Author Archives: The Beat

Beat The Indie Drum – 2004-2011

About six months back I had a gut feeling that I would be drafting my concession speech for this music blogging website thing and, well, here I am. Lately it feels like I’m beating a dead horse instead of an indie drum, if you will. It’s not for lack of exceptional new music – there will never be a dearth of that – but it’s more about the pressures a blogger can put on oneself to constantly provide content that amounts to satisfying their (in this case, dying) readership. The blogging hierarchy and standards have changed the past few years for better or worse (who can really say?) but I can’t say that posting a pic or video with a few words beneath it constitutes much of what I set out to do originally. Granted, my inability to make BTID so much more is almost wholly predicated on the fact that there simply isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish everything I’d like to achieve. Recent promotions at my job and responsibilities associated with that have also led to less attention being paid to this website.

Another reason for my decision – I’ve been feverishly plowing through new releases, moving from one album to the next with little to no absorption of what the artist is trying to say or relay to its listener. In simpler terms, I’m not ‘experiencing’ music in any non-superficial way. When I was a pimple-ridden teenage just beginning to realize there was a whole uncovered world of music out there to digest I absorbed myself in the art of discovering new music via zines like The Big Takeover, CMJ or Melody Maker right on down to lesser-knowns Skyscraper, Shredding Paper and Jersey Beat. College radio was constantly in my earholes. I stayed up late on school nights to watch new episodes and reruns of 120 Minutes. When I bought an album that I loved it wouldn’t leave rotation for months! I would collect every bootleg from every single band I loved. The Internet hasn’t necessarily ruined all of these habits, it just made it incredibly easier to break away from them. Due to the endless supply of music I no longer make time to listen to records I’ve come to love over the years. I recently took one look at my best of lists from 2005 and 2009 and noticed I hadn’t listened to a ridiculous 90%+ of those albums since I declared them ‘essential’. Simon Reynolds touched upon this in his most recent (excellent) book Retromania, noting that this trend is now widespread and it will only get worse from the experiencing music POV. My goals are to not only revisit personal favorites but dig deep into the archives for classic albums and pioneering artists I chose to ignore over the years for whatever reason. I want, nay, need to spend more time cozying up to my record collection and less time downloading and tagging and sorting albums I will likely never hear. I want to narrow my blog reading down to a select group of established blogs who do bring much more to the table than most.

Those of you following along will know that I’ve recently started a record label (back to the Big School, y’all) and part of my decision to lay BTID to rest involves putting a great deal more effort into this label and promoting the artists I have committed to support. I’ve been wanting to start a record label since those pimply years mentioned above and I’m finally in a position (financially, mentally and knowledgeably) to not only start a label but help make it a successful adventure. This isn’t the end of my blogging days (for sure) – I will continue to post about musical musings, ephemera and random jazz over on my Tumblr. Mixtapes will still be assembled/curated but moreso on an irregular basis than anything else and possibly a little more on the themed side. I also expect to become a little more involved in other activities regarding music but consistent day-in-day-out blogging will not be one of them.

Lastly, I’d like to thank those of you who have stopped by over the years, offered support and helped spread the word. Many thanks to Stephen and friends for all the mix artwork, to Jon for the logo re-design, Mark & Elodie for contributing content, Eric for convincing me to fire this site up for the second time a few years ago, to the THOUSANDS of bands/artists who’ve inspired me to spend so much of my time dedicated to music and everything associated with it and to anyone else who has lent a hand or made suggestions over the 7-year course of BTID. Hopefully I’ve been able to introduce you to new music you might not have heard otherwise. The website will remain live as there is a ton of reference and resources for anyone who happens to stumble on the site. Years of reviews, Monday mixes, the BTID netlabel releases and like, OMG, have you noticed there are almost 90 mixtapes shared on the site! That’s enough music to occupy you for 3 weeks straight. So, go follow me on the Tumblr (or any of these here places) and please help support and spread the word about Big School Records – I’m gonna need you.


