Bands on MySpace Worth a Listen

CARLOS VILLAREAL
El Vaquero Arts and Entertainment Editor

With all the garbage on the Internet, a large part of which is MySpace.com, the site that according to Wired magazine now receives more hits than web giant Google, it’s amazing that anything decent can be found. MySpace is now more commonly used as a massive promotional tool where a never ending stream of rubbish is being pushed down consumers’ throats.

The whoring (promoting) can take its toll on some, but like a diamond in the rough, a few things shine through – mostly small independent bands and acts as well as some major label contenders that use the monster to their advantage.

Ratatat

Ratatat, an electro hip-hop duo from Brooklyn, is giving the urban intercity crowd something to dance to. Their sound can be described as instrumental riffs layered over rockin’ beats. Their influences span from unconventional underground hip-hop artists like Dr. Octagon, Kool Keith and MF Doom. They may be no Dipset, but hip-hop should not always consist of “bling” and “bitches.”

MySpace link: www.myspace.com/ratatatmusic.

Hello Fever

A three-piece that makes the rounds at local bars, Los Angeles’ Hello Fever is giving scenesters something to look forward to. The teeny angst punk rock meet Sonic Youth trio recently released their first full-length, “Broken Lines,” on indie label Sound Virus. Their influences range from the B-52’s to Christian Death, which would be the ideal soundtrack to a Sunday afternoon in the park. Hello Fever plays The Kitting Factory in Hollywood on Nov. 11. Be sure to check them out and buy Sam (the guitarist) a drink if you see him.

MySpace link: www.myspace.com/hellofever.

Brother Reade

The streets of Winston-Salem, N.C., have something to praise: hip-hop rhyme slingers Brother Reade. The act consists of Jimmy Jamz and Bobby Evans, who recently remixed Rilo Kiley’s “A Man/Me/Then Jim.” Brother Reade recently performed at this year’s [email protected] Yeah Fest to a packed crowd. Heavy beats and intelligent lyrics flowing over complex arrangements complete their sound, for fans of El-P, DJ Shadow and old Wu Tang Clan. Brother Reade is a prime example of progressive hip hop leaving out the filler — “bling” and bitches can’t keep you on top forever.

MySpace: www.myspace.com/brotherreade.

Simon Dawes

Malibu’s Simon Dawes is quickly making a name for themselves. The band recently appeared on MTV’s TRL flaunting their coolness and opened for label mates, The Walkmen on their North American tour. The band takes cues from The Rolling Stones, T Rex, and The Talking Heads. Their classic rockish sound can be dubbed as a heavier version of The Eagles in a nutshell. Their debut album, “Carnivore,” is out now on Record Collection and would make a worthy addition, unless you hate of course The Eagles.

MySpace: www.myspace.com/simondawes

Junior Boys

Following in the trail of Depeche Mode, Ontario, Canada’s, Junior Boys’ soft electro-pop sounds can soothe the undergarments off anyone. The fearsome duo blends soothing vocals over synthy-driven melodies. Fans of The Postal Service or Death Cab for Cutie should give them a listen and have a new soundtrack to cry to.

MySpace: www.myspace.com/juniorboys.

From Monument to Masses

From Monument to Masses could perhaps start a revolution through MySpace. The instrumental three-piece, hailing from San Francisco is putting out music with a deep meaning. Carrying on where Rage Against the Machine and Fugazi left off, From Monument to Masses’ sharply political rock is drawing a lot of attention from across the nation. Political speeches by revolutionary figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr. are transposed over their multifaceted structured instrumental pieces leaving listeners with a new train of thought.

MySpace link: www.myspace.com/frommonumenttomasses

So, hopefully, with help from the heartless soul sucker (MySpace), these acts can get some of the attention they deserve. Otherwise they may have to resort to Plan B, promoting themselves the old fashion way before MySpace existed. Which is … I can’t recall either.