Nerve - Glitter

Glitter cover art 

This is just a single from NYC based Nerve. Reminds me a lot of Battles in the best way possible. These guys really know their synths and bring an exotic array of sounds to the table.
Bonus for real drums. Give it a listen.

Matt Hudgins & His Shit-Hot Country Band - Hitmakers Vol. 1

Hitmakers, Vol. 1 cover art 

Country is one of those genres that gets an unfortunate bad rap because of its disgustingly whitewashed popular image. As terrible as pop country has become, there are still many artists still creating fantastic works that recall the rambling, drunken, shit-kicking fun of the golden age of country music. This record is one of those fine examples. Recorded live over two days at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens, GA (my hometown), this album of original country classics will knock you flat on your ass with its precision and old-timey energy. The album itself is only $5, but if you just want a taste listen online or download the free track, "The Ballad of Danny Boy". If this brutal and elegant tale of vengeance doesn't excite your for more then I'd feel bad for you. Other highlights include the opener, "Going Home", "The Hitmaker", "Lady In Waiting", and the closer "Slow Down, Little Train".

Give Mr. Hudgins some support, for not only is he a great person, but he is currently recording his new solo record and has an indiegogo going strong to fund its release.

Across Tundras - Sage

Sage cover art 

This band has put out a fantastic catalog of music along with several other indie artists from Tennessee. Nearly all of it is available as a pay-what-you-want download. This group plays sludgy western doom country... It seems like I pulled that out of my ass but give it a listen and you'll know I was telling the truth. 
While the sound isn't exactly lo-fi, it still hearkens back to whiskey-glazed honkeytonks and desert shantytowns. Lots of cool, Native American inspired drum rhythms coupled with twangy, crackly, and rusty guitar distortions go over nicely alongside vocals reminiscent of Widespread Panic's John Bell. There's all sorts of badass conglomerates of styles here and the band pulls it off without sounding repetitive on their longer tracks or losing their epic sound on the shorter ones.
Give them a listen.

PG.99 - Document #8

Excellent Screamo from one of the big bands in the genre. Abrasive, depressed and aggressive; you need to hear this.

Giles Corey - Deconstructionist + Literature (.pdfs)

Dan Barrett's new album is out, and available for $5. It is an ambient/drone experiment which makes use of binaural beats and other techniques which are thought to be capable of inducing a trance-like state in a listener.

Here are uploaded .pdfs that came with Giles Corey's two releases.

The Boxing Lessons - Health is the New Drug

Health is the New Drug 7-inch cover art 

Newest release from this Austin space rock outfit. Lots of releases from these guys, and many of them are free! Really cool stuff, and pretty diverse with lots of synth, ridiculous awesome guitar work, really warm drums, and choice vocals.
The two tracks available here are part of an upcoming LP from the group that I will try to review when it comes out. Give them a listen!

Cloak and Dagger Dating Service


Played a show with these fine folks last night. They are releasing their new record, Invidia, sometime in the next couple of months. Until then I thought I'd throw their name out there for others to hear.
Emo/Screamo with two lead singers (one male, one female) and backing vocals. A lot going on and one hell of a rowdy show.
Give them a listen, they have several songs for free download.

Gallows - Outsider Art Video

Just a heads-up that Hardcore Punk peoples Gallows; one of the best Hardcore bands in the UK, are releasing a new, self-titled album on the tenth of September 2012. They now have a different vocalist now, but are still producing good music.

UK Preorder
US Preorder

Death Grips - Exmilitary

Though you almost certainly have it, I had no idea they were on Bandcamp. Death Grips do experimental Hip-Hop with shouted rapping and awesome sampling.

Locktender - Collected

Experimental Post-Hardcore with Post Rock influence, but not quite Atmospheric Sludge. Lots of atmosphere and awesome harsh vocals. Tends to go for long songs and linear structures. Listening to this as I type: turns out it's got members of Aussitot Mort in it, which explains a lot. Very damn good.

Bezoar - Bezoar EP

Bezoar EP cover art 

13 minutes of massively cool experimental rock, black metal, and doom.
It is highly advised that you experience this.
7 inch record available too, for cheap!

