92-3 WTTS, Indianapolis’ local, independent radio station is proud to present Indy Underground, a weekly program highlighting the best new music from the local, indie and underground scene. Catch Indy Underground Monday nights at 8pm with an encore presentation each Saturday night at 9pm.
What We Played – April 17, 2010
Indy Underground Artist Bios
Vampire Weekend & Paul Simon
Vampire Weekend is a band that, for better or worse, cannot escape their connection to their influence. Since their inception, the band has drawn comparisons to Paul Simon due to the similarity of vocal delivery between Ezra Koenig and Simon and their use of African musical influences. Koenig has stated that the comparison is brought up so often he even asked Paul Simon directly if their work sounded like his. Simon’s response was simply, “Not really.” Vampire Weekend’s keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij puts the African influence in perspective by saying that much of the African musical aesthetic is more abstract than the use of any particular guitar line or rhythm. He states that it is the way the instruments and musicians react with each other.
Spoon & The Kinks
Britt Daniels of Spoon once stated that purchasing the album Face to Face by The Kinks was a revelation for him. Daniels states that the personal nature of the lyrics, stories contained in the songs, and the band’s poppy brand of garage rock contained on this album contributed to his love for the band. As Daniel’s songwriting has progressed, Spoon’s lyrics have become more personal, story-driven accounts, backed by strong hooks and inventive, but charmingly ramshackle, instrumentation, much like The Kinks. When recording “The Underdog” for their album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Britt Daniels played their producer, Jon Brion, a song to give him an idea of the kind of sound he wanted. The song, “Yours Truly, Confused N10,” was written by Ray Davies of The Kinks.
Murder By Death & Johnny Cash
Murder by Death’s album, In Bocca al Lupo, has a similar spaghetti Western twang employed by Johnny Cash in much of his work. Additionally, critics and fans often cite that vocalist Adam Turla’s deep baritone vocals almost sound at times as though Cash himself was singing. Murder by Death often writes songs that dwell on the dark, macabre, and, in the case of “Brother,” the life of an outlaw; subjects which Cash often addressed in his music.
The White Stripes & The Rolling Stones
The White Stripes create a no-nonsense brand of energetic music with the confidence, swagger, and volume reminiscent of some of The Rolling Stones’ best work. Both bands share a mutual respect and admiration, which led to rumors that were partially confirmed by Keith Richards that Jack White might be producing an album for the Rolling Stones in the future. Jack White has even had the opportunity to join the Rolling Stones on stage to perform “Loving Cup.”
Bright Eyes & Violent Femmes
Bright Eyes frontman, Conor Oberst, and his distinctive warbling vocal delivery conjures memories of the shaky, but oddly confident, delivery of Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes. The two outfits also share lyrical styles that read like confessions, atypical rhythmic choices, and a melodramatic flair.
The National & The Pixies
Matt Berninger, lead vocalist for The National, was first exposed to The Pixies when his older sister gave him a tape of their albums Surfer Rosa and Come on Pilgrim. Berninger said in an interview with Spin, “Before The Pixies, I didn’t have a good sense of identity and was totally insecure. The music was so weird and reckless and fearless, it made me feel that I could be cool.” The National has created their own fearless brand of rock that pays homage to The Pixies through consistent, almost hypnotic, rhythms, intense vocal delivery, and the use of distorted guitar tones that wash over their tracks.
The Soft Pack & The Replacements
Fast, energetic, punk songs with pop sensibility that get their point across in three minutes or less are the specialty of The Soft Pack and the band that influenced their sound, The Replacements. Songwriter Matt Lamkin and guitarist Matty McLoughlin of The Soft Pack grew up together in Southern California. They recall the sounds that dominated their high school’s collective musical tastes being divided between the work of Huey Lewis and the regional punk stylings of bands like Swingin’ Utters. Lamkin and McLoughlin found refuge in the work of The Replacements. The Soft Pack carries the flag for the heart-on-the-sleeve and self-aware approach to punk that was once in the hands of bands such as The Replacements.