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Indie Rocks My Socks

August 17, 2009

by Alex Mitchell
Indie Rocks My Socks

I have always been a fan of rap music. Talib and Hi-Tek’s Train of Thought blessed my Ford Escort speakers for years in high school. I could recite Twista’s verses in Slow Jams with equivalent speed. A hip-hop head is what I think they call it. But then I went to college, and a whole new genre said, “Hello sir, would you like to be my friend.” And I told that genre, “No thanks, I think I would rather listen to my Dr. Dre and Common on repeat.” Yet, somehow, in a heavenly way, that genre kept poking me with guitar strings, reminding me I was stereotyping it as skinny panted, wrist cutting music. I tried to fight back. “I am a basketball player!” I pleaded. “I will not listen to music without a looped beat. No!” Surely enough though, songs snuck into my library, softly nudging me, whispering, “I’m not that bad... You like me. Don’t you?” I did. Holy Winnebago, I did. I finally came out of the closet. One can only deny an urge for Elliott Smith so long. Indie tuneage has now become an obsession of mine, aided by the likes of music blogs, iTunes, and most importantly, a community of individuals who share a passion for awesomeness. So, in hopes of continuing the theme of freshman introduction and expectation articles, I would like to lead the way to prophet quality information on a musical style that is growing faster than your parents’ child-free sex life. Whether you are a Brooklyn hipster and know a megaton about this genre already, or are from Podunk Capital where Main Street Theatre was recently burned down for screening Bruno, I have got some girly man voices that want to kiss your tympanums. Vaasuup!

Here’s how we’ll do it: I’ll give you a band name and a song that I believe represents them the best. Or the one I like the most. Probably the latter. Then, if you like it, for those who have parents that pay the whole $53,000 for tuition, you can buy the songs off the internet. The rest of you can get the music when you get to campus, from me, Alex, via Mojo, a FREE and SEXY way to trade music. Holler.

Here is the starter package. Think of it as the handcuffs for an s&m curious couple.

Voxtrot: "Start of Something" - Wake up music. Are you in love? Want to jump and scream? I do! Be happy, people. Conner Faught will call you gay. I say if that is what it takes to like these guys, hand me a penis.

Vampire Weekend: "Oxford Comma" - Every song this band does is good, and catchy, and poppy, and fun, and will make you say, fuck class, I’m tanning.

Of Montreal: "Disconnect the Dots" - Feeling funky? Want to get weird and invent a homoerotic dance? Dress up like animals and come up with their mating calls? Coocachoobie!

The Thrills: "Don’t Steal Our Sun" - Pop country. Does that exist? Yes. If whisky and wheatgrass were a drink it would be called The Thrills.

Shout Out Louds: "Please Please Please" - Arcade Fire Fans, this is for you. If that means nothing to you, Please, Please, Please, listen to this song.

Okkervil River: "Black" - Probably the most mainstream sounding of the bunch, good songwriting, great range of tempo. The emotion you wish you could express. ahhhh, but at the same time, ohhhh.

M. Ward: "Undertaker" - From Portland, therefore I rep him. Man has a diverse style, so don’t count him out if you aren’t feeling this track.

Kings of Convenience: "I’d Rather Dance With You" - Need to study? This mellow voice will smooth your session into an enjoyable experience. Like going to the dentist stoned.

Jens Lekman: "Someone to Share My Life With" - The musical equivalent of Seth Winterroth playing basketball. Kind of awkward, yet supremely enjoyable.

Stars: "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" - Melodies that will make you smile, words that have never felt so genuine.

Belle and Sebastian: "There’s Too Much Love" - Consistently stupendous. The Tim Duncan. Try and find a bad track. I dare you, fool.

Animal Collective: "Fireworks" - My new favorite. Don’t really have any advice about this band. Will you grow to like them with me? Word.

Elliott Smith: "Pitselah and Clementine" - My favorite musician of all time. The MJ of all that is sad. One of the most musically gifted individuals of our generation- but like many artistic geniuses, mentally unstable. Chief stabbed himself in the heart. Depressing, amazing.

I have a growing list to share and new music is my crack, so, you know, can we feed each other’s addictions? Or can I help you develop one?

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