My Brightest Diamond and Dayna Kurtz - Split 7 inch

Gone Away/Postcards From Downtown Split Single, My Brightest Diamond and Dayna Kurtz cover art 

A wonderful little record that has two fine artists covering a song from one another. 
Give it a quick listen and enjoy.

Kit Fisto - Cities

Didn't realise they made it free. This is a mix of Pop Punk and Midwestern Emo. Happy as fuck, though their second EP is happier and more progressive. I can't recommend this enough

Map - Sun

Rita sent me another of his works: San. More drone.

"This one is called サン and it has quite an odd effect applied that is rare in the rest of his work, this might be because he was experimenting with digital effects."

This is slightly less solemn than the self titled, but still an impressive piece. I find it difficult to describe: have a listen!

If you are having problems extracting the file, Change the filename to something with western characters, and then try to extract it again. Furthermore, some of my players had problems playing this at first: edit the Japanese characters to the English translation, and drag it onto the player. Sorry for the hassle. It will be worth your while.

Ghosts - Judge

More traditional Dubstep which also has a Future Garage vibe here and there.

Thriftworks - Rainmaker

Downtempo/Dubstep with midrange wubs which aren't hideously distorted. This is kind of what you might like if you want a slightly more aggressive wub, but still something with a bit of substance.

Stravogin - Halves

Deep House/Future Garage. Pretty good! EDIT: Very good.

Liquos - Still Alive Remix

I thought this was an especially good Drum and Bass remix.

DC Fallout - Serfs Up

Melodic Hardcore/Skate Punk. I found this during a musing over whether there were any Fallout 3/NV inspired artists around, only to find something named appropriately, but sounding totally different! Worth a butchers. Have a listen.

Skabengas - EP

Experimental Jazz/"Swing Rock" from Johannesburg. Awesome vocals (sounds like Tom Waits at times!) and very aggressive instrumentation. Horns and complementary bass - as well as the rest of it - making some awesome stuff!

Mattir - OTTER

Very emotive Ambient/Braindance. Lots going on, but it's all spaced appropriately. Mattir also experiments with sounds I don't usually hear in IDM and that adds something quite substantial to it. There's also some more laid back tracks where this beautiful atmosphere is formed around softly spoken vocals. A really interesting sound.

The Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle - Rust Belt Jukebox Blues EP

Cabaret Folk/Dixieland Jazz. Really good fun. Accordion, kazoo, a suitcase and more of the sort are included in this ensemble.

The Appleseed Collective - The Appleseed Collective (live)

Live Americana Folk/Country. Really enjoyable and good fun.

Unsub - Perspective

Post Rock/Drone Metal which is very bass oriented. Instrumental. Some piano and the like. Lots of Shoegaze influence: it's got that fuzzy wall of sound to it. Makes me think of a less depressive Les Discrets or something.

Telepathy - Fracture

Experimental Hardcore/Progressive Rock. Very sporadic and seemingly out of control. Lots of low end riffing and a bit of jazz influence here or there.

Nyogtha - Origin Of "I"

Slow, dark Drone Doom. Lots of ambient influence and also a lot of Shoegaze influence, though this is closer to some sort of psychedelic Drone Doom. Despite how incredibly ugly that artwork is, it's a good sounding album.

Lycus - Demo 2011

Funeral Doom/Sludge from the states. Slow and steady. Have a listen!

He Who Built My Hearse - He Who Built My Hearse

Very lofi Drone/Stoner Doom with a bit of Stoner influence here and there. Slow, depressive and dark, this has an interesting and captivating sound. Ends on a faster stoner metal track.

Juvenile Baroque Slaughterhouse - Gall and Wormwood

Very eerie, uncomfortable Avant-Garde Metal/Experimental Rock. Doom influence is present, as is a little bit of jazz and dark ambient, but there's a lot going on... I find it hard to taxonomise this. It's a must have for fans of Unexpect or other bands in the genre. It's just... tense. Really dark and brooding. It sounds like the artwork. Eh... just listen to it. You might like it!

