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Archive | October, 2014

Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

October 31, 2014

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The great hip-hop holiday of Halloween is upon us! I call it a hip-hop holiday because it has produced some of the most inexplicable novelty tracks of all time, maybe not a greater quantity than Christmas, but certainly far more unnecessary.  Below, I bring you a playlist of Halloween hip-hop sure to bring your spooktacular revelry to the next killer level.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

:Froggy Fresh – Halloween:  Forced by the dastardly donut company to change his name from Krispy Kreme, Froggy Fresh hasn’t let that stop him from bringing us the simple-not-simplistic, carefully delivered lines of this All Hallow’s masterpiece.

OCTOBER MIX:

:Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks On Me:
:Ras Kass – Interview With A Vampire:
:Lil Wayne – Mr. Carter (Kevin Schneider Remix):
:RJD2 – The Horror:
:Cousin Fik – I Am A Vampire (Featuring Droop-E):
:Dr. Dre – Murder Ink Instrumental:
:MC Chris – Halloween:
:Bone Thugs N Harmony – Hell Sent:
:Da’Shade Moonbeam – They Are Coming:
:Run DMC – Ghostbusters:
:Aesop Rock – Homemade Mummy:
:Beastie Boys – Eggman:
:FELT – Ghost Dance Deluxe:
:DJ Signify – Costume Kids:
:Binary Star – Wolf Man Jack:
:DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince – Nightmare On My Street:

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Stream This

October 31, 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

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums are released, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita

Happy Diving – Big World
Dirty Beaches – Stateless
Trans Upper Egypt – Self Titled
Les Sins – Michael
Deptford Goth – Songs
CHLLNGR – Form Of Release
Grouper – Ruins
Neil Young – Storytone
Bob Dylan – The Basement Tapes Complete: Bootleg Series – Volume 11

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Mono

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The Dead Weather

October 30, 2014

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My Jack White preferences are really starting to fly all over the map.  For a while there I was tired of his nonstop post-White Stripes side projects and I just wanted him to pursue something on his own.  Then did he.  And I rejoiced.  Now though his whole solo schtick has become obnoxious and I’d like to see him take a break from himself and fully return to The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.  I don’t know what’s happening with the former, but the latter is at least moving towards putting out a new album next year.  Below you’ll find a single (it’s from Third Man Record’s Vault Package #21) that could end up on the LP.  Like everything else the band has done, the song features great voice work by Alison Mosshart and an attitude-filled arrangement.  Enjoy.

:The Dead Weather – Buzzkill(er):

Bonus Video:

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Moonlight Towers (Jennifer)

October 29, 2014

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Austin’s own Moonlight Towers have been a favorite of mine for the past decade. Next month they’re releasing their fourth full length album, Heartbeat Overdrive, on Chicken Ranch Records. This quartet delivers with honest rock songs bursting with catchy pop hooks and plenty of loud and melodic guitars.

Out Of The Gray is the lead single from the upcoming album.  Band leader James Stevens explains that the song “was written to chronicle that shitty feeling of watching someone you love go away forever, yet doing your best to pick it all up.”  Despite the heaviness and sadness that you can hear on some of the new tracks, this is music that makes you want to open some windows, turn up the volume, and dance the blues away.

:Moonlight Towers – Out Of The Gray:

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Broncho (Dan)

October 29, 2014

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It’s Halloween weekend! Skip the 6th Street insanity and head to the free FanFest being held at downtown near Republic Square Park. It’s going on Friday to Sunday and they’ve put together a great lineup of bands.

On Friday catch live acts such as Devotchka, The Flying Balalaika Bros, Whiskey Shivers, and De La Soul. On Saturday I recommend seeing Those Darlins, Joan Jett, Black Joe Lewis, and Fishbone. Sunday features Dale Watson, Filter, and the great Heartless Bastards. While all of those bands are worth the trip downtown, the band I’m most anxious to see is BRONCHO.

