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Archive | September, 2012

Weekly Movie News Rundown

September 30, 2012

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Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield are set to return for a sequel to the Amazing Spider-Man.

Mark Miller (Wanted, Kick Ass) has accepted a creative consultant role at 20th Century Fox.

Justin Timberlake may star in The Last Drop, which is said to be about an alcoholic restaurant critic who is trying to sober up in order to be with the woman he loves.

Patrick Stewart recently noted that at some point he expects to reprise his role as Professor X.

Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), J Blakeson (The Disappearance Of Alice Creed), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Days Later), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), and Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) are said to be in the running to direct Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.

The Farrelly brothers are saying that they’re nearly done with a script for a Dumb And Dumber sequel.

Len Wiseman (Underworld) is set to direct a remake of The Mummy.

Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway are set to star in Steven Spielberg’s Robopocalypse.

Tom Hardy is reportedly in talks to star in Everest for Doug Liman.  It will be based on the life of George Mallory.

Gina Carano (Haywire) has signed to appear in the female version of The Expendables.

Natalie Portman is reportedly being courted by Fox Searchlight to star in a movie based on Jackie Kennedy.

Daniel Radcliffe has expressed interest in playing the Hunchback in Paul McGuigan’s (Lucky Number Slevin) adaptation of Frankenstein.

Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) is set to direct Nicholas Cage in Amicus.  The movie is said to be based on a true crime story.

Henry Selek’s Shademaker may be picked up by Laika Entertainment.  Disney recently canceled the project because production was “moving too slowly.”

Jay Baruchel recently said that he’s working on a script for Goon 2.

Todd Phillips (The Hangover) is set to direct a thriller titled Trust Your Eyes.

Jake Gyllenhaal will star opposite of Hugh Jackman in Prisoners, which is said to follow a detective trying to help a man find his daughter and best friend.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Stream This

September 28, 2012

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Ultraista – Self Titled
Sun Airway – Soft Fall
Tilly And The Wall – Heavy Mood
We Need Surgery – Self Titled
Why? – Mumps, etc
Lavender Diamond – Incorruptible Heart
Death Songs – Sung Inside A House
Maserati – Maserati VII
Hundred Waters – Self Titled
Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve
Levek – Look A Little Closer
Chris Cohen – Overgrown Path
Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth

VIDEOS

Don’t forget that Balmorhea is playing at the Mohawk tonight.  Their latest album is titled Stranger.

The Dum Dum Girls just released the End Of Daze EP.

Crystal Castles just announced that they’ll be released a new album titled (III) on November 6 via Casablanca, Fiction, Universal Republic.

Why? is playing Fun Fun Fun Fest in November, and they will release Mumps, etc on October 9 via Anticon.

Lee Fields And The Expressions are set to play ACL (and at Stubb’s with Alabama Shakes) later this month.  Faithful Man is currently available.

May pals The Sour Notes just put out this tour documentary.  Watch it!

The Sweet Serenades put out their latest album, Help Me, a couple of weeks back.

Skye, who normally sings in Morcheeba, is returning with a new album.  It’s titled Back To Now and is due out October 29 via PIAS.

Joan Of Arc are set to release a new self titled album on November 27 through Joyful Noise.

Ask Me This, which Alcoholic Faith Missions’s latest album, is available now through Old Flame Recordings.

This Miike Snow video is for a song off of the currently available Happy To You.

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Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

September 28, 2012

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Just in case you didn’t know, 1989 was a pretty amazing year.  For one, the USSR pulled out of Afghanistan after a nine-year occupation (man, they had the right idea there).  Also, apartheid in South Africa begins to be dismantled by the new Prime Minister.  The Velvet Revolution in Prague and the Cultural Revolution in China start up. And Ronald Goddamn Reagan finally leaves the White House. In case you weren’t aware, there was also some significant and incredible hip hop made that year amid some serious international turmoil.  Today I’ve compiled a brief sample to begin your research.

