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Archive | February, 2018

Show Of The Week

February 28, 2018

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If you’re available on Saturday, you should head to Empire Control Room for a nice lineup of local pop acts – The Digital Wild, Shy Beast, Carry Illinois and Middlespoon.  Tix will only be $7 at the door, which means you’ll get each band for just $1.75.  Can’t beat that deal.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Lowin, Rotten Mangos, Shivery Shakes at Hotel Vegas
- Mac Demarco at the Mohawk
- CupcaKKe at Come and Take It Live
- The Austin Music Awards with Lucinda Williams, The Black Angels, John Hiatt, Alejandro Escovedo, John Fullbright, Third Root with Riders Against the Storm, Bavu Blakes, Trizzol, Reggie Coby, Da’Shade, Vocab, Adrian Quesada, Mike Longoria, David Garza, David Ramirez, Michael Fracasso, Phoebe Hunt, Adam Torres, Jenavieve Varga, DJ Chicken George at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Thursday:
- Rob Mazurek, Thor and Friends, Rick Reed and Tara Bhattacharya Reed, DJs Cross and Time Machine at Beerland

Friday:
- Dead Milkmen, The Golden Boys, Chant, Mr. Kitty at the Mohawk
- Shmu at the Mohawk
- Dryspell, Growl, The Nymphs, Marijuana Sweet Tooth, Duncan Fellows at Cheer Up Charlies
- Croy & the Boys, Little Mikey & the Soda Jerks at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.

Saturday:
- Sherry, Shmu, Kay Odyssey, Animals For Hands at The Electric Church
- Young Mammals, Get a Life, Lola Tried, Ponyboy at the Mohawk
- Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, Candace Bellamy, Patricia Vonne at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.

Sunday:
- Zoltars, Missing Pages, Caroline Says, Vertical Vice, David Israel at Barracuda
- Feverbones, Wesley Jensen, Taft at Hotel Vegas

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Quickdraw: Speedy Ortiz, Parquet Courts, Remember Sports, Smash Mouth, Yuno

February 27, 2018

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Enjoy.

Speedy Ortiz – Lucky 88

Twerp Verse is the name of Speedy Ortiz’s new album that’s due out on April 27.  The first single features some hints of front woman Sadie Dupuis’ electronic solo project, Sad13, and I’m into it.  By the way, Speedy Ortiz are playing SXSW and will be at Barracuda on June 2.

Parquet Courts - Almost Had To Start A Fight/In And Out Of Patience

The one and only Danger Mouse produced Parquet Courts upcoming effort, Wide Awake!, which is due May 18.  Hopefully all of it is as big and rad as this first single.  The band will play Stubb’s on April 26.

Remember Sports – Up From Below

I can’t get this two-minute shot of catchiness out of my head.  Remember Sports will release their third album, Slow Buzz, on May 18.  Look for the band at SXSW.

Smash Mouth – Something Soon (Car Seat Headrest Cover)

If you had told me that I’d deem Smash Mouth the winner of the Smash Mouth-Car Seat Headrest cover project, I would have laughed at you.  Here we are though.  They nailed it.

Yuno – No Going Back

Yuno just signed with Sub Pop and put out this catchy, ear-pleasing pop tune.  Hopefully a full length isn’t too far away.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

February 26, 2018

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On the latest 101X Homegrown, I’ve got new songs from Caroline Says and Erika Wennerstrom.  Plus you can find out where Dryspell, Lola Tried, Feverbones, Taft, Shy Beast, The Digital Wild, Why Bonnie?, Shivery Shakes and Lowin will be playing later this week.  Enjoy.

Hit me up via Facebook, Twitter or email if you need something.

