From Indian Lakes – Runner (Ansible Remix) [TMN PREMIERE]

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Coming off a stellar album release back in October of 2014, Yosemite-based indie rockers From Indian Lakes are entering back into the blogosphere to help promote their upcoming tour. This time around, they’re bringing their sounds through the interpretations of a handful of remixers, one of which we’re premiering here today.

Formed by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joey Vannucchi, this unique outfit has since expanded to include Justin Stanphill (guitar and vocals), Chris Kellogg (bass and vocals), Tohm Ifergan (drums), and Enrique Gutierrez (keys and vocals). Their sound glows with articulated intention, thoughtfully crafted from start to finish. “Runner” embodies that calculated style, boasting a calming instrumentals, percussion-style vocal hums, and vocals and lyrics that pleasantly call on associations of one of our all time favorites, Ben Gibbard.

With those vocals and minimal instrumentation, Ansible had a somewhat blank canvas to work with. Crafting a subdued, ambient, and luscious soundscape, we’re instantly taken away for a few brief minutes. Highlighting the calming ride is the accentuation of the original vocals, which effortlessly glide along the aforementioned production. It’s simply gorgeous and should quickly find it’s way into that playlist you have containing Bonobo, Tycho, and Emancipator.

From Indian Lakes
Runner (Ansible Remix)
From Indian Lakes
Runner

TOUR INFO:
4/9 Knitting Factory Brooklyn, NY
4/10 The Barbary Philadelphia, PA
4/11 Stanhope House Stanhope, NJ
4/12 Jammin Java Vienna, VA
4/14 Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC
4/15 The High Watt Nashville, TN
4/16 Masquerade Atlanta, GA
4/17 Backbooth Orlando, FL
4/18 Epic Problem Tampa, FL
4/21 Fitzgerald’s Houston, TX
4/22 Stubb’s Austin, TX
4/23 Club Dada Dallas, TX
4/24 The Spot El Paso, TX
4/25 The Works Albuquerque, NM
4/26 Nile Theatre Mesa, AZ
4/28 Troubadour Los Angeles, CA
4/29 House of Blues San Diego, CA
5/1 Constellation Room Santa Ana, CA
5/2 Slim’s San Francisco, CA
5/3 Strummers Fresno, CA

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[Festival Preview] Lightning in a Bottle 2015 + Playlist

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Do you hear what we hear? It’s the sweet, sweet sound of festival season and it’s about time we get our eyes, ears, and minds ready for another year of sensational performances, overpriced beer, conflicting line-up times, and shower-less days to make us smell like regret the next morning. If you’re anything like us over here at TMN, then you understand just how important festival season is to us. Come on, who doesn’t love to spend hours upon hours of our weekends listening to some of the most talented artists from around the world while also connecting with like-minded individuals at the same exact time? Well, considering they’re not a wook…(please see THUMP article for more information on how to spot and avoid said wook).

With Coachella making it’s first pit stop this weekend and later this month, we can’t help but pack our bags a few weeks in advance because we’re prepared to take on this years Coachella head on. Clearly, we’re just really excited, but not because festival season is finally here, but because we just realized that we are 7 weeks shy of attending the latest and greatest gig, Lightning in a Bottle. Stationed out in the beautiful Bradley, California, LiB is back again and this time with loads of talent and entertainment that’ll rattle your bones and change your life all at the same time. We missed last years festivities and after listening to everyone and their mom (literally) tell us that LiB was the best thing to have ever happened to their lives, we can’t help but shed a million tears for not being present in the moment with some of the world’s most positive and uplifting people on this planet.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (April 2015 Round #1)

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Change, oh change, oh change. It sure ain’t easy. You get yourself all settled in your comfort zone and then good ol’ change comes a knocking on your door. As hard as it may seem at the moment, we have to learn to embrace it as best as we can. And honestly, there will always be some things that remain the same. Like the Indie Dojo posted every Tuesday morning. If you need something to ground yourself until the dust of change finally settles, we’ll be there. We’ll be the cactus to your dusty desert if you will. Take that however you please.

