"It's called HEXADECAGON. That's the geometrical term for a sixteen-sided object, and we chose it because the show we're working on is being written for an eight-channel sound and eight-channel video system: a sixteen-sided audiovisual panorama." - The Octopus Project
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 10:50 PM
I've been in love with The Walkmen for some time now. I casually stumbled into an enthusiastic day show some SXSW's ago and the swoon-worthy combo of Hamilton Leithauser's commanding vocals set against their hazy blend of piano-heavy instrumentation completely stole my heart. It was like someone slapped the sober into me.
The Walkmen are an ensemble of talented musicians that draw influence from Roy Orbison's waltz-y blues and Bob Dylan's lyrical rambling, but add a unique element of melancholy enchantment. Leithauser belts emotionally charged stories of longing and despair laden with atmospheric details as his voice transitions from a gentle croon to a dramatic scream without a hinge. His stamina alone is impressive.
It's clear Leithauser thrives off the energy of fellow band mates and their collective dynamic. Matt Barrick's percussion and Pete Baeur's keyboards give depth to The Walkmen's signature sound. With Paul Maroon and Walter Martin on guitar and bass, respectively, and the recent addition of a touring horn section, the band can easily access a tremendous range in their songs.
Their forthcoming album, Lisbon, will be the band's sixth studio album. It's set for release September 14 on Fat Possum/Bella Union. Pre-order is here. For visual stimulation, check out the Walkmen on Pitchfork's POV Concert Series.
Posted by hungry hearted at 5:15 PM
The Bubbles are an Austin quartet who just released their second album, Daydreaming in Technicolor. The band's debut put them on the local map, with positive reviews from the likes of Austin Sound and the Austinist, and a ‘Band to Watch’ recommendation from the Austin Chronicle. Word has it they will record a Daytrotter session soon.
The Bubbles specialize in lo-fi, sunshine pop filled with colorful arrangements and melodic hooks. They are something like a cuddly, power-pop version of The Flaming Lips, with a definite nod to the psych-pop sounds of the Elephant 6 collective. Check out Powerpopaholic for a thoughtful review of their latest effort. Locals can catch The Bubbles at Beauty Bar next month for 101X's Homegrown Live.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 4:34 PM
Monday, August 23, 2010
Beat Connection is yet another quality electronic outfit with an affection for the sounds of surf. The duo consists of University of Washington students Jordan Kaplowitz and Reed Juenger, who also host a radio show on UW's student-run internet station Rainy Dawg Radio. Apparently they got tired of playing other people's music, so they set out to create their own.
Based on their debut EP, Surf Noir, I'd say these two kids are off to a great start. The EP consists of 8 tracks seasoned with various mixtures of steel drum, surf guitar, hand claps, cowbells, dance party beats, and chilled-out island flavors. Even better, it's available as a free download at bandcamp. You can find more Beat Connection info here.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 4:13 PM
Friday, August 20, 2010
If you suffer from epilepsy, look away. This video comes from Thee Oh Sees' album Help, which I recommended early last year. If you're into fuzzed-out garage rock, then these San Francisco natives are for you. I happen to celebrate their entire catalog. Well, most of it any way. Thee Oh Sees go through albums like Tiger Woods goes through random tail.
The band is currently supporting their latest release Warm Slime, and will appear at SummerStage in New York, the Fuck Yeah Fest in LA, Music Fest North West in Portland, Scion Garage Fest, All Tomorrow's Parties, and the Bruise Cruise in the Bahamas with the Black Lips, Ty Segall et al.
"Listening to Help, it's almost impossible to hear anything but mere traces of the chaotic noise rock path John Dwyer followed to make it to Thee Oh Sees, but it's that noisy past, and penchant for musical shit stirring, that informs the jangly garage pop on Help, and transforms the band's jangle and shuffle and pound into near perfect buzzy fuzzy catchy retro pop, and makes it easily the best Oh Sees record yet. And a definite contender for (garage) pop record of the year." - In The Red Records
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 2:40 PM
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Vaden Todd Lewis of Toadies covers "Someone Great" by LCD Soundsystem, live at Waterloo Records in Austin, TX on August 17, 2010.
Toadies just released their new/old album Feeler on Kirtland Records. This is the record that Interscope shelved 13 years ago, after the band's platinum selling debut Rubberneck. The record lived online in various unfinished states for years until they finally got the rights to release it. Read the full story here.
The 3rd Annual Dia De Los Toadies will take place on Friday, Aug 27th and Saturday, Aug 28th at WhiteWater Amphitheater in New Braunfels. Along with the hosts, the entertainment will include Black Joe Lewis, Heartless Bastards, Centro-Matic, The Bright Light Social Hour and more.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 5:22 PM
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I know Dax Riggs as the dude who once fronted Deadboy and the Elephantmen. That boy/girl duo recorded one really good album, performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2006, then promptly broke up and went their separate ways. Riggs has been recording and releasing music under his name since then, recently releasing his sophomore solo album Say Goodnight To The World on Fat Possum Records.
Riggs describes the new album as "a kind of transcendental proto-metal, soul-punk poetry." The label says it "sounds like voodoo, feels like redemption and puts off heat like a burning oil rig." The Bayou songwriter with a flare for the dark side recently established a home for himself in Austin, mixing Say Goodnight To The World with all-everything Austin engineer Eric Wofford.
The songs that Dax Riggs concocts are always simplistic and fairly minimal by rock 'n roll standards, but his voice is dynamite, and he's got inflection down to an art form. This Elvis cover is a prime example. You can pick up the album right here.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 4:26 PM
Vancouver-based Teen Daze has been making a splash as a newcomer in the chillwave pool. Much like Toro Y Moi and Washed Out, the project floats along as an electronic bedroom production focusing on vague lyrical content and looped, synth-heavy choruses. The debut EP, Four More Years, was recently released on Arcade Sound Ltd and has already drawn positive reviews.
Teen Daze's debut single "Shine on You Crazy White Cap" was leaked through a tumblr account and caught a lot of attention by the likes of XLR8R and many others. Remixes of songs by Twin Sister and Local Natives further showcase his ability to drown out vocals and build on a soft yet accessible pulsated dance beat. Paired with vintage visuals like the above, Teen Daze successfully taps a vein of nostalgia that makes for a perfectly spaced out trip back in time to who-knows-when.
Posted by hungry hearted at 3:33 PM
Monday, August 16, 2010
I first became familiar with Austin metal masters The Sword thanks to a recommendation from a musician friend of mine. One day, not long after I started writing and blogging about music, I was wandering the aisles at Waterloo Records in search of something new to try out. While I was there I got a phone call from this friend, whose taste in music I trust, and they asked me what I was buying.
"I don't know", I said, "I kind of want to pick up some local stuff." "Have you heard of The Sword?" they said. "They're this great new metal band from Austin, and they just put out their first album."I thought...metal? I am a casual fan of the genre, but I don't really buy very much metal. At the time, the last metal album I remembered actually purchasing was Black Sabbath's greatest hits. I was due to break that streak, so I picked up Age of Winters, and the rest is pretty much history. I popped in the album on my way home, and by the time I reached my driveway I was a Sword fan.
Singer-songwriter and guitarist J. D. Cronise recruited guitarist Kyle Shutt and drummer Trivett Wingo to form The Sword in 2003. Bassist Bryan Richie joined the band in 2004, and the New York-based record label Kemado Records signed the band after their SXSW performance in 2005. Age of Winters found its way onto several Austin Top 10 lists in 2006, the song "Freya" was included as a playable song on the 2006 video game Guitar Hero II.
The band achieved their first commercial success with their second studio album, Gods of the Earth, which peaked at #102 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2008. Guitar Hero once again came calling, featuring their song "The Black River" in the game Guitar Hero: Metallica, while also including the track "Maiden, Mother & Crone" in Guitar Hero 5.
Influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, the Melvins, and Iron Maiden, The Sword has gradually become one of the most recognized metal bands on the planet. Along with being featured in the popular Guitar Hero video game series, the band has gigged with Motörhead, toured the world with Metallica, and were chosen as the sole opener for Ozzy Osbourne at the iTunes Roundhouse Festival in London earlier this summer.
The Sword are set to release their highly anticipated third album, "Warp Riders", on August 24. Anchored by an epic science-fiction narrative, the album was recorded with Pearl Jam/Mastodon producer Matt Bayles. According to a press release, the producer saw the band "expanding its range from pure metal to include bone-crunching hard rock at large. Rather than dampening its sound, the band actually sounds more amplified than ever, spewing out some of its most scalding riffs to date and channelling an unearthly bellow from its low end."
VIP tickets and travel packages are still available.
*photo by Ryan Pollack
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 4:44 PM
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Justin Stivers started the Pet Ghost Project musings as a basement recording experiment around 2003. Despite comparisons to Neutral Milk Hotel, Animal Collective, Pavement and Tortoise (to name a few), the band has successfully carved out an endearing niche in a dark corner of the musical world that is entirely theirs.
A former member of The Antlers (bassist on Hospice), Stivers has recorded and produced 6 albums to date. Recently acquiring the help of fellow multi-instrumentalists Jacob More, Justin Gonzales and Chris Patin (member of Austin's The Calm Blue Sea), the band is set to release an EP next month in advance of Pet Ghost Project’s newest LP Shelf Life (set for release in 2011).
Re-arranging one song from each album they’ve done in just 3 short hours at Serious Business Records in New York City, the Winter Variations EP is Pet Ghost Project stripped of all pretension and excess. This latest version of Pet Ghost Project combines all sorts of elements - from indie to post-rock, prog and even a little dance - making for a highly accessible, predominantly instrumental sound. Their frenzied jam "Cloud Seeds" was too good not to share.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 3:05 PM
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The HARD summer tour rolled through Austin at Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater last night, part of a 12-date tour featuring Crystal Castles, Rusko, Sinden, and Destructo. I showed up about halfway through Rusko's set, and I must say he's one of the best dubstep-inspired DJs I've ever witnessed. The Londoner had the crowd in a frenzy for at least an hour, blasting out all sorts of wompy, wobbly bass and some top notch remixes I'd never heard before. I've been jamming his stuff on the Hype Machine all day.
Crystal Castles tore it up. Vocalist Alice Glass was all over the place, crawling around the stage, mounting the drum kit, and jumping out on top of the capacity crowd, all while shouting her way through a lot of new material from their latest album called Crystal Castles. Producer Ethan Kath was mostly stoic on the side of the stage, keeping the beats and bleeps steady and hard while a siezure-inducing light show flashed all around. Drummer Christopher Chartrand pounded his way through the entire set, adding even more power to the band's live show. Everyone in attendance ended up drenched in sweat, with Glass & Co. having sufficient energy to come back out for a two song encore.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 5:15 PM
Dayyymmm. I stumbled (or maybe tumblr'd) upon this little gem and well, shit. What is not amazing about it? Solar Bears' chilled out electro-groove gets a gritty makeover from Letherette emphasizing funky breakdowns for maximum soul. The Father Long Legs' video skillfully accents the trippy, surf vibe just to visually remind you that your mind is being blown.
I heard of Solar Bears earlier this summer when a track by the Irish duo was featured on Ears of the Beholder's mellow, synth-heavy summer mix Partially Shaded. The band recently released a teaser EP called Inner Sunshine, showcasing four original tracks and two remixes, including this one by Letherette. The DJ duo, Andy Harber and Richards Roberts, are starting to make a buzz with their funked-out instrumental mash-ups in their native UK.
You can find Letherette remixes floating around on the interwebs, but they don't seem to be doing much in terms of a compiled release anytime soon. On the other hand, Solar Bears will drop their full length, She Was Coloured In, on Planet Mu Records next month.
Posted by hungry hearted at 2:20 PM
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Simian Mobile Disco’s Extra Temporary EP is a collection of six bonus tracks made around the same time as their second album, Temporary Pleasure. Look here for an insightful review. The EP is available to download on Beatport.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 3:36 PM
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
"System D-128 took Mexicans with Guns‘ name literally and made a short film exploring aspects of cholo culture. A dude gets murked in the first 20 seconds. There is boning, religion, brujería and some kind of ninja chick modeled after La Virgen, all inspired by the fact that “Dame Lo” is sexy and bangs like a ‘72 Monte Carlo jumping a curb." - FADERMexicans with Guns is the production moniker/character created by Exponential Records honcho Ernest Gonzales. After prepping his Been Meaning To Tell You LP for the Friends of Friends label, EG was in search of a new sound and ready to explore the depths of bass music and it’s unique sonic elements.
Dawning the mexican wrestling mask in February 2009, MwG began tearing down the streets with big bass and a nasty swag, breaking out remixes for the likes of Bassnectar, Faunts, Yppah, and shared the stage with the likes of Peanut Butter Wolf, Daedelus, and Eliot Lipp.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 6:37 PM
Heads up Austin, another Rumble is upon us. If you don't know exactly what that means, basically we (we as in Futuresounds, The Austinist, Covert Curiosity, Austin Town Hall, A.V. Club, and Waterloo Records) get together once a month to put on a free show that puts the spotlight on emerging Austin talent. The August edition of the Rumble will take place at Beerland tomorrow night, featuring musical guests The Sour Notes, Hollywood Gossip, and Literature.
The show is absolutely FREE, and the first band will start around 10. Click here to find a bit more info on the bands, and check out the Austin tab at futuresounds.com/rumble. Here's a few tunes to get you in the mood and compliment your local music catalogue:
- The Sour Notes - "One Fell Swoop"
- The Sour Notes - "Never Mix Never Worry"
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 5:27 PM
A few nights ago I had the pleasure of catching Ty Segall, and once again this dude brought the heat. I got elbowed in the head, pushed around, doused with beer, and I can't wait to do it again. The California kid has just released his fourth solo album, Melted, which prompted one Emusic columnist to label Ty Segall "one of our greatest living rock 'n' roll musicians." I'd seriously like to catch them on the Bruise Cruise along with Black Lips, Vivian Girls, Strange Boys, Thee Oh Sees, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Turbo Fruits and DJ Mr. Jonathan Toubin.
Ty Segall recently did a split 7" with JEFF The Brotherhood, available on Infinity Cat:
Ty Segall recently did a split 7" with JEFF The Brotherhood, available on Infinity Cat:
"Five dollars gets you 1 of 500 copies of this new 7″ on multicolored vinyl (most came out a peachy salmon or a peaches and creme) featuring a BRAND NEW song from JEFF The Brotherhood, and a BRAND NEW song from Ty Segall! Both previously unreleased! And the Ty Segall song is from the same sessions as his new album “Melted”!! Pick one up because when they’re gone they’re gone!"Fun Fun Fun Fest in November.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 4:05 PM
Monday, August 09, 2010
UK art rockers Clinic will release their sixth album, ‘Bubblegum’, this October on Domino Records. Rewiring their trademark hyped up sound, Clinic have replaced their churning riffs and wired vocals with a dreamy state of harpsichords, dulcimers and strings. And that dream state is best visualized by means of the psychedelic puppetry in their new video for "I'm Aware", their first single off of Bubblegum.
The band commissioned visionary artist Pete Fowler (known for his work with Super Furry Animals and his psychedelic Monsterism compilations) to direct the video – a lost cult film showing the transformative powers of The Starlake Cosmic Sun Owl Commune. Bubblegum is available to preorder here.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 3:19 PM
Friday, August 06, 2010
Two hot, steamy, smoke-filled nights ago, Brooklyn’s Here We Go Magic took to the stage at Emo’s. The thick heat merged with their fog machine’s output for an appropriately entrancing setting, perfect for their reverb-drenched, bass heavy brand of psychedelic folk. Each of the ensemble's five members provide their own layer of sound, resulting in songs that slowly build into an intricate musical whirlwind. The band performed hits from last year’s self-titled debut album, as well as the recently released Pigeons.
Here We Go Magic kicked off their set with "Fangela," which lured me away from a cozy seat in the back to a spot on the dance floor. I was hypnotized by how each player pursued their instrumental role with focused persistence, like parts of an engine hammering away. True to their style, each song fluctuates from lofty lo-fi to an eventual billowing climax, consistently accented by washed out vocals. "Only Pieces" broke down to a hypnotic five part harmony in rounds. The precision of whispered vocals upon slight chord changes makes for a wonderfully dizzying trance. It was impressively captivating, despite my sleepiness and the relentless heat.
Posted by hungry hearted at 1:20 PM
Thursday, August 05, 2010
A press conference with Fun Fun Fun Fest founder Graham Williams and executive team members James Moody (Transmission Entertainment, Mohawk) and Johnny Sarkis (Transmisson Entertainment, Red 7) took place at Wyndham Garden Hotel yesterday. Conducted in sharp business attire, “Fun-Sultan” and local comedic genius Matt Bearden led the rare sit-down opportunity and welcomed attendees before giving the floor to Sarkis and Moody. The directors of “Research and Design for Fun” and “Marketing and Research for Fun” led an engaging Power Point display which gave more insight into FX3 Fest’s beliefs and primary objectives.
After a slide show of empowering feel good images, Sarkis went over a brief list of bullet points denoting FX3 Fest’s notable recognitions including an “annual increase in beards while maintaining a strict ‘no jam band’ policy.” Moody continued the presentation with a break-down of fun people were having in the categories of Stage Diving, Air Drumming, and Partying/Good Times.” We’re predicating an exponential growth of awesome this year and we’d like for you guys to prepare for that too. We found that these festivals are becoming at least 22.3% more fun, year after and year and this year is no different,” said Moody. “Stage diving is forecasted to increase at least 100% in 2010… this data is directly related to the Black Stage. We do think increases in air drumming will happen at the Yellow Stage.”
With Fun Fun Fun Fest in its fifth year, a concern for fun levels had initially risen amongst the team but Moody has voiced a vow to protect the essence of fun. “We’re concerned about fun in our future. And we’re in for supporting a bail-out for fun, we want to invest in a stimulus package so our grandkids kids can experience fun. Amen.” Apart from stand up comedy, activities including Live Action Wrestling, a Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest and an Air Sex Contest have been added to the bill.
After a round of applause, Moody handed the microphone to Bearden who announced a handful of acts before full lineup sheets were passed around the room. Concluding a Q&A session was a moment of silence for the late Ronnie James Dio. Attendees were invited to nosh on chicken wings, jelly donuts and cold tap water located in the back of the room.
Fun Fun Fun Fest will be held November 5-7, 2010 at Waterloo Park. The 3 day fest kicks off on Friday at 6 p.m. with legendary Weird Al Yankovic headling. Other distinguished acts include DEVO, Deerhunter, MGMT, Bad Religion, Mastadon, GWAR, Slick Rick, Cold Cave, and Dirty Projectors. Limited Early Bird tickets can be bought HERE.
FUN FUN FUN FEST 2010 COMPLETE SCHEDULE:
- ORANGE STAGE:
- BLACK STAGE:
- BLUE STAGE:
- YELLOW STAGE:
Posted by Ashley Cass at 11:29 AM
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
A successful mix is one of life's simple pleasures. It can wake you up, take you to work, accompany you on long road trips, and when you're ready to head home it's there waiting for you. On that note, I'll be dropping mixes somewhat regularly, if not seasonally. This debut appearance is a beach inspired compilation of tracks that have been delivering that carefree feeling of the beach. So join me for a little vacay, if only in your mind. Enjoy!
- Cults - "Oh My God"
- Bango - "Geninha"
- The Paragons - "On The Beach"
- Breakfast Mountain - "Dunn (Not Done)"
- Discovery - "Slang Tang"
- Twin Sister - "Lady Daydream"
- Wavves - "King of the Beach"
- Dum Dum Girls - "Rest of our Lives"
- Tennis - "South Carolina"
- Best Coast - "Sun Was High (So Was I)"
- Here We Go Magic - "I Just Wanna See You Underwater"
- Atlas Sound - "Walkabout" (w/Noah Lennox)
- Architecture In Helsinki - "Souvenirs"
- Los Super Elegantes - "The Waves"
- Jens Lekman - "A Sweet Summer’s Night on Hammer Hill"
- Air France - "Collapsing At Your Doorstep"
- Deerhunter - "Disappearing Ink"
- Sleigh Bells - "Kids"
- Princeton - "Sylvie"
- Magic Man - "Daughter"
- Happy Birthday - "Girls FM"
- The Drums - "Down by the Water"
- Cat Power - "Sea of Love"
Posted by hungry hearted at 1:48 PM
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
As previously reported, the Black Angels' new album, Phosphene Dream, is out on September 14. The band will first head out on a European tour, then trek through the states in October & November with Canadian psychedelic rockers Black Mountain. Coincidentally, the Black Angels recently provided a cover of Black Mountain's "No Satisfaction."
La Zona Rosa. You can download a new track and read more about Phosphene Dream at Spin. Black Mountain has a new album too, Wilderness Heart, which will also be released on September 14. Do you think they planned this? Here is a freebie from that one:
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 1:03 PM
Prefix just premiered this beautiful video for A Place to Bury Strangers' "I Lived My Life," the latest single from their Exploding Head LP. The video, directed by Sian Alice Group guitarist Ben Crook (Spiritualized, Fratellis, Black Lips), was shot during the band's London show at Heaven on May 25th 2010.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 12:44 PM
Monday, August 02, 2010
The first time I saw FM Campers was pretty random. I had intended to two catch some DJ battle in East Austin but the girl at the door wouldn't let me in because I had misplaced my ID. So my friends and I just moseyed over to Red River, ending up at the Mohawk because I had remembered that my friends Zorch were playing that night. At some point FM Campers went on the stage, and about halfway into their set they really grabbed my attention. The trio's live set up is filled with a number of electronic goodies - drum machines, samplers, pedals, synths and laptops - complimenting huge guitar sounds and a hard hitting drummer.
I liked what I heard that night, and the band hooked me up with a demo that I have been spinning off and on quite a bit. Those songs have since been re-recorded at Superpop Records in Austin, and mastered at panicStudios in Seattle. They call it the Bear in a Box EP, and you can download the whole enchilada for free at fmcampers.bandcamp.com. The Campers have been taking a break from their hectic live show schedule to write some new stuff, and are working on a full-length as we speak
FM Campers have a big sound, recommended if you're into the likes of Yeasayer and Animal Collective. Special thanks to the skeptical door girl for leading me in their direction.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 7:52 PM
Dead Confederate unveil an imaginative, surgery-based new music video for "Giving It All Away" from their new record Sugar. Directed by Jason Miller (Of Montreal, Major Lazer, Diplo), the video is darkly poetic and features the band being at the mercy of a group of small children (found through a casting call on craigslist).
Dead Confederate are currently on tour with Deer Tick before joining their pals Alberta Cross for a co-headline tour of the US. They kick ass live, and the band's next stop in Austin will be at the Mohawk on August 28th.
Posted by Mr. Curiosity at 11:44 AM