The Daytrotter sessions

A trip to Rock Island, IL
By NICK SYLVESTER  |  July 11, 2006

Jason Forrest
Since it’s just not good enough anymore to start a blog and offer stolen MP3s, a new site called Daytrotter is inviting indie bands to its ragtag studio in Rock Island, Illinois, and recording new tracks for them or alternates of old ones, then giving away four “Daytrotter Session” songs for download. Here are some recent cuts . . .

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, “Yr Broom (Daytrotter Session)” (mp3)
Pretty straightforward indie-pop band outta Missouri, lo-fi in all the ways people hung up on musical authenticity respond to, and this live session plays up the grit. As for “why this song?”: one part sounds like the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” and another part sounds like Nirvana’s “Been a Son.” QED.

Jason Forrest, “Song for My Grandmother (Daytrotter Session)” (mp3)
Forrest’s shtick is more-or-less breakbeat disco and cock-rock sound collages, little snippets of famously overplayed radio fare meticulously pieced together. Sometimes it works, other times not so much. Here he flirts with piano cut-ups of what could be an old jazz or Tin Pan Alley number, transforming them into a mad-hat circus ragtime, very cartoon and Khachaturian.

Sunset Rubdown, “Winged/Wicked Things (Daytrotter Session)” (mp3)
This one’s the top Daytrotter download for good reason. Fantastic song, obviously, in the stately vein of Sunset’s other RPG/synth arpeggio-addled deals, and chances are lead Rub Spencer Krug intended the title’s Plato reference. Krug’s outdone only by the Daytrotter production: excellent instrument separation, lots of space, superb mixing.

Frog Eyes, “Caravan Breakers (Daytrotter Session)” (mp3)
Absolutely Kosher reissued this band’s first two albums earlier this year — really grand, balladic, shimmery organ stuff, and lyrics labyrinthine with classical mythology. Their new material (e.g., “Caravan Breakers”) comes just as full but much more sprightly, as if Frog Eyes had finally realized they’re a rock band.

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