Brooklyn's They Might Be Giants are known for their innovative ways of connecting with their audience - from a phone answering machine to podcasts. Mark Wheat spoke with TMBG before their show at First Avenue about working on their new album, The Else, with the Dust Brothers as well as a song they wrote about First Avenue.
Returning for for their first full length following their individual solo projects - The Elected and The Watson Twins - Rilo Kiley is touring to support their latest album, "Under the Blacklight."
Craig Pfunder and Mike McGill of the Louisville, Kentucky, band VHS or Beta are touring in support of their latest album, "Bring on the Comets." They admit that their new album is a bit of a musical departure from their earlier dance-influenced albums.
The group from England came together in 2004 and has been called the missing link between Phil Spector and modern day popular music.
The music of Los Angeles-based Great Northern has been called memorably melodic, consisting of layered melodies of chimes, piano, keyboard, and both acoustic and electric guitars.
The seed for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were planted back in 1995 when Robert Turner and Peter Hayes met while at high school in San Francisco. After playing in various bands, the duo finally started playing together and added the talents of drummer Nick Jago in 1998.
With a band named Illinois, you'd expect them to be from Chicago, Rockford or Springfield but that's not the case. They're actually from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The band is named after Chris Archibald's great grandfather.
It's a band that rocks the proverbial boat with a punk-ish gait supplanted by youthful vigor. On this outing, bassist Greg Norton (Husker Du), keyboardist Craig Taborn, drummer Dave King (Bad Plus), and bassist/guitarist Eric Fratzke (Happy Apple) pursue unbalanced injections of prog-rock, topped-off with angst-ridden licks, pounding beats and more.
The White Rabbits claim to play honky-tonk calypso. They don't really; they sound more like an indie-rock band crossed with carousel music.
The music of What Made Milwaukee Famous can go from loud to soft to sensitive to detached so smoothly, there's always a sense of both familiarity and surprise for the listener.
Mercury Music Prize winner Damon Gough chose his stage name from the title character in the British television show Sam and his Magic Ball.
Matt Hales has come a long way from playing in a London-based Police cover band in the late 80s. He now leads Aqualung, a project he says isn't a band, but rather the name he's decided to give the music he's been making since 2002.
Earl Greyhound leader Matt Whyte lays out thick guitar riffs and interweaves rich resounding singing with bassist Kamara Thomas that's described as a mesmerizing vocal movement.
While Chooglin' has only been around for a year, it's not as though they came out of nowhere. The members have been in the local music scene for years.
It's hard to stay grounded when you've been called " ... the Best New Band in the World," but this tight-knit group has remained true to their original blend of orchestral arrangements, narratives, and pop.