MUSIC SUBWAY

When claiming a band is "real indie", there is always a risk of being perceived as pompous, because a “real” indie artist probably wouldn't claim themselves as such.  So first of all, the members of Tangerine didn't make this claim because they are genuinely too badass for that. And to make things clear: here is the definition of “real Indie” on our street:

An artist or group who is authentic and effortlessly cool while embracing the beautiful tight rope walk of creative expression and financial sustainability.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a garage venue at SXSW this year that made the artists and attendees feel like they stumbled upon a truly independent event.  The small home was hidden in the outshoots of Austin, where only faint sounds of the huge crowds and Bud Light promotions could be heard in the distance.  This is not to take away anything from SXSW and its efforts, the festival has just grown to such enormity that there is probably enough room to hold a second even more indie festival along side of it ala Slamdance/Sundance.

At this venue, this budding Indie pop band from Seattle, WA literally rocked the house.  The burgers and dogs, the sweat drops flying from the musicians (naturally they had to keep the garage door shut since the cops had already given a warning), and the accessibility of the artists after the show all added up to a rekindled love affair with the Indie Rock show.  I felt like a kid in the candy store, so naturally I filled up my now empty 20 oz can of Uber road soda and cooled myself down with whatever was in the keg.

Indie music garage band

Getting to sit with the band after gave me re-assurance of what they were as musicians and people (which usually go hand and hand).  

 

They were impressive on stage and authentically weird and magnetic while sitting on the lawn. 

Tangerine band on the lawnTangerine girls Indie Burger

 

Here is one of their music videos, so you can judge them musically for yourself...their ripping lead guitarist is probably the featured talent amongst a group of very fun and talented musical artists.  

 

 

Below is my brief interview with the lead singer, Marika where she talks about the band and their naviagtion of the Indie distribution landscape:

 

JWebb: How did Tangerine get started? 

 Marika: well Miro and I are sisters, and having been jamming on our instruments together since we were maybe 11 and 13 years old. I met Toby in high school and found that he's probably my favorite person to write music with. A couple years ago we decided to form Tangerine. I had just started working with Ryan, we booked bands for our university, and it was sort of like fate- he was a bass player looking for  band right when we needed one. It all came together very naturally and it's honestly just been a lot of fun since day one. 

 

JWebb: Who are some bands that have inspired you, and name a few non-existing band names of the future that you would love to inspire.  

Marika: There's so many bands that have inspired what we do it's hard to know where to start..mazzy star, hole, haim, breeders, black lips, charli xcx, el perro del mar, velvet underground, sky ferreira, hinds, max martin, the strokes, lana del rey, lorde to name a few! As I said before, I'm inspired by things from both ends of the spectrum: everything from Taylor Swift to the Clash and the Strokes. Our music is kind of a melting pot. 

 As for future band names that we'd love to inspire...I've never been asked that before haha. Maybe we'll inspire more fruit-based names? There could be a whole fruit-based revolution. When I was sixteen i thought Leopard Limo was a great band name. No one else did though. 

 

JWebb: We were lucky enough to watch one of your shows at a house garage venue at SXSW which really was an amazing intimate experience.  How have you guys tried to balance "Staying indie" with the very real world need for artists to continue to generate revenue.   

Marika: That was such a fun show! I'm glad you guys were able to make it, we love Austin. Musically, we naturally end up in a place that sort of straddles the indie/pop worlds. I like to think of our music as the Breeders meets the Strokes meets Charlie XCX. We've played some really amazing venues and some super DIY dingy spots and at the end of the day if the crowd is feeling it and giving off great vibes that's what makes it a good show.

 

JWebb: From your experience to date do you feel that it is more effective to hit the pavement and concentrate locally or have you found that there are any unexpected demographics or regions that have discovered and loved your music from internet sources. 

Marika: Honestly we've wondered ourselves what's most important and I'm not sure I can give you an answer. the internet is amazing in terms of connecting you with people across large distances- we've been interviewed by people in the UK and have sold digital downloads all around the world, in places we've never been to. Nothing beats connecting with people in person on tour though. 

 

JWebb: What has been your most successful fan building technique in the digital/internet realm?  Any type of social media you guys really dislike? 

 Marika: facebook has been really instrumental in us reaching people but it's also incredibly frustrating. sometimes a huge number of people will see something you post from it, and sometimes almost no one will and it feels very arbitrary. I'm pretty sure it's all a ploy to convince you to pay for sponsored ads. 

 

JWebb: Quick Story time - what is the best story that the band or one of its members has had (could be funny, inspiring, frightening, or all of above) 

Marika: I'll keep this short because it's not really my story to tell but both Toby and Ryan have been robbed at gunpoint at different times. One of the stories is way more fucked up than the other but I think i'll leave that to your imagination. They both lived to laugh about it! 

