Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Music Recommendation #3: Old Time Radio

Old Time Radio hails from Gdansk Poland. They are a three member band which formed initially almost 10 years ago. The band has a very eclectic sound which I’d associate with simplicity, obscurity and all out lovely. Together as a band, Old Time Radio has completed a few albums with their most recent offering being a long player of Christmas songs, all of which are written by the band.

Old Time Radio comes heavily recommended to fans of bands such as Kings of Convenience, Stereolab, Camera Obscura, Radio Dept, Warm Morning, Robert Church, The High Llamas and others.

The members of Old Time Radio are as follows: Tomasz Garstkowiak (vocals, guitars), Magda Szkudlarek (vocals, synthesizers) and Piotr Salewski (bass guitar).

Check them out here:

Royal Chord “The Good Fight”

The Royal Chord band hails from Melbourne Australia, with ties also in Guatemala and the UK. Among the many many bands/artists in Australia, Royal Chord is one of the most interesting that I’ve heard from that land since my introduction to artists such as Anthony Rochester and Agnes Kain. The lyrics to Royal Chord’s songs seem simple yet they are very meaningful. The vocals recall early Feist, early Cat Power, and the Dreamers. The backing music has certain uniqueness to it as it reminds me of what I would hear from early Beach House.

Royal Chord has been touring the world off and on throughout the last few years, would be good to make the effort to see them.

Check them out here:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Tweefort is music and art collective which hails from New Haven Connecticut. Dan and Aileen started Tweefort in 2009 with a mission. That mission is to bring “pop” bands through New Haven to do live shows and to work hard in hopes of building a cohesive following around the music they promote. Recently they expanded their mission into also promoting artists via physical compilations which they have released on Tweefort. Tweefort has also started releasing free download net releases of singles and ep’s from bands which they like.

Everyone’s contribution to music is unique regardless of whether they are a fan, a promoter or contribute to a band. The theme of the compilation series is to showcase bands from Connecticut and abroad, with some of the bands already having played a show organized by Tweefort and some with hopes of doing so in the future. Tweefort has a new compilation coming forward in February, and certainly many singles, ep’s, etc. releases coming out this year as well.

Tweefort has a broad sense for the many sub genres of “pop” bands and welcomes those interesting in playing a show to contact them.

More info here:

kissing party "the hate album"

Kissing Party hails from Denver Colorado. Their lyrics have certain sweetness to them and are presented with a natural sing along structure. The vocals are soft and lovely. Their melodies recall early Stills, early Strokes, Joy Division, and Hearts By Darts.

Although Kissing Party may not be very well known yet, these songs certainly provide a potential for far more. One important aspect of quality to note is that there are many indie/pop bands which haven’t quite made it as far in terms of progress and recording quality as Kissing Party has reached in their 4 years as a band. Recent trendoid bands like PAINS haven’t quite done it for me or much of anyone. Bands with a little more seasoning than PAINS such as Kissing Party are perfectly capable for filling the void from those feelings of disappointment.

Check them out here:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Best Kept Secret Tape Label's 13 years...

A good friend Alessandro has put to rest his life long labor of love. Below is a statement which he released regarding the demise of Best Kept Secret.

"January 2010: just a quick note to let you all know that twelve years and one-hundred and fifty-two releases (well, one-hundred and fifty, since a couple of them never actually happened, despite having been given a catalog number) later, Best Kept Secret is ceasing operations for good.

A number of circumstances (mostly personal) have left me without much of a choice and have thus led me to eventually make such a painful decision.

There are a million things I may write about how fun it was to run Best Kept Secret, the difference the label has made in my life since its early days and what the support of anyone I have come to know (and sometimes meet) and dealt with over the years has meant to me, but I believe that some things are better left unsaid, as I guess that everyone is aware of how it feels when factors we have no control over force us to give up on things, situations or people we really care for.

I will therefore go ahead and send out a big THANK YOU and just as big a HUG to anyone who has helped us with things we could not do ourselves, to all the bands/artists who have trusted us with their music and to anyone who has taken the time to write about our releases or has otherwise supported us along the way by buying or trading for our tapes or simply by showing appreciation and providing encouragement with a few kind words.