Amiensus - The Last EP

While I'm in a reasonable mood, I'm gounna share a few thingymajigs.

This is Symphonic Black Metal. A little cheesy (most of it is to me), but alright.

For Sleeping Or Jumping? - Part 1 (self titled) & Part 2

Post-Hardcore which goes between pretty-ish female vocals with emotive progressions, and dissonant, mathy Mathcore tendencies. Really interesting for that. You find yourself vaguely impressed by either side of them only to get really surprised by the other side of the coin. Generic at times, but the two-sided nature of their writing makes it worth a look. At the end of the day, more modern Post Hardcore can be cheesy, and this isn't always an exception, but if you can keep an open mind and put down your "no fun allowed" protest sign, you may find enjoyment in this lot.

Wight - Through The Woods Into Deep Water

Through The Woods Into Deep Water cover art 

Psychedelic black and blues metal for the win! This one is available in (fairly expensive) vinyl format or a more affordable CD, but right now the digital is available for whatever you wanna pay. Get it!
Seriously funky grooves, heavy riffs, badass vocals. What's not to love?

Cloudkicker - Fade Review

Fade cover art 

After nearly two weeks of trying to absorb this record for all that it is, I'm going to give it an honest and hopefully coherent review.  Fade is the fourth full length album from Cloudkicker (Ben Sharp) and proves to be perhaps his most well rounded and altogether cohesive recordings to date. 

Fade kicks it off with "From the Balcony", a slow cooker that begins with a squealing (doubled? tripled?) lead section. Drums and a fantastic bass line come in for support before the whole crew descends into a fantastic, edgy jam that brings to mind a flight through the upper atmosphere or an intimate, orgasmic session of lovemaking. Once the climax is reached we get a sweet melody from the bass and rhythm guitar, accompanied by a very well crafted and wholly enrapturing lead line. Before you are allowed to sink listlessly into this moment of post-coital bliss, you literally crash into "The Focus".

In a recent interview, and on his blog, Mr. Sharp talked about recordings from the early 90's influencing this record. "The Focus" brings that influence to the forefront, sounding a bit like the love child of Hum and Smashing Pumpkins, but certainly providing its own beastly relevance and personality. Simply put this song is FUCKING EPIC! The guitars are just so loud and thick and beautiful. The song really hits its mark just 15 seconds in when an elegant, voluptuous lady of a drum fill waltzes into the room. There is no holding back on this song; the riffs fly freely and the drums churn like a submarine on the war path.

The next track, "Seattle", is a tough one to pin down and dissect. I found the riffs in the first movement of the song reminding me of Beacons a great deal. They are aggressive and chunky, but rather than zigzagging around in a fury of time changes they stay rather well trained to the groove.  After a solid three minutes there comes a massive wall of gorgeous feedback that opens to the soft, hypnotic expanse beyond. The layered guitars here are hard to track individually but are a blast to get lost in for a nearly two minutes before the drums break in. The rhythm guitar pulses through while the lead meanders, suddenly splitting into a second, droning stream of energy. Here the drums really pick up and provide some shimmering crash-riding. Nearly everything drops after the eight minute mark and the guitar leads us back into a reprise of the opening chord progression. At a running time of nearly ten minutes this song is one hell of a journey that you'll want to take again and again.

"Garage Show" is a neat little charmer that bounces and skips along an intricate hopscotch pattern of chalk on the sidewalk. The rain begins to pour down and it becomes a quest to reach the end of this grand work before the water can wash it away... A familiar sound (to 90's internet users) leads into the next track, "LA After Rain". The bass line here chugs beneath a riff that shines like searchlights signaling a grand movie premier. Like so much youthful wonder and maturing hope. In the fading post-tension we find a more contemplative tone: a slow walk down the maternity ward hallway towards the future... the final moment you share with someone before you never see them again... The permanence of all you cannot control...

