Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is a article I wrote for my school newspaper, and although the issue doesn't come out until valentines day, I have nothing to write today so I'm putting this in. Enjoy!
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So you want to listen to indie rock and roll? You want to rythmlessly sway back and forth at concerts, chatting it up with people you’ve never met before about how the band you’re watching was better on their first album, and their latest stuff is a little over-produced? Well, I can’t help you. It takes years to build up a CD collection and a vast foundation of useless band trivia to really become a true indie rocker. But these bands are the best in the genre and listening to them will at least get you a head nod from experts (if not a winded explanation of how the lead singers side project is better than the band itself).
The Smiths:

I thought I’d start with the basics; the Smiths are kind of old news but are an important cornerstone in this genre. They were a very successful indie band from the 1980’s British invasion and were internationally recognized for their electric live performances and beautiful studio albums. They were fronted by the acclaimed lyricist Morrissey, warmly nicknamed the Pope of Mope for his melancholic and dark lyrics, and one of the most influential frontmen in indie rock. Although they aren’t together anymore, Morrissey has taken on a successful solo career and his still producing critically acclaimed albums.
You’ll like them if you’re into: Coldplay, Belle & Sebastian, Anyone band with strong accents
Recommended Album: The Queen Is Dead
Recommended Tracks: Bigmouth Strikes Again, Vicar in a Tutu

The Decemberists:

Ah, indie pop. My all-time favourite oxymoron. And why not when bands like the Decemberists write such beautiful indie pop music. They are fronted by the charismatic Colin Meloy, a man with a passionate relationship with his acoustic guitar, and backed up by guitarist Chris Funk. This past year they released The Crane Wife, an incredibly well received concept album based on a Japanese folk tale and their first release on a major label. They take cues from influential 90’s indie bands such as Neutral Milk Hotel who also did the tragic concept, pretty acoustic guitar dance on their album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.
You’ll like them if you’re into: Neutral Milk Hotel, 18th Century Fables
Recommended Album: The Crane Wife
Recommended Track: O, Valencia!, Summersong

The Shins:

Yes, I realize that the article is called ‘The Best Bands You’ve Never Heard Of’, and you have heard of the Shins, but they are still an indie band, and I chose them for one important reason: they have a new album coming out in 2007 (January 23rd, to be precise) and I’m sort of following a pattern here. That’s right folks, you heard it here first (unless you follow this kind of thing as closely as I do), the Shins are releasing a new album called Wincing Away The Night. It has yet to be released, but through the magic of the internet, I streamed the entire album and I have to say it looks promising. The same old Shins writing style you know and love, but much better produced coupled with a clear higher budget for recording. Some girl sitting in a café once told me “The Shins will change your life”, and although I can’t say my life has changed much since I began listening to them, they’re arguably the most recognized indie band out there and have made many people slightly happier (the kind of happy you can only get from listening to that good old indie rock and roll).
You’ll like them if you’re into: The OC or Garden State
Recommended Album: Wincing Away The Night
Recommended Track: The Phantom Limb (first and currently only downloadable single)


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