Since yesterday's Lil' Triggers were flashbacks, we've asked TVD staff to tip us off to things they're listening to NOW, which'll become Lil' Triggers in the future. Make sense? —Ed.
Radical Face is a band comprised of one Ben Cooper, who also has many other projects that he records and tours as. I don't even remember how I discovered this guy, but a few years ago I stumbled upon his Ghosts album and fell in love. Apparently he was in DC in March playing in a basement apartment and I totally missed the boat on that one. His music is haunting, sometimes quite literally, such as one song that actually sounds like it was recorded in an old creaky house. I'm pretty sure I heard "Welcome Home" used on television recently, which almost worries me as I would love to keep this music for my own. Keep an eye out for this new album which will hopefully be released this year.
I first saw Dark Dark Dark at the now closed Brian McKenzie Infoshop in 2007. Comprised of members playing accordion, banjo, stand-up bass, clarinet and percussion, amongst other instruments, the group left me completely entranced. They're the type of people who just make beautiful things- sound, art, you name it. The band is in this film Flood, and at one point sail down the Hudson playing on a giant DIY raft. Every song they play sounds absolutely beautiful and raw and heartbreaking. Now Dark Dark Dark, whose members hail from Minneapolis, New York, and New Orleans, has a New EP out, Bright Bright Bright. It's sound is a little more polished than their older stuff, but enjoyable nonetheless. They were at SXSW this year, which means it's only a matter of time before Pitchfork starts adding them to one of their many lists.
I met Socalled* at a hip-hop workshop in the basement of a bar in Krakow, Poland. The workshop spanned two days and basically consisted of Socalled sitting at the front of this tiny dark room with 30 or so mostly Polish and American students watching him explain how a Jewish kid from Montreal took klezmer records and turned them into some of the most creative hip-hop being produced today. His hands moved like lightning across his sampler and his quirky looks had everyone at ease. His story was also pretty inspirational. Two days later he performed to a packed audience in the oldest synagogue in Poland. I have never been to a hip-hop show where I could say at least 30% of the audience were well into their twilight years. Not only did the synagogue allow for some amazing acoustics but the crowd's response was overwhelmingly positive. The place just emanated with good vibes. Three years later there's a documentary out about him, and his fan base is continuing to expand, which hopefully means he'll start touring more often outside of Canada.
*Note: He is not DJ Socalled, just Socalled and seems adamant that people get that.
Sage Francis. I can't emphasize enough how much I love this man. Sure he's been around a while, so you've probably heard of him. If you haven't, great! Start listening to him! And if you have, let this serve as a reminder to continue listening to him! SF attacks his song writing with anger, energy, and playfulness, which he in turn incorporates into his live shows. He hates corporate record labels and how effed up the music industry is and has managed to keep his indie label going while so many others have moved on to the evil recording giants. Also, he's a white dude that can actually rap. I haven't seen him perform in over two years but I'm really looking forward to his tour this summer and his new album Li(f)e.
Finally, April March. I love her and her musical sugary goodness. Sure, I was a bit disappointed when I found out she's not actually French, but just developed a massive obsession with the country growing up. Really, though, I don't care because her music is as much French indie pop as her European counterparts. Also, she used to be one of the principal animators for the Ren and Stimpy Show, which is both bizarre and fantastic. She's been around for a while, but that doesn't make her music any less enjoyable.
Radical Face - Welcome Home (Mp3)
Dark Dark Dark - Trouble No More (Mp3)
So Called - You Are Never Alone (Mp3)
Sage Francis - Sea Lion (Mp3)
April March - Poor Lola (Mp3)