Saturday, May 5, 2007

happy may! (ok, it's a little late)

i try and stay abreast of the goings-ons and this-and-thats of the blogosphere, and i feel like i've been improving lately. this whole blog thing is still (relatively) new to me, as a blogger myself and a reader of them. i've added a couple new ones in the past week or so -- the music slut, auralfitness -- but my favorite one that is still new to me is daytrotter. i've casually mentioned daytrotter before, but i feel it deserves its own post.

first of all, daytrotter is not a blog. daytrotter is a fucking miracle. daytrotter lives in rock island, IL, the probable equivalent of the middle of nowhere. daytrotter invites young bands to come to their studios, en route to or from chicago, generally, and toss off a couple or four songs in their studio, and go merrily on their way. daytrotter has multiple in-house artists (scroll down). daytrotter, in fact, has more illustrators than engineers, writers, label managers, and den mothers put together. daytrotter is beautiful.

daytrotter's promise to the world is simple: two featured bands, eight
session songs each week. they took a mobile studio to sxsw, and many of their recent sessions have featured artists who recorded with them there. daytrotter is extraordinarily prescient: they recorded cold war kids before rolling stone spermed all over robbers and cowards (before, in fact, there was a robbers and cowards); harry and the potters, a favorite of todd p, were recorded early last year; they hit up page france long before lullabyes (and before ...and the family telephone); sunset rubdown, oakley hall, annuals, frog eyes, my brightest diamond, of montreal, vietnam, mates of state, eef barzelay, and a number of bands i've never heard of, but probably will by next year, if their previous predictions are anything to go by. rock plaza central dropped by a few weeks ago to record some songs before they earned a mention on music-for.robots this week, the first time i had seen their name in print (or whatever passes for print on the interweb). they have recorded so many good artists that it would be asinine for me to list them all here, so do yourself a favor and check the list (84 bands strong!) here.

daytrotter worked its equestrian way into my heart moments after i read the article (post is too small of a word) on my brightest diamond, (one of) my new favorite artist(s). all of the features are mixes of interview and narrative, written by sean moeller, one-time contributor to cokemachineglow and all-around music commentator, and are engaging and i
nformational, with the only downside being the font size (a little hard on the eyes, guys). moeller's articles are in-depth, well-researched, with beautiful prose, but for a dedicated free-musiker like myself, daytrotter's greatest assets are the 4 songs that each artist records in futureappletree studio, offered to the public as free downloads.

i'm posting four songs from different daytrotter sessions at the end of this post, mostly chosen at random from daytrotter's sizable catalog. two are unreleased (yet), one is wildly different from the studio version, and the last was recorded before the LP it is on was released. the quebecois that make up malajube (to be fair, their website is also in english) played "cristobal,"a track that moeller suggests is the closet the quintet will come to sounding like the hold steady, though this assessment is almost certainly premature, since malajube are only on their second album (and the song is a work-in-progress). eef barzelay, ex-frontman of clem snide, played a new song about breaking up with girls because they don't like frank zappa (certainly justifiable). clem snide are NOT defunct, as was rumored (or, at least, assumed), which is great news for all of those naked lunch fans who love sweet sounding agony. the third song comes from grizzly bear, all hot and bothered from their recent hyperpopularity, who rip through a new version of "little brother," excited for their upcoming stint as feist's openers. the last song by page france, who i've been listening to non-stop while writing this post (probably why they made the "download" cut). their song, "the ruby ring man," opens ...and the family telephone, which is to be released may 8 on suicide squeeze (though i work at a radio station, and have been playing the album for two weeks now), while the version recorded at daytrotter was performed in october last year and is a bit different.

anyway, those are the tracks, and this is daytrotter. at last count, they had nearly 650,000 downloads, so plenty of people already know about them, and now you can too.

and, of course, after you download songs from daytrotter, go see the band live and buy their album. there's no love like giving your hard-earned dollars to a band whose lives are probably much tougher than yours.

malajube - "cristobal." purchase trompe l'oeil from fine french-speaking retailers here.

eef barzelay - "the girls don't care." his debut solo album, bitter honey, can be bought at itunes.

grizzly bear - "little brother," from yellow house, available for purchase here.

page france - "the ruby ring man," from the upcoming ...and the family telephone. find info here.

1 comment:

tearknee said...

hey hey... just wanted to add that 'la blogotheque - concerts a emporter' is also an amazing beauteous wonder...and actually named daytrotter as their partner. the take away shows are hot shizzle. great choice of bands and set in groovy locations mostly in paris. i love the guillemots ones best myself...but seeing as you just mentioned them..there is a grizzly bear show on their 'un an' concerts too. for francophobes, you can translate into english too. :) never fear. enjoy the spontaneity. :)