Dryspell – You With Me
Lola Tried – Worst Coast
(NEW) Caroline Says – I Tried
Feverbones – It’s Hard To Look Away
Taft – 2 Left Feet
Shy Beast – Back With Me
The Digital Wild – They Say
Shakey Graves – Kids These Days
(NEW) Erika Wennerstrom – Twisted Highway
Why Bonnie? – Made Of Paper
Shivery Shakes – Sidewalk Talk
Lowin – The Wheel
Okkervil River – Don’t Move Back To LA

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Movie Breakdown: Annihilation (Noah)

February 22, 2018

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Pre-Screening Stance:

I absolutely adore Alex Garland in general. Ex Machina is one of the great sci-fi flicks of the last twenty years and everything he’s added his writerly touch to has been immensely watchable. Hell, his book The Tesseract is fantastic as well. Couple Garland with science-fiction stalwart Jeff Vandermeer’s ultra strange Annihilation novel and I can only imagine this is going to be one for the ages.

Post-Screening Ramble:

I, quite honestly, have no idea what to say about Alex Garland’s science-fiction opus Annihilation. I’m a huge fan of Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy (on which Garland’s film is loosely based) and I wondered when they announced a film how anyone would bring the book’s abstract prose and strange narrative arc to the screen. Garland, an abstract creator himself, is a perfect choice for the film, as he tweaks and flattens the book into less a direct adaptation and more a complimentary line running parallel to the original content. Natalie Portman plays Lena, a professor in cellular biology who embarks on the most recent of exploratory missions into The Shimmer – a strange landscape slowly taking over the southern coast – to try and discover what happened to her husband. The majority of the film happens inside of this area – and Garland’s take on the vibrant, mysterious, overgrown setting is eerily beautiful – as Lena and a small team of women (Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny) slowly unfold the strange happenings at the center of the region. This is a film about what we are at our very core – emotionally, cellularly – and how we are affected and changed by our surroundings and our companions. And though it lives in a distinctly sci-fi world, Garland doesn’t hesitate from exploring the more horrific aspects of The Shimmer. The weight of their exploration pushes down on each member of the expedition in various ways and all of them slowly unravel, their surroundings literally changing their mind and bodily make-up. There’s a scene with what I can only describe as a skull-bear that will never leave me – the terrifying creature howling in the voice of a dying woman, browned teeth gnashing in the darkness. Annihilation isn’t going to be for everyone. Garland isn’t trying to make an easy film here and as the members of the expedition venture further and further into The Shimmer, the film gets weirder and weirder, every odd aspect brought to beautiful fruition by cinematographer Rob Hardy, and the character’s connection to reality gets looser and looser. There’s a panicked, disorientation to the film that Garland nails, every step forward a step further away from what we can easily understand. It is, as Garland’s second film, an enormous move forward in terms of concept and challenge, a big, bleak, bizarre effort that never tries to coddle the audience. It won’t be for everyone, but for those who it is, it’s going to blow their minds.

One Last Thought:

The other scene that is now burned into my brain is the tentacle intestine scene. You’ll know it when you see it.

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Movie Breakdown: Annihilation

February 22, 2018

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Alex Garland (Ex Machina) in the director’s chair is enough to get me interested in any movie, but my anticipation for Annihilation has been peaked by Paramount deeming it “too intellectual” and “too complicated.”  Just exactly what did Garland create here?  I need to see it.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Like Contact, Arrival and various other heady sci-fi films, Annihilation is as ambitious as it is divisive.  You may truly adore this strange movie and want to defend it for all days, or you may loathe it and wonder why in the hell anyone would want to bother with it.  Speaking just for myself, I found it to be great.  The film begins with an introduction to Lena (Natalie Portman), a former soldier, current biologist who is having a very tough time getting over the death of her husband.  Then, because this movie likes its curve balls, her hubby Kane (Oscar Issac) strolls in the front door like all is well.  Only, everything is wrong with him, and it isn’t long before Lena finds out that he’s been away on a mission in what’s known as The Shimmer, a possibly alien, definite death trap of an area that’s ever-expanding.  In an effort to get some answers for herself and to help Kane, Lena joins the latest expedition into The Shimmer.