Filed under Commentary, Updates

Special Monday Morning Tape – #120

Still Cornersinto the trees
(taken from their 2011 release Creatures Of An Hour)
The Revelingleft at forkright
(taken from their 2011 release Black Numbers)
The Wiggly Tendrilsthe actuary’s tale
(taken from their 2011 release Sad Songs For Cell Phones)
Marco Panellathe aquifer
(taken from his 2011 release In The Age Of Batteries)
The Trophy Firemodern hearts
(taken from their 2011 release Modern Hearts)
Chris Letcherphone booth
(taken from his 2011 release Spectroscope)
A Classic Educationforever boy
(taken from their 2011 release Call It Blazing)
Way Yesautomail
(taken from their 2011 release Oranjudio)
Orchestra Of Sphereshypercube
(taken from their 2011 release Nonagonic Now)
Wooden Wand & The Briarwood Virginsbig mouth usa
(taken from their 2011 release Briarwood)
SWAPSpair bonds
(taken from their 2011 release SWAPS EP)
Mandolin Orangehaste make
(taken from their 2011 release Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger)

The LeafsSpace Elevator

The DeloreansDandelion

Small Brown BikeOn Repeat


Filed under Special Monday Morning Tape

{MIXTAPE} September 2011


Original artwork by Yolagringo

Disc One

1. Eww Yaboomake it fast
(taken from their 2011 release Yeah What? 7-inch)
2. The Wiggly Tendrilsbeat the indie drum theme song
(recorded upon BTID request!)
3. I Break Horses wired
(taken from their 2011 release Hearts)
4. Something Fierce afghani sands
(taken from their 2011 release Don’t Be So Cruel)
5. Oregon Bike Trails cayucas
(taken from his 2011 release High School Lover 7-inch)
6. Christine Owman the agreement
(taken from her 2011 release Throwing Knives)
7. The Weather Station everything i saw
(taken from her 2011 release All Of It Was Mine)
8. Y La Bamba fasting in san francisco
(taken from their 2010 release Lupon)
9. The Drums money
(taken from their 2011 release Portamento)
10. The Japanese War Effort summer sun skateboard
(taken from his 2011 release Surrender To Summer EP)
11. CSLSX keep on shining
(released as a digital single only)
12. Barn Owl turiya
(taken from their 2011 release Lost In The Glare)
13. Don Caballero haven’t lived afro pop
(taken from their 2000 release American Don)
14. Nursesfever dreams
(taken from their 2011 release Dracula)
15. Kitchen Table, Illinois don’t come back
(taken from their 2010 release West 67th Street EP)
16. Shirley Wahls because i love you
(taken from her 1967 release Because I Love You/I Don’t Know 7-inch)
17. Beirut the rip tide
(taken from their 2011 release The Rip Tide)
18. The Gifted Children the short sugar
(taken from their 2011 release The Portable Sun EP)
19. Treefight For Sunlight facing the sun (video)
(taken from their 2011 release Treefight For Sunlight)
20. Wugazighetto afterthought
(taken from the 2011 release 13 Chambers)
21. You Won’ttelevision
(taken from their 2011 release Skeptic Goodbye)
22. Palpitationin five years
(taken from their 2011 release I’m Absent, You’re Faraway)
23. COOLRUNNINGSthunderbirds
(taken from their 2011 release Dracula Is Only The Beginning)
24. Art Imperialbugs out of my mind
(taken from their 2011 release Surf Suburban EP)
25. The Deloreansintermission: thanks, y’all!
(taken from their 2011 release American Craze) (143MB)

Disc Two

1. Niki & The Dovethe fox
(taken from their 2011 release The Fox EP)
2. Civil Civic street trap
(taken from their 2011 release Lamington Drive)
3. Swans power and sacrifice
(taken from their 1991 release White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity)
4. Firs of Preywhat you say
(taken from the 2011 compilation Well, I Don’t See Why Not Vol. 3)
5. Chad Valley fast challenges
(taken from his 2011 release Equatorial Ultravox EP)
6. Kitchen Table, Illinoisking of the county
(taken from their 2011 release Possum In The Henhouse)
7. Blessed Feathers stinging nettle, honeysuckle
(taken from their 2011 release From The Mouths Of The Middle Class)
8. Shuteye Unison century m
(taken from their 2010 release Our Future Selves)
9. Guided By Voices big school
(taken from their 1993 release Static Airplane Jive EP)
10. The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library civil engineering
(taken from their 2011 release Volume One)
11. Shrag rabbit kids
(taken from their 2010 release Life! Death! Prizes!)
12. Oscar + Martinmy blood
(taken from their 2011 release For You)
13. Deirdre & Conor saturnday
(taken from the 2011 split release Capitol Limited EP)
14. Don Cavalli new hollywood babylon
(taken from his 2007 release Cryland)
15. The Tree Peoplethomas
(taken from their 1984 release Human Voices)
16. You Can’t Win, Charlie Brownover the sun, under the water
(taken from their 2011 release Chromatic)
17. Celebration shelter
(taken from their 2011 release Hello Paradise)
18. Lou Barlowgame of pricks
(taken from the 2011 compilation Sing For Your Meat: A Tribute To Guided By Voices)
19. Marmoset peace in the valley
(taken from their 1999 release Today It’s You)
20. Joasihnointerlude ii
(taken from his 2011 release You Say: Oh Well)
21. The Hidden Camerasboys of melody
(taken from their 2003 release The Smell Of Our Own)
22. The Townhousesasleep
(taken from their 2010 release Islands)
23. Nick Jainaawake when i’m sleeping
(taken from his 2011 release The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone)
24. Silver Tonguesblack kite
(taken from their 2011 release Black Kite)
25. The Gifted Childrenparenthetical nashville blues
(taken from their 2011 release The Portable Sun EP) (162MB)


