Category Archives: Sans Label

Sans Label: Taxicab Racers (Chattanooga/Nashville)

Today’s Sans Label band comes from the beautiful Tennessee city of Chattanooga.

I know Matt is snickering right now.  Adam may be too.

Why?  (Story time…)

I am not sure if any of you remember but back in June I along with Matt and Adam ventured to Tennessee to attend Bonnaroo.  You can read about the Bonnaroo adventures here, here, here, and here if you would like to know the whole deal of the trip.

The thought of Chattanooga puts a sneer on my face and it has nothing to do with the attractive city at all.  It has to do with a major detour that was endeavored on the first day of Bonnaroo thanks to Matt and a band called the B-52’s.

It’s my fault, really it is.  If I was not such an ass to Matt this little detour never would have happened.

You see, while enjoying a free breakfast at the glorious Holiday Inn located in Kimball, TN I spotted a Chattanooga newspaper that had a picture of the B-52’s on the cover.  Knowing that Matt is an uber fan I pushed the paper in front of him and poked fun at the band.

I have nothing against the B-52’s by the way.  They are not my type of music but they happen to be one of Matt’s favorite bands ever.

So putting this paper in his face was a terrible mistake because his eyes lit up.  To make a long story short I dropped Matt’s ass off in Chattanooga and took myself and Adam to day one of Bonnaroo.  Some eight hours later I returned to Chattanooga and picked up Mr. Rock Lobster.

It’s true I was annoyed.  Anyone would be annoying to drive out of the way especially since it was really out of the way.  As annoyed as I was though I knew I made his day if not his summer by dropping him off by the river so he could see his band.

So when I hear the city of Chattanooga brought up in any conversation or read it in an email immediately my memories go back to the day where I was a taxicab driver for Matt.  It was worth it to see him happy and if I really did not want to do it, I would not have.  You can’t blame me Matt for putting up a fight.

Where am I going with this story you ask?

Well a couple weeks ago I received an email from a Chattanooga band called Taxicab Racers.

I laughed out loud when I read it.  Not because of their content or because they had a funny song.  Just seeing the words Chattanooga and taxicab in the same sentence was beyond hilarious to me.

Without hesitation I checked out the attached MP3.  I wanted to make sure that they had nothing in common with the B-52’s and they did not.

Taxicab Racers is a electronic / rock act started by Michael Roddy who later was joined by his friends Nathan, Adam, and Josh turning the mostly one man idea into more of a pop rock electronic act that heavily hints on New Order and Phoenix which in my book is perfectly ok with me.  I love electronic rock acts so to hear the similarities made me that much more interested.

The first song they sent me titled “Turnpike” comes from the four song EP the band recently released titled Turnpike.  The song not only has a great flow throughout but the thoughtful lyrics in the song almost become a little dreary to listen to as it’s clear the song is about confusion in relations.  This is a good chill out song to listen to when you are just having one of those days.

“Time And Place” did not strike me as hard as the previous track but still kept a happy vibe full of uptempo creating danceable qualities.  The remaining two songs proved that the band has come a long way from being a solo project to a four man team.  “Take It Easy” was almost techno at times with heavy synthesizers but kept the balance down enough where it was not a repetitious annoyance to listen to.  “Houses” had hints of Postal Service at times with the signing and simplicity to the song and I especially loved the drawn out ending.

With the band recently relocating to Nashville I have a good feeling that these guys will be taking their Turnpike EP and utilizing it in a positive way to create a full length debut album worthy of talking about.  Fans of indie rock with an electronic edge will be digging these guys in no time.

DOWNLOAD THIS!Taxicab Racers – “Turnpike”

Visit the band’s MySpace Page to check out the rest of the EP.

Sans Label: Brooklyn’s Monogold

I have a new feature I will periodically post here about up and coming artists and I call it simply Sans Label.  I was trying to think of a wittier name for this category but apparently I am suffering from brain-melt.  I just can not think of something clever regarding independent unsigned artists.

How often I post Sans Label entries will depend on the alignment of the sun and the moon or simply whenever I am wowed by an independent or underground act.  I will be sure to post a little something something up on this here site along with a MP3 to share with the band’s permission of course.

I am doing this out of the love for all music out there.  I receive so many emails from folk asking me to check out their work.  I feel this will be my thank you to all of the acts out there that spend day after day self-promoting their band.  These bands are unsigned acts trying to get their name out there with a D.I.Y. attitude.  I respect all genres of music so expect to see a variety of acts posted.

So without further delay here is the first Sans Label post:

A few weeks ago a Brooklyn based band named Monogold reached out to me via a simple email asking me to visit their MySpace page to check out their music.  Always looking for something new I clicking on the link in the email and checked out a song titled “Feel Animal”.  I was completely floored by how great it was.  The upbeat dramatic indie rock song was such a pleasant track to hear.

In fact just listen to it for yourself.

DOWNLOAD THIS! – Monogold – “Feel Animal”

The song alone in my opinion is proof this band is going to be going places. Of course I don’t want to jinx them but imagine my surprise of hearing such a track and instantly loving it.  I immediately asked the band for more.

The band kindly sent the rest of the EP to me titled We Animals.  Just as I had hoped the other six tracks that were self recorded, self produced, and self released  by the three members have a very likable feel to them.  The harmonous singing and catchy guitar playing is perfect for a soundtrack to a warm summer evening drive.  Trust me, I speak from personal experience.

The fact that this band is only a three piece amazes me.  Honestly when you hear their sound in the rest of the EP you would like it would take more than a trio to perform such tunes. I thought so highly of this band I decided that I wanted to take their music a step further to help them get their music heard.

Recently I was appointed by my good friends over at Sexy Photo Trip (SPT) as their music director.  I decided that I wanted to use one of Monogold’s songs for an episode of SPT.  Monogold was thrilled I asked them to use their song in the video and honestly so was I.  It fit perfectly.

You can see that episode by clicking HERE (warning all SPT material is NSFW so view at your own 18+ risk).

Look for Monogold to release the amazing We Animals EP next month.  I am hoping they are able to tour as well in support of this sure to be a hit release.

Here’s a video from an earlier track titled “Leaves”:

One a side note, I plan on continuing this trend of using unsigned bands  here in the Sans Label posts as well as in future episodes of SPT so if you know of anyone out there that is unsigned or independent and listenworthy, send them my way.  I would love to hear them and maybe even get one of their hard worked songs into a fun episode on SPT.