Beat The Indie Drum

I'll wear the jorts in the family, you drink the PBR.


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What is it about music that you think necessitates it to be free? I appreciate the attitude, but it seems kind of bizarre. I can't imagine people in any other industry thinking that way (free food, free dental, free gasoline) outside of charity.



i think because the music i’m making generally doesn’t require much money to be made, and most of the music i love doesn’t either. digital sales when you get to be an artist on a bigger label, etc, generally make you very very little money and its having a larger fanbase that will go to your shows, buy your merch, buy your records, etc, is how you can have a sustainable income. or being a producer/remixing people/doing score work/commission work/ad work/whatever. whatever you’re doing, having people notice it enough to give you opportunities to make a living from it requires building a larger audience and so many more people are willing to check stuff out if it’s free.

that said, i feel that digital music should never really be paid for outside of charity/donations simply because it’s a digital file. you wouldn’t steal a record, but you should download an album. it’s not a commodity (to me) the way physical stuff is. it doesn’t cost anything to host music on bandcamp, but it costs a couple thousand dollars to press a 12”. it takes a lot of time to release and ship and etc a 12” record. it takes no time to have someone else download your digital files. 

blah blah blah i realize that my views on this aren’t always shared and that’s okay, but i just feel like it’s a little entitled to record music for very little (or no) money and expect other people to pay for it. if you’re paying for studio time out of pocket, sample clearance, etc etc, or just generally have a lot of expenses that go into making your music, that might be different, but im personally always trying to cover my costs myself to make anything i release more widely available.

i just think it’s unfair to tell people ‘you have to pay for this thing that cost me nothing / next to nothing to make when you could use that money to buy yourself/someone you love food, buy gas for your car, pay rent, buy someone a much more lasting and meaningful gift even than a digital album’

thats just me though. sorry for this long rambling response. it’s a hard thing to be succinct about because i think it has a lot of different parts behind it, not just one easy answer. 


Podcasts For Moderns / Episode .001 {PODCAST/MIXTAPE}

So I’ve finally done it - I’ve mastered Audacity, bought a decent mic and joined the podcasting community. You’ll still be able to stream the mix without my between-song banter on 8tracks and I will still provide a link to the files in a zip file via my Dropbox if some dude blabbing on about shit interests you not. The podcast will be linked to in mp3 format below until I figure out a sleeker way to distribute it. I’ve submitted the first cast to iTunes and it’s under review so if/once it’s accepted I will link to the feed so that you can subscribe directly that way. Anyways, it was much fun putting this together and I’m excited at fine-tuning the process! Enjoy!

1. Night Panther :: Pleasure To Meet You :: Night Panther :: 2013 (00:00-02:47)
2. The Wiggly Tendrils :: Beat The Indie Drum Theme Song (02:48-03:46)
3. Of Montreal :: Belle Glade Missionaries :: Lousy With Sylvanbriar :: 2013 (05:57-11:47)
4. Alvvays :: Adult Diversion :: (digital single only):: 2013 (11:48-15:11)
5. Danny Brown :: Kush Coma (Featuring A$AP Rocky & Zelooperz) :: Old :: 2013 (15:12-19:46)
6. Juana Molina :: Eras :: Wed 21 :: 2013 (19:47-24:05)
7. The Anomoanon :: Sixteen Ways :: Asleep Many Years In The Woods :: 2001 (25:50-28:48)
8. The Holy Modal Rounders :: Reuben’s Train :: The Holy Modal Rounders :: 1964 (28:49-31:16)
9. Tanya Donelly :: Mass Ave :: Swan Song Series Vol. 1 :: 2013 (31:17-35:31)
10. Rosu Lup :: Dust & Days :: Currents EP :: 2013 (35:32-39:59)
11. His Clancyness :: Zenith Diamond :: Vicious :: 2013 (42:06-45:27)
12. Dead Gaze :: You’ll Carry On Real Nice :: Dead Gaze:: 2013 (45:28-49:28)
13. Brian TV :: Cardinals :: Quits:: 2014 (49:29-54:00)
14. it is rain in my face. :: Raise Your Hands, Raise The Dead :: The Framer :: 2013 (54:01-58:50)
15. The Like Young :: Tempt Me :: Timid EP :: 2005 (61:09-63:28)
16. Quasi :: You Can Stay But You Gotta Go :: Mole City :: 2013 (63:29-67:00)
17. The Stargazer Lillies :: Del Rey Mar :: We Are The Dreamers:: 2013 (67:01-70:37)
18. Army Navy :: Crushed Like The Car :: Turntable Kitchen October 2013 Pairings Box 7” :: 2013 (70:38-75:13)
19. Little Suns :: Sunboat :: Normal Human Feelings :: 2013 (80:02-87:39)
20. Trips and Falls :: Destruction Is Always More Exciting ::The Inevitable Consequences Of Your Stupid Behavior :: 2013 (87:40-91:29)
21. Local Natives :: Palms ::Turntable Kitchen November 2013 Pairings Box 7” :: 2013 (91:30-95:59)
22. Way Yes :: Holy Drop :: Tog Pebbles :: 2013 (100:58-105:25)

