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Archive | June, 2017

St. Vincent

June 30, 2017

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There’s a new St. Vincent song out.  That’s all.  Have fun over the holiday weekend.  We’ll be back on Wednesday.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: The Beguiled

June 29, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Lost In Translation is one of my favorite movies ever, so I’ll gladly line up for anything that Sofia Coppola does for the rest of time.  Obsessions aside, I actually do think The Beguiled looks pretty good.  Plus it was well-received at Cannes, which can occasionally mean something.

Post-Screening Ramble:

I really enjoyed The Beguiled.  The film takes place during the Civil War, and it revolves around a wounded Union soldier who seeks help at an all-female Southern boarding school.  At first all is well, but it’s not long before the presence of the charming Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) sends his caregivers into a fervor.  There’s a lot of pent up energy, resentment and sadness buried in the ladies (both young and old) that populate the school, and McBurney pulls it out of all of them.  Writer/director Sofia Coppola is smart though, and she doesn’t just let The Beguiled turn into some sort of over the top soap opera.  No, her film is made up of nerves, jealous glances, defensive postures and judgemental mumbles.  She wants you pay attention, to be patient, and to let yourself soak in the desperate atmosphere she’s created.  I think this may be one of my favorite films by her.

If you want something quieter than what’s currently blowing up theaters, then I think you should seek out The Beguiled.  It’s beautifully shot (seriously, it looks like an actual live Southern painting), has great performances (super big ups to Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning), and it’ll make your brain and nerves tumble.

One Last Thought:

Elle Fanning is an interesting actress.  She plays a lot of the same type of characters, but somehow she puts just enough twist on each them to keep things fresh.  It’s honestly really impressive.  Side note, what happened to her sister?

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The National

June 29, 2017

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Damn.

This is what I said the first time I listened to Guilty Party, the new single from The National.  Combine it with their previous gem, The System Only Dreams In Darkness, and you’ve got two really good reasons to be more than just excited for their upcoming album, Sleep Well Beast (due September 8).  Side note, you should slap on headphones before you hit play.  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

June 28, 2017

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In a weird turn of events, my SOTW is actually next week, but since it falls on a Monday and that Monday precedes a holiday, I’m rolling it out right now.  You get it?  I sort of do.  Anyways, go see STRFKR at Emo’s!  Since you (more than likely) don’t have to work on Tuesday, which is the 4th of July, you might as well blow it out on Monday and dance the night away.  Have fun.  Be safe.

Tix are $20.50.  Reptaliens will open.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Super Thief, Popper Burns, Lung Letters, Augra Nowhere at Beerland
- Shivery Shakes, Ladyfang, The Irish Exit at the Hole in the Wall
- Chon, Tera Melos, Covet, Little Tybee at Emo’s
- Deftones, Rise Against, Thrice, Frank Iero and the Patience at Austin360 Amphitheater

Thursday:
- Typical Girls, Hypoluxo, Planet Manhood, The Nymphs at Hotel Vegas

Friday:
- Hot Flash Heat Wave, Inner Wave, Summer Salt at the Mohawk
- Belcurve, The Lochness Mobsters, The Reputations, Magic Rockers of Texas at Cheer Up Charlies
- Starparks, A. Sinclair, Glass Grapes at the Hole in the Wall
- The Sour Notes, Junebug Spade at Oskar Blues Brewery

Saturday:
- White Ghost Shivers at Beerland
- Ringo Deathstarr at Hotel Vegas
- The Dan Ryan, Julia Lucille, Thor & Friends, Cowboy Crisis, Hospital Ships, Marijuana Sweet Tooth at Cheer Up Charlies

Sunday:
- The Rotten Mangos, Blackfoot Gypsies, Go Fever, Brother Wives at Cheer Up Charlies
- Bush, My Jerusalem at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater

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Movie Breakdown: Baby Driver (Noah)

June 27, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Even if The World’s End was (at the time) the Edgar Wright movie that I connected with the very least, he is still one of the great directors working today. And if he wants to make a movie about an iPod listening getaway driver trying to escape the crime game, well, then I’m there in a Santa Suit on opening day.

