Vinyl goes digital

Limited edition gems are now downloadable
By MATT ASHARE  |  November 20, 2006


The Apples in Stereo

Some of us still remember the famed Sub Pop singles club, and Simple Machines’ 1993 single-a-month series, which featured everyone from riot grrrls Bratmobile to slo-rockers Codeine. Some of us have probably even made a little cash selling those limited-edition vinyl gems on eBay. But unless you’re a DJ, the days of the vinyl single are long gone. Digital downloads are in a good position to take their place, and that’s the thinking behind Yep Roc’s “digital singles club.” The club launched on November 14 with five singles you can buy for 99 cents apiece or stream for free. Every week, the label will be adding another single. You can join atwww.digitalsinglesclub.com and find the first five tracks there now.

The Apples in Stereo, “Holiday Mood”
These indie stalwarts have been around since the early days of Beatlesque lo-fi bedroom recording, and though we thought they’d disappeared, the Apples in Stereo have been popping up all over the place of late. This is their first ever seasonal tune, but that’s okay ’cause it’s suffused in warm, Pet Sounds ambiance with spot-on harmonies and a nice, cozy melody.

Dogs, “Soldier On”
In classic UK punk form, Dogs have a guttersnipe vocalist who spits out desperate politicized lyrics in a voice that’s somewhere between Joe Strummer and Stiff Little Fingers. And the guitars, unlike those in US neo-punk, aren’t those huge Jerry Finn arena-rock bullies. Yeah, it’s noisy and frenetic, but it’s also got a bit of a groove, and a real sense of explosive dynamics.

Gertie Fox, “Standing Inside a Crowd”
The chatter at the beginning of this track by LA’s Gertie Fox gives way to what sounds like a long-lost Pavement tune played in that lazy, hazy way Stephen Malkmus adopted for his more countrified numbers. “Lions den so full of zen” is just the kind of chorus Malkmus could have written, and “TV sets that sell you lies” works because Gertie Fox don’t rhyme it with the next line, “Stupid blondes who own motels.”

Proton Proton, “Major Solution”
Yeah, it’s another buzzed-about band from Brooklyn, which is fine with us as long as they’re all as captivating as this track, a broken-down love song with some kind of toy piano tinkling in the background and a nice brawny guitar riff right up front.

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