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Archive | June, 2016

Darkbird (Video Premiere)

June 30, 2016

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For the last couple of months I’ve been steadily playing Darkbird’s latest single, All There Is, on both of my local radio shows (see the sidebar for more info on those), so it’s a rather nice treat to be asked to premiere the video for it.  John Valley (Sweet Spirit, A Giant Dog) directed it, and I think it’s a good fit for the song, which is about “giving up on life.”  Enjoy.

The I Remember Feeling My Fingers Slip EP is currently available via Bandcamp.

By the way, if you dig the song and/or the video, then you should attend Darkbird’s release party this Saturday at Cheer Up Charlie’s.  There’s a great lineup and a rad poster!

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Movie Breakdown: The BFG

June 29, 2016

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Pre-Screening Stance:

I’ve never read The BFG, but I like Roald Dahl’s other works .  Also, Steven Spielberg is a pretty talented fella.  Hard to imagine this won’t be something special.

Post-Screening Ramble:

If I were a child, I imagine I’d be raving about The BFG.  The film has a very warm, welcoming glow to it, there are plenty of silly, slapsticky bits, there’s goofy dialogue, and the story itself is oh-so-very sweet (girl accidentally sees giant, giant purposely takes girl, girl and giant eventually help each other achieve better lives).  As an adult though, I have mixed feelings about the film.  It’s certainly well made, and I will forever stand by my opinion that it’s great for kids, but I found it to be boring.  The film is a long two-hours and it’s short on spectacle and wonderment.  I kept waiting for Spielberg to dazzle me, but instead he peppered me with glimpses of things that ultimately never go anywhere.  It would have been great to see a flashback that detailed the history of the giants, or even one that provided more info on the film’s main tall guy, Runt (voiced admirably by Mark Rylance).  But no, aside from one sequence that takes place where Runt sometimes works, the movie just skims along, showing nothing of real substance while hoping that you buy in simply because it carries a good message.  That’s not enough for me.

Those of you looking to take your kids to something wholesome, go see The BFG.  Those of you looking for something special, go see another film.

One Last Thought:

Before the screening started my guest asked if there would be any Swiss Army Man-like farting in the The BFG.  I immediately laughed her off and proudly exclaimed that THE Steven Spielberg wouldn’t put any fart jokes in his fairy tale.  I was wrong.  There are two prominent fart segments in the film.  Oh bother.

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Show Of The Week

June 29, 2016

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For the last few weeks I’ve been really loving Basketball Shorts’ debut full length, Hot And Ready.  If you’re wondering how you missed it, you didn’t, because the album isn’t actually out until July 8 (via Austin Town Hall/Fleeting Youth).  Good news though, it’s going to be available on vinyl tomorrow at Cheer Up Charlie’s, and you should go grab yourself a copy.  Also, while you’re there, you should watch Austin’s best pop-punk act play alongside Flesh Lights, Foreign Mothers and Popper Burns.  Have fun!

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Kevin Morby, Big Thief at The Sidewinder
- Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Casket Girls, Hospital Ships at The Sidewinder
- The Ghost Wolves, Holiday Mountain, Jonas Wilson at Hotel Vegas
- Annabelle Chairlegs, Lake of Fire, The Diamond Center at Barracuda

Thursday:
- King Khan and the Shrines, Giorgio Murderer, Sailor Poon at the Mohawk
- Shovels & Rope, Okkervil River, Matthew Vasquez, Girl in a Coma at Stubb’s
- The Joe Jacksons, The Happen-ins, Steep Cats at the Continental Club

Friday:
- Football Etc, All People, Hikes, Honey and Salt, Mean Girls at Cheer Up Charlies
- Soaked, Summer Salt, The Sun Machine, Dronebaby at The Swan Dive

Saturday:
- Black Joe Lewis, Sweet Spirit, Ghost Wolves at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Mitski, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som at The Sidewinder
- Hovvdy, Heavy Petting, Early Internet at The Sidewinder
- Darkbird, Residual Kid, The Continuums, Dronebaby, Milk at Cheer Up Charlies
- Fat Tony, Total Abuse, Team Next, Funny Games at Barracuda
- New Fumes, Holy Wave, Ouiness, Treasure Mammal, No Cops at The North Door
- Charlie Belle, Nic Armstrong & The Thieves at Stubb’s

Sunday:
- Dinos Boys, The Bad Lovers, Sister Rays, Teenage Cavegirl, Secret Bad Boys at The Grand
- The Ripe, Think No Think, Black Liquid Drop, Foxmoor Express, The Gospel Truth at Barracuda
- Ringo Deathstarr, Soft Healer, Lake of Fire, Lochness Mobsters, John Wesley Coleman, The Bolos, Al Lover, Ex-Legionaires, Nameless Frames, Teevee at Hotel Vegas
- Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, The Early November at Cedar Park Center

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Movie Breakdown: Swiss Army Man

June 28, 2016

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Pre-Screening Stance:

When it comes to Swiss Army Man, the only thing I really know about it is that it’s a movie with a lot of farting.  Does that mean it’s good?  Or does all the farting equate to something unwatchable?  I honestly have no idea.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Let’s just go ahead and get a couple of things out of the way.  Firstly, yes, the film features a lot of farting.  You know that fake movie in Tropic Thunder where Jack Black plays a bunch of characters who fart a lot?  Well, there’s probably more farting in Swiss Army Man.  Secondly, yes, the film is totally weird.  It’s about a troubled, lost man who discovers and befriends a dead dude, and then he uses the corpse as a multi-purpose tool in order to save himself.

Now, with all of that out of the way I can get on with telling you if it’s worth your time or not.  AND?  It is.  While Swiss Army Man is sure to weird out most who see it, the film is charming, funny and heartfelt.  Personally – and I realize this thought may be as equally bizarre as Swiss Army Man – I couldn’t help but find it to be a nice but super strange companion piece to Where The Wild Things Are.  Both feature people desperately trying to work things out, both feature an imagination-driven world (that may or may not be real), and both have an important message to deliver.  In Where The Wild Things Are the message is in regards to children and how they develop/process their emotions, and in Swiss Army Man it’s about finding love, friendship and acceptance.  You should check it out.

One Last Thought:

Daniel Radcliffe’s post-Harry Potter career choices have been interesting (Horns, What If, Victor Frankenstein, Swiss Army Man).  I like that he genuinely seems to be taking on projects simply because he finds them fun and/or interesting.  It’s kind of like what Elijah Wood has done since he tossed that pesky ring into the fires of Mount Doom.

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Deftones

June 28, 2016

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If you asked me to make a mid-year album list, I’d probably put Deftones’ Gore somewhere in my top 10 or 15.  It’s got such a nice, big and fully realized sound, and I just really dig it.  Side note, is there another band out there managing to age as well as they are?  I really don’t think so, and I’ll totally type in all caps at you if you disagree.

Anyhow, Deftones pulled in Com Truise to do a remix, and he churned out something super chill and neat.  Enjoy.

:Deftones – Prayers-Triangles (Com Truise Remix):

Bonus Video:

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Sia

June 27, 2016

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When I saw The Neon Demon last week (here is my review), one of the things about it that really impressed me was the soundtrack, with a particular standout being the song that blasted during the credits.  As it turns out, that gem is from Sia and Diplo, two acts I semi-appreciate but don’t necessarily care about.  Go figure.  I suppose this is a good example of why you should never judge an artist by their name, yeah?  Enjoy.

:Sia – Waving Goodbye (Produced by Diplo):

You can stream The Neon Demon soundtrack in its entirety here.  Sia will be at the Frank Erwin Center on November 6.

Bonus Video:

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Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

June 24, 2016

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Exciting news! Starting July 6th, Austin Mic Exchange is moving to Wednesday at 8PM at Spider House Cafe and Ballroom. This means that you work-a-day stiffs (read: me) will finally be able to hear the dope shit coming straight out the mouths of Austinites and still get home in time for your secret Whataburger binge and 11PM bedtime. What a time to be alive!

In other news, it’s hot out, so everyone who just moved here from colder locales, drink a lot of Lone Star, stay out of my secret swimming spots, and please pay your property taxes.

Song of the Month:

:The Avalanches – Frankie Sinatra feat. Danny Brown: The Avalanches are back! This Australian electronic band’s debut LP was beloved in critical and popular circles alike, but that was 16 years go. They drop this single in anticipation of their next album, Wildflower, and they sound as though they’ve retained that keen ear for samples and meticulous beat-craft.

June Mix:

:Tasha the Amazon –  Picasso Leaning:
:Chance the Rapper – No Problem feat. 2Chainz and Lil Wayne:
:DJ Shadow – Nobody Speak feat. Run the Jewels:
:Despot – House of Bricks:
:Spank Rock – One Hunnid:
:Mos Def – Auditorium feat. Slick Rick:
:Kam Moye – MK-Ultra feat. Baba Zumbi:
:Scuare x BeetFarmAssist – Deluxe:
:Blu and Exile – O Heaven:
:Homeboy Sandman – Keep It Real feat. Mystro:
:Bionik – Ball Like Beijing feat. Lizzo:
:A Tribe Called Red – Stadium Pow Wow feat. Black Bear:
:Blue Scholars – Slick Watts:

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Movie Breakdown: The Neon Demon

June 23, 2016

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Bronson is a great movie.  Drive is a great movie.  Only God Forgives is not at all a great movie.  I’d love to say I’m feeling like Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest film will be this or that, but the weird trailers for it have left me unsure of what to expect.

Post-Screening Ramble:

The Neon Demon is a heady, visceral, grotesque, beautifully shot and totally weird movie that you’re either going to love or loathe.  It begins with an introduction to Jesse (a very earnest Elle Fanning), an underage girl who has made the jump from nowhere to LA in order to capitalize on the one thing that she feels like she has going for her in life – her beauty.  Right off the bat she meets Ruby (an endearing Jena Malone), a friendly make-up artist who offers her advice and help.  Only, Jessie doesn’t need any help.  She’s a real natural beauty, and everyone in town is immediately enamored with her even though she has no modeling experience.  What then follows is writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn’s thoughts on what makes someone beautiful and what people will do to either stay beautiful or become that way.  No punches are pulled.  Like I mentioned up above, it’s a film that’s all at once beautiful and disgusting, and you’re either going to be really into it or think that it’s not your cup of tea.  Personally, I loved The Neon Demon.  It’s immaculately shot, the music (and sound overall) is fantastic and Winding-Refn’s cynicism hit big with me.  I can, however, see how the film may be a real test of some folk’s patience.

Don’t see The Neon Demon because you’re hoping it’s another Drive, see it because you want something with weight here in the season of fluffy box office fare.

One Last Thought:

Whenever I see Elle Fanning in something, I always think about Dakota Fanning.  Whatever happened to her?  I’m guessing the last notable movie I saw her in was The Runaways, and that was released a chunk of years ago.

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Cymbals Eat Guitars

June 23, 2016

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After the bouncy first single, Wish, from Cymbals Eat Guitars impending fourth full length proved to be good but kind of weird, I wondered how the band would follow it up.  Well, now I know, as they’ve has let slip another track.  It sounds like their older material (i.e. it rocks and there’s no wild saxophone action), but it still feels like a nice step forward for them.  Can’t wait to hear all of the new album.  Enjoy.

:Cymbals Eat Guitars – 4th Of July, Philadelphia (SANDY):

Pretty Years is due out September 16 via Sinderlyn.  The band will play Sidewinder on September 25.

Bonus Video:

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Show Of The Week

June 22, 2016

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If you’ve been listening to my radio show, 101X Homegrown, over the last month or so, then you already know what I’m excited about this weekend.  If you haven’t been listening (why not, man?), then I’ll just tell you – it’s My Jerusalem’s album release party at 3TEN on Saturday.  Their new LP, A Little Death, is rad, and I’m pumped to hear it live.  Also, Ringo Deathstarr A. Sinclair, who I love, will be opening.  Don’t miss it.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Pity Sex, PWR BTTM, Petal at The Sidewinder
- Jim Ward at The Sidewinder
- D.R.A.M., Loaf Muzik, Fat Tony at Barracuda
- Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, The Continuums at the Mohawk
- Ghost Wolves, Cartwright, Jonas Wilson at Hotel Vegas
- Electric Six, In the Whale at Stubb’s
- Blues on the Green with Wild Child, Max Frost at Zilker Park.
- Bloodpumps, Altamesa, Nic Armstrong, Mike Therieau at the Hole in the Wall

Thursday:
- Numerators, Deep Time, Leather Girls at Hotel Vegas
- Lord Buffalo, Wildfires, Gossamer Frontier, Hardcore Sex at Barracuda
- Ssserpentsss, Xetas, Body Pressure, Lustron at Beerland

Friday:
- A Giant Dog, Big Bill, Pleasure Venom, DJ Brother Dege at Beerland
- Outlines with Brodinski, Ryan Hemsworth, Shlohmo, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (DJ set) at the Mohawk
- Major Grizz, Sik Mule, Ghostbunny at The Sidewinder
- Gloves INTL, Keeper, Orthy, Thor Harris & Friends, Charlie Belle, Boozwa, DJ No Kid$ at Cheer Up Charlies
- Other Lovers, The Dizzease, Jesse Vain and the Happy Hour Holiness Movement, Honeyrude at The Swan Dive

Saturday:
- OBN IIIs, Rusted Shut, Total Abuse, Filth at Barracuda
- The Gary, The Midgetmen, Que Pasa? at Barracuda
- Daniel Eyes & The Vibes, Otis the Destroyer, Swimming With Bears, The Warplanes at The Swan Dive
- Lake Street Dive, Walker Lukens and the Side Arms at Stubb’s

Sunday:
- Ziemba, Ruby Fray, Molybden, Outsider at Hotel Vegas

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Bad Sports

June 21, 2016

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If you’re into the punk scene in Austin and/or Denton, then you probably already know that Bad Sports is an all-star group of sorts.  Guitarist/vocalist Orville Neeley can usually be found fronting the always rad OBN IIIs, and both bassist/vocalist Daniel Fried and drummer Gregory Rutherford are in the great Radioactivity.  In August the trio will be putting out an EP, and today I have the title track/first single off of it.  Expect to want to leave the track on repeat for a while.  Enjoy.

:Bad Sports – Living With Secrets:

The Living With Secrets EP is due out August 12 via Dirtnap Records.

Bonus Video:

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The Tallest Man On Earth

June 20, 2016

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While clearing out my inbox on Saturday I noticed I had a new – seemingly one-off – tune from The Tallest Man On Earth (aka Kristian Matsson).  The song is pretty stripped down (it was apparently recorded late one night while on tour), and it’s really damn good.  So good in fact that it’s had me hankering for a revisit of Matsson’s previous efforts.  Maybe I’ll do that today.  Enjoy.

:The Tallest Man On Earth – Time Of The Blue:

Bonus Videos:

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Frankie’s Top Red Hot Chili Peppers Tracks

June 17, 2016

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John here!  I can’t say I’ve ever thought of myself as a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan.  They have some songs I like, some that I don’t, and overall I think that they exist in a part of my brain that simply tolerates their existence.  What’s stranger is that while they’re one of the biggest bands in the world (otherwise how could they headline festivals and play arenas?), it wasn’t until I met my buddy Frankie in 2008-09 that I actually came across someone who claimed to be a mega-fan.  He is though.  100%.  It’s admirable.  So, just for the hell of it, I asked him to create an ultimate RHCP mix in celebration of the band releasing their new album today.

