In recent years, the advertising industry has developed into a contemptible archenemy of independent music artists. After Beach House's repeated rebuffs to Volkswagen, which was keen on soundtracking a TV spot with their song song 'Take Care', the Baltimore twosome discovered the car company produced a near-exact facsimile of the tune.
Just off Texas State Highway 21, a route followed by migrating buffalo centuries ago, sits the town of Dime Box. When author William Least Heat-Moon visited during a cross-country expedition–later chronicled in his landmark travel-writing tome Blue Highways–Dime Box was a town where the cafes had screen doors and the sidewalks were constructed of wood planks.
Consider the Pastels' early days, the sporadic and awkward initial singles for Whaam!, Rough Trade, and Creation, that air of not-giving-a-fugh - they were immature, ambitious to be unambitious, prone to misplaying chords, positively glacial when it came to the songwriting/recording process. "Hearing our early stuff reminds me of what an effete 20-year-old I was," frontman Stephen Pastel (nee McRobbie) once confessed. Few acts seemed less capable of longevity.
What one regards as squanderous, another deems as progressive. On his own, Swedish-Argentine singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez is a fleet-fingered, ruby-throated troubadour — adept at bucolic balladry, possessor of a voice of quiet resignation to life's inevitabilities, string-picking successor to Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, Samuel Beam.
In the ever-expanding indie rock universe, Dustin Payseur – the pallid, rumple-haired creative force behind Brooklyn's Beach Fossils – has blown up, grown up, 'Crashed Out', and cashed in. He's drafted bandmates, ditched bandmates, slicked-up bedsit pop, and scorch-earthed countless stages. Yet throughout four years of artistic delights and defeats, Payseur's allegiance to an aesthetic of clean lines and simple shapes has never wavered.
Clever re-inventor, overly ambitious re-animator, whiz-bang music folklorist, fusty archivist —call him what you'd like. Sam Amidon's approach to music-making — disassembling and then reconstructing antiquated sacred songs, secular ballads, and folk tunes, along with the occasional modern-day chart-topper — leaves the 31-year-old singer/songwriter with more than his share of fixed labels, even while his finished product eschews them all together.