 

And the growing Tangerine band fan base is stoked about that!  Sitting on the dirt patch outside the garage was really one of those moments where you feel you might be hanging with some people who are destined for greatness...and even if that train doesn't come fully into the station, it was still great to meet some genuinely cool people.  I think their bass player summed up the gist of what it takes to be a real indie success.  He told me his first key was to get honest about what kind of music you personally like and move your head too. Most of the stuff he listened to actually had some pop elements with a catchy beat and tempo.  Trying to go completely outside of what you honestly jive to is doing a disservice to your work, your fans and in this case your wallet even.  He explained that staying indie was more simply to stay working, because most musical artists have to pay rent and eat food to survive, which Indie filmmakers can relate to since we are also human!  So mixing up venues from bars to garages to sponsored festival stages is all a part of it, while you work your ass of to collaborate and make music that you are proud of and that your growing fan base will love.  

 

- Jay Webb, Indie Street.

 

You can follow all things Tangerine on Facebook.  (photography by Nina Christensen)

 

Maria's Pick: "Great Headless Blank"

Happy September! The seasons are a-changing but our collaboration with Maria DicieanuSubmarine Channel author & former 2Pause.com editor, happily remains! Maria has introduced us to quite the assortment of music videos over the past few months, from interactive offerings to videos using stunning visual effects (read more about last month’s pick here). The September Pick is something completely different but just as jawdropping and visually innovative. We present the animated wonder that is Makeunder’s “Great Headless Blank”, created by artist Carine Khalife.  Though Makeunder, an indie rock troupe based in Oakland, released their Great Headless Blank EP a year ago, the visual accompaniment to the title track has just been released… and boy, was it worth the wait. Premiering on VICE's The Creators Project last month, each frame of the music video was hand painted on glass by artist/director Carine Khalife. Swirls of colors greet us, filling the void of where our character’s head should be. Musically-speaking, "Great Headless Blank" gives off beautifully punctuated, deeply inspired emotions through its building of harmonies and instrumentation. In fact, Makeunder’s EP was inspired by a large amount of grief and trauma, and that can be felt and heard through both the music and visuals. Like some type of fever vision, it's triggering and calmingly hypnotic all at once. Hamilton Ulmer, the man behind the tune, said he has “always seen music as a visual medium” - and the synthesis of this track with Khalife’s style couldn’t be a better example of that phrase. Khalife’s work is a journey that spins a tale as chaotic as it is melodic. Maria beautifully explains her spot on pick below:
  “Painter-photographer and visual artist Carine Khalife stuns us again creating a mesmerizing music video, this time for Makeunder's “Great Headless Blank” - the title track of their forthcoming EP. Back in 2011, Khalife delivered the spectacular promo “Blown Minded” for Young Galaxy. Music video director and mastermind David Wilson called it back then in Motionographer “a rare gem”, “one of the most beautiful animated films seen all year” raving that “the fluidity of the oil paint and connection with the music just washes over you”.  In the “Great Headless Blank” Carine uses the same paint-with-oil-on-glass frame by frame technique as in Blown Minded, yet brings more color and spices things up with a psychedelic vibe. The torments, thoughts and explorations residing in the protagonist's mind, are beautifully visualized in a carousel of brush strokes. The fluidity she manages to pull out of the jerky frames is mind boggling, to the extent it almost seems she is using rotoscoping techniques (she isn't though!). The visuals enrich the audio track with more depth and possibilities, making it an overall spectacular collaboration. Carine Khalife confesses that “she only needed to hear the first notes to jump in” the project, which, thanks to her artistry, is just as long as we need, as viewers, to fully emerge in the liquid consciousness of the protagonist. What an incredibly immersive visual journey!” If you’re looking for something both energetic and relaxing, you've found it in this music video. As the song states: "I’m waiting for an escape to unfold while I dream, 
While I am asleep, 
I’m waiting for the hole to mend me, 
And make it all better."  The irony is, this video may be all the escape you need! You can watch Maria’s Pick below. Stay tuned for next month! 

  About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project" 

Maria's Pick: "Always Home" (Sörry Remix)

