Utne Reader Music Sampler October 2009

By Staff
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Here at Utne Reader, we get almost as many music releases as we get magazines: You can listen to our library as well as read it. And just as we do in the print world, we have a preference for small, scrappy, independently owned but creatively vibrant outlets. Each month, I’ll present a cross-section of music gleaned from current releases that are catching my ear. Just like Utne Reader, the Utne Reader Music Sampler will be diverse and out of the ordinary, curated by us for you. The best part: All the tracks are downloadable for the month.

–Senior editor Keith Goetzman

The tracks for the October 2009 sampler are no longer available.Please visit the latest sampler for more tracks! www.utne.com/sampler

Utne Reader Sampler October 2009

Chris Smither
With adept fingerpicking and a gruffly gentle voice, Smither delivers lived-in blues for the 21st century on Time Stands Still (Signature Sounds).

“Surprise, Surprise” by Chris Smither 

The Lower 48
One member of this young folk-leaning quartet has described its sound as “hope and melancholy wrapped up together,” and that rings just about right when you hear the simple, moving songs on their debut EP Everywhere to Go (Grape Juice), which comes out on November 3.

“Transmissions Part I” by the Lower 48 

Helado Negro
On Awe Owe (Asthmatic Kitty), this Brooklyn collective led by Roberto Carlos Lange stitches together spare beats and shifting grooves, creating odd musical textures from loops, samples, and live instruments.

“Awe” by Helado Negro 

Imaad Wasif
It’s easy to see why the filmmakers behind Where the Wild Things Are tapped Wasif to help create soundtrack music: He combines a sense of wonder with a sense of danger in his robust, swirling rock on The Voidist (Tee Pee).

“Priestess” by Imaad Wasif 

Rain Machine
Rain Machine (Anti-) is the solo project of TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone. More personal and less taut than that band’s music, the sound will still be recognizable to fans.

“Smiling Black Faces” by Rain Machine

Rupa and the April Fishes
This San Francisco band led by physician/musician Rupa continues its global polyglot approach to music making on Este Mundo (Cumbancha), which comes out October 27. This song title’s translation? “It’s the moon’s fault.”

“Culpa de la Luna” by Rupa and the April Fishes

Fool’s Gold
Fool’s Gold comes from Los Angeles, and many of its songs are sung in Hebrew, but the sounds on the band’s self-titled debut (IAMSOUND) are steeped in the musical heart of Africa. Call them cultural dabblers if you must, but dance while you do it.

“Surprise Hotel” by Fool’s Gold

Image of the record player by Knipsermann, licensed under Creative Commons.

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