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Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Vision-quest dreams inspire band and music

Website: Genre: Indie and Electronic Free downloads?: Yes

This site is great for a large variety of indie hits and remixes. Signing up for their “RCRD of the Day” daily e-mail newsletter will routinely provide subscribers with fresh, downloadable singles from breakthrough artists. If signing up for yet another e-mail blast is not for some, the site still offers fresh content five days a week, rounding things off on Friday with a weekend playlist that, again, contains a handful of kickass tracks just waiting to make their way into iTunes libraries everywhere. They showcase a ton of artists many have likely never heard of but will definitely want to know in the midst of the fastapproaching music festival season. With genres from electro to soul, may be one of the best free-music finds for music appreciators and trendsetters of the online domain.

ONLINE photo courtesy Patrick Lelli

The name of the three-piece, Michigan folk group Breathe Owl Breathe came about after lead singer Micah Middaugh had what cellist Andréa Moreno-Beals described as a “vision-quest dream.” By Cameron Graff The Daily Cardinal

Website: Genre: Electronic and Hip-Hop Free downloads?: Yes

For the electronic music lover whose heart thumps dirty bass bumps in time with their frequently pumping fists, this site is a necessary resource for new tuneage. To quote the site, it “showcases and debuts some of the best up and coming as well as already established artists, rappers, DJ’s, producers and more.” The site primarily uses Sound Cloud and Media Fire to offer free downloads of all singles, remixes and reviewed mixtapes, making it a cache for no-cost music. From “bangin’” to “chill,” has plenty of fresh beats to keep music seekers occupied. Fans of the dubstep genre will be especially pleased with the multitude of mixes by DJs as big as Bassnectar and as up-and-coming as Crizzly.

MUSIC Website: Genre: Pop, Rock, Indie, Alternative, Folk, Punk—everything Free downloads?: No

This Madison-based music aggregator takes a slightly different approach to sharing music on the web. Each day they post a new song from the Internet they think site visitors should hear, putting out a great variety of tunes that far-surpasses any of today’s other mentioned go-tos for tunes. This site does not provide free downloads, but rather encourages the Internet-trolling population of music solicitors to purchase the highlighted singles from various resources such as iTunes and, to offer better financial support for musicians. Possibly the best feature of this site is its in-depth album and song reviews. The facilitators of Jonk Music really take the time to listen to not only the single they’re reviewing, but the whole album, and give recommendations accordingly.


Breathe Owl Breathe are, in this recent and frankly bizarre folk resurgence, a genuine diamond in the rough. Cleverer than their cleverest contemporaries and more sprightly than their genre would imply, the band mixes youthful whimsy with disarmingly complex instrumentals for wondrous results. This Friday the band brings their starry-eyed charm back in full force to the Project Lodge for their third visit to Madison. “It’s an awesome town,” Andréa Moreno-Beals, resident cellist, said of the city. “It’s great for me because I grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich. and I love it. They’re constantly being compared, both are university towns and they’ve got the same kind of culture.” Folk music’s sudden resurgence amongst the college crowd (who would have ever thought The Tallest Man on Earth would be a powerhouse 10 years ago?) prompts the inevitable question; what’s it like to play a college town? “There’s such a range, and it’s so different from region to region,” Moreno-Beals said. “But yeah, I would say it generally helps to play a college town because the young people come up.”

“We’re excited to introduce little kids, like that person who might never know what [a record player] is, to what vinyls are.” Andréa Moreno-Beals cellist Breathe Owl Breathe

The band has recently set out across the country to push their latest release—a combination 7” vinyl and children’s book detailing the misadventures of various characters in the band’s traditionally off-kilter style. “I’m still really excited about this,” Moreno-Beals said of the

project, titled, “The Listeners/ These Train Tracks.” “[Lead singer] Micah’s a real visual thinker, and he studied printmaking in college—in art school—and the idea just kind of came to him of these two stories. There’s a daytime story and a bed time story,

“He woke up and said ‘Breathe Owl Breathe.’ ... we were looking for a name, and there it was.” Andréa Moreno-Beals cellist Breathe Owl Breathe

and these great characters.” It’s not purely an aesthetic thing, either. Breathe Owl Breathe most certainly have a message in mind for the children. “Micah remembered having picture books that came with vinyls when he was a kid,” Moreno-Beals continued. “You know, they would make a ‘ding’ when you turned the page and everything. But since we’re a band and we make records, we’re excited to introduce little kids, like that person who might never know what [a record player] is, to what vinyls are.” Though the project may be primarily aimed at children, the band has the utmost faith in the material. Moreno-Beals said they do not eschew any of their exotic vibes for an easy hit, as the jointly bizarre and involving tracks are quick to reveal. “I’m just as excited about them [artistically] and musically as anything off our last full length,” she said. “We took them just as seriously.” The songs easily fit in among a catalog home to songs about Sabre Tooth Tigers and Sylvia Plath, so it is fair to say that the band has succeeded. The band’s songwriting, a predominant part of the group’s appeal, takes heavy inspiration from the more whimsical of Aesop’s fables. A Magic Central

highlight, “Dragon,” was concerned primarily with a pen pal exchange between the titular beast and a princess, and the considerably more upsetting notion of how to stop loving someone. “Micah’s the one who writes all the lyrics,” Moreno-Beals explained. “He’s very inspired by stories and old folklore.” Even the name of the band is indebted to a sort of magic. “It comes from a dream Micah had that, as he described it, sounds like a Native American visionquest kind of dream,” she said. “He says he doesn’t usually have that type of dream, so this was a really special one that stood out. He woke up and said ‘Breathe Owl Breathe.’ At that point we were just a duo, me and Micah, and we were looking for a name, and there it was.”

The Skinny Who: Breathe Owl Breathe with Cedarwell and Pioneer Where: The Project Lodge, 817 E Johnson St. When: Friday, March 2. Doors at 7:30 p.m., music at 8 p.m. Cost: $10 Why you should care: Folk is making a comeback.

Check this out before you go: Breathe Owl Breathe’s video for “Own Stunts” off of their album Magic Central may start out mellow, but stick around until the end to witness an arctic throwdown, Michigan style. If you don’t have a lot of time to preview this band during the week, try turning them on as bedtime music to help soothe you to sleep.

The Daily Cardinal - Wednesday, February 29, 2012  

The Daily Cardinal - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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