2006 – Anamanaguchi – Power supply

Anamanaguchi. Like a lot of music, this was something I found through complete happenstance. I was listening to a Podcast (Games Radar’s Talk Radar, to be specific). They used the song Helix Nebula as the intro to their podcast (and still do). I was instantly transported to a place that sounded like my childhood. And I was instantly happy. The song is amazingly well crafted, upbeat, entertaining, and uniqe. A lot of care goes in to what they’re doing, and the best part is: you can tell they’re doing it because they love it. They are among the best at what they do.

Anamanaguchi is a chiptune band. Which means their music comes from a video game system. In particular, they use actual NES hardware, generate some squarewaves, and rock your face off, occasionally bringing other instruments in to the mix. Songs like Helix Nebula and Fast Turtle are some of the happiest sounding tracks I’ve heard in years, and repeatedly put a smile on my face. I think I spent nearly three hours listening to the song Fast Turtle on a loop at one point.

If you don’t believe me that music coming out of a Nintendo will entertain you, I challenge you to listen to it and tell me different. Because you can, the band made their 2006 album a totally free download on the chiptune dedicated website 8bitPeoples.com. Every time I begin to play Anamanaguchi songs for someone, their immediate response is “oh, wow, that’s cool.” Then, after they hear more of the song, it escalates to “and really good!” So go download Power Supply and come back here and tell me that you’re glad you heard it. You’re welcome.

If you really liked Power Supply, you can listen to all of the songs from their 2009 album Dawn Metropolis for free (the album’s website is like a giant interactive music video for every track!), buy that album, and even download MORE free tracks all from the band’s website.

Anamanaguchi loves what they do, they love pumping up their crowds, they love getting the energy back from their audience. Although I’m pre-writing most of this post, at the time this will be published I will have literally seen Anamanaguchi play in Rochester, NY not 12 hours ago. I’m hoping they make my face hurt from smiling for so long, and I have no reason to believe they won’t. I’ll update the post with some media, if I get anything good!

2009 – Abraham Inc – Tweet-Tweet

A limited release in 2009, and I believe a wider release in 2010, Abraham Inc. is the kind of band that you probably thought didn’t exist any more. More likely, maybe you thought something quite like this never existed. Blending jazz and funk musical stylings, traditional Jewish Klezmer, and even rap vocals brought down hard by Canadian rapper Socalled. Abraham Inc.’s Tweet-Tweet is a musical experience unlike any other, a side project of some of the best in their field collaborating on a sound uniquely their own. There’s no real market for a band like this, but that didn’t stop them from creating one. The album has something for everyone. Head over to their website, and give them a listen.

2003 – Adam Green – Friends of Mine

It’s Music Monday! This is a little bit older of an album than I usually suggest to people, but I’m all about helping you find things you probably haven’t heard, but should. Adam Green was co-founder of the band The Moldy Peaches, who’s 2000 self-titled album Moldy Peachesincluded a song entitled Anyone Else But You, which you most likely recall from Juno(2007).

But if you forget how much you hate the movie Juno (after all, remember how you loved it before everyone else loved it, too?), and forget whatever little you might now about The Moldy Peaches, you can go in to this album and truly enjoy it. It’s very much an easy listening album, and it’s what crooners all might have sounded like if they had the guts. The lyrics walk a fine line between poetic genius and babbling idiocy and the best part is, it never matters for a second whether or not it makes sense, because it just sounds so beautiful. There’s a reason this 2003 gem was re-released last year.

2011 – I Fight Dragons – Kaboom!

Kaboom!is the new album from I Fight Dragons, and it is everything I had hoped it would be. I don’t even think I can put in to words how quickly I became hooked on this album. I downloaded it from their website almost as soon as it became available. And for weeks before that, I enjoyed the music video they released for the album’s first single, “The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth.” You can find it on their website, or stay tuned for our next video of the week!

In what I can best describe as “what Weezer would’ve sounded like if they knew how,” Kaboom! really takes the band from a chiptune group of geeks to a mainstream band with an appeal to the niche geek audience. I could hear this being on the radio, and frankly, I hope it makes it. It’s probably never going to be top 40, but I want it to be. And I think that if anybody stands a chance, more than Frontalot, more than MC Chris, it’s I Fight Dragons, and their opportunity be on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour.

Listen to them now, so you don’t have to hear the “I told ya so” from me later. 😉