three incredible indie bands you should listen to

My brother has been making these cool time lapse videos of life on his ranch in Montana. In a recent video, he used music that I instantly loved … but he didn't say who it was.

Luckily for me, I live in the future, so I fired up Shazam on my Android, let it do its thing, and in less than a minute, I was streaming Telekenisis' album Telekinesis! from Rhapsody through my Sonos.

While I listened to my new favorite album, I read Jeremy's blog. That led me to another video of his where he played music from a band called The Smith Westerns. Again, I went straight to Rhapsody, and added Dye It Blonde to my Sonos playlist. I had those two albums on repeat for much of the day, yesterday.

Seriously, living in the future is awesome, even if I still don't have a jet pack, death ray, or a flying car.

Those of you who are good at math will have noticed by now that I said there were three bands, but I've only linked to two. Good job, give yourself a gold star and a check plus!

The third band is actually on the page I linked above for Telekinesis. They are called The Love Language. I heard them about a year ago, when I got an e-mail from Merge records offering to share some new music with me, based on my loudly-proclaimed love of similar-sounding bands. I've been meaning to play The Love Language on Radio Free Burrito forever, but as I am reminded at least once a day, I haven't done a new RFB in months. (Also, if you like Camera Obscura and She & Him, spend some time at Merge; they have a ton of great artists you probably haven't heard, yet.)

Anyway, I wanted to use this experience as evidence that the music industry should make it easy for people to discover music this way. People like my brother who aren't looking to profit in any way from using music (and podcasters, and YouTubers and other bloggers) should be able to do it without applying for expensive licenses and bullshit. It's valuable – and free – promotion, Music Industry Guys! I don't listen to the radio very much, and when I do, it's mostly oldies stations that play music from my youth (FML). I don't like pop music at all, so I find new indie music via recommendations from friends, or when I tell LastFM to build me a station based on some band I already like. Because Jeremy played music from The Smith Westerns and Telekinesis on his videos, I was able to discover them, buy their albums, and hopefully introduce a few thousand other new listeners to their music. That's awesome.

Now, about that death ray and jet pack…

23 thoughts on “three incredible indie bands you should listen to”

  1. Is there a good way to point out cool indie music you might be into, for RFB or just for kicks, aside from your brother’s videos or spammy blog comments?

  2. And for the record, both Telekinesis and The Smith Westerns have been featured on KEXP’s “Song of the Day” podcast (sometime in 2008 and 2/3/11, respectively) http://feeds.kexp.org/kexp/songoftheday. It’s where I get all of my new music. Then later — sometimes much later — I hear it being used on commercials.
    Also, for Zac Bentz’s record, I have no affiliation with KEXP or its podcasts, other than thinking it’s really cool.

  3. AMAZING! Telekinesis has been my new favorite band since I heard their album streamed on NPR a few months ago. I saw them play in Cambridge last month, and it was possibly the best show I’ve ever been to. They are an incredibly joyful live band. Coincidentally, The Love Language opened. I am HOLY CRAP HAPPY that you’ve discovered them and love them, too!

  4. p.s. They’re playing in Portland, OR on April 29th and Anaheim, CA on May 7th, although they’re the opening act at both shows.

  5. death ray: a)buy a $20 yard sale microwave. remove door, point fusor at target, ask target to politely stand still while being cooked. b) buy one of those $300 green lasers. shine into eyes of person flying jetpack. c) steve irwin type death ray.

  6. Didn’t the Mythbusters try to make a death ray? I think that Adam Savage sabotaged that episode or something…possibly due to that amazing whiskey house tasting room place right near where they film the show. Absinthe…mmm…good. ;)

  7. *cough* You also… kinda sorta… still have people to thank on RFB… if you ever found that box in your garage. You know… just saying… *cough cough* It’s only been… almost a year since Phoenix Comicon. Just saying. (*makes hands into a heart shape and apologizes for being annoying*)
    And dude, totally checking out some of this music! :)

  8. My good buddy Stefan Alexander recently released a free three track Acoustic Single pack as a promotion for his upcoming album. You should check him out, Wil…he’s a fantastic songwriter, and an amazing guitarist.
    His site can be found here: http://www.stefanalexandermusic.com
    You can also find the EP he released a few years ago on iTunes. I can’t recommend him highly enough!

  9. I just subscribed to All Songs Considered, and the Live Concerts podcast.
    It's been a long, long time since I had a OMG WHERE HAS THIS PODCAST BEEN ALL MY LIFE moment, but today, I had two! Thanks.

  10. As for death rays, a German hacker built his own battery-powered laser pistol.
    “‘Fitted with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, it fires off a 1 KW blast of infrared light once the capacitors have fully charged. The duration of the laser pulse is somewhere near 100ns, so he was unable to catch it on camera, but its effects are easily visible in whatever medium he has fired upon.'”
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/03/10/1436212/DIY-Laser-Pistol-Shoot-1MW-Blasts

  11. I love finding new indie bands through recommendations. As a thank you for your recommendations let me recommend a few bands that I found this month. Electric Six seems to be a combo of disco and punk or disco and rock… good songs to check out are “Gay Bar”, “Danger, High Voltage” and “Synthesizer”. Another band is Jupiter Sunrise, check out “Super X-Ray Vision” and “September Girl”. Enjoy!

  12. Can I make a suggestion? This is my first time here so I’m not exactly sure what your type of music is, but when you piped up with “indie” I figured ‘hey, why not?’ A guy I went to HS with is a bassist in a band that’s been on the circuit for a while and they’re gaining a bigger fan base. They’re also from Raleigh, NC like The Love Language but his band is American Aquarium. They’re a sort of country/rock/E-Street Band/visceral/my-gf-cheated-so-it’s-time-i-bought-another-bottle-of-jack kind of band. They’re on MySpace too. I’m a fan of the song Katherine Belle myself.
    http://www.americanaquarium.net/fr_home.cfm
    http://www.myspace.com/americanaquarium

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