Johnny Dodds was one of the greatest clarinetist of the turn of the 20th century. The list of musicians that he played with are an who’s-who of jazz legends, and after playing with Louis Armstrong’s ensamble, Dodds moved to Chicago and started his own band, the Johnny Dodds’ Trio. “Blue Piano Stomp” one of their earlier recordings from 1928. This number has some blues-y elements and swings with elegant improvisation as the trio plays notes that dance with each other like they’re at a Chicago formal.
“Blue Piano Stomp“ (play/download mp3)
Godspeed is one of Canada’s most famous bands. One of the archetypes of the post-punk sound, a style of instrumental music that builds and descends in epically long tracks. After releasing an EP, Godspeed released a double album (totaling a whopping 9 songs), “Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven.” This title track is a beautiful introduction to their sound. This song builds and builds until it crescendos making you feel like raising your skinny fists to the heavens!
“Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven“ (play/download mp3)
Buy/Listen to all of Godspeed’s music.
Ah the yummy post-rock guitar-scapes of Mogwai. This should be the soundtrack to hiking up Everest with the complete hardcover Tolkien in your backback. Cascading layers of über-proggy goodness.
“San Pedro“ (play/download mp3)
Buy Mogwai Stuff.
Andy Votel is pure genius! Not only is he the co-founder of the super cool Manchester record label Twisted Nerve Records, but he is a brilliant producer and a great musician! ”Return of The Spooky Driver” is a mad-psychedelic trip into the mind of Gaston Leroux (Phantom of the Opera), or even a track form the Clockwork Orange soundtrack. With a sample of Primal Scream’s anthem ”Kill All Hippies” it’s a well rounded track with heaps of indie credibility!
Return Of The Spooky Driver (play/download mp3)
Here’s a horn based ska band from Detroit that obviously has a true appreciation for the 60s ska sound and its reflections through the 2-tone revival of the late 70s/early 80s. Here’s a cool, danceable instrumental. Flip f’real with The Articles!
“Mr. Pink“ (play)
From the vaults, pulled up by my friend Dan over at SFMusicSluts, here’s Critical Mass – one of the wackier ska punky bands from the ever so wacky “third wave” o’ punky ska. Led by tenor sax man Michael Valladares – now proud owner of the bestest watering hole on that strange planet of East Bay, California, ye olde Hotsy Totsy – CM brought metal madness and cartoon music to bear on their special ska brew, here expressed as an epic instrumental.
Critical Mass – “Black Liquorice” (Play this puppeh)
Critical Mass – “Black Liquorice” (Download this puppeh)
Buy all of their records
Is there anything that Candy Chang doesn’t do? Lets see…she’s a: public installation artist, graphic designer, urban planner, co-founder of a design house/record label, and she’s a musician. “Greektown” is taken from her album, Detroit, and each song is named after various Detroit locations. Detroit wishes it still bumped this hard.
“Greektown“ (play/download mp3)
Fiddlin Frank Nelson was a moniker used by the great southern fiddler, Doc Roberts. Doc was a farmer first and a musician in his spare time. Although he only played and recorded on weekends, he cut over 70 sides. “Buck Creek Gal” is an upbeat number, and you can hear how his style influenced early country music.
“Buck Creek Gal“ (play/download mp3)
Apart from record collectors like Kid Koala & Dynomite D, The Free Design is a band your momma has never heard of. The Free Design were a The members were all members of the Dedrick family: Chris Dedrick, sister Sandy and brother Bruce were the original lineup; Younger sister Ellen joined the group later, and youngest sister Stefanie joined near the end of their initial career. “An Elegy (Kid Koala/Dynomite D Remix)” showcases what these two artist do best, floating down-tempo with Kid Koala cutting up the vocals in the background. Makes me miss the late 90s when downtempo ruled everyone’s electronic playlists.
“An Elegy (Kid Koala Dynomite D Remix)“ (play/download mp3)
This is the kind of dub instrumental I hope to hear walking into a low lit & laid back club downtown on a Friday night after a long week. This kind of sultry, chill-out, vibe captured well. Hi Fi Killers do deliver! Beautiful horn sectional hook. After chilling out and listening to this track I’ve certainly been left with a contact high. Thanks to HI FI! Evil Dub it up!
“Evil Dub” (play/download mp3)