Dance dance revolution
August 26, 2005 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for danceable indie music?

I'm tired of hearing the same top 40 hip hop tracks at every party at my house. What can I add to the playlist that will provide variety, appeal to those with more indie sensibilities, and still be danceable? So far I'm thinking Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Notwist, and maybe some MBV. What else? Suggest bands, albums, or songs.
posted by ludwig_van to Media & Arts (45 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Cut Copy?

Maybe folks on DFA or Output?

Plus the oldies:
New Order
Primal Scream
Stone Roses
posted by shortfuse at 7:07 PM on August 26, 2005

The Strokes
French Kicks - The Trial of the Century
Beck - Guero
Hot Hot Heat
The Grey Album

Go Home Productions
DJ Earworm, esp. "No One Takes Your Freedom"

Don't shy away from stuff that's not brand new.
posted by kyleg at 7:16 PM on August 26, 2005

I'll second DFA. They've got (at least) two great compilations out; the second features a mixed third disk. Great stuff.

Speaking of mixes... if you want to get indie kids dancing, check out the DJ Kicks and Solid Steel series. They'll serve as a good introduction to good DJs and the artists they mix. Also, Baile Funk, Grime, and old school Electro (esp. Electro Funk: see this previous AskMe thread) are pretty popular with a certain demographic that might come to your parties. If they're dancing the right way to top 40s hip hop, they'll go crazy if you put on some Dance Hall.

/sigh. I wish I wasn't getting too old for house parties.
posted by Eamon at 7:20 PM on August 26, 2005

posted by greenbean at 7:20 PM on August 26, 2005

Artists (all albums fit the description)
Out Hud
The Go! Team
The Faint
The Rapture
LCD Soundsystem
Le Tigre
Hot Hot Heat

Albums (most songs fit the description)
Avalanches - Since I Left You
Ratatat - Ratatat
Mylo - Destroy Rock and Roll
Annie - Anniemal
Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

Songs (that fit from random albums)
Beck - "Tropicalia"
Q and Not U - "Soft Pyramids"
Modest Mouse - "The View"
Enon - "Disposable Parts"
M83 - "0078h"
Interpol - "Slow Hands"
Stars - "What I'm Trying to Say"

posted by themadjuggler at 7:22 PM on August 26, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far. I'd like to add that stuff that will have a "crossover" appeal is especially appreciated, as I'm already fighting against inertia to inject any variety at all.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:32 PM on August 26, 2005

"Reverend Black Grape" by Black Grape.

I'm sorry, I'm a bit drunk. But trust me - that track is the ultimate crossover dance party mayhem business. Oh yes.
posted by Decani at 7:34 PM on August 26, 2005

The Killer's new album Hot Fuss is pretty driving and fun and just really, really good.
posted by xmutex at 7:37 PM on August 26, 2005

GoldFrapp too, and some FourTet, and Kleptones, and some Solex, and The Similou, and definitely CutCopy and Go!Team.
posted by amberglow at 7:47 PM on August 26, 2005

(and Si Se if you like Latin)
posted by amberglow at 7:48 PM on August 26, 2005

Following up amberglow, Goldfrapp's first album is pretty undanceable. The last two are quite so.
posted by zsazsa at 7:49 PM on August 26, 2005

and Sparklehorse too (at least Piano Fire definitely from them)
posted by amberglow at 7:49 PM on August 26, 2005

Not strictly "indie" (by some definitions) but a lot of Britpop is very danceable. Blur, Stone Roses, Smiths, later-era Jam, Elastica, (London) Suede, Supergrass Pulp, and even Oasis (Fucking in the Bushes is perfect for this).

Only problem is none of them really have albums that are danceable from start to finish (Pulp's Different Class and Elastica's self titled come pretty close) so you'll have to do some digging. Start with the singles collections for the Smiths and Suede, The Best of the Jam, Blur's The Great Escape, Stone Roses' self titled, and Supergrass' In It For the Money and you should be off to a good start. And the Trainspotting soundtrack is a decent intro course in itself.

Velvet Underground have some good ones in between the viola dirges and stereo experiments. Waiting For My Man, Run Run Run, Rock N' Roll, Sweet Jane, and I'm Beginning to See the Light.

Postal Service
Spoon - They Never Got You
Doves - Black and White Town
the less maudlin material from T. Rex, 20th Century Boy is perfect

Prince has a lot of indie appeal and should not be ignored.
posted by samh23 at 7:50 PM on August 26, 2005

Crossover... hmm...

Kanye West vs The Beach Boys?

No clue if it's danceable (or good, for that matter). I've dl'd it but haven't listened to it yet.

Also, if you decide you like the Avalanches and the Go! Team, I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Handsomeboy Technique. Info off the Avalanches board.
posted by shortfuse at 7:52 PM on August 26, 2005

I already mentioned the Output label, but I'd like to hilite Zongamin. Listen to Serious Trouble on that page.
posted by shortfuse at 7:57 PM on August 26, 2005

Bah! You want something closer to hip hop but that'll still appeal to those girls who like Franz Ferdinand?
(All right, all right, I'm cranky from Decani's windup on the Blue).
The first question is: How far out are you willing to go? I mean, the Arcade Fire's OK, I guess, but it's kinda middle-of-the-road.
I'll give you a couple of hints, along with a playlist that I whipped out off the top of my head in like 5 seconds the last time we had a party.