The end of "LA After Rain" flows smoothly into the equally bright "Making Will Mad". Like "The Focus", the heavy 90's influence can be enjoyed greatly throughout this song. An intense, almost droning riff with burly drums and  pair of cruising lead lines develops into a very Siamese Dreamy interlude. I love the ride cymbal here (and on many other places on the album) as well as the multiple lead guitar parts that seem to revel in friendly competition for a spot at the foreground. Oh man, then the heavy riffs return... The ending segment propels the rhythm forward to blow your mind while a tambourine(?!) comes in and talks shit from behind it.

The final track of the record, "Our Crazy Night" is the wedding topper on an incredibly iced cake. While I would not want to infer to greatly, my subjective impression of this song is one of an amazing romance in full bloom and the vibrancy that abounds in the presence of passion. Of course a honeymoon lasts only so long and eventually wanes into something unanticipated, yet oddly familiar and essential to the future...

Ride the dirigible from the safety of your home, take it beyond the night sky you know from waking life and into the fluffy, crystalline womb of your dreams...

If you enjoy Cloudkicker, please consider these other excellent artists:
As well as any other artist featured on this site!

The Bioshock Song

We /v/ now. I found this lurking on my feeds. 

Brent "brentalfloss" Black is a musician, comedian, and gamer who is best known for adding lyrics to classic video game tunes in his Youtube-based "With Lyrics" series.

Fleshpress - Pillars

Blackened Sludge/Doom with some resemblance to Khanate on slower sections, such as the first few minutes of the first track where feedback is abound. It soon moves into aggressive blast beats and droney, angry guitars supported by a fast bassline to counter the droning chords of the guitar. Soon after, the ambient title track, it breaks out into all-out angry Blackened Sludge, though there is a rather tasty 22 minute drone track which slowly builds to a quicker, angrier and emotive climax as well. This is an interesting and eclectic release with just the right amount of experimentation to keep me on my toes: I strongly recommend it, as, despite the slightly edgy name, this is an emotive and searching release.

Agora - Voyager

Just saw this on /mu/! My first impression is that these guys are a more controlled, less contrived instrumental Progressive Metal band sounding like an eclectic mix of Behold The Arctopus, Scale The Summit and Blotted Science. As such, they have a good little trade-off between consonance and dissonance; switching between the two in a similar way to BTA at times, but they also build up an atmosphere before getting technical. There are simple and harmonised heads in many of the tracks, and that gives me the impression that they're not trying to show off. Most of the time, it seems they genuinely want to harness their technical skill in a musical way, as, though it is sporadic and for the most part unpredictable, it's not a "let's throw it all at the wall" frantic, but more something very planned. There's use of complex chordal playing rather than weedily woodily noise getting thrown at you, and everything is well presented. Sure, other Prog Metal bands can be described like that, but unlike some of the more technical artists in the genre, this is much more accessible to someone not used to that spastic, relentless flurry of notes that BTA or Psyopus might throw at you. Production is good, too. You can hear the bass extremely well, and you can hear the drums. The guitar tone isn't godly, but the recording has a very organic yet polished sound, which I dig. Brings in influence from Death Metal, Progressive Metal, Jazz and Mathcore and the like. Well worth a listen.

Baba Brinkman - The Canterbury Tales Remixed Mini-Review

The Canterbury Tales Remixed cover art 

Stop, drop, and roll your ass to this magnificent creation by philosophical hip-hop guru Baba Brinkman. I wish the vinyl in this picture was on my record player because this music deserves some serious listening. Brinkman crafts some sophisticated rhymes based on some of the oldest written stories (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf) and the Canterbury Tales. While each track tells its own tale, the record as a whole makes up a powerful cross-examination of humanity and its various motivations, cultural pitfalls, classical archetypes, and its perpetual comedy. 
A lot of these tunes beat the 7 minute mark, making this a truly epic and rewarding listen for those with a curious and thoughtful mind. Scattered here and there are little interludes that keep the album from being just a collection of epics, and each track has some fantastic tongue-in-cheek lyrical humor that works incredibly well alongside the mysticism. 
Pay what you can for this one, it's well worth it...