Also, if you’ve been on the fence about coming out to the Austin Mic Exchange on Sundays from 8-10PM at the 29th Street Ballroom, you should get off that fence, dude. You could hurt yourself.  It’s been just an awesome experience so far and a great way to spend a Sunday evening.  I’ll even buy you a beer if you mention this blog post! Locals Space Camp Death Squad and P-Tek from last month’s mix are always there and entertaining.

:Public Enemy – Fight The Power:
:Ice-T – Shut Up, Be Happy:
:Ice-T – This One’s for Me:
:Boogie Down Productions – You Must Learn:
:De La Soul – Plug Tunin’:
:Jungle Brothers – Doin’ Our Own Dang:
:Special Ed – I Got It Made:
:Beastie Boys – 3-Minute Rule:
:Eric B And Rakim – Microphone Fiend (Album Version):
:MC Lyte – Stop, Look, Listen:
:Queen Latifah – Wrath Of My Madness:
:Neneh Cherry – So Here I Come:
:JVC Force – Strong Island ’89:
:Def Jef – Downtown:
:Gangstarr – Manifest:

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Movie Breakdown: Looper

September 27, 2012

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Rian Johnson (Brick) enters the world of time travel with a prosthetic-enhanced Joseph Gordon-Levitt at his side.  Also, Bruce Willis contributes his trademark tough face.

The Reality:

Looper is a film that’s probably been marketed correctly, but I’ve had a hard time getting over Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s face.  Every single time an image would pop up on my TV, I’d immediately focus on the oddness of his noggin.  Fortunately, the effort to make him look like Bruce Willis is much more acceptable in the actual film.  It is, however, not because it works better in the context of the movie, I just simply didn’t notice because Looper is a great piece of sci-fi, and I spent my time being thoroughly entertained by every part of it.  I loved the world (future and further future), the characters, the story, and the practical approach that was taken with all of it.  Looper is film that could have eaten itself trying to be too clever and/or stylistic, but instead Rian Johnson’s steady hand allows it to be one of the best sci-fi movies of 2012.

The Lesson:

Rian Johnson’s next effort will be more than anticipated.

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Other Lives

September 27, 2012

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Other Lives are a quality act, so it’s nice to suddenly have them returning with a new EP.  The four-track effort will feature a Radiohead remix and some previously unreleased tracks.  One of the latter awaits you below.  TBD Records will release the Mind The Gap EP on October 23.  Enjoy.

:Other Lives – Take Us Alive:  This song repeats a lot of things, so I’m not sure it needs to go on for nearly five minutes.  With that being said, though, it has such a great sound that I don’t mind the extra soak time.  Grab headphones, friends.

Bonus Video:

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Top 5 Music Videos (Zoe)

September 26, 2012

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As you may have noticed from the last post, I’ve been really into lists lately. I’m not sure exactly why, I’ve just been in a very High Fidelity mood these days. So today I bring you my Top 5 Music Videos. It was a very hard list to make, and I know I’ve left out some classics … but this is my desert island VJ mix.

5. Madonna – Like A Prayer
Okay, I wasn’t even born when this was released, but even my generation is still aware of the scandal. This does what many great music videos strive for and fail at; making a statement, but not preaching. Sure, the message of Madonna sexing up an African-American Jesus may have been a little shocking to some, but there’s a great message about racism if you pay attention to the actual storyline. Plus, young Madonna looks radiant and beautiful, and the choir is awesome. And in the end, it’s all a play, so no one was actually hurt.

4. UsherConfessions Part II
The first 1:20 really seal the deal for me; you almost don’t need to watch further. The dramatic phone call, as you watch his reactions; the singing passionately while walking around; and finally, the best of the best, his dramatic turn around in the car at 1:13. “I know you hate me. I know I hurt you. But there’s more. Listen” and then the darkness ushers (see what I did there? Eh? Eh?) you into the the actual song. Sure, the rest of the video is great, especially if you’re into attractive men looking pained (spoiler alert: the sweater AND the tank definitely come off) and getting slapped by jilted lovers. There’s some pretty sweet baby mama drama, oh and Usher shatters an entire mirror wall just by looking at it … Usher, why you gotta be so unintentionally hilarious?

3. Beastie BoysSabotage
Three dudes. Fake mustaches. Bad wigs. Extreme silliness and crazy hijinks. Could you ask for anything more? This is the ultimate embodiment of the Beastie Boys attitude towards life … you can’t not have fun watching it. There’s just not much more to say than “enjoy!”

2. Blink-182All The Small Things
This one is in a similar vein of three dudes having fun. The great thing about Blink-182 is they were equal opportunity offensive; they made fun of everyone. The particular target of this video is boy bands, and although some of the references now seem woefully outdated, the spirit of the gags live on. All the guys are great, but Tom is really the star of this one, from the camo pants and bustier to the dancing, and the toilet, and just every damn facial expression. Say what you will about their music, these guys know how to do a video right.

1. REMFurry Happy Monsters (Shiny Happy People)
Okay, I know this is not technically the official music video for this song. But has there ever been a better pairing of music and video than this one? Sesame Street is known for having hosted many great musical guests, but this one is by far my favorite. I think part of it is how truly happy the band looks; a genuine Stipe smile seems so rare. And that yellow monster, shouting! And the monster version of Kate Pierson! So fantastic, truly.

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Royal Forest, Hardly Sound (Dan)

September 26, 2012

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Royal Forest (Loxsly at the time) was one of the Austin bands I really got into after moving here. I loved Lamprey Eels off their Flashlight EP. It was (and remains) a brilliant piece of psychedelic pop rock. Since that early introduction, I’ve enjoyed the evolution of the band as they have added more experimental elements and guitar-driven tracks to their music (best displayed on their Tomorrow’s Fossils record).

Royal Forest has just finished recording their next album (due out in the Spring) and are releasing an EP by the end of the year. I was very pleased to hear the news and am proud that Side One Track One is the first to premiere the song The Rails off of the yet-to-be-named EP.

:Royal Forest – The Rails:

I had a chance to discuss the new recordings with Cody Ground (vocals, keyboards) and Justin Douglas (guitar). I was curious about the approach for this record. Past efforts were very thematic, not concept records per se, but there was definitely a unified direction in the songs. However, Cody and Justin say that is not as necessarily the case on the new tunes. While the lyrics were influenced by southern rural imagery (and many hours of listening to Townes Van Zandt) the music itself isn’t as rustic. As evidenced on The Rails, the band retains its trademark textures and stellar guitar work but it’s done with more of a lo-fi sound. They made a conscious decision to not to over think and continually tinker with the tracks, and instead opted for live tracking to tape to really capture the live energy and essence of the band. It shows on The Rails and I’m very anxious to hear both the upcoming EP and next year’s album.

If you’re like me and want to hear more of the new songs, be sure to check out Royal Forest on October 18 at the Mohawk. They’ll be sharing the stage with The Dig and The We Shared Milk. Can’t make the show you say? Well, keep an eye out for them on an upcoming episode of Hardly Sound on KLRU-Q (Austin’s PBS station for those who don’t do call letters).

If you haven’t heard of Hardly Sound yet, you need to check it out. It’s a documentary series that highlights the best in Texas music. They have crafted their own unique style, and based on the previews now available, they’ll have plenty of interesting stories to share. Plus, a whole bunch of good music.

Hardly Sound is just getting off the ground, though, and needs your support. I highly encourage you to help out your local community, the arts, and Texas music by visiting this page and pledging a few bucks to keep the Hardly Sound film rolling. In return you’ll get a great series on Texas underground music AND a lovely parting gift like a custom postcards, pins, a t-shirt, songs, and maybe even a Producer credit! Do it now!

