What better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than with a litany of independent music? Get patriotic and get thee to a local music hall!
Married in both song and life, Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel make power punk rock that warms up a room and a blood-pumping organ. They’ve matured steadily over the years, since they first started making sweet but assertive sounds in 1997. Their most recent album, Mountaintops, finds them at their most confident state yet, making accessible hooks with subtle complexity.
Drawing warranted comparisons to Radiohead recently, Liars are really operating in a space all to their own. The band’s identity is a fleeting thing, and purposefully so. Each of their four albums is an individual, self-contained work with little relationship to the previous entry. But for the best example of their artistic range, check their latest release, WIXIW, a freaky mind-bender of sonic wonder.
Holy hell these guys are fun as bin candy. Sugary, actually, would be the best way to describe Miami Horror’s brand of electro pop. And irresistibly dancey. And… horror’s got nothing to do with it for these Aussie party starters.
It’s easy to get lost keeping track of all of the innovative, DIY projects coming out of Portland these days, but Blind Pilot manages to stick out above the rest. They’ve been fighting the good indie fight for some time now, doing things like riding bikes instead of tour vans on the road. Oh, and their music is quite pleasant, if a little affectingly melancholy most of the time. You’ve been warned.
NorCal hip-hop heroes Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel are together Blackalicious, and always greater than the sum of their parts. The way Gift of Gab’s lyrics percolate amidst Xcel’s heady beats makes the brain swirl. These guys are always on-topic, and always in an interesting groove.