Mr. Whiskers - The Lost Tape

Fun, aggressive Hardcore which is more rooted in traditional Punk than the extra aggressive later waves of the genre. Incredibly lofi but still enjoyable. If anything it adds to it. Short tracks; thus the small filesize (taking bitrate into account, too: it's lofi. Deal with it), but the EP is about 15 minutes long. Regardless, I really enjoy listening to these guys. They don't take it excessively seriously and have fun. I like that shizz.

Spamtron - D-PAD

DAT ARTWORK! On sampling a few tracks. this seems to be a mix of Electro House, Speedcore and Chiptune, but not the weedily high pitched chiptune; more samples/sounds in the lower register. It's a very refreshing take on the genre. There are also a couple of slightly faster tracks like Left Hand which are a little more aggressive and Hardcore influenced. This is a great sound, and worth listening to if only for the perfect blend of catchy cheese a-la distorted electro effects and good musicality which is both refreshing and also incredibly fun.

EverythingIsChemical - Virtual 7" Collection

EverythingIsChemical Virtual 7" No. 23 - Velvet Glacier cover art 

Check it out... an immense collection of electronic music to get lost in.
I believe ALL of it is available for free download (and there are 23 releases, usually 3 songs each).

Young Jesus - Home

Indie-folk rock with post-punk influences, guaranteed feels. Sounds really pleasant and clean, although it has a somewhat rugged and even lo-fi quality about it. The lyrics are simplistic yet rather powerful, some are easier to read than others though. Vocally, this album is very varied; from pretty, indie folk-styled harmonies to harsh, almost screaming or yelling. The techniques of writing are fairly basic yet very elegant and effective, the vocals alone are enough to keep a critical listeners attention. In terms of instrumentation, this album is typical of an indie-folk album; usually features a basic rock ensemble with some varied percussion such as a tambourine or clapping. It's a  pretty underrated album in the Bandcamp community considering the energy and overall attitude of the album.

P.S. Sorry for not posting anything for a while. Been kinda busy. Cal and OCR are doing a fucking awesome job though.

Strand of Oaks - Pope Killdragon

Pope Killdragon cover art 

I've meant to address this record for a while, but I wasn't sure it'd be appropriate since Strand of Oaks has just released a brand new record called Dark Shores. After listening to Dark Shores I had to return to this record and marvel at what it is and how it should be remembered.
Timothy Showalter, the man behind Strand of Oaks, has crafted an immense, melancholic dreamworld here. Quite honestly this record creates the same feeling I had when watching the original Neverending Story film as a kid. Like a pocket of lonely valor in a crumbling world.
Showalter's imaginative masterpiece opens calmly with the first of three instrumentals, West River. This brief opener leads to the demi-title track Kill Dragon and presents a powerful communion with the youth divine and the confrontation of a second coming-of-age. The synths and vocal effects found here are what mesmerize on first listen, but it's the story here that can really capture you. 
The third track, Stirling, is a hybrid of dreams. An interview with Showalter might explain it far better than I could. Suffice to say that this song, clocking in at nearly 7 minutes, builds on itself and features some dark, elegant lyrics recalling JFK, binge drinking, and a crisis of self (pity?). 
The next song, Bonfire, really drives home the isolation of Killdragon. Apocalyptic in nature, it is a worthy lead in to track five, Alex Kona. Alex Kona is a song about an unfortunate, orphaned giant who returns to the community that shunned him to share his singular perspective. This track could easily be a favorite, especially considering the subsequently left field track, Giant's Despair, that follows it. Giant's Despair is a sludgy, doom metal interlude on an album of synth/guitar driven folk music...?! Let it sink in and move on...
Daniel's Blues is perhaps the most striking song on this record. Showalter puts us in the mind of a mourning Dan Akroyd following Jon Belushi's death, with depressing and eventually uplifting results. I'm not sure how this song was conceptualized, but it's certainly something to experience.
The next song, Last To Swim, is perhaps the lighter note this record needed. This jaunt to the riverside features some fantastic vocal work by Showalter and a cinematic quality. The final track, Pope Killdragon, is preceded by the final instrumental Walking. These two cap the album off well, revisiting themes found in the opening tracks while remaining a unique part of this record's complete corporation. 

