The Childballads

Label: None
Genre: Rock

Whilst sitting in church last week with my three daughters, I thought of a Jonathan Fire*Eater song that I first heard before I had any children. I could just hear Stewart Lupton singing in my ears "Give me daughters/And make 'em 1-2-3/I will raise them/they'll go to church with me." Now I know he wasn't prophesying about me, but Stewart's imaginative lyrics were one of my favorites things about one of my favorite bands. Three of the Fire*Eaters went on to The Walkmen after the big breakup, but Stewart's new band the Child Ballads hit the scene around two years ago. Style-wise, Stewart's 60s-influenced acoustic guitar rock is a long way from the Fire*Eater days, but when it comes to the lyrcis, he's still got his muse.

White Chocolate Tea [MP3, 5.6MB, 160kbps]
Blackbirds [MP3, 4.5MB, 160kbps]

Posted by clay on 06.25.07 | Comments (2) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Simple Kid

Label: Yep Roc
Genre: Rock

Simple Kid is an Irish-born and London-based acoustifreaktronic troubadour who can be as dry and witty with a melody as The Beta Band, whose genius-boy way with both a harmonica and a sampler would do Beck Hanson proud, and whose prodigious (and prodigiously unkempt) follicles bring to mind Badly Drawn Boy and Moses after that whole 40-years-in-the-desert thing. He can carry a tune, too. “The Twentysomething” may well be “Loser” for a new generation, while “Lil’ King Kong” sounds like a mashup of Led Zeppelin and REO Speedwagon songs that were never written, let alone merged. Then there’s “Serotonin,” which as epics go is quite unassuming but that gets under your skin nonetheless by giving you a reason to both rise up and drop out. Isn't that what the best rock 'n' roll songs always do? (The file below is a zipped EP featuring all three of the songs above. Download, unzip, and enjoy.)

Simple Kid EP [ZIP 19.6Mb]

Posted by shan on 06.15.07 | Comments (1) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Pernice Brothers

Label: Ashmont
Genre: Country, Rock

Pernice Brothers is one of those bands I assumed we'd already posted, but no, we haven't, so behold "Somerville." Fronted by ex-Scud Mountain Boy Joe Pernice, this collection of "breathy Massachusetts sad sacks" took first place in's "25 Most Exquisitely Sad Songs in the Whole World” contest. And while "Somerville" wasn't the winning tune, you can hear in it the qualities that would lead to such success with despondency. If you're looking for another good (but not free) Pernice Brothers download, and one that's not necessarily sad, grab "Water Ban," the second song from Yours, Mine and Ours (2003). In my mind, that would be a contender in the "Totally Shimmery and Transcendentally Beautiful" contest. Maybe we should host that one here at 3hive?

Somerville [MP3, 4.2MB, 163kbps]

Posted by joe on 06.14.07 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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The Comas

Label: Vagrant
Genre: Rock

It's my birthday, and I was looking for something trashy and indulgent to enjoy — high fat, high sugar, high gloss, whatever. The Comas seem to fit the bill. As Sean suggested in his original post, the Comas are all about the 90s, which was, if I remember right, a decade of decadence — personal computing, stock market insanity, Monica Lewinsky, etc. So enjoy "Red Microphones" and a whole bag of sea salt and black pepper potato chips, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Red Microphones [MP3, 3.8MB, 160kbps]

Sean's original post: 02/28/06
With their recent signing to Vagrant Records, an interesting addition to their roster in my opinion, and raving press in Rolling Stone, Magnet, and Spin I'd be a little surprised if you hadn't heard of The Comas. I say a little surprised because even though I own their last record, Conductor, I must confess it never made the transfer to my iPod and has been regretfully neglected until a recent half-hearted attempt at organizing my music collection. The Comas are so '90s. I mean that in a good, remember-when-indie-rock-was-still-indie, kind of way. They could have been the band who claimed the throne rightfully belonging to The Pixies if The Pixies wouldn't have made their comeback. These days though, with so many "indie" bands making inroads into the mainstream, there's ample room for The Comas to do the same.

