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Author Archives | Dan Corbin

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Quin Galavis (Dan)

January 13, 2017

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To be a good music blogger, you have to be ahead of the trends and highlight great music before anyone else. It takes persistence, hard work, and passion. On the other hand, if you’re a shitty music blogger, like me, you discover amazing albums months after they are released.

Well, I might be late to the game, but I’m thankful I finally learned about Quin Galavis’ fantastic album, My Life in Steel and Concrete. Quin is a veteran of the Austin music scene having played in False Idol and Nazi Gold while also releasing under his own name. He also was a member of The Dead Space, whose album Faker landed at #2 on my list of the Top Albums of 2014. The band went on an indefinite hiatus in early 2015 and I lost track of what Quin was doing. He obviously was busy because his latest work is his most impressive to date.

Released in late August of 2016, My Life in Steel and Concrete is a 20-song double LP with staggering range. While the tone of all the songs possess the same raw honesty, musically the tracks are all over the place. The diversity is demonstrated in the experimental folk of Vile and Disgusting and A Disturbing Face, the pummeling industrial punk sound of Hate and the solemn melody of the album’s closing track, Wake Up. From start to finish, the record puts Quin’s considerable talents on display. You owe it to yourself to check out this incredible work. Just listen to it once and I promise it will stay with you.

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Genuine Leather (Dan)

August 5, 2016

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Brunch is the 3rd full-length release from Austin’s Genuine Leather. It’s a 16-track album described as “guilty-pleasure rock” and “music for summer.” Sounds great to me! Want to give the whole album a listen? Of course you do! Not so fast though!

Genuine Leather is doing something a little different with this album release. Instead of releasing the whole thing at once, they’re debuting a new song each week on their SoundCloud page. They started on July 1st and will continue to premiere a song every Friday into October.

While the album roll-out is admittedly a bit gimmicky, you have to admire how ambitious it is. As for the album’s sound, it has big production aspirations modeled on the expansive sounds of 70s rock. So, think Fleetwood Mac and Wings with a dash of R&B and Soul.

Check out a couple of the tracks that have been released, and then keep an eye on the band’s SoundCloud for more.

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Esme Patterson, Rogue Wave (Dan)

July 8, 2016

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Buckle up because I’ve got a lot to share this week! At this time of year I typically list of my favorite albums of the year … thus far. However, due to the abundance of incredible records released, I decided to just highlight a couple. My musical preferences lean heavily towards, garage rock, punk, and indie pop/rock, and these two bands fall into the last genre. I’ll save all my punk and garage favs for the year end list.

My first selection is We Were Wild by Esmé Patterson. I learned of Esmé last year after she paired with Shakey Graves on Dearly Departed, a breakout hit that you’ve no doubt heard on the radio. A few months ago, I heard NPR preview Feel Right, the first single from Esmé’s new album. I was blown away. It was a fast, furious, and undeniably catchy tune – the kind you put on repeat and listen to incessantly. When her album was properly released last month I discovered it to be mesmerizing from start to finish with tracks that are a superb mix of Americana, pop, folk, and pure rock. There’s something for everyone to love, which is why I’ve recommend We Were Wild to so many of my friends, regardless of their favorite musical genres.

Esmé is currently on tour and will be playing The Sidewinder on Thursday, July 14. She’ll be joined by Winstons, the garage-soul duo out of Brooklyn. Tickets for the show are still available so grab them while you can!

The other album recommendation is Delusions of Grand Fur by Rogue Wave. The band has released a slew of intelligent and thoughtful indie rock over the past decade, and their new album is no exception. It has all the hooks and melodies that I love about Rogue Wave, as well as some new twists. Give it a try.

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Mind Spiders (Dan)

May 6, 2016

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As I was deciding which band to write about I reviewed the albums I’ve had on heavy rotation. Prosthesis by Mind Spiders was an obvious choice, but I worried I’d written about them too much already. So I went back through my posts and realized I hadn’t done a proper post on Mind Spiders since the Fall of 2013! That’s WAY too long! Such an amazing band deserves much more attention than that. So listen up!

Mind Spiders began essentially as a one man act but over the years it has developed into a full fledged band. The current lineup includes Mark Ryan (guitar, songwriter), Daniel Fried (Bass), Mike Throneberry (drums) and Peter Salisbury (synth). For fans of punk and garage rock, the lineup is a supergroup featuring members of brilliant bands such as Marked Men, Radioactivity, High Tension Wires, Bad Sports, and Video.

Prosthesis is the fourth album in the last five years from the Fort Worth-based band. Their previous records have been critically acclaimed by outlets such as Pitchfork, New York Times, NPR, Spin, Paste, and your mom. This latest release is more forbidding and dark than past albums but it’s no less engaging and catchy. The synths and keyboards are given a more prominent role alongside the always snarling guitars, and the result is a collection of ominous and beat heavy brand of space psych-rock.

I can’t say enough about Prosthesis. This is Mind Spiders at their finest as they continue to explore and evolve. If this is their apex than it’s an achievement worth noting, but considering the output of the band thus far, it’s probably premature to say they’ve already peaked.

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Royal Forest (Dan)

April 1, 2016

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When I moved to Austin eight years ago, the first local band that caught my eye (ear?) was Loxsly. Their haunting track Lamprey Eels was a space pop gem that was burrowed into my brain for months. Eventually, Loxsly became Royal Forest. In the intervening years, and over numerous releases, the band has developed a reputation for experimentation as they’ve continually expanded their sound. So it’s not surprising that the new album from these indie rock stalwarts marks another substantial shift for the group.

Rural Forest is a collection of eight country and western hits by artists such as Conway Twitty, Buck Owens, International Submarine Band, and Lloyd Green. Most of the Royal Forest band members have moonlighted in country bands and in doing so they developed an appreciation for classic country and western music. For the most part, the band is faithful to the original versions of the songs but each track on the album contains subtle but distinctive Royal Forest elements.

In what would have completely shocked a younger version of myself, I’ve been on quite a country music kick over the past year. Seeing Loretta Lynn at SXSW this year was a near religious experience for me. Listening to Rural Forest has only caused me to go further down the rabbit hole as I explore the catalogs of each artist covered. Needless to say, I adore this record.

:Royal Forest – Why You Been Gone So Long:
:Royal Forest – Dim Lights Thick Smoke:

To hear the the entire Rural Forest record performed live head to Sidewinder tonight!

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Sonny Vincent Benefit (Dan)

February 5, 2016

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Saturday night there is a benefit show at the Sidewinder (doors at 8pm) featuring a slew of incredible Texas punk and garage rock bands. The show is being held to benefit Sonny Vincent (of the Testors) whose family was recently involved in a tragic accident. All proceed collected at the door will go towards the recovery of Sonny’s family.

Sonny’s son, daughter-in-law, and grandson were involved in a gas explosion. They are each currently in the Burn Intensive Care Unit at Winston Salem Medical Center, and are on life support struggling for their lives. A Go Fund Me has been established to help cover the family’s massive medical bill. Whether you can make it to the show or not, I hope you will consider donating to this worthy cause.

For those unfamiliar with Sonny Vincent, he’s a punk rock musician that has been making great music since the mid-1970s. He started out as part of the New York City punk rock scene and over the years has performed and recorded with an incredible array of musicians. These include Maureen Tucker, Bob Stinson, Brian James, Thurston Moore, Lou Reed, John Cale, and Jad Fair, just to name a few.

Here is the lineup for this Saturday. I hope to see you there!

Outside:
Riverboat Gamblers
11:10-12 AM
Easy Prey
10-10:30 PM
Gentlemen Rogues
9-9:30 PM

Inside:
Sweet Talk
12:50-1:30 AM
Bad Sports
12-12:40 AM
Drakulas
10:30-11 PM
Broken Gold
9:30-10 PM

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Fun Fun Fun Fest (Dan)

November 6, 2015

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It’s Fun Fun Fun weekend! This is the 10th year of the festival and the eighth year I’ll be attending. With three festival days plus four “Nites” of shows there is a shitload of great bands to choose from this weekend. I’ll be spending the majority of my time at the Black and Orange stages but with FFF, there is no wrong way to go. All stages and each day are stacked with great bands and artists. Here are a few of my recommendations:

Friday:
Mikal Cronin

Creepoid
Future Death
Parquet Courts
OBN III’s

Saturday:
A Giant Dog

Joanna Gruesome
Speedy Ortiz
Fuzz

Sunday:
together PANGEA

Crooked Bangs

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Sweet Talk (Dan)

October 2, 2015

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A few years ago I selected Pickup Lines by Sweet Talk as one of my five favorite albums of 2013. I’ve seen them live many times and it is indisputable that they are fucking great. So, obviously I’m pumped that the band is back with it’s follow up album, Double Perfect (out on 10/16).

