A music blog, established 2010. My name is Chris Cappello and I'm a Yale student from New Haven, Connecticut.

"By Surprise"
Saturday, January 4, 2014


By Surprise // Kat Kat Phest - Philadelphia, PA

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
"Snow Angel" by By Surprise.


Every year, we get together with our hometown friends (all of whom are full grown adults) to put on a Christmas play. Well, maybe it’s more like a variety show. Either way, the point is that we pull our creative talents together to release a compilation of original holiday tunes, and this is our 6th year taking part in that tradition. 

Go check out our new song "Snow Angel" and be sure to scope out the rest of the Arbor Christmas compilations HERE. They’re awesome and you can download everything for free, including a new song from The Only Ghost In Town - featuring Dan and Devin from By Surprise.

We’ll be playing the song live once, and only once, this coming Saturday (12/28) at night one of Kat Kat Phest @ The Golden Tea House in Philadelphia. Get there early, because it’s going to be packed.

For more info on this year’s Kat Kat Phest: http://www.facebook.com/events/224845824351163/ 

Merry Christmas you filthy animals.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 2/15/13


Thanks to everyone who tuned in and the people who made requests during my radio show last night on WNHU. Check out the full playlist below, and stream the available tracks via Spotify through the embedded link at the bottom. Tune in again next Friday from 6 to 8 PM for another live broadcast.

  • 1. The Thermals - “I Might Need You To Kill”
  • 2. David Bowie - “A New Career In A New Town”
  • 3. Broken Social Scene - “Fire Eye’d Boy”
  • 4. By Surprise - “Criteria”
  • 5. My Heart To Joy - “Giving My Hands Away”
  • 6. Sondre Lerche - “Modern Nature” (Requested by anonymous)
  • 7. LVL UP - “Graveyard”
  • 8. Elvis Costello - “No Dancing”
  • 9. Cymbals Eat Guitars - “…And The Hazy Sea”
  • 10. Yo La Tengo - “Paddle Forward”
  • 11. My Bloody Valentine - “Who Sees You”
  • 12. Ducktails - “Sedan Magic”
  • 13. Foxygen - “Shuggie”
  • 14. Serge Gainsbourg - “Ballade De Melody Nelson”
  • 15. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - “Push the Sky Away”
  • 16. Cat Power - “Metal Heart”
  • 17. Beat Happening - “I Love You” (Requested by dbldblwhmmy)
  • 18. LVL UP - “Nightshade”
  • 19. Infinity Crush - “Sleeping In On A Snow Day (In 2011)”
  • 20. Julia Brown - “Virginia”
  • 21. Teen suicide - “Falling In Love”
  • 22. Perfume Genius - “Normal Song”
  • 23. Giraffage - “All That Matters”
  • 24. Elvis Depressedly - “Cry Babies”
  • 25. The Tallest Man On Earth - “Wind and Walls”
  • 26. The Decemberists - “Odalisque”
  • 27. The Comsat Angels - “Independence Day”
  • 28. Crystal Castles - “Suffocation”
  • 29. Destroyer - “Downtown”
  • 30. LCD Soundsystem - “Great Release”


Stream via Spotify:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 1/4/13


My first radio broadcast of 2013 went off without a hitch. Thanks for everyone who tuned in and enjoyed some of my early pickings of great new music for the new year. January is a great time because there aren’t too many high-profile new records coming out, but I’ve found that the ones that do get released or leaked around this time are often very good. Last year we had that Cloud Nothings album, the Sharon Van Etten LP, and Perfume Genius all within the first month or so, and this year I’ve already heard solid-to-great new records from Low, Yo La Tengo, Christopher Owens, A$AP Rocky, and more. I’ve also gotten a chance to listen to some stuff that I missed in 2012, such as that terrific Bat For Lashes album. 

Check out the full playlist below and stream it via Spotify at the embedded link at the bottom. Unfortunately, since much of the material was new, unreleased, and/or rare, not many of these tracks were available in the Spotify database.

  • 1. By Surprise - “Who’s To Say This Year Will Be Any Different?” 
  • 2. P.S. Eliot - “Mood Ring”
  • 3. Aye Nako - “Molasses”
  • 4. Beach Fossils - “Generational Synthetic”
  • 5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - “From The Sun”
  • 6. Tame Impala - “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
  • 7. Yo La Tengo - “Ohm”
  • 8. Bomb The Music Industry! - “Big Kisses”
  • 9. Into It. Over It. - “A Curse Worth Believing”
  • 10. Jake Shaker - “Hard To Find”
  • 11. Christopher Owens - “Everywhere You Knew”
  • 12. Milo - “Sweet Chin Music (The Fisher King’s Anthem)”
  • 13. Big Boi - “Higher Res” (feat. Jai Paul & Little Dragon)
  • 14. jj - “From Africa To Malaga”
  • 15. Junip - “Rope & Summit”
  • 16. Crayon - “Snow Globe” (Requested by fistfuckthesky)
  • 17. Crystal Castles - “Sad Eyes”
  • 18. Grimes - “Vowels = Space and Time”
  • 19. cLOUDDEAD - “Rifle Eyes”
  • 20. Burial - “Truant”
  • 21. Teen Suicide - “xxxxxxx”
  • 22. Jens Lekman - “Silvia”
  • 23. Bat For Lashes - “Laura”
  • 24. Low - “On My Own”
  • 25. Christopher Owens - “Part Of Me (Lysandre’s Epilogue)”