The Science of Your Mind [MP3, 3.3MB, 128kbps]
Last Transmission [MP3, 3.3MB, 128kbps]
Invisible Drugs [MP3, 3.3MB, 128kbps]
From Conductor

Tiger in a Tower [MP3, 3.3MB, 128kbps]
Wicked Elm [MP3, 3.3MB, 128kbps]
From A Def Needle in Tomorrow

Fainter [MP3, 3.3MB, 128kbps]
From Wave to Make Friends

Posted by joe on 06.12.07 | Comments (4) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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These Electric Lives

Label: None
Genre: Rock

By my count, These Electric Lives sent their first email to 3hive on May 25th of last year. Nineteen, count 'em, nineteen, emails later, we've finally snapped out of our slumber and persuaded these lads from Toronto to share a song with us. It's only a matter of time before the arena-inspired indie rock from their debut EP infiltrates across the border into American popular media, the cancellation of Veronica Mars only delaying the inevitable. Available from iTunes and eMusic on July 25.

Soda Water [MP3, 4.3MB, 128kbps]

Posted by clay on 06.11.07 | Comments (3) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Scissors For Lefty

Label: Eenie Meenie
Genre: Pop, Rock

I'd be a bit surprised if, as an astute pop music aficionado (as most of our readers are), you have yet to stumble across Scissors For Lefty during your daily downloading sessions. This California quintet of bosom buddies with a hankering for The Beatles and a good boogie-down have steadily spread their sound in and around the West Coast and the UK. Their debut album hit first on British shores last October and this week L.A.-based Eenie Meenie Records is finally bringing the album home. "Lay Down Your Weapons" borrows Weezer's guitar-attitude and mixes it with the more playful, dance-able moments of The Cure. If this song doesn't win you over immediately, peruse their e-card and be sure to check out "Ghetto Ways." That should do the trick. For the next two weeks Scissors For Lefty are making their way up California, then across to the Midwest. Catch 'em if you can.

Lay Down Your Weapons [MP3, 4.7MB, 192kbps]

Posted by sean on 06.10.07 | Comments (1) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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The Swayback

Label: What Are Records
Genre: Rock

There is probably at least one person out there who will light up the comment boards the minute you read that The Swayback have chosen to cover The Velvet Underground's "Waiting for the Man." True, it's a pretty damned iconic song and the prospect of a new version may not be your idea of reverence. Do what you will, and in the meantime I'll keep it on repeat and will be wishing I had a car so I could blast it on the stereo with the windows down and the sunroof popped. The Swayback are from Denver and could easily fall into that retro-chic class of modster-slash-hippie bands that includes Kings of Leon and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Like those bands (and unlike others that shall remain nameless), The Swayback aren't copping to any kind of '60s revival — they're claiming that way-out guitar sound and wrapping it around some libidinous vocals and a rhythm that'll make you shimmy. And all of this just in time for summer.

Waiting for the Man [MP3, 6.2MB, 192kbps]
Forwarned [MP3, 4.2MB, 128kbps]

Posted by shan on 06.08.07 | Comments (2) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Brighton, MA

Label: Loose Tooth
Genre: Folk, Rock

Brighton, MA, refers to the birthplace of Matthew Kerstein, and in his own words represents the sense of "going home again." An air of nostalgia certainly wafts through the five songs on their self-titled debut EP, out next week. On "Ballad for Coolhand" Kerstein re-visits a younger, naive look towards the future, "How you planned to live free and simple/VW bus for the ride/and you chased your hopes on Down Street/live by the beach and get high." There's a hint of Irishness in Kerstein's delivery and coupled with soaring instrumentation it prompts occasional flashes of U2. This sound is most prevalent on "Bet You Never Thought," a track originally recorded when Kerstein, Devon Bryant and Sam Koentopp played with the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, but re-worked for this EP. Kerstein's earnest singing cuts through a dense swirl of guitars. As the song progresses more guitars rush in and the Edge gives way to Kevin Shields. I suspect their folk-gazing anthems will easily win fans as the band works its way into the national consciousness.

Bet You Never Thought [MP3, 6.8MB, 192kbps]
Ballad of Coolhand [MP3, 6.0MB, 192kbps]

Posted by sean on 06.03.07 | Comments (1) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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