.

After some soul-searching, career changes, and moving to three different states in the matter of a few years, Vanish Valley’s founder, Andrew McAllister, has finally settled down in the warmth of sunny Los Angeles. The singer/songwriter wrote and recorded Vanish Valley, his first album under the moniker, back in 2008, with the help of some fellow L.A.-based musicians. Upon this release, life took McAllister on a rollercoaster ride that eventually returned him to the City of Angels, where he recruited a drummer, bassist and keyboardist, and assembled a proper band for his country-folk outfit.

Vanish Valley

“A lot of this album was written while surviving the first couple years in Los Angeles.”, says McAllister. “The town can take on so many shapes that it really forces you to carve out your existence.  It was a wake-up to keep solid people close and value the relationships I have – near or far.  I guess the album is about the struggle and celebration in trying to do that.”

Blending elements of folk, country and psychedelic rock, the songs on Vanish Valley ramble their way through hushed landscapes and into roll-your-window-down backcountry cruises.  Listen to Vanish Valley and you’ll feel it too.  If you’re in L.A. they’ll be playing at Pehrspace in Echo Park this Saturday.

<iframe width=”300″ height=”410″ style=”position: relative; display: block; width: 300px; height: 410px;” src=”http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=3887488050/size=grande3/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/&#8221; allowtransparency=”true” frameborder=”0″><a href=”http://vanishvalley.bandcamp.com/album/get-good”>Get Good by Vanish Valley</a></iframe>

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Lisa Hannigan – Passengers [NEW MUSIC]

Passenger is the second LP from Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan. The album was released in the US and Canada on 20 September 2011 and in the Republic of Ireland on 7 October 2011 (brought forward from the originally scheduled date, 21 October). The LP features 11 new tracks

Writing for the album began in late 2009 and throughout 2010 in Ireland and the US. In March 2011, Hannigan revealed the track ‘A Sail‘ as part of her ‘Recording Diaries’ which were shot during the recording of the album in Wales. Available from her youtube page the ‘Recording Diaries’ gave fans the opportunity to go behind the making of the new album. ‘A Sail’ would later be released on her website in August 2011 as a free download. The albums artwork was revealed exclusively in Hot Press magazine and on their website on 5 August 2011. The album is released in Ireland at a later date as Hannigan is on tour throughout the US in September and early October. On the track ‘O Sleep’ it features the vocals of Ray LaMontagne.

The first song available from the album ‘A Sail’ was released as a free download in August 2011 from lisahannigan.ie. The first official single from the album is ‘Knots’, this was released as a download on 12 September 2011 in Europe.

Lisa Hannigan’s US and Canadian tour starts on 27 September 2011 in Los Angeles she will perform for 17 dates on this tour. She will then headline an Australian tour starting at Sydney’sOpera House on 11 November 2011 and finishing in Melbourne on 15 November 2011.In early October Hannigan announced her European dates which begin in the UK. On 13 October 2011 Hanniagn announced her Irish leg of her European tour. Further territories will be announced soon.

 

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

“Isles.” Video from UK indie-rock group, Little Comets.

Emerging from humble beginnings, Little Comets have come from spontaneous shows on subways and bakeries to a major record label deal. Since breaking from said label in 2010 (the band jokingly adds that their album didn’t sound enough like Ke$ha), Little Comets have gone independent touring through Great Britain appearing at numerous venues and festivals along the way. Hailing from Newcastle, England, the band recently released their first single after being emancipated from their major record label. “Isles,” as well as 11 other tracks juxtapose in the form of their most recent album, In Search of Elusive Little Comets, which was released earlier this year reaching #54 on the UK Billboard charts. Check out the music video below from these Tynesiders. They are Little Comets. This is “Isles:”

You can find more information about Little Comets from their website, fan page, and twitter account. They will be touring England through the end of year, closing the year out with a show in their hometown.

I thought I would throw in a bonus track. It’s called “One Night in October.” It was Little Comet’s first big hit and I’ve been a fan ever since I heard a year or so ago. Cheers.

kyle c. stilley | marketing strategist | music without labels, llc | chicago | @stillz

Blitzen Trapper “American Goldwing” [NEW MUSIC]

I want a porch.  I want a friggin’ porch so bad.  If I had my way I would move out of my Hollywood apartment away from my homeless neighbors who live on the stoop and the drunk assholes ready to kill someone over a double double from In and Out real fast.  I want a porch.  I want to sit on it and I want to listen to music and relax and drink a lot of beer without a care in the world.  I would have massive speakers and a rocking chair.  That to me at the moment is “the life”.  With Blitzen Trapper as my band of choice and their newest record “American Goldwing” as the soundtrack to my laid back afternoon I think I’m on to something here.