The Landing
Then Comes The Wonder
Morning Harvey
Smith Street Swap Meet
Pocket Panda
Setting Sun
The Japanese House
Pools To Bathe In
Josh The Cat
Lets Start
Oh Sister
For The Dales
Dana Sipos
Portraits
The Lake Poets
Dead Horses
Jack R Reilly
My First Panic Attack
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[Event Recap] SXSW – The Highs and Lows of our Week in Austin, Texas

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Another SXSW is in the books, and as we look back with aching feet, muddy clothes wrapped in plastic bags, and a phone full of video clips and pictures, we’re slowly trying to process everything that went on during this intensely crazy week. It was one to be remembered, that’s for sure, providing ample amounts of “Only at SXSW” surprises, newly discovered artists, and, of course, plenty of BBQ.

In lieu of a lengthy, play-by-play recap of everything we experienced, we’re going to change it up and just cover some of the high and low lights. Our hopes are such that you will not only put some acts on your list for this upcoming year’s touring season, but also learn how to SXSW better and more effectively in the years to come.

THE HIGHS

Our dance card was admittedly jam packed, as you would expect from us. Since we don’t focus on a particular genre, our schedule often looked like a game of Tetris, numerous colored blocks stacking on top of each other quicker than we could anticipate. With that in mind, we tried to divide and conquer, leaving certain ninjas to review their favorite genres.

Mew: We’ve been waiting to see Mew for the better part of a decade. If you could peek into our all-time play count on Spotify, you would notice that “Am I Wry? No” has garnered an absurd amount of plays. Our adoration goes further back than Spotify days though, discovering this act long, long ago.

Their live set was absolutely flawless, with Jonas’ vocals echoing what we’ve heard through our headphones in so many walks around our college campus. It was truly one of those life-affirming shows, reminding us of exactly why we started doing this.

Satellites (Acoustic)

ELEL: This band of relative newcomers stole our hearts, and did so in one of the hardest venues to do so. We caught them in a small hall, that was less than forgiving acoustically. Their ability to overcome that, and still get a crowd of people to dance and smile was notable. “40 Watt” particularly shone bright, giving us a glimpse of their unique harmonic abilities. We can’t wait to catch them on tour, as we’re sure they’ll be bringing this seven-piece to every major city really soon.

40 Watt

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[Event Preview/Denver Giveaway] Bag Raiders w/ Action 52 & Rose Quartz- 4/10 – The Bluebird Theater

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Miracle (Bag Raiders Remix) + Denver ticket giveaway!

Australia’s Bag Raiders have brilliantly maintained a coveted spot between the staunchest of electronic and dance aficionados, and full-fledged mainstream success in a way so few acts have the ability, yet countless artists aspire to. The duo behind indie-dance gems like “Shooting Stars”, and “Nairobi” are bringing their skills behind the DJ booth for a special DJ Set this Friday at Denver’s Bluebird Theater, and we’ve teamed up with our friends at AEG & Global Dance Music to give away a pair of tickets for one lucky winner. Rounding out the bill are a pair of TMN darlings out of the burgeoning indie scene of Denver, CO: Action 52 & Rose Quartz.

Fresh off of a superbly composed and wonderfully executed EP: Axis of Love, Rose Quartz has been sharing their sound all over the contiguous U.S. lately, behind a nationwide tour with Generationals and Ishi; and never come close to disappointing anyone in attendance for one of their hometown shows. Finally, kicking things off will be the underground tipping, fun loving house music of Action 52, who last landed on these hallowed pages with their take on Ludacris’ “How Low”. Needless to say, we’re getting positively jazzed up for this one, and as always, it just wouldn’t be half as fun without a couple of our Ninja friends in attendance as well. Entering this one is a cinch. Just “like” The Music Ninja Facebook page here, and comment with your favorite Bag Raiders tune below in the comments section for guaranteed entry. We’re announcing our winner on the day of the show, so stay tuned for the reveal!

