RSS

Archive | February, 2014

Stream This

February 28, 2014

0 Comments

From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ The Men – Tomorrow’s Hits

Ume – Monuments
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Soundtrack
Eagulls – Self Titled
Trust – Joyland
Posse – Soft Opening
Real Estate – Atlas
Nothing – Guilty Of Everything
Rick Ross – Mastermind
Pharrell – Girl
Frankie Cosmos – Zentropy
Ava Luna – Electric Ballooon
Bart Davenport – Physical World
Roman Remains – Zeal
Wake Owl – The Private World Of Paradise
Dark Mean – Samuel The Phoenix EP
We Are Scientists – TV en Francais

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
The Coathangers

Continue reading...

Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

February 28, 2014

0 Comments

Well, I hope everybody’s ready for the steam train called “festival season” that’s about to crash into Austin with the beginning of South by Southwest.  You have t-minus seven days to complain/exalt about the city-wide party, and then just cool it everybody. This train doesn’t stop for whiners.  Here’s a mix. It’s chill ’cause the city is about not to be. Bump it loud.

One other thing: KOOP Community Radio 91.7FM is currently in Membership Drive, which is where we ask you, the community to support us. We only ask twice a year, unlike some bars I know (how do I get “regular status” at drink.well without spending any money, you guys?), and we sure could use whatever amount you could donate. We also have a sweet shirt this year, and a live compilation CD on offer.  Listen to Hip Hop Hooray on Sunday at 2pm and you might even get an extra thank you gift from yours truly! If you can give now, please do so here, and thank you millions.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

Ever want to scream sing real loud in your car (or in public) with some real deep rap about feelings and stuff?

:Astronautalis –  The River, The Woods:

 FEBRUARY MIX:

:Mos Def – Auditorium (Featuring Slick Rick):
:MC Esoteric – Here We Come (Featuring Apathy And Motive):
:MOBONIX – Third World America:
:MDK – What it Cost:
:MURS – Priu$:
:Major Lazer – Aerosol Can (Featuring Pharrell Williams):
:Maurice Mobetta Brown – Back At The Ranch (Featuring Jean Grae):
:Kasim Keto – Pusher:
:Magna Carda – Chuck Close Trip:
:Korpersaysun – Microphone Nutter:
:Labtekwon – Speak On It:
:Large Professor – For My People:
:King ART – Who Am I:
:Last Emperor – Echo Leader:
:The Cool Kids – Computer School:

Continue reading...

Cloud Nothings

February 27, 2014

0 Comments

First of all, I’d just like to point out that the “feature picture” for this post was taken by Pooneh Ghana, who might take home an award for Best Photographer at the Austin Music Blogger Awards tonight.  Hopefully you’ll come to the event and see how it all plays out!

Secondly, Cloud Nothings are a great band, and I both want their new album and for their show with The Men at the Mohawk on April 26 to be mine right now.  But that’s not possible, and so instead I’ll just settle for a SXSW set or two.  Below you’ll find their latest slice of indie rock brilliance.  Enjoy.

:Cloud Nothings – Psychic Trauma:

Here And Nowhere Else is due out April 1 via Carpark/Mom + Pop.

Bonus Video:

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Non-Stop

February 27, 2014

0 Comments

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:

Liam Neeson does his usual thing where he shoots and punches people, BUT THIS TIME HE DOES IT ON AN AIRPLANE. OVER THE OCEAN. AS AN AIR MARSHALL.

The Reality:

Non-Stop is one of those films that’s fairly solid as long as you just out-right refuse to turn your brain on.  Liam Neeson, as always, is entertaining to watch, and there’s enough suspense throughout the movie to keep you checked-in to what’s happening on the screen.

With all of that being said, it’s hard for me to tell you to actually see Non-Stop.  It’s not anywhere near as good as Taken or The Grey but it’s also not as bad as Taken 2 or Unknown.  The film just sort of exists, and while it could definitely be worse, it feels like a waste of Neeson.  He deserves better.

The Lesson:

Quality control is important, Mr. Neeson.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Non-Stop (Noah)

February 27, 2014

0 Comments

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:

The Age of Old Man Action Star Liam Neeson continues!

The Reality:

I don’t know what director Jaume Collett-Serra hates more: modern day commercial flights, the falsities of the American political system or Liam Neeson’s bruised, potato sack of a head. I’ve never seen Liam Neeson look as bad as he does in this film, which is fine considering he plays an alcoholic, ex-cop-turned-air-marshall who has to search out a killer at 35,000 feet. Non-Stop is built on the tradition of “man-stuck-in-location-with-secret-terrorist” films like Air Force One or even Die Hard; there’s a bomb and a hidden bad guy that’s going to kill someone every 20 minutes if Bill Marks (Neeson) can’t get 150,000,000 dineros dropped in a bank account. Serra plays with the concept a bit, toning down the rough-and-tumble action in favor of a sort of working class thriller with Marks fighting against not only an airplane-killer (a killer on an airplane, not a sadistic person who kills airplanes) but also the perceptions of the disgruntled passengers (“oh c’mon we have to put our arms on the seat in front of us for five minutes so you can catch a killer?”) and his slowly unwinding life. Sure, there’s a few Neeson Elbows to go around, but in general this is a mundane sort-of who’s-doing-it peppered with a tiny bit of politic introspection on the part of the baddies. Which is really the problem with Non-Stop – it doesn’t know what it is. Is it a thriller? An action flick? An Oxbow Incident style piece about mob justice and one man trying to do what’s right? Who knows. What I do know is that it’s a mess of a film, occasionally enjoyable, but for the most part just another film to drop down the drain of the early-2014 doldrums.

The Lesson:

Three Oscar-nominated actors in one film doth not always equate to a masterpiece.

Continue reading...

Dylan Shearer (Noah)

February 26, 2014

0 Comments

If Dylan Shearer’s prior record, Porchpuddles, felt like the warm embrace of the sunniest of psychedelia, his new release, Garagearray (a collaboration between San Francisco heavyweights Empty Cellar Records and Castleface) is the bittersweet glow of the post-trip come down. I imagine Shearer, a little wide-eyed, the last bit of tracers just bleeding off the tree branches, sitting down on a soft couch on a porch overlooking a nice meadow and this album spilling out of him. Where Porchpuddles still had one hand gently resting on the leg of psych and garage, Garagearray seems to have bid adieu to the whole affair, instead turning in an album of sad, shy folk rock. With Petey Dammit (of Thee Oh Sees) on bass, you’d expect the rollicking good time affair of garage-turned-insanity, but this is a subtle, subdued, little album driven by the gentle rumble of Shearer’s voice. Garagearray, like Porchpuddles before it, has a tendency, in the best way, to float a bit, to drift around our shoulders and ears, a hazy cloud of scattered images and emotion. This has nothing to say about the content, or weightiness of Shearer’s music though; these are beautifully composed pieces, layered with sound and thought and instrumentation. Dylan Shearer is a great musician and Garagearray is the mark of what great musicians do: change their sound ever so slightly without losing the heart of who they are.

:Dylan Shearer – Meadow Mines (Fort Polio):

Continue reading...

The See See, The Len Price 3 (Jennifer)

February 26, 2014

0 Comments

For this week’s post, let’s take a trip across the pond to to revisit a couple of my favorite British bands.

London-based quintet The See See are releasing Days, Nights & The Late Morning Lights on American shores in mid-March through Sundazed Records. This anthology, comprised of the band’s prior UK releases, is an appropriate introduction for psychedelic guitar pop fans in the US who weren’t able to get their hands on earlier limited import singles and albums.

Keep Your Head stands out with its pristine, driving guitar riffs and soaring harmonies. The Rain And The Snow shows a more melancholy side to their sound with its somber lyrics and spooky organ swirls singing “they’ll find me dead and cold/with silver on my soul.” The See See are musical time travelers moving back and forth between 60s psych, 70s powerpop, and 90s Britpop. The result is jangly, guitar pop bliss combined with darker, sinister moments bubbling beneath the surface.

My next pick is the Medway-based trio The Len Price 3. Their songs recall legendary influences ranging from the British Invasion-era The Who and The Kinks to the garage and punk sounds of The Jam and The Clash.  Their fourth album, Nobody Knows, sees the band continuing in the tradition of those acts not only through a similar sound, but as musical storytellers reflecting society and sharing tales ranging from family history (My Granddad Jim) and to the ups and downs of contemporary 21st century life (Swing Like A Monkey and The Preying Mantis).

Their three previous albums were released in the US on Little Steven’s label, Wicked Cool Records. For the time being, it looks like the newest album is only available through UK outlets. Highly recommended for lovers and connoisseurs of punchy garage rock and power pop loaded with three part harmonies and windmill swinging guitar riffs. Time to go get your “mod” on.

Continue reading...