Stream via Spotify:

Monday, December 3, 2012


By Surprise - Criteria. Album art by Brian Meitz. Lookout for this comin’ atchya soooooon!

Oh hey.

Exciting. It looks like we may be getting a followup for my 4th favorite album of last year soon. 



By Surprise - Criteria. Album art by Brian Meitz. Lookout for this comin’ atchya soooooon!

Oh hey.

Exciting. It looks like we may be getting a followup for my 4th favorite album of last year soon. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 4/13/12

Apologies for not posting this yesterday. I got caught up in writing the review of that excellent new LP from The Act Of Estimating As Worthless and then had to go to band practice. Anyway, I hope those of you who tuned in to my show on Friday (the thirteenth!) had a good time. Here’s the playlist below, along with a link to stream each song.

  • 1. The Get Up Kids - “Holiday”
  • 2. Elvis Costello - “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes”
  • 3. Into It. Over It- “Discretion & Depressing People”
  • 4. Beach House - “Myth”
  • 5. Destroyer - “Suicide Demo For Kara Walker”
  • 6. Grandaddy - “The Go In The Go-For-It”
  • 7. fun. - “All Alone”
  • 8. Suns - “I Could’ve Made Time”
  • 9. Iceage - “White Rune”
  • 10. Refused - “The Deadly Rhythm”
  • 11. Titus Andronicus - “Upon Viewing Breughel’s “Landscape With The Fall of Icarus”
  • 12. The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches - “Disappointment At The Taco Bell”
  • 13. Defiance, Ohio - “Oh, Susquehanna!”
  • 14. Laura Stevenson and the Cans - “The Healthy One”
  • 15. By Surprise - “Realometer”
  • 16. Dikembe - “Scottie Spliffen”
  • 17. Jimmy Eat World - “A Praise Chorus”
  • 18. Pavement - “The Killing Moon” (Echo & The Bunnymen cover)
  • 19. Cloud Nothings - “Stay Useless”
  • 20. The Act Of Estimating As Worthless - “My Left Thumb”
  • 21. Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s - “Skeleton Key”
  • 22. Elliott Smith - “Bled White”
  • 23. Local Natives - “Who Knows Who Cares”
  • 24. First Aid Kit - “Emmylou”
  • 25. Bright Eyes - “On My Way To Work”
  • 26. Andrew Jackson Jihad - “Love In The Time Of Human Papilloma Virus”
  • 27. Low - “Done”
  • 28. The Mountain Goats - “The Mess Inside”

I won’t be doing my show next week because I’ll be going to WQAQ’s Festapalooza (with Titus AndronicusBomb The Music Industry!The Front Bottoms and more!). Find more information about that day long Connecticut festival HERE

Thursday, April 5, 2012

By Surprise Announce New 7”

A year ago today, the New Jersey indie rock revivalists By Surprise released their debut full length on Topshelf Records. Entitled Mountain Smashers, that record received more physical spins from me than just about any other album released last year, and ended up placing at #4 on my Top Albums of 2011 list. Last night, without even knowing about the impending anniversary of its release, I gave Mountain Smashers a well-deserved fresh spin, and it sounded as great as ever. 

To my great pleasure, I checked the Topshelf Records tumblr page today to find out that not only was By Surprise celebrating the anniversary of that full length’s release by selling the LP for just $6, but that they are also in the early stages of releasing a new 7” record. That currently untitled 7” will be produced by Mountain Smashers producer Dave Downham, and will be recorded at Familyre Studios, which has boasted such notable occupants as MewithoutYou and Sufjan Stevens. But don’t take my word for it; listen for yourself — Click the embedded link below to listen to a very drunk By Surprise frontman Rob Wilcox talk about the details of the release in what appears to be a very poorly impersonated southern accent.

