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Mp3 Monday: Exile Thrills

UK indie rock from Exile Parade, and a primer on American independent label Thrill Jockey, which celebrates its 20-year anniversary
By Jul 23, 2012 Nightlife

TELL EVERYONE

MP3 Monday is a weekly SmartShanghai column, serving up mp3s from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever). Copyright holders: if you would like your song removed, please email us here, and we'll honor your request promptly.

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Listen up Indie rockers, Yuyintang has a heavy hitting show tomorrow (Tuesday) night with British band Exile Parade supported by Hong Kong twee pop darlings Chochukmo. The two bands are hot off the tail of last weekends Zebra festival, damage is one pink lady. Let’s check out a few songs...

This is Exile Parade covering Beijing band Elenore's song Psycho Man:

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And another from Exile Parade – Fire Walk:

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And a couple from Chochukmo:

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Continuing with all things indie rock, today we take a look at the discography of American independent label Thrill Jockey, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year with a limited edition poster, a four-city label showcase, and re-issues of classic albums from bands such as Tortoise, Sea & Cake, Fiery Furnaces and others.



Thrill Jockey was founded by Bettina Richards, while she worked at a record store in early 90s. The label was and remains a pioneer of jazz and electronic-infused indie rock along with being one of the first to stream full copies of its albums for free, most of which are still available on their website . I’ve narrowed down a couple songs each from five of my favorite Jockey artists, so here we go…

Trans Am




Holy fucking shit, Trans fucking Am. This band just kills it. Telling stories of things that never were through synthesizers and guitars. This is one of those bands that never stopped touring, never stopped putting out albums, and basically is just never giving up the dream. They are like, “Hey listen, we invented post rock, we’re never getting bored of it, sit back and enjoy the ride.’

Here’s a little seven-minute ditty titled Future World that speaks to us in the distant language of fax machines and gramophones.

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Screw coffee. Need to wake up? Just throw on the Trans Am / Fucking Champs collaboration project The Fucking Am to get your day started.

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Future Islands




One of Thrill Jockey’s biggest bands of recent times, Future Islands started out strong with their album “Wave Like Home” in 2008. However on the latest album, “On The Water,” the band explores the darker side of their keyboards and takes production values into the upper commercial range. I recommend buying the cassette version; it’s three dollars cheaper than the mp3 download and half the price of vinyl. I mean come on, are you fucking ironic, or are you just pretending here?

This is what they call the Money Track, aka Flicker and Flutter:

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And Where I Found You, from the album “On the Water”:

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Chicago Underground




Little known fact, when Vulcans experience the Pon Farr mating ritual or in general just want to unwind, what is their number one musical choice, you ask? Free jazz, free jazz, free jazz. In this regard, the Chicago Underground, who have a number of configurations such as The Chicago Underground Quartet, Trio, and most recently Duo, do not disappoint. The main force on the past four albums are cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer/percussionist Chad Taylor, who use a combination of composed and improvised music on their albums. Don’t fight it, it’s free jazz, it’s the future.

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Tortoise




Ahhh le Tortoise, she is such a sultry bitch of a band. I both lust for her smooth curves and loath the five-minute warm up time it takes to get into the action. However, if you stay by her side she will not disappoint, and her music is great for make-out sessions in your college dorm. The flagship of the H.M.S. Post Rock, Tortoise have been one of the defining acts of the genre and are easily one of the best all-around bands of all time. Suck it up, long hairs, we’re here, we’re sensible, and we wear Hush Puppies and khakis to gigs.

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The Sea & Cake




Continuing with the chill-wave rock assault is Chicago-based The Sea & Cake. The band is lead by Sam Prekop, who has enjoyed a successful solo career and shown all of us that strong men do sing softly, yes indeed, strong men do sing softly. The Sea & Cake have been with the Jockey since the beginning and have contributed over 15 years of nu jazz, using electronic sound sources such as drum machines and synthesizers, while keeping an organic feel. Let’s take it down a notch with some Cake (insert scat sounds here)...

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This column is written by DJ Sacco, who runs Uptown Records, Shanghai's dedicated vinyl shop. Ironically, they don't sell Mp3s or dabble in anything digital, instead they have 7" and 12", EPs and LPs from rock to electronic, rare pressings, DJ equipment and band merchandise. Find them in an old bomb shelter at 115 Pingwu Lu.

TELL EVERYONE

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  • XXZZ

    There's a show on this Saturday night (July 28th) at Live Bar for Katri and Arnd's going away party. 20 RMB.
    All info here: http://www.douban.com/event/16911677/

  • Swirlcore

    How dare you associate Chillwave with Sam Prekop bro?

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