Wednesday, January 31, 2007



Those of you that don't already know of Daytrotter have either been hiding or shouldn't be reading this blog! Their site has become since it's conception in March 2006 an incomparable weekly rendez-vous for those music lovers that would have constituted the late John Peels audience. They feature two sessions a week, Monday and Thursday, from touring bands that are just passing through. They own or have access to Futureappletree Studio One in Rock Island, Illinois. The results are remarkably addictive as the four songs laid down live in their few allotted hours contain a lot of warmth, this is maybe due to the fact that they have been laid down on good old fashioned 1/4 inch analog tape before being transferred to a digital medium, this has almost got me feeling nostalgic for tape hiss! In their own words their manifesto is to "give you exclusive, re-worked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by some of your favorite bands and by a lot of your next favorite bands." In my opinion they have more than succeeded in their 49 sessions to date, true you wont find Oasis or Neil Young here, not yet anyway. The bigger names that have laid down some stunning sessions include Bonny Prince Billy, Shearwater and Two Gallants. I have discovered numerous artists thanks to them these include Thao Nguyen who will go down a storm with fans of Cat Power, Erin McKeown that contains webmaster Marks favorite track, a cover of Fats Waller's 'Honey Suckle Rose' and last Monday's session by The Elected that exposed me to their well crafted songs that are a little bit on the laid back side but we all have to relax sometime, don't we? I guess relax is the key Daytrotter word as what is consistent through these sessions is an easy going vibe that can only be found when musicians are winding down and doing what they do best : making music with people that understand and appreciate them.
What actually puts the Daytrotters way ahead of the competition apart from the obvious, their good taste and original material, is the almost total lack of photographs on the site. Each of the sessions is illustrated with original drawings from one of their team of eight illustrators / artists.
Another recent discovery of mine thanks to them was current favorite of the music press David Vandervelde, he comes over a bit like a contemporary Mid West Marc Bolan, checkout 'Nothin' No' from his just released debut album 'The Moonstation House Band' brought to you by that terribly cool label Secretly Canadian. I must admit what brought may attention to him was the cover version of 'Cocksucker Blues' that he had laid down. Like many of you I was aware of the legend of this notorious contract breaking song by Mick and the boys, though never having actually heard it I was, I must say at times dubious of it's existence, well you can now own this fine version with the lyrics well up in your face over a suitably sleazy rock 'n' blues backdrop. Daytrotter have stated that the song will be taken down when they reach 1500 downloads, they have currently clocked up 948, you have been warned, get clicking!
I guess I'd sum up Daytrotter as being an essential excursion through the backwaters of a vibrant American alternative music scene, to be missed at your peril.


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