Filed under Mixtapes, The Best Things In Life Are Free, The Super Mega BTID Hype-o-tronic Capacitor

FreeMP3 Update – September 2011

A couple times Once a month I intend to post a list of notable artists who have kindly offered their music to us for the low, low price of free (or willing donation). Although I don’t have nearly the amount of time to listen to everything given away here, I can assure you that I have at least sampled a few tracks from each to insure the integrity of the list. All artists links will be added to the mpFree list over in the sidebar for future reference with no guarantee that the music will still be available. Additionally, if you’re reading this and creating music that you’d like to pass along free to anyone willing to hear it please contact me and I’ll add you to the list. It’s very likely I won’t have the time to review your music but I can certainly point others towards it.

*highly recommended

The Japanese War Effort*
Baskin’s Wish
Something Meaningful*
Revolution, I Love You*
Terracotta Blue
VA – MCML – A No Words 1950s Reel
Skeleton Zoo
Adios Amigo
Ghost Bunny
Finding Fiction
Neigher, Debbie
Go Round, The
New Shouts
Guadalupe Plata
Radical Face*
Canyon Hands
Yes Know
Goat, The
unouomedude (theme song covers)*
VA – Primary Records Sampler
Milk Carton Kids, The
Monster Rally*
Moon Bounce*
Conrad Plymouth*
Shady Blaze & Ryan Hemworth *
Fulmarine Petals*
Art Imperial*
Townhouses, The*
VA – Folk Songs Of Canada Now
DNTEL/One AM Radio/Geotic
Assassins 88
Lizard Kisses
Blessed Feathers*
Lazy MKs, The
VA – Odd Box Weekender compilation*
Leafs, The
XMTR Derailleur*
The Beechfields Record Label (several releases, scroll to bottom of page)


Filed under Give It Away Now, mpfree, The Best Things In Life Are Free

Special Monday Morning Tape – #119


Blackout Beachbeautiful burning desire
(taken from his 2011 release Fuck Death)
The Seldon Planfractionation
(taken from their 2011 release Coalizione del Volere)
Los Campesinos!by your hand
(taken from their 2011 release Hello Sadness)
A.A. Bondythe heart is willing
(taken from his 2011 release Believers)
Luke Templemore than muscle
(taken from his 2011 release Don’t Act Like You Care)
The Daredevil Christopher Wrightthe animal of choice
(taken from their 2011 release The Longsuffering Song EP)
Kurt Vilethe creature
(taken from the expanded edition of his 2011 release Smoke Ring For My Halo)
Secret Shineno more inside
(taken from their 2011 release The Beginning and The End)
Wesley Wolfewho’s going to truly love you?
(taken from his 2011 release Storage)
Active Childplaying house
(taken from his 2011 release You Are All I See)
The War On Drugssnake tongues
(taken from their 2011 release Slave Ambient)
Future Islandsbalance
(taken from their 2011 release On The Water)