Bottom line, get this record if you can and certainly check out Strand of Oaks' newest record. 

Gamechops - The Triforce of Bass

The TRIFORCE of BASS cover art 

This is what I find at 7 AM on a Saturday...
Amazing remixes of classic and contemporary Zelda music from four different artists.
Pay-what-you-want for this sweet little collection of geeky electronica.


The Dirty Feathers - Midnight Snakes

Midnight Snakes cover art 

I have really enjoyed this record for as long as I've had it; I play it at least twice a week at my work. A lot of fine psychedelic fun with some interesting lyrics and one hell of a band. Really awesome and affordable disc available too. Possibly good music for a sexy Halloween party...

There are a couple of older releases from this band and a fairly new track to enjoy.

The Dirty Feathers on Bandcamp

Videos here:

地図 (Map) - 地図

Incredibly cold, lonely dark ambient/drone. Only ten minutes long but some of the saddest drone I've heard. I'm enjoying this. This is the e-mail Rita sent me.

Hello Moosick,

I found this on my, now deceased, father's hard drive. It's a rip of one of his works, it should be all properly encoded, he was quite good at that. It's his self titled work under the name 地図 and it's Japanese drone, I guess. I'm not actually sure if it's 'good drone' since i'm no expert on that, but I guess you can decide for yourselves. I have no idea about details about it apart from what is in the tags, sorry about that.

Hope you enjoy it
Feel free to distribute it as you wish!

Here's the link:

If you are having problems extracting the file, Change the filename to something with western characters, and then try to extract it again.

Interview with Cloudkicker

Cloudkicker creates powerful instrumental soundscapes influenced largely by progressive rock/metal and 90's alt rock.

Q: You are largely considered to be a great Bandcamp success story and a fine example for DIY and indie musicians to model their business approach after. How do you see yourself as a member of the online music community with specific regards to the Bandcamp site and to those who might view you as an inspiration? Also how has the pay-what-you-want model of independently released music allowed you to benefit from your efforts while still connecting your music with eager listeners?
A: To be honest, I'm not really sure where I fit in with regards to the online music community. Besides putting music up for download, I don't really think I'm that active. The people at Bandcamp have been super cool to me by asking for my input about site-related things and generally putting up with baffling questions that I have or dumb suggestions that I make. I don't think Cloudkicker would be at all what it is today if it hadn't been for Bandcamp. It seems like ages ago, but at one point I was hosting my own files on questionable servers and using Myspace as a homepage--Bandcamp is light years away from that in so many ways. I don't really know if I've answered your question very well but the thing I enjoy presently is that I can be pretty responsive to people because other websites and people are taking care of the really time-consuming stuff right now. And I don't have a label, which is awesome to me.

Q: Your most recent effort, "Fade", seems to follow the path laid by "Let Yourself Be Huge" in that its tone is less aggressive and geared more towards progressive rock rather than the progressive metal themes that many of your prior releases have exhibited. How has your development as a musician and recording artist led to the styles you explore on this record?
A: I think mostly what has happened over the past few years is that I've stopped listening to really aggressive music. It wasn't a conscious decision, but more and more I just don't feel like listening to the same music I was listening to in 2008. This record specifically was inspired by six months of being absolutely enamored by music from the early 1990s, and that also influenced my approach to mixing it. I don't know what it is really, maybe recording to tape is intrinsically more honest because you can't make everything perfect later. Maybe it's a lot of things, but I was hooked. 
Fade cover art
"Fade", Cloudkicker's newest full length release.
 Q: As with your previous albums you have used painstaking attention to detail in crafting these new songs. How does your writing process work for you individually?
A: Usually I just noodle out a riff and then go from there, writing the song sequentially. I wrote this album differently from anything previous by simply writing "rough drafts" to get the song structure down, then once I had enough for an album I went back and made notes on each of them, figuring out what I really wanted to do with them and the album as a whole. Then I re-recorded all the guitars and filled in drum parts by jamming things out with a friend. 

