Category Archives: Bands

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Snowmine

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Snowmine is a delicate gem among more grungy, indie rock bands which come from the same area.

 

 

The band is fronted by Grayson Sanders on keys and vocals. Playing alongside him are guitarists Austin Mendenhall and Calvin Pia, bassist Jay Goodman, and drummer Alex Beckmann.

Classified as ambient psychedelic pop, Snowmine’s songs are richly layered with classical orchestrations, echo pedals, and tribal beats. The band is also tactile, using props like Chinese lanterns and brooms to add to their sound. Their songs are composed tightly to a t, which is no surprise considering that most of them are written by vocalist Sanders who was a composer in the New York classical scene before joining the band. Sanders’ vocals are dreamy and atmospheric and have been favourably compared to Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes.

Since their formation in November 2010, they’ve released a single titled Nervous, and a full-length album titled Laminate Pet Animal. Two shorter albums, Curfews and Saucer Eyes, have followed.

At the moment, Snowmine seems to be building up its live performances and touring across the US. Given the solid sound and subsequent following that they’ve gained, we can expect to see the band grow bigger soon.

My favourite songs from Snowmine

  • Let Me In
  • Beast in Air, Beast in Water
  • Curfews

Fun facts: The title Laminate Pet Animal is a palindrome (a word/phrase that means the same when read backward). Try it yourself!

Check them out here:

-Yi Wei-

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Echo And Drake

Band photo – credits to Andrew Wallach

With a strong following from their hometown alongside numerous local and state awards, Echo And Drake is an up and coming indie/alternative rock band from Hartford, Connecticut. 

Through a winning combination of reverb/synth effects and rustic New England charm, they represent the best parts of of technology and talent in music.

Their debut album Sundrenched Elsewhere displays high standards of craftsmanship, from a carefully thought out arrangement of tracks to their well-written lyrics. A solid production all round.

Although I feel they currently lack a flagship single to lead the charge into mainstream success, Echo And Drake is still far from exhausting their latent potential.

Among my favourite songs from Echo And Drake include:

  • Morning Dove
  • Sundrenched Elsewhere
  • Bright New Machine

Check out their official page here: http://www.echoanddrake.com

-Mark

The-Temper-Trap

The Temper Trap

Since forming in 2005, Australian band The Temper Trap has moved from strength to strength after a series of successful albums and tours.

Their flagship single “Sweet Disposition” skyrocketed the band to mainstream success after appearing in the film (500) Days of Summer. Subsequently, the song has featured in numerous other films, trailers, commercials and television series.

With a clean, consistent public image - The Temper Trap is easy to love. Their distinct, recognizable style and a strong promotional arm has seen their music associated with many of today’s current trends and subcultures.

Among some of my favourite songs from The Temper Trap are:

  • Love Lost
  • Trembling Hands
  • Soldier On

Check out their official site here: http://thetempertrap.com/

-Mark

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The Middle East

With absolutely no geographical relation to its name, The Middle East is an Australian band based in Queensland.

 

 

They have officially disbanded after playing their last concert – Splendour in the Grass in August 2011, leaving behind some really good songs and a number of disappointed fans.

Listening to The Middle East is a subtle, yet engaging emotional journey. With a diverse variety of styles, unconventional instruments and well placed vocal harmonization, I find their music most suitable during a quiet search for inspiration or highway driving at night.

Among some of my favourite songs from The Middle East are:

  • Blood
  • Lonely
  • Deep Water

https://www.facebook.com/visitthemiddleeast

http://www.myspace.com/visitthemiddleeast

-Mark

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London Grammar

London Grammar is a mysterious new band that has recently surfaced on the internet, capturing our attentions and bandwidth alike.

Through an amazing marriage of synthetic sounds with your average three-piece rock band instruments, they have managed to produce highly atmospheric music without sacrificing form and structure.

The lead female vocalist, Hannah Reid (right) has a beautiful contralto voice. Ranging from crystal clear vocals to low whispers, she weaves in and out effortlessly throughout their songs.

Metal and Dust

Among my favourite songs from London Grammar are:

  • Metal and Dust
  • Hey Now

Check out their links here:

http://www.londongrammar.com/

https://www.facebook.com/londongrammar

-Mark

JINN

Jinn

Mugen no Hikari

Mugen no Hikari (夢幻の光) – Jinn

Since the emergence of K-pop (Korean pop), the Japanese music industry has gone underground, retaining pockets of die-hard fans waiting for the current fad to pass.

Japanese rock bands such as Jinn were mostly popularized through clever song placement in various anime, forming an emotional connection between their music and the events which occurred in the anime itself.

The vocals of Hītan (second from right) is an acquired taste, with unexpected breaks in her voice. But I’ve always felt that she puts everything into her music. And somehow, that more than compensates for everything else.

What I love best about Jinn are their explosive bursts of energy, followed by a sudden change of pace to a slow and heartfelt melody.

