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Rain Collectors (Jennifer)

May 27, 2015

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Waxing and Roaring by singer/songwriter (and Growl frontman) Santiago Dietche was one of my favorite local releases from 2013. In regards to that album, I wrote that “he displays a more contemplative, melancholic side to his songwriting while still allowing the catchy, pop hooks to shine through.” Well, now his solo project has evolved into Rain Collectors, where he’s joined by fellow singer/songwriter and collaborator Blair Robbins (who also sings and plays guitar and keys in Milezo). The band describes their sound as “cloudy folk” and have released a single from their upcoming EP (due later this year). It’s gentle, lilting, and sad tones and textures feel like a fitting soundtrack with the recent overcast days and rainy weather. Keep your eyes open for upcoming shows!

:Rain Collectors – Unless:

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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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Raised Eyebrows: Steely Dan’s Countdown To Ecstasy (Randy)

May 26, 2015

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On considering Steely Dan’s 1973 smooth epic Countdown to Ecstasy, I’m reminded of my first steps into music geekdom.

My first run in with a real deal music nerd happened late in college. I worked at a record store and was also the music director for the local college radio station at the time. This timid kind of dude would stop by the store sometimes and special order things as well as cherry pick the $1 bin. Most of the shit he talked of, I had no idea about (The Beach Boys Friends, Nuggets, early Rod Stewart). I thought I had it all figured out and knew of most of the newest things going, but this dude was on another level. We became friends.

I was staying with a girl we both kinda knew and when we split, the guy put me up at his place while I figured out my next move.

I still remember the first few days over there. He had vinyl! Not many folks my age were carrying on the tradition in the late 90’s/early 00’s