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daytrotter -one way ticket yeah!!!


The other week I wrote a post about Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps -a Minneapolis band. Marie Lynn introduced them and where did she find them? daytrotter.com. It was while listening to Titus Andronicus on daytrotter.com I discovered one of the best bands EVER Spider Bags. Blind Pilot, Mi Ami, Ida Maria… heard them all for the first time on daytrotter…
 
 
Daytrotter.com is an Illinois based website who bring in bands to record at FutureApple Tree Studio 1 and download four or five songs on their websites that people can download for free. Recorded in analog basically live you get the bands as raw and clear as you can imagine. It added nothing much to Los Campesinos, but Titus sound incredible (and Titus’ cover of “Waking Up Drunk” is an indelible masterpiece I write about constantly. It took daytrotter for me to like the coldness that fronts of Cold War Kids and def I’ve never liked the vocals close to this mix). Dinosaur Jn is band I’ve always felt I should like more than I do and I do with daytrotter. Plus it is free. If you don’t like em delete em but if you do you’ve gotten a real good sample and can go further (as I did with Smith and Spider bags).
 
The owners also draw paintings of the artist and both the administrators of the website and the artists write about the music and they are posted together. There is a constant influx of new material and always something to listen to you haven’t heard before.
 
The writing along is good enough for a website. Here is Titus on Spider Bags: “Spider Bags cover This song is not by Titus Andronicus, but actually by a band from North Carolina called Spider Bags, who are the greatest band in the world. This song was on an album called A Celebration of Hunger,which was the best album of 2007 by a wide margin. That album has been unequaled by any album which came since, with the exception of the early mixes we have heard of the new Spider Bags album, Midnight Moving Skies, which is also profoundly amazing. It is staggering to me that Spider Bags are not exponentially more popular, since they are the greatest band in the world and everyone who hears them falls in love with them. We have played with this band quite a few times, and sometimes we have to play after them, at which point we in Titus Andronicus feel very embarrassed. Also, whenever we are in North Carolina, Dan McGee, who is the singer of Spider Bags, lets us stay at his house. Very gracious. Spider Bags are number one” This is real good rock criticism made so much better by the opportunity to hear the song itself.
 
And here is daytrotter writing about Titus: “(…) gives us a good mind to either pop tops or twist them just to stay even with them so we can continue following along with the curvy, down on the floor romancing of sloppiness – unforgettable sloppiness like the stuff that The Replacements brought to the stage on many nights, the sloppiness of legend that feels like spittle on the sides of cheeks and glass in your forehead. They flatter us with brilliance in shaggy aloofness, trickling out Pavement-like unhingings and adding onto the sundae the kinds of poetry that come to the intelligent after three bottles of wine or whatever’s handy. There’s no pretension and no posturing, just the kind of townie special, the unglamorous things that people do when they’re not completely thinking straight.” Having seen both the replacements and Titus I don’t necessarily agree with them (Titus are pros in ways the Replacement’s weren’t at that point of their career) I love the way daytrotter say it.
 
 
 
Sometimes on daytrotter I just dig their writing so much it takes precedents over the music. Or at least nearly. Here is a list from Wikipedia of popular bands on daytrotter:
Ani Franco
Juliana Hatfield
Phantom Planet
Dirty Projectors
Andrew Bird
The rentals
Margot @ the Nuclear So and So’s
Kristin Hersh
Vampire Weekend
Grizzly Bear
Ra Ra Riot
Not to mention Deerhunter, Aimee Mann, Bon Iver, Death Cab For Cuties and Spoon. And I hear there is a Deep Sea Diving recording waiting to be downloaded.
 
The two Dirty Projector’s recordings, both from 2007, are revelations for a latecomer like me. I got into Dave Longstreth just this year with his “Bitte Orca” album and recordings with Bjork but listening to “Fucked For Life”, it is so good and so in keeping with his current material it really sounds he was just waiting for the right moment. The final song of the recording is “A Labor More restful” and that song is from his 2002 albums Slaves Graves And Ballads. I hope you decide to listen to it because it is a ballad that seems to only teeter -there is a weird kinda benediction to it but his voice is all shot and wobbly. It is the sort of recording only daytrotter bother to do. Everything the recordings daytrotter make are at the service of the band. Not just so we can hear bands we normally don’t hear but maybe just as important we can hear the bands we do hear as close to the way god made em… there is a nakedness to the sound similar to the acapella “Stillness Is The Movement” EP but otherwise not like anything else they’ve ever done… certainly not like the Husker Du album.
 
 
 
The thing is Dirty Projectors are so unique they always sound like DP but FutureApple Tree Studio 1 are so unique they influence the band they record just because their lack of fucking about with sound forces the bands to keep it simple. So for half the band it’s the opportunity to widen their audience and for the other half it is the chance to hear just how good they are live and recorded. This is very cool indeed.
 
 
I am not the first (I may be the last) to rave about daytrotter.com, but it is my fave music website. It looks great, it sounds great, it is user friendly and the paintings are gorgeous and it has a real cool something about them it: it’s like you are part of a select few music lovers changing the world around you and sharing it out… I have to hold myself back from writing about every other band on daytrotter they are so good. I have no idea who is behind daytrotter but I love their production work: it is so clear and uncluttered and timeless and the bands are well chosen and talented and fun. I love daytrotter… it is the best website in the world.

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