Category Archives: Indie

“Call It What You Want”- Foster the People

Okay, so I featured Foster the People before but I NEED to talk about them again since they are rapidly becoming one of my favorite bands. Although many people know them because of their hit song “Pumped Up Kicks,” they are missing out if that is the only song they listen to. People compare Foster the People to MGMT, but I think this is an unfair comparison. I love MGMT, don’t get me wrong. But some of their songs are so-so at best. I literally love every song on Torches, Foster the People’s first album.

My favorite song on the album? Oh, don’t ask me that question. It is too hard. But right now I am in love with “Call It What You Want.” If I were to describe it in one word, I would stay that it is a song about non-conformity. It is a song declaring that the world is way too concerned about gossip, looks, and what people think about others. This over-concern then gets in the way what people say, do, and eventually think. I would definitely check out the lyrics.  My favorite verse…

You’ve taken your words and you take your judgments
And stick them onto everything
If it don’t conform to what you were born into,
Then you run the other way

And, like “Tighten Up” by The Black Keys, the music video makes the song even better. How I interpret the video is the three band members Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink, and Mark Pontius are all doing crazy, fun, and “non-conforming” acts basically the whole time. Every action would be deemed “inappropriate” by society for an adult to do: bouncing on bubble wrap, sticking your head in a fish bowl, playing drums in a bath tube, putting lipstick on as a guy,  …etc etc. These actions are mirrored by the “Foster the People Girls” who walk together in a pack, fauning over the band or the other girls in black that all dress alike and move simultaneously.

Clearly in this video, non-conformity (and Foster the People) wins. This video is fun and whimsical but at the same time demonstrates, along with the lyrics, that conformaty is dull. Being yourself and thinking for yourself is much better.

Since I have gushed long enough about my love of this video, what is your favorite part? Mine is by far when they create their own “light show.”

And, I am not even going to talk about how attractive they are. Lets just say, I have already ordered two posters of the band for my dorm room. ::blush::

ll

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Filed under Foster The People, Indie, Pop, Rock

“Rebellion (Lies)”-Arcade Fire : The Reason I Love Canada

Fall break is unfortunately almost over since classes start up again tomorrow bright and early. I wanted to get one more break-inspired post in before diving into school 24/7. This song is actually also because of Saturday Night Live since another one of the episodes I watched featured Arcade Fire, a group I have been meaning to listen to for a while. I got their first two albums from Alenka over at Six Thousand Songs but never got around to listening to them. Their performance for SNL changed that. I have been listen to their albums on repeat for the past day as I slowly ease into schoolwork again, making the process so much easier.

Arcade Fire's numerous band members

If you don’t know about Arcade Fire yet, they are a Canadian band that has been active since 2001, released their fist album in 2004, and are finally getting the recognition they deserve by winning a Grammy in 2011 for Album of the Year for The Suburbs. I, being behind the times again in music, have just discovered them and are hooked. I might be doing a few posts on them in the upcoming weeks but right now, “Rebellion (Lies)” is my favorite from them right now.

I love the mix of guitars, drums, violins, piano, and the myriad of other instruments they use. It creates a unique sound that I have never quite heard before. And their lyrics are not superficial like Bieber’s (the other big Canadian artist) but full of political meaning. To me, this song is about how people sleep or walk around in a dream like state to avoid things they disagree with in society (“Sleeping is giving in/no matter what the time is”). Many times they are told lies they try not to investigate since they are afraid of knowing the truth. The music video fits this description since the band must wake up the children from their sleep, or their “avoidance to see the truth.”

My favorite picture of Win Butler, Arcade Fire's frontman

As one fan said on you tube, “Arcade Fire is the reason I love Canada, not Justin Bieber.” I couldn’t agree more.

Justin or Arcade Fire? Or no love for Canada at all?

ll

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Filed under Arcade Fire, Indie, Rock

“Pumped Up Kicks”-Foster the People

This fall break week has been catch-up week—for homework but more importantly for missed tv shows. One of the shows I occasionally watch if I actually know the host is Saturday Night Live. Ever since Tina Fey left, it has not been as good but it still has some good skits every episode. But more importantly, they normally have some really good guest artists. Foster the People was the music guest for one of the episodes I watched. I had never even heard of this band before but apparently they are from Los Angeles and released their first album Torches in May. Now, Pumped up Kicks is third on the Billboard’s Hot 100 just under “Someone Like You” by Adele and “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5.