Broncho is an Oklahoma-based trio known for its surf rock meets garage rock sound. Their debut album, Can’t Get Past The Lips, was released in 2011. A few weeks ago they put out their second record, Just Enough Hip To Be Woman via Dine Alone Records. It’s packed full of hooks with an impressive variety of tones and styles which reflects the deep talent in this group.

I first heard of the band while listening to an All Songs Considered podcast over the summer. They played Class Historian off the new record and I was immediately hooked. If you can’t enjoy such an insanely catchy and fun song as Class Historian then you have no soul. Don’t bother buying a Halloween costume because you are already the walking dead. Seriously, that track is brilliant, and the rest of the album is definitely worth checking out.

Don’t miss Broncho on the Bud Light stage at 6:45pm on Friday. I promise they will start your weekend off right. Their FanFest appearance is one of the last stops on their national tour. After a short break they’ll be back on the road supporting Billy Idol throughout North America.

:Broncho – Class Historian:

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Sad Bastard Music: Woeful October (John Gross)

October 28, 2014

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Lost hope? Dreams ended? Spilled milk? This is Sad Bastard Music – a monthly column of the best sad songs of all time and this exists solely for your comfort. Come here buddy … bring it in. Let it all go and have a good cry.

The sadder the song, the better the song – that’s the motto!

:Five Cent Hero – I’m Sorry Seymour:  Remember that episode of the Simpsons where you learn that Seymour Skinner’s true identity is Armin Tamzarian and that he just Don Drapered some dude in the war? His mom rejects the real Seymour (voiced by Martin Sheen!) at the end and keeps her imposter son and chooses to continue living a lie. Of course you do! Well, this is the saddest 1 minute song in the history of the world about this exact interaction.

:Radiohead – Give Up The Ghost:  From the sometimes underrated album King of Limbs, this repetitive and transcendent song that features the refrain “don’t hurt me” over and over again is about letting go of the hurtful past, and I’m pretty sure the high pitch vocals are supposed to sound like a spooky ghost. That’s what I like to think anyway.

:The Verve Pipe – Freshman:  Catch me late night in a small karaoke room and you better believe that we’ll be linked arm in arm screaming about our guilt-stricken, sobbin’ with heads on the floor. Rich with metaphors and high school nostalgia about the pain from a girlfriend’s suicide … or abortion. It’s hard to tell. Hey, I LOVE THE 90S!

:Fred Thomas – Pumpkin Seeds:  The prolific Saturday Looks Good to Me/ City Center frontman Fred Thomas also has put out some weirdo records under his own name and I’m a big dumb fan. I can’t get enough of anything this guy touches.  Tapes, 7 inches, drawings – I want and love it all!   This song is a drone-y meditation with feedback, finger picking and tripped out choral vocals. I can’t understand the lyrics but it’s so mellow and mysterious that I can project onto it whatever I want – and I want it to be sad!

:Propaghandi – Anchorless:  This is the Propaghandi song that really made a generation of fans primed for transitioning into Weakerthans fans. Here, bass player John K Sampson takes center stage in the anti-racist, pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-feminist, vegan punk band from Canada and carves out 100 seconds of the second album Less Talk More Rock and crafts a song about coping with family death,  growing up and make-it-out-of-this-small-town ambition. The nasal voice gave us all a taste of what we wanted more of and thanks to their four studio albums, we have more to clutch close to our chests. Since it’s release in 1996 I supposed I’ve listened to this song about 500 times.

:Magnetic Fields – Very Funny:  Being lied to by a significant other is the pits. The instrumentation here along with Stephin Merritt’s baritone almost define it perfectly. Very funny indeed.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

:Jenny Lewis – Head Underwater:  Jenny Lewis has composed some of the best, saddest songs of the modern era but this one manages to sum it all up. And to kick it off it begins with some sweet backmasking. She channels major, chronic depression but couples it also with a TEENIE TINY bit of hope. Treating depression is a super serious thing with a multitude of drug industry fueled options and here Lewis outlines the potential negative side affects and how they can remove you from the true self. Sometimes that’s the best way but not always. She contemplates mortality, puts her head down and powers through sort of like a sequel to Rilo Kiley’s A Better Son/Daughter. The imagery of taking a blanket into a bath crushes me. This song’s up-tempo nature and three part background harmony help illustrate that yeah – things can be a downer but buck up little dude – it’ll be alright. Or will it?

I was lucky enough to see Jenny Lewis at Texas’ Oldest Honky Tonk Gruene Hall earlier this month and I’m still riding a feeling of excitement. Long live THE VOYAGER!

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The next No Dancing: Sad Bastard Music night at the Volstead in Austin is November 11. There, you’re encouraged to tear your heart out, rip it in two, bury it in the ground and treat yourself to whiskey drink specials in your mouth and the saddest tunes in your ears. Mark your calendar!

Happy Halloween!

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Cherry Glazerr

October 28, 2014

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Cherry Glazerr are a band that I’m on the verge of being obsessed with.  I came across them about month ago via the spectacular slice of indie rock that is the single Had Ten Dollaz, then I started to dig on the album that currently resides on their Bandcamp page, and now I’m all about their latest tune, Nurse Ratched.  The trio just completely project cool out of whatever they do, and it’s really fun to listen to.  Enjoy.

:Cherry Glazerr – Nurse Ratched:

The Had Ten Dollaz/Nurse Ratched 7″ is out now on Suicide Squeeze.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Holiday Mountain, Young Tongue, Featherface, Emily Wolfe, Polio Club

October 27, 2014

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Austin-based music!  Enjoy.

:Holiday Mountain – My Body:  If I were to rank out some local guilty pleasures, Holiday Mountain would land somewhere near the top spot.  Their live show is super vibrant and fun, and they’ve got some tracks – like this bouncy, energetic single – that are total earworms.  The band’s new album is titled You Be You, but it doesn’t seem to have a release date yet.

:Young Tongue – Heavy Metal Thunder:  Formerly known as The Baker Family, Young Tongue are one of the many solid indie rock/pop acts that are currently operating in Austin.  If you like shimmery, wonderfully crafted things, then this song should delight your senses.  Look for Death Rattle on November 11 via Punctum and Raw Paw.

:Featherface – Make You Mine:  The boys in Featherface are favorites of mine.  Not only are they the nicest kids ever, but they know how to write good pop songs.  This new single of theirs is all over the place (is that sexy talking at the 1:05 mark?), but I appreciate how ambitious it is.  No word yet on when a new album will arrive.

:Emily Wolfe – Swoon:  Fresh off of her appearance at ACL, Emily Wolfe has a new EP you need to check out.  It features her stellar voice and some great guitar work.  You can download the Roulette EP for free over at Noisetrade.

:Polio Club – Poison The Well (Demo):  The lineup for the next SOTO show hasn’t actually been announced, but I’ll tell you now that Polio Club are on it.  I like their post-punk ways, and I’m excited to see them play.  You can listen to listen to more of the band’s demos over at their Bandcamp page.  Also, thanks to Nathan from Austin Town Hall for the tip.

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

October 25, 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!

Jesse Eisenberg is reportedly in talks to play Lex Luthor in David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad movie.

Producer Ed Pressman recently noted that production for The Crow remake will begin next year.  Luke Evans is said to still be the frontrunner to star in the film.

Christian Bale is officially set to star in Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic.

James Wan has signed on to direct The Conjuring 2.

Frank Grillo may star in the Skyline sequel, Beyond Skyline.

Ethan Hawke is set to star in Born To Be Blue, which is said to be about jazz singer/songwriter Chet Baker.

Paul Greengrass will direct The Tunnels.  The movie is said to be based on the true story of a covert mission where West Germans tried to get friends and family out of East Berlin.

The shortlist for Wonder Woman directors is reportedly as follows: Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Mimi Leder (Deep Impact), Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux), Julie Taymor (Across The Universe), Michelle MacLaren (Game Of Thrones) and Tricia Brook (The Walking Dead).

Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mackenzie Davis (Halt And Catch Fire) have joined the cast of Ridley Scott’s The Martian.

Charlie Kaufman has signed on to write an adaptation of Arthur Herzog’s IQ 83.  Steve Carell is expected to star in the film.

The film and TV rights for John Carter Of Mars have reverted back to Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.  The company has noted that they are “seeking a new studio to continue this seminal Sci-Fi adventure.”

Patrick Stewart has signed on for a role Green Room.  Directed by Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin), the film is said to follow a punk band trying to survive after witnessing a white supremacist gang commit a horrific act of violence.

Eddie Murphy is reportedly in talks to star in Cook.  It’s said to follow a chef that gets hired by a dying man who wants him to cook for his girlfriend and daughter after he dies.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Stream This

October 24, 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

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums are released, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Lace Curtains – A Signed Piece Of Paper

Shivery Shakes – Three Waves And A Shake
Mono – The Last Dawn/Rays Of Darkness
Francisco The Man – Loose Ends
Black Milk – If There’s A Hell Below
Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
Ought – Once More With Feeling
His Name Is Alive – Tecuciztecatl
The Flaming Lips – With A Little Help From My Fwends
Swearing At Motorists – While Laughing, The Joker Tells The Truth
Pianos Become The Teeth – Keep You
Scott Walker And Sun O))) – Soused
French For Rabbits – Spirits
Wild Smiles – Always Tomorrow
Medicine – Home Everywhere
Daniel Lanois – Flesh And Machine

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Interpol

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Quickdraw: Chvrches, Summer Salt, Leon Bridges, Cool Ghouls, Ariel Pink

October 23, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Chvrches – Get Away:  It’s perplexing to me why anyone would even attempt to improve upon the already perfect soundtrack for Drive, but BBC radio host Zane Lowe is giving it a go.  At least the project produced this new bit of dance-heavy fun from ChvrchesRadio One Rescores: Drive will air on October 30 on BBC Three.

:Summer Salt – Sweet To Me:  One of my favorite new acts out of Austin this year is Summer Salt.  If you like breezy pop tunes that are as charming as can be, then I think you’ll really love this new single from the band.  Keep an eye out for their upcoming EP.

:Leon Bridges – Coming Home:  Holy shit.  Yesterday I came across this soulful gem from Leon Bridges and it completely stunned me.  The guy has one of those classic voices that’s just impossible to get enough of.  No word yet on when an EP or album will arrive.

:Cool Ghouls – What A Dream I Had:  Here’s the latest retro jam from Cool Ghouls.  As Noah and I have said before, they’re one of the more impressive acts out of the Bay Are right now, and you should have their upcoming LP on your radar.  A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye is due out November 11 via Empty Cellar Records.

:Ariel Pink – Black Ballerina:  You may want to give this bizarro, 80s-enthused track from Ariel Pink a few listens.  My initial reaction was that of pure hate, but now I think it’s rad and weirdly catchy.  Look for Pom Pom when it gets released on November 18 via 4AD.

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Movie Breakdown: Birdman

October 23, 2014

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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:

The Michael Keaton-lead Birdman is a black comedy directed by the revered Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  Early viewers have yet to stop raving about it.

The Reality:

Most of the hype I’ve heard about Birdman has been in regards to its cast, and they are certainly deserving of an enormous amount of praise.  Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis and Emma Stone turn in award-worthy performances, and I was often impressed with the work done by the rest of the film’s familiar faces.  However, I think the actual star of Birdman is its co-writer, director and producer, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who has crafted something that is a complete mindfuck both technically and thematically.