Might Find It Cheap – Blitzen Trapper

Indie rock, folk rock, southern rock, call it what you will Blitzen Trapper is a rock band.  They call Portland, Oregon home and have been touring heavily for the last few years.  They just released “American Goldwing.”  It’s one part rock and roll guitar laden, drum heavy grooves and one part distinct cool vocals with a southern twist.  Blitzen Trapper have created a sound all their own and I’m sold 100% on what they are selling.  Next track is called “Fletcher” which is one of my favortie tracks on the record.

Fletcher – Blitzen Trapper

After releasing Furr in 2008 Blitzen Trapper fell onto my radar.  After seeing them at Coachella Music and Arts Fest later that year (or in 09, I can’t remember) I couldn’t get them out of my head.  I have been following them on and off since then.  They released an awesome record called “Destroyer of The Void” in 2010 and now American Goldwing is just solidifying what I saw years ago.  These guys are tight and have honed this music and are perfecting it.

Your Crying Eyes – Blitzen Trapper

Despite being from Portland Blitzen Trapper has a little bit of a southern twang to them and then they just kick you right in the junk with a tune like Your Crying Eyes.  I think thats what I like most about these guys.  They have that southern influence that eases you into the music with familiarity and then they turn up the volume.

The band currently has six members with Eric Early on guitar and vocals with Brian Adrian Koch and Marty Marquis on drums and vocals and guitar and keyboards respectively.  The vocal duties are supported Erik Menteer on Guitar and Keyboards, Michael VanPelt on bass.

Girl In A Coat – Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper is currently on tour.  Lucky for me they are wrapping up their tour on November 17th at the Music Box in Hollywood.  Tour dates page is HERE.  Their new album “American Goldwing” is available anywhere where people care about good music, so basically the internet and Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd.  Here are a couple final tracks from “American Goldwing.”  One rockin’ and the last track which is not so rockin’ but a great way to end the record.  Check these guys out when they are in your town.  In fact go out of your way by hours and hundreds of miles to see these dudes.  It’s worth it.

Astronaut – Blitzen Trapper

Stranger In A Strange Land – Blitzen Trapper

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Euforquestra Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO [Photos] [Free Download]

Euforquestra Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Euforquestra

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Download Euforquestra’s New Album “Soup” for Free!!!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Artist Relations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Dubskin Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver,CO [Photos]

Dubskin Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver,CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Dubskin

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Vibe out to Dubskin!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Artist Relations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Gregory Alan Isakov at Gold Hill Inn in Gold Hill, CO. [Photos]

Gregory Alan Isakov at Gold Hill Inn in Gold Hill, CO.

Gregory Alan Isakov-“That Moon Song”

kit chalberg-gregory alan isakov-gold hill inn

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Check out Gregory Alan Isakov

Photography by Kit Chalberg |Denver Photographer|@kitwithmwl|beat-play&musicwithoulabels,llc

Act As If – “Pathetic” (Blink 182 cover) [VIDEO]

This post is part show and tell, part discussion question raised by the song and video above.  I directed the piece for an artist I’ve worked with before, and was excited to find the response from the generally picky, grumbly internet was 99% positive.

A small number of people who hear it though instantly dislike it.  “That’s not ‘Pathetic’!”,  “It’s too slow!,”  “I can barely tell what song that is!,” and my favorite, “Great.  Now we’re doing Coldplay covers of Blink 182?”  More than one fan pointed me to Great Glass Elevator’s cover as the better version:

I can see how it definitely sounds more like the original – mostly because they kept the same vocal phrasing – but how on Earth could you prefer it?  The production is Casio keyboard level and the vocals aren’t much better.  There’s no added depth or flavor, it’s literally just slowed down.  In fact, the only standard by which it seems “better” is that it’s “similar,” but in that case, why not listen to the original instead of the kinda, sorta slower one?

To wit: isn’t deconstruction, manipulation and mutation of the original the point of doing a cover?  In an era of media that is taken to task for being too derivative, we should be celebrating the re-examination of pop-art through a highly personal, specific lens.  It’s the difference between a bad remake of a film and a good one: does the director connect with the material in a unique way?  No one (well, almost no one) would argue that Gus Van Sant’s Psycho or John Moore’s The Omen are strong films because they are almost a shot for shot remakes.  John Carpenter’s The Thing is considered the definitive take on the concept because he brought his sense for creeping, claustrophobic horror to what was, in a past life, just a silly monster movie.  It’s why I’d love to see David Lynch tackle a Nightmare on Elm Street film – it might not even have Freddy Krueger, but no one is better at creating nightmares on film than Lynch and he would present a fascinating personal vision of the series’ themes and ideas.

