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A Band to Call Your Own

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A Band to Call Your Own

A Band to Call Your Own

Is there a band you call your own? A band you love so much that on one hand, you want everyone to hear it, but on the other hand, you want to keep it to yourself?
Be honest: I don't want your girlfriend's/brother's band, or your band.

I want your most passionate music find. Give us a link to their music in your response and we'll put a show together with some of the best ones.

The music you love says so much about who you are. Having a band to call your own is one of the first ways of finding your identity. At least that's my theory.

My life changed with a local Washington, D.C., band called The Urban Verbs.
I saw them in 1977 at a club then called the Atlantis; later, it would be bought and called the 9:30 Club.

Listen to the Urban Verbs song Subways

A Band to Call Your Own

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The band had mystery; Eno heard that and recorded a demo for them in NYC.
They had the best drummer I'd ever heard (Danny Frankel), great guitar playing (Robert Goldstein, now an NPR music librarian), good poetry and singing (Roddy Frantz, whose brother drummed for the Talking Heads), and a synth player who understood the synthesizer as a texture instrument: Robin Rose. I saw almost every show this band did — more than a hundred is my guess. The group changed my life. In fact, I'd probably not be writing this blog and working at NPR if it weren't for this band. You can now find their music for cheap on iTunes.

It was Robin Rose loaning me his synth that led me to quit my job and play music, and my music playing that got NPR to do a story on me; years later, that story was my entrance to getting a job here...

So tell us your band. We may let the secret out, but don't worry: You'll find another.



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Bob thanks ,The Verbs did try to add to the fabric of the community we worked very hard to make it interesting and inventive and we have not forgotten the opportunity or the support.
The best
Robin Rose synthesizer Urban Verbs

Sent by Robin Rose | 1:18 PM | 1-4-2008

I play Jenny Owen Youngs for anyone who will listen. Really.
great video for "Hot in Herre":

Sent by Lori | 1:20 PM | 1-4-2008

So Bob,
I was trying get hold of your email address to tell you about a show this band is playing, and then I read your post, and well, I guess this is a better place to profess my new found love.

I've had a number of bands like that over the years, band's that every single person I meet I feel like I have to tell them about, last year was Girl Talk, the year before was New London Fire (listen to different and you'll understand why), and my freshman year of college was Stars.

For the last few months though, it's been all about a D.C. musician, one Mr. Andy Zipf.

I don't even know where to start with Zipf. He's one of those people who makes music that could easily be thrown into the pop singer song-writer category, but somehow is so much deeper. Zipf's got a voice that can hit notes live that most people only dream about when they're in studio, and he's got an ability of tying words together that's anything but cliche.

Zipf's music is only half the story though, because the guy is one of those people you just want to believe in. He's been making music for a long time in the D.C. area, traveled across the country, played SXSW and opened for way too many talented musicians, but he's never really blown up.

some of that is because he might have just not written the right song for mass consumption yet, and some of it's because he hasn't been willing to sell out for the sake of success. Zipf believes that artists should have creative freedom with their music and shouldnt become shackled to an oppressive behemoth of a record label that would stunt their growth. His focus in music has been about making good music, not about making good money. He gives away most of his music, and tries hard to listen to his fans. Maybe that's why he was able to raise over $45,000 in contributions to record his last album. People believe in Zipf.

When it comes to touring, Zipf doesn't try to cut corners (which is why I was trying to get in touch with you)

See Zipf, with a few friends, has put together this 45 minute live show that can only be described as a multi-media explosion. He's calling it Pfriends on Pfilm. It's going to incorporate live video, stock film, on the spot creations, all laid on top of the live soundtrack of zipf and his band. It reminds me of what would happen if you took sigur ros, damien rice and then put them into a blender with the velvet underground.

And zipf's doing on his own dime. independently.

I could keep rambling about him for awhile. but he's the person I believe in right now (sorry obama) and I think you should come see him.

either at a small kick off party in fairfax on January 18th, or at the Apple Store in Tyson's Corner on February 2nd (and yes, that show is free).

so take this for what you will, maybe you won't buy it.

but zipf's who i believe in right now.

Sent by Nathan | 1:46 PM | 1-4-2008

Does it still count if the music that moves me most is what's coming from my own band? hopefully it does. and who would have thought I'd ever play in a band with a sousaphone and an accordion? we are milkmachine.

Sent by jrudian | 2:22 PM | 1-4-2008

Bob thank you for the nice piece!
I also saw almost every show they did and the band changed my life for the better.
As you said Urban Verbs were the seminal band of the pre-80's scene and extremely influential worldwide.

Locally,without Urban Verbs there probably wouldn't have been a Fugazi or Bad Brains or Tiny Desk Unit.

As you mentioned, Roddy and Robert talked the owner of a derilict bar in to letting them open it and play;this became Atlantis and later became 930.

They created a totally new unique sound and Eno among thousands of others recognized it early on ['78]. They were relentless in not playing "easy music".

Remember the show I put on with pugsly's help at the Corcoran with an unsigned B-52's and Urban Verbs?

Remember a skinny teenager named Henry Rollins sneaking in to see them play? I understand Dave Grohl also was among the underage audience influenced by their powerful poetic sonic onslaught.

Unfortunately the producers who worked on the albums were not able to capture the depth and power of the band. Producing the second album, Steve Liliywhite seems to have appropriated a lot of the band's sound particularly Robert's unique guitar sound for the album he produced immediately after the Verbs- which was U2's debut. I hear it.

It is unfortnate that the histories of DC punk and new wave have gotten the story so wrong.

We all owe them a lot showing us that we could create avante art and music in late 70's DC and anywhere in any time- even now!

Bill Harvey
Williamsburg Brooklyn

Sent by Bill Harvey | 2:26 PM | 1-4-2008

Great post, Bob. I think it very unlikely that there would have been a Tiny Desk Unit w/out the Verbs. For one thing, you and I may never have met. The Verbs were a catalyst and an inspiration. Aside from making it look so simple that anyone could do it (believe me, it wasn't... ) The Verbs, Roddy and Danny especially, were very supportive and encouraged upstart bands like TDU and my all-time fave combo, Rhoda and the Bad Seeds, back when it was just Samantha and Douglas. ASC features artists fairly regularly that I get the same kind of possessive feeling that I had for the Verbs. Arcade Fire, Iron and Wine, and Beirut made me shout out loud recently.

Sent by Michael Barron | 5:36 PM | 1-4-2008

I don't remember if you guys have covered the band A sunny Day in Glasgow at all; Twee-gaze stuff that's top release material of 2007 in my material. I just desperatly want them to have more exposure because when I saw them a whole ten people were at the tiny cafe they played at for a payment that problem didn't pay for either their gas or meal that day. With My Bloody Valentine releasing new work later this year I hope it causes a surge in the popularity of my beloved shoegaze so bands like Serena Maneesh and Sunny Day will grow as they so rightly deserve.

here's the link to their Myspace

Sent by Devin(shire) | 5:14 PM | 1-5-2008

In Los Angeles, one band caught my attention: The Broken Remotes. Bought a t-shirt and everything.

Check 'em out here:

They're kind of upbeat Indie Minimalist Rock with a great Punk feel (love all the adjectives). The lyrics are striking and the tracks are so catchy. Definitely my band, but I'm willing to share if you play nice. (No biting)

official site:

Sent by sonokrug | 1:39 AM | 1-6-2008

It's a shame that Detroit's goth-country outfit Blanche isn't getting more attention. They released a delightfully cryptic and morose album in 2004 called "If We Can't Trust the Doctors..." Their second album, "Little Amber Bottles" was released just months ago and has a more lush, richly produced sound than its dark predecessor. I adore any band which can make banjos and pedal steel guitar sound fresh again.

(They're also one of the best-dressed bands in the business with their Victorian Era inspired wardrobe.)

Sent by Alex | 5:40 PM | 1-6-2008
a group that re-envisioned what bluegrass instruments could do. I really fell in love with the banjo again after getting their cd.

Sent by Jonathan | 10:59 PM | 1-6-2008

This blog describes exactly how I feel about a band called Califone.

Sent by Kate Burnett | 11:21 AM | 1-7-2008

I couldn't pick between these three:
1)I Am Kloot (they've been around for a while now, but still without much play in the U.S.)

2) Sol Seppy

3) Tulsa (I had already nominated this band for best new band of 2007, but alas it wasn't selected...)

Also, thanks to the person who suggested The Broken Remotes - I'm am currently enjoying their tunes on myspace. Excellent stuff.

Sent by Pablo | 12:49 PM | 1-7-2008

Hey Bob,

I found Jill Brazil in college. I heard they disbanded after I graduated, but looked them up anyway when I saw your post. It looks like they have reformed. I enjoy their music: sax, guitar, drums, bass, vocals.



Sent by Justin Garofoli | 4:09 PM | 1-7-2008

I saw Cake Bake Betty when she opened for Tilly and the Wall in Nashville a couple of years ago, and was entranced by her piercing vocals, hypnotic piano playing, and obscure, wistful lyrics. I got a CD and played it while helping a good friend paint her kitchen with another mutual friend. We were all digging it, and all on our own different levels. Great stuff.

Sent by Tim | 6:47 PM | 1-7-2008

She is certainly not new, but so few people seem to actually know of her. Laurie Anderson will have a new album out this year, but I always go back to her previous stuff when I just need a nice place to spend some time.

I think what makes her music so wonderful is that very little of it is about the typical things you find in music, yet it is all still within reach.

Sent by Shane McDaniel | 3:12 AM | 1-8-2008

Forgot about Ra Ra Riot. Wouldn't have heard of them if I hadn't caught the Tokyo Police Club openers in B-more. Doesn't everyone cherish those serendipitous finds? I can still feel their stage energy.
Ra Ra Riot is more popular, but still tons of fun. Kind of like Arcade Fire on twee punk/pop.

by the way, the drummer passed away last summer.

Sent by sonokrug | 3:14 AM | 1-8-2008

Cloud Cult -

Please give 'em a shot if you haven't already. I first heard a song of theirs on Seattle's KEXP and was intrigued, so I went and saw them live and they completely blew me away. The final song they performed was about singer Craig Minowa's son, who died as a little boy, and I left the show in tears. They are just so moving and SO distinct. They don't sound like anyone else right now. At their shows, they have artists who do live painting while the band performs, and they've been concerned about the environment before it was trendy, using their own record label to release music that is made on recycled materials and donates profits to environmental charities. Like I said, they are truly distinct.

Anyway, I've pushed Cloud Cult on most of my friends and I'm so happy when they get new fans because they deserve it, but they'll always be "mine." ;) They just move me in a way that I haven't yet found the words to describe.

Some song suggestions...well, my favorites include "Take Your Medicine" off of their latest release, "The Meaning of 8," and pretty much everything off of their "Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus" album (but especially "Transistor Radio" and "Car Crash").

Please check them out!

Sent by Tamara Vallejos | 4:19 AM | 1-9-2008

The Urban Verbs were more than just a catalyst but a family brought together in the then vacant downtown scene of DC when the Keg was the only venue with hair metal bands. The Verbs were motivational for us all that were there at the time and I too owe a great debt of gratitude to them for putting me on the forefront of the music scene which led to my employment a IRS/Faulty records with Miles Copeland and the Police who were infinitely less visionary than the Verbs. Those were with out a doubt the best days of my life and listening to Next Question and Only One of You now bring a tear to my eye. The Verbs deserved a lot more credit and success than the music industry(Warners) passed them over for and I seriously doubt there would have been bands like Nirvana had it not been for them. I dearly hope the Verbs reunite once again for the benefit of us all!

Sent by Julia Brooke- Childs aka Queenie | 8:55 AM | 1-9-2008

White Rabbits. They've had a bit of hype this year, but not nearly as much as is deserved. I've followed them for just over a year now, and while most of my friends don't share my enthusiasm, their album Fort Nightly was on my top five this year. If you aren't hooked by "The Plot" give "While We Go Dancing" a try. But above all: you must catch their live show!

Sent by Annie Russell | 7:09 PM | 1-9-2008

A little Icelandic band called Slowblow. Unfortunately I don't have a link to play you a clip. They normally play with another one of my favorite Icelandic bands Mum. I love Slowblow's ethereal sound. The music just soothes my soul. The lead singers voices were made for each other. They blend so well. Instead of singing loudly, they choose to nearly whisper every word, as if telling you a beautiful secret. I would highly recommend them.

Sent by Jeffrey Carrier | 10:54 PM | 1-10-2008

I can't find an mp3 of the song, but "Girlfriend" by an unknown british band called The Jazz Butchers is one of my favorite songs. Ever. Please play. !

Sent by Lorne Sweeney | 1:10 AM | 1-11-2008

Really got into Somalian rapper K'naan last summer. Don't know why his album 'Dustyfoot Philosopher' has not been released in the U.S. He's got a great message and it's refreshing to hear a clever rapper with a different perspective. Listen to "What's Harcore." Only downside is he can sometimes verge on the whiny, which begs a comparison to Eminem cause his songs are catchy.

Sent by Chris | 1:44 PM | 1-11-2008

I have two - a solo artist and a band.

The solo artist is Emm Gryner, a Canadian singer-songwriter. She was one of the many female singer-songwriters who got signed up to major labels in the late 90s, and one of the many who then was dropped after just one album. Unlike a lot of the others, though, she's kept going, and has released several albums independently. She's a very good songwriter and master of the pop hook, and she's also one of the best cover artists I've ever heard. Her album _Girl Versions_ features covers of rock songs written by men, ranging form "Pour Some Sugar On Me" to "Crazy Train," and recasts them as piano ballads - the real highlight is a gorgeous version of "Straight to Hell" by the Clash. Hers is not nearly as angry a song as the original, but it's just as emotional - just in a different way. She's somewhat known in Canadian indie circles, and in Ireland, where she's toured extensively in recent years - her song "Almighty Love" was even named by Bono as one of the songs he most wished he had written - but she doesn't get nearly the audience or recognition she deserves.

The band is Madder Rose, who put out some of the very best alternative pop records of the 90s. They were lead by a wonderful singer, Mary Lorson, and a fine songwriter, Billy Cote. They started out in more of a rock vein, but their last two albums were trip hop influenced. Yeah, I know - in the late 90s, every rock band was releasing trip hop influenced records, and they almost always sucked. But for some reason, when Madder Rose did it, it just worked. One of the songs from those albums - "(She's A) Satellite" - remains one of my favorite pop songs ever, years after its release.

