Category Archives: FREE MP3s

MP3 At 3PM: Futurebirds

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Athens, Ga.’s Futurebirds are teaming up with Jittery Joe’s Coffee to create Baba Java, a new coffee blend. In celebration, the band is releasing an EP under the same name, also a clever pun on past album titled Baba Yaga. The EP includes two unreleased songs, one demo and one cover, all recorded during (or for) the Baba Yaga sessions. R.E.M.’s “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” has the same old twang and country Futurebirds fans know and love. Download the track below.

“(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Sneakout

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Sneakout is the new moniker for singer/songwriter Robert Fleming, formerly known as Victory. He’s had many songs featured in commercials, TV shows and films, including an episode of HBO’s Girls. Now, he’s released an energetic new track called “The Art Of Hanging On.” Driving and electronic, the song is very catchy, easy to dance to and fun. Download “The Art Of Hanging On” below.

“The Art Of Hanging On” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Belle Sounds

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The Belle Sounds, in preparation for the upcoming release of the Black Stone EP on September 9, share the title track with MAGNET. Songwriter Noëlle Hampton takes us on a trip through her childhood as the song rages on at a steady tempo. The track weaves through cheery, driving passages, raging guitar solos, as well as slower, softer parts that all mesh together in a very coherent way. Download “Black Stone” below.

“Black Stone” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Sunbears!

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November 11 marks the release of Sunbears!‘s Future Sounds, the second LP from this Jacksonville, Fla., group. “Now You’re Gone,” a track off the new album, is an upbeat tune with a sad underlying message. Download the song below.

“Now You’re Gone” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 283: 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.

I wasn’t really part of the Vancouver punk scene as such. When I was 20 (1981), I was travelling around Europe for six months in a VW van going to all the art museums I could find. Prior to that, I was at the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art & Design) for a couple of years studying painting. I didn’t come wriggling out of East Van all hepped-up with working-class angst. I sort of sashayed across the Lions Gate Bridge from North Van after being raised in an architecturally designed house by abstract painters who listened to a lot of jazz.

I left home at 18 because I wasn’t responding well to what I’ll call injustice. I worked full time, bought a sailboat, got married—and writing that here makes me aware that a person like this (like me) does not belong in a punk-rock scene. I was drawn into it as it was re-configuring into the 1980s, at a point when I felt very strongly about the injustice of being held within constructs that relied on psychological oppression—including sexism and capitalism. By 1985, I’d left the marriage (the boat was long gone) and opted out of my job to read, write, play music and go to shows. Punk was the very loud abhorrence of injustice, and that, for me, was articulated by the audience—dancing, colliding, sweating and engaging without relying on our own voices; we were out there bashing around in response to a very pure form of music that demonstrated our dissatisfaction and dissent. There wasn’t a feeling of violence or anything malicious going on. If you fell down, the person next to you would drag you back up again so you didn’t get hurt. It was a throbbing society of beings reveling in a sort of synchronistic building and releasing of energy that also fueled the bands. There was a weird reciprocity intrinsic to the band and audience dynamic. It seemed to me that there were larger philosophies at play in the scene : equality, fairness, anarchism and maintaining a presence with benefit shows, politicized posters, a few zines (before they were called zines) and various demonstrations. To me, not being part of the early days of punk, it seemed as though the individuals involved were a kind of emotional nobility who didn’t fit with the heartlessness of capitalism—maybe they’d been met with enough adversity early on and had veered off to a subculture of those similarly inclined toward idealism, to create deep friendships, some of which turned into bands and political actions.

For whatever reason, when I decided to participate in the punk scene as the singer in a band of two (Mecca Normal), I realized I wasn’t part of whatever I thought I was part of as an audience member. That is to say, people didn’t like us. They ignored us, basically. We were what you call room-clearers. Which turned out to be OK, because we ended up going on tour pretty quickly and found scenes in other cities where we were welcomed and included. Our first out-of-town shows were in Montreal, where we played two sold-out nights at an anarchist cafe and got standing ovations. It was totally weird.

“Fight For A Little” from Mecca Normal (Smarten Up!, 1986; re-released by K, 1995) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Hobbes Fanclub

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The Hobbes Fanclub, out of Northern England, has just released debut album Up At Language via Shelflife Records. Singer/guitarist Leon Carroll started the band solo, releasing two splits in 2008. Not long after those singles, Carroll gathered a few friends and filled the rhythm section.”Stay Gold,” the first  single off the new album, packs quite an indie-pop punch. The bass line is groovy and prominent, and the dreamy vocals mesh well with the tone of the guitars. Download the track below.

“Stay Gold” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Luxembourg Signal

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Made up of previous members of Aberdeen and Trembling Blue Stars, the Luxembourg Signal readies for release of debut album on September 30. “We Go On,” the first single off the LP, is a dream-pop hit. Its soothing vocals add to the melodies and subtle electronics throughout the track, making for a smooth trip. Download the song below.

“We Go On” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Joe Jack Talcum

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Joe Jack Talcum is probably best known for his part in the Dead Milkmen, an insane ’80s punk act out of Philadelphia. But now Talcum shows off his softer, more humorous side with his solo work. This comedy is exemplified on new old track “Talk.” To give you a small hint, the chorus repeats just one simple word, but I don’t want to give too much away. Download the track below.

“Talk” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Lunchbox

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Tim Brown and Donna McKean recently started a new band called Hard Left, but before that, they were Lunchbox. And now they’re back. Lunchbox has just released second LP Lunchbox Loves You via Jigsaw Records. “Give A Little Love,” a single from the new album, is dream pop at its core, equipped with “do do do”s and “oh oh oh”s that scream happiness. The indie-pop madness never slows throughout the duration of the song, or throughout Lunchbox’s career, for that matter. Download the track below.

“Give A Little Love” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Dimond Saints

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Oakland’s Dimond Saints have released synth-tastic new song “Sum Luv.” The heavy electronic music mixes trap with futuristic bass, making for a prime dance track. Don’t be surprised if this comes on the next time you’re in a club. Download “Sum Luv” below.

“Sum Luv” (download):

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