The new record was recorded with the help of the Orville Neeley (OBN III’s) and Matthew Melton (Warm Soda, Bare Wires). Much of what I loved about Pickup Lines can be found on Double Perfect. The songs have an urgency and intensity but are also personable and relatable. Sweet Talk’s label describes their sound as “a freak mix of 70s classic rock, early 80s alternative, and unmistakable Texas punk grit”, which is pretty spot on. For me though, the greatness of Sweet Talk lies in their savvy songwriting, catchy choruses, and great guitar work. Check out tracks such as Witness or Someone Else off of the new album and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Listening to Double Perfect you can’t help but crank the volume and start singing along. Austin possesses an impressive number of garage, punk, and rock bands that play smart, intelligent, and memorable music. Sweet Talk are one of the very best of those bands.

The new album is available for pre-order now. Or you can pick it up at the band’s record release/tour kickoff show at Hotel Vegas on October 10.

:Sweet Talk – Witness:

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OBN IIIs (Dan)

September 4, 2015

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OBN IIIs are back! There is no one I get more pumped to see play live than Mr. Orville Bateman Neeley III. The surly and snarling lead singer of OBN IIIs is incapable of delivering a disappointing live performance. Each show is an event but his commanding presence wouldn’t mean a god damn thing if the music didn’t match his rage and intensity. If you’ve ever listened to an OBN IIIs record, you know these guys are no one trick phonies. They deliver both in the studio and on the stage, each and every time.

The band is now set to release their fourth studio album, Worth A Lot Of Money, on September 14 via 12XU Records and I’m pleased to say it’s another brilliant collection of pure rock and roll. I would expect nothing less from Austin’s America’s best band. Not to say this album is simply more of the same. Oh no. Not at all. This is a “the more things change, the more they stay the same” situation. Since their last record, Third Time To Harm, the group has a new guitarist, bassist, and record label. Orville decided to completely reboot the band and the incredible thing is, he actually pulled it off. The new album is packed with fury, fun, and everything else I’d expect from the OBN IIIs. The lesson, as always, is don’t fuck with Orville.

:OBN IIIs – 4KD:
:OBN IIIs – New Money:

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Crooks (Dan)

August 7, 2015

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Growing up in Western New York, country music was as uncool as it got. No one admitted liking country. We’d mock the kids that wore Wrangler jeans and only the biggest dorks would be caught dead wearing a cowboy hat or boots. Country was not cool. At all.

Fast forward many years and my attitude has changed considerably. My musical horizons have expanded and I’ve learned about the greatness of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Townes Van Zandt, Dolly Parton, and, of course, Johnny Cash. I learned there was more to country music than the cheesy Nashville songs polluting the airwaves on FM radio. So much, much more.

Given my appreciation for the country greats, it’s little wonder that I’m such a fan of Crooks. In 2012, Crooks released their LP The Rain Will Come which featured the brilliant track My First Gun. Last month, their sophomore album, Wildfire, was released, and remarkably it’s even better than their incredible debut.  Their lead single, Fork In the Road, is a burner that has caught on nationwide and helped raise the band’s profile to a new high.

The Austin group was formed in 2007 by Josh Mazour as a two piece band but their size has grown over the years. They now have two guitarists, a drummer, a trumpet player, an accordionist, plus an upright bassist. And just as their numbers have grown, so too has their musical influences and their range. At their core, Crooks play pure, honest country music without the shine that ruins most modern country music. But they also incorporate elements of Mariachi, Tejano, classic outlaw country, bluegrass and even garage rock. It’s adventurous, rowdy, forthright, and righteous. If you haven’t listened to Crooks yet, you owe it to yourself to listen to both their albums (on iTunes, Spotify, etc.) and then get your ass to one of their incredible live shows.

:Crooks – Fork In The Road:
:Crooks – My First Gun:

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Institute (Dan)

July 3, 2015

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Last month Austin’s Institute released their debut full length album, Catharsis, via Sacred Bones Records. The label, home to bands such as Destruction Unit, Jenny Hval, and The Men, also released Institute’s 2014 EP, Salt.

The band formed in March of 2013 and includes members of Wiccans, Glue, and Blotter. Led by the Iggy Pop-inspired singer Moses Brown, the post-punk group is known for its angular guitar, rumbling bass and pulsating percussions – all served with an underlying anarchy. Their live shows are known to spawn furious moshing with Brown often leaving the stage to make his way into the crowd.

I was a big fan of the Salt EP and was eager to hear their first full length. It did not disappoint. The production on the record has more polish than their previous EPs but the punk energy and attitude remains the same.