Sent by Josh Burnett | 4:14 PM | 1-11-2008

Dear Bob,

What a great idea. It really points to what I love the most about the show, the breadth of music played and the ability to keep in touch with new and old exciting things in a country where at first glance this is not at all easy.
I am a Portuguese living in the US for the past 4 years. I have always been a compulsive music buyer and I found it very easy to do this in Portugal where we still have a system of small record stores where you can go and pick cds from the shelve and just sit down and listen to them with your headphones. With time this becomes a very personalized experience and you often end up developing a complicity with the store staff to a point where they will have a stack of cds set aside for you to listen in every visit. In the US I found this impossible due to the non-personalized experience of buying records and the impossibility of listening to the records before buying them. All songs considered resolved in part this problem for me and allowed me to discover many new projects. Thanks for that.
As far as my "best kept secret" it would have to be a Portuguese band by the name Pop Dell'Arte (what a shame it was not featured in any of the two shows you dedicated to portuguese music). Pop Dell'Arte started back in 1985 around Joao Peste. The band has always been erratic in their trajectory, but nonetheless adventurous and unpredictable in every step of their career. Their music has always been a complex journey between improvisation, performance art. literature and pop music. Their very infrequently website is located at and a sample video clip of one of their emblematic songs at . I chose this video because it encapsulates what Pop Dell'Arte mean to me. A dark and sensual cross between dance music, experimentalism, an irreverent imagery, and the poetics of the use of invented languages... Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sent by Armando Geraldes | 4:16 PM | 1-11-2008

Oops, I forgot to put a link on my post. Here you go:

Emm Gryner:

Madder Rose is defunct, but it looks like there are some song samples, at least, here:

Sent by Josh Burnett | 4:40 PM | 1-11-2008

Although this is the quickest way to hear his music:

There's more to discover at this site:

My band (rather musician) I call my own, is a singer/songwriter named Jeff Finlin, who by mere coincidence ended up residing in my home state of Colorado just as I was moving back after college. In a pattern similar to artists like Josh Ritter, Jeff's still been largely overlooked stateside and has found greater success in the UK, this despite having already put out 4 amazing studio albums and 2 fantastic live recordings over the past decade. I mention his living in Colorado as well because he has performed multiple times across Colorado and I've managed to venture out to nearly every gig; to see him live, and as often as I have, is as if Bob Dylan or Tom Petty or even Tom Waits played intimate small club venues 2 or 3 times a month, and all with driving distance of my apartment. He can write of the many untold stories of the American Contemporary West or recall the basic universals of humanity without ever using the cliches frequented in such songs, often times he invokes both of these elements within a single song. As much as I would like more people to hear, and I mean really hear, the songs of Jeff Finlin (and he honestly deserves the success of his effort, although apparently he's rarely bothered by success), I also like to think of him as this one amazing songwriter who shares a worldview common with my own; something I wouldn't want spoiled by the sudden appearance of scenesters or pseudo-intellectuals at his shows. But in the end, I think all of us in pursuit of truly great music, need to stop and give Jeff Finlin a listen.

Sent by Matt Hocker | 2:34 AM | 1-12-2008

you need to check out this elliott smith cover by a guy out of providence (gavin castleton). he already has some amazing albums under his belt, but no one has heard of him. eventually (i'm assuming with his forthcoming album), he will blow up for sure.

you can grab the cover ("somebody that i used to know") at the bottom of this blog entry (a fictional piece written from the future, which is connected to his most recent EP):
obligatory lamespace link (at the very least so you can hear more stuff):
his website (under construction at the moment):

i hope you take the time to listen; you won't regret it.

Sent by christine | 4:31 PM | 1-12-2008

I have lived in Lubbock, Texas my whole life and although people think of Buddy Holly when they hear Lubbock there is a great local music scene. Whenever my out-of-town friends stop by I try to take them to a Thrift Store Cowboys show. They are an alt country band that expresses feeling of a person who lives in the "Dust Bowl."

Sent by Aaron | 4:33 PM | 1-12-2008


Great topic. A lot of good discussion for sure... Without a doubt, for me, the band that changed the way I listen to music and had the biggest influence is The Walkmen. To me, they encompass everything a great band should have: presence/confidence, intensity, passion, and creativity. They are a great, great band, and put on incredible shows. Everyone should give them a listen. They aren't exactly an unknown band, but I still think they are somewhat of a hidden gem... Enjoy!

Sent by Brendan Rooney | 11:37 PM | 1-12-2008

You know, there is one band and one band alone that I used to consider all my own. Recently, their catalog was re-released on CD, but they are still lost in the remnants of 70s rock. The band is This Heat ( The song of choice is "24-Track Loop" available on their self-titled record. If anyone ever wonders where bands like the Liars and Radiohead come up with their stuff, it might be a secret of theirs that they steal a lot of ideas from this band.

Sent by KT | 12:25 PM | 1-13-2008

Bob, check out The Carolina Chocolate Drops-

I saw them live in SF, and they are inspiring, and charming. An old-timey string band, but with an African American focus.

Sent by GR | 2:50 PM | 1-13-2008

During the summer of 1993 before I entered my junior year of high school, I witnessed a minimalist and sloppy yet heart-felt rock band mixing low-fi bossanova and prog-rock named Eggs performing on the Side Stage at Lollapalooza and they changed my life. What struck me first was that thrown into this over-commercialized summer festival full of big name "alternative" bands were these ordinary guys not trying to impress anyone. Secondly, I immediately identified with the lead singer Andrew Beajon who uncannily resembled my geeky shy self hunched over and softly singing into a microphone with guitar in hand. It was only Andrew accompanied by a bass player and they were joined on stage by an Abe-Lincoln-looking fellow dancing carelessly around (the drummer, unfortunately, had recently joined the military and was not able to join Eggs on the tour; a shame really, as I would later hear on their Bruiser LP that he was one fantastic drummer). They weren't overwhelming in the sense of sound/volume or stage antics, but more so in their modest performance and friendly relationship with the small crowd gathered in front of them; they could've easily been your best friends up there doing what they loved, even if they didn't do it particularly well, and feeling way out of place amongst the over-hyped World of Perry Farrell.

Eggs left the biggest impression on me that day out of any of the other bands I saw and led me into the world of Indie rock in the DC area through the door of Teenbeat Records. They gave me inspiration to have faith in my own music and band, to know that it doesn't matter about all the glitz or lack thereof, that it's all about doing what you love and for whomever wants to listen.

Check out one of their beautifully melodic early tracks "This Party Never Ends: on:

Sent by Kurt Calloway | 3:10 PM | 1-14-2008

Kilowatts and Vanek (MySpace entered my life in the summer of 2005. I heard the song "Lies" on a DJ album and promptly bought the band's record "RawQ." This Philly/Belgium based band meet over the internet and composed an entire album without meeting each other face to face. Nearly everyone I've exposed their music to has been blown away by their sound. Peter van Ewijk (Vanek) combines ethereal lyrics with silky smooth vocals that are richly textured by Jamie Watts' (Kilowatts) electonica orchestrations. Their music is available on iTunes, and you can find their music on Amazon, but as far as I can tell, I'm one of a few people who has heard this band who surely has mass appeal.

Sent by Aaron Mosby | 3:48 PM | 1-14-2008

I would say that Why? fills that role for me, except that there's such a rabid (albeit insulated) cult around all the anticon artists that I can't honestly say I feel that they belong to me.

So I guess I'd go with The Invisible Cities.

Sent by Alek | 7:39 PM | 1-14-2008

my secret gem is Fran Windler of Kansas City. This live album recorded in a Unitarian church with an audience of less than a dozen people is quite possibly my favorite record of all time. I've said it before and i'll say it again "I WANT THIS RECORD PLAYED IN ITS ENTIRETY AT MY FUNERAL"

i created this fan site for her.

you can hear the entire album here:


Peter Max Lawrence

Sent by Peter Max Lawrence | 10:18 PM | 1-14-2008

Hey Bob,

I was searching around for David Lynch on youtube last year when I found a clip with someone playing a short improvised piece on an organ before the start of Inland Empire. I then looked up the guys myspace profile and my jaw just about hit my keyboard. This man was brilliant.
His name is Daniel Knox. His voice both strong and tender with a unique vibrato that drips with emotion. The lyrics are a cut above the rest, melancholy but not bitter. Each track is memorable and has superb song writing and instrumentation. I'm sure people will compare him to an early Tom Waits. In my opinion he is at least equal in ability. What he lacks in Waits' bravado and showmanship he makes up for with the truly haunting quality of his music.

check out the track "ghostsong" on myspace

Sent by Dave Madden | 1:54 AM | 1-15-2008

Interference. He cameoed in "Once." Seeing Fergus up on stage was one of the highlights of my time in West Cork...

Sent by Akira | 3:11 AM | 1-15-2008

The Six Parts Seven, while much loved by NPR, was once just a local band in Kent, OH making some of the softest, heartfelt music around. They changed the way I listened to music. I never wanted to let them go, but while living in Montana I heard them played between segments on Fresh Air. The joy that knowing Kent's little secret was heard all around the globe was worth the wait.

Mark - Kent, OH

Sent by Mark Bartholet | 10:03 AM | 1-15-2008

Hi Bob,

I've been on a crusade for many months now to get more people into a Vancouver band called the Parlour Steps. They play a brand of original, expressive rock they call Thought Rock, and I managed to hang out with them in the summer when they toured central Canada. They've won a songwriting award for their song "Thieves of Memory," which is a good place to start.

Here is their Myspace page:

and here's a blog post of a newspaper article I wrote about them:

Mason Wright, Toronto

Sent by Mason | 12:29 PM | 1-15-2008

Not all that secret, but fitting the bill for me would be Chisel. They are mainly remembered now as Ted Leo's last band before he went on to his solo/Pharmacists success, though Chris and John both played a major role in the band's sound as well. Maybe every school has a band that all the music fans orbit around - if not, they should - and for me (and many others) that was Chisel, so I think we had it pretty good. The band and guys in it led me on to all kinds of other great music - Wire, The Jam, Mission of Burma, Cardinal, and all the fun Dischord, K, Teen Beat, Sub Pop etc stuff coming out in the early 90's, and continues to lead to new paths I'm still enjoying exploring. has a few samples but try anything on "Set You Free" for their peak sounds.


Sent by Greg Murphy | 11:57 AM | 1-16-2008

There's a local Vermont oldtime/bluegrass/folk band called Sugarblue that fits this bill for me. I heard about them from a friend who is friends with one of the members, and was floored when I heard some random demo recordings. They have one studio album out now and it is fantastic.

I particularly recommend the song "Reuben".

Sent by Chloe | 10:57 PM | 1-16-2008

No band will ever speak to me the way The Replacements did back in 1985, when they saved me from a steady diet of radio pablum and bad heavy metal. I was in high school and their ragged songs perfectly expressed what I was feeling at the time.

Best of all, as I've grown older, perhaps not so wiser, Paul Westerberg continues to write the soundtrack to my life. Lot's of people know them, but The Replacements are mine. Back off.

Sent by Mike M. | 1:13 AM | 1-17-2008

Hi Bob,

First of all I am an avid fan of the All Songs Considered show and listen to every single one (ok, this sounds like im buttering you up..but honest I am not). I listened to the last show and heard about this blog and immediately thought of a local Toronto (Ontario) band that I think the world needs to know about. They are lyrically and rhythmically fascinating. A drum and guitar duo in what I would classify as indie in terms of genre.

The band is called Polyester Heart and they seem to be reluctant to have a myspace page as I can't find one - they do have a page to preview the ep here: as well as an awful music video posted on youtube:

Hope you enjoy it!

Sent by Lindsay | 9:07 AM | 1-17-2008

The new love in my life is Black Jake & The Carnies. Their approach to bluegrass is akin to Flogging Molly's approach to Irish folk. Their lyrics have some of the same sensibilities as the darker tunes of Colin Meloy but with more punk energy than indie rock. I've been on a folk-inspired rock kick, listening to a lot of DeVotchKa, Beirut, and the like. I was ecstatic to find a band that literally lives around the corner incorporating more Americana into the trend.

Sent by Jesse M. | 9:27 AM | 1-17-2008

The Falling Wallendas. They were a band from Chicago in the 90s, released two CDs (Falling Wallendas and Belittle) and an EP (Pattycake). After they broke up, their lead singer, Allen Keller, also did a great solo CD called Wuthering Depths. I first read about them in Stereo Review magazine, of all places, and whoever the reviewer compared them to piqued my interest enough to pick up the self-titled CD. They're funny, smart, twisted, and awesomely talented musicians. A little like the Bears, but a lot darker. I love, love, love this band. I still occasionally see their CDs in cutout bins or on ebay. They should have been huge, and although I think I understand why they weren't, I almost never run into anybody who's even heard of them, and that's wrong. Here's a couple of links where you can hear a few songs:

Sent by Gary | 10:41 AM | 1-18-2008

A while ago, my friend used to make these amazing mix tapes for me. If it weren't for her, I might have never heard of Big Star, Wanda Jackson, or The Exploding Hearts, to name a few. One of my most cherished discoveries from these tapes is an 80's Australian band called Eastern Dark. I heard the song I Don't Need the Reasons, and had to find their EP, Long Live the New Flesh. I'm still hooked.

Sent by Andrea | 3:48 PM | 1-18-2008

I was back home in Ireland over Christmas and was recommended a local band (from Cork), called HOORAY FOR HUMANS and they have a debut album called, SAFEKEEPING. Good catchy pop/rock tunes.

Another favourite of mine were the various incarnations of Donal O'Mahony and Carol Keogh. They were in a band called the PLAGUE MONKEYS in the mid 90's, and made some beautiful music which drew comparisons to the Sundays and the Cocteau Twins. The band subsequently broke up, but reformed as THE TYCHO BRAHE, but had to later change name again to TYCHONAUT. Again there were some great songs on their second album, Love/Life. There is talk of them getting back together again soon, meanwhile Carol has been doing some vocals with Autamata.
Examples of their sound can be found here
The Plague Monkeys - The Plague Monkeys
The Plague Monkeys - White Feathers
Tychonaut - Steel Wheels
Autamata w/ Carol Keogh (this clip has a few glitches at the start i think)

While some of their later music i can take or leave, I still love the Plague Monkeys debut album SURFACE TENSION (Surfacing is still one of my favourite songs ever), and have really enjoyed seeing them live over the years. Carol has a really beautiful voice and i really like some of the simpler arrangements. It's a pity they never made it big.

Sent by Gear??id O'Sullivan | 9:07 PM | 1-18-2008

I'm always kind of surprised with how few people know about the Archie Bronson Outfit. They're a garage rock band from England that's released a handful of singles and two albums, most recently "Derdang Derdang" in 2006. I've put some of the band's songs on mixes for my friends, and I'm always asked for more songs from "that one band that plays 'Dart For My Sweetheart'."

the band's site:

My friend Alex's band the Noise has also been putting out consistently good stuff for a number of years. Those of us who have been keeping up are incredibly proud of these guys. Their myspace page is here:

Sent by Abby Olcese | 10:44 AM | 1-19-2008

I wish I had found this earlier! Time of Orchids is an utterly amazing band no matter how you analyze them. From profoundly original sounding music (is that even possible anymore?) to almost unhuman technical proficiency at their instruments, they will blow you away.