Post-Screening Ramble:

I think there’s a lot to be said about Edgar Wright’s first movie post his beloved Cornetto Trilogy. Where Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End were strictly British films (in style, content and cast), Baby Driver is Wright’s most American feeling film. There’s a sense of apple pie, American nostalgia that permeates the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort) – a tinnitus-affected music lover with some serious skill behind the wheel – and his want to quit the “crime team” and go live a life with Debora (Lily James), his diner-server lady friend. He’s pursued by baddies – some with hearts of gold, others with hearts of coal – and to save the damsel in distress he’s got to drive some cars and kick some ass. Wright does well to keep the film from feeling stale though, as he’s clearly seen every driving movie ever and with the use of Baby’s tinnitus as a plot device he has some room to zig and zag. But, if traditionalism bums you out, Baby Driver might not be your bag. This is a film about love and about good and evil and the grey murk that lies between (but only briefly before the cheer of this flick blasts that shit out of the water) and it’s about a kid with a hearing problem saving the day. It walks a line between corniness and homage that Wright maintains, but chunks of the film still come off as saccharine. Is it ever unenjoyable or lacking in intelligence or wit? Of course not, but this still feels like a palate cleanser – a quick, fun production that lets Wright play in the meta-action sandbox (though only a little) he loves so much, toy around with some new acting pals and get a movie into the theater. It lacks the emotional heft of Shaun of the Dead or The World’s End and the bizarreness of a Hot Fuzz or Scott Pilgrim. Instead it coasts along flatter, less interesting middle bits that lie between both. I’m hoping it’s the smoothing of the foundational cement so Wright can leap up and out into the weirdness. As of now though, it’s a nice stop-gap.

One Last Thought:

I watched The World’s End right after seeing this and what really stands out is the visual nature of it compared to Baby Driver. This film is sort of bland in terms of cinematography gusto and in the context of Wright’s other movies, well, it’s glaring. This could be because the film takes place in Atlanta, which seems to be a very large, very spread out REI superstore where people also live.

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Cloakroom

June 27, 2017

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Want to get lost in something today?  If yes, then get ready to love Cloakroom’s first single off of their upcoming album, Time Well (due August 18).  It’s big and shoegazey and it will just swallow you up.  I’m very excited to hear more from these guys.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: Baby Driver

June 26, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Baby Driver looks like it’s going to be a real winner.  Not that this is in any way surprising, as it was written and directed by the one and only Edgar Wright.  That guy is just the best.

Post-Screening Ramble:

I can’t say that Baby Driver is as great as anything in Edgar Wright’s Corentto Trilogy or as quirky as his Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, but it is very entertaining and easily one of the best movies to be released in the first half of 2017.  The plot here is pretty simple – Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a wheelman because he owes a debt to Doc (Kevin Spacey), he meets Debora (Lily James), this proves to be life-changing – and there aren’t any real surprises, but that’s fine because Baby Driver is all about action and music.  The car chases in this thing are a blast.  Actually, just watching Baby walk to get coffee is fun, and that’s because the film doesn’t just have a good soundtrack, there’s a rhythm to the whole thing.  Gun shots, convos, strolls around town, whatever – it’s all set to specific songs and cues within them, and it’s pretty damn impressive.  Now I get why Wright had the entire soundtrack approved before he even started filming.

As I mentioned up above, Baby Driver may not be Wright’s best film – it does have a few things, namely the end, that feel a bit tacked on – but it is a clever, entertaining effort that you’d have to try really hard to not like.  Definitely see it as soon as you can.

One Last Thought:

I sincerely hope that Ansel Elgort is able to follow up Baby Driver with some good projects.  The kid is talented, and he shouldn’t be spending his time in drivel like Allegiant and The Fault In Our Stars.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

June 26, 2017

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Here’s the latest 101X Homegrown.  Enjoy.

A. Sinclair – Just Remind Me
Sweet Spirit – The Power
Alex Napping – Living Room
The Sour Notes – Ride It Out
Big Bill – Stand Still
Summer Salt – Candy Wrappers
Magna Carda – Angela Bassett
Ramesh – The King
The Dan Ryan – Guidance
Julia Lucille – Eternally
Adam Torres – Dusty Wing Spirit
Molly Burch – Wrong For You
She Sir – Private Party
Wiretree – Let Me In


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Generationals

June 26, 2017

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I’ve been steadily checking out the singles that Generationals have released this year, but until Mythical (today’s track and the fourth in the band’s series) none of them had really caught my attention.  I’m guessing I just like that it sounds like old Generationals.

The band hasn’t yet announced a new album, but I’m assuming that at some point all of these songs will end up on an official release.  Enjoy.

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Raised Eyebrows: 2017 So Far (Randy)

June 23, 2017

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2017 is looking pretty, pretty, pretty good thus far for records. Ambient music is having a true renaissance, some artists are making pure statements and others are successfully treading new ground. So let’s take a look at the some of the best releases thus far in 2017, shall we?

1. Hayden Pedigo – Greetings From Amarillo

My pick for album of the year without question. I don’t think this one can be beat. A highly authentic 30 minute contemplative journey that demands repeated listens.

2. Chuck Johnson – Balsams

A remarkable veer in direction for Johnson. Balsams is positive music. At his highest moments, Johnson’s steel is divinely reassuring.

3. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – On the Echoing Green

I can’t think of anything that blends ambient and shoegaze better than this LP. On The Echoing Green is completely addictive; as blurry as the highway lines in the Texas heat.

4. Happyness – Write In

These guys get my vote for best Pop album in 2017 until further notice. Write In hits that spot between Baroque Rock, Power Pop and Indie slack perfectly.

5. Brokeback – Illinois River Valley Blues

Illinois River Valley Blues is already one of those records for me that represent a specific time and place in life. That’s a very special thing for a record to do. This band deserves so much more attention. Since Brokeback and the Black Rock, they haven’t missed a fucking note.

6. Billow Observatory – II: Plains/Patterns

Totally gorgeous ambient workouts. Relaxation cannot be escaped.

7. Jake Xerxes Fussell – What in the Natural World

This one sneaks up on you and bites you on the ass. What in the Natural World is a reminder of the meditative spirit that eternally lives deep within southern traditional musics. Fussell has made a record that hangs as heavy as anything by Ry Cooder or Mississippi John Hurt.

8. Ryan Adams – Prisoner

I don’t give a shit. I love this record. Prisoner has more honesty than anything by Adams since 2005. In 10 years time, it will be considered the classic that it is.

9. Chihei Hatakeyama – Mirage

Another stunning ambient work to come out this year. Mirage sounds exactly like its title; an illusion.

10. Thurston Moore – Rock N Roll Consciousness

Thurston Moore can do what he wants. So why/how does he continue to slay? I can only assume it can’t be helped. Rock N Roll Consciousness is Moore’s best solo record by a country mile.

See my 2016 picks – Here and Here

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Filthy Friends

June 22, 2017

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Sleater Kinney’s Corin Tucker, R.E.M.‘s Peter Buck and Bill Rieflin, Minus 5′ Scott McCaughey, and Fastbacks’ Kurt Bloch are Filthy Friends, and they’ve just announced their debut album, Invitation (due 8/25).  As you may recall, I shared a couple of their tracks back in April.  Below is the LP’s first official single.  It’s a rocker that makes good use of Corin’s howl, so (of course) I really dig it.  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

June 21, 2017

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This week there’s a show that I’ve been excited about for a bit now, and it’s Magna Carda’s Good Friday (Part 5) at the Mohawk.  Presented by 101X Homegrown Live (that’s my radio show!), it also features Bobby Sessions, Zeale + NGHT HCKLRS (as Blastfamous USA), Kydd Jones and DJ Charlie.  It’s going to be fantastic.  Come on out and let’s get sweaty with some of Austin’s best hip hop acts.

Advance tix are $12. Day of show tix will be $15. Doors 8:00pm. ALL AGES.


BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth), Steve Gunn, Meg Baird at The North Door
- Pretty Shitty, A. Sinclair, Bond Twins, Talkies at Fine Southern Gentlemen
- Boogarins at The Sidewinder

Thursday:
- Ancient River, Westerners, The Sour Notes at Cheer Up Charlies

Friday:
- Young Tongue, Belcurve at Barrel O’ Fun
- Future, Young Thug, Tory Lanez, Kodak Black, Zoey Dollaz at Austin360 Amphitheater

Saturday:
- Knife in the Water, The Crack Pipes, Will Courtney at Hotel Vegas
- Croy & The Boys, Bad Lovers, John Schooley, DJs Corey & Caleb at Hotel Vegas
- Jonathan Terrell, Strahan & The Good Neighbors, Shane Cooley & The Midnight Girls, Batty Jr. at Hotel Vegas
- A Giant Dog, Missing Pages, Dead Flowers at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Booher, Whalers, Corvette Summer, The Dizzease, Brother Superior at Cheer Up Charlies
- Danny Malone, Sydney Wright, Color Candy at Cheer Up Charlies
- Abram Shook, Good Field, Ruby Fray at the Mohawk
- Star Parks, The Belle Sounds at 3ten ACL Live

Sunday:
- Murder By Death, Tiger Army, Tim Barry at the Mohawk
- Jacuzzi Boys, The Zoltars, Crocodile Tears at the Mohawk

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Movie Breakdown: Transformers: The Last Knight

June 21, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

There’s not a single part of me that believes Transformers: The Last Knight is going to be worth my time.  With that being said, I really feel like Michael Bay and Co. have to eventually get one of these right.  They just have to!

