music / Columns

Major Bands, Minor Labels 02.22.12: An Odd Future Indeed

February 22, 2012 | Posted by Nick Krenn

Thanks for checking out Major Bands, Minor Labels, 411mania’s independent music oriented column. Just a quick plug, if you enjoy what you read in this column, then please check out my music blog,, which I use as a blueprint when writing this column. If you visit the site, be sure to “LIKE” us on Facebook. I’d love to talk music with all of you guys, even the trolls.

This week’s MBML has news on Odd Future and Bowerbirds. Also, new downloads from La Sera and Vaura; music videos for Shearwater and Miracle Fortress and a new artist to keep your eyes on. And of course, I’ve got music recommendations worth your time.

Let’s get started…


Totally NSFW Video from Odd Future


Upon announcing their new album OF Tape Vol. 2, those lovable geek rappers of Odd Future have released a video for the album’s first single “Rella”. All that I can say about the new video is that it will be considered extremely offensive to those that fall in the weaker species category. The new video makes it very clear to me though that Odd Future are kind of like the rap Grinderman. Grinderman was Nick Cave’s project meant for his darker fantasies and musical exploits. If you know who Nick Cave is, then you probably wondering how Cave could top his already dark nature.

Watch the woman slapping, cocaine snorting, dickless, penis laserbeam firing video below. All those descriptions will make sense once you watch it.

Bowerbirds Release Mini Documentary

Bowerbirds have released a six-minute documentary discussing their new album, The Clearing, out March 6th through Dead Oceans. Watch it below.

About “The Clearing” by Bowerbirds from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

Download: Bowerbirds – “In The Yard”

Download: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”


Brass Tax

Bringing together ’60s soul music and garage rock, multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Jada Wagensomer, aka Brass Tax, will release her debut album Brass Tax Album on March 6th through Neurotic Yell. Wagensomer’s multi-instrumental abilities are on full display as she uses saxophone, violin, lap steel, wurlitzer, wind chimes, and a kazoo to bring to life smartly written pop songs inspired by the likes of the Kinks, Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Dusty Springfield, and Harry Nilsson. At only 8 songs, you would think Brass Tax Album would be a short easy listen, but the depth and complexity of the music within will keep you coming back to the album again and again. Take a listen to Brass Tax Album below before it arrives on March 6th.

Brass Tax Album by Brass Tax


In the download exchange, I will give you some cool downloads to check out (all legal, of course!), and all that I ask for in exchange is that if you enjoy the music, then support the artists by picking up their album, buying some songs, or checking them out on tour.

La Sera – “Break My Heart”

La Sera, aka Katy Goodman, has released the second single from her new album Sees The Light, out March 27th through Hardly Art. Download the new single “Break My Heart” below.

Download: La Sera – “Break My Heart”

Vaura – “Obsidian Damascene Sun”

Vaura’s new album Selenelion comes out February 28th through Wired. We previously posted the album single “Vanth” for download. Now you can download another brooding track from the metal band’s upcoming album. Download “Obsidian Damascene Sun” below.

Selenelion by VAURA


Indie Vids features the latest videos created by some of the independent artists that I’m watching or already love.

Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”

Shearwater has released a video for the rock-centric “Breaking The Yearlings” from their new album Animal Joy out today through Sub Pop. The new video was directed by Branan Edgens and features Jonathan Meiburg staring at a bunch of animals in a museum. Watch it below.

Miracle Fortress – “Raw Spectacle”

Bummed by the shittiness that is the latest Ghost Rider movie? Well, satisfy your pyro cravings with the latest video from Miracle Fortress, the project of Montreal-based musician and producer Graham Van Pelt. The new video for “Raw Spectacle” brings plenty of heat with a guy that emits fire from his hands. The song appears on Miracle Fortress’ album Was I The Wave?. Watch the video below.