They used to be on Tzadik as one of the only rock bands innovative enough for John Zorn's label. That says something! I hope more people find them!

Sent by Matt Ward | 11:34 AM | 1-20-2008

I'm not sure if bands of yesteryear still qualify, but Sordid Humor is a band that has been bouncing around my head since I first heard them. I never knew too much about them, my brother brought the CD home and I was hooked. The songs have a bittersweet edge to them.

The lyric that defined my young adulthood goes:

"I know I'd leave if I knew where to go,
I heard the winter months are sweet in Rome,
I pack my bags and get on a boat,
and I always end up at home sweet home."

If you want more clips let me know, both of their albums are way out of print.

Sent by Paul Stevens | 10:30 AM | 1-21-2008

I forgot to post the link:

Sent by Paul Stevens | 10:32 AM | 1-21-2008

Is Marah too mainstream to fit this bill? If so, I would also nominate The Living Things and The Supersuckers.

Sent by Carlos R. Pastrana | 4:43 PM | 1-21-2008

Oh, and the Bowery's late, much-missed My Victoria.

Sent by Carlos R. Pastrana | 4:49 PM | 1-21-2008

Wow, it's so hard not to put 10 bands on here. I'll restrain myself and only put two. This first band is from St. Louis and self produced their first album. Amazing job for not being signed...
Jumbling Towers

Another one who is touring with Yeasayer right now is from Brooklyn. Very smart electronic indie pop....
"Time to Pretend" is a must listen.

Sent by Ricky Ferrer | 1:49 PM | 1-22-2008

I wasn't going to post a response to this blog entry since I cannot find any web pages regarding the-band-I-call-my-own, and 'my band' never really made it out of my hometown. That is until now!

After having heard Justin Vernon's (aka 'Bon Iver') "For Emma" on 'All Songs Considered' a few weeks ago (see the Jan. 10th podcast!), I decided I'd chime in and acknowledge his high school band, Mount Vernon. They had 2 albums that I know of 'We Can Look Up' (1998) and 'All of Us Free' (2000).

I was fortunate that the local Borders in Eau Claire, Wisconsin was willing to sell local artists' albums, otherwise I would have never been able to acquire them.

I have always felt that the title track from their first album ('We Can Look Up') was better than all of Billboard's Top 10 from 1998 combined. (Granted, the late 90's probably boasts some of the most pathetic years of pop/rock music.)

The song "We Can Look Up" reminds me of fall in Wisconsin. More specifically, when I hear it, I picture a fall day in northwestern Wisconsin and I'm in high school walking across my high school's campus. It's probably the wind instruments that sound similar to the many pep band rallies I'd hear in the distance as I'd walk to and from my high school's campus that induce memories of high school. But there's also these great lyrics that remind me of the fear and nervousness I had about leaving home and all that was comfortable and familiar.

What a song! Too bad nobody outside of Eau Claire, Wisconsin will ever hear it. In my world, it wasn't Next, Savage Garden, or Brandy that had the #1 song in 1998, it was Mount Vernon!

Best of luck to you Justin (Bon Iver)! I hope to be in Eau Claire for your CD release! (See for Bon Iver's tour dates.)

Sent by Dan Malosh | 1:38 AM | 1-23-2008

Dear Bob Boilen,

I feel like I should just call you "Bob," but in my house you are always referred to as "Bob Boilen." My husband listens to you on his i-pod every week during his thirteen-mile bike commute to work,and his only complaint is that your show is not long enough! I have to confess that I am no music connoisseur. I rely on my husband to introduce me to new music, and usually it takes four or five listens before anything sticks. But last summer he introduced me to a local band that "stuck" the very first time! I can't tell you how excited I am about Sarah White and the Pearls! They were the music of my summer, and I got to see them live at a local show in Charlottesville, VA last fall. I was amazed at the control Sarah has of her vocals... she sounded just as amazing live as she did on record. She recently won "Best Song" on the Mountain Stage Contest. My favorites are "Fighting Words" and "Sarah, Arizona." Please listen. I know you'll be impressed.

With greatest regards,

Darrah McDermott

thanks for the kind words Darrah, I'll give a listen. All the best

Sent by Darrah McDermott | 9:21 PM | 1-26-2008

Lovers is a beautiful band. Changed the way I think of Love, Death, and the intimacy of music.

wow, I'm going to listen now!

Sent by david | 1:47 AM | 1-29-2008

Hey Bob! Thank you so much for the email back and the direct link :) I love the idea for "a band to call your own", it's really nice that you take the time to write a little back and that you're willing to hear out suggestions... your a true lover of music to share with us so much and let us share with you.

I'm glad you liked what you heard. The Afterwhiles actually just played a show this last weekend in Va Beach for the Invisible Children's benefit, which i don't know if you have heard of the invisible children but it's a awareness organization for the people of Northern Uganda, and the Lord's Resistance Army there, that kidnap children and make them into soliders. I don't know too much about it but i know it seems like a pretty good cause to alleviate such a sad situation.

There a really fun band that plays their music because they love it, and love to to share the feeling of the emotion of sound with everyone who is willing to listen. I know they spend a lot of time making sure to comment back to everyone of their fans.. trying to make the connection real, and let them know that the music that they play and what the reaction or inspiration of it to that person is just as special to the band as well.

Their link is:
.. and they are on purevolume as well :)

Thank you so much Bob for letting me and suggesting to write on here, hope you enjoy.. and hope you are having a good week so far!


my pleasure Owen

Sent by Owen | 3:48 PM | 1-29-2008

Man, another blog to keep up with. I just listened to the podcast and felt that although there were some great bands to listen to for the first time, brit pop could have had better representation. So I am recommending post podcast, School of Language:

which is Chris Brewis's (of Field Music) solo project.

His first album, "Sea From Shore," was recently released in the US (you can get it through Thrill Jockey,
It is in a similar vein to Field Music. The first track "Rocklist Part 1" floored me. I love the vocal intro to it. I have been a big fan of a group of bands that have rekindled the post punk/new wave sound from that area of the UK (i.e. Field Music and The Futureheads to name two).

I like to hear albums which can't necessarily be played live the same way it sounds on the album. It keeps you guessing at what it will sound like if you do get to see the band live. I think this is one of those albums. I'm hoping to find out how this sounds when he makes it to Boston this spring.

sweet, thanks

Sent by Mac Coldwell | 1:46 AM | 2-1-2008


One more band I call my own. They are "The Panics" out of Perth, Australia who have a fair degree of notoriety down under. I discovered them while CD shopping in Sydney in 2005. They just released their third album, "Cruel Guards" which is great. Their sound ranges from Stone Roses-eque to alt-country... They have a fair degree of notoriety down under but virtually unknown in the states.

Please check them out at or
will do, thanks

Sent by Dan | 6:27 AM | 2-1-2008

My current favorite album "An Army Life" which was just released by a band called "That's Him! That's The Guy!" They're an folk/alt-country duo from mid-Michigan who write a personal, deeply felt songs with biting lyrics. I'm not typically a country fan, but their music has made me seek out their roots and influences from over half a decade ago. The album features guest appearances from members of other local bands on banjo, mandolin, and a particularly stunning performance on pedal steel.

Currently the best place to find them is on their myspace page.

While I'm at it I'll also mention Chris Bathgate, another mid-Michigan local. He's a solo folk singer-songwriter who's tender voice and touching lyrics pair well with his spare and shart guitar playing. His most recent album is titled "A Cork Tale Wake"

Sent by kevin | 11:01 AM | 2-1-2008

I should have mentioned some tracks to start with!

That's Him That's The Guy!: Polish Lancers, Half

Chris Bathgate: Last Parade on Ann Street, Serpentine, Buffalo Girl

Sent by kevin | 11:15 AM | 2-1-2008

I wish I would have seen this post sooner! The band that immediately comes to mind as "my own" is Lookwell. They were actually a huge reason that I started my little record label, eskimo kiss, seven years ago (and I swear this isn't shameless self promo). Their little 5-song CD is still one of my favorite collections of songs ever.

They since broke up but the main songwriter Chris Jackson is now making music in a new band called Citified. But you can still hear some Lookwell here:, one of their best tracks "The Ghost in the Courthouse."

As for someone more recent, I've been singing the praises of Richmond, VA's David Shultz since I received his record "Sinner's Gold" early last year. Some of the finest songwriting I've heard in quite some time.

Sent by Kim | 11:51 AM | 2-1-2008

"My band" is unquestionably Steppin' In It. They are a band from Lansing, Michigan that this displaced Michigander discovered while living and working in Portsmouth, NH. They were playing a live set for the local low-power FM radio station, which was just down the hall from my workshop, and upon hearing their music, I ran down the hall to meet the band in person and get directions to their show that night. They are a multi-instrumental band that plays a range of folksy tunes that harken back to the songs of the 1930's and 40's. They have three "solo" CDs and one recording with singer Rachael Davis under the band name Shout Sister Shout! That particular album is probably my favorite - a number of jazz standards that are brought to life by Rachael's voice and the instrumental efforts of the boys in the band. I would recommend them and any of their albums to anyone. It is music that is at times painfully sad, and at other times reminds you that life should be lived joyfully. My favorite track is "Plenty" from Children Take Your Shoes Off.

They have songs posted on both their website and their myspace page.

Sent by Jonathan French | 1:07 PM | 2-1-2008

Bob et al.

Loved this show (it downloaded today)
couple of notes
1)Many of the Artists on today's show can be found at eMusic
(Blanche, K'naan and many others)
2)If the listener who suggested K'naan is still old skool and using CDs he can get it in the U.S. from the label "Track and Field Inc / CD Baby"(Which probably means he can order it from CD Baby).
Just a note on K'naan that I posted to eMusic "Wow!!! Now I remember why I download the hundreds of hours of random music from All Songs considered, there are sooo many hidden Gems waiting to be heard. . . AWESOME FIND!!!"

thanks for this Josh

Sent by Josh | 2:27 PM | 2-1-2008

Tim McDonald is an Arizona songwriter that I listen to who I don't think anybody else knows about. Here's a link to the myspace page for his band Broken Poets:

I only wish I wasn't such a lackluster fan. I haven't been out to a show in ages. :(

Sent by John Tynan | 3:44 PM | 2-1-2008

Dropkick, an alt-country pop group from Scotland. Best lyric ever: "How can I take you seriously when your ass looks nicer than your face?"

Sent by Afton | 5:15 PM | 2-1-2008

I agree with Gear??id O'Sullivan above - Carol Keogh, Plague Mankeys. Excellent - why aren't they famous? Iolarwood, Dublin

Sent by Iolarwood | 5:30 PM | 2-1-2008

Bob - I listen to your show via podcast and I am now as addicted to it show the way that I am to Vin Scelsa's 'Idiots Delight' It's through shows like yours and his that I can break away from mainstream radio and, at the same time, get to listen to new music. It was through Scelsa's show that I "discovered" Bobby Bandiera about 10 years ago. He's got a Roy Orbison like voice and is an incredible guitar player (I'm not ashamed to say I get goose bumps when wails away on a blues tune). He seems to be way too modest to plug himself; so he gets virtually no airplay. Info on him can be found at:
and a few songs at:

Keep the new music artists coming!

I have some listening to do. Thanks!

Sent by Liam | 7:57 PM | 2-1-2008

You gotta do another one of these shows. Great idea! The first suggestion I have is a band from Boulder, Colorado called The Autumn Film.
We've done a couple shows with them and they're fantastic live. Tracks to listen to... Enough, Because we are, Safe and Sound.
The second suggestion really needs to be experienced live. Tom Conlon ( travels around the country doing primarily house shows. Tom is one of those people that is completely real and transparent. When you get to see him in a small venue its like time stops. Keep the tunes coming!

will do and thanks

Sent by Tim | 8:15 PM | 2-1-2008

I was traveling on business in San Francisco a while ago and happened into a local performance art gallery one evening after work. There were several bands playing, one of which was Two Seconds. They were two girls, both still in high school, I believe. One played drums and one played guitar and sang (no bass or any other instruments). As a fellow musician, I was totally struck by their energy, which was brilliantly captured on their debut CD, "To Pass The Time". They have since released a second CD, "Until We're Legal", which also had great playing, recorded in a way that really captures their spirit and exuberance.

I can't wait until their next CD!

NPR, thanks for giving new artists the chance to be heard nationally, even when they're still just starting out. We are listening!


Sent by Eric Shelley | 8:17 PM | 2-1-2008

David Garza is an Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire. Since the late 80s, he has been creating inventive music of eclectic flavors. He has released albums over the years that reflect a heavy 70s rock n roll vibe, and others that call to mind the border music of Texas.. not to mention the quiet acoustic lullabies or the strange instrumental numbers...

Though he released a few albums on a major label in the late 90s, David Garza amazingly has sustained a career on self-releasing his music - before self-releasing was cool. Heck, DG was doing amazing things with a four-track before the advent of digital recording! (Listen to "Four Track Manifesto" for evidence of this.)

To say that David Garza's music has meant more to me than that of any other living artist would be an understatement. For the last 15 years, despite the varied genres he has explored, David Garza's music has continued to resonate with and inspire me in a way words cannot describe.

To dive head first into his music - a journey that will leave you feeling inspired about one human can do - I highly recommend his four-disc box set called "A Strange Mess of Flowers". If you want just one disc, I suggest "Kingdom Come & Go" (if you can find it).

Otherwise, click here for a little taste:

I've got a lot of listening to do!

Sent by Tamryn | 8:32 PM | 2-1-2008

Hi Bob,

What a great topic! My first relatively unknown musician is John Hiatt. Most people have heard his music because so many of his songs have been covered by well known artists, such as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, BB King, or Bonnie Raitt. In fact I first heard him during an interview he did on NPR. In the studio for that interview, he had only his guitar and a band member with a box or something to drum on. Hiatt and his ill-equipped friend made big, beautiful sound together and I was hooked. I've got everything he ever did and I've seen him live three times.

The second artist that I'd like to add to this list is Neko Case. I discovered here at during a bout of severe insomnia earlier this year. For me, she has the voice of an angel, yet with such depth and power that she ranks as the finest female vocalist alive today. I found her music and lyrics to be truly new and apart from mainstream, blazing new ground. I burned four of her songs from the internet onto a CD, jumped in the car at 3:00 a.m. and drove around for three hours blasting these tunes until the sun came up. I went to the first music store I could find and bought all the Neko Case they had in stock. She's amazing.

thanks, you can find an entire concert on our live concert podcast. We sure do love her.


Sent by Chris in San Diego | 11:46 PM | 2-1-2008

Here's a story that was nearly two years in the making....

I chanced upon an mp3 by a band called Morglbl. Here was the sound I had always wanted to hear before I knew it, but what little I could find on the web was all in French...and useless to me.

