It Takes A Village To Make Records: the blog + Top 10 songs of 2010

GTG’s little experimental upstart cousin/subsidiary record label now has it’s very own blog, here:  http://itavrecords.blogspot.com/

While ITAV has some exciting stuff lined up for 2011, it’s not enough to blog about all the time… so I’m planning to blog just as much about all of your musical exploits and endeavors!  The fun has already started, with a brief history of ITAV 2006-present, including our first three releases and some breaking news about what’s next — and a whole lot of name-dropping of past and present Lansing bands!

One of the things that’s next (but that doesn’t get mentioned over at the ITAV blog, because, well, it’s still in its formative stages) is 3-artist/3-song digital 3-way singles!  Who wants to do one?  The idea is, three single-worthy songs (per single) from 3 different artists.  I’ve mentioned the idea so far to The Hat Madder, The Playback, Narc Out The Reds, Fields Of Industry, Double Saginaw Familiarity, and a few other of all y’alls… I’d love to see it be a cross-label venture that knits together various disparate corners of the mid-Michigan scene (and beyond!)  It could also be a great place for one-off experiments, for example I’m having a very inspiring time working with a vocalist from the Detroit area, Rachel Yezbick.  I sent her an instrumental track and she laid some vocals on it that pushed it into this sort of edgy postpunk/electro/Massive Attack realm…wow is all I can say.  We’re saving that one for early summer.  I want to do a whole series of them.

A full-blown ITAV website is in the works for a late February launch.

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Does anyone else feel like 2010 was a banner year for local music, and for some of our friends in the extended GTG/BMP/Silver Maple Kill/AvE etc. family especially?  In no particular order, here are 10 of the songs from this past year’s GTG releases that have really stuck with me:

Narc Out The Reds: I Was Evil That Year — man I love this song, with its loping, building guitar line.
Frank And Earnest: ’87 — I dig the whole album, but I compulsively twist the volume knob when this one starts.
The Plurals: Won’t Come To You — off a great EP that displays throughout how multi-faceted The Plurals can be while still cranking out noisy pop.
Small Houses: Last Last One — Jeremy keeps pushing the normal conventions of acoustic songwriting into new and unexpected shapes.
The Hat Madder: Salt & Lime Wastes Time — gets caught in my head for days at a time.
Crookedsound: Beth — one of the best interpretations of this song ever.
Middleman: Comin’ Home — I think I like it better than the original!  A lot better.
Josh David & The Dream Jeans: Oh Santa — a lot of post-punk angularity crammed into one song that also serves as a roast of Ryan Horky.
Calliope: Through Being Cool — clearly, Calliope is far from being done with cool.
Dr. Device: Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA — the two tribute albums are an embarrassment of riches.  Even the sonically compromised Lightning Bugs song — which gets unfairly blasted, elsewhere on the internet — was clearly a fire-breathing, foot stomping performance.  But then again, I’m a person who can listen to the live audience tape of The Minutemen’s “Fanatics” and catch the melody while most people just think it’s Merzbow or something.  Anyway, I digress — Dr. Device mixes a nice bouquet of robotic tones in with motorik guitars and bursts of spazzcore just in the first minute of this medley.  I likes.

In the runner’s up and/or bands not on GTG categories:  Drunken Barn Dance’s “Winter’s Tale” off of Grey Buried is — if you’ll forgive the cliché — a barn burner that (as I expound on in my as-of-yet unpublished best Michigan music of 2010 mega-article) lands squarely between Uncle Tupelo’s Still Feel Gone and Neil Young’s Live Rust. Fields Of Industry’s “I’ve Never Been To New York” has the sort of Sterling Morrison-esque chiming guitars and propulsive psych-rock groove that initializes their impressive Trouble House album in a fashion that keeps me hitting the repeat button.  Steve Leaf’s “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” off We Are Ghosts, fields some risky lyrics in what is otherwise a gently artistic indie-folk song.  White Pines’ “Armor” off of The Falls, just one of the great songs by Joe Scott off an album that was released to much acclaim and seems to just be gathering steam.

— Peter

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One response to “It Takes A Village To Make Records: the blog + Top 10 songs of 2010

  1. …I forgot one of my runner ups/non-GTG notable songs, The Plague Years’ “The Inhuman Condition” off of No F#%king Egos. It runs over me like a tank. Crushing and amazing.

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