Foster the People: Mark Pontius, Cubbie Fink, and Mark Foster

Although “Pumped up Kicks” is a great song, I have a feeling people don’t really understand the meaning behind it. Sure, the beat and chorus is catchy but lets analyze the lyrics a bit.

He’s a cowboy kid
Yeah, he found a six-shooter gun
In his dad’s closet hidden in a box of fun things
And I don’t even know what
But he’s coming for you, yeah, he’s coming for you

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks 
You’d better run, better run, outrun my gun

Yes, the song is about a a kid and his downward spiral towards homicidal tendencies. As Mark Foster, the group’s frontman, states in an interview, he wanted to know “what would it be like to be inside of a kid’s head that’s a teenager and is basically losing his mind.” It is a interesting idea for a song and the happy feel of the song even adds to the character’s insanity. But I hope the audience understand the meaning behind the song and doesn’t just blindly sing it, or worst think the band is advocating said behavior. I can’t help comparing this song to NIN “Closer” since they were/are both popular but the audience didn’t really understand the extremely dark undertones of both songs.

All in all though, I am really excited to see what Foster the People are going to do next. In their first effort, they have created a popular, controversial, and dark song. I have high hopes for the band.

Heard of this song or anything else by Foster the People? If not, do you watch SNL?

ll

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Filed under Foster The People, Indie, Pop, Rock

“Sophia”- Laura Marling

Thank you Pandora. You are basically like Match.com for music. You  find me music that is perfect for me. Any mood, any situation, any time of day. Plus, you are free! What more could a poor college student ask for. Your only bad attribute is that you only give me 40 hours a month. Those always are used up by the second week. FIX THIS AND YOU WILL BE PERFECT!

Okay, you are probably wondering what, or rather who, Pandora.com has “set me up with” today. Her name is Laura Marling and she is beautiful.

As a brunette...

And as a blonde.

But more importantly, her music is amazing. Fresh, beautifully crafted lyrics, haunting chords, and so pure. Maybe now I will be able to stop listening to Mumford and Sons over and over again. Or at least mix it up a bit.

I love how she seamlessly merges so many different genres of music: folk, a bit of rock, a little country, and some gospel thrown in. And the lyrics are dense, in a good way. I have listened to this song over a dozen times and am still thinking of different meanings or different literary sources she brings into the song.

Be forewarned, I might be featuring another one of her song shortly as I listen to more of her breathtaking music and fall more hopelessly in love.

Has Pandora ever “matched” you with a great artist/group?

ll

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Filed under Folk, Indie, Laura Marling, Rock

“The Drumming Song”- Florence + The Machine

Sorry for the lack of post in the last few days. I have been busy moving back to school! I just got moved into my room and spent the majority of the day unpacking. Of course I listened to some great music as I was unpacking and “decorating” my room with an eclectic collection of posters and trinkets. Yes, many of them are music oriented. What can I say, I am obsessed.

Speaking of obsessions, I am obsessed with this song and video.

Before this last week, I really had only heard Florence and The Machine’s “The Dogs Days Are Over.” But I soon realized how much I was missing. Florence Welch’s voice is so powerful, almost reminiscent of Adele. Thus her first album Lungs is appropriately named. And she makes some of the most beautiful music videos. The costumes and choreography in”The Drumming Song” video are amazing. I wish I could dance half as well as her. And her hair. It just makes me want to dye mine. But I must resist since I would end up looking even more ridiculous than I do now.

I am very excited to hear more from this group. Welch and her band has a lot of talent, creativity, and a freshness that the music industry needs.

GOSSIP ALERT (Mostly just to narcissistically link back to one of my earlier posts): Little Boots and Florence shared a kiss back in 2009 at a awards show after party. Florence states she is straight (and has a boyfriend), but occasionally likes to kiss other girls and sees nothing wrong with people liking/loving who they do. Way to have an open mind!

ll

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Filed under Florence + The Machine, Indie, Pop