A year passed, then my sister visited. Remembering she had taken high school French I asked her to help me in my search for Morglbl. We googled, she interpreted, a few words of which were fed back, and viola! The name of Christophe Godin appeared as the driving force of the band.

I contacted his label in France to order everything he had recorded but was informed there would be a 30 day wait for a new pressing. What the heck. I'd waited a year, what's another month? Two weeks later four autographed CD's arrived in my mailbox! My sister had also contacted the French label and told them specifically NOT to sell to me! She wanted to buy them as a gift. The label put her in touch directly with Godin who was pleased to have his first American fans, and so gladly autographed the CD's. But through the relationship she had struck up, Godin invited us both to be his guests at the NAMM show in LA last year where he would be performing as the official endorsee for Laney amplifiers. This was his first time in the US and he couldn't have been a nicer guy. After 3 days of watching him play and getting to know each other, my sister and I, having no connection to the music business whatsoever, knew we had to do something to help Godin gain an audience in America.

Last summer we arranged for the band to play for 3 weeks in the Carolinas where audiences were very enthusiastic. Morglbl released their new album, Grotesk, their first American release, last October and are due to return this summer.

What motivated us to do all this? It's all about the music. Samples can be heard at

can't wait to hear this! thanks

Sent by Rodney Cord | 11:51 PM | 2-1-2008

Funny because I was realizing lately that (with a lot of help) I had made an album that is secretly one of my favorite albums.

Sent by Racecar | 8:07 AM | 2-2-2008

My band is called "Public Property". They are a reggae band out of Iowa City, Iowa. For those of you haven't chuckled aloud and completely dismissed them because of where they are from, take a listen. They are energetic, fun, celebratory and sometimes angry. Here's the link:

Still with me?'s a brief description taken from their site. This band needs to been seen LIVE to get the full effect.

After three albums, 4 years, and hundreds of gigs, Public Property has established itself as one of America's top touring reggae bands. Started in 2003 by the Hawaii born and bred frontman Dave Bess, the band seamlessly jumps from roots reggae to gospel reggae, ska to hip-hop infused funk, to rock and back to reggae, all the while keepin' the dance floor hot and the booties shakin'. Add female vocalists, a ukulele, and a controversial and urgent message, it's no wonder this band has risen so quickly in the U.S. reggae and jam scenes as one of the top nationally touring reggae acts.

Sent by Dave Roan | 12:28 PM | 2-2-2008

The band I call my own is J Roddy Walston and The Business this is the best cd to have in your car and there one of the best live shows in Baltimore

Sent by kelly | 1:19 PM | 2-2-2008

Not really a "band" (as most people understand the word) but an ensemble dedicated to preservation and innovation of Balinese performing arts: Cudamani. They recently finished a multi-city North American tour.

They are in the forefront of preserving classical forms of Balinese music and dance. At the same time, their Gamelan Semaradana (7-tone) instruments make up a seemingly limitless tonal pallet for innovative compositions. Furthermore, they do not play for tourist dollars; instead, their performances are dedicated to "ngayah", or devotional service, to their village temples and other devotional obligations. I've had the fortunate opportunity to play and study with this group of highly accomplished and talented artists. This is a group not to be missed or overlooked!

The music from their latest tour:

Sent by Ed | 2:23 PM | 2-2-2008

Also, a nice video of Cudamani performing:

But, of course, they're best seen live...

Sent by Ed | 2:35 PM | 2-2-2008

I am very excited to investigate many of the bands listed already... But, of course, I have my own. The Damnwells, out of Brooklyn.

Sent by Rachel | 3:50 PM | 2-2-2008

Thanks Bob

What a great idea for a show. I love hearing all these new-to-me artists.

No need for me to think twice.
My choice would be Martyn Joseph who is famed in the UK he's Welsh and has a large following in Canada but who remains undeservedly obscure here in the US.

I stumbled upon an interview of him online some five or six years ago listened to a few clips and sent away to Wales for his "Best of" CD set. I was hooked immediately by the depth insight and passion of his songs and his amazing voice and guitar work.

But it wasn't until I saw him live that I walked down the aisle and accepted him into my heart as my personal singer and songwriter. He is incredible live and incidentally is touring the US this month, so catch him while you can.

He's put out three studio albums since I discovered his work and he just keeps getting better. No other artist has spoken to my inward being quite like this guy. I hate to use the word "inspirational" but dammit I must!

There's plenty to listen to on his website and myspace accounts

but nothing quite captures the feeling of his live shows.

Here's one of many youtube videos of him.


and thank you Nancy, I've got a lot of listening to do

Sent by Nancy Vitavec | 7:32 PM | 2-2-2008

Neutral Milk Hotel. Maybe not obscure enough for the NPR crowd, I guess, which is why it probably hasn't been posted yet. Well, for those of y'all not in the know, _In the Aeroplane Over the Sea_ is the most beautiful album in the world. The End

amazing record. Robin HIlton turned me on to it when he started working for ASC. but good to put it here

Sent by J.V. Grabowski | 8:19 PM | 2-2-2008

She's not really a band, but singer-songwriter Ani Difranco. Though many have heard of her, not many have really listened to her. Her uniqueness stems, not from her guitar playing, which inspired me to learn the guitar, but it primarily stems from her lyrics. Not many songwriters put their soul into their lyrics, leaving them feeling vulnerable when sharing it with others. It is both this vulnerabilty and boldness in her lyrics that attract many to her. Ani's music is an acquired taste, but worth the effort to listen to.

Sent by Tiffany | 11:04 PM | 2-2-2008

The Faith Healers my man!!!

I can't find an mp3, so that must make them ultra cool.

Here's the amazon link

Sent by P. Skunk Willy | 2:26 AM | 2-3-2008

There's tons of talent here down under that id like to tell the world about. However one standout; Sarah Blasko. When i first heard her sing a cover of a classic 80's Aussie Ballad, called Flame Trees it brought back memories of the first time I heard Chrissie Hynde's sultry voice singing Brass in Pocket.
Sarah has a lot of her own stuff but a great way to introduce yourself to her awesome voice is to listen to her cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Crowded House' Dont Dream it's over.

BTW - Bob I have to thank you for introducing me to Mark Vidler - GoHomeProductions - it's really cool stuff and love seeing friends reaction to his stuff.

Love your show.

Cheers from Sydney

Sent by Manny | 9:27 AM | 2-3-2008

Hey Bob,
Thanks for the show - it was good to listen to a few bands I hadn't heard yet. The other day I made my way to see Tulsa, the band I recommended above ("Mass" is a great track), and the opening band blew me away. A combination of The Sparks and Marc Bolan, the band Bryan Scary & the Shredding Tears is one I'm trying to get people to hear:

I love Sparks, can't wait to hear this one

Sent by Pablo | 2:20 PM | 2-3-2008

Great idea for your blog! Here's my little secret chestnut:

Sent by Crom | 9:36 AM | 2-4-2008

I was searching through a recent online magazine music contest and came across a bevy of unheard bands, namely one guy, RED 5 who seems to be composing and producing neo-soulish women singers over a very still waters run deep backbeat (is such a thing possible?!). It's smart and sexy and when I heard the recent buzzword of "genre-bending", I knew Red 5 was ready to be discovered. I especially love the "kill a man" sample. Find Red 5 for yourself at

Sent by Jess Z. | 12:07 PM | 2-4-2008

Jared Wright and the guys from The Red Swill in Macon, Georgia get my vote as the best up and coming folk band. (Jared also wins the best beard award!)

Sent by Linda Bramhall | 1:01 PM | 2-4-2008


Great article, love the show!!

The band i am loving these days is Hotel45!! A great band from chicago.

keep up the great work bob!!

thank you

Sent by Steve | 1:22 PM | 2-4-2008

I love this idea. I love this episode of the show. I wish that I had your job sometimes so that people would just throw music at me.

Sent by Mb | 1:32 PM | 2-4-2008

I have two also, a band and a solo artist:

1. How I Became the Bomb, from Murfreesboro, TN: More fun than you can shake a stick at. Catchy tunes, entertaining stage presence, the whole package. As with everyone else on this (amazing) list, I don't know why they aren't famous yet. Listen to "Killing Machine," but maybe not while you're at work because you'll find yourself dancing on your desk with your fists in the air.

2. Cory Branan, from Memphis, TN: Cory has had some national exposure (a Hot listing in Rolling Stone several years ago, which was cruelly rescinded this year) but still seems to be under the radar. This mystifies me. This man is a poet, the brave kind, with regular phrase turnings that will make you gasp. So many of today's popular artists don't write their own material, and still get heralded as Important Voices, and then there's guys like Cory who never quite seem to break through. It's a tragedy, really. Check out "Tall Green Grass," on his 2006 release Twelve Songs, and try not to swoon.

Sent by Delaney Gill | 2:12 PM | 2-4-2008

"Nashville can Rock...if you just let it" says the MySpace page of my fave musician MixMasterMandy and her band the Sellouts. This Music City band describes their sound as rock, pop and hippity hop. I'm always there when they play in Nashville.

Sent by Rose | 2:36 PM | 2-4-2008

Rachel's is one band I have always thought to be more than a little underrated. The first album of theirs I picked up was "Music for Egon Schiele", almost 10 years ago. Being a silly high school art club weirdo at the time (though now I am merely a 20-something version of the same), I bought their album song-unheard for the Schiele reference alone - and ended up loving everything about them.

From the intensity of emotion masterfully wrapped up in such minimal instrumentation (the quote from Arnold Schoenberg says it all) to the care with which the album was designed and constructed, I knew I had found something unique and unsurpassed in sincerity of heart. Nothing so much moves me as a soul laid bare in song.

While they may have been categorized to an extent as neo-classical, I feel they are more aptly described as fearless pioneers of sound. After that first album, I snatched up every one I could get my hot little hands on without hesitation, knowing that with it would come something that was as familiar to my soul as it was new to my ears. Theirs is a singularly genuine approach to music that has kept me enrapt throughout many a subgenre obsession (and hairstyle).

Sent by julia | 2:56 PM | 2-4-2008

I've become an evangelist for Canadian indie music. I subscribed to the CBC Radio3 podcast 2 years ago and it changed my (musical) life. Though NPR has covered some Canadian bands (New Pornographers, Stars, Apostle Of Hustle) this barely scratches the surface. Besides the above mentioned K'naan, I have to recommend;
Jill Barber -For All Time
Joel Plaskett -Chinatown/For The Record
Royal Wood -A Mirror Without
Mother Mother -Neighbour
Corb Lund -Horse Soldier
The Dears -Ballad Of Human Kindness
The Weakerthans -Civil Twilight
King Cobb Steelie -Busy Bee

All of these artists can be found at;

And most are available at e-Music.

Also, one American artist that you must hear (live if possible) is Stuart Davis. Probably the best, most interesting singer/songwriter I've come across in my four decades on this planet.

Keep up the great podcast!

wow, I'm never going to sleep, thanks Zachery

Sent by Zachary | 5:33 PM | 2-4-2008

Hello. Tara Fuki are a pair of Czech female cellists/singers who have a haunting and soaring sound that permeates their music yet package this music with a minimalist sensibility. Here's a link to a couple of Youtube videos: and sells all of their recordings at a great price.

Sent by Graydon Yatabe | 8:25 PM | 2-4-2008

This is such a great idea. These guys get my nod.

Sent by Raistlin M. | 8:42 PM | 2-4-2008

I am absolutely taken with Mark Eitzel/American Music Club. Their music is dreamy and disturbing all at the same time. They are not a really obscure, they definitely have a following, but not overly known. AMC is making music now, after several years of pursuing other things. Meanwhile, Mark Eitzel continued making music since their split around '93. His lyrics speak to me in a very profound way. Do yourself a great favor and check him/them out.

Sent by Debra Love | 9:51 PM | 2-4-2008

Broken Social Scene may be better known, but I discover something new every time I listen to them. A collection of the best of the Toronto indie scene, their membership includes Feist, and members of the stars and Apostle of a Hustle. Their music surrounds, what with it's horn section and full cast of exotic instruments. They're like orchestral indie.

Lesser known, hailing from Portugal, are "Moe's Implosion"
and "Party On Feet" (A bit on the mellower side than their contemporaries moe's implosion)

Of course, who can forget The Breakfast (formerly the Psychedelic Breakfast)

Sent by Phinneaus | 10:12 PM | 2-4-2008

You all need to know Chanda Rule, This woman is phenomenal she mixes Negro spirituals, jazz, gospel, love and life into her music. I listened to her EVERY day while I was on a job that I hated and her music kept me going, I quit soon after!

Sent by Thysha M. Shabazz | 11:23 PM | 2-4-2008

I know this is over by weeks probably, but I just had to mention an incredible local band that is very unknown. They're called They Sang As They Slew, and hail from a small town called Toccoa, GA, just an hour north of the great Athens, GA.

there is nothing over about this is all about telling others about bands you love, so thanks for doing that.

Sent by Tim | 6:06 AM | 2-5-2008

Jets to Brazil is my favoritest band ever. The ways these guys write is mind-blowing. They aren't around anymore, and I missed my one chance to see them six or seven years back...I can't even really describe their music except to say that it is punkish and can be a bit harsh, but there's so much "there" there. I listen to them when I am cranky or psyched or sad...and you just don't get tired of it.

Blake Schwarzenbach, the lead guitarist and singer, was the frontman of San Francisco punk band Jawbreaker. He is a total wizkid with words, and, last I heard, he is is working on a Lit PhD. In music, this band is as close to perfection as I have found.

Sent by Megan | 11:06 AM | 2-5-2008

Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love - - recommended CD's Summershine (brit pop inspired) and Audible Sigh (Americana/Folk Rock)...most of Bill & VOL's work falls in the Americana/folk rock category (think Dylan/Neil Young/and an early 90's alt flavor). Bill hails from Athens Georgia and the REM scene. Thoughtful, sometimes heartbreaking lyrics and music. Much over-looked although noticed by some critics. Please check him out - he's also got a MySpace page with some free samples.

Sent by Chris | 11:14 AM | 2-5-2008

some friends from back home who've been playing in bands for years are about to release the debut of their latest incarnation, and its been a long time coming. They're called Allies, they're very driving and melodic, and touchingly sincere. check them out here:

changing gears a bit, another band i've been digging is called heliocentrics. they're from the uk and feature drummer malcolm cato, who's sampled often by dj shadow, madlib, yesterday's new quintet, etc. psych/funk sounds.

Sent by Mike | 11:24 AM | 2-5-2008

I wouldn't call them my own, but Greensboro's Dawn Chorus is a great indie rock band in the spirit of earlier Built to Spill. It's straight up indie rock to be sure, but without the disdain or complacency one might find unattractive.

Sent by Jeff | 12:40 PM | 2-5-2008

Atlanta musician, Lindsay Appel, has a more distinguished and developed sound than most people her age and genre.

