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Archive | April, 2014

Tinyhearts, Quiet Company (Jennifer)

April 30, 2014

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Austin’s Dual Tape Deck (Randall LaRue and Andrew Ramirez) will be presenting a screening of their feature length debut, Tinyhearts, tomorrow at the Salvage Vanguard Theater. This romance/drama features music from Austin bands Wiretree and Megabig; the film title is from a Wiretree song and you can hear a Megabig song in the film trailer. At the screening there will also be live music from Wiretree along with a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Tickets are $5. You can purchase them in advance here or at the door. Event starts at 7pm and is all ages.

Be sure to get out and see Quiet Company with Growl and Harvest Thieves this Friday at Holy Mountain.  Quiet Company have been long been a personal local favorite due to their engaging live performances and catchy songwriting. Over the last year they’ve added two new members and have been working on their fourth album, Transgressor. There is currently no set album release date, but their website hints that it may arrive late summer.  You can get Transgressor updates via its Twitter page

Friday night’s special guests include one of my new local favorites, Growl. I’m a big fan of their infectious guitar pop – loud, fun, and you’ll be singing along before the end of their set.  I also highly encourage you to show up early enough to catch the alt-country sounds of Harvest Thieves.  This show is a total triple threat to kick off your weekend.

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Sonic Avenues (Dan)

April 30, 2014

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If I had to pick one band to label as overlooked and/or under-appreciated, it’d probably be Sonic Avenues. Maybe it’s because they’re from Montreal and down here in Texas we don’t pay no mind to French Canadians? Whatever the reason, it’s a shame and I’m out to correct the situation. 

Mistakes is the third album from Sonic Avenues and the follow up to the outstanding Television Youth. These ruggedly handsome Canadians play punk powerpop that’s more infectious than the measles. The choruses invite you to sing along and the rhythm compels your ass to move.

On Mistakes the band made a concerted effort to branch out and test new waters. The album is less hectic and definitely has more range than their previous releases, but fortunately it doesn’t lose any of the hooks and energy that makes Sonic Avenues such a great band.

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Braids

April 29, 2014

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Braids managed to toss themselves back on my radar yesterday by releasing a song that didn’t make the cut on last year’s Flourish//Perish.  I think it’s a really good track that features their progressive sound working as well as it ever has, but what I really appreciate is the way they used its release to slyly let everyone know they’re in the studio working on new material.  If you ask me, that’s smart stuff.  Enjoy.

:Braids – Deep Running:

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Gold Bears, Alvvays, Tearjerker, Movement, Lykke Li

April 28, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Gold Bears – For You:  This Gold Bears song has quickly become one of my favorites of 2014.  I love how jangly, catchy and enthusiastic it is.  Be sure to crank the volume before you hit the play button.  The never terrible Slumberland will put out Dalliance in June.

:Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me:  Here’s a track from Alvvays, the latest addition to Polyvinyl’s always interesting roster.  It’s a total lo-fi pop gem, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from the Toronto-based act.  The band’s debut album will be out at some point later this year.

:Tearjerker – You Can:  For those of you on the hunt for a song to get lost in today, look no further than this Tearjerker effort.  The way that it softly glides along is an absolute treat.  Headphones are highly recommended!  The band will release the Hiding EP on May 20 SQE.

:Movement – Ivory:  There’s plenty at work in this track from Movement that’s pretty great – R&B-style vocals, a totally danceable arrangement – but it really soars for me when the 80s-esque guitar solo kicks in.  It’s just so damn well done.  A self titled EP is set to be released on May 6 via Modular Recordings.

:Lykke Li – Gunshot:  While I really like Lykke Li, it’s definitely taken until this song to make me excited for her upcoming album.  The other singles were strictly ballads, and I just think she’s at her best when there’s more of an anthemic edge to her sound.  You’ll be able to pick up I Never Learn on May 6 via Atlantic.

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

April 27, 2014

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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!

Disney has let it be known that the Star Wars expanded universe will not be used in the new trilogy.  The films will tell an original story.

Newcomer Ray Fisher has landed the role of Cyborg in Batman VS Superman.

Jon Chu has chosen the leads for his Jem And The Holograms adaptation.  Aubrey Peeples (Nashville) is Jem, Stefanie Scott (ANT Farm) is Kimber, Hayley Kiyoko (The Vampire Diaries) is Aia, and Aurora Perrineau (Pretty Little Liars) is Shana.