The next Hardly Sound episode is October 1st on KLRU-Q at 11PM. It features garage rock gods the Bad Lovers. Check out the preview below:

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Chvrches

September 25, 2012

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To be honest, I didn’t actually intend to share today’s track.  I heard it, thought it was fine, and then I moved on with the intention of finding something better.  It was only after another half hour of browsing that I realized I still had Chvrches lodged in my head and that I should probably toss it up for you guys.  So, check it out below.  The song is a digital single, which means you should grab it while you can.  Enjoy.

:Chvrches – The Mother We Share:  If for some reason you’ve been waiting to hear what Purity Ring and Cults would song like mixed together, then Chvrches will make your dreams come true via this song.  I wish I could figure out how I managed to not love this when I first gave it a listen.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Action Bronson, Harlan, AC Newman, Earlimart, Why?

September 24, 2012

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Today’s music beat all other music in a fight to the death.  Enjoy.

:Action Bronson – It’s Me:  This is a song that features what seems to be a Little Mermaid sample thrown over lyrics that Disney would never ever approve of.  I dig it.  Way to keep things fresh, AB.  This Party Supplies-produced number appears to be a random one, so grab it while you can.

:Harlan – 1984:  Here’s a nice 80s-enthused track.  If you can manage to make it through the chorus with wanting to create some sort of embarrassing dance, then there might be something wrong with you.  The 1984 EP is expected out digitally tomorrow.

:AC Newman – Encyclopedia Of Classic Takedowns:  I think I’m now officially excited for AC Newman’s upcoming full length.  The New Pornographers’ frontman has put out two pop gems in advance of the new album, and I’m just convinced there’s plenty more to be had.  The LP is titled Shut Down The Streets and is due October 9 via Matador.

:Earlimart – 10 Years:  I’m not sure why, but on occasion I totally forget about how long this duo has been around.  Weird.  Anyhow, they’re back with a new album (they’re seventh), and this moody number is off of it.  System Preferences is expected to physically be released (it’s digitally available now) on October 16 via The Ship.

:Why? – Strawberries:  These guys have been pouring out music all year in order to get the world ready for their new full length, and this looks as though it’ll be the last track released before the LP finally drops.  I like it.  Be sure to grab headphones, though.  Mumps, etc is due out October 2 via Anticon.

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

September 21, 2012

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Alison. Michelle. Gloria. Sara. In addition to being names we’ve all seen plastered across the class rosters over the years, these names are all immortalized in song by the men who loved (or hated) them. The legendary ladies that liner notes are made of.

Heck, even men have gotten a few great homages over the years (I’m looking at you, Dave Coulier). But that’s a playlist for a different time. Among the ditties dedicated to women over the years, there are several that stand out as absolute winners in my book. Some shout out the smiles (Hall and Oates), some the can’t-fight-this-feeling-anymore laments (The Smiths), some the sex (James), and one even details an emergency room trip (Jens Lekman).

In this month’s lady dude playlist, I’m hand-picking some of my favorite emotionally-charged guy on girl action. So crack open some wine coolers and get some tissues ready, because by the end of this mix, you may just be convinced that you’re going to die alone. Don’t blame me. Blame popular music.

:James – Laid:
:Jens Lekman – Your Arms Around Me:
:Hall and Oates – Sara Smile:
:The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out:
:Devendra Banhart – Lover:
:Neutral Milk Hotel – Naomi:
:Ryan Adams – Nobody Girl:
:Teenage Fanclub – The Concept:
:The Airborne Toxic Event – The Book Of Love (Live):
:Ben Folds – Emaline:
:Big Star – Thirteen:
:The Beatles – Michelle:
:Elvis Costello – Alison:
:Randy Newman – Love Story (You And Me):
:Donnie and Joe Emerson – Baby:
:Alexi Murdoch – Song For You:
:Elliot Smith – Say Yes:
:Bright Eyes – First Day Of My Life:

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Movie Breakdown: Dredd 3D (Noah)

September 20, 2012

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Remember when comic book movies were films to be wary of? When thick-armed, muscle-heads like Sly Stallone wore big ugly costumes and Joel Schumacher ruined everyone’s childhood visions of a Batman movie? The thought of Dredd 3D feels like the tracers and voices from that era’s acid flashback.