As for the back catalog, I will do my best to maintain availability of the releases that are currently not deleted already for some time (possibly through the end of the year). Both the main site and this page will also remain visible for a while yet.

And this is about it, I guess.

So long, everybody."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Desks "The Same Mistakes"

The Desks are from Australia. It is a boy named Jeff and his guitar. Some of the songs are upbeat while others have the ability to tug on the heart strings quite a bit. A quality in songs that is very similar to early Bright Eyes or Teitur for example. One thing that sets The Desks so much apart from other songwriters of his kind is he can surely jam pack an album full of songs that seemingly fit together remarkably well.

Check em out here:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Music Recommendation #2: Kevin Wright/The Party and the Guests

Kevin Wright is a musical genius who has been involved in music for nearly 30 years through various music projects including his solo “Mr Wright” and “The Dreamers”. Kevin Wright’s style is very unique and is described commonly by fans as lounge or bossa nova.

His influences are diverse and include some of the following: soundtrack music, Serge Gainsbourg, Joao Gilberto, Syd Barrett, Nat King Cole, Robert Wyatt, Avant Garde, etc.

His long awaited solo album “Diary of a Fool” was released in 2009 and was followed by an announcement that it would be his last solo album. Now, Kevin Wright is shifting a lot of attention towards his NEW music project called “The Party and the Guests” (pictured above with member Boll Bundy). Together with Boll Bundy, they have made an album of well crafted songs which should see a release sometime early on in 2010.

Here’s (3) free downloads from Kevin’s final solo album

Links to his music projects:

The Party and the Guests

Mr Wright

The Dreamers

Jonas Schwartz - Am I Even Close? (CD-R)

It seems that every blogger is like "oh man, sorry I haven't been posting lately", that is every blogger who is not getting paid. Many of the regularly updated blogs have an income and people do it as a job. It's our (I mean you too) responsibility to keep unpaid independent blogs up to keep people knowing about great new acts bands like Jonas Schwartz.

I just got a CD-R from this guy with a hand written track listing. No myspace plug, no contact info, no nothing! Which brings me back to a notion on an Asian indie pop compilation I got through Series Two, it said "Let us all share and enjoy music." I think that is a beautiful statement which Jonas personifies.

When I first put the CD on, I thought it was something my girl friend might like, well at least I would like to listen to in her company on a nice relaxed overcast afternoon. It sounds like a rainy day, but is beautiful in the same manner. The vocals kind of strain sometimes in an almost lo-fi way, but this is very much folk, with melodies reminiscent of some Alela Diane stuff. Anyway, if you are relaxed, visit his myspace (which I had to google!!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Music Recommendation #1: Poland

The band Poland, hails from Seattle, Washington. I was first introduced to their music around late 2007. Their late 2008 release of "Most of Them Are Clockwork" would be found in many listings for albums of the decade, that is if the people that made such lists actually heard this album. In September of 2009 they quickly followed up with "Please Interstellar Policeman". With lyrics and melodies simply described as "poignant", this band is a must hear, especially for hardcore fans of The High Llamas, Testbild!, Ian Curtis, Todd Rundgren, and The Beatles.

If you ever have the chance to see their live performance, it is a must. I consider my experience seeing them at Nebraska Pop Festival in 2009 as the best that I've seen to date. They rocked the roof off the building.

Members of the band include: Mark Bombara (guitar) Mark Romanowski (guitar, voice) Shane Peck (drums, voice) Noah Wilson (bass) Lydia Nor (voice) Janet Utterback-Peck (violin) Karen Halliburton (violin) Brianna Atwell (viola).
In total the members of the band have over 100 years of music experience easily. With such a lifetime dedication towards music, you can't go wrong with this band.

Members of the band also appear in the following bands actively today: Laguna, Mr. and Mrs. Muffins, Pretty Abandoned, and others;

Total of (6) free and legal downloads here and here

Their MySpace is here: