Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Despite this, there are some tracks that could be easily mistaken for unreleased Beatles tracks such as “100 Years”, “The Beach”, and “The Breeze”, and the use of the string quartet in “Uncovering the Old” is almost shameless. I say almost because the album is really quite good. If the album wasn’t good, I would be pretty angry, but they rip off the Beatles so well that to me, their music is just as enjoyable.
Dr. Dog will be coming to Austin on September 13, performing at The Parish with another favorite of ours, Delta Spirit.
Eric Abert carefully tempered the distortion petals for his bass, Allen Epley's vocals took on a harmonious coo that wove in and out of his guitar, and drummer, Chris Metcalf formed a relentless backbone for all the songs. The result was a mesmorizing atmosphere of melodies that came in and out of focus. I would really keep an eye out for this band.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
To ease my pain Spin Magazine has teamed up with the Followills to let loose the first track (although not the official single) from the album, this song is entitled “Crawl”. Frankly, the track doesn’t do too much for me; it’s more ACDC rock ‘n’ roll than I usually like, and they seem to have completely let go of their Nashville roots. But I do have hope for the album; the song does seem to be a happy medium between the polish of their most recent album and the dirty southern rock of “Youth & Young Manhood”.
But check it out for yourself, the song will only be available for one week so don’t put this one off. Download "Crawl" at the link.
Their Circles EP made its way into my regular rotation with ease, and it is but a taster for the band's forthcoming full-length album "Miracle Kicker," out on Lo Recordings this fall. With good representation and a beautifully understated sound, I think these guys have a bright future.
"They have a solid understanding of instrumentation and texture, which is evident in ‘Robot Command Centre’ - a finely executed fusion of processed beats, bleeps and white noise with a healthy ensemble of Nick Drake-esque finger picked guitars, smooth brass and proper nice vocal harmonies complimenting the mix to a sickeningly sweet standard.To praise further, the production on here is exceptional. Take for example ‘They Be Underwater’, a relevantly titled little ditty, with stream-like ethereal effects at the start and reversed samples towards the end building the soundscape with excitement and intrigue until BANG… the track is over with an abrupt gunshot."
Monday, July 28, 2008
The Octopus Project 7", which features two new songs that were mastered at Abbey Road in London, was released in a limited pressing of 500 copies and made available only via subscription to the Too Pure Singles Club. On their official site the band describes the A-side (Wet Gold) as "a lovely jaunt through an arpeggiated land of goodness," and the B-side (Moon Boil) as "the most 'total rock' song we've ever done." If you haven't been able to get your hands on this thing, worry not, I've got your back.
Octopus Project "Truck" video:
Octopus Project Live:
- 08/02 Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s
- 08/03 Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
- 08/04 Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
- 08/05 Norman, OK @ Opolis
- 08/06 Lubbock, TX @ Tequila Station
- 08/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
- 08/12 Tucson, AZ @ Congress Theater
- 08/13 San Diego, CA @ The Cashbash
- 08/14 Los Angeles, CA @ Knitting Factory
- 08/15 Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door
- 08/16 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill
- 08/18 Portland, OR @ Satyricon
- 08/19 Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge
- 08/20 Vancouver, BC @ Richard’s
- 08/22 Edmonton, AL @ Velvet Lounge
- 08/23 Calgary, AL @ Hi Fi
- 08/25 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
- 08/26 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
- 08/28 Dallas, TX @ Lola’s
- 08/29 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
- 09/28 Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival
Somebody who had visited Kansas City once told me, "You know, there are not that many bands there (in K.C.), but the ones they do have are quality." Being from Kansas City, I never really considered the quality of shows. At the very most, there will be two shows a week I want to go to, and when I go, I always leave pretty satisfied.
But in Austin, you pretty much have to hide in your room to avoid seeing live music. It's glorious! ....but at times the musicians can be...self indulgent...and down right bad. So I want to pass on a secret about tonight's show; The Life and Times are good. They've played hundreds of shows with artists like Pelican, Murder by Death, Sparta, and Pinback.
The Life and Times play a musical scape of low drone, fuzz and distortion, which can be arresting and haunting. There are also moments where their sound teeters between Slowdive and Pink Floyd. If you still need convincing they were listed in AP's 100 bands you need to know in 2007. So, get to it and find out. Hear Life and Times at myspace, and see them tonight at Emo's.
In the meantime thay are giving away another batch of unreleased songs called "Bonus Drippers" and you can download it for free at their official site. Check out two of them below, along with the "Drippers" tracklist. I can't wait to smell/hear it.
- Black Moth Super Rainbow - "The Dark Forest Joggers"
- Black Moth Super Rainbow - "Melting On The Meadow"
- Zodiac Girls (Pony Version of 7" Single)
- I Saw Brown (Pre-BMSR from 1999)
- Black Yogurt (with Mike Watt)
- Milk Skates
- Happy Melted City
- One Day I Had An Extra Toe (Esopus Magazine Compilation)
- We Are The Pagans (Dandelion Gum Outtake)
- Changing You All
- Just For The Night (by Laura Burhenn, BMSR Remix)
There will be some who say that this is Conor Oberst’s best album, that his most recent self-titled record is a healthy evolution into more adult song writing—I am not one of those people. All of the songs on the album seem to fall into three categories: his old stuff (good), his Bob Dylan stuff (bad), and his country pop (worse).
The first song, “Cape Canaveral”, is of the Bob Dylan variety. This and the other songs like it have the same basic foundation as Bright Eyes-era music, but with less whine and more cheese. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy these tracks. But there were a few (“Lenders in the Temple”, “Eagle On a Pole”, “Milk Thistle”) that made listening to the album all the way through worth my time. Although less melodramatic than songs on his previous albums, they maintain the quintessential Oberst finger-picked guitar lines, and endearing emo-boy charm.
The way I see it, Conor Oberst should only be allowed to record using an acoustic guitar and anything he might find in his back seat, but certainly not an electric guitar. Songs when he attempts to use said instrument (“Moab”, “Souled Out!!!”) come off as very Tim McGraw-esque, and that’s a very bad thing.
My advice to you—if you like Conor Oberst as a musician—just pick up the three individual songs mentioned above (“Danny Callahan” is decent too.) If you like him as a poet the album is worth getting, but you will likely be disappointed. Conor Oberst, the album, is out next Tuesday (8/5) via Merge Records.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The night started off with the crashing sounds of Transmography. The local duo put on what is probably the best show that I've ever seen these guys do, and I have seen my fair share. An energetic crowd showed up early to check out their set and Transmography didn't disappoint, blending together a tight set that was equal parts synth-jam and fierce drumming. Even when they swapped instruments and substituted the keyboard for guitar, the quality was seamless.
Nouns Group took the stage next and immediately caught my attention. From what I gather they are a new band out of Denton, and they were playing angular rock that was nice and loud, and somewhat chaotic, and complimented well by a violin. I should have taken a moment to go over and chat with them for a little while to find out more, because there are very few Nouns Group resources on the internet. Regardless, I will definitely be checking out their next show in Austin.
Further heightening the nights awesomeness was the extremely impressive performance of the Austin-based Daniel Francis Doyle. I had seen his name dozens of times in the past but had no idea what I was in for. Now I have seen plenty of one-man bands, probably more than most people, but I have never seen anyone do it as accurately, professionally, and intensely as Daniel Francis Doyle. He takes the looping of guitar riffs to the next level, looping three or four parts together, and controlling them via foot pedal while simultaneously beating a drum set worse than Ike vs. Tina and exorcising his insides by emitting anger-filled lyrics at top diaphragm capacity. Whoever booked this show knew exactly what they were doing, because all three of the opening bands complemented each other perfectly and put the crowd in the right frame of mind to take on Health.
Like I said earlier I had my doubts about Health and became sick of the hype that surrounds them a long time ago, but these guys came out and absolutely killed it. I was glad that I had chosen to skip Wolf Parade and Aesop Rock, because when these guys started cranking it out I knew that that's where I wanted to be. Their sharp, piercing, angular guitar riffs forged with thumping beats sounded like some sort of new age, instrumental psychedelic-rock/noise-metal hybrid. I don't know what I was expecting from Health, but it sure wasn't the overwhelming waves of guitar that they delivered. They closed out the bloody good show and left the crowd yelling for more. Switchburn was in attendance and caught much of the action, so keep an eye out. If you haven't already, give each of these bands some attention at your earliest convenience.
Friday, July 25, 2008
"Calgary's Women, like Columbus' Times New Viking, give tape hiss a place of honor more often reserved for instruments, or at least computers. The ensuing noisy jangle straddles the 1960s' divide between the Warhol crowd's speed-addled New York cynicism and the echoes of psychedelic San Francisco that bubbled up across the pond in the fey, catchy pop of UK groups like the Zombies."Jagjaguwar, as always, has more good things coming to your headphones soon. The new Okkervil River album "The Stand Ins" will arrive in early September, and Oneida's "Preteen Weaponry" will be available in just a few weeks. I'm crossing my fingers for news on Besnard Lakes and Pink Mountaintops...
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Some of the best moments on the album are steady buildups and quiet murmurs that happen at the beginning and end of each song. Just as "Zombies" starts with a colorful wash of instruments, "Just a Phase" starts soft clicking, steadily incorporates drums, and then an electronic voice. The subtleties are really what make this album beautiful, and you'll be shocked at the complexity that comes out if you listen to it really loud, or with amazing headphones.
"The Glowing City" is a melancholic album filled with personal transitions and hard lessons learned in life, yet the heavy-hearted lyrics are transformed by sparkling instrumentation. It is officially time to start celebrating Bill Baird's Sunset. For Austinites you can start tomorrow night at Progress Coffee, as they host performances by Sunset and Brazos.
from The Glowing City
from Bright Blue Dream
from the Daytrotter Session (don't miss it)
When it comes to the new full-length album, Matador says Brightblack "might well have conjured the perfect Saturday night and Sunday morning album all on the same disc." Based on the expansive vibe of their 2006 self-titled major label debut, I don't think there is any hyperbole involved in that statement. Their sound is perfect for late night/early morning listening.
Brightblack Morning Light's co-founders Nathan Shineywater and Rachael Hughes are hyper earth-conscious, apparently living out of tents and cabins, and they even recorded the new album entirely via solar power in their adobe house in the mesas of New Mexico. What other band can possibly claim that? Look for Motion To Rejoin on September 23.
from the s/t (review)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Diplo produced a few of those Santogold tracks, and the two also collaborated on a mixtape called Top Ranking that was officially released a few weeks ago. It must have sold well, because the label says it's out of stock. The mixtape has an enjoyable dose of remixes, dub beats, old-school favorites, and a quasi-cover of The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton." There are touches of Ratatat, Panda Bear, Devo, Aretha Franklin...all kinds of good stuff. Definitely worth taking for a spin.
- Santogold - "Guns Of Brooklyn"
- Santogold - "Get It Up" (Radioclit Mix w/ M.I.A./Gorilla Zoe)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The collaboration resulted in Hallucinogen In Dub, a 6-song, 60-minute journey through a trippy landscape of echos, reverbs, and bass-filled grooves that all synch together in perfect harmony. It can be found at the crossroads where psych, trance, and dub intersect. I've really never heard anything else quite like it. Even though most of the productions surpass the nine minute mark, they sound like they could comfortably, easily play on into perpetuity. Check out two of them below, and add the album to your collection via emusic, amazon, twisted, or wherever else you can find it.
This four-year-old Miami, FL, quartet owned the stage: thrashing guitars around, assuming the rock stance during all solos and providing the crowd with endless head bobs. Call it stoner-pop, call it new-wave-grunge, call it anything but call it rock. Their new CD, Meanderthal, is my current vote for album of the year. Crossing the lines between Helmet, Injected, High On Fire, Jimmy Eat World, Kyuss and Norma Jean, this CD is a great summer listen. It is filled with grooving tracks like "Across the Shields," "Without a Sound," and "Fat Waves" as well as face melters like the opener "Triumph of Venus" and the 35 second "Little Champion."
Very solid musicianship and a wide spectrum of rock make the CD one that you will want to show your friends. The packaging on the disc is a huge glossy foldout of a giant mountain with weird creatures descending from the top - easily cool enough to hang on your wall. Torche is the summer groove for your dome. Be sure to catch them out on tour with Boris in the U.S. and with Pelican in Europe next month.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Papa Grows Funk's exorbitant talent cannot be harnessed in the recording studio, but rather emanates best during impromptu on-stage collaborations. Their local fans return to the Maple Leaf each Monday night, as if it were Sunday church, because they know they'll be seeing something fresh and even more funky each time. In true New Orleans style, PGF also makes a habit of inviting the local musicians (Steve Winwood, Joe Sample, and Art Neville just to name a few) to their shows onstage for impromptu jam sessions, keeping their sound in a constant state of change and progress.
John "Papa" Gros, a jolly giant of a man, is arguably one of the most dedicated musicians in the biz, hauling his mammoth Hammond B3 organ to and from every show. June Yamagishi, who has been called the father/founder of blues and funk music in Japan, rips some ridiculous guitar riffs. The first time I ever met him, he was surrounded by a Japanese film crew following him around to document his success in the US in a sort of "where they are now" documentary, and you can watch clips of it here. The rest of the band are all professionals as well.
Papa Grows Funk will be putting on a show in Austin next Thursday at the Parish, if you want to get a taste of some true New Orleans flavor. Get more info on the show right here.
Nomo has been generating tons of much-deserved hype since releasing a new album (Ghost Rock) in June of this year, from being featured in Rolling Stone to receiving praise from the likes of Fader/XLR8R/Pitchfork, to performing their outstanding live show alongside names such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Radiohead. With eight people on stage pouring out this unique, high-energy brand of music, this is really something to see.
Nomo are currently on a nationwide tour in support of the new record, and they will make a stop in Austin at the Emo's lounge tomorrow night. For day trippers, Nomo plays Waterloo Records tomorrow at 5pm. Check out a track from Ghost Rock below, and head to the myspace to see their tour schedule.
I saw the Secret Machines play a show in Houston back in 2004, and to this day my friends and I who were there still talk about it. Their drummer is intense (winning an Esky Award for Best Drummer from Esquire Magazine in 2005,) they had an brain-bending light show that was unforgettable, and the old Dallas natives sounded great blasting out their mixed bag of spacious rock.
It was definitely the best show I can remember seeing in the city of Houston, so I'm hoping that this new incarnation of the Secret Machines will rock as much as the previous one. I've read that the new stuff is return to the heavier sound found on "Now Here Is Nowhere," and Austin will have a chance find out on Saturday, August 2nd at Stubb's.
Secret Machines Tour Dates:
- Sun 07/27/08 West Hollywood, CA Viper Room
- Mon 07/28/08 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
- Tue 07/29/08 El Paso, TX Club 101
- Wed 07/30/08 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theatre
- Fri 08/01/08 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
- Sat 08/02/08 Austin, TX Stubb's (tix)
- Sun 08/03/08 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit
- Tue 08/05/08 Jacksonville, FL Plush
- Wed 08/06/08 Fort Lauderdale, FL Revolution
- Thu 08/07/08 Saint Petersburg, FL Jannus Landing
- Fri 08/08/08 Lake Buena Vista, FL House Of Blues
- Sat 08/09/08 North Myrtle Beach, SC House Of Blues
- Sun 08/10/08 Jersey City, NJ Liberty State Park
Sunday, July 20, 2008
High Places' music can be as catchy as the Fraggles were awesome, primitive or not. The duo's debut full-length is due out on September 23rd via Thrill Jockey, and they're currently making road trips with Deerhunter and No Age in the meantime. High Places will bring their keyboards, drumsticks, and microphones to Emo's on October 15th.
- High Places - "Head Spins"
- High Places - "Jump In"
- High Places - "Head Spins" (Hawnay Troof Remix)
Press bits:"Head Spins" bounces along on aquatic steel drums, good vibes and a melody built from samples drained almost completely of their source material. "Jump In" doesn't have a lot of the murkiness that colors much of High Places output thus far. Instead, it nakedly showcases the bells, whistles, woodblocks and doodad's that the group buries underneath. It's a revelatory moment here — Pearson and Barber aren't just noiseniks having fun, they're first-rate pop songwriters." -emusic
"Multi-instrumentalist Rob Barber creates soundscapes that are both eerie and soothing, while Mary Pearson sweetly delivers bizarre lyrics about banana slugs and hermaphroditic flings. Anchored by tropical rhythms and ambient drones, the band has created a surreal sound that will hopefully develop into something truly unique." -WSN
Gamma Ray video:
Beck Tour Dates:
- Aug 21, 2008 Grand Sierra Resort and Casino Reno, NV
- Aug 22, 2008 Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA
- Aug 24, 2008 Les Schwab Amphitheater Bend, OR
- Aug 27, 2008 Royal Theatre Victoria, BC, Canada
- Aug 28, 2008 Orpheum Theater Vancouver, CAN
- Aug 30, 2008 Bumbershoot Seattle, WA
- Sep 19, 2008 San Diego Street Scene Festival San Diego, CA
- Sep 20, 2008 Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, CA
- Sep 22, 2008 Dodge Theatre Phoenix, AZ
- Sep 23, 2008 Kiva Auditorium Albuquerque, NM
- Sep 25, 2008 Abraham Chavez Theatre El Paso, TX
- Sep 27, 2008 Zilker Park Austin, TX
- Sep 29, 2008 Uptown Theater Kansas City, MO
- Sep 30, 2008 Wilkins Auditorium Minneapolis, MN
- Oct 2, 2008 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL
- Oct 3, 2008 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL
"The chorus of the song (This is serious/We could make you delirious/You should have a healthy fear of us/'Cause too much of us is dangerous) was taken, apparently unwittingly, from a 1983 Long Island Regional Poison Control Council PSA warning children of the danger of loose prescription medications."
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Dizzee Rascal’s music is bold, not only in its lyrical content, but also stylistically. He has sampled everything from Rogers and Hamerstein’s South Pacific to video game sounds, and often does not include a chorus in his songs. This lack of conventionality is what has made grime a genre that the mainstream media sees as inaccessible to the average listener. Despite this, his 2003 album "Boy in da Corner” found its was onto Rolling Stone's top 50 albums of the year alongside Kanye West, Mos Def, Eminem, and Jadakiss. Dizzee Rascal has collaborated with hip hop ledges Bun B and Pimp C, as well artists outside of his genre such as Beck, Arctic Monkeys, and Basement Jaxx.
Dizzee Rascal will be coming to
Thursday, July 17, 2008
- "You might be forgiven for listening to Church Mouth and confusing them with a group like Kings of Leon." -Stylus
- "Once their formidable sophomore effort, Church Mouth, strikes, it's guaranteed to take every respective listener's breath away, just like the sprawling, glacier-dotted landscapes of the band's native Alaska." -Anti
- "Church Mouth is an organic rock record that transcends genres by managing to reference seemingly disparate acts such as the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the White Stripes, the Mars Volta and Santana without sounding dated or derivative of any particular act." -Fearless
- "The debut album by Alaska-born quirksters Portugal. The Man, expanded the parameters of punk to encompass hip-hop and prog, but the band's second album Church Mouth is practically all epic blues-rock, in the vein of The White Stripes and The Allman Brothers." -A.V. Club
RX Bandits and Facing New York, whose info goes like this:
After a quick spin of RX Bandits (above) it's not hard to guess where they are from; their ska punk edge is undoubtedly evolved from the L.A. punk scene that has been brewing for decades. Yet, while their roots are easy to detect, it's much harder to guess where they are going. They've taken risks in sounds and lyrics that make them hard to categorize. With jazzy astringent guitar riffs and emphatic lyrics, they slip in perfectly at warped tour, and with inventive trombone ensembles they slot in nicely at Bonaroo. You have to watch them closely to catch where they are headed next; as they like to say "Our music breathes when it hits YOUR ears."
Household Names (above) was charged with the task of starting off a Monday night at Emo's, which can't be possibly be anyone's dream come true. Judging by the sparse crowd, there were people who still hadn't recovered from the weekend's shows. The lead singer, Jason Garcia, had a nice voice, and their set went down like a glass of cool lemonade. They have well-composed rock songs, nothing jarring, just nice songs to refresh the heat of the night. They ended the set with their best song of the night, a cover of "Making Plans for Nigel" by XTC. This time Chris Peters took lead vocals and Garcia sang back up, resulting in a thrilling combination of charged vocals and guitars. If they can pump more of this style into their other songs, then I will be more than excited to see them again.
Hollywood Gossip (above) stepped onto stage equipped with a guitar picnic. Seriously, I couldn't stop thinking that the lead singer's guitar looked like French toast, and the bassist's guitar looked like a fish tale. Food daydreams aside, the group all started out of the gate at once, causing a messy overlap of melodies. The lead vocals were left way behind the dueling guitars, but on the second song "you're so quiet" the instruments found their places, and the sound gelled nicely. The rest of their set fell on the spectrum somewhere in between the sub par attempt of their first song and the balanced cohesion of their second song. They ended the set by covering 'Joyride' by Built to Spill, which only made me yearn for more from their own lyrics beyond generalizations about boys and girls. I wish there was more depth in the instrumentation and the lyrics, but then again, I've never had any interest in gossip.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Bavu Blakes put himself on the map in 2006 when he received the Austin Music Award for “best hip-hop act” and since then has redefined the Austin scene. Even with the position of ME Television Urban Music Director, he continues to create ever original, ever changing music. His beats pay homage to artists from Bob Marley to Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Wonder, as well as more recent artists; not through direct sampling, but through an innovative transcendence of genre classification. With rhymes as rhythmic as those of Ice Cube, and as poetic as Kanye West’s, Blakes is notable as both a producer and a lyricist.
Blakes is one of the top few artists who are really making hip-hop an attraction in Austin. Accordingly, he receives praise from media outlets big and small, and has also shared the stage with influential artists like Snoop Dogg, UGK, Jurassic 5, the Roots, and many more. I highly recommend that you check out his music, and add him to your ACL schedule. With the momentum he is gaining locally, people better watch out.
A few other upcoming Austin hip hop shows:
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Collaborating with musicians like famed saxophonist Maceo Parker, trombone player Greg Boyer (Prince, Parliament Funkadelic), and Fania All-Stars pianist/arranger Larry Harlow all worked in Grupo's favor on this album. Never ones to disappoint (see Movimiento Popular), the 11-piece "Latin funk orchestra" have created a diverse and comprehensive album that displays their immense talent through the exploration of different genres and styles.
Co-Founder and guitarist Adrian Quesada describes the album's sound as "organic, live, while sonically it's big and roomy with psychedelic and cinematic undertones." Accordingly, the excitement in listening to Sonidos Gold comes from the live-show energy the band brings to their variety of Latin influences. Grupo Fantasma has an abundance pf energy to go around, usually playing 150+ shows a year. They have performances lined up throughout July and August, including stops at the Cambridge and Riverside Festivals in the UK. Take a look at their schedule at grupofantasma.com/tour, and check out some of Sonidos Gold at myspace.
- On Thursday Maneja Beto are doing their thing at Mohawk, and Tilly and The Wall bring some Nebraskan indie pop to town.
- Portugal The Man and The Warlocks (who I told you about last year) are both playing Emo's on Friday.
- Hieroglyphics are coming for a visit on Saturday and Ghostland will be entertaining down at White Water in New Braunfels.
The DJ Melee is an original Austin-based production where some of the best DJ's in town square off in a winner-take-all battle for rhythmic supremacy. To showcase the best of Austin's DJ subculture and vinyl scene, each DJ visits a local record store to pick out the best 30 pieces of vinyl they can find in the span of five minutes, and all of their selections go into a locked box until show time. When it is their time to spin, each contestant creates their best 30-minute set and local judges vote on the DJ's mixing skills and music knowledge.
This is one of the largest DJ promotions to come out of Austin, including 8 record stores, 9 DJs, and 3 clubs. Three rounds have been completed already, and the winners will go up against each other this Friday at Mohawk for the top prize. Check it some the footage at djmelee.com to see what it's all about.
Friday. Stubb's. US Air Guitar Championships. You know you want to see this.
If I were in the competition I would probably choose a Whitesnake song, or maybe even some Darkness. I saw the Darkness once upon a time back when they were still rocking, at Stubb's as a matter of fact, and that show was an incredibly good time. Mid-show Justin Hawkins (singer/guitarist) moved through the entire crowd on some bouncer's shoulders, wireless guitar in hand, shredding the whole time.
When he got back to the stage he asked if there were any young kids in the audience, and one girl at the front of the stage yelled out that she was 12 years old. "Are your parents here?" he asks. The young girl points to her mother, who was standing beside her. He asks the mom, "Is it okay if we curse?" The mother laughingly obliges, and a few seconds later the band rips into the most kickass version of "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" that you've ever heard. It was a hilariously memorable moment in rock and roll.
usairguitar.com for more.
- More info on this show (+ free tickets) is at the link
Monday, July 14, 2008
His music is constructed almost entirely using the factory presets of his trusty Casio CZ-230S, adding in a little drum machine for flavor. The opening track (Bassbesties Blaesse) on his new album (Schwingstelle Für Rauschabzug) really puts a smile on my face. Zimmermann's simple, retro-tinged music has apparently been a fixture on Cologne's electronic scene since the early '90s.
Via Brainwashed: "With this album, Jo Zimmermann pulses his listeners (and surely himself) into hypnosis. This new quality transforms Schlammpeitziger's music in a remarkable way: it remains friendly and weird, but gains in seriousness and depth. This kind of club-suitable pop music (or radio friendly club music?) possesses hidden qualities which readily disclose themselves on a second or third listening."
This Will Destroy You have proven to be one of my favorite solutions to an array of crappy things: the stress that comes with having a bad day, being stuck in traffic for an unnecessarily long period of time, and that feeling of emptiness you sometimes get when you lie awake in bed at 3 in the morning, wondering what you’re going to do with yourself as you look into the ceiling for answers. I don’t listen to This Will Destroy You songs, I experience them.
Guitarist Jeremy Galindo appropriately describes their music as “ambient thrash” and I honestly couldn’t find a better way to describe it. They completely redefine what it means to create ambient music, shoving the preconceptions of those mellow, quiet songs that are so boring that you never even noticed they ended (because, honestly, you didn’t even notice when they started playing either) out the door and writing some of the most powerful, emotionally-driven, and uplifting songs I have in my library.
Their live shows are intense. I know “intense” is usually a word reserved for detailing deathly circle pits at a metalcore show, but in this case, “intense” means epic 8-minute long instrumental tracks that use ambience to build and build and build and build, allowing for a climactic explosion of sounds and emotions. Just close your eyes and let the music hit you.
Before embarking on a massive European tour, This Will Destroy You are playing a show in Austin on August 5th at the Hideout Theater. I’m having trouble containing the excitement. Here are two songs, one from each of their releases thus far.
True to their genre label of "New Funk," The New Mastersounds combine the acid-tripping guitar riffs of The Jimi Hendrix Experience with classic funk bass-popping and throw in a good dose of Fender Rhodes jamming for good measure. The only real "new"ness about the NMS is that their eight albums have all been produced in the past nine years. Plug & Play, released just last month, sounds as though it could have been recorded forty years earlier, right down to funkstress Dionne Charles' vocals which could rival the passion and power of Aretha's in her heyday. Plug & Play carries on its cover a gust of funky fresh air to the hallowed (hah!) halls the modern day music industry.
The New Mastersounds are a true sign that the return to 70's style good times, free love, and groovin' jams is here to stay. An even better sign is their growing popularity here and across the pond. They are scheduled to play in several festivals through next year all over their native UK, Europe, and the US. They have no official dates in Austin yet, but if the spirit of '69 strikes you, gather your closest friends into your gas guzzler and head out for a memorable roadtrip to one of their upcoming tourdates in Kentucky or Colorado.