If you’re thinking that all of this sounds exciting and interesting, you’re right!  Once the all-female crew enters The Shimmer, director Alex Garland uses crazy creatures, intriguing revelations and a constantly evolving group dynamic to steadily ratchet up the intensity level, and the result is quite a few moments worthy of a good arm chair grip.  Here though is where some will fall in love and where others will scoff, the last chunk of the film is very weird.  I won’t spoil it (because that would be dumb), but I will note that it completely shifts gears and what happens is something that you’ll either find immensely thought provoking or rather anti-climactic.  Good luck!

Challenge yourself this weekend and go see Annihilation.

One Last Thought:

I’ve never been one to go for the sort of coffee table clutter that details ships, characters and whatnot from movies, but I’d totally buy a book that shows me more of the mutated creatures and plants from Annihilation.  The designs all throughout the film are fascinating.

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Movie Breakdown: Game Night

February 22, 2018

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Is anyone actually excited about Game Night?  I mean, I dig Jason Bateman, but his comedy film track record isn’t particularly good.  Maybe Rachel McAdams or Kyle Chandler will make this one a winner?  I don’t know.  Either way, can’t say my expectations are high here.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Game Night isn’t quite a success, but it’s not terrible either.  Co-directed by John Francis Daley (he once starred in Freaks And Geeks) and Jonathan Goldstein (he wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming), the film is a surprisingly well crafted, fairly funny affair with adequate action and a swift pace.  Of all those things, I think it’s the succinct storytelling that deserves the most praise, as it makes the film actually feel shorter than its 100 minute runtime.  How rare!  Personally, I think too many comedies these days let bad jokes stretch on for too long, so it’s nice that Daley and Goldstein keep Game Night nice and tight.  Unfortunately though, a movie’s most redeeming quality can’t be that it doesn’t take forever to end, there has to be more, and there just isn’t a whole lot here.  I loved Jesse Plemons’ weirdo cop Gary, but everyone else is pretty forgettable.  The story serves up a nice couple of twists, but in general it’s riddled with so many overly convenient plot points that nothing anyone does seems to actually matter.  Also, while there are some really clever jokes, there are too many low brow layups.  Talk about hit or miss.

If you’re in the mood for something mindless and moderately entertaining, then Game Night is worth checking out this weekend.

One Last Thought:

Co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein employ tilt shift a lot through the movie, and since it makes everything look miniature and toy-like, it really drives home the film’s game theme.  Kudos to them for this bit of cleverness

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Show Of The Week

February 21, 2018

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St. Vincent’s Fear The Future Tour is finally here!  I’ve been a big fan of her (aka Annie Clark) since her 2007 debut album, Marry Me, and I’ve been buzzing ever since the two nights of shows at ACL Live got announced.  Not only is SV fun to watch, but I really dig the two-set format she’s doing on this tour – first there’s fan favorites, then there’s all of her latest album, Masseducation.  Rad.  Don’t miss out here.

St. Vincent’s Thursday show is sold out, but there’s still limited tix available for the Friday performance at ACL Live.  Get ‘em while you can.

Tuck & Patti will open both nights.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Quin Galavis, Payton Andrew Green, Stephen Lawrence Pike, The Dan Ryan at Beerland
- Diet Cig, Great Grandpa, The Spook School at The Sidewinder
- Tiny Moving Parts at Barracuda
- Barfield! The Tyrant of Texas Funk, Dana Falconberry, Robert Rankin, BLXPLTN at The North Door

Thursday:
- A Giant Dog, Missing Pages, Boss Eye, DJ Ali Ditto at Beerland
- Blitzen Trapper, Liz Cooper and the Stampede at Antone’s

Friday:
- Palo Duro, Bee Caves, Palm Daze, Young Tongue at Cheer Up Charlies
- Go Fever, Honey and Salt, PR Newman, The Sun Machine at the Hole in the Wall
- Dan Auerbach and the Easy Eye Sound Revue featuring Robert Finley and Shannon Shaw, Shannon & the Clams at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
- Quiet Company, Harvest Thieves, Saul Paul, Dossey, Deer Fellow at the Scoot Inn
- Fruit Bats (solo), Vetiver (solo) at 3ten ACL Live

Saturday:
- Suspirians, Abigail und Hansel, The Early Stages at the Carousel Lounge
- The Octopus Project, Ouiness, Treasure Mammal, Lightworks at The North Door

Sunday:
- Foreigner at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

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Quickdraw: Albert Hammond Jr, Courtney Barnett, Beach House, Frank Ocean, Sophie

February 20, 2018

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Enjoy.