Artwork by Jesse Treece & Michael Tunk

Direct podcast link (mp3)

Clutch it here or click the pic to stream:


Previous Mixtapes For Moderns chapters (R.I.P.): 123456789101112, 13

Previous 0 To 25 In X chapters (R.I.P.): 4443424140393837,3635343332313029282726252423222120191817, 1615141312111098, 7654321



This year, we have the pleasure of being a part of 3 seriously awesome SXSW showcases here in Austin, TX. We are especially siked to party with our homies Fleeting Youth Records. We’ll be releasing brand new styles, including some limited quantity FYR Logo Tees. You definitely won’t want…


Guys, this has to be one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve heard in quite some time. I recall their S/T debut not having done much for me but perhaps it’s time for a revisit.

Music piracy of the 1950s

(via mdtepsic)


"To the speeding train, to the speeding train, to the speeding train…"

I could go on and on about this, but I’d rather just point out the fact that Chris Leo’s speaking is closer to singing than most singers ever get (is it an accident that “speeding” is almost 440 Hz (A) when the local tonic is C? I doubt it and so should you.), and then let the words do the fireworks for themselves. What a song.

Agreed, one of my personal faves, ever.

Resolutions / Changes // Internet Resources

So I’ve been threatening to post some changes I’m making in regards to the way I discover/listen to/enjoy music. I think it’s been about 10 years (more or less since my jump from Audiogalaxy to Soulseek) since I joined the yearly rat race of trying to keep up with new releases and the next big things/obscure gems. I’m exhausted. I know there’s great music out there but the sheer volume has really weighed upon me and, for whatever reason, I feel like I’m not doing myself any favors by continuing on this path.

With that said, I intend to keep my listening habits narrowed down to new albums from old reliables and favorites aside from individual tracks (singles) I grab or hear about on blogs and whatnot. I also have this giant list of older critically lauded/acclaimed albums that I’d like to explore a little further. Keep in mind, I’ll still be very active with Big School Records and Hope For The Tape Deck so all my claims about not listening to much new music are likely complete BS as I have to exercise due diligence as a label head. 

Lastly, as part of my ‘recovery’ I bought an iPod just to house all the albums I’ve cherished throughout my existence (curious?). This list is by no means definitive, but its close. I’ll keep adding albums as they pop into mind.

As promised - here is a list of important webhavens (including blogs) that have helped me discover new music in recent years - I fully expect to continue supporting each and every one of them. For reference, I’ve removed about 85 blogs from my Feedly in the past few months so these guys survived quite a layoff.

Rest assured, I still plan to power ahead with my Mixtapes For Moderns series as I have about 1700 songs waiting in the queue to find a home on a mix. I also plan to convert this love over to full-on podcasting - I’ve been practicing my Audacity and even bought a new mic! - so there’s that to look forward to.


Turntable Kitchen - I’ve been a subscribed member to TK since their inception - gold club status, y’all. The website focuses on pairing music and food, two of my very favorite things, into a monthly mailing of 7” records and recipes. These guys keep things fresh with further musings on topics such as a record player guide and yearly holiday gift guides.

The No Love For Ned radio show - No lie, I’ve been tuning into Ned’s various contributions to broadcasting music since 2003 or so. He may quite possibly the only other person I know who listens to as much, if not more, music than I do on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. His knowledge is vast and with each passing year I half-expect him to get burnt out on music but it never happens…and we should all be grateful for that. Currently you can tune into his time slot every Thursday Wednesday between 5-7pm on WLUR or look him up in the iTunes podcast directory (my preferred method.)

Daytrotter - Unless you’ve been holed up in a cave or you don’t give a shit about music, you’ve heard about the mighty Daytrotter. Artists come through town and lay down live in studio versions of their tunes. It’s certainly not a new idea (not even at its moment of birth) but one look through their history of sessions will help you understand the shear magnitude of their scope. Not only have I discovered TONS of great new sounds but I’ve experienced familiar artists in, perhaps, unfamiliar settings. Some listeners grumbled and resorted to violence when DT began charging a monthly subscription to be able to download files but F that, it’s the best $4/month you could spend. 

Even though my new music intake will see a dramatic decrease, I’m still planning on keeping my subscriptions current with the following print mags, if, for no other reason than to help keep them fighting the good fight  - The Big Takeover, Fabricoh and Ghettoblaster.