We’re ecstatic that it’s that time of the month again! A time when we can sit back and not only enjoy a great new tune, but also take in some rather innovative and intellectually stimulating visual eye candy to go along with it. Our collaboration with Maria DicieanuSubmarine Channel author & former 2Pause.com editor, has already introduced us to a wealth of jaw-dropping music videos. From interactive videos to ones that combine live action with animation, the offerings have been nothing short of visually and musically astounding. Maria’s pick for August is just as impressive! Selah Sue’s Always Home (Sörry Remix) music video, directed by Filip Sterckx, is a beautiful display of light and dark, perfectly complementing the tone of the song. Using good ol’ optical illusions mixed with intricate post-production manipulation, this music video transforms the viewing experience into something mesmerizing. Maria describes her pick:  You might remember Belgian director Filip Sterckx from his 3 beamers brilliant play resulting in the super viral internet sensation “Sweater” music video for Willow. Back then it was already quite obvious optical illusions were his thing, but who knew his work would become so polished and sleek in the meantime. In Selah Sue's “Always Home” the light bulbs are the heroes. A slow-paced darkness/light alternation uncovers the spectacular church with the impressive columns and white statues. Unseemingly, the bulbs start to multiply in a charismatic choreography that invades the space and resembles light painting. The more they uncover the more surreal their presence becomes. Wrapped up in a very atmospheric cinematography, the promo continues to somehow linger on long after the song has finished which is quite fitting for a work emphasizing the beauty of light. Regarding the making of the video, the director explains on his Vimeo page: “I had the actor swing the light in slow mo, and we had other takes in which he run up and down with a light on a pole through the church, completely dressed in black. In post I duplicated the video many times, and then time shifted the different layers, and then layered them in a way that only the bright parts of the image were added." With work such as “Sweater” and “Always Home” up his sleeves, we can't wait to see what else Streckx will dream up and turn out next! He has definitely entered the Indie Street radar of ones to watch. Get hypnotized in the most peaceful and pleasant of ways by watching the video here.  Until next time!  

 About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Maria's Pick: Jamie xx's "Gosh"

We've had such an amazing time learning about new and innovative music videos through our monthly collaboration with Maria DicieanuSubmarine Channel author & former 2Pause.com editor! We've been introduced to exciting and eye-opening offerings, including the interactive video for the late Jeff Buckley's cover of “Just Like a Woman” and last month's music video for “Be So Glad” by Jaimeo Brown Transcendence. This month Maria presents an awe-inspiring video from the young but already legendary music video director Romain Gavras. The artist? Jamie XX. The song? "Gosh". The outcome? Jaw-dropping. Check out Maria's breakdown of "Gosh" and why it was her July pick: "Whenever Romain Gavras directs, the 'world' (as in 'music video aficionados') seems to stand still and 'listen' (a.k.a 'check out the outcome'). And for good reason, as his latest futuristic and heavily CGI-ed masterpiece confirms. Jamie XX joins the ranks of 'the lucky few artists' to have a music video conceived by this French 'enfant terrible', thus mingling with the likes of M.I.A, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Justice, DJ Mehdi and The Last Shadow Puppets.  “Gosh” is just as haunting and mesmerizing as Born Free, Stress and No Church in the Wild. Showcasing a decadent dystopian Paris (while actually being filmed in China in front of a replica of the Eiffel Tower), the music video makes brilliant use of choreography managing to perfectly coordinate the dance of over 400 extras. The cinematography is nothing short of spectacular as well not only due to the very atmospheric look, but also thanks to the very elaborated shots going from ground level all the way up in the air. Even more, Gavras brilliantly mixes and mingles iconic elements from his previous works such as the car stunts from “Bad Girls”, the high buildings from “Stress” and protagonists having a very particular hair color like in “Born Free”. This prompts “Gosh” to not only be viewed and interpreted as an individual piece but also in relation to the directors' previous music videos. The self reflexivity highlights the unique phenomenon that Romain Gavras is in the music video environment, his specific directorial vision while ensuring that all his works are simply must sees!"  This is one video that'll having you saying "Gosh!" in the most positive of ways by the end. It might just even warrant a few replays! If you aren't familiar with Gavras' work, this is a great place to start. Enjoy the spectacle & see you next month!  

  About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"  

Maria's Pick: "Be So Glad"

Last month, we were thrilled to kick off our monthly collaboration with Maria Dicieanu, Submarine Channel author/former 2Pause.com editor, introducing you to an exciting grab bag of musical and visual ingenuity in music video form. To kick things off in May, Maria presented the video for the late Jeff Buckley's cover of “Just Like a Woman”, and this month she presents something a little different but just as innovative!  Jaimeo Brown Transcendence’s music video for “Be So Glad” showcases an intricate and experimental way of combining live action footage with animation in order to create a new type of movement - a hybrid one that so perfectly mimics the layers of its musical component. The visual composition of the video also suits the “past meets future” vibe of his album “Work Songs”. Maria describes her pick below:  “What starts as a simple easy to define movement transcends into a mesmerizing psychedelic animation that redefines time, space and our perception. Directed by New York based Dutch artist Fons Schiedon, in collaboration with Post Panic Studio, this beautiful music video perfectly reflects the core themes of Jaimeo Brown Transcendence album: history, art, technology and the future. When asked about the video, Schiedon explains: "The video applies that notion of imperfection, for instance, by using a partly practical, partly animated, approach to bring the skeleton dancer to life. There are smoother ways to do it, but none of them are this much fun." You can check out the video for "Be So Glad" here, via Vimeo. Enjoy the dance & stay tuned for next month!  