Angel Olsen

February 25, 2014

0 Comments

Angel Olsen has yet to receive anywhere near enough attention from me, so today I’m sliding in a mention for her and hoping you’ll quickly fall in love and then go watch her (along with AMBA performer and nominee Jess Williamson) play Red 7 this evening.  That’s called taking care of business, man.  Or something.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten completely lost in White Fire.  Headphones are a must.  By the way, if slow and stripped down isn’t your thing today, Forgiven/Forgotten is the bonus video and it’s fairly upbeat.

:Angel Olsen – White Fire:

Burn Your Fire For No Witness came out just last week via Jagjaguwar.

Bonus Video:

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: Yuck, The Echo Friendly, Molybden, Tycho, Modrag

February 24, 2014

1 Comment

Music!  Enjoy.

:Yuck – Another One:  Remember when Yuck lost their frontman and we all thought they’d either completely break up or just no longer be any good?  Yeah, me either.  The Southern Skies EP will be out at some point in the coming months.

:The Echo Friendly – Fuck It And Whatever:  This track from The Echo Friendly sounds like Interpol mashed with Future Islands.  I can get behind that.  You’ll be able to grab Love Panic on May 20 via YEBO Music.

:Molybden – Woman Who Left Behind:  Dana Falconberry, Jess Williamson, Jana Horn, and now Molybden.  Austin has so many spectacular lady singer/songwriters.  See Molybden at Spider House Ballroom this Wednesday for the release of her 7″, Woman Who Left Behind.

:Tycho – Spectre:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Tycho album.  All signs point it being rad.  Ghostly International will release Awake on March 18.  See Tycho at the Parish on May 1.

:Modrag – Oh Boy:  Here’s a catchy tune from Austin’s Modrag.  Expect to like if you appreciate garage rock and having fun.  The band is currently working on a full length album for Ronjo Records.

Continue reading...

Weekly Movie News Rundown

February 23, 2014

0 Comments

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!

Rumor has it that Space Jam 2 is in the works for LeBron James.

Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) has signed on to direct the American remake of The Raid.

Will Smith may star in Brilliance.  It’s said to be a sci-fi story about a world where some people (who are called brilliants) have special abilities.

Mark Andrews (Brave), Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), Dean Israelite (Welcome To Yesterday), and Adam Levine (Warm Bodies) are said to be in the running to direct the Doctor Strange movie.  Also, Mads Mikkelsen has reportedly had talks with Marvel about the lead role.

The Fantastic Four reboot has reportedly settled on a cast.  Kate Mara (House Of Cards) will play Sue Storm, Michael B Jordan (Fruitvale Station) is the Human Torch, Jamie Bell (The Adventures Of Tintin) will portray The Thing, and Miles Tellar (The Spectacular Now) is Mr. Fantastic.

Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher) has landed the role of Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genesis.

The Lego Movie 2 will make its way into theaters in 2017.

Edward Norton is set to direct the adaptation of Motherless Brooklyn.  The book centers around a private detective with Tourettes who is trying to solve the murder of his friend.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: The Pretty One (Noah)

February 21, 2014

0 Comments

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:

Zoe Kazan is a bit of an up-and-coming indie star and prior to hearing about The Pretty One I had no idea what she even looked like. If she’s in it though I’m pretty sure it’s one part twee, one part pretty, and all parts quirky.

The Breakdown:

The Pretty One battles with the same problems all indie films do – it’s too quirky for it’s own damn good. The story of an awkward, stay-at-home twin who steps in to the shoes of her prettier, cooler twin sister after a terrible car accident isn’t bad by any means. Far from it actually. Director Jenee Marquet has a beautiful, almost fairy-tale-like aesthetic and she applies it liberally in the film. The colors are beautifully saturated and the very unique Zoe Kazan seems to pop off the screen. Kazan herself puts in a fantastic performance, one part awkward cuteness, one part broken sadness, that raises her above the sort of muddled thematic tones of the story. If anything, Marquet doesn’t know exactly what to do with her attractive palate and solid cast (Jake Johnson is particularly good as Laurel’s (Kazan) bookish neighbor and paramour) throwing them all together in a story that wants to be about loneliness and loss and learning who one really is, but never really gets above it’s twee-ness. It might actually be that Marquet tries for too much, introducing a wide cast of characters and situations that muddle the narrative arc of Laurel and her family. It’s only Marquet’s first film though, and if anything, it promises a director who with the right script and cast could put together something really stunning.

