malleus&incus

A Little Heart to Heart Music Group

Posted in Experimental, Glitch, Indie, Lo-fi by jurbanik on August 20, 2010

I’m pretty late with this, but I think everybody could use a reminder about Heart Music Group. The music management company is a recent project by Joshua Fisher that is attempting to help promote some smaller bands, and has acts like Baths, Kárin Tatoyan, and Fol Chen under its arms. I’m not going to claim that I completely understand how the project works, but if you want to check it out, the LA Times Blog is a start. Heart Music Group (HMG) put on a warehouse concert tuesday night (8/17), but I haven’t heard how it went. With the talent and energy that HMG brings, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t great.

However, of more relevance to this post (since I was nowhere near LA for the show) is the recently released EP ‘<3.’ It has tracks by Baths, Teen Daze, Light Pollution, Blackbird Blackbird, Gobble Gobble, and Kites Sail High. A lot of you would probably be interested to know that it is available completely free at HMG’s bandcamp (I love that website more and more every day). Because it is free, I’ll just embed the player, and link to some other tracks by each artist (gotta save some storage sometimes). (more…)

The ABC’s of Indie Rock part 2

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Alternative, Folk, Indie, Lo-fi, Playlists, Punk, Rock by dc3 on August 13, 2010

Jumping right in from the last post:

Sequestered in Memphis // Stay Positive

Though they formed just six years ago, the Hold Steady has a sound that feels like it came straight from the ‘80’s. It’s a modernized, Midwestern Springstein with a classic rock feel. Such a strange strange sound.

Love Vigilantes // Around the Well

So folksy I wanna die. Sam Beam never sings above a whisper so his voice feels like it’s right up against your ear, like if you and him were stuck in a small room together and his  face was the only thing you could see in the dark. (more…)

The ABC’s of Indie Music part 1

We here at the blog have so selfishly denied the site any color up until now, attempting to project a sense of self-importance at the expense of any cheerfulness. After a long wait, Technicolor has finally arrived at Malleus&Incus and along with it, youth.

Let me begin by promising that this will be the first book my kids will ever read. If anyone in Williamsburg, Brooklyn decided to quit getting high (or maybe while very high) and write a children’s book, it would be Paste’s Indie Rock Alphabet Book. The alphabet isn’t perfect and includes a few artists that make you scratch your head, but there are enough gems to merit a recap. It runs the musical gamut from Animal Collective to (spoiler) The Zombies in a wonderfully educational summary of some of indie’s best artists. Buy this book for your little brother or cousin; try to eradicate bad taste at its roots. No matter how you take it, kick it back toddler style and relearn your abc’s. (more…)

Mixtape #1: Lovely Folks

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Folk, Indie, Lo-fi, Playlists, Singer-Songwiter by dc3 on July 22, 2010

Now the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.

There used to be a time when I always had some infatuation on my mind, a stupid sense of self-importance, and metal on my teeth (only one of those has since changed). But it was also a much simpler time, one where attitudes and feelings could fit neatly onto ten-song playlist. Honestly, the mixtape had this magical quality. Whenever you met someone significant you had to make them a mixtape. It was the ultimate expression of love for that girl, the most thoughtful gift for a friend. Those songs that you painstakingly selected and invested your emotional energy into really spoke to your identity or some shit like that. Mixtapes were the spiritual of our adolescent years.

Out of either nostalgia or childishness, I think we should bring the mixtape back. I found this unlikely gem on iTunes. With a cutesy title like “Folksy Indie Love” and the description “this playlist was my lifeline when I was writing my undergraduate thesis. I love it so much, it needs to be shared,” (Princetonian perhaps?) you couldn’t go wrong.

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Stuff that people have posted on my wall

Posted in Lo-fi by jawillisetc on July 16, 2010

(In honor of lo-fi this one is extra sloppy)

There’s plenty to criticize about Facebook. It voraciously devours time, convincing people that the mundane minutiae of their lives are apparently so interesting as to be worthy of broadcast. I know it keeps me from doing my homework, because hey, maybe somebody posted new pictures from their vacation? And ooh, I should post on their wall! But despite possibly destroying my ability to function as a human being, Facebook has supplied me with some excellent music.