The Reality:

They may have reached too far in the publicity for Dredd 3D to make it seem like another big action blockbuster cluttering up the gracious end of summer’s moron season. Where the trailers and shadowy billboards make Dredd 3D lean towards action spectacular and high-gloss, Dredd 3D is actually a low-budget, near exploitation film, a gritty, gory, scene-chewing romp that eschews taste in favor of fun. It’s the year 2000-something or other and as per usual the world is a horrible, radiated wasteland. America is an unliveable desert outside of the 800-million person, East Coast spanning Mega City One – the last remnants of what one might call “humanity.” Amidst the crime, drug-addiction, and gang violence of the New World, only one troop of lawmakers strive to make a difference – The Judges. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is the Michael Jordan of Judges and when he’s assigned a beautiful, psychic rookie on her first day (Olivia Thirlby) things, as they should, go terribly terribly wrong. Trapped inside a sealed building with a near-army of gang members looking to kill them, the duo must, well, kill people in awesome ways and escape. Dredd 3D isn’t a subtle film. Urban’s take on the iconic, and strangely beloved comic book hero, is pretty much “I growl everything I say and kill things violently.” Very few shades of character development exist – the bad guys are very very bad, the good guys … well also pretty bad – and the story amounts to Die Hard In The Future With A Cool Gun That Shoots Magic Bullets. And where most films would be hampered by this sort of lack, Dredd 3D revels in it. The seemingly miniscule budget hangs on to the tattered film of every scene (lots and lots of super close-ups, a singular setting, an at times baffling use of green screen) but Pete Travis takes what he has and runs with it. The near two hour running time of Dredd 3D is almost entirely sneered one-liners and well-played violence but in the hands of a talented, and dare I say original director, it hurtles along with the type of verve you don’t see so much in action flicks anymore. Travis is clearly the child of 80s action and Dredd 3D pulses with right-wing male machismo. If you’d snuck in the back door of your local movie theater in 1989 and Dredd 3D had been melting the screen in front of you, you’d have been pleased, pleasantly surprised even. It isn’t high art (whatever the fuck that is) but it’s good, solid fun turned up a notch by a director’s clear, gritty vision.

The Lesson:

Not to ramble, but Hollywood needs more films like Dredd 3D. It needs more action, adaptation or not, fueled by a passion for the subject and a yen to make something that isn’t slick, polished shit populated with big names and bad scripts. The Hollywood Blockbuster used to mean something, but today, diluted by an excessive season and a knowledge that our cultural mileau is the equivalent of a stale beer puddle, it’s shit. Give more Pete Travis’s a chance to spice it up though, and we might, just maybe have a renaissance on our hands.

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Sic Alps (Noah)

September 20, 2012

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It might seem strange to be celebrating Sic Alps, a band that’s been weirding out the San Francisco scene for five albums over a tumultuous near-decade. Yet times have changed for Mike Donovan and his merry band of experimentalists. After years and years of standing behind the tattered flag of bedroom recording, Sic Alps have stepped in to the spit-shined corridors of a proper studio. Glyphs, the first single off their new Drag City release, boasts not only a softer, more melancholy twinge of weirdness, but the presence of lightly strummed orchestral elements and an almost traditional verse-chorus-verse composition. Mike Donovan is a talented musician and the change feels less like a drastic change and more like the beginnings of subtle progress. Give the self-titled album a solid listen to and the strains of strange and kooky takes on 60s songwriting pop up time and time again, but they’re a little bit cleaner, a little more refined, a little more buried in the cleanly lit reality of the new Sic Alps.