The Lesson:

Keep an eye on Marquet, she’s got something special, she just hasn’t made it yet.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: Pompeii (Noah)

February 21, 2014

0 Comments

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:

It’s the middle of February, the final twilight before the “Road to Summer Blockbusters” kicks off, and a film by Paul WS Anderson about a love affair amongst the devastation of Pompeii seems pretty ripe to be well, awful.

The Reality:

I can’t honestly say if Paul WS Anderson is intentionally trying to make b-movies. I don’t know if the man has the knowledge or capability as a filmmaker to actually shoot to pay homage to any film that has ever come before it (though Pompeii certainly swipes more than a few scenes from some of the bigger, more A-List blockbusters of the last 20 years). And I don’t know if Paul WS Anderson is intending for his films to be the future fodder of stoners and b-movie cinephiles, but let’s be extremely frank, they will be. And as is the way with b-movies some are outstanding because they’re good, some are outstanding because they’re bad and some are just terrible. If you see Pompeii as a b-movie (which it certainly is), this is a pretty good flick. A Celtic slave and a Roman, uh, rich person, fall in love in Pompeii just days before the volcano explodes and sends 180 degree ash clouds over everything and everyone. Things get complicated. Kiefer Sutherland shows up as a pervy Senator who just wants to kill and fuck. Jared Harris and Carrie Anne-Moss show up as well as nervous parents trying to secure a future for the town. Things explode, there’s some sweet, if not horribly shoot, gladitorial action and a lot of horses jumping over things. This is not a good movie, at all, but it’s fun in the worst kind of way. Sure, Kit Harrington and Emily Browning have about as much acting chops and chemistry as a pile of Roman horse dung, and sure the movie looks like it was entirely filmed in one hallway, and the computer graphics are sub-par video game quality, but regardless if you’re coming to see this film because you want high art, well, you’ve got bigger problems. Instead, why don’t you wait two or three months, pack your portable vaporizer with a frosty nug (I just learned that word from Snoop Dogg’s Instagram) and then watch this movie at 3:30 in the morning when you’ve got nothing better to do. Then you’ll like it, I promise.

The Lesson:

A film that combines Titanic, Gladiator, and Dante’s Peak is actually better then it sounds.

Continue reading...

Movie Breakdown: 3 Days To Kill

February 21, 2014

0 Comments

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:

Kevin Costner stars as Liam Neeson in Taken 3: Days To Kill.

The Reality:

Oh McG, what have you done?  3 Days To Kill is the all-out family version of Liam Neeson’s Taken films, and it’s just not good.  What’s bizarre though, is that it’s not the “soft” stuff that wrecks the film.  Those parts, while definitely sappy and overdone, actually have some heart.  Surprisingly, it’s the action that feels tacked on and uninspired.  McG’s direction in each of those scenes is so lackadaisical and oddly comical that they just carry no weight at all, and then that’s made worse by Kevin Costner, who manages to make shooting and hitting people look like a chore.  Skip 3 Days To Kill.  Unless, of course, you like tonally challenged films that are instantly forgettable.

The Lesson:

Somebody needs to restart the return of Kevin Costner.

Continue reading...

Stream This

February 21, 2014

0 Comments

From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ St. Vincent – Self TItled

Yellow Ostrich – Cosmos
Beck – Morning Phase
Tacocat – NVM
Bleeding Rainbow – Interrupt
Neneh Cherry – Blank Project
The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There
Magic Touch – Palermo House Gang
Mozes And The Firstborn – Self Titled
Vertical Scratchers – Daughters Of Everything
The Notwist – Close To The Glass
Honduras – Morality Cuts EP
Mythological Horses – Self Titled

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Perfect Pussy

Continue reading...

La Snacks

February 20, 2014

0 Comments

After nearly a century of nagging, I finally convinced La Snacks to set Le Dope free.  OK, so my constant badgering probably didn’t do anything at all, but the album is out and it’s a good one.  Below you’ll find one of my favorite songs off of it.  If you like it (and I believe you will), then I highly recommend that you jump here to listen to and/or download the entire new full length.  Enjoy.

:La Snacks – The Dope:

By the way, I’m rather excited that SOTO is a sponsor of La Snack’s 10th Anniversary Show at Spider House Ballroom on Saturday, March 1.  The band really has been a favorite of mine since I first moved out to Austin in 2007, and I’m eager to help them ring in their decade-long run.  Hope to see you there!  The Sour Notes, Daniel Francis Doyle, Ghost Knife, Loteria, Mac Blake, The Zoltars, and Mom Jeans are also on the bill.  Get more details here.

Continue reading...