Monday, April 4, 2011

Blog Spotlight: Daytrotter

Today I chose to write a blog entry that spotlights one of my favorite music websites, Daytrotter. There are tons of music blogs out there all trying to gain your attention and pitch the next big band, but Daytrotter stays away from all of that. The idea behind Daytrotter is band's who are on tour will often stop by the Daytrotter studios and record four songs that are then posted on the website free of charge, along with superbly written articles by Sean Moeller and illustrations of the musician by Johnnie Cluney. All songs of the songs are recorded live, without overdubs, at The Horseshack studio in Rock Island, Illinois to analog tape which is later transferred to an MP3 file. The result of these sessions is often a raw, unfiltered glimpse of the band at that particular moment. Rather than talk your ear off about the history of the site, here is a trailer of a documentary about the website and studio:

While many of the artists on the site a smaller, indie bands that you may be unfamiliar with, Daytrotter has also done Daytrotter Sessions for Death Cab For Cutie, The Avett Brothers, Ok Go, Old 97's, Pete Yorn and Rooney. Here are my three favorite Daytrotter Sessions:

The Avett Brothers - This is one of my all-time favorite Daytrotter Sessions. The band's take on bluegrass and emotional lyrics are best suited in a live setting in my opinion, and this session captures everything that is great about this band. Listen to the live version of "Laundry Room".

Bon Iver - This one made the list for the same reason as The Avett Brothers session. For those who do not know the back story of how Justin Vernon recorded his debut album For Emma, Forever Ago, Vernon moved into his father's cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. During the winter at the cabin, where he was by himself, he recorded the album. His songs are introspective, largely acoustic affairs and I like to think these Daytrotter Sessions sound like what the songs must have sounded like in that cabin as he wrote them. "Re Stacks" is a must listen.

The Hold Steady - The Hold Steady are easily one of my favorite rock bands and I would love to see them in a small venue someday. However, until that happens, this session is the closest I will get. The live recordings fits their style of bar-room worthy rock and roll well and these songs are in constant rotation on my MP3 player.

I hope everyone enjoys these sets or finds some that they like on the site! They post new sessions almost daily, so check back frequently!

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