Those hoping to catch their much ballyhooed live show here in Austin will be disappointed. There are no upcoming local gigs listed. The band is scheduled for a west coast tour in August, so here’s hoping they decide to put on an Austin show or two before packing up the van.

:Institute – Perpetual Ebb:

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Snooty Garbagemen (Dan)

May 27, 2015

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My latest musical obsession is the Snooty Garbagemen. Hailing from Houston, this power trio delivers furious guitar heavy punk rock. The band is comprised of guitarist Tom Triplett (OBN IIIs, The Real Energy, BLAXXX) with drummer Josh Wolf (Secret Prostitutes, Sick Abuse, Crime Wave) and bassist Manie Chen (Titan Blood).

Their lead single, I Lost My Keys, has already been featured on sites such as Pitchfork and Grantland, and for good reason. Tom Triplett is a guitar rock force and his manic shredding abilities are on full display throughout their entire debut album. The album kicks off with the best opening track (Sad Sack) you’ll find on any record this year and it never relents. It’s 14 songs and 32 straight minutes of boisterous rhythm and aggressive punk rock.

The self-titled debut from Snooty Garbagemen lands in stores on July 6.  You can pre-order it now via 12XU.

:Snooty Garbagemen – I Can’t Find My Keys:
:Snooty Garbagemen – Sad Sack:

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We Jam By Condos (Dan)

May 13, 2015

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Monofonus Press has put together a comp of Austin bands called We Jam By Condos and it has just been made available for sale. The title is a play on We Jam Econo, the documentary about the Minutemen. I suspect it’s also a not-too-subtle statement about the condos springing up everywhere in downtown Austin, pricing out the creative class that made the area so appealing in the first place.

Monofonus is not the only local label to release an Austin compilation. I loved the Casual Victim Pile records released by Matador Records and 12XU. However, this project takes a different angle than those albums. The Casual Victim Pile records focus primarily on Austin punk and garage bands, whereas We Jam By Condos goes for a broader range of music. It contains excellent arty punk (Spray Paint) and brilliantly sloppy garage rock (Ghetto Ghouls). Then it mixes in some pretty amazing synth and electronica tracks (SURVIVE, Bike Lane, Troller). To be honest, I hadn’t previously heard of any of the electronic bands and now I’m wondering how I slept on them for so long. It’s a fascinating collection and it’s yet another example of the embarrassment of riches that is our Austin local music scene.

:Ghetto Ghouls – Plants:
:Troller – Destruccion:
:Hidden Ritual – Judy:

To celebrate the album release, most of the bands on We Jam By Condos will be at a pair of shows this weekend:

Friday, May 15
Beerland
Spray Paint
Ghetto Ghouls

Empty Markets

Massageinist

Saturday, May 16
Cheer Up Charlies
SURVIVE
Hidden Ritual

Troller

Aunt’s Analog

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The Bolos (Dan)

April 15, 2015

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The Bolos are my latest and favorite Texas garage rock discovery. The San Antonians play a style that includes a blend of psych, punk, and the blues. There’s even a dash of outlaw country in their sound and their we-don’t-give-a-fuck-attitude.

The self-described “booze blues” band recently joined an amazing lineup at Burger Records’ post-SXSW party, Hangover Fest III. Having established themselves as one of the best bands in San Antonio, it was no surprise The Bolos were asked to perform alongside such groups as Thee Oh Sees, Jeff the Brotherhood, and the inimitable Diarrhea Planet.

The Bolos recently released a fantastic new EP, Mercy, and it’s available at Bandcamp along with their debut record. You get to name your price so go download both releases and check these guys out!

:The Bolos – Sugar Hands:
:The Bolos – Disowned:

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The Splits (Dan)

April 1, 2015

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The Splits are a trashy garage punk band hailing from Helsinki, Finland. The group was formed in the fall of 2010 and immediately struck a chord (pardon the pun) with rock fans. The band was the first that any of the members had been in, yet they still managed to land a record deal without having played a single show. Impressive.

Legendary label Dirtnap Records recently announced they’re releasing the band’s American debut, II, on April 28.  Whether you’re a fan of hardcore, post-punk or garage rock, you’re going to dig what these three ladies and one dude have to offer. The Scandinavians know how to rock and The Splits are no exception. In a burst of just nine songs, II captures the ferocity and force of a great band with strong influences from both modern day punk and 70’s punk legends. It’s absolutely an album worth checking out.

:The Splits – Melody:
:The Splits – Rotten Me:

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