Personally, I found Birdman to be the most brilliantly weird thing I’ve seen this year.  The film is immensely meta, intricately designed and loaded with raw intensity, and I found it to be an impressive effort.  With that being said, I can’t say it’s for everyone.  While the movie is an exhilarating ride, it’s also exhausting in the way it throws an avalanche of exposition at you over the course of one long continuous take.  So in other words, it never stops moving.  There are no moments to breathe or think about what’s happening on the screen, Inarritu just plows forward and you either commit and go all in or you put on your bewildered hat and wonder if you can get your money back.  Also, while the film has been advertised as some sort of anti-superhero black comedy, it’s actually less of that and more of a bizarre, deeply layered look at art, acting and so on, and I have no doubt that some of you will find it to be pretentious babel.

Seek it out only if you’re an adventurous, experimental-loving movie-goer.

The Lesson:

I think I understood it.  Did I understand it?  I probably didn’t understand it.

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Boy + Kite (Jennifer)

October 22, 2014

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Austin-based indie pop/rock quartet Boy + Kite just released their latest EP, Blueprint. I became a fan of the band through 2011′s Go Fly, and 2013′s We Can Go Anywhere We Want EP and the way those efforts featured catchy indie pop hooks intertwined with sharp, dynamic guitars and the dueling yet complementary vocals from Beth Puorro and Darvin Jones.

In December of 2013, Darvin Jones suffered a traumatic head injury and spent a considerable amount of time hospitalized in critical condition. Jones wasn’t sure he would ever play music again, and the adversity only made his desire to play music stronger. As he put it – “I would not accept that I could no longer play music and so slowly we revitalized the band, changing the way we recorded, slowing down to relax and let things evolve instead of my typical dominant, neurotic mode of micro-managing.”

The new EP title and its songs are a fitting description for the band – they took the musical elements that you recognize as a frame of reference in order to build upon and grow their sound. It’s comforting and heartening to hear new tunes from them. Welcome back, Boy + Kite!

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Sleater-Kinney

October 21, 2014

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As an enormous Sleater-Kinney fan, yesterday was a dream.  After spending the day at work listening to the band’s new single on repeat and excitedly chatting about their new album and tour, I came home to find that the Start Together box set had arrived from Sub Pop.  Even if you wanted, you couldn’t possibly convince me that things will ever get better for me.  This is it.  I have peaked, and I’m okay with it.

Anyhow, before I begin my slow slide from the top, let’s talk about Sleater-Kinney’s Bury Our Friends!  I swear it doesn’t sound like the ladies ever took any time off, and that is just thoroughly impressive.  It’s truly great to have them back.

:Sleater-Kinney – Bury Our Friends:

No Cities To Love is due out January 20 via Sub Pop.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Parkay Quarts, The Beverleys, Bully, Weaves, Ricked Wicky

October 20, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Parkay Quarts – Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth:  As you surely guessed, Parkay Quarts is actually Parquet Courts.  This rambly gem is off of a little something that band members Andrew Savage and Austin Brown did in their spare time.  I think it’s awesome.  Content Nausea is due out November 11 via What’s Your Rupture?.

:The Beverleys – Hoodwink:  Over the weekend I stumbled upon this track from The Beverleys.  It’s a fairly fantastic slice of 90s-enthused punk that totally reminds me of stuff I used to catch on MTV2 when I was in high school.  The Hoodwink single is available now through Bandcamp.

:Bully – Milkman:  Bully is centered around Alicia Bognanno (she is the guitarist, singer, producer, and engineer) and I think her debut EP is going to be worth seeking out, especially if you love pop punk of any sort.  Look for the self titled EP when it gets released tomorrow.

:Weaves – Shithole:  Over the summer Rolling Stone called Weaves a “band to watch” and now here they are on SOTO.  Is there anything left for them to achieve?  Oh yes.  A lot, actually.  Anyhow, this song is clever and infectious.  The Shithole single is available now though Bandcamp.

:Ricked Wicky – Mobility:  The great Robert Pollard is the man behind Ricked Wicky (it’s a name he apparently made up in his teens) and the band’s sound is what he describes as “sophisticated arena rock.”  I expect the debut LP to at least be interesting.  Ricked Wicky: I Sell The Circus is due out February 3 via GBV Inc. Records.

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