Hey! I’m Frankie and I’m proud – not afraid – to say that I am a HUGE Red Hot Chili Peppers fan! They are my favorite band OF. ALL. TIME! I’ve been a Chilis fan since I was in the 8th grade. I was pretty much unfamiliar with RHCP up until that point besides what I had heard on the radio in the early nineties (Under The Bridge, Give it Away). 1999 was the year, to be exact, and I remember sitting in my parents car in the parking lot of Home Depot as my parents went to buy whatever parents buy at Home Depot, and Scar Tissue played on 101X (local Austin radio station). I remember falling in love with that song. Seventeen years later, now married and an adult (?), and having listened to every single RCHP album ever put out at least a handful a times (if not more), I’m fully a massive Chili Peppers fan, tried and true. And hey, I get it, they catch a lot of flack for dancing around shirtless on-stage and flashing their mid-90′s tribal tats. C’mon, drummer, Chad Smith is Will Farrell! There’s a guy in the band whose name is Flea. Flea! And Anthony Kiedis’ rhymes/lyrics are a constant [mis]nomenclature skit-skat ode to the state of California. But I love them. Why? They are true humans and I think they’re fucking cool. The music video to Californication is a video game – so sick! Musically, they’ve never tried to fit any mold or adjust to any musical genre that is trendy or currently ‘hot.’ They’ve managed to consistently deliver fresh, cool tunes and their live performances are electric. Anthony Kiedis and Flea’s brotherhood is like no other – their bond is undeniable. Each member of the band is a stand alone, top-notch musician. They’ve been rocking the fuck out of life and show no signs of slowing down. And in honor of today’s release of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s eleventh studio album, The Getaway, I’ve compiled a set of songs that celebrates RHCP for you to jam!

The playlist below has some songs you’ve heard thousands of times on the radio, others are deep tracks that you might not have even known existed. If you’re a real Chili Peppers fan, then you know all of these songs but if the Chili Peppers that you think you know is based off of the radio-hits, then hopefully this offers a new perspective on the band. Side note, my best friend Steven (he’s also a massive, devoted RHCP fan) and I get annoyed when we’re at a RHCP show and the crowd cheers when they hear a song they know. We, on the other hand, prefer the deeper cuts. But that’s just us. Maybe?  Either way, I give to you, ladies and gentlemen, the specially curated Frankie’s Top RCHP tracks! Enjoy!

With love,

-Frankie

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Movie Breakdown: Finding Dory

June 16, 2016

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Finding Nemo is a fantastic film, a total classic with great characters and a wonderful story.  Can’t say I’ve ever wanted a sequel though, especially one that’s based around Dory.  I mean, she’s certainly a wonderful little fish, but that character is a gimmick, kind of like Mater in Cars, and we all know what happened when Pixar focused on him in Cars 2.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Finding Dory isn’t quite Finding Nemo, but that won’t keep you from loving it.  The sequel picks up a year after its predecessor, and everyone is all happy and feeling good about life until Dory randomly gets bonked and not only remembers that she has a family, but that she accidentally got separated from them long ago.  From there a whirlwind adventure, complete with adorable little Dory flashbacks, first film callbacks, great new characters (Ed O’Neil’s Hank, an octopus, is particularly awesome) and more – gets underway as Dory attempts to find her family.  It’s a nice film.  Not perfect.  But nice, charming and full of heart.  And to be honest, because it so so enjoyable, I won’t at all be surprised if some of you disagree with me and say it is perfect.  Personally, I believe the film has more bright-spots than anything, but it does occasionally drag and is probably 10-15 minutes too long.  I also think it suffers from some tonal issues due to the way director Andrew Stanton relentlessly tries to wring a different emotional response out of you with every single scene.  Still, some of you may not notice or even care about either of those things since the characters you love are back and have been handled with care.  C’est la vie, you know?  Now, head to theater with confidence knowing that Finding Dory isn’t Cars 2.

One Last Thought:

What’s funny and perhaps kind of odd is that my favorite character in Finding Dory isn’t technically a character at all.  You’ll know what I mean once you see the film.

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The Lovely Sparrows

June 16, 2016

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My longtime pal Shawn Jones has finally (and when I say finally, I mean FINALLY) reignited things with The Lovely Sparrows, and I’m oh-so-excited about it.  Believe or not, but myself, SOTO and The Lovely Sparrows have been connected for roughly a decade.  That’s some serious history!  Also, it makes me feel old when I note things like that.  In any case, the Austin-based act just put out a free compilation called Hermetic Recordings – Songs: 2004-2016, and then later this year they’ll be releasing a full length.  You can check out a stellar new one down below.  Just so you know, it’s both on the comp and is the title track/first single off of their impending LP.  Enjoy.

:The Lovely Sparrows – Shake The Shadow:

Bonus Videos:

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