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A Guide to music that you should hear




Indie Pop




Devotchka - A band from Colorado that does it's best to pretend that it's from Eastern Europe. They, at times, have a french horn, accordian or violin onstage. When I saw them play, the French horn was bedecked in Christmas lights. Seriously. I'm not going to list strenghts of each song because I've included a large-ish number and I know I'd repeat myself. Give them a good listent or two; I know they'll be slightly weird at first, but the songwriting is solid, the vocals are quite nice and they present a sound that you don't often hear. One other note, a couple of their songs sound like they belong in Clint Eastwood Westerns. The Dresden Dolls - A duo from Boston whose style has been called punk-cabaret. Mostly featuring Amanda Palmer singing (serious vocal range, with the Rock settig dialed all the way to 11) and playing the piano with Brian Viglione playing some very solid drums. On their first album, a lot of songs have blatently appropriated elements from other acts in Rock history, but each moment works so well you applaud the usage. I haven't gotten to know Yes, Virginia... as well as I know their eponymous debut, mostly because it's hard to live up to an album that I've listened to at least 70 times. Rob D - Clubbed to Death - This is the only song I have of his and last I checked on AllMusic, it was his only. The strongest song from the Matrix soundtrack, full of haunting piano and strings backed by a timely but not insistent techno beat.

Future Bible Heroes - Stephin Merritt's electronica band. His songwriting talents are joined by Chris Ewan who takes care of the electronica portion of the band, and Claudia Gonson (as of Eternal Youth) does the singing. As always for me with electonica type things, the otherworldly sounds are best offset by a very human voice, and Gonson hits the nail on the head. Her flaws as a singer are extant, but she has the right amount of emotion and her delivery of some pretty cleverly humorless lyrics is flawless. Vox Vermillion - This band from Minnesota broke up far too soon, only giving us one album and a couple EP's. A sometimes percussive piano, an achey-stringed cello and some pretty heavy drum beats make the base of a great sound that's darn unique. Kelsey Crawford's vocals are a touch avant garde, but the moment's she's bad at are far out-weighed by the time's she's just perfect. This is something to enjoy on a good stereo with the bass turned up a notch. Tom Waits - A talent who has a preoccupation with finding out what sounds this, that and the other thing can make. He also seems to have taken that approach to his vocal chords, which make Bob Dylan's voice sound nearly silken. He's awesome.