Sent by John | 1:58 PM | 2-5-2008


A musician who has, for me, redefined what a live show can be is Martin Sexton. While not new or that obscure, his live shows are a revelation. He's one of those musicians who pours every ounce of his energy into the performance and makes it radiant. His voice is incredibly rich and expressive, the guitar is like an extension of his body (like it was for Hendrix) and he can shift among many musical styles. Go see him live, you'll be glad you did.

Sent by Matthew | 9:44 PM | 2-5-2008

I am so far behind on my podcasts, but here is my two cents. Great idea (and show), by the way.

I guess I can't consider Modest Mouse my own anymore, so I'll throw out the Great Lake Swimmers. I think you are missing some essential part of your soul (or self or whatever) if you don't like this band, because I just can't fathom that occurrence. Granted, on the outside, it's not necessarily what I would pick, but after someone gave me one album, I went and got the rest. Absolutely amazing stuff, stark and beautiful.

And I have to add that I just saw Portland's Hillstomp and, like someone above, bought the T-shirt, the whole deal. Again, not what I would probably choose, but they definitely show us what rock used to be about: suffering, sin, sex, and the Devil. Not to mention that the sound is great. Who could want more?

Thanks for the show!

Sent by Sarah | 4:55 PM | 2-6-2008

Let me introduce you to Krystle Warren and the Faculty. Granted, Krystle and her band are friends of mine. I'll get that out of the way before saying that she was just signed to Because Records (Justice, Klaxons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Manu Chao, Rodgrigo y Gabriela, etc etc etc), and they will be releasing an album that she and the band worked on for most of 2006 and some of 2007 at Electriclady Studios with producer Russell "The Dragon" Elevado (Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor, D'Angelo's Voodoo); he became interested in working with Krystle after hearing her EP Diary (also recorded at Electriclady).

Regardless of whether or not she's a friend, Krystle Warren has one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard, a sporadic and sprawling landscape of influences that can be succinctly heard in just one song creating her own influential sound, and intelligent and often heartwarming (or breaking) lyrics that aren't ever too bubble gum but never delve into overbearingly existential. I am certain that she'll gain some success, though I never know how much. She begins touring in Europe in March or April; Because wants to release the album there (September) before dropping it Stateside (January '09), but she'll be releasing another EP before then.

If you don't believe me, then just simply listen.
Here are the websites to visit: [though this is rarely updated]

And Diary is available on iTunes through Velour Records.

Sent by phil | 2:41 PM | 2-7-2008

Very cool podcast, and I'm sorry I couldn't put in my candidate for you earlier: P.E.E. (or Pee, depending on who you're talking to). This band released two brilliant records in the 90s, including "Now! More Charm and More Tender" and "The Roaring Mechanism." A great bit of mid 90s indie rock somewhere between Archers of Loaf and Heavy Vegetable. Features Andee Connors of A Minor Forest and J Church fame. "Now!" is a fast-paced but mesmorizing packed to the brim with ideas. Please check them out!!!

Sent by andrew | 10:10 PM | 2-7-2008

Priscilla Ahn has a unearthly angelic voice that will silence anyone who will listen. her songs "rain" and "lullaby" and stunning. give one of these a listen and I'm sure you will try and take responsibility for her as well...

and, she is as obscure as they come. i dare you to look her up.

Sent by Joel Barr | 10:28 PM | 2-7-2008

I discovered a Band called My Brothers Banned from Peekskill, NY:

The Banned produced one of the best first albums I've heard in a long time. It's as if the Jayhawks met up with the Byrds, REM and Son Volt and produced an offspring. I've burned their disc for everyone I know and tried to get them noticed, but they seem to be my best kept secret. PLEASE give these guys some much deserved airplay. You won't be sorry.

Sent by FrankCap | 12:22 AM | 2-8-2008

My band hails from Slovenia. Orlek combines great rock and accordion in one fell swoop.When I feel a bit manic I'll crank it up with a shot of slivovitz.
(Be sure to watch their video.)

Sent by Gregg Vershay | 7:17 AM | 2-8-2008

I think every college town has its acoustic band at any given point, possibly due to obscure laws put down by their founders that require such a thing. Gainesville, FL's Swayze deserve a higher pedestal though, in my humble opinion. For most of their run, they were just two acoustic guitars, a bass, and local producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Maines on trumpet, pedal steel, or banjo.

What elevated them to "my band" though was their harmonies, which were effortless yet impeccable, singing lyrics that never touched on the usual tropes of boy-meets-girl (nothing wrong with that, though). The songs were about religion, regret, love, and occasionally, Greek mythology.

You can listen to or download their whole catalog at < a href="">

I recommend "Capable" and "III" from the album A Shame Play.

Sent by Sam | 9:10 AM | 2-8-2008

Well, I don't have a band, however, I'm really getting into this band called the World/Inferno Friendship Society. They have a really mellow sound that defines them as different from most anything I've heard before. I have two cd's by them, both of which I'd reccomend to anyone who'd like to listen (Red-Eyed Soul and Addicted to Bad Ideas). I got word of them from a friend who saw them live opening up for Against Me! but I just thought I'd share with others about them.

Sent by Cory | 9:16 AM | 2-8-2008

I absolutely LOVE Saul Williams. This guy is a brilliant poet and the shining light of hip-hop. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't love him.

Sent by Xochitli Pineda | 9:49 AM | 2-8-2008

What a nice topic to end the week on. For me, it's the touches of local flavor that set artists apart during these days of homogenous and commercial music that floods our lives. Most people who have grown up in D.C. will tell you that it's the drums and slow beats in Go-Go music that makes it such a local favorite. With that in mind, it's my great pleasure to present to your audience Citizen Cope. Clarence Greenwood, a.k.a. Citizen Cope seemingly melds influences from coast to coast with his nuanced melodies, liquid smooth beats and double aught grit voice that penetrates the soul with successive epiphanies spanning the emotional spectrum. To me it's his debut self titled album "Citizen Cope" that is his greatest masterpiece that stands the ages. In particular, the songs "Let the drummer kick" and "Mistaken Identity" that stand out, however taken as a whole, this is a stellar album from start to finish. A quote from his webpage which puts sums up Citizen Cope best:

"This is Cope's gift: He takes snapshots of the world around him, and turns them into universal truths. He sets them to the simplest of melodies, and weds those in turn to the most soul-stirring grooves."

Give his debut album a spin, and you won't be disappointed. Thanks again, and have an excellent weekend!

Sent by Andrew L. Yi | 11:19 AM | 2-8-2008

A Band to Call Your Own III

The Books HAVE to be on there

A duet of cut and paste music and "Found Sound".

A must hear if you don't know what I'm talking about.

I promise you won't be disappointed.

The Lemon of Pink album is probably your best start, although I think Lost and Safe is the most profound lyrically.

Thanks for reading Bob:-D

Sent by C. Mike B. | 11:36 AM | 2-8-2008

One of my favourites is Joel Plaskett (and his Emergency Band) This guy has been on the Canadian music scene since the mid 90s, and over more than a decade has built a strong catalogue of music, growing critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. Plus, he is a very engaging performer and a ridiculously friendly and approachable guy. I have waited in line at packed music venues to see him sometimes, and other times he plays to almost no one in some dingy bar. Find out more about his music at

I also highly recommend seeing his show if he ever passes through your town or city, he always puts off a positive vibe and it always makes me smile to see someone so obviously enjoying what they do.

Sent by Steve C | 1:08 PM | 2-8-2008

England's legendary Cardiacs - 30 years on and there's still nobody else comes close to this wonderfully unique, almost completely unknown band. I'm not worried that too many folks will jump on this bandwagon - the typical response to hearing/seeing them for the first time is revulsion and embarassment, most can't get past the starting gate! But - try.
Check it out.
This band has changed my outlook on life - just when I thought Rock, and Pop music was up the creek. I regret not finding out about them sooner (like you do, when falling in love)
There's tons of stuff on YouTube, and more at their website
These are are some rehearsals from 2003, soon to be released on a dvd:
As Cold As Can Be in an English Sea
A "Humorous" Interlude - Jim's Shame:
Jibber and Twitch:

Sent by Steve Wilson | 1:45 PM | 2-8-2008

Thanks for turning me on to "Thrift Store Cowboys".

I have been a fan of the band "Over the Rhine" from Cincinnati, Ohio for awhile. I think all their albums are amazing.

Sent by Bob | 2:02 PM | 2-8-2008

Slowlands -- A band that was poised to do well in NYC, then suddenly disappeared into oblivion late in 2006. Check out Listen to "Calderone" and "Lighthouse"

The Diggs -- You may start hearing more about these fellows, with the release of their second release nigh. "Massachusetts" is their best song, should you be combing iTunes for a new rocker to get goosebumps to.

Sent by Todd | 2:47 PM | 2-8-2008

Bright Light Fever

Sent by HG | 3:10 PM | 2-8-2008

A prolific songwriter, joe purdy, who has managed to keep the major labels at bay and garnered a fair amount of fanfare and success all by his lonesome. his music threads from slow and wistful to an energetic folk soul sound...

I am curious how you might hear his sound.

the music

Sent by Beth | 4:56 PM | 2-8-2008

For years, mine was Deerhoof, but it looks like they've taken off.

Now I wave the please-listen-to banner for two bands: Moros Eros and Matt and Kim.

Moros Eros stole the show for me when I saw them open for Pretty Girls Make Graves' farewell tour stop in Baton Rouge in May. They've got a great sound, a solid blend of math rock and just plain old-fashioned headbanging hard rock, and frontman Zach Tipton's voice channels a more cryptic, psych-ward-unhinged Perry Farrell.

Songs of note: "Choices" and "I Saw the Devil Last Night."

Matt and Kim are adorable NYC punk-rock cousins of Mates of State, and they're probably the best house-party and small-venue live band of all time, simply because the fun they have on stage is so damned infectious. "Yeah Yeah" gets the most bang for the buck, from the simplest hook tied to the simplest chorus, but its the video for it that illustrates why I love them so damn much.

Sent by Garrett Guillotte | 9:02 PM | 2-8-2008

Hey, i listen to the music all the time. But your missing something.
I think you should play some Jeffrey Lewis (a good song might be his
recent song "If Life Exists"). He's from new york and is apart of the
Anti-Folk movement. you can visit his myspace or biography
that has some samples of his music. There are also plenty of great
bands that associate themselves with the anti-folk movement like
Turner Cody ("This Springtime"), Diane Cluck ("Easy To Be Around"),
Dufus ("Wee Ma Moo")... The list goes on. All in all, i think your
site should open up to some of this music because its pretty great.
Also, not much people know about these artists. Thanks.

Sent by Zak Fine | 2:20 AM | 2-9-2008

Hope I haven't missed the boat here but my new favourite thing is Wallis Bird ( - she's spirited, funny, musically inventive, and I love the website. Stand-outs for me: All for you and Country Bumpkin.

Sent by Laura Hudson | 8:19 AM | 2-9-2008

FIRST, all due aplause to old fogies that are open minded to new and progressive music. If only all of us can be so generous in our elder years. Thanks BOB and ROB!!!

I would like to share a band I fished from out of the pond. ALBERTA CROSS. Described as a coupling of The Shins and The White Stripes, this UK band shines in their self-released The Thief and the Heartbreaker. It's heartbreaking at only 7 songs, but each one is a perfect blend of folk, blues, and sling-your-soul-a-long rock. Just think Laurel Canyon circa 1969.

Guarenteed to make your day songs:
Lucy Rider
The Devil's All You Ever Had

Sent by Matthew Argalas | 12:20 PM | 2-9-2008

King Tut: Post-rock, gorgeous, and deserving attention!

Local band (from Bay Village OH near my hometown)

Please give them a listen!

Sent by Evy | 1:02 PM | 2-9-2008

I found an intense band out of nyc a couple years ago called R.U.O.K. they have an album called Arctic Warm it is on itunes. The entire album is a great listen, atomospheric layered rock with equaly powerful voacls and meaningfull lyrics. I hope everyone gives them a listen! thanks for this blog.

Sent by Bob Nerden | 2:15 PM | 2-9-2008

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

What a great Blog! I honestly thought I was alone in the world, by secretly loving this band with everything in me. It is strange how a band who is so small, can make me feel so much. As Michael Azerrad said, " [indie bands] just needed to believe in themselves and for a few others to believe in them, too. Please play "I am Warm and Powerful" so some more people can believe in them, too.

Sent by Emily Estes | 2:41 PM | 2-9-2008

Although there are many artists/groups that I would consider my 'secret finds', there's one that immediately leapt to my mind whom I'm still listening to (often!) after about 13 -14 years. Their name is The Muffs and they're from Southern California. I first heard them through a square music-mag called 'huH' and from then on i've been hooked. Nothing puts me in a better mood than cranking up a song from 1995's "Blonder and Blonder" or the song "I'm a Dick" from 'Happy Birthday to Me' ('97). As i'm not from the west coast (Athens, GA in fact), i've never seen them perform and I don't even know if they play shows anymore. Headed by vocalist/guitarist founder Kim Shattuck, bassist/back-up vocals/co-founder Ronnie Barnett, and drummer (ex-Redd Kross) Roy McDonald.

Kim Shattuck is a great guitarist with a phenomenal wail? (it almost needs its own word to describe it). No one i know has heard of them besides the few people i've turned on to their music.

Here's some addresses:

cheers and thanks Bob! for the show and great idea,
Chris Collins

Sent by Chris Collins | 5:35 PM | 2-9-2008

GIRL TALK. Simply the best mash-up artist there is. The album Night Ripper is a all-night love-sesh of rock to rap electric, eclectic, and eccentric. It's just like his live shows which are crazy non-stop mosh/grid pits on the stage and off the wall.

Sent by Anatole | 9:32 PM | 2-9-2008

I'm a little behind the curve seeing as how you've only done two shows, but the artist that immediately jumped to my mind is Melody Gardot. Her backstory makes her music that much more amazing - I can only hope this makes more people love her as much as I do!

Sent by Christy Panagakis | 10:01 PM | 2-9-2008

The Stereo Future are a Seattle band who make probably some of the best music in the scene -- and they're getting very, very little recognition (except in Japan, where they've gotten to tour with such acts as The Pillows and Noodles.) They're definitely one of my favorite bands, and I hope that you give them a listen and a chance here:
or, of course, on MySpace:

Sent by Sarah | 3:37 AM | 2-10-2008

My band is "The Kingdom" from my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Their album K1 seems to be getting some recognition in the States but I think they deserve alot more. Listen to "Higher". The whole album is great. It is a concept album about a motorcyle racer. Chucks voice may take some getting used to but give it time to grow on you, it's worth it! Their website is and they also have a myspace music page under the band name. Hope you enjoy it!!! PS I love your show!