Albert Hammond Jr – Far Away Truths

At this point in time I’m more about new music from Albert Hammond Jr than The Strokes.  He’s been on a roll for a while.  His new album, Francis Trouble, is due out March 9.  By the way, he’ll be at SXSW!

Courtney Barnett – Nameless, Faceless

Courtney Barnett’s new single doesn’t immediately grab you like Pedestrian At Best (or even Avant Gardner) , but I still think it’s a gem.  I just love the way she writes and sounds.  Her sophomore album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, is due May 18.

Beach House – Lemon Glow

There’s a new Beach House album coming in 2018, but it doesn’t have a title or an actual release date.  There’s a single though, and it’s really good.  I dig that it carries more of a punch than their usual sound.

Frank Ocean – Moon River

I could listen to Frank Ocean sing web addresses off of Google.  My bias aside, this is a good cover.

Sophie – Faceshopping

This new single from Sophie is aggressively good.  Put on headphones and get a little weird while it dominates you.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

February 19, 2018

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Turn on the latest Homegrown whilst you enjoy President’s Day!  There’s new tunes from Shakey Graves, Summer Salt, PR Newman and Okkervil River.  I’ve also got info on where in Austin you can see Palo Duro, Quiet Company, Quin Galavis, Go Fever, Calliope Musicals, A Giant Dog and The Octopus Project this week.  Enjoy.

Hit me up via Facebook, Twitter or email if you need something.

(NEW) Shakey Graves – Kids These Days
Palo Duro – Embers
(NEW) Summer Salt – One Last Time
Why Bonnie? – Made Of Paper
Marmalakes – New Sweden
Quiet Company – On Ex Husbands And Wives
Quin Galavis – Glorious Man
Spoon – TV Set (Cramps Cover)
(NEW) Okkervil River – Don’t Move Back To LA
(NEW) PR Newman – Go To Hell
Go Fever – This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Calliope Musicals – Echo Of The Whoos
A Giant Dog – Virgin Girl
Octopus Project – LEG
Mien – Earth Moon

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Raised Eyebrows: Overlooked 00′s (Randy)

February 16, 2018

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With the rush of February comes a personally curious + overwhelming nostalgia for the 00’s. Within the decade that saw Y2K, September 11th, Napster, and the death of the CD, there’s a small but considerable wealth to revisit and enjoy. Here are 10 underrated releases from the 00’s that deserve to be (re)heard.

Broadcast – Tender Buttons

Trish Keenan’s finest work.

Boards of Canada – Geogaddi

Continual mind melter from this genius duo.

Sonic Youth – Murray St.

SY had a renaissance in the early 00’s when Jim O’Rourke joined the band. Murray St. and Sonic Nurse are high marks in an incredible discography.

Lambchop – Damaged

The outsider Nashville band’s greatest release.

Neil Halstead – Sleeping on Roads

Slowdive/Mojave 3 frontman made a timeless record here.

Deerhoof – The Runners Four

I’ve never gotten past this record. It contains some of their best songs. Some jam, some chill, some weird.

Aphex Twin – Drukqs

Underrated in the AT catalog.

Windy & Carl – Consciousness

Breathtaking record that was not meant for the time it was released. This statement only gets better with time. Brilliant.

Fennesz – Venice

One of the finest works of the decade.

Califone – Quicksand/Cradlesnakes

This is what the band had been working toward for so many years. They went on to perfect it on Heron King Blues.