Q: Your recording process, using layered guitars/bass combined with professional drum programming, allows for phenomenal control over the end result. Have you considered using more organic approaches for future releases such as live drums, improvisational/live tracking, or perhaps even analog recording?
A: I would love to do all those things. On Fade I really would have liked to record it with real amps in real rooms with a real drummer, etc. But it just would have been very time consuming, and at some point it becomes more than a hobby and all of the sudden I have no free time left between work and music. I don't know if I want to get there. Maybe if I have a huge house one day I can build some outrageous studio room, but that's more of a pipe dream at the moment. 

Q: You seem to be quite accessible to your fanbase through your use of Bandcamp and your willingness to read and reply to emails. If and when you receive criticism from listeners, be it constructive or otherwise, do you try to keep an open mind to what others are hearing in your creations and does listener opinion influence your creative process in any way?
A: I don't know if I've ever received criticism from people directly. One guy was mad that I marked "Let Yourself Be Huge" as metal (because you have to label yourself something on Bandcamp and it applies to everything you do) and couldn't understand that I had five other releases. That was more funny than anything though. I know that criticism is out there, but I don't know why it would ever make me angry. I don't like tons of stuff, but it's not personal, I just don't like it. Understanding that other people are the same way really takes the stress away. I've always made music as a way to express something, and I'm always proud of the final product. That approach seems to have worked so far.

Q: Returning to the DIY spirit you espouse so wonderfully, what approach do you take for creating pleasing merchandise through t-shirts and physical albums (vinyl, CD, etc.) and do you feel the physical aspect of music packaging is important to the experience of a work as a whole?
A: I tell my friends at Three Bears Design that I want them to make me some more merchandise and then they do it and it's always awesome. That's about it. We do talk about what's in my head for album art, and they do a good job of taking that and filtering it through their own brains. It feels like a collaboration now that they're involved.
I like the idea of packaging representing and guiding the listening experience.
Q: Last question. You have recently married. How has your marriage been reflected in your music and how supportive is your spouse in your independent music career? Additionally how might the settled life or perhaps eventual fatherhood influence your approach to music and to what degree might you consider your music a legacy for your children? 
A: I can't really say how it has changed the way I write music. She has helped me mellow out since I've known her so maybe that is pretty obvious. She actually digs what I write and is really happy that I have something to be so passionate about--not a lot of people do. I don't know what will happen in the future so it's anyones guess. 

All of Cloudkicker's music is available for pay-what-you-want  download at
In addition he has many fine products available for purchase including vinyl, cds, and t-shirts.
Also check out his blog at
Check out the Full Length Review of Fade here

"The Musical Visitor" Vol. 20, No. 4 April 1891 - "Popular Songs and Artistic Singers"

Article Title: "Popular Songs and Artistic Singers"

Author: Louis C. Elson


"How few great singers there are who can sing a simple ballad well! Yet every vocal virtuoso deems it his (or her) duty to attempt this school of music at every encore that is achieved. There are several reasons for the invariable failure. Firstly, the words of a real folksong are generally as valuable as the music, and the great singer never troubles himself about words. America is the land where English is generally well spoken, and wretchedly sung, but the prima donna who ventures to dole out 'Home, Sweet Home,' to an easily gulled audience frequently knows nothing whatever of the language she is singing. We have heard some of these singers give Payne's poem from a copy on which each word had been phonetically written in a weird and strange Italian.

"The Musical Visitor" Vol. 20, No. 4 April 1891 - "Music In Our Schools"

Article Title: "Music in our Schools"

Author: George H. Rowe, Director of Music in Baylor College, Belton, Texas


"This is an age of quickened evolution and startling revolution. Much that was looked upon a few years since as merely ornamental or fashionable, and by some as superficial and well-nigh useless, is now recognized as very practical, opening up new avenues of thought and extending into larger and still more important fields of research. The parent in demanding that his child shall have the benefit of all the privileges afforded in the educational line of to-day, does so in many cases with an intuition that a much greater advantage is to be derived from some certain branch than appears on the surface, and thus it is that music is placed with the list of the child's studies in so many cases. Although there are some, even among our most worthy educators, who look upon the study of music not as a dignified profession, but more as a petty accomplishment, good enough for the young lady as an assistant into the society circle, and who can not realize that music is, after all, the foundation of our whole literary fabric, for God made song before man invented speech. While there are some, I say, who do not look beneath the surface, yet, however, the majority do recognize the true value of this great opportunity, as the rapid admission of music into our schools all over the country as a branch of study attests.