Sent by Raven Lloyd | 4:09 AM | 2-10-2008

I'm sure most are familiar Wolf Parade.
Anyways, their "bassist" who did live shows with them is Dante Decaro, he has a record label based out of Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia called Kill Devil Hills and one of the bands on the record label is The Listening Party.
Their new album "Who Are We Missing?" is great, give them a listen. Try the song Boy Scouts Honor.

Sent by Marc V | 7:42 PM | 2-10-2008

I hope you do a Part III of this podcast because I think it's excellent.

The band I call my own? Anathallo. I saw this band on accident when they opened for The Format and played horns for them while they toured with them and I fell absolutely in love. Anything with flugel horn accompaniments, bells, guitars, drums and clapping is always music to my ears but this is different. I get goosebumps every time they start playing. They are the most humble musicians I have ever spoken to and are great to their fans. The last times I have seen them they have been the headliners and are so appreciative to people coming out to hear their music. They seem surprised every time.

Their new album should be coming out this year (funded by selling rights to their song for a NyQuil commerical) but if you end up playing something from their album "Floating World" I recommend "Hanasakajijii (four: a great wind, more ash)" or "Dokkoise House (with face covered). "Floating World" is a concept album based on a Japanese folktale and the story in the intricately designed booklet is almost as wonderful as their musical interpretation of it.

Sent by Leanne | 10:59 PM | 2-10-2008

Love your podcast.

My new favorite album comes from The Ruby Suns. Check 'em out here:

Sent by Sean Lynde | 11:39 AM | 2-11-2008

So sorry I'm getting here late, but the Brother Kite could be the best band you've never heard. Think shoegazers start listening to Beach Boys and Superdrag. Perfect!

Sent by Scott | 3:16 PM | 2-11-2008

Both parts of this series have been superb so far. Thanks Bob.
Let's hope it keeps going for a bit longer.

Jason Molina from Magnolia Electric Co, is a prolific song writer with a small cult like following.
His sad tragic stories of lost love can be heart wrenching sometimes.
With songs like "Hard To Love a Man" , "Leave the City", or "Hold on Magnolia" there's a great sense of lost, loneliness, sadness and hardships.
A bit like will Oldham, just not as poetic but with a waaaayyy better band.

Sent by dre | 5:00 PM | 2-11-2008

Spitz has been my one of my favorite bands for four years, and at no time was I every really able to share the affinity with more than one person. Spitz is a Japanese band thats been around for a while, and I was introduced to them through a Japanese student at my college. They're not too poppy and not too mellow, and their melodies are absolutely breathtaking. If you don't mind music that isn't in English, check them out. "Robinson" is my all time favorite.

Heres a PV for "Robinson":

Sent by Kori Michele | 5:40 PM | 2-11-2008

I have two favorite bands that I'm going to tell you about. I feel a deep connection with these bands for many reasons, but I'll just touch on a couple so this isn't too long (although I'm not making any promises).

I first heard the Australian band Silverchair in early 2005. (I know, I was only about 10 years late to the game.) Their song "Across the Night" from the 2002 album Diorama changed the way I listen to music and how I use it to enhance my life. I used this album as an escape during a very trying time in my life. In fact, Diorama (which means "world within a world") was written to provide an escape from the things that bring us down. I relate on a very personal level to singer/guitarist Daniel Johns' struggles over the past decade. Silverchair continues to amaze me and I can only hope that one day I will be able to see them live.

The Welsh band the Manic Street Preachers also have a place in my heart. I fell in love with their 1994 album The Holy Bible in 2005. Turbulent, angry, and lyrically masterful, the album shows off the band's abilities, even at such a young age. Their fourth album, Everything Must Go (which was released in 1996), shows their strength in the face of tragedy. And the Manics are still going strong today. Although I love their third and fourth albums the most, my favorite song is "Motorcycle Emptiness" from their first album, Generation Terrorists.

These two bands are my babies and I will continue to listen to and support them until the day they no longer make music.

Sent by Sarah | 8:34 PM | 2-11-2008

Never has a group moved me so much in so little time without words as Rachel's has. The music is indescribable. Experimental in nature, combining this with traditional instruments (violin, viola, cello, piano), I have never heard anything quite like them. Their latest album, Systems/Layers, I'm convinced, is an absolute masterpiece as well as their best album, with "Water from the Same Source" being my favourite track.
When I listen to their music, the hairs along my spine stand at attention while my mind slips into a warmer, more relaxed place. It's so wonderful, I only wish that more of my senses could indulge in such a pleasure. They are, without a doubt, my band.

Sent by jacqui | 12:07 AM | 2-12-2008

Daniel Watters is a wonderful young singer/songwriter. "The All Day Dreamer's LP" CD draws from a variety of music styles, combining indie pop, acoustic, and jazz sensibilities with profoundly poetic lyrics. One of my favorites is "Aqua Del Corazon".
He also has a new, not yet released, song posted on his website called "Sunshine". It's beautiful!

Sent by Dave | 11:27 AM | 2-12-2008

Bob, you really need to check out a band from the Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex in Texas. They are J.J. and the Rogues and are filling a genre seldom covered. Their website is please check them out

Sent by Alex | 12:57 PM | 2-12-2008

Matt Marque.

I all started on the forums of Matt posted his album "Nothing Personal" for free download and it just exploded. People set up a Pay-Pal account to donate money for his next album, others are burning it and sending it to their friends, some are even sending it to their contacts in the music/radio industry. This is a prime example of where music is headed in the near future. Matt is giving the album away for free at his web-site:

Along with a manifesto-type essay as to why this album is free, "It's yours. Do with it what you will. If you want to put it up on Bittorrent or Limewire or The Pirate Bay or whatever the kids use these days, you have my personal word that I think that's awesome. If you want to seed it to Usenet, or burn CDs of it only to throw them into the lake during the climax of a Wiccan ceremony as you pray to the four elves of the Magic Forest, be my guest."

But, the music is amazing. He has the voice that some might relate to Jack Johnson or Chris Martin, but his lyrics are humble, blue-collar, and accessible.

Sent by Dan | 1:30 PM | 2-12-2008

The Rum Diary, out of the bay area. I saw them open for Pinback years ago and they blew me away.

Their song "The Mothball Fleet" is a must listen, if only for the moment where the drums enter around the 5:30 mark.

Sent by David | 1:50 PM | 2-12-2008

The Great Lakes Swimmers song is so wonderfully sad and weep-worthy and beautiful. Thank you to the person who submitted it!

Sent by Eleven | 1:56 PM | 2-12-2008

Josh Woodward. And you can get all his music free - legally - off his website!

Sent by Hannah | 4:34 PM | 2-12-2008

I'll try to keep it quick. I'm digging these groups:

Mother Mother. They make catchy, quirky music that had me with the first note of their song "Touch Up." I believe a brother and sister share vocal duties. They're from Vancouver, BC, and I love them. Here's their myspace page:

Land of Talk. Their self-titled ep has been out for some time, but it's seven songs of kick-ass, rocking music. "Speak To Me Bones" totally brings me back to the riot grrl days of yesteryear. WWW:

Sent by meridith | 5:53 PM | 2-12-2008

My apologies for not sending this in much earlier. A band that is so great I don't understand why everyone hasn't heard of them already is The Features. Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, The Features have toured with the Kings of Leon. That's how I found out about them and while my interest in the Kings has faded, I have seen the Features Four times, three times as openers for headliners I didn't stick around to see. The Exhibit A album is wonderful and "The Idea of Growing Old" is sweet and the way I think all rock ballads should be. Other songs worth checking out are "Blow it Out" and "There's a Million Ways to Sing the Blues."

The band is currently trying to get signed by a label, but still playing around Nashville and releasing songs online. Their latest EP is great, with the standout being "Guillotine." Check out their MySpace page for more current things. This is a band you may get hooked on, too, and then look out because you will find yourself driving 400 miles to see an opening act.

Sent by Kate Westrich | 6:05 PM | 2-12-2008

Check out Appleton, Wisconsin's own Corey Chisel and the Wandering Sons. Corey is a cross between Modern Times Dylan and Change is Gonna Come Cooke, if you can believe it. He is backed by pros, including Miles Nielsen, son of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen, and Bun E Carlos sometimes plays with them (not to drop names, but to point out that this isn't my sister's boyfriend's band). They have one CD, Little Bird, 2006 (; good video at, and they've just been signed by RCA. They are playing in L.A. now, but when in town they still play at the local pizzeria. We're going to lose them, I'm sure, but take at look at them while they are still "our band."

Sent by Carol | 7:53 PM | 2-12-2008

Ugh, always late to the party!

I've been championing the band Soulwax for an eternity. They're a Belgian band that sounds instantly familiar, but seem to take rock music into small niches that add a freshness that only a mainland European band can bring. Check out their album cut of "Conversation Intercom" to get a taste of everything they bring to the table: samples, wit, and sustance. My favorite track from that album, Much Against Everyone's Advice, is the track "Saturday".

The band's last studio album "Any Minute Now" moved the rock more towards the electro, yet still maintains their deft approach to embracing and enlarging the concept of pop music. The crowd pleasers here: "Compute" and the title track. Also, if you have the time, check out their smarmy and slightly disturbing video for their "hit" song "E Talking".

The brothers that are the core of the band are even more in demand in their other incarnation: 2 Many DJs. They are undeniable mixmasters, creating mashups that are unmatchable, and remixes that find new life in songs we thought we were done with. Diplo ain't got nothin' on these guys. They're like artists with the turntables. Their remix of the Beastie Boys "Intergalactic" is a blast!

Thanks for the chance to evangelize!

Sent by Micheal Sanders | 11:30 PM | 2-12-2008

Emily Wells is brilliant. She's been described as "Nina Simone meets Bjork" and that's only the start. Her voice is interesting and different and beautiful, and the songs she writers are poetic and tuneful without ever been obnoxiously toe-tapping.

you will not be sorry.

A great track: Mt Washington, Dr Hubris and His Bottle of Turpintine

Sent by Sam | 12:27 AM | 2-13-2008

I am really impressed by some of the pop-infused alternative rock coming out of Canada these days. Of particular note are two bands that are currently working with Howard Redekopp of the New Pornographers: Mother Mother and Lotus Child. Mother Mother just makes listening to music fun; their lyrics and beat add a certain liveliness to the songs, allowing for a truly rare quality--spontaneity. Check out Touch Up, Legs Away and Verbatim"
Lotus Child has great instrumentation and rhythms that demand your attention. Take a look at Lids and Archaeologists:
Thanks guys, love your show.

Sent by Henry Silverman | 2:03 AM | 2-13-2008

I love the MAKE-UP, straight out of Washington D.C., they have the boogie and soul of Al Green with a huge splash of old garage rock for an amazing mixture that makes the ladies shake their hips and guys shake their fists! Love them always, life was made for fun and they have a beautiful gospel yeh-yeh. Please- you won't want to go through life without finding their amazing albums that breath through the vinyl.Personal favs are "Caught up in the Rapture" and "Is this Young Vulgarians..."

Sent by Julian Coronado | 10:22 AM | 2-13-2008

The band I lovingly call my own is The Mountain Firework Company, though they might object to me calling them my own. I'm sure they want to sell a few more records than that. I liken it to what you might listen to while floating down the Mississippi, drinking whiskey, just after you've been broken up with. Only, they're from England, so I suppose we'd be floating the Thames. Regardless, Gareth McGahan's vocals are really haunting, and the bands finger-picking style combined with the violin and double bass sound downright nice.

Sent by Casey | 12:03 PM | 2-13-2008

I'm pulling something out of the archives that perhaps people have never heard. Though not technically a band, I recommend Yorkshire folk-singer/balladeer, Jake Thackray. His songs tend to be somewhat bawdy with clever lyrical twists and guitar playing that echos French cabaret music. The song that I recommend is: "The Lodger"

Sent by Mike Parker | 1:58 PM | 2-13-2008

i know it's too late, but....
the devil makes three!!!!!!!!!!!!!
whiskey-folk-pirate music.
best band EVER

Sent by matty | 4:12 PM | 2-13-2008

The band I would drop out of college to follow on tour: RAILROAD EARTH.

Dear Bob,

I know I'm about six weeks late on this one, but I really love your show, and especially the full-length concert podcasts (Nickel Creek! Neko Case! Thank you!).

Railroad Earth is one of those bands I saw on a whim, and after about ten minutes they became my favorite band, ever. They are an indefinable mix of bluegrass, jam band, folk, country, traditional, Celtic and jazz influences. It's six guys out of the New Jersey area, and they tour just about all the time.

Honestly, I've never been disappointed by them, recorded or live. They just keep getting better and better! They have a great double live album out called "Elko", and a new studio coming out in June (no name yet!).

The lead guitarist and singer, Todd Sheaffer, is a fabulous, lyrical songwriter and between the six band members they play just about every instrument you can think of (including double sax and bouzouki).

Anyway, please give them a few minutes of your time if you can. This is a band well worth hearing and loving.


we too have enjoyed this band over the years, first in 2002 and I believe again in 2004.
toss their name into our search engine and you will hear what we've selected. I don't know what they've been up to lately, I'll have to find out. Thanks for the kind words.


Sent by Erica | 5:42 PM | 2-13-2008

It's hard to give up my local monopoly on A.A. Bondy and his album, "American Hearts." I recommend "There's A Reason," but I think that that any song will sell its warm, airy self.

Sent by Kyle Holter | 1:06 AM | 2-14-2008

A band I am proud to call my own, Angus & Julia Stone, is a young Australian Folk Rock group witch catchy and memorable lyrics.

Song: "The Beast"

Sent by Matt Clifton | 7:28 AM | 2-14-2008

I would highly recommend Hotel Lights from Brooklyn, NY and Chapel Hill, NC. The singer/songwriter is former Ben Folds Five drummer Darren Jessee and the band plays beautiful indie pop with some folk influences. Reminds me of Elliott Smith and Nada Surf.

Check them out via or

Greetings from Germany where I love to listen to your show, Lukas

Sent by Lukas | 8:31 AM | 2-14-2008

A band that is straight out of my home city Providence, RI, is Deer Tick. My friends and I saw them on a wing one night and we haven't stopped walking around singing their songs since.

I describe it as Southern Guitar Picking Rock with some type of irishness in there? Anyways, take a listen and I think you will really enjoy them.

Sent by Alex Carr | 2:18 PM | 2-14-2008

I passed on contributing here at first because most of the music I listen to is already very well-known. But I've just remembered one artist I discovered a while back and have recommended to nearly everyone I know. That is Micah P. Hinson.

What hooked me on his music was "She Don't Own Me," a song that sounds like it must be an old country-folk standard, but is wholly original. From the lonely banjo that opens it to the gorgeously soulful chorus, this tune had me obsessed from the first listen. Just listen to that one song and you'll see what I mean.

Sent by Kyle | 4:34 PM | 2-14-2008

For me, it's a band out of Columbus, OH called Two Cow Garage.

Their live show is one of the loudest beer-, cigarette- and adrenaline-fueled recklessness ever. Their albums show their influences (sometimes worn on the sleave) to be anything from Southern Rock to the Replacements. Can't stop listening to them!