There are a few rules, of course:
– The event is all ages, so tell all your friends to increase your odds of winning!
– You are responsible for your own transportation.
– You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the Bluebird Theater box office.
– You must find a TMN representative and let them buy you a shot (or Red Bull for our non legal friends)
Good luck Ninjas!

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[Event Preview] The Underground Music Showcase – 7/23-7/26 – Denver, CO

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After the raucous and discovery laden journey that was last year’s Underground Music Showcase in Denver, CO; we are once again gearing up for another edition of our favorite music festival in Denver. One of the few remaining music gatherings in our the fair city of Denver to eschew the typical smattering of major label festival fare, The UMS has dropped the first glimpse into a lineup boasting over 1,500+ acts strewn across various shops and bars dotting Denver’s South Broadway district, and we’ve already got stars in our widening Ninja eyes as a result. Buoyed by the gleaming synth-pop of Portland, OR’s STRFKR and the psych induced dream-rock of Brooklyn trio DIIV, as well as TMN Favorites Rose Quartz, Wild High and The Epilogues, this year’s UMS looks to be as top heavy as ever without skimping on any of the underground qualities which brought it to prominence in the first place. Grab your tickets here, and quite honestly, for our friends in Denver, $50.00 for a four-day paradisaical dip into some of the best atmosphere and music (of an absurd number of genres as well, mind you) the Mile High City has to offer is what we like to call in the industry… “a steal”.

Check out our 2014 coverage of The UMS here, stream our mini-playlist featuring a tune from each aforementioned act to stoke your UMS fire, and read the full lineup of announced artists thus far for the 2015 installment of The Underground Music Showcase below.

UMS 2015 first lineup announcement:

STRFKR, Diiv,  Milo Greene, Brick + Mortar, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Mac McCaughan (Superchunk), Moon Hooch, Until The Ribbon Breaks, Accordion Crimes, Beginners, Bud Bronson and the Good Timers, Colfax Speed Queen, Dragondeer, The Epilogues, Eros & the Eschaton, Gabriel, Garzón-Montano, In the Whale, The Knew, Land Lines, The Lonely Wild, Ned Garthe Explosion, Plum, Rose Quartz, Ryan Chrys and the Roughcuts, Shady Elders, South of France, SPELLS, Wild High, Wiredogs, The Yawpers.

Golden Light
Doused
Leaving Now
Tidal
Hunting Season

 

 

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[Event Review] 5 Faces of Chaz: Examining Toro y Moi’s Evolution at The Independent, SF 3/28

DSC_0344Over the last five years, Chaz Bundick, as both Toro y Moi and Les Sins, has repeatedly redefined his style bringing refreshing facets of his reserved, enigmatic persona to light all the while maturing with each album. A true musical chameleon, Chaz has worn many hats but, regardless of genre, he maintains his aesthetic always remaining true to himself. This realization couldn’t have been more evident as I watched Toro Y Moi perform a hometown show at The Independent in San Francisco last weekend in which he intertwined his various musical identities into a cohesive and career-spanning set.

Backed by several talented musicians, including ninja-favorite Astronauts, etc. on the keys, Toro y Moi’s countless jams, from hazy bedroom productions to groovy indie rock, were presented in the most vibrant way possible. Almost signifying transitions between old and new, Chaz swapped between MIDI keyboard and guitar through out without losing a beat. As an avid fan, and music geek, I found myself not only dancing steadily through out, but also hit with a flurry of thoughts and emotions inspired by the diverse, yet unified, setlist. To best capture those feelings, I decided to recount the performance in the context of a career retrospective. Flip through the pages and explore the five faces of Toro that I witnessed last Saturday with photos and songs from the set to match.

Toro y Moi’s upcoming album, What for?, drops on April 7th but can be streamed via NPR Music now. You can pre-order on iTunes here and find upcoming tour dates here.

All photos by Dom Powell

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