The playlist (I've put an * next to the especially dancy ones):
Skin I'm In-Chairmen Of The Board*
No More Doggin' -Ike Turner & The Kings Of Rhythm*
I Got Kinda Lost-Chris Bell
Bury My Body-The Animals
Lose That Smile-The Cherry Valence*
Show Me Your Heart-Need New Body
Die Bold-Stylex
RR (Transit (Transient))-Cornish In A Turtleneck
Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'-Wu-Tang Clan
Painkillers-Cannibal Ox Cold Vein
Tryin To Make Ends Meet-Apaches*
Going Down A One Way Street-Little Ann*
Wait-The Avatars*
You Can't Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can't Sleep)-The Go-Go's
I Am A Scientist-Guided By Voices
I Love You, You Big Dummy-The Buzzcocks

Ok. Now for further advice:
Post-punk is the place you wanna be, man. Why? Because the first round of post-punk was when all those downtown folks were coming to terms with hip-hop, which is the ur-pattern for dance music. So go with the Bush Tetras, ESG, the Tom Tom Club, even Gang of Four. They picked up the right side of funk and tossed in the anxiousness of punk. From there on out, move to classic soul and funk, or '60s garage/r&b. That stuff was made for dancing.
Oh, and remember to turn your bass up on the stereo. That's another secret to good dance music. The lower end moves the lower end, dig? Toss in classic hip hop like Melle Mel or Grandmaster Flash (even some EPMD or Boogie Down) for cred and carousing. Even well-placed disco can be your friend.
I'll keep looking through my collection for stuff that you might like. But keep it funky, man. That's the biggest rule.
posted by klangklangston at 8:05 PM on August 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

broken social scene's "stars and sons." le tigre. the pixies. kings of convenience. figurine's "way too good." saint etienne's "sylvie" and "shower scene." come on. the stooge's "tv eye."

most hipsters i knew just danced at 80s night. i'm a sucker for "dancin' with myself." arh.
posted by ifjuly at 8:08 PM on August 26, 2005

She Wants Revenge
posted by jasonspaceman at 8:22 PM on August 26, 2005

Jason: Why would I want "She Wants Revenge" when there's already Joy Division out there? (And their webdesign sucks ass, what with the interminable wait for the flash to load and the "Mp3s on iTunes." Fuck you, man, I'm not gonna pay to hear your band outta nowhere.)
The Bang is our town's hipster dance party, so you could always read their little music sidebar.
Squeeze, Pulp and The Clash tend to get people on the floor too..
posted by klangklangston at 8:32 PM on August 26, 2005

Ok Go?
posted by chococat at 9:12 PM on August 26, 2005

Derail: That Kanye West vs Brian Wilson is "da bomb" as the kiddos say. What a great lyrcist. The Rolling Stones totally came all over his latest album giving it 5 stars, but I don't think it holds a candle to his last one.
posted by geoff. at 9:28 PM on August 26, 2005

That would be "The Rolling Stone"
posted by geoff. at 9:46 PM on August 26, 2005


(or is that just showing my age?)
posted by pompomtom at 9:51 PM on August 26, 2005

  • "The Boy With The Arab Strap" Belle & Sebastian
  • "Song Against Sex" Neutral Milk Hotel
  • "Bizarre Love Triangle", "True Faith" New Order
  • "We Will Become Silhouettes" The Shins
  • "24 Hour Party People" Happy Mondays"
  • "Train In Vain" The Clash
  • "Walktz #2 (XO)" Elliott Smith (you can waltz to it)
You can dance to My Bloody Valentine?
posted by bitpart at 9:56 PM on August 26, 2005

You can dance to My Bloody Valentine?

I can think of one track: Soon - Amazon Music Sampler or live MP3 [via].
posted by shortfuse at 10:05 PM on August 26, 2005

Response by poster: You can dance to My Bloody Valentine?

Better than you can to Elliott Smith, Belle and Sebastian, The Shins, or NMH, but thanks for the suggestions.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:46 PM on August 26, 2005

Sorry if I repeat. These songs/artists qualify as stuff that I like to dance to:

-A.C. Newman - Miracle Drug
-Blur - Girls and Boys
-Cibo Matto - birthday cake
-Le Tigre
-Les Savy Fav (somewhat) - I recommend "who rocks the party?" for its headbanging-ness.
-Ms. John Soda - go check
-New Pornographers - Letter from an occupant, My slow descent into alcoholism (not as dancy, just fun for parties)
-Of Montreal - Disconnect the Dots, Rapture Rapes the Muses, So begins our alabee
-Q and Not U - A line in the Sand
-Rilo Kiley - The Frug (cutesy hand clap stuff)
-Sleater-Kinney - Step Aside
-The Blow - Hey Boy, Hock it

