Daytrotter releases live sessions weekly

Indie rock darlings play exclusively for website

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Grizzly Bear

You hear horror stories about regular people getting fined thousands of dollars or put in jail for downloading leaked versions of their favourite bands.

Scrap the paranoia and opt for not only a free and legal music website, but an incredibly creative one. invites indie bands to record exclusive four-song sets at Futureappletree Studio 1 in Rock Island, Illinois. These live sessions are recorded off the floor and set straight to quarter-inch tape, idiosyncrasies and all. Whether it’s a reworked, alternate or pre-released song, you can’t get this recording anywhere else. Three sets are released every week with no fees or sign-up.

Since Daytrotter’s launch in March 2006, creator Sean Moeller and engineer Patrick Stolley have recorded over 200 live sessions with bands like Cold War Kids, Of Montreal, Sunset Rubdown, Grizzly Bear, French Kicks, Voxtrot, Sondre Lerche, Dr. Dog, and more indie gems.

With some of the biggest bands playing borrowed instruments in a small room above a pizza place, some may wonder why these bands play their music for the site free of charge. Part of the appeal is the intimacy of the recording sessions: the bands aren’t playing for anyone but themselves at that moment, which gives them a creative outlet without the screaming fans.

Don’t let the site’s altruism fool you into thinking its content comes at the price of quality. These recordings are high quality (the creators’ major expense is the site’s bandwidth) with sound as clear as a CD, whether the songs are downloaded as an MP3 or streamed.

Each live track also includes quirky quips and random facts about the song. Tokyo Police Club’s lead singer Dave Monks even writes personally about each song: “I gave this song [“Graves”] to my mom for her birthday (which is a wicked copout from getting a present that songwriters are entitled to).”

In keeping with’s theme of originality, colourful, daydream-like illustrations of the bands are also featured " some even drawn during their sessions.

Other features include album reviews, interviews, articles and links to blogs featuring art and festival reviews.

Be wary, though " may just be your next addiction.

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