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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Falling Down the BandCamp K-Hole (Does This Ever Happen to Anyone Else?)

Posted by on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

99% of the time I visit BandCamp I want to hear one band and one band only. I generally don't go there to cruise. But lately BandCamp's "recommendations" feature has completely ruined my productivity levels. My days have gone something like this: "Oh, look, this band likes that band! A band you haven't heard! Let's listen. They're good! And they like this other band! Why was I here again? Oh, that band has a funny album title, I'll listen to that. What else is there from Olympia? I like this! Oh, wait, I need to write that thing about that one band. Oooooh, another something shiny!" And repeat.

A lengthly example: Yesterday I went to BandCamp to check out a Portland band playing later this week called Duck. Little Brother, Duck! "That's a dumb band name," I thought to myself. But I wanted to know their story. They're playing the Black Lodge on the 27th and Ground Zero on and April 28th. Turns out, they're good! It's math rock, but there's a Four Minute Mile vibe to it. Albeit delivered with more aggression and less self-wallowing. Phew! I have grown out of most self-wallowing music.

Their song names are lengthy and they make me giggle. They all cite some famous person with some kind of parenthetical note attached: "Billy Mays (Don't Move Here, 'It's a Trap!')," "Steve Jobs (All Is Fun Until Someone Gets Stabbed)," and "Phillip Seymour Hoffman (It's the Wonder of Nature Baby!)." Their full length, Survival Is Not A Workout, is available for however much you feel like paying so I bought it. Then, on the download page, there were some recommendations from the band: Land Before Time, A Short History of Decay, and Girlfriends. Girlfriends is described as "Poppy, rhythmic as hell, one dude, sick melodies, emotional as fuck. Get your dance on."

Okay! Let's dance!

So I click on it and start to listen. Not bad! More mathy sort of stuff—staccato guitar playing, snappy, screamy vocals (when they use vocals, a number of the songs are instrumental). Reminds me a bit of Q and Not U and So Many Dynamos, but with more fluid, looped electronic bits and less punk rock spasms. The songs are short, but they move together well, making it good for zoning out on a gray day like today. And there's a song called "Bernie Mac Attack." Won over. Bookmarked for future listening.

I notice Girlfriends is also recommended by a band called Holiday Friends from Idaho. I've heard that name! But I've never heard them. So I click and listen. So dreamy. The first song is "Plastic Planets" and I hear banjo, whistles, and xylophone within the first minute. The vocals feel a little like the Beach Boys meet the Moondoggies, but the music is more like Throw Me the Statue with an electronic kick. Really sweet. Would be lovely to listen to if it were sunny today, but it's not, so I save their music for a brighter day but, look! They're playing the Blue Moon Tavern on May 11th! I don't close the page without putting it in my calendar.

Another band that recommended Girlfriends (which was also recommended by Holiday Friends) is Ironwood Run. Ironwood Run isn't bad. Kind of classic rock feeling folk rock. Not something I'd listen to on a regular basis. Oh, there's a saxophone solo! Okay. I don't want to fall too far down the Americana spiral so I go back to Duck. Little Brother, Duck's first recommendation, Cower, from Portland, who's described as "...fucking ripping. All there is to it really. Heavy, fast, slow, hardcore, sludge. Good." YES! I LIKE THOSE THINGS.

Oooh, this is pretty rippin'! And their album, Land Before Time, is available for FREE! The price is right, so I proceed to download and rock. But, wait. Shit! What time is it? It's two hours past whatever deadline I had hoped to meet and I haven't gotten up from my desk for the entire time and I think my left foot is permanently asleep.

Does anyone else have this problem with listening to things on BandCamp?


Comments (8) RSS

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yos-wa 1
I've pretty much been in a perpetual bancamp k-hole trying to book the next MP tour. I've gotten the chance to download a shit ton of free music as well, which is nice.
Posted by yos-wa on April 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
tallchris 2
@1: I know, I think you've hit up a few of our Midwest buds!

Bandcamp is really the best.
Posted by tallchris on April 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
CarltonEide 3
My life.
Posted by CarltonEide on April 25, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
yos-wa 4
@2 - yeah! working on a show with waxeater! the only thing i wish bandcamp had was a better internal search engine. their engine currently just sends you to google, which works....but i think it could be better.
Posted by yos-wa on April 25, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
tallchris 5
@4: Great guys, and great band! Will be a great fit for sure!
Posted by tallchris on April 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
Ironwood Run played a free Veracity show in January at the Vera Project, they are fun live!…
Posted by VirtualSoundNW on April 25, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
bunnypuncher 7
Love this post!

Cower totally rules.
Posted by bunnypuncher on April 25, 2012 at 10:03 PM · Report this
Holiday Friends are super good live, too. Go to that show!!!
Posted by oceanpark on April 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this

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