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Movie Breakdown: Black Panther (Noah)

February 15, 2018

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Pre-Screening Stance:

I mean how can anyone who likes anything not be excited about the fact that the man who directed Creed is lording over the debut film of a big time African-American superhero? And that every tiny bit of material that we’ve seen is both inspired, beautiful and potentially amazing? Yeah, I’d say my stance is bring it the fuck on.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is, strangely, not a great superhero movie. The standalone film about the new Wakandan king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman, impressive as always) trying to keep the tradition of his homeland while fighting off outside forces feels clunky in the more outlandish aspects. Coogler, like so many skilled directors before him, isn’t made for big budget super heroics and the action and plotting that drives the narrative never feels comfortable. The action in general is pretty weak for one of these big Marvel hoo-has, as if Coogler couldn’t get the gritty fist-fighting of Creed to sync up with the spinning cameras and exploding nano-tech of this much more fantastical world. But, come on, this is Black Panther – the first Marvel film directed and written by an African American, the first Marvel film to feature an almost entirely black cast – the superhero stuff was never going to be the point. Coogler’s too smart of a director for it to be so. And the rest of the film, the thick chunks of character interaction and development and the subtext that bubbles just below the surface – that’s amazing. As a film, a real film outside of the spinning tops of Marvel Studios, it’s a slam dunk. This is a film about African tradition and what it means to go against those traditions. It’s a film about growing up without a father. It’s a film about family and community and how important those are. It’s a film about what being black – African, African-American, whatever – in the world is like. It is a film rooted in the culture of Africa and Coogler doesn’t go a damn second without throwing some beautiful spin on African textiles or style or design on to the screen. It’s bright and colorful and somber and dark at times. The bass-heavy thumps of Kendrick Lamar bounce in the background and it just drives the film forward. There isn’t a weak character in the film – outside of say Martin Freeman’s token white guy Everett K. Ross – and Coogler makes sure that no one is bereft of a character defining moment (Daniel Kaluuya’s war rhino scene is one for the books). It’s when the film is forced, by the strictures of Marvel Studios to be a film in that universe (because, duh, it is) that it softens, loses some of the edge Coogler brings to every second it isn’t discussing vibranium asteroids and power suits. Coogler has made a fantastic movie, it’s just been glued to one that doesn’t work as well.

One Last Thought:

If I had a stab at this film, I’d cut every swelling violin shoved into the big moments and replace them with anything Kendrick Lamar did for the soundtrack. The composed score is treacly and maudlin and takes away from the film’s greater identity.

One More Last Thought:

This is a huge tentpole, big-budget, money-raking film and for the first twenty minutes there isn’t a white face to be seen. It’s amazing.

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Movie Breakdown: Black Panther

February 15, 2018

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Black Panther has legit cultural significance and it’s the final Marvel film before Infinity War.  Do you really need another reason to be excited about it?  I don’t.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Black Panther is another hit for Marvel.  It’s culturally rich, which makes it not just feel like another superhero movie, and it’s generally more of standalone effort than a setup for the next MCU flick (something a lot of Marvel movies struggle with).  Also, I think that it features a couple of all-heart performances from Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.  The great stuff here is legit great, but the film definitely has a variety of issues that aren’t possible to overlook.  Ryan Coogler, who is a director I greatly enjoy, just doesn’t quite roll out his best work here.  I don’t know if the glitz of such a big budget film threw him for a loop, or if the forced tie-in to a bigger universe is what tripped him up, but there are a lot of bizarre things at play.  The film has a fantastic, Kendrick Lamar-crafted soundtrack, but it’s not really utilized at all.  The fight scenes are borderline terrible, as they’re largely shot from the ground up and are difficult to follow.  The third act is slow and predictable, and I found myself frequently shuffling in my seat as the film’s two hour and 15 minute runtime started to started to stretch on and on.  Do any of these things take away from the overall film?  I don’t necessarily think so – it’s still a good time.  However, I have a hard time considering Black Panther to be a full-on home run.  Instead I think it’s a nice debut film for a relevant and important character.  Better things are yet to come?  Probably.