Head on over to the Topshelf Records webstore right now to pick up the Mountain Smashers LP for just $6, and check out the official press release for this new 7” over at the Topshelf Records tumblr page

Watch the video for “$600 Exorcism” from Mountain Smashers below. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Left of the Dial “A Very Indie Rock Christmas” Playlist - 12/23/11

Last night’s special Christmas broadcast of Left of the Dial on WNHU definitely got me in the Christmas spirit. A big thanks to everyone who suggested Christmas-themed or seasonal songs, and thanks to everyone who listened in. The playlist from last night’s show is below, complete with youtube links when I could find them. Merry Christmas!

ALSO, For those of you who may be interested, I’m going to be releasing a free Christmas single/EP tomorrow featuring a song from my forthcoming new album, a non-album b-side, and a cover song. It will be made available tomorrow on my bandcamp page. Feel free to check out my personal music blog HERE for more information about all of my own music. Thanks!

Saturday, December 17, 2011
"Battle of Snowmeng Mountain Pt 2" by By Surprise.

By Surprise - “Battle of Snowmeng Mountain Pt 2”

Now here’s some Christmas music I can get behind. New Jersey indie punks By Surprise, whose record Mountain Smashers placed at number 4 on my Top Albums of 2011 list, just put out a new original Christmas song called “Battle of Snowmeng Mountain Mt 2.” The track is going to be included on an upcoming holiday compilation by Arbor Records, which will be released online HERE in a few days. The comp will also feature artists such as It’s A King Thing and Young Statues

By Surprise’s contribution is the only track to surface so far, but it indicates some pretty great things. “Snowmeng Mountain” is a raw slice of 90’s influenced indie rock in the same vein as their material on Mountain Smashers, but with some fun, seasonally appropriate lyrics. The song opens with singer Rob Wilcox delivering a spirited anti-Christmas line for the ages — “I’ve got a vendetta / against every single snowman in town / They’re going down” — and it only gets better from there. 

For more information about the new track as well as the upcoming compilation, see Wilcox’s original post below.


Tomorrow night will be the 12th Annual Arbor Records Christmas variety show at the Auction House in Audubon, NJ. Every year, a compilation record of holiday themed songs is put together by all of our friends with the recording help of Dave and Steve at the Gradwell House. For the comp this year, By Surprise recorded a new song called “Battle of Snowmeng Mountain Pt 2”.

The track, co-written by our friend Brendan Newell (dude on the cover of Mountain Smashers), will be featured on this year’s Arbor Christmas compilation along with bands like It’s A King Thing and Young Statues. The entire comp will be made available for free download in a couple days, but in the meantime head on over to www.arborchristmas.com for more information about this year’s show and to download last year’s songs as well.

“Christ! Mas!”

Hope you like the track! Please reblog it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Greg Horbal and Rob Wilcox

Two of the men responsible for two of my favorite albums of the year so far. Props for catching them together.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 10/14/11

Sorry for posting this a day late. Yesterday I went up to Providence for Brown University’s homecoming and hung out with Mary. I left early and got back late, so I wasn’t able to do any posting yesterday. I had a great time though, so it was worth it. Anyway, here’s the full playlist from Friday’s Left of the Dial radio broadcast on WNHU. Click the song titles to listen to them. Thanks for listening to my show to everyone who did! Tune in next Friday for another live broadcast!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 9/30/11

Here’s the playlist from last night’s live broadcast of my radio show Left of the Dial on WNHU. This was a fun show with a lot of great new stuff. Thanks to everyone who suggested new music for me to listen to over this past week! Check out the playlist below, with links to each song when I could find them. 

Tune into WNHU again next Friday from 6 to 8 PM Eastern time for another live broadcast!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anonymous said: I miss you


Friday, July 29, 2011

SATURDAY AUGUST 6thARCHERS OF LOAF with By SurpriseThe Trocadero @ 1033 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19107$20 | All-Ages | Doors 8pmTICKETS: http://bit.ly/pF4j1pBy Surprise will be going on at 9pmPlease reblog this if you like me.

It’s amazing that one of my favorite current indie rock bands is playing with Archers of Loaf! Everybody check out By Surprise on their bandcamp page HERE.


ARCHERS OF LOAF with By Surprise
The Trocadero @ 1033 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

$20 | All-Ages | Doors 8pm
TICKETS: http://bit.ly/pF4j1p

By Surprise will be going on at 9pm

Please reblog this if you like me.

It’s amazing that one of my favorite current indie rock bands is playing with Archers of Loaf! Everybody check out By Surprise on their bandcamp page HERE.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 6/24/11

I forgot to post this playlist from last friday’s Left of the Dial college radio show this weekend, so here it is a few days late. A youtube link to each song is provided when available. As always, this show’s playlist was comprised mostly of music that I had been listening to a lot in the past week, new and old alike. Remember to tune in this Friday from 6 to 8 PM on WNHU to hear the next Left of the Dial broadcast!

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