I think it was Dr. Adams, the eminent mathematician, and also a musician, who declared in words to the effect that while 'Mathematics is a deep study, music, as a study, goes still deeper.' And why? might my readers ask. Simply because music, as a science, embraces what mathematics contains and much more besides. Take, for instance, our chromatic scales of twelve minor chords, and the changes that can be wrought by them into simple melodies, according to the law of permutation, can not be comprehended and scarcely represented in figures; while, in addition to this, if we bring in all the changes that can be wrought by the same law in our science of musical harmony, there are not enough mathematicians and figures in the universe to figure them out. One might as well try to number the sands that lie on the oceans of the beach. Thousands of composers for generations have been evolving melodies out of our musical scale, as above mentioned, and yet no two melodies have been just alike. And yet, this is a very small fraction of the science of music. This science is not a one-sided affair by any means, and a person who can merely play on an instrument quite creditably, or sing a song well, can not be properly termed a musician any more than a person can be called a chemist who simply knows that vinegar is an acid and that sugar is a sweet. Germany, the home of all that is great and profound in literature and scientific attainments, has made music a national study in the school for many years, and in that way it has become the cornerstone of all her mental attainments. And just as the music of a nation is, just so will its moral and other acquirements appear. As some one has said: 'Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.'

Django Reinhardt - His History and Life

Django Reinhardt: Know the Man, Play the Music - R. Fogg, D. Gelly

A photographed 52 page excerpt about Django and his life, giving great insight into his history and his influences. No scanner used, but all images have been lit and adjusted so that they are sharp, high contrast and can be read, and though there is some page distortion it isn't enough to make it difficult to read.

Destroy Nate Allen - With Our Powers Combined

Happy as fuck Ska-Punk/Pop Punk with female/male vocal dueling. Not something to take seriously, but definitely something to listen to on a hot, sunny day.

Tom Slatter - Mother's Been Talking to Ghosts Again

Mother's Been Talking To Ghosts Again cover art 

Rather creepy but altogether well done and intriguing, this EP seems to delve into the dark history of a small community and its well-kept secrets. What's even cooler is that Mr. Slatter is a self-professed Steampunk and his writing reflects that most aptly on the second track "Self Made Man". This song describes a man's quest to become machine and is easily the coolest on the record.
Give it a listen and certainly check out his other offerings.

Neat Beats - Cosmic Surgery

Oh. Mah. Gawd. Awesome Trip-Hop. Seen this around a lot but never got round to listening to it. So glad I did! Ambiance and little piano bits everywhere... vocal samples, backmasked sounds, string samples, guitars, everything. A really beautiful sound to this. This might even be able to compete with Rabbit Hole Revelations.

Heyward Howkins - The Hale & Hearty

Happy, poppy Indie Folk. Really good. This guy wrote paragraphs and paragraphs about this album as the like, and it gives a lot of insight into it. It's mostly just him and his guitar with the odd layer over it. It's a thoroughly enjoyable listen if you want something that's a little low, and a little high.

Flavor Crystals - Three

Three cover art 

I've been looking for a record like this for a long time. Fuzzy, spacy, psychedelic, and altogether cosmically epic. Basically everything necessary for a glorious afternoon in the sun or just an escape from the earthbound existence.
While this record is not available for free download, it's something you can put on while you zone out to the internet, write a dissertation, etc.
Did I mention there is 72 minutes of this pure ridiculous awesomeness?!
The record kicks off with some perpetually groovy space rock, slowly evolving into some mind-shattering, folk-drone epics before settling into a beam of light and its many lengthening waves.
Aw hell... it's available in vinyl...