 About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

All of us at Indie Street are stoked to be partnering up with #000000;" data-mce-mark="1">Maria Dicieanu, Submarine Channel author and former 2Pause.com editor, to bring you a monthly serving of some of the most artistic, innovative music videos currently being produced! #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;"> #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">For our first installment of "Maria's Pick", the featured music video for May is an interactive spectacle well worth checking out! Maria discusses the intricacies of the #000000;">video for the late Jeff Buckley's cover of “Just Like a Woman” below:  #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">"The undeniable “kings of interactive music videos”, aka peeps at Interlude (responsible for Bob Dylan's “Like a Rolling Stone”), released yet another gorgeous online experience, this time for the late Jeff Buckley's unreleased cover of “Just Like a Woman”. Making use of graphic novel inspired panels, the interactive music video gives users the possibility of choosing between 4 different story lines within each new window: the boy's, the girl's, the happy boy+girl couple and its almost separated version. "The goal of this video is for both existing and new fans to enjoy many ways of experiencing the music, and for each individual audience member to return over and over to be involved with the emotion differently each time," said Yoni Block, Interlude CEO and co-founder. A perfect concept given the song itself is both a recent release and a reinterpretation of Bob Dylan classic at the same time. Find out more about how the music video was made by watching its making of." #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">You can check out the music video via Buckley's official site and try your hand at visually composing your own narratives to complement the music with just a click of your mouse! For the best viewing experience, Google Chrome is the suggested browser. Enjoy & see you next month!  #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">About Maria: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">"Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Incredible Music Machine Powered By 2,000 Marbles

Fan of the fantastic, musical and downright strange? Be sure to check out the Wintergatan Marble Machine. Built by Swedish musician Martin Molin, this insane handmade machine powers up a drum, vibraphone, bass, and other instruments using a hand crank and...well, 2000 marbles. This one has to be seen to be believed! With millions of views and counting, be sure to get in on the viral fandom and watch the video of the machine in action here!

A hypnotic, trippy face in front of an ever-changing, geometric background is what greets you throughout the music video for “End of the Trail” by Shit Robot. Created by Irish Director Kevin McGloughlin, the Irishman wanted to find a way to create depth and complexity behind the eyes - simultaneously showing growth and decay. To create the visuals behind the concept, McGloughlin used an adapted form of a technique known as strata-cut. In strata-cut, a marbled ball of clay is cut into thin layers, with each cut resulting in a photograph taken of what is revealed between the cuts. Stop motion animation makes it look like the marbled image in the clay is moving. McGloughlin's variation of this, which he named "digi-cut", uses a series of digital files of the singer's face to create a similar effect. Read here to learn more about this unique, digital technique and be sure to watch the effects in action by checking out the music video for “End of the Trail”.

This year for Music in Our Schools Month, Chrome Music Lab sought to make learning not just more accessible to everyone but a lot more fun! Using colorful technology on the web with a freely available Web Audio API, the Music Lab is a collection of experimental ways anyone young or old can learn how music works. The rad technology has extended past the classroom and now anyone can create and manipulate different sounds to their heart’s content. It’s definitely worth playing around with as it's a really cool platform that fuses music, technology, art and enjoyment. With the open source code, you can even build your own and take the experiments further! Hop on over to the Chrome Music Lab and get composing!

Think you have the next innovative idea to hit the music tech industry? Good news! SXSW will be hosting its third Music Hackathon this year and will ask hackers of all kinds (designers, programmers, musicians, artists and more) to team up and think of news way to get cash directly into the pockets of artists/rights-holders as well as find new ways to bring tech into performances and improve the listening experience.  They will have 24 hours to execute an idea and strategy within these three categories: commerce, creation and consumer. The event will begin on Tuesday, March 15 in Salon D at the Hilton Austin Downtown, with hacker teams competing for $10,000 in prizes and prestige. Are you going to be at SXSW and think you have the next big idea? What are you waiting for?! Read more here and then go sign up!

Composer Olivia Block recently found a new source of inspiration and sound for her musical arrangements: noise. Anything from trains, machinery, to talking and everything inbetween, urban ambience holds a sense of musicality to her ear.After purchasing an old tape recorder that had an unlabeled, used tape inside of it, Block wasted no time and listened to what happened to be the ghostly voice of a man back in 1988, listing businesses and addresses into the recorder. With a newfound fascination with sounds that shouldn't be heard or even appreciated and given a second thought, Block now collects these tiny cassettes. She often uses the forgotten analogue voices and random noises in her arrangements. To hear more about Block's love of Chicago city sounds, check out her interview with NRP.