Anyway, I digress.  I realize this might be coming across as a knee jerk defense to a minor criticism, but I really find the differing opinions interesting.  What say you all?  Is this how you like to hear songs covered, or do you prefer less abstract, more straightforward versions?

Oh, and if you do like the track, you can download it for FREE right here.

Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles |@Chris_Cullari | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |

Strange Talk – “Climbing Walls” [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Strange Talk

Australia keeps exporting great new music, evidenced yet again by what I’m hearing from the band Strange Talk.  The group combines musical talents from different backgrounds; the ‘vocalist/producer Stephen Docker immersed in the classical world, playing violin for the Australian Youth Orchestra and bassist/producer Gerard Sidhu, crafting house and electro as a regular fixture on the Melbourne DJ circuit’. After months of songwriting together the result is a self-titled EP through Neon Gold Records and Fine Time Records, which features singles Climbing Walls and Eskimo Boy.

Their most famous track is arguably ‘Climbing Walls’, which has been picked up everywhere from surf clips to Aussie TV dramas, and even by boutique French label Kitsune for their popular ‘Maison Kitsune’ compilation series. “It was definitely good for us, the whole Kitsune thing. I guess it’s sort of a stepping-stone for an up-and-coming band, a tick in the box, so to speak. It let us know that we must be doing the right thing, and it’s a plus that their clothes are so cool.” The indie synth-pop band draws inspiration from, “our record collections, and all of the incredible local and international music getting created and toured around Australia.”

Strange Talk

“I guess it’s a good mould, as a lot of our stuff has a heavier band influence,” tells Strange Talk’s frontman Stephen Docker. “A lot of our music is structured not so much in the loop based clubby fashion but more in a basic song structure, with more of a classical element shining through. It means we have strong ideas about vocals and melody lines, which is a bit different to some other electronic bands.”

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

 

Ten Out of Tenn at Live on the Green in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

Where can you find ten of the best singer/songwriters from Tennessee in one place to play a concert together?   Nashville’s own free concert series: Live on the Green!

Ten Out of Tenn is more than a band comprised of ten of Nashville’s best singer/songwriters.  It represents a community of friends and artists that make up one of the best emerging artist scenes in the country.  When most people think of Nashville, they think about pop country and honky tonks, but Music City has much more to offer the current music industry.  That is part of the reason why Ten out of Tenn came to exist.  The band showcases the raw talent in a group of friends that “create organic pop music in the shadows of today’s slick commercial country music industry.”  They travel together as a band supporting each other, and as a sum of creative talent on stage, showcasing some of the best and brightest songs and songwriters that Nashville has to offer.  Ten Out of Tenn features Katie Herzig, Andy Davis, Tyler James, Trent Dabbs, K.S. Rhoads, Griffin House, Matthew Perryman Jones, Butterfly Boucher, Jeremy Lister and Erin McCarley.  Will Sayles is the group’s talented drummer.  Check out these clips from some of my favorite new songs!

The idea to form this singer-songwriter supergroup was born while Kristen and Trent Dabbs were on the road.  They recognized that some of their favorite music came from their friends who were also emerging artists.  “We were thinking about how much music we like that happens to be our friends,” said Trent.  “There’s a community of people here with a lot of talent.”  That idea turned into a perfect reality when they were able to get a group of other incredibly talented artists to join them.  Since then, “Ten Out of Tenn has produced compilation albums, a Christmas album, four tours, showcases at music festivals like SXSW, and an award winning documentary, Any Day Now, that debuted during the 2009 Nashville Film Festival.”  The documentary fully illustrates the concept and the purpose behind Ten Out of Tenn, and gives an excellent view of what it means for the individual artists that are part of this team.  Check out the trailer for Any Day Now, filmed by Jeff Wyatt Wilson.

Ever go to a concert and can’t wait until the band plays their best songs?  Well imagine hearing 20 excellent songs in a row from some of the best singer/songwriters in Nashville.  These talented artists and musicians don’t just stand around while one plays their song.  They are also the backing band for each other, and it creates such an amazing vibe.  As individual artists, these singer/songwriters have “released over thirty albums, had song placements in countless television programs & films, and shared the stage with musicians such as REM, Sarah McLachlan and John Mayer.”  However for Ten Out of Tenn, fame or fortune isn’t a priority.  The drive behind their purpose surrounds the age-old concept of creating and sharing their music with other people.  The bottom line is that this group is amazing.  Unfortunately, Ten Out of Tenn has only two more stops on their tour!  Stay up to date with the latest music and tour dates from Ten Out of Tenn and learn more at 10outoftenn.com.

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC