Category Archives: Acoustic

Teardrop by José González

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An odd video that reminds me of the Mighty Hercules cartoon series.

José González emotes this epic song with his classic guitar. This Massive Attack cover (click here for the original) is off his second album, In Our Nature.

This Swedish artist has released 2 albums, and 8 EPs. He has a very distinct voice, and sound thanks in part to his guitar tuning. He’s collaborated with many artists and most recently re-joined the band, Junip.

Flume by Bon Iver

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Live video in a radio studio.

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver plays a sole acoustic guitar in this live version. A nice soulful folk tune. This is off of their only album, For Emma, Forever Ago.

This American indie band is pretty new to the music scene releasing their debut album in 2008 and an EP in 2009. I’m not a fan of their over-layered studio vocals, but they sound great live. If you can go to their website, you can hear Peter Gabriel doing this song.

Through The Dark by Alexi Murdoch

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No video for this song, so enjoy a fan made one with great dramatic stills that explore light and dark.

Alexi Murdoch plucks out a soulful folky tune on his guitar that borders on melancholy and happiness. This is off Alexi’s latest EP Towards The Sun.

He’s released 1 Album, 2 EPs and that’s all folks. His music has been included in countless TV shows and movies from The OC to Prison Break, Garden State, Gone Baby Gone and the list goes on and on.

Most of his songs were featured in the extremely dull Sam Mendes film, Away We Go, probably to Alexi’s horror. My favourite review off the Rotten Tomatoes website is this: “You may very well enjoy Away We Go more than I did. But rest assured that you will never love this movie as much as it loves itself.”

Killer Kaczynski by Mando Diao

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Here is a nice acoustic video at a radio station. Well actually the video is pretty sucky, taken with hand-held camera.

Mando Diao, a Swedish alt-indie-rock band deliver a nice acoustic version of their tribute to the unabomber. And really what self-respecting band doesn’t have a song about the unabomber.

They’ve released 5 albums, and tons of singles and EPs. They’re big in Western Europe, but fame continues to elude them in English speaking nations, which is odd, since all of the their music is in English.

The Water Jet Cilice by Andrew Bird

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Here’s a live video, with a beautiful mountain in the background. One man alone with one instrument.

Andrew Bird delivers an amazing live performance with the aid of a loop pedal. He layers one sound after another building an entire song relatively quickly with just his violin. Oh yeah, and he whistles.

This man is an amazing musician mastering the violin, guitar, and mandolin, and weaving them all together to make beautiful music. I almost prefer his live music to his studio work, because of the tangents, he goes on, creating amazing variations of his songs, in the moment.

He’s released 8 studio albums, 4 live albums, and 4 EPs. There is a ton of great music out there, but I highly recommend the From the Basement live series with Andrew Bird. A quick Google search will net you a few songs.

I still don’t know what a cilice is.

Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele by Amanda Palmer

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Instead of spotlighting a song, let’s hear a whole album without any distracting images.

Amanda Palmer (one half of The Dresden Dolls) broke up with her record label and decided to celebrate by releasing a bunch of Radiohead songs on ukulele. Her magic ukulele. Probably pried from Tiny Tim‘s cold dead hands.

She’s released 1 solo album, as well as 2 albums with the Dresden Dolls

If you’re a Radiohead fan and a fan of the ukulele (yes the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive), then you’ll love this. Give it a listen…

Bridges and Balloons by Joanna Newsom

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Since no video exists for this song, here is a live version that sounds a lot like the one on the album.

This simple little ditty is played on the old-school harp. It’s sung very child-like and even the lyrics  with references to dirigibles and the Chronicles of Narnia evoke childhood memories.

Joanna Newsom enchants with her unique blend of voice, and instrument. Although she hates when her voice is referred to as child-like, it’s easy to hear why. She’s released 3 Albums so far and not since Harpo Marx has the harp hit the big time.

Innocence by The Airborne Toxic Event

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Since there is no official video for this song. I found the next best thing, which is an acoustic version of the song.

The Airborne Toxic Event remind me a lot of Arcade Fire and this particular song could be from either band. A slow build culminating in violin anarchy. The original version is a little more edgier and angstier, but I love both for different reasons.

This LA band has only released the one album, and they’ve acoustic versions of all of their songs with accompanying videos, all shot from a single camera in one take. You can find them all on their MySpace page.