Not just excellent music, I’ll go so far as to say it has supplied me with two of my favorite albums of whatever arbitrary time period you want to apply. Of course this is just another way Facebook destroys what little productivity I had before, but hey, at least this one is fun.

P.S. Elliot

Broken record//The Bike Wreck Demo

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automobiles

Posted in Lo-fi, Post-rock, Screamo by Giri Nathan on June 30, 2010

Hi I am Giri I don’t like driving but I like listening to music while driving! And driving music is a unique beast. Plenty of people are content with the Shuffling iPod; I never really liked fiddling with the device at the wheel, since I’m a heinous driver as is, so I stick with the ancient relics known as “compact discs,” which seem to sound better anyway. Now as for what I put on those discs…

You can pretty much divide driving music into two categories:

  1. music that is good to drive to because it is good driving music
  2. music that is good to drive to because it requires careful single-minded listening

If you’re lucky, you’ll get both in one tidy package, though it’s a tricky balance. Here are some things I’ve been listening to while cruising through suburbia and getting bogged down on Route 1 for unreasonable chunks of time. But mainly the latter.

Beach Fossils (category 1)

I for one am totally content with the current trend of sun-bleached washed-out “so chill right now” lo-fi. It’s in no short supply these days, and I think these guys are among the best of that briny bunch. As for their what they sound like: they sound pretty much exactly like their name. This is kind of a feat in itself. Beach Fossils are like a salty breeze coursing over my windows as I roll through the streets of my decidedly landlocked town — they radiate jangly, surfy hooks that ride slow dull waves of reverb, inevitably cresting on that one pensive, plaintive note. Crisp and simple rhythms set a rather pleasant tempo for automobiling (ho ho) and while I’m in the car I can’t help but feel that the sunshine’s being filtered through my windshield and out of my speakers. Admittedly there isn’t much variety on this album, but it manages to stay fresh, almost paradoxically, by being so frickin’ tired-sounding. “Daydream” seems the obvious standout in terms of sheer catchiness, but I personally refer “Twelve Roses.” Whole album’s worth a spin though.

Daydream // Beach Fossils

Twelve Roses // Beach Fossils

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Get on Our Bikes, Ride Downtown

Posted in Hardcore, Lo-fi by Sam on June 28, 2010

Hi, I’m Sam. I like music, so I guess that’s why Giri invited me to contribute. However, I’m not the most eloquent writer of all time. I hope the readers and other contributors can forgive me for that.

Genres: hardcore, experimental, whatever.

Other than music, I like to do math. That’s about it. On to the music.

Holden Caulfield

These guys are local, from Huntington, West Virginia. It’s not the best hardcore of all time, but it means a lot to me, so I felt like it would be good for my first post. These guys basically held the Huntington scene together for a long time. It was rare that there was a show that they weren’t on. This band has meant a lot to me growing up (since 8th grade), because I feel like they were one of the only constant parts of the music scene that I became a part of. The shows were always memorable – everyone knew the lyrics, and half the time the vocalist Dana couldn’t even get the mic to his mouth to sing because so many people were going for it to sing along. These guys broke up about a year ago, but I still listen to them fairly often and miss the good old days of singing along at their shows. They would always end their sets with this song, and it’s always been important to me. I hope people like it.

Welcome Home//Can’t Stop Now

Japanther

Japanther. Lo-fi as shit, these guys are from Brooklyn. It’s just a guitarist and a drummer, but they put out some of the most fun music I’ve ever heard. This song (and in fact this whole album) never fails to put a smile on my face or make me shake my bootay a little. I think Giri and JAW will back me up in saying that Japanther is tight.

Um Like Your Smile is Totally Ruling Me//Tut Tut Now Shake Ya Butt

Well…that’s my first blog post. As I was driving home from the show I went to tonight, I was thinking about what I was going to say. Honestly, I have no idea how to write about music in any manner that other people might find interesting. I also realized that I don’t know shit about most of the music that I like – all I know is that I like it. Whatever. If there are no objections, I’ll keep blogging, talking about music I like, while trying to figure out how to do it properly.

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