Post-Screening Ramble:

I try to avoid labeling things as awful or amazing (because most of the time they’re not either), but Transformers: The Last Knight is a truly awful movie.  It’s not fun, and it’s confusing as hell.  From what I could gather, here’s the story.  Back in the Dark Ages, Merlin (Stanley Tucci, for some reason) was a drunk who stumbled upon a derelict spaceship.  In it was a transformer who gave him an all powerful staff and the ability to control a three-headed robo-dragon.  Sloshed Merlin then used both to save all of England.  Afterwards his actions became myth and the super staff (and accompanying dragon) went missing.  Flash forward to now-ish, and Optimus Prime is floating in space and transformers have been outlawed on Earth.  There’s a unit called the Transformers Resistance Force (TRF) who hunt down robo-kind and destroy them because people are tired of having their homes and stuff blown up.  Inside of the TRF are double agents (namely a spikey-haired Josh Duhamel) who also work for the Army (but in a different branch?) and they’re kind of OK with transformers, but they also want to see them gone.  In addition to these guys, there’s Cade Yeager (a bewildered Mark Wahlberg), and he spends his time saving transformers because he believes they should be allowed to live on Earth.  There’s also a young girl, Izabella (a spunky but annoying Isabela Moner), who Cade saves near the beginning of the movie.  She happens to be good at fixing transformers, but she and her rickety robo-pal never really do anything but get in the way.  Then there’s a lot of Autobots (like Bumblebee) and Decepticons (like Barricade) in play.  Unsurprisingly, Megatron is around, too, and he wants to find the legendary staff (why didn’t he know about it in previous movies?) and destroy Earth.  On top of all these regular and metal characters is Sir Edumnd Burton (a bizarre Anthony Hopkins) and his trusty robo-sidekick, Cogman.  They’re a part of some secret organization that protects transformers.  PLUS, there’s Vivian Wembley (a Megan Fox-looking Laura Haddock), a lady who can’t seem to land herself a man, but she knows a lot about King Arthur, Merlin and the like.  That’s everyone/thing, I think.  In any case, they all end up jammed together because Optimus Prime meets his maker, the all CG and very video gamey Quintessa, and she goes about convincing him to transport Cybertron to Earth so that they can restore it and have a new place to live.  This could mean the end of Earth (just like in all the movies before this one).

Whew.  As you may have noticed, that’s a fuck ton of plot … and it’s just the setup for acts two and three of The Last Knight.  So much more follows!  This damn film just never shuts up.  It spews out plot like few things I’ve ever seen before, and after a while it becomes impossible to figure out what’s going on.  Also, this movie is obnoxiously loud.  I – and I’m not kidding here – sat next to a couple with two crying children, and it didn’t even bother me all that much because they were constantly drowned out by yelling and explosions.

Don’t see this movie.  It’s terrible.

One Last Thought:

I find it bizarre that I can’t at all tell whether or not Michel Bay enjoys making these movies.  I know it’s possible he only does it for the big payday, but surely some part of it is fun for him?  Why doesn’t it ever show up on the screen?

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Washed Out

June 20, 2017

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It’s Tuesday, so let’s do some dancing!  To help set the mood I’ve got the latest from Washed Out, who have a new visual album, Mister Mellow, coming on June 30.  The song is a house-ish effort meant to explore “Millennial malaise.”  You can think about what that means while moving those hips.  Enjoy.


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101X Homegrown Podcast

June 19, 2017

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Check out the latest 101X Homegrown.  Enjoy.

(NEW) Big Bill – Stand Still
A Giant Dog – Sleep When Dead
(NEW) The Sour Notes – Ride It Out
(NEW) A. Sinclair – Just Remind Me
(NEW) Jerk – Socotra
Magna Carda – Angela Bassett
(NEW) Blastfamous (Zeale + Nght Hcklrs) – Not Your City
(NEW) Quin Galavis – Any Head
Growl – New Sincerity
Abram Shook – Device
(NEW) She Sir – Private Party
(NEW) The Dan Ryan – Guidance
Booher – Autographin’ Bibles
Julia Lucille – Eternally

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