Speaking of ghettoblasters, this dude posts exceptional reference point mixtapes for download. Scroll through and clicky clicky, my friends. Got extra time? Czech his blogroll for gold.

Dust & Grooves - Vinyl collector’s paradise…if you’re into reading about notable collectors worldwide and their habits, prized possessions and record lounges. Not to mention, D&G head Eilon Paz is a true master at capturing visuals of collectors and their records. I donated to the Kickstarter for the official D&G hardcover book and I cannot wait until it sees the light of day.

8tracks - In a nutshell, it’s a giant repository of people’s mixtapes. It’s so diverse it’s overwhelming and my ‘listen later’ folder runs deep with eclectic mixtapes that span every occasion and genre. Downside is you cannot see the tracklist before clicking on a mix though some may find that to be a plus - call it the thrill of being surprised. View my account here if you’d like. The website is also a little buggy though my favorite way to access my account is through….

Sonos - This is more a plug for product as opposed to a direct source of new music. Sonos is wireless technology perfectly suited to the more-than-casual to utterly-obsessive music listeners. Stream a variety of online music services (Spotify, Rhapsody, 8tracks, Pandora, radio to name a few) through either portable speakers throughout your house or existing in-wall/in-ceiling/bookshelf/tower speakers using their zone players. You can also have it link up to NAS drives or your iTunes account. It won’t break the bank and you can add on to near infinity. I currently have 7 zones of music in the house, including their tiny but robust Play1 speaker in the bathroom. It’s an indispensable music lover’s tool. Look for Sonos to become a household name within the next few years, yo.

I mentioned Feedly up above and it’s my go-to aggregator now that Google shit-canned Reader. My only gripe? You have to pay for the premium service to search through recent posts - bollocks!

RateYourMusic - RYM is one of the web’s best-kept secrets. I use it to catalog and rate everything I listen to on a scale of 1-5 stars and create lists of various sorts. Sure, there’s other places to do this - Discogs or iTunes (blech) - but I think RYM is the most visually pleasing and user-friendly archive site out there. When you listen to the amount of music I do, these traits become imperative to organization/compartamentalizing. Not to mention RYM hosts one of the most invaluable user-based music forums (and reviews) on the web. You can peak in on my account here and see what I’ve listened to and rated recently.

Now Discogs does have it’s advantages when it comes to cataloging all of your physical media. Information for releases is near definitive so if you are looking for pressing totals and color variations this is where you park your ass. It also serves as a useful (though usually expensive) resource for finding those white whales in your wishlist. View my collection here if you must.

Lastly, and perhaps firstly, WFMU and everything they stand for and have managed to accomplish in their existence. Essential, in every way possible.

Finally, blogs that I feel are doing it right:

AdHoc (my source for left-of-center sounds)
Cassette Gods
Gimme Tinnitus
I Guess I’m Floating
Largehearted Boy
Modern Vinyl (more a resource for finding out about limited vinyl, but I’m counting it)
Said the Gramaphone (the gold standard)
SlyVinyl (see Modern Vinyl)
Song, By Toad
The Fire Note
The Styrofoam Drone
Unrecorded (love their reviews)
We Listen for You
What’s Protocol?
When You Motor Away

Gone, but sorely missed are Chromewaves, Built On A Weak Spot, Everybody Taste and Swedesplease. Come back soon.

Kid Icarus - Bad Timing Now

Good on Eric (and the various incarnations of the band) for sticking it out this long, even amidst relative obscurity. Really stoked to play a role in this tape project!


Kid Icarus - Bad Timing Now

Over the weekend, I got this touching letter about love from Eric Schlittler:

Hello Mark,

My name is Eric and I wanted to share a little about my latest tape and myself with you and your readers.

"Another black day is dawning. Just you and your broken heart; the feeling everything is falling apart."

As I sang the lyrics to this song, I had little idea what a self-fulfilling prophecy they would turn out to be.  It’s early Winter, 2013.  I’m singing a song I wrote for my band Kid Icarus in my friend Nate’s home studio in Scranton, PA.  I’ve sang a lot of Kid Icarus songs in various living rooms, basements, bars and private homes in Pennsylvania since I began recording under the Kid Icarus moniker around 1996.  The music I make would probably be considered by most to be a strain of lo-fi indie rock.  Inspired by the high school sounds of Sonic Youth, Sebadoh, Guided by Voices and Pavement; along with a million obscure 7”s and The Velvet Underground (of course).  Have there been other music projects that have called themselves Kid Icarus?  Sure, but I would like to think I might be the first to use it.  What started as a solo recording project slowly evolved into a band organically over time.  With lots of good friends joining me on my quixotic quest and bringing unique contributions, which only helped to make each release its own.