Sent by Brutus | 5:24 PM | 2-14-2008

I just have to say that Bob, Robin and the rest of the NPR All Songs Considered staff have revitalized the music industry the way college radio stations did in the past. Bob, thank you for spotlighting the music that SHOULD be heard. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your show and how many bands you and your listeners have turned me on to - M Ward, David Garza, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, etc.

You remind me of the soldier who picks the flag back off the battleground and leads the rest of the wounded to victory. At our feet lay the dead top-20 radio stations, spinning their last Maroon 5 single as we voyage into the abyss of unheard delights. And as we do so, I cannot think of anyone I would want leading us other than you and your expert team.

I look forward to your show every week and find your end of the year ensemble recommendations an absolute joy.

So Bob, Robin and team thank you. Keep it up.


Captain Megalodon

thank you ever so kindly Captain.
all the best


Sent by Mitch Delaplane | 5:37 PM | 2-14-2008

I'm from Cincinnati and a band that caught my attention one night was a band called "The Frankl Project." One night after a local ska-fest they were the last band to play. They weren't typical and they had a sound and message all their own. Well, they've come a long way from their and I never tire of seeing them life. They evolve with each new song. From punk and ska to reggae, they always surprise me. They call it Punk with flavor but they flat out amaze me.

Sent by Ben Robinson | 6:11 PM | 2-14-2008

Do you guys find it strange that Thom Yorke's favorite bands are so different from what fans of Radiohead listen to? It's like finding out Mozart was really into holiday jingles and the banging of pots and pans. I guess he pulls from so many influences and has an ear for such odd sounds...did Radiohead and Sigur Ros perform together? Also, for all you In Rainbows fans, check this out:

Sent by Mitch Delaplane | 6:32 PM | 2-14-2008

When I was younger, my friends and I were completely awed by this Dallas-area band Lewis, who won the weekly paper's best new band of the year award when they first started getting noticed. They realeased a really great but not very well produced record, 'Progress and Regress' on a tiny local label, and then signed to Deep Elm and released a good and much better produced album, 'Even So', before breaking up a year later. Would recommend to fans of Sunny Day Real Estate, Radiohead, and early 90s British alternative.

Sent by Josh | 10:48 PM | 2-14-2008

One of the greatest rock bands I had the pleasure of seeing live in Austin, TX was the almighty ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT. A San Diego gambling rock band that didn't know how NOT to yell and let the noise destroy the entire cigarette and beer soaked club that night. With the furious roar of togetherness and melodic harmonies that glued my ears and eyes to the band's every tiny gesture, they had it. Matching uniforms and tattoos up the wazoo aided in their garage/punk style of shaking the brick walls that night with guitars and trumpets. It will forever be embedded in my memory as one of the best performances by a couple of guys ever. "On A Rope" is a classic, do yourself a favor and pick up "Scream, Dracula, Scream" their masterpiece full length that can still stand up straight while drunk at the same time. RFTC is defiantly for fans of Murder City Devils, Drive Like Jehu, and Alternative Rock/ Pop.

Sent by Julian Coronado | 12:21 AM | 2-15-2008

Icelandic music can put me in the most relaxing state-my eyes squishy, my feet floating, my mind calm and relaxed. Never has any band put me in such a trance as these sirens. I was the luckiest guy in the world to see MUM live in Austin. Being that the two female sister singers were beautiful classically trained musicians only added to the fantasy soundtrack of electronic bleaps I heard stumbling out of the amps, truly serene and ethereal. "Green Grass of Tunnel" is a song you need to hear. When both sisters sing simultaneously your knees will buckle I assure you. People who love soft warm music like Postal Service, Boards of Canada and Bjork will cozy up with these experimentalist musicians with no trouble at all.
Bob and Rob give this a listen to if you have the time. Hearing MUM's album "Finally We Are No One" is like eating a sweet dessert that's ice cold and sizzling all way down to your stomach-leaving you lovesick and craving more. Star studded night music that can let you feel love in all its heart hugging splendor.

Sent by Julian Coronado | 12:47 AM | 2-15-2008

Langhorne Slim is a brooklyn based artist who not only plays one of the best live shows but his music is always a great pick me up. somewhere between appalachian bluegrass and ny punk. truly original.

Sent by kyle | 10:38 AM | 2-15-2008

Band: MX-80, Album: "Out of the Tunnel" (1980). MX-80 is a band a friend introduced to me in high school in the early 80's. They were signed on Ralph Records, which was a record label that enlisted little known highly experimental bands such as the Residents, the Art Bears, Tuxedomoon, Fred Frith, and other twised but highly interesting bands. MX-80 was not quite as experimental as say the Residents, but their album Out of the Tunnel was and still is one of my most beloved rock albums of all time, still feels somewhat futuristic. A minor album that had a major impact on me. I know to most listeners, it still will be a little out there, but listen to the song "Someday You'll be King" and you might be hooked.

Sent by DK | 10:46 AM | 2-15-2008

Dear Bob,

Pencilgrass WAS and exuberiant, talented,free-form jazz trained,hip-pop, east-coast secret that toured only for a couple years before breaking up.(They graduated college)

There album "Bubblegum EP" can still be purchased and free shows are on but the only way to really feel the energy this band gave was to be on the dance floor.
For those of us from Florida to NY lucky enough to see them live, their enthusiastic performances and crowded dance floors were memorible moments that hopefully will be replaced by someone else. But as for now there is a deep void in music with the loss of Pencilgrass!
*maybe they'll read this and get back together...but i doubt it!

Sent by RadRobbmx | 11:16 AM | 2-15-2008

This may be an aberrant pick for all songs considered, but in the spirit of sharing I present one of my most indelible albums/artists:
"A Sphere in the Heart of Silence" by John Frusciante & Josh Klinghoffer
This album has this great intangible quality, that at the very base of feels "off the cuff, straight up" like home.

Sent by hobbes | 4:48 PM | 2-15-2008

There are two bands most people haven't heard of I'm loving right now. The first is Kill Hannah ( and Their genre is hard to classify; they combine alternative, glam, and more. I saw them at the Key Club in Los Angeles when I went to hear another band. As soon as they took the stage I knew I had a new favorite band. Their live show is creative and energetic, and the singer is very charismatic.

The other band is Folio. ( and They bring the 80's into today with Next Wave electro-rock. Their technical skills and musicianship is top notch. In the interest of disclosure, they've become friends of mine, but the love of the music came first. Then, I got to know them while attending all their shows.

Sent by Renee Cordrey | 11:51 PM | 2-15-2008

The album that I find I must keep to myself the most is Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume 1 by the Olivia Tremor Control.
This album is personal to me in that it is a true celebration of the miraculous and otherworldly existence of the concept of sound, which is the most underrated phenomenon on Earth.
The album takes the natural apathy of the sound wave and creates a solution that embraces you with a palette of emotion.
Sound is naturally as alive and entropic as a hydrogen atom. The album takes something that impersonal and pumps life right into it. The Olivia Tremor Control are the personification of sound.

Sent by Evan Isaac Staff | 1:53 AM | 2-17-2008

"The Dexateens came blasting out of Tuscaloosa, AL in 2004 with a self-titled debut of Southern-accented garage-punk. Last year's RED DUST RISING skillfully channelled the brothers Allman and Flying Burrito. Produced by ex-Sugar David Barbe and Drive By Truckers' Patterson Hood, this contemplative follow-up is another welcome development. Naked Ground and Neil Armstrong evince a stronger melodic sensibility: the former rides a glorious twang'n'roll groove, the latter is a country-pop gem about astronautical tribulations. Nadine plumbs a stark well of acoustic despair, while Makers Mound is a controlled blaze of Skynyrd worship.???

Manish Agarwal, Mojo Magazine (4 stars)

Great although unhearalded band outside o9f the Athens, GA music scene. Somewhat odd orbit since they are from Alabama but they are produced by Patterson Hood of the Drive By Truckers.

Bryan Blackwell

Dothan, AL

Sent by Bryan Blackwell | 5:10 PM | 2-17-2008

There is this awesome band from the Bay Area called Illusion Lounge (, they're like this crazy mix of funk, psychadhelic, blues, prog and classic rock n roll. I saw them live in Oakland in September and they pretty much blew my head off with their crazy live show, its like a non stop ball of energy or something, all I know is that I've been listening to them nonstop for months now, just figured other people should know about them since they've been working so hard to get noticed out here.

Check 'em out!

Sent by Kevin August | 6:50 AM | 2-18-2008

Southeast Engine hails from Athens, OH and they are a hidden gem. I discovered them when I began school at Ohio University in Athens. I feel like they are an amazing band and not that many people outside the region know of them. They remind me of early Wilco to some extent, and they are filled with talented musicians. Give em a listen if you have time.

Sent by drew | 10:14 AM | 2-18-2008

A band that I call my own is Seweed Jack. My brother heard this band live at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. he liked their live show so much that he bought their cd "The Captain" and brought it back for me. This cd rocks! The highlight of the album is definitely Open Face Crab Sandwich, but all of their songs are quality. They have recently released a new cd but I have not heard much from it. The highlight of the album is definitely Open Face Crab Sandwich.

Sent by mitch | 4:54 PM | 2-18-2008

Jackson County Line is our FAVORITE band consisting of five very talented musicians from Atlanta Georgia. With some band members playing multiple instruments they create a very distinct and eclectic sound. Their harmonies are a smooth blend which compliment this band???s one of a kind original sound. We first heard this band at Eddie???s Attic in Decatur GA on a night where there were four other acts. They clearly stood out from the rest, exciting us enough to continue to see and hear them every time they are playing the Atlanta area. We have even used a vacation day to attend a couple of their performances. We enjoy them so much we always take friends along and we have even sent their CD overseas to friends and family. Their first CD was awesome and they are in the process of putting together their second. Check Kevin, Matt,Tim,Steve and Cade out at and enjoy. You will not be disappointed !!
David & Marcia

Sent by David & Marcia Easton | 9:06 PM | 2-18-2008

I fell a bit behind in my podcast listening, so it was only recently that I heard A Band to Call Your Own parts 1 & 2. I was so happy to hear little known bands being championed by the fans who care so much about them. I'd like to introduce the world to a band from New Hampshire called Wild Light. I stumbled on them quite by accident at last year's CMJ Fest in New York, and I fell in love immediately. There's a special place in my heart for bands who can't stop smiling while they sing their hearts out whether in front of the mic or not. The band members switch instruments and alternate singing duties. I was so proud this Fall when Arcade Fire asked the band to open for them on their European tour. Brilliant!
Recommended: New Hampshire & New Year's Eve

Sent by Hannah | 9:50 PM | 2-18-2008

I must echo Robin's recommendation of Five Eight. I have been listening to them since "God Damn It Paul" first crossed my ears back in high school.

Thanks for trying to get others to recognize how perfect their rock songs really are.

Sent by Alex Ezell | 1:11 AM | 2-19-2008

I think you already did the show on this, but I feel like I owe it to Drew to tell you about his music. I started listening to Drew Danburry when my friend Dave left Drew's first two albums in his apartment in Idaho while he went for a summer-long internship in New York. I was sleeping on Dave's couch for a couple weeks while I took my last finals at school, and grabbed the cds so no one would throw them away while he was gone. On my drive back to California, I listened to them a lot and became a big fan. I can also tell you that Drew is a really nice guy because I emailed him to find out if he would tell me how to play two of his songs, and he wrote me a really nice email with the chords in it. I like his songs "I will only believe in true love if Micah marries Camille" "Tree on Wheels" and "Flip Flops, Sandals and Thongs" which are some of the more upbeat tracks. Also check out "It ends with red, violet, and orange" "bop bop a.k.a I'm pretty sure" and "it's illegal to frown in Pocatello"

you can find out more at:
and on Youtube

Sent by Sterling | 1:32 AM | 2-19-2008

I posted on this blog a month ago, but neglected to mention the CD I've listened to more than any other in the past few months. Earl Greyhound is a power trio from New York, and their most recent CD, called Soft Targets, is simply great. You can listen (and order it) here:

I don't know why this band isn't huge, but they should be. Classic power trio fans (Cream, Mountain, etc.) or anyone looking for some new rock won't be disappointed.

Sent by Gary | 11:39 AM | 2-19-2008

Joy Electric (Ronnie Martin)is my band. They have been putting out records since 1994. Joy Electric is pure analog monosynth pop computers, samplers, or drum machines. They have stuck to this singular vision of electronic music for 15 years. Styles and fads have come and gone in music, and Joy Electric have been operating outside of the trends to create the most unique sounds in electronic music.

My other band is Starflyer 59 (Jason Martin). Yes, SF59 and Joy Electric are brothers. SF59 is a guitar band and started in 1993 with dreamy shoegazer sound. Now, SF59 is just an indie band who write great songs in the way the New Order and the Smiths wrote great songs.

And finally, last year Jason and Ronnie Martin wrote an album together called The Brothers Martin. It is an equal mix of their two styles with both sharing the songwriting and singing duties. Brilliant album...every song is a single.

Sent by sam | 2:30 PM | 2-19-2008

Not sure if the All Songs Considered community has posted this link or not but it's definitely worth sharing. So many great artist playing in the streets of Paris...check out Elvis Perkins, Arcade Fire, Beirut, and many others...


Captain Megalodon

Sent by Captain Megalodon | 3:13 PM | 2-19-2008

I saw above that one of the side projects of Wolf Parade has already been mentioned. My band to call my own is Sunset Rubdown. The band started as a solo project for Spencer Krug, but has grown into a band that seems to tour as much or more than Wolf Parade. Swimming of the first full album Shut Up I'm Dreaming stands out as their best song in my mind.

I was really happy to hear you play K'naan in the first show, but I was surprised that you failed to mention he is now from Toronto.

Sent by Jim Clifford | 5:19 PM | 2-19-2008

Orpheum Bell is a wonderful band from Ann Arbor, Mi. Their self described "Country and Eastern" style provides one of the most intimate live shows around. To me, their album 'Pretty as You' is one of the stand outs of 2007. All the songs on the album are sold with 'Lucinda's Lament' and the title song 'Pretty As You' as some of the highlights.

Sent by Chris | 8:50 PM | 2-19-2008

Lots of bands running through my head right now. Space Needle was by far the biggest little band on my radar in the 90s, I wore out their Voyager album from the time I got my college radio advanced copy. The later The Moray Eels Eats the Space Needle was more college radio friendly, but also a great album. I'll stop myself from going on and on, but when you find this in the bargain bin, even if you own a copy, buy it and pass it on. Hidden gem!

Sent by tom in omaha | 12:13 PM | 2-20-2008

I first heard Van Wagner during a concert at my old high school, where he had recently been hired as a science teacher. My brother-in-law was still a student at the time, and it seems he and many of his classmates had fallen under the spell of this troubadour, who encouraged those who had an interest in his brand of folk music to take to the microphone or pick up a guitar. In the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Van writes songs that may seem hokey to some, but that are deeply rooted in the lore and locales of central Pennsylvania. And when he sings of logging or coal mining, he does so from first-hand experience. A masterful instrumentalist, he deftly blends the guitar, banjo, mandolin and harmonica and puts on amazing shows that are part concert, part history lesson, part philosophizing.

Sent by Tim Brixius | 4:41 PM | 2-20-2008

I've know this singer/song writer for years. Every band or genre he dedicates himself to he continues to impress me and all around him. Stuart Mclamb's newest project is a band called "the Love Language" and their out of Raleigh, NC. His powerful voice, meaningful lyrics, and unique rhythms should be heard by all. Even if he never gets to that big level he will continue to inspire. Even if its only his friends and people that happen to hear him.
Greycourt is my favorite but all are good even the demos.
Thanks for the chance to share this band!

Sent by Aaron Shoemaker | 1:39 PM | 2-21-2008

I recently moved to Raleigh, NC for work and was really impressed with the music scene. The band that blew me away was one of the first I saw in Raleigh: J Roddy Walston and the Business, out of Baltimore, MD. They tour a lot through the South East. I like a band that comes out, works hard, and wins over a crowd that may not want to be won over. This band goes the extra mile, and has that hostile crowd all dancing and raising their beer bottles. They are a riot! It's a band I can call my own, and not wonder if others will like them when I reccomend them. They sound like Jerry Lee Lewis mixed with Kings of Leon. Listen to their track, "Used to Did."

Sent by Zach Dunlap | 3:10 PM | 2-21-2008

Bob, I just returned from a Nicole Atkins and The Sea show in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The band was simply amazing. Her music is filled with the depth and passion we so desperately crave in our commercial, pre-packaged music culture. Here's the link to her music and I'd love to see you guys share a podcast of one of her shows. She's currently on tour (hint hint). or

thanks ..

Sent by Michael Vicente Perez | 12:24 PM | 2-22-2008

If I can still chime in with my $.04 on this, two bands out of Boston:
Fly Upright Kite is young & unsigned, with a heartfelt indie sound - and a violin!

The Push Stars are currently not touring or recording, but have made great music for years and might again together in the future. They've got clever lyrics, catchy tunes, and they just feel _better_ than any act I could compare them to.

Sent by Neil | 8:12 PM | 2-23-2008

A band that I have discovered recently, and barely anyone around me has heard, are Vancouver's The Fugitives. A good friend tipped me off to their combination of slam poetry and folk instrumentation. I have yet to see them live, but each listen to their songs produces some new revelation, and their beautiful lyrical acrobatics produce a yearning in me to see how they engage an audience. They definitely deserve some airtime, and I'm sad that I didn't make this post early enough to get a chance to get their album, In Streetlight Communion, on the air.

Sent by Roy | 8:51 PM | 2-25-2008

I know this is terribly late to respond but I wanted to add to this great list:
-the brakes ( takenobu (

Sent by anon | 9:04 PM | 2-26-2008

Wow, I thought I'd be posting about a band no one in the U.S. had caught on to yet - Parlour Steps from Vancouver. Yet I find, not only another post about them (above) but a song of theirs on the new Paste CD, and I heard them on the radio in Boston yesterday! I'd add to what Mason said above that this band is a rare combination of propulsive, angular indie rock and intelligent lyrics. I have yet to hear a lame track from them.

Sent by Justin Maws | 10:15 AM | 2-27-2008

HI! I was wondering if you could send me a complete list of A Band To Call Your Own I..PLEASE! I wrote them all down and was going to find their albums, but thru a series of unfortunate events, I lost the written list, and then it disappeared from the website. I am so sad about it!! Help would be greatly appreciated!

this is a great idea, but I don't have time to do this.
I assume you saw the shows we did

that's a start


Sent by Sara Markuson | 10:02 PM | 2-28-2008

There is a website dedicated to this concept of loving some obscure band and wanting to share it with your friends:
as in, laud the music that you hold dear.

Sent by Kevin Mathis | 10:01 AM | 2-29-2008

The album "Let My People Go" by an artist named Darondo. Very bizarre, in a good way. I heard his song "Didn't I" on an episode of AMC's Breaking Bad. What a soulful and subduing song. The album is a soul/funk mix that paints the artist Darondo as a cross between Al Green, Sly and the Family Stone, and Prince. It really is a rare find for myself that can placate any rabid nostalgic fan of soul/funk music.

Sent by Scott | 10:54 AM | 2-29-2008

For years, my band to call my own was Okkervil River...for some reason, none of my friends or acquaintances had ever heard of them, and while I would sling mixtapes at anyone who could stand to listen, I was always reluctant to include Okkervil for fear that someone wouldn't love them as much as I did. But their last two albums seem to have gotten them the praise and exposure they justly deserve, so I don't think they count here anymore (though keyboardist Johnathan Meiburg's band Shearwater is also spectacular and not widely known)

For the hardcore/post-punk set, a band that absolutely blows my mind every time i listen to them (which is often) is Bear vs. Shark. Such a talented group of musicians, such powerful and hysterically fun live shows, my friends and I went into mourning when they broke up in 2006, after just two superb albums. They are definitely worth a listen for anyone who likes it fast and loud, with some wonderful piano ballads thrown in, just to mix it up.

another band that deserves exposure is Atlanta's Summerbirds in the Cellar. I saw them open for Now Its Overhead (who probably could make a good case for this space as well). Listen to Lonely Sleepy Giant...a song that seems like it would be a surefire college rock radio hit if anyone bothered to play it.

Sent by Josh | 3:52 PM | 3-3-2008

Hi Bob, I believe that this band severley deserves a listen to, even if you don't put it on the show, i think you personally would really like them. Their name is Port O'Brien. I personally love them because they remind me of Neil Young, Kurt Cobain, with the energy of Arcade Fire all at once. I also have extreme admaration for Van, the singer/songwriter, who leaves every summer to fish in Alaska to make his living. The songs are sweet and heartbreaking, all tied together with the nautical themes and the feeling of getting farther and farther away from yourself and your friends. The background of the band is also great. here is their bio off of there website

"Port O'Brien began early in the year 2005, as a folk-ish duo of Van Pierszalowski and Cambria Goodwin. The two penned songs while Cambria lived in the tiny Californian coastal town she shares her name with and Van lived in an apartment in Oakland??which was about the size of his name. Shortly thereafter, Cambria moved to up to the Bay Area and within the next year, the project added a rhythm section, comprised of Caleb Nichols and Joshua Barnhart.

Every summer, Van works on his father's commercial salmon fishing boat, the Shawnee, on Kodiak Island in Alaska. The work is exhausting and the weather could be much better, but the contrast between the serenity of the wilderness and the rigorousness of the labor seem to cause quite a bit of musical inspiration. Meanwhile, on land and around the corner, Cambria also writes music while maintaining her position as the Head Baker at Larsen Bay. Her days can be even longer, and the work even more tiresome. After both write parts and lyrics separately, they fix them together when Van comes ashore. For the first time this summer, Caleb also joined the ranks at the cannery, and their cumulative effort while up in a latitude and longitude few of us may ever see resulted in the creation of the songs that comprise the band's first studio-recorded album "ALL WE COULD DO WAS SING." Because when you're working all day in the freezing cold, what the hell else are you going to do? "Stuck on a Boat" tells of the frustration related to being so close yet so far away.. Van stuck on a little fishing boat, while Cambria bakes across the bay??yet weeks go by without having a chance to go to port. "Fisherman's Son" speaks of the frustrating, yet contented thought of destiny. "Don't Take My Advice" captures the endless quest for settling, while remaining in awe of the entire world to explore. "In Vino Veritas" expresses the flurry of emotion caused by isolation, while emerged in substance.

The album was recorded in San Francisco, CA by two very talented engineers. Aaron Prellwitz recorded the band at the legendary Tiny Telephone Recording Studios, where he has also recorded Sun Kil Moon, the Mountain Goats, and Death Cab for Cutie. Jason Quever, of the band the Papercuts, recorded the other half of the songs at his Pan-American Recording Studios. Lush string arrangements, raw electric guitar, percussive banjo, pots + pans, a tight rhythm section, group chants and screaming provide the new album with a diverse, but cohesive feel.

In the summer of 2007, the band released a compilation of previously self-released songs titled The Wind and The Swell on American Dust Records. They've become a touring machine since the critically lauded M. Ward first named Port O'Brien his Favorite New Band on Pitchfork Media. They have been able to perform with several of their favorite artists; touring the United States with Rogue Wave, the West Coast with Bright Eyes, the Cave Singers, and Nada Surf; and England with Modest Mouse. Now, Port O'Brien is ready to take on the rest of the world, using the little island of Kodiak as a jumping off point."

After you have a listen to "I woke up today" you wont be able to get it out of your head. But then when you listen to the slow build up of "stuck on boat" it will remind you of the feeling of being so close to someone, and being so far away at the same time.

anyways, i really hope you like them, and great job with the show

*listen myspace page* -

*download on stereogum*

*video from youtube*

wow ! listening now. This is good, thanks so much.


Sent by Francisco Stoll | 3:23 AM | 3-4-2008

sorry, i forgot to add i was from Oakland as well

glad to hear you're enjoying them bob.

Sent by Francisco Stoll | 8:44 PM | 3-4-2008

I've recently fallen in love with a band from my home town of Provo. This six member group is energistically optimistic , youthful and exuberant musically and lyrically. Yet they retain an unmistakable undertone of pain and realism. Their harmony's and guitar solos are straight from the best of the 1970's pop-rock groups like Chigaco, Fleetwood Mac etc. I also love that they record all real instruments. All the horns and strings you hear on the record are actually being played. Anyway, take a gander.

Sent by EggMcNoggin | 12:28 PM | 3-6-2008

Born in the Flood (Denver, CO) will be at SXSW this week.

I highly, highly recommend trying to catch this band if you are in Austin, TX this week. Definitely a mature band just waiting to break-out, so give them a shot!

Listen to clips of their album and EP on iTunes as well!

Sent by Jeff Perkins | 3:01 PM | 3-7-2008

i would have posted earlier but it takes a long time to listen to all these bands!

I reccomend Bocephus King. Hard to describe but worth a listen or two

i'll try and listen while i pack!


Sent by phil | 6:50 PM | 3-8-2008

john ralston's music changes my life everytime i listen! "gone gone gone" and "secondhand lovers" are favorites.

Sent by desi | 7:02 PM | 3-11-2008

Why does it have to be a band? What if you aren't on the sameness 'band'wagon. What if you think 40 years of your father's oldsmobile is enough. This new century doesn't deserve 40 more years of mind numbing sameness where the only thing bands rebel against now is change. Blah - my favorite band is NOT a band.

Sent by Tom Hendricks | 10:18 PM | 3-15-2008

Elbow, from Manchester, England, is one of two bands that, I think, does everything perfectly (The other is Doves, but they're better known here in the U.S., so I'll pass on them for now.) Guy Garvey has the voice of an angel, seemingly whispering his come-hithers right into your ear. The band's arrangments are often jazz-tinged and pleasingly sparse, at least compared with so many of today's records.

Here's a nice comparison-contrast of one of my favorite love songs ever from Elbow's second album. The song is Fugitive Motel. The commercial video is here: And here is a two-person live version.

Sent by Anne-Marie | 10:47 PM | 3-16-2008

the band VAST is my band that nobody knows. The main guy (Jon Crosby) has made a lot of music but I have never met anyone who has heard of them. The band's name stands for Visual Audio Sensory Theater. His voice is so beautiful. I think one reason VAST has gone so unnoticed is becuase they did their best to avoid the record industry. They release their music for dl from their website for way cheap. (3 or 4 bucks for some albums) and then releases them on cd months later. And this is way way before it was all popular to do this. You could say that Radiohead copied them ;) enjoy

Sent by Evan Strouss | 4:33 PM | 3-21-2008

Hi Bob--I just HAVE to tell you about a band that I have been following for the last 7-8 years or so: Melvern Taylor and His Fabulous Meltones are one of the best un-discovered acts in New England! Really. You've just got to hear them. I'd classify them as "Uke-Pop-Noir": AMAZINGLY well-crafted songs, delivered in a wonderfully accomplished but still somehow rough, kinda desperate, tongue-in-cheek, "boozy" style. :) I discovered them when they opened for Slaid Cleaves in Portsmouth, back in 2000-01(?) and have been a fan ever since--I know all of their songs by heart, and knowing that they will be visiting my fair city can make my week!

Try--The Night We Met, Angel on My Shoulder, Love Songs for Losers (and they don't really have their best stuff up online, IMHO).

Thanks so much for the show--You have helped me to discover so much new music!

Sent by Lynne | 9:36 PM | 3-25-2008

this was horrible the worst thing i had ever seen !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps you can get in trouble this is not a joke

what are you referring to?

Sent by Sabrina | 8:36 PM | 4-14-2008

Yes. I have a favorite Band and it is, "***********".
By the way, within the entire series of asterisks, there might exist a space that signifies the band's name is composed of two words. I know my hint does not challenge difficulty, but whoever discovers this, will discover a portion of my soul within a moment of my time. Why do you think this band is my favorite? It is because of a girl.

Sent by Abbas Bazzi | 12:01 AM | 4-22-2008

Mollycuddle from Minnesota is no longer together, but their "Paved with Good Intentions" LP was easily the most stolen and burned CD in my collection during my bachelor days.

Addictive poppy hooks with great song craft.

I urge everyone to do your self a favor and check them out.

And please listen to "the Ballad of Jill Hennessy"

Sent by sean | 9:12 PM | 4-23-2008

I have to say this is my favorite podcast on the "All things Considered Show". I love to hear all the great bands that people hold dear. My band, as I call it, would have to be Schizopolitans. I was lucky enough to hear them play in a small bar in Reno, NV and they instantly won me over.


Sent by Candee Bell | 5:04 PM | 4-26-2008

I'll make this quick as i am currently at work. I was thinking about this blog post a couple of days ago and just a few minutes ago, as i listen to my iPod on shuffle, an artist started playing that i instantly thought should be given her due here. Her name is Lida Husik and she's from D.C. (her musik always made me think of the southwest desert for some reason). She writes, sings, plays guitar, keyboards, and more and she mesmerizes me every time i hear her musik. No one i've ever met has even heard of her and i only found out about her when i lucked out years ago at Tower Records deciding blindly to pick up her '95 album, 'Joyride'. One of my better spontaneous choices. She goes from rock, pop, sparse (but never really too sparse sounding) and richly layered to dance pieces (w/ electronic artist Beaumont Hannant). I am currently listening to her 1997 release 'Fly Stereophonic' -- my favorite.

Sent by Chris Collins | 3:25 PM | 6-12-2008