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) and Scarlett Johansson may join the cast of Jon Favreau’s take on The Jungle Book.

Jessica Chastain has reportedly been offered a lead role in Mission Impossible 5.  She may also portray Marlyn Monroe in Blonde for Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly).

The third Hobbit film will now be called The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies.

20th Century Fox has secured the rights to Flash Gordon and are looking at making a new film.

Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio are being rumored as the replacements for David Fincher and Christian Bale on Steve Jobs.

Steven Spielberg is reportedly set to direct an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong will star in Grimsby.  The movie is said to follow a British Black Ops agent who has to go on the run with his brother, a soccer hooligan.

Amanda Seyfried has signed on for a role in Joe Wright’s Pan.

Tom Hardy and Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) are set to star in Legend for Brian Helgeland (42).  The biopic will tell the story of gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray.

Sony and Mattel are in the early stages of making a live action Barbie film.

Ron Howard is attached to direct an adaptation of Joel Dicker’s The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair.

Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have decided to professionally separate.  Together the duo penned both Star Trek films, Mission Impossible III, Now You See Me, and many others.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Stream This

April 25, 2014

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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 ➡ Tune Yards – Nikki Nack

Ought – More Than Any Other Day
Wye Oak – Shriek
Chad VanGaalen – Shrink Dust
The Pixies – Indie Cindy
Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
Brody Dalle – Diploid Love
Rodrigo y Gabriela – 9 Dead Alive
Olga Bell – Krai
Ex-Cult – Midnight Passenger
Nat Baldwin – In The Hollows
Wovenhand – Refractory Obdurate
Survival Knife – Loose Power
Pigeon John – Encino Man
Pony Bones – Pony Bones II
Elephant – Sky Swimming
Modern Rivals – Cemetery Dares
The Ghost Of A Sabre Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Dum Dum Girls

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Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

April 25, 2014

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Ah, April! When we get the tender warmth, breezes, and sunshine of spring enough to make us forget the heat that’s on its way.  Bar patios open up like blooming flowers, and jorts go on parade like denim gangs. There’s also a great show going down at the North Door on Saturday with Oddisee, Phranchyze, Clemits, Crew54, P-tek, DJ Charlie, and many more. Come out and support local hip hop, y’all.

It’s also for some reason not the strongest month for new releases, but a major time for festival announcements and upcoming fall tours and releases.  Who are you excited to see? Is the ACL line-up lame or strong? Have you submitted your “Guess the Fest” for FFFF?  Does the festival circle jerk make you tired or excited? Do you just want me to shut up and get to the music? That’s what I thought.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

:Karol Conka – Boa Noite:

The new-to-the-U.S. release Freak Batuk from this Brazilian powerhouse is front-to-back amazing, but this track consistently gets me hype.

 APRIL MIX:

:Action Bronson – Pepe Lopez:
:Killer Mike And The Alchemist – The Boonies:
:Antipop Consortium – C Thru U:
:Atmosphere – Kanye West (LNRP Mixshow Edit):
:AmpLive – Reckonerz (Featuring Chali 2Na):
:De La Soul – Vocabulary Spills:
:Alexander Spit – Getaway Car (Featuring The Alchemist):
:Ohmega Watts – Ode To Brooklyn:
:Aesop Rock – Winners Take All:
:Kali Mutsa – Cancion De Amor Colla:
:Captain Murphy – Between Villians (Featuring Viktor Vaughn, Earl Sweatshirt, And Thundercat):
:Akrobatik – Too Easy (Featuring J-Live, Supastition and Pack FM):
:Cap D – Think:
:Blueprint – So Alive:

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Quickdraw: Jack White, The Julie Ruin, Sunny Day Real Estate, Cold Beat, Manicanparty

April 24, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Jack White – Lazaretto:  Jack White has always been an aggressive fella (it’s part of what makes him great), but this track is something else.  He now sounds like he’s trying to rule over the world.  White will release Lazaretto on June 10 through Third Man/Columbia.

:The Julie Ruin – Brightside:  I found The Julie Ruin’s debut last year to be somewhat hit or miss, but it’s still nice to have Kathleen Hanna back making music.  I’ll take whatever I can get out of her creative noggin.  A 7″ with this song and one more was put out on Record Store Day.

