Music Monday: Dispatch & State Radio

State Radio will be playing in Tuscon this Wednesday night and Israel and I were planning to go until we realized last week that we just couldn’t fit it around our work schedule. I’ve allowed myself some brief moments of sulking whenever I remember how close they will be to where we live, just a two hours drive away.

Let me tell you how we discovered this band. It started with Pandora, of course, and the discovery of a totally different band. I can’t remember which of my stations leaked the song, Open Up, by Dispatch but as soon as the bongo beat and its political message hit my ears I flipped out as I ran to my computer to see who the band was. I hadn’t heard of it.


That is exactly the type of experience that is rare and so amazing and what I look for…finding a new band that I am instantly in love with. As soon as the song ended I paused Pandora, opened a new tab to and broadcasted the song there. Here is that song, by Dispatch, and please forgive this overly compressed version. It’s the only one I can find to share with you but I think you’ll love it anyway…

My next step was to find out who the band is, where they’re from, how many albums they have, etc. It turned out Dispatch was a college indie that disbanded in 2002. The more of their songs I discovered and loved, the more sad I was to know there would be no new releases. I wouldn’t get to watch them grow and mature over time. I’d never see them in concert. Check out the trailer for the documentary that tells the sad story (breaks my heart)…

And then we discovered…

State Radio

Eventually, on the new Dispatch station I created on Pandora, another band pulled Israel’s and my attention: State Radio. I noticed that State Radio sounds extremely similar to Dispatch. The lead singers sounded the same and State Radio also had the deep-thinking, political statement-making themes like Dispatch, the deep-thinking quality being more typical of northeast bands than California ones.

State Radio, though, is more mellow, is comprised of fewer instruments, and is a little less experimental than Dispatch (one cool thing Dispatch was known for was that the band members rotated instruments between song sets during their concerts).

While talking about the bands’ similarities the other night, I speculated to Israel that the two bands had to be related. I looked it up and it turns out that the lead singer of Dispatch is, in fact, the same in State Radio. He actually put the new band together. The happy ending to this story is that we are, in fact, getting to see this indie band grow up to be a big boy, even if we did come late upon the scene.

Here’s Israel’s favorite State Radio song…

And here is one that I love…

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