Among my favourite songs from Jinn are:

  • Mugen no Hikari
  • Raion
  • Parallel World

Check out their official site here: http://jinnlove.net/en/index.html

-Mark-

The Frames

The Frames

The Frames

Star Star – The Frames

Founded by Glen Hansard (center) in 1990, The Frames have contributed greatly to the development of the rock music scene in Dublin, Ireland.

In 2006, Hansard starred in the musical film Once, in which he wrote most of the movie’s original soundtrack together with fellow actress and musician Markéta Irglová.

Their song Falling Slowly even won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Overall, their music is thoughtfully written, with lyrics filled with messages and meaning. The inclusion of the violin by Colm Mac Con Iomaire (far left) during the bridge of Falling Slowly still remains one of my most memorable musical moments of all time.

Check out their official site here: http://www.theframes.ie/

-Mark-

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Enterprise WAN

An enterprise SD WAN can modernize your network and propel your business in the digital age. Using network security to help protect the sensitive data within your enterprise and prevent external access is an ideal way to modernize your network, so getting the right resources for this is important and you can go to sites such as https://www.fortinet.com/solutions/small-business/security-sd-wan for this purpose. They are also a smart way to route traffic and better secure the network as a whole. There are several alternatives to running a full WAN solution on top of your firewalls and routers:

Metering WAN:This is running your WAN through a network connection that is managed by your computer rather than the device itself. This solution is also more cost effective in many ways. It allows for you to properly protect and monitor your network but also can reduce data on the WAN by eliminating costly connection and filtering.

VPN WAN:This is using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection to connect to the Internet from your computer. VPN WANs provide secure connections, meaning that your data remains on the WAN and not on the VPN server. However, VPN WANs usually impose stricter security requirements on the VPN server and therefore require higher data rates to serve. In addition, VPN WANs are typically installed in your enterprise on a dedicated, high performance network.

IP Forwarding WAN:Similar to the other WAN solutions, IP Forwarding WANs provide advanced options for protecting your network and for routing Internet traffic through your network. This is a good way to improve the performance and overall security of your enterprise network.

Are there any additional benefits to running a WAN on top of your firewall? There are some benefits and concerns as well:

Benefits

Predictability of network traffic: As long as your Firewall is properly configured, a WAN on top of your firewall can still use common port definitions (25, 80, etc) to route traffic through your firewall. This is helpful if you need to change your firewall rules on a regular basis. However, most WANs on top of your firewall do not use a port at all but route through specific ports. Therefore, if you modify your firewall rules to route through the same port every time, it will result in some delays on your WAN because traffic will have to traverse the firewall several times to reach the outside world. This causes delays when devices in the WAN send and receive data. For example, if you send and receive data through the ports 80 and 443, each time you send a message or perform a search for information, the traffic will have to traverse your firewall for several seconds in order to reach the outside world. This is why the WAN is often referred to as the bottleneck to the Internet as well as to the rest of your network.

Access: Access to the Internet and other high-speed networks is restricted because of the firewall’s active network traffic rules. A WAN on top of your firewall allows you to access the Internet as well as applications that need a standard internet connection (like email, internet browsing and Skype). This can be valuable to help your business better connect with competitors and the outside world. For example, you can have your office in the Philippines and let your business partners and clients access the internet from your office, or even have your laptop and tablet inside the conference room or private meeting room, thus giving customers the same experience that they have at your office.

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Brand New

Jesus Christ – Brand New

Brand New was one of the very first Alternative bands I’ve ever listened to. I discovered them through a flash game on Newgrounds - One Chance which featured their song Tautou during the climaxIts placement in the game was excellently done. Very moving.

Check out their official site here: http://www.fightoffyourdemons.com/

-Mark-

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Now, Now Every Children

Giants (Acoustic Version)

 

This is easily my favourite indie band this year. Although not very prominent at the moment, they have been gradually building a loyal fanbase since their inception in 2003.

Now, Now really distinguishes themselves through their slightly dark, melancholic music. Lead vocalist Cacie Dalager (centre) has a beautiful voice, with all the right inflections for the songs they play. Although not always pitch perfect, I somehow find that her offbeat notes actually enhances the overall listening experience.

Dalager’s partnership with guitarist and vocalist Jess Abbott (left) is a generous one, affording both girls opportunities to stand out individually.

Also listen out for some unexpected drum patterns every now and again from Bradley Hale (right), which he tastefully includes into the song without interrupting the flow and tempo.

Moving on, most of their lyrics are fairly unusual, but convey such universal emotions like resolve, frustration and regret. It’s music that anyone could relate to at some point in their life, and it will have a different meaning to each person.

Among some of my favourite songs from Now, Now are:

  • Giants (both original and acoustic versions)
  • Prehistoric
  •  Lucie, Too

Check out their official Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/NowNowMusic

-Mark-