Category Archives: FREE MP3s

MP3 At 3PM: Gwyneth Moreland

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American singer/songwriter Gwyneth Moreland has a new album, Ceiling Floor And Open Door, coming out November 14. Now she released another track from the LP, “Slaughterhouse Gulch,” which features David Haynes (Van Morrison Band) on upright bass. The song follows Moreland’s quiet, folky style that she has mastered so well, but it’s also full of emotion and relatable feelings that we all know too well. Download the track below.

“Slaughterhouse Gulch” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: We Are The Willows

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Minneapolis sextet We Are The Willows prepare for the release of new album Picture (Portrait) Pt. 1 via The Homestead Records on November 4. The band will soon embark on a tour of the Midwest, and it has released a beautiful new track, “Picture.” The orchestral instruments used in the song are unique, and with the airy female vocals, it all shows how the band can break out of its indie-rock mold and into something new and different. Download the track below.

“Picture” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Stephen Doster

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Austin-based producer Stephen Doster has worked on more than 70 Texas-based recordings in his many years and now readies for the release of his fourth solo album as a musician, Arizona, out November 4. He has issued the title track, a laid-back soft/rock song with charming vocals, simple songwriting and an empowering mood. Download it below.

“Arizona” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Sunbears!

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Jacksonville, Fla., psych/pop outfit Sunbears! ready for the release of newest album, Future Sounds, out November 11 via New Granada Records. And now they have released a new single, “Laughing Girl,” a track full of psychedelic goodies. It’s uplifting, with a sort of primitive feel, and it’s more coherent than many psych songs these days. Download the song below

“Laughing Girl” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 292: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

In this week’s column, I continue to compare songs on Calico Kills The Cat with songs on our new album, Empathy For The Evil, from start to finish. See notes from Sept. 6, 2014.

8. “Joelle” (Calico Kills The Cat, 1989) This is one of my more compact story narratives. It came directly out of a chapbook called Hot Pink, which is sub-titled “the history of a situation” and on the back cover “the history of the frying pan” (fiction, Smarten UP!, 1987). The song and the book are based on my own history and opinions on the male/female dynamic . When I was about 18, my parents went away for a week or so and my boyfriend stayed over. I’d already lived on my own for some time, but moved back in with my parents to return to art school. In the morning I made my boyfriend pancakes and then, there I was washing the frying pan while he was in the living room watching TV. “With all the history and the energy of the situation” I brought the pan out of the soapy water and smashed it on the edge of the counter, thus denting it just enough so that the lid wouldn’t fit on it. My mom made me buy her a new pan. It was a copper-bottom Revere Ware piece: a 12-inch pan that seemed to cost rather a lot to replace. Anyway, that part isn’t in the song. When Mecca Normal was touring around the time of that album (Calico Kills The Cat), I recall buying fry pans—cheap ones—at thrift stores along the way and chucking them out into the audience from the stage during the part in “Joelle” where I’m singing about the history of the situation. Once, when we were playing the black box theater at the Washington Center for the Performance Arts in Olympia, they had the place lit so that I couldn’t really see the audience beyond the people directly in front of us. I remember waving the pan, working up to the part I was going to throw it and I was thinking. “This is sort of crazy, just throwing it out into the darkness and potentially hitting someone in the face.” I tossed it into the darkness, heard it land and carried on with the song. Many nights I forgot to go and find the pan, but I always savored losing it—letting go of it mid-song and then forgetting about it due to being involved in packing up equipment and talking to feminists, anarchists, librarians, writers, scientists and all the other interesting people along the way.

8. “Maisy’s Death” (Empathy For The Evil, 2014) The lyrics are directly out of my novel The Black Dot Museum Of Political Art, in which various characters’ backgrounds are examined in an attempt to explain their adult proclivities including, in this case, a narcissist named Martin Lewis. In next week’s column we will look at Martin’s mother Odele, who grew up poor on a farm that she fled at 17 years of age. Here we have Odele in her formative years, taking over the chores at age 14 after her mother’s death. In the absence of his wife’s presence, Odele’s father switches gears and starts ranting—”hurling his high-pitched railings”— at Odele, just like he did to his wife when she was alive.

It’s interesting how, with 25 years between Joelle and Odele (and I’m just now seeing the similarity of their names!), I’ve moved away from narratives based on my own history towards entirely imagined scenarios, yet both songs are solid examples of patriarchy on the home front. A sort of relentless repetition of male oppression saturates both tales.

“Joelle” from Calico Kills The Cat (K, 1989; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Gromble

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Santa Clara, Calif., synthpop group the Gromble just issued its self-titled debut album. In celebration, the band now releases “Desole Pt. II,” a new track from the LP, for free download. The music is empowering and echoes back to indie greats like Pavement and Weezer while still retaining originality. It’s a balanced blend of indie rock and synthpop with definite high energy. Download the track below.

“Desole Pt. II” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Little Cinema

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Little Cinema started as a collaboration between two young men, Shawn Jones from Brooklyn and Tyler Womack from Austin. After years of flying back and forth, and with the eventual move of Womack to NYC, Little Cinema now releases 10-song debut LP Adventure, which gives voice to Womack’s experience of leaving Austin. Album track “When You Think Of Me” is upbeat, with solid energy and a few impressive saxophone solos near the end that will blow you away. Download it below.

“When You Think Of Me” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: SEX BBQ

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There are some odd band names out there, but SEX BBQ comes close to taking the cake. The Atlanta-based group readies for the release of its debut album, Sex Noir City, and has released a single from the LP, “Locus Of Control,” for free download. The music itself is all over the place. It changes from garage rock to Asian sounding, then it gets psychedelic, and eventually choir chanting begins. Download “Locus Of Control” below.

“Locus Of Control” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Les Bonbons

London-based pop group Les Bonbons, led by Billy and Fred Bonbon, prepare for the release of their new self-titled album, due November 17. They mix undeniably groovy rock ‘n’ roll guitars and jazzy horn imitations with French lyrics, making for interestingly catchy music. “Nouveau Départ” exemplifies the type of energy this band brings to its music. Download the track below.

“Nouveau Départ” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Eyelids

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Portland’s Eyelids hold more than meets the eye. Not only were they the main instrumentalists on over eight releases for Robert Pollard’s Boston Spaceships, but they have also worked with big indie names such as Stephen Malkmus, the Decemberists and Elliott Smith. With new record 854 on the way, Eyelids premiere a new track called “Forget About Tomorrow.” The song is short and sweet, and in accordance with their previous work, it’s also beautifully and expertly composed. Download it below.

“Forget About Tomorrow” (download):

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