Music Reviews
Stranded in Stereo

Stranded in Stereo

Stranded in Stereo Volumes 9 & 10

Stranded in Stereo

If you are looking for a great compilation of new music from bands that most have never heard of (with a DVD of music videos to boot), then look no further than Stranded in Stereo. Four times a year they put out a compilation of great music of all genres in both CD and DVD formats. Combined it’s roughly 40 songs from 40 different artists per volume. Volumes 9 and 10 are both chock full of great music (and some filler). And to top it all off, it’s free!

The CD on Volume 9 runs the gamut of genres… and great music. The first five songs are enough to get this volume started beginning with the Strokes-meets-Jayhawks “Paralyzed” by Elf Power, followed by South’s straight-up indie pop “Better Things.” Then things start rocking with the punk veterans Goldfinger and their powerful “One More Time.” But then they bring it down with the critically-acclaimed folkie Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” and Katy Perry’s poppy “UR So Gay.” Throw in “Mixed Up SOB,” the latest from The Presidents of the United States of America and “Requiem for a Dying Song” by Irish punks Flogging Molly and you have a great compilation just waiting to be unveiled.

And there’s still the DVD to go! While this DVD isn’t one of the better ones that they’ve had, it still has some great videos including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “Dig, Lazarus, Dig.” I also discovered two fantastic groups from the DVD that I had never heard before, but now really like. The power pop of “Sell Out” by Sounds Under Radio had me hooked from the flashing lights of the video. It also includes the schizophrenically brilliant “Love Me Dead” by Ludo. The best video, and song, on this compilation is Virginia Coalition’s “Sing Along.” An achingly beautiful composition about love and loss, the video perfectly captures the mood of the song and has made me a big fan of the group after about a dozen listens.

Volume 10 has its share of goodness too. On the CD side, new wave is represented by Don Juan Dracula on “New Sensation,” KaiserCartel showcases a very Mates of State-ish “Oh No,” while Katy Perry contributes her second (and better) song “Fingerprints.” The DVD is filled with great videos including the circus-like “Snakebite” by Gabby Young & Other Animals and The Trews’ deceivingly-titled hard rocker “Hold Me in Your Arms.” The highlights, however, are “Go to Hell,” – which has David Ford doing his best Keller Williams by playing about a dozen instruments including kitchen utensils – and Bang Camaro’s “Pleasure (Pleasure).” Now the song itself is your basic hair band fist-pumping anthem, but the video is done as if it was on the game Rock Band. To top it all off, the guys from the Orange County Choppers try their hand at it and in the end, they trash the controllers. Now that’s rock and roll.

Stranded in Stereo is all about new music from artists that you may not have heard of. Just sign up on their Web site and you’re good to go. You may not like every song and you probably won’t agree with what I like or your friends like. But that’s what makes these compilations so fun. Finding those artists that you will get hooked on, and if you can find a couple of new artists that you really like, then the people at Stranded in Stereo have done their job, and kept you coming back for more.

Stranded in Stereo:

Recently on Ink 19...