Free Indie of the Week

Ok, so I can’t promise this will be weekly, but here’s a recap of the best free indie songs on the web right now:

Crooked Fingers – Phony Revolution(from Glider Magazine) – I may not know what on earth they’re saying at the end of the song, but this one has such a unique but exciting sound, I had to put this one at the top.

Calexico – Convict Pool (From Download.com) – This is older, but I still think it’s one of the absolute best online Indie has to offer.

Barcelona – First Floor, People – This is one of two songs you get from the secret download page for Barcelona–what an entrancing song.

Army Navy – Saints (from Spinner.com) – Classic alternative beat and guitar licks. Loud but not annoying. Even uncharacteristically catchy and dare I say, radio-friendly? nah.

The Republic of Tigers – Buildings & Mountains  (ITunes free song of the week) – This one is classic Indie, a little electronic. But, hurry, you have until Tuesday the 23rd to download it, then it’s gone, and Itunes will probably feature another boring song no one likes (they’ve been on a roll with a few good songs in a row, they’re due for a long draught of lame songs)

A Refreshing Departure from Calexico

I think what most draws me to the music of Calexico is its melodramatic tones underscored by the moving Spanish and Flamenco rhythm. This means that sometimes their music can be dreadfully boring and depressing, while, at other times, it can be simply entrancing, like a long ride into the deserts of Arizona with nothing but the cactii and nothingness, but at the same time, accompanied with a peace that this is life at its most simple. It can be moving and haunting, and jazzy and exciting at the same time.

So, when I had the chance to get a listen into Calexicos’ latest album, it was enough to break me away from doctoral qualifying exams.  Carried to Dust is their latest release, and at first listen, I have to say it’s more American low-fi rock with a texarkana flair than the usual Calexico fare. In fact, some songs are simply non-Calexico, like Two Silver Trees. Sure, it’s catchy, but it sounds like something from the Finn brothers (Crowded House) or even Tears for Fears. Is that bad? I don’t know. I can say there are some very haunting melodies reminiscent of classic Calexico, like Writer’s Minor Holiday and News About William.

If you’re a Calexico fan, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re making your first foray into Calexico, I’d recommend The Black Light, or Garden Ruin. Calexico’s best songs, in my opinion, are Convict Pool and Crystal Frontier (which I believe you can get off of music.download.com).

..but what about the Indie Personality?

It seems we Indie fans have been left out…again. Nevermind that Indie has earned mainstream recognition through Indie bands gone mainstream (like Death Cab for Cutie and the Decemberists), and nevermind that movies like Juno and the upcoming Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist rely on Indie music….

…but, a new study has defined personality through music taste.

Apparently, classical and jazz enthusiasts are creative, pop fans are hardworkers, and heavy metal fans are, get ready for this, “gentle”.

But what about Indie fans? Since Indie can overlap between pop, heavy rock, and even jazz, do we fit somewhere in between? Are we gentle hardworkers who are creative? Maybe we’re something else?

If I had to put my vote in, I’d say Indie music fans are motivated. A personality theorist I used to be a ghostwriter for believed that personality could be reduced to 4 main core drivers: Drive for power, closeness or intimacy, fun, and peace or absence of conflict. Now, these don’t really translate into the music personality theory reported above, and I don’t think you can say all Indie enthusiasts are motivated by power, or intimacy, or even fun…but I do think you’d find that Indie enthusiasts have common personality traits like motivations for uniqueness, to be different, hardworking (as in driven to get what they want, not as in working 60 hour weeks), and committed.

In other words, I’d sum up the main Indie personality trait as “driven”.

What do you think?