I love when I can find fresh music. It is like I have found a wormhole into another dimension that as long as I have the internet I can travel to distant galaxies at whatever pace I want. I can indulge until my brain is overwhelmed with timbres and melody. 

Today I’m going to tell about my favorite place to expand my musical limits.                                  

These guys have created a virtual Mecca of all around indie-ness. I want to clarify what I mean when I say indie:

-meaning not signed to a major (i.e. Columbia, Atlantic, etc) record label. 

-also the “indie” style usually consisting of acoustic instruments, light drumming, and very close mic’d intimate vocals. 

Daytrotter runs on some very old-school ideals, and equipment. They are seriously hip; like Jack Kerouac 1950’s and 60’s beat writer’s hip. They do not adhere to the thrift store $1 outfit bohemians that some how can afford a $200 pair of ray-ban sunglasses. The “hipsters” that parade their knowledge of musical prefixes and who they knew before the radio stations did.   Nope. These guys are the genuine article. They work out of Rock Island, Illinois. The entire studio is comprised of 4 guys. All of them are born and raised in the mid-west USA.

The goal of Daytrotter is simple. “One band a day, every day, 28 Daytrotter songs each week.” They record with a very modest budget, and usually ask that bands rearrange their songs to create something unique that can be shared FOR FREE to the world. For the audiophiles they also use straight-up old school analogue tape to record. All sessions are recorded to 1/4 tape then digitally sent to any kind of format you could want. (mp3, wav, flac, you name it they will do it)

The talent these guys bring in is second to none, and if you do know an artist, then chances are you will hear a brand new side to them. 

Quit trying to fix things that aren’t broken, and the ones that are will slowly decompose on the side of the road.

Where do you get your music from?

Is it a website?

Are you the die hard local show enthusiast?

Do you read Rolling Stone, or some other national magazine?

Vanilla Poltergeist Snake
Coloring Book EP

It’s GlassJaw. So if you know who they are then you already expect great variety in tones. I was talking about distortion in a recent blog and this is about as good as it gets for me. The chorus exhibits an amazing guitar tone that still leaves me speechless after dozens on plays. I wont even bother to explain. It’s that good. 

For me, music and life are all about style.
Miles Davis (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991)

(via allysoncary)

I totally agree with your post. A LOT of music these days is formulated and sectioned off into genres. In my opinion, it stems from how we as people like to classify things. Once a highly influential artists finds his/her sound, they don't change too much for some period of time, and after that a lot of others start to follow and they create a genre. People like to put them together, when everybody is fighting to make their own music. Its quite an interesting predicament. In any case, I make music in a collaboration called Gaws Gang. Check out our stuff, let us know what you think.

Best of luck,

People really do like to get into classifying things. They end up dumbing down the whole experience. I listened to your group. The ideas are cool, but the overall quality is not so good. The vocals are too up front in the mix, as well as they aren’t leveled from person to person. It also sounded like you clipped a few lines in the first verse. The strings sound fake. If that was a banjo in the beginning, props. I liked that. Like I said before, the composition, rhymes, and overall idea is alright. The quality is going to overshadow it in the long and short run though.


India. It is the polar opposite of what I am used to. I enjoy the idea of being exactly opposite of where I am sometimes.

Violet Hill by Coldplay 

This song has one of my favorite if not my favorite transition in all of music. It’s such a simple little four note lick that gets you from part to part. Sometimes it kicks in between two verses, and then it picks you up into the pre-chorus. The distortion becomes so crunchy and raw but keeps its warmth so that it doesn’t throw the melody out of wack. It’s a subtle change as well. The guitar does already have a bit of a distortion to it previously, but it plays very spaingly and that little change, just that little extra is what makes it possible to add impact without overthrowing the mix. Props to the mix engineer for that, but Coldplay is the kind of band that I trust is more responsible for this.    


I want to talk about distortion today. Crunchy, intrusive, warm, dirty, abrasive, fuzzy, heavy, screaming, sparkly, rumbling, fat, phat, grungy, aggressive, sweet sweet distortion. I love distortion. It can raise hairs on the back of your neck, and rip your heart out. Distortion seems to always be in the signal chain as the concrete foundation to the monuments of sound that have no rules when it comes to how expansive the potential for tonal exploration can be. (Mostly in rock music, but that really the only place where the guitar is used with distortion)

Although, it’s becoming abused and under appreciated. The usefulness of it’s harmonic intricacies is not what it used to be. In the last fifty years music has seen this effect become larger then anyone would have probably imagined it; only to see it being used so plainly. I hear the same generic tone throughout entire songs, in so many albums, and in so many bands that use it exactly the same. I know they aren’t only because that would be impossible because there is no way every distortion pedal is the same, and every knob is turned to seven and every emulator preset is on grunge 1 and so on. But the manner it is used is played out.

What about using distortion as a transitional element? What about it’s natural punch? How can one use the natural punch to accentuate or even counter the melody and/or rhythmic line? Does it all have to be low, deep, and super dirty? What about layers of distortion with other effects? Say it with me people: Layers. That’s nice.

I kinda look at it like light switches in a house. There is almost never one light switch for an entire house. No. There is one for the front porch. There are a few in the living room, probably one or two in the kitchen, and in every bedroom and bathroom. Certainly you don’t get home and run into every room and flip the lights on. Why? Because you don’t need light in every room as soon as you get home. We turn lights on and off as we need them, and switch them off as we exit rooms. We also add lights to create mood. We flip a switch on the way out of the house, or at night so people think we are home, awake, and so we don’t get robbed. 

What I’m getting at is that if any band is trying to do things differently (which I’m going to assume they all are otherwise they would just be a cover band) then why not start doing things different. I think distortion is something everybody knows and is comfortable with. What an easy thing to start with when trying to do something different. Using it differently is the hard part. 

A few songs I recommend after reading this article:

Birth of a Cabin by Wild Orchid Children

Violet Hill by Coldplay

Vanilla Poltergeist Snake by Glassjaw

We’re All Thieves by Circa Survive

Earth to Bella by Incubus

The Casualty by Cursive