:Sic Alps – Glyphs:

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Acre Yawn, The Moons (Jennifer)

September 19, 2012

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Acre Yawn is a duo consisting of Chase Weinacht from Marmalakes and Haley Barnes from Ancient Cat Society.  A few months ago I was introduced to their sound at an Austin house party where they played to a packed living room. Listeners were entranced by their sweet, pure harmonies and folk/country influenced guitar licks and melodies. I saw them again in early August when they opened for Shakey Graves at the Parish, and I have to smile at his post gig Facebook comments, “… Acre Yawn blew every romantic circuit in my body.” It was a swoonworthy performance indeed. Last week, Acre Yawn released their first batch of songs, Ours And Other Museums, which is available to stream and download on Bandcamp.  They’ve been working on duets since March so keep your eyes and ears open for more songs and performances. I’m confident that you will also be blown away by the striking simplicity and moving, heartwarming emotion of their songs.

:Acre Yawn – Hesitation Win:

I have to confess that I checked out a band last week because their new single has my name in it. It’s called Jennifer (Sits Alone), and it’s by British quintet, The Moons. It’s an infectious slice of dreamy, acoustic pop telling the tale of a “distant planet wanderer” and “revolutionary ranger” who sets out on her own path and chooses to be alone. Their sound bridges the gap between bands of the 60s British Invasion (acts like The Kinks and The Zombies) and more contemporary bands like The La’s, Oasis, and The Coral. It’s classic pop songwriting that shares memorable slices of everyday life and characters. I enjoyed the single so much that I couldn’t resist checking out a couple more of their tunes. In English Summer, they sing about the woes of the clouds and rain taking over a summer day (“oh this is the English summer … so close your eyes and try to dream the weather away”). The jangly, punchy guitars and psychedelic organ swirls come out on the upbeat, hip swinging garage rocker, Double Vision Love.

For my fellow American Anglophiles, it looks like all of their releases are only available on import at this time. Their second album, Fables of History, will be out in the UK on Sept 24th on Schnitzel Records. Mod/psych pop lovers rejoice – The Moons have arrived.

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Plateaus

September 18, 2012

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If I had been able to see Colleen Green when she played in Austin a few weeks back, I’d probably already be aware of Plateaus.  Oh well.  Instead I found them over at Pitchfork yesterday, and that will just have to be good enough.  Art Fag will release the band’s self titled debut on October 30.  Grab a track below.  Enjoy.

:Plateaus – Blackout:  There really isn’t a whole lot to this track.  It features simple riffs with an infectious hook, and that’s about it.  So, no brain required, just crank the volume.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Gap Dream, The Last Names, Santah, Black Forest Fire, Levek

September 17, 2012

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Please be sure to water today’s music at least three times a week.  Enjoy.

:Gap Dream – Generator:  Gabe Fulvimar is Gap Dream, and he recorded the various parts of this song in his bedroom by himself.  That’s impressive.  I’m excite to hear more from the guy.  The Ali Baba 7″ will be out on October 2 via Suicide Squeeze’s single series.

:The Last Names – The Dirt:  The husband/wife duo of Justin and Darbie Rice, who normally perform in Bishop Allen, are the main brains behind this band.  They’ve put together some good stuff, which you’ll see for yourself when you hit play on this charming track.  Wilderness is due out October 2.  The Last Names also have a covers project you should check out.

:Santah – Indigo:  I really love this song.  It’s an inspired and well made piece of pop, and I couldn’t take it off repeat all weekend.  Hopefully, there will be more of the same on their upcoming EP.  The effort is titled You’re Still A Lover, and it’s due out October 16.

:Black Forest Fire – Live News Feed:  Here’s an Austin band that I’m somehow not familiar with at all.  Shame on me.  Anyhow, they’ve got a nice shoegaze-enthused sound, and I think you’re going to dig it.  Transit Of Venus is due out November 13 via Sedimental Records.

:Levek – Girl In The Fog:  It took me a couple of listens to get into this minimalistic song, but once I did it really stuck with me.  Be sure to give some attention to the great songwriting.  Look A Little Closer will be released on September 25 via Lefse Records.

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