Director Emily Kai Bock explains, “The pyrotechnics were real, we didn’t do any visual effects – It was more fun that way. Both Graham and I suffered one minor burn each and Neal, our DP smashed a lens after tripping while running down the smoke-filled train tunnel. It was sorta insane, but a huge blast.” Kai Bock explained the concept behind the video, saying, “I wanted to make a surreal narrative video using Graham as the lead character,…I had been watching a lot of ‘X-Files’ and had finished a short doc on ex-prisoners integrating into community at the time – so I had these themes of outcasts and aliens on my mind.”


Music Recommendations

My music recommendations feature the latest stuff that I and the writers at Earbuddy have checked out recently.

Damien Jurado – Maraqopa

Chris Bell says: “Maraqopa sets off with the delightfully jaunty “Nothing is the News”. This track recollects some of the best 60s-era folk rock of acts like Crosby, Stills, and Nash or even Van Morrison. Those kinds of call-backs, along with the occasional bossa-nova beat, place a strong haze comfortably over the entire record. The jazz-inspired stutter step of “The Time Next Year” may remind some of Nick Drake, but is delivered in a way unique to Jurado, something more akin to Drake if he had existed in a spaghetti western.” Read the Damien Jurado – Maraqopa Review.

Grimes – Visions

Gabe McBride says: “On initial listen, Visions sonically resembles last year’s Halfaxa, more than Geidi Primes (also 2011), with its heavy, atmospheric clubland bounce, and thick, effervescent, pneumatic feel. But where Halfaxa was more slanted towards gauzy dreampop, Visions casts an eye to the left-of-center R&B of Janelle Monae and dance grooves of Santigold. While Geidi Primes had some brief nods to rhythm and/or blues, it never hit the smoove notes herein.” Read the Grimes – Visions Review.

Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It

John Downey says: “Put Your Back N 2 It is a relatively simple affair. The longest song on the album clocks in at three and a half minutes, most of the songs feature simple compositions, and Mike Hadreas could conceivably go on tour with a piano and a drum kit. Hadreas knows how to work with this space, though, with both his music and lyrics offering up enough imagery to alternately haunt and comfort while remaining understated. The title track is a better Sufjan Stevens song than Stevens has been able to come up with, and Hadreas sells the line “Let me be the one to turn you on” in an emotive way that doesn’t seem possible when read on the page. (As his bio notes, “(The song) is also about gay sex.”)” Read the Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It Review.

Frankie Rose – Interstellar

Frankie Rose has been a founding member to some of indie’s recent prolific acts such as Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, and Crystal Stilts. Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls are both known for providing listeners with retro thrills courtesy of their ‘50s and ‘60s girl group influences. Crystal Stilts, while not sharing the same influences, dabbles in the jangly guitar tendencies of those acts. So when it was announced that Frankie Rose was putting out her first “official” solo outing, you probably would have believed that it would follow suit with the sounds that have surrounded her in the past. Not so. Interstellar leaves Rose’s past behind for a glimpse of the future…that’s still technically the past. Rose has forgone bubblegum-pop flavored rockers in favor of dreamy synth collages reminiscent of the ‘80s, a go-to source of inspiration for many current bedroom artists. Read the Frankie Rose – Interstellar Review.

Doe Paoro – Slow To Love

Paoro’s singing style is different, moving from a strong, deeper register to shrill high pitches that some people may discern as grating and annoying. Merrill Garbus’ singing comes off in the same manner. While Garbus has never felt the need to explain her quirky style, Paoro’s unique mannerisms come from her study of Lhamo, a Tibetan style opera. And this is where the background story comes into play. Paoro discovered her voice in Lhamo while travelling through the Himalayas this past year. Studying the style led to silent meditation that honed her ability by reflecting on the space between silence and sound. Then in Justin Vernon fashion, Paoro isolated herself in a cabin upon returning to the US to craft her album. Read the Doe Paoro – Slow To Love Review.

If you like my album reviews on 411mania, be sure to check out reviews done by me and my buddies on my blog Earbuddy and check out my blog’s Facebook for more news and stories on artists featured in MBML:

Comments are always appreciated, and I would really like to hear from you guys through email ([email protected]) or Twitter. You can follow me @earbuddy so that we can chat about all kinds of things. Thanks for reading.


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Nick Krenn
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