:Sunny Day Real Estate – Lipton Witch:  Apparently, Sunny Day Real Estate tried to rally up a new album after their reunion tour in 2009, but it unfortunately didn’t work out.  At least those sessions resulted in this track, though, as Jeremy Enigk’s voice sounds rad.  The band’s split 7″ with Circa Survive came out on Record Store Day.

:Cold Beat – Mirror:  I’ve been waiting for word on a Cold Beat full length, so their announcement of one immediately slapped a smile on my face.  I’m not sure they’re capable of crafting anything that isn’t super catchy.  The band will release Over Me on July 8 through Crime On The Moon.

:Manicanparty – Warpaint:  I’ve been hooked on this Manicanparty track for a couple of days now.  It’s definitely a bit cheesy and kind of an overly dramatic piece of pop, but I also think it’s rather well crafted.  Look for The District EP when it gets released on June 10.

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Blood Sister (Noah)

April 23, 2014

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Blood Sister feel like a jawbreaker, like a sugary sweet core of melody and beauty, but instead of being wrapped up in tongue-cutting white goo, it’s wrapped up in angular, discordant fuzz and a healthy dose of barbed wire. Formed from the ashes of Brooklyn band Night Manager and the psych-garage-Beach Boys goodness of San Francisco’s Ganglians, Blood Sister does not hope to capture the ear of the average listener. Oh yes, lingering within the truly enjoyable noise and fuzz is a melodic pop song, but this isn’t a hanger-on, struggling to find release, not at all. Instead, the more melodic sensibilities of the three musicians is content to lie a few layers below the noise, beautiful and simple, but viewed (listened, even) through a dinged and scratched piece of glass. It feels like standing on top of a low-budget aquarium with glass floors, the flora and fauna of the deep sea just barely visible through the algae-scummed window below you. Blood Sister, seemingly, purposefully obscure the prettier aspects of their music, so that when it does emerge, through the hard-cut guitar riffs, it’s that much more attractive. A fleeting glimpse of a second life, buried just below the surface.

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Tele Novella, The Sour Notes, Vagina: The Zine (Jennifer)

April 23, 2014

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Perhaps you overindulged last weekend during Record Store Day but you’re still looking for some local live musical action? Fear not. Tonight you can head over to Stubb’s (inside stage) to see two of Austin’s finest indie pop bands – Tele Novella and The Sour Notes. They’re playing a FREE show following HAIM, who are playing a sold out gig on the outside stage at Stubb’s.

Come wish Tele Novella a safe journey as they head out on tour to parts of the Midwest and Southeast. If you have come cash to spare, buy some merch to give them a helping hand. Their style of lush psychedelic tinged pop makes my heart flutter and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them as they continue to work on new material.

The Sour Notes are one of the hardest working and most engaging bands in Austin – when they’re not crafting their own material or touring, they’re booking shows and collaborating with other bands and venues to keep the local music scene alive and kicking. Their long awaited album, Do What May, will be released later this spring.

The Sour Notes are on at Stubb’s around 10:30 and will be followed by Tele Novella at 11:30 or so.

If you can’t catch The Sour Notes on Wednesday, you can see them at another FREE show this Saturday at Cheer Up Charlie’s when they play the launch party to celebrate the first issue of Vagina: The Zine.  On their website they proclaim their mission – “With its quarterly publications, Vagina provides a space for female contributors to share their creative work with the public. The zine features a unique variety of opinions, passions, and observations from our contributors. The Vagina editors are striving to showcase the talents and opinions of ladies, not limit them. We only ask that our contributors identify as women, whether they have a vagina or not.”

The Sour Notes are joined by The Harms, Claire Puckett (from Mother Falcon), and DJ Jeska of Royal Commission. Cheer Up Charlie’s is a sponsor and supporter of this growing zine; it is also thriving in its new location on Red River after its displacement from its original East 6th Sreet location  - I encouraged you to come on out to support both the literary and music communities this weekend.

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Sad Bastard Music: April. Blah. (John Gross)

April 18, 2014

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Howdy. Thanks for looking at these words on your computer screen. Pour yourself some whisky and crack open a fresh box of Kleenex and let’s get you set up with the latest installment of your monthly soundtrack for melancholy. Blah.  If you like what you hear here, be sure to “like” dancing on the facebooks HERE.

APRIL BLAH. MIX.

:Weezer – Tired of Sex:  That distortion, dude. That fuzzy bass, dude. That picture of a post Blue Album Rivers Cuomo swinging yet empty lifestyle. Dude. He’s stretched thin, apologetic, guilty and has a full dance card of ladies. But maybe, just maybe there’s more to life than that. This was the first song on Weezer’s final album, Pinkerton.

:The Mountain Goats – The Mess Inside:  Is it possible to pick a favorite song from the Mountain Goats’ seminal 2002 album All Hail West Texas? That’s a loaded question. For a variety of deeply personal reasons I can make an argument for this being not only my favorite track on the album but also one of my top Mountain Goats songs period. An emotional photo album, an emotional map of the United States, and a trademark simple chord progression can make hearts pop. It all lands home to me.  The protagonist’s memories of an untidy and tragically doomed relationship cut deep here. May we all find the creeping sense of dread with temporal things when we’re ready.

:The Shangri-Las – Remember (Walkin In The Sand):  The pleading of “Oh, no, oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no, no.” and the seagull noises are about as perfect of a sad mid-60s girl group combination that can possibly exist. The hand claps, the finger snaps and the snapshot of being a teenage girl who had access to the beaches of New York resonated with America and made the song HUGE for the gals, but not as huge as their anthem for the dead motorcycle-riding greaser boyfriend track Leader of the Pack. Find a Best Of The Shangri-Las CD in a used bin somewhere and devour it. Or just play it on the jukebox at The Shangri-La here in Austin.

:The Fleetwoods – Mr. Blue:  This was a number one Billboard hit in 1959 and it’s still a blissfully sad and tender song. . Yes, America loves a good song about a nice young man who just wants a call from his dream gal. She’s out painting the town red and he’s at home painting the town blue. The whimpering horn is nice and sad but this song is really extenuated by the backup harmonies. (wah-a-wah-ooh)

:Sam Cooke – That’s It, I Quit, I’m Moving On:  Why would anyone be two hours late for a date with Sam Cooke? For shame. Sam’s got some decent relationship empowerment here because he’s not going to stand for for his baby doing wrong, but it’s still a bummer that his main squeeze is running around on him. That’s not fair. Poor Sam Cooke.

:Pairote – Tee Makhuea Pok (Your Cheatin Heart): You know the essential 1952 Hank Williams country standard Your Cheating Heart, right? Well, Here’s an amazingly groovy 60s cover version of it from Thailand. Boom.

:The Magnetic Fields – Very Funny:  This song gets in, paints a portrait of a cuckold, and gets out in under a minute half making it a true achievement amongst the Magnetic Fields famed 69 Love Songs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Stephin Raymond Merritt is a living legend among men.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

Angel Olsen’s latest Jagjaguwar-released record Burn Your Fire For No Witness is full of neo-Roy Orbison somber mega-jams. One of the more upbeat tracks, Forgiven/Forgtotten, got a nice lil’ music video made for it seen here. The song has Olsen’s character coming to terms with the time she allegedly got wasted with an ex and the video achieves the imagery with kodacrome colors and hand scratched experimental film school aesthetics. As much as she’s working hard to move on from the relationship, there is still an element of unrequitedness where she continues to seek validation from the ex all combining to result in a poppy, perfect sad anthem for 2014. Go Angel Olsen, go!

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Stream This

April 18, 2014

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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 ➡ Thee Oh Sees – Drop

Pink Mountaintops – Get Back
Eels – The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett
Floor – Oblation
Teen – The Way And Color
Kelis – Food
Various – Farewell Transmission: The Music Of Jason Molina
Death – Death III
Fear Of Men – Loom
Various – The Space Project
Nas – Illmatic XX
Future – Honest
Dances – Whiter Sands EP

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Courtney Barnett

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Quickdraw: Pujol, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Twin Shadow, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Swans

April 17, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Pujol – Circles:  This will sound odd, but I’m actually relieved that the first couple of singles off of Pujol’s upcoming full length have failed to make me think it’s going to be much different than his last effort.  He churns out simple but catchy rock ‘n’ roll tunes, and I sincerely hope he never changes anything.  Saddle Creek will release Kludge on May 19.

:The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Eurydice:  The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart seem to have set aside a little bit of their shimmer in exchange for a more anthemic sound, and I’m really digging it.  I think it fits them well.  Days Of Abandon is due out on May 13 via Yebo Music.

:Twin Shadow – To The Top:  While I sort of feel like this song could be the title track for some schlocky Sylvester Stallone-lead 80s sports movie, I totally love it.  Here’s a question though, has Twin Shadow somehow warped himself into just being a guilty pleasure?  Details on a new album should be available soon.

:A Sunny Day In Glasgow – Crushin:  This relaxing number isn’t as much of an attention-grabber as A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s last single, but I do think it’s just as good.  Their upcoming album is now pretty high on my anticipated list.  Expect Sea When Absent to be released on June 24 via Lefse.

:Swans – Oxygen:  Like everything else that comes from the entity known as Swans, this song isn’t something you just casually play in the background.  If you dare hit play, be sure to strap in and get ready to focus.  Look for To Be Kind on May 13 Young God.

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Demitasse (Jennifer)

April 16, 2014

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Demitasse is a side project of San Antonio-based singer/songwriters Erik Sanden and Joe Reyes from Buttercup (a musical partnership that has stretched over a decade). Their very recently released debut is titled Blue Medicine, and it displays the more downbeat, acoustic side of their sound.

In a recent interview Erik said, “Joe and I just rounded a corner in our ability to sing together. We’re sounding more like one voice. To me, it feels like a breakthrough.” In a past blog post I described Erik and Joe’s songwriting as an “irresistible meeting of art and pop; they can be offbeat and quirky but they’re also accessible and relatable.”

The album title, Blue Medicine, reflects both the common loss of their fathers and using songwriting and recording as therapy. Both on the album and in live performances, their harmonies and melodies sit alongside one another but also join together for an emotional journey. There’s the awkward tension in Couples Therapy (“then you asked me/do you really want your tombstone to read/here lieth a monster … I don’t know … oh come on”).  The struggle to banish dark thoughts on The Power Of Positive Thinking (“I ask you please don’t kill the universe with all your dark thinking/oh please give a fuck”).  And a surreal take on willing to bare all – physically and emotionally – on I Remove My Penis (“I pull my insides out and lay them across the chair/I remove my penis too/so I can think/so I can concentrate”). Like the feeling after a good cry or even accepting the presence of grief and sadness, the songs on this album provide a healing catharsis and a sigh of relief. With the arrival of Blue Medicine, Demitasse carry on their mission to fight sadness with sadness. Sad songs never felt so good.

To celebrate the album release, you can catch Demitasse this Friday in San Antonio or on April 23 in Austin. I highly recommend these shows. Erik and Joe are two of the most engaging and endearing performers around. You may be listening to a bunch of sad songs, but I promise that you will leave a Demitasse show with a grin so big that your cheeks will hurt.

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Deleted Scenes (Dan)

April 16, 2014

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Did you get your taxes done on time? Perhaps you got an unexpected return and are looking for fun ways to spend your tax refund? Well then I have some suggestions for you.

Yesterday the beloved DC band Deleted Scenes released their third full length album and I’m hear to tell you, it’s phenomenal. Lithium Burn is the follow up to the much heralded Young People’s Church Of The Air and it marks yet another leap for the band. Trying to compared Deleted Scenes to other bands or accurately characterize their sound is near impossible. The group strives to expand their range not just on each album, but in each song. I guess the best description would be experimental art rock performed with brutal honesty and sincerity. Let’s just say this is not your usual indie pop rock.

Lead singer Dan Scheuerman’s lyrics have a confessional quality that gives each song a certain power and fire. He exposes his own fragility and self-doubt without reservation. Sometimes it’s alluring and moving like on You Get To Say Whatever You Want and sometimes it’s jarring like on Stutter. Either way the tracks will impact you like few bands today are capable of doing.

The new record also does a brilliant job of capturing the essence of a Deleted Scenes live performance. This is no easy feat and is a tribute to both the band and the album producers. The group has honed its craft over many years and countless shows and they have evolved into one of the tightest and most talented bands you’re likely to see.

So do yourself a favor and make your way down to Holy Mountain on Saturday night for the Deleted Scenes show with Royal Forest and Brass Bed. And while you’re there, treat yourself to a vinyl copy of Lithium Burn. I can’t think of a better way to spend that money from Uncle Sam.

:Deleted Scenes – You Get To Say Whatever You Want:

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