There has never a big breakthrough success for Kid Icarus.  A little critical acclaim, an offer to make another record and the sheer force of will; has been enough to keep the project and the band going all these years.  It’s partially our own fault; we’ve done little in the way of touring.  Instead, I decided to put our efforts and finances towards making the best music possible on a shoestring budget, pressing small runs on CD, vinyl or tape and sending them all over creation.  It was and is the economics of a dream.

Shortly after those aforementioned 2013 sessions that would birth and an all but almost totally ignored split 12” with our good friends, Cold Coffee, came the diagnosis.  My wife, Cassie was diagnosed with cancer.  My best friend since 1994 and wife since 2009, Cassie often lent her voice, art, support, critical ear and even one of her own songs to Kid Icarus.  In the early days, it was mostly just she & I mucking around on my cassette 4 track or boom box, singing made up songs about vegetable girls, turtle soup and other unmentionables.

As the Summer of 2013 crept upon us, the dark cloud of sickness loomed large with so many appointments, treatments, preventative measures and surgeries.  A distraction from the darkness came in the form of an offer from my friend Matt from Hope for the Tape Deck.  An offer to compile a Kid Icarus rarities anthology for his newly minted tape label.  The evenings were now filled with attic excavations, digging through mountains of CD-Rs filled with demos, the humming of my old 4 track and lots of great memories of days and people, now long gone.  The Summer wore into Fall and the mountain of newly reclaimed tunes was whittled into what approximated a single volume anthology of highlights.

It’s now Winter 2014 and my box of tapes have just arrived from the label.  I called it, Dig Archaeology - 13 Years of Lost Songs.  The tapes looked great; replete with old school faux Columbia Records style “Nice Price” cassette trappings (courtesy of Cassie) and a picture of her & I on the front.  A picture taken some 10 years earlier, an old publicity photo for a public that never seemed too interested.  As I opened the tape to inspect the interior art, I noticed a ghostly photo of her lined up perfectly to where the tape rests on the inside of the j-card.  There she was staring back at me: standing in the hallway of our old apartment from so long ago.  I had a moment of realization that she truly has and has always been my muse.  Now, there is much to look forward to.  My wife is now cancer free and we are both free of those dark Summer days.

Take Care,


Read more Letters to YVYNYL


Mixtapes For Moderns / Case Study #13

A1. The Airplanes :: Paper Hearts :: The Airplanes EP :: 2012 
A2. The Apples In Stereo :: Tin Pan Alley :: Tone Soul Evolution :: 1997
A3. Hussalonia :: History Is Mine :: Home Taping Is Killing Me :: 2013
A4. Sloan :: Losing California :: Between The Bridges :: 1999
A5. The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid To Die :: Fightboat :: Whenever, If Ever :: 2013
A6. Lemuria :: Oahu, Hawaii :: The Distance Is So Big :: 2013
A7. Forest Swords :: The Weight Of Gold :: Engravings :: 2013 
A8. Amiina :: Leather and Lace :: The Lighthouse Project :: 2013
A9. Harold Richardson w/ Charlie Binger and His Quartet :: Country Gal :: VA - Mento Madness: Motta’s Jamaican Mento 1951-1956 :: 2004 
A10. Hiss Golden Messenger :: Dreamwood :: Poor Moon :: 2011
A11. Mark Fosson :: Another Fine Day :: VA - Imaginational Anthem Vol. 3 :: 2008
A12. Neko Case :: Man :: The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You:: 2013
A13. The Derevolutions :: Disappoint Your Teacher :: Living In The Pop World:: 2013


B1. Big Black Delta :: Side of the Road :: Big Black Delta :: 2013
B2. The National :: Murder Me Rachel :: Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers :: 2003
B3. Sigur Ros :: Rafstraumur :: Kveikur :: 2013
B4. Marc Neibauer :: Cowards Get What They Deserve :: Digital Single Only:: 2014
B5. No Age :: C’Mon, Stimmung :: An Object :: 2013
B6. Thee Tsunamis :: We’re Thee Tsunamis :: A Gooodbad Man Is Hard To Find :: 2013 
B7. Estrogen High :: Weed Queen ::Friends & Relatives :: 2010
B8. Man or Astroman? :: Antimatter Man ::Defcon…5…4…3…2..1 :: 2013
B9. Kite Operations :: Tayos :: The Metal Library :: 2013
B10. Ovlov :: The Well ::am :: 2013
B11. Rodriguez :: All Night Long ::Swing Like A Metronome :: 2000
B12. Dana Falconberry :: Petoskey Stone ::Leelanau :: 2012

Artwork by Virginia Echevarria

Clutch it here or click the pic to stream:


Previous Mixtapes For Moderns chapters: 1234567891011, 12

Previous 0 To 25 In X chapters (R.I.P.): 4443424140393837,3635343332313029282726252423222120191817, 1615141312111098, 7654321

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