Go see Black Panther, just keep those expectations in check.

One Last Thought:

Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis serve no purpose in Black Panther other than to awkwardly tie it to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Surely there was a better way to pull this off?

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Show Of The Week

February 14, 2018

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While I’m pumped to see Sparta at Barracuda tomorrow night, I have to admit that my focus is on Why? at the Mohawk on Friday.  I’ve loved the indie rock-ish/hip hop-ish band since their 2005 release Elephant Eyelash, and it’s always a pleasure watching them live.  Also, my radio program, 101X Homegrown, will be simultaneously presenting a show inside of the Mohawk with rockers Major Grizz, who will be celebrating a birthday.  Obviously, my friends, the Mohawk is where to be on Friday.  So be there.

Why? with Sarah Jaffe -  Tix are $15 in advance, $18 the day of the show.

Major Grizz with Blood Pumps, Dr. Joe and Rust Never Sleeps – If you have a ticket to Why?, this one is free!  Otherwise, tix will be available at the door.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Grails at Barracuda

Thursday:
- A Giant Dog, Trouble Boys, Pretty Shitty, DJ Tipton at Beerland
- Sparta at Barracuda
- Rattlesnake Milk, Loteria, Lo Country, Jana Horn at Hotel Vegas

Friday:
- Sailor Poon, Tear Dungeon, Vertical Vice at Hotel Vegas
- Palehound, Weaves at The Sidewinder

Saturday:
- Christian Bland & The Revelators, Tres Oui, PollenRx at Hotel Vegas
- Why Bonnie?, Krista Van Liew, Jana Horn, The Oysters at Cheer Up Charlies

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Quickdraw: Screaming Females, Iceage, Soccer Mommy, Car Seat Headrest, Frankie Cosmos

February 13, 2018

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Enjoy.

Screaming Females – No More I Love You’s (The Lover Speaks/Annie Lennox Cover)

If you need help being bummed on V-Day, here’s Screaming Females covering a real heartbreaker.  Have fun!  By the way, this is off of Amazon’s Love Me/Love Me Not playlists.  Also, be sure to see the band at Barracuda on April 21.

Iceage – Catch It

Iceage just put out their first new tune in four years.  It didn’t come as part of an official album announcement, but I assume that’s on the way.  For now just dive into their dramatic (and damn good) single.  Side note, the band will play Barracuda on May 27.

Soccer Mommy – Still Clean

This intimate new one makes Soccer Mommy 3/3 on singles from her upcoming album, Clean.  Be sure to grab it on March 2.

Car Seat Headrest – My Boy

Car Seat Headrest’s remake of his own Twin Fantasy is due out this Friday.  If you weren’t already convinced that you should snatch it up, here’s another stellar single.

Frankie Cosmos – Being Alive

Boy am I excited for Frankie Cosmos’ new album, Vessel (due March 30).  The latest track from it is such a charming effort.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

February 12, 2018

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Get in on the latest Homegrown! This week I have new music from Mobley, Marmalakes, Shakey Graves, Why Bonnie?, Borrisokane and Mien.  That’s a lot!  Also, the show has info on the upcoming Homegrown Live with Major Grizz, plus where to see The Wild Now, A Giant Dog and Tres Oui this week.  Enjoy.

Hit me up via Facebook, Twitter or email if you need something.

(NEW) Mobley – Torch
The Wild Now – Afterglow
(NEW) Marmalakes – New Sweden
(NEW) Shakey Graves – Counting Sheep
(NEW) Why Bonnie? – Made Of Paper
Tres Oui – Red Wine & Dry Ice
Loma – Joy
A Giant Dog – Bendover
Major Grizz – Ringwormington
Blood Pumps – Heart Of The Matter
(NEW) Borrisokane – Feed Your Evil/Clean Bill Of Health
(NEW) Mien – Earth Moon

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