The trick with the indie dance stuff is that it helps if people know it already or are very amenable to dancing. I see way too many people get scared off the dance floor by songs that are perfectly danceable. Just a warning.
posted by jetskiaccidents at 10:50 PM on August 26, 2005

Of Montreal - The Party's Crashing Us Now

Wait, come back! Seriously. I know their earlier output was twee as hell, but this is a disco-y anthem that you can't help but dance to, and it totally caught me by surprise. Definitely worth a download and a trial run at your next party.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:51 PM on August 26, 2005

I can't believe I just got Of-Montrealed on preview.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:52 PM on August 26, 2005

Anyone mention Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On" yet? There's a few other danceable tracks on Gimme Fiction.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:53 PM on August 26, 2005

Anything by Radio 4.
posted by awesomebrad at 10:59 PM on August 26, 2005

I heartily second the PWEI recommendation.

"Def.Con.One," "There Is No Love Between Us," and "R.S.V.P (Made in Japan Live at the Budokan Double Live Gonzo Frampton Comes Alive And Dangerous At The Filmore East Apollo 440 Mix)" are all great times.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:27 AM on August 27, 2005

Response by poster: Good suggestions, including Of Montreal. I also came up with some appropriate tracks by Morrissey, The Boy Least Likely To, and The Flaming Lips.
posted by ludwig_van at 1:19 AM on August 27, 2005

A lot of good indie rock here, but I can't say I would dance to any of it. Indie rock is for shoegazing and nodding your head and looking hip. If you wanna dance put on some jungle, house, trance, hip-hop or something. If electronic isn't your thing I would say go back and dig up indie hip-hop like Tribe Called Quest, J5, Blackalicious, Mos Def/Black Star, Dilated Peoples, Black Eyed Peas etc. Although I do like the suggestion of old funk (James Brown) and original hip-hop a la Sugar Hill Gang or Gandmaster Flash.
posted by sophist at 2:28 AM on August 27, 2005

A Band of Bees - "Chicken Payback"
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:54 AM on August 27, 2005

I second and third The New Pornographers. The Bleeding Heart Show and Use It off of their new album, Twin Cinema, are excellent. All three of their albums are great.
posted by surferboy at 6:56 AM on August 27, 2005

Oh, man, put on some old Roots. ?uestlove...that man knows how to bring the funk.
posted by joshuaconner at 8:11 AM on August 27, 2005

Femme Generation, Controller.Controller, VHS or Beta.
posted by chunking express at 9:32 AM on August 27, 2005

FannyPack is hip-hop almost universally adored by indie kids, in my experience.
posted by speicus at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2005

I've put a song called Distance of the Moon by Isaac Schankler on a couple of mixes, and people really like it.
You should hassle him if you ever run into him. He's retreated from excellent Buggles-esque pop into this avant-classical composition thing... That's for sissies, especially when you can write a catchy hook like he can...
Oh... Hi... Isaac... Didn't know you were gonna be here...
posted by klangklangston at 2:33 PM on August 27, 2005

Big hits at the last indie dance parties I went to-

Le Tigre - Deceptacon (Also, there's a sleazier DFA mix on Tiga's DJ Kicks that is pretty good)
Go Team! - Huddle Formation
The Cure - Let's Go To Bed
The Smiths - This Charming Man

I noticed that each people off the walls. Try to space them out. Here's some more...

Arcade Fires - Rebellion (Lies) or No Cars Go, with some effort
Bloc Party - Banquet
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away
The Clash - Spanish Bombs
Communique - Evening in The Sky
The Cure - Lovesong or Just Like Heaven
Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus
The Go! Team - Ladyflash, Panther Dash, or The Power is On
Idlewild - These Wooden Ideas
Madvillain - Accordion (Four Tet Remix)
Minus The Bear - Thanks For The Killer Game of Crisco Twister
Mission of Burma - Academy Fight Song
Moving Units - Between Us and Them (there's an ep and album version of this one...)
The Pixies - Debaser
The Rapture - Out of The Races and Onto The Tracks, Sistor Savior, and House of Jealous Lovers
Single Frame Ashtray - The Slip
posted by rfordh at 4:06 PM on August 27, 2005

Oh, if your clientele is used to top 40 hip hop, definitely hit the DFA and DJ Kicks compilations, and the Ratatat Mixtape. Sorry I wasn't clear on that before.
posted by rfordh at 4:08 PM on August 27, 2005

Lots of good stuff here. Now I want to have a party. Here's more:

Los Amigos Invisibles
The Lily's - Leo Ryan (Our Pharoah's Slave)
The Starlight Mints - Sugar Blaster
The Eternals - Space Dancehall
Junior Senior - Move Your Feet
Komeda - Binario, It's Alright Baby, Boogie Woogie/Rock'n'Roll
posted by hydrophonic at 4:34 PM on August 27, 2005

You really should be reading Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again...
posted by Vidiot at 3:58 PM on August 28, 2005

My friend Beavette, who should know, swears by The Juan Maclean [metacritic]. It's a bit like LCD Soundsystem (which I liked better) crossed with, say, Xiu Xiu. Danceable, smart, not overly twee?
posted by dhartung at 9:54 PM on September 2, 2005

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