The NBA offseason's hibernation period has (more or less) arrived. With two weeks before any deal with Cleveland can be made official, and a full month before any FIBA World Cup action begins. In between, it can be tough to find ways for hoops addicts to find ways to cope. Basketball withdrawal, if not treated properly, can become real issue, especially for the untreated's family and close friends.
Personally, the way I tend to cope with boredom of any time of the year is through my iPod (and last.fm). I've never been one to listen to sports talk radio on my way to work. Instead, I try to play a new album on most commutes.
It sounds like youth and building may be a central theme for next season's Timberwolves. In spirit of that theme, I've compiled a list of four artists that are very much in the early stages of their careers.
Those who watched NBC's Friday Nights may remember him as ""the damn Swede". I came across Shakey Graves' (Alejandro Rose-Garcia's) music a couple years ago after a friend messaged me a link to the video below. After the initial surprise of who I was watching, I was floored by the power of his voice, the nifty finger-picking patterns, and the fact that he was singing, playing guitar, and playing a double kick drum all at once.
He has recorded a couple albums in his basement, but has only just recently announced the release of his first studio debut, which is set for release October 7. Definitely on my watch list.
The only Minnesotan on this list, deM atlaS is on an early start to join Slug, Brother Ali, and P.O.S. among the ranks of heavyweights in the Minnesota hip hop scene. While his beats generally tend to (for me) give off more of an East Coast vibe, this particular music video reminds people immediately where he calls home. When this video came out, he was an unsigned artist. Now, he's a touring member of Rhymesayers, and has been traveling around with Prof (who I considered also putting on this list) and Atmosphere over the past 6 months or so.
He's also the only listed artist I've seen live. He's really, really good live. He breaks guitars like Pete Townshend, he jumps and sprints around the stage like David Lee Roth, and he raps like...well...himself. He only has a 4-track EP titled Chrle Brwn out right now, but his recent Rhymesayers signing leads most to believe there's more to come soon.
Roadkill Ghost Choir
Now, onto a pair of bands with some promise. Roadkill Ghost Choir, originally from Florida, have made quite a jump over the past year. During their first national tour, they were asking fans for floors to sleep on in exchange for free tickets to their shows, via their Facebook fan page. It's possible that they're still floor-friendly rock stars, but they've come a long way since I read that post, and they're still prepping the release of their first album.
Their debut album is set for release in just a few weeks, August 19. On their Quiet Light EP, they have a good array of folk-based jams, ranging from beautifully depressing acoustic guitar pieces, to full-band pieces that make you question whether dancing like a foolish hippie is appropriate. I'll leave that part up to you.
I originally discovered this band when looking up stuff on Oasis. I love Oasis, and have been quietly begging the gods for a reunion (US) tour for quite some time now. No luck, really. During this endless search for a hint, I found a totally unrelated Noel Gallagher quote one of his favorite new bands. He called Temples' recently-released album Sun Structures, "great", and ripped a radio station for not playing it, in classic Noel Gallagher style. I instantly went to see what band Noel was talking about, and it felt like a trip through a broken time machine.
Temples is a combination of mid 60s psychedelic and modern-day psychedelic seamlessly. It's like if Tame Impala and Jefferson Airplane got together and made a record. Even the music video does the job. If you first listened listened to this song with a pair of headphones, odds are the music video below is similar to what you were imagining in your head.