The RosebudsWoods

Youth LagoonMontana



Filed under Special Monday Morning Tape

Mini-Beats – September 2011 – Edition 50

The Submarines
Love Notes/Letter Bombs (2011, Nettwerk) ♥♥½
:I’ll admit that there are hooks and choruses galore here but the ultra-glossy production saps all the charm out of these Apple-commercial-ready pop songs; you had a sense they were moving in this direction after ’08’s mildly successful Honeysuckle Weeks: (buy vinyl)
Spirit SpineGlossolalia (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥
:chill, reverb-soaked psychedelia definitely inspired by Kraut legends and Panda Bear alike but it only works well if your mood allows this to soak in, otherwise it might sound a little same-y if you’re paying too much attention…I do dig the complete package of ‘Ocean Of Sand’ though:
COOLRUNNINGSDracula Is Only The Beginning (2011, Dracula Horse) ♥♥♥½
:insidiously catchy even though this strays more on the experimental side of pop with its wiry, post-punk underbelly; dig the inclusion of Burnout from the Buffalo EP as well as the strangely mellow Fort Kid; a nice followup to their self-released freEP’s of the past few years…you can also grab this on a donation basis here:
AstronautalisThis Is Our Science (2011, Fake Four, Inc.) ♥♥♥½
:Andy Bothwell’s finally taken the disparate styles he’s touched upon over the course of his catalog and rolled them up into one complete package but I’m not convinced there isn’t TOO much going on; Andy’s beats are still a warm splash of water on a just-shaven face and there are a few signature Astronautalis cuts that will keep me coming back to this and future releases: (buy vinyl)
Kelli SchaeferGhost Of The Beast (2011, Amigo/Amiga) ♥♥♥♥
:Kelli gives the world her best Polly Jean Harvey imitation and mostly succeeds; a few numbers wander off course here but tracks 5-8 are about as good as any EP’s I’ve heard all year, displaying Kelli’s impressive vocal range, that of honey (Gone In Love) to vermouth (Sister K); press release throws out ambiguous but simple descriptors like ‘rock’, ‘pop’, ‘soul’ etc. and I guess that makes sense as Ghost should appeal to anyone interested in quality songwriting in general; RIYL Kristin Hersh, PJ Harvey: (buy vinyl)
Sea OleenaSleeplessness (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥
:charming, sleepy-eyed folk delicately sung and arranged by Canada’s Charlotte Oleena (oh, I see what you did there!); the sparse arrangements help keep her breathy voice in the forefront and that’s a magic carpet I hope she continues to glide on with her new gig, Holobody; available as a name-your-price download here:
VA – Sing For Your Meat: A Tribute To Guided By Voices (2011, No More Fake Labels) ♥♥♥½
:a very capable and entertaining tribute, buoyed mostly by the fact I love each and every one of these songs as if they were my own…especially enjoyed the Lou Barlow, La Sera and Jason Isbell versions:
I Hate You Just KiddingDays Grew Longer (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥
:I’m sure the name Jeremy and Jessi decided to choose for their mellow dream-folk-pop project will yield more than a fair share of snarky commentary (in jest, of course) but the music itself is worthy of a few spins regardless of the lack of variety; RIYL Snowblink:
Wooden ShjipsWest (2011, Thrill Jockey) ♥♥♥½
:my first foray into WS is a positive one; dig the squalling, psychedelic garage guitar sounds (+ Farfisa!) and overall trippy feel; ‘Lazy Bones’ sounds like a runaway train about to fly off the tracks and the closing track ‘Rising’ was actually recorded backwards but it sounds great!; need to investigate more of their storied catalog as well as Ripley’s other project, Moon Duo; RIYL Tame Impala, War On Drugs, the noisier side of Yo La Tengo: (buy vinyl)
Gold-BearsAre You Falling In Love? (2011, Slumberland) ♥♥♥♥
:these guys mix elements of all things good like bristling C-86 pop, subtle twee melodicism, a GBV-like penchant for brief, yet potent hooks and a slight coating of shoegaze; found out there’s a few members from Plastic Mastery in GB which might explain why I loved this so much! Slumberland is str8 up knocking it out of the park this year! RIYL The Wedding Present, Boyracer: (buy vinyl)
Will JohnsonLittle Raider EP (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
:always a treat when Will steps out from (the confines?) of his main gig Centro-matic to serenade us with just his golden pipes, a guitar and a sizeable serving of melancholy sadness:
William Elliott WhitmoreField Songs (2011, Anti) ♥♥♥
:this is classic Whitmore and, although each track is indecipherable from the next, it’s hard to find fault with his bare-bones, banjo-driven blues-folk for the proletariat; all of his albums would make for perfect company on a long road trip through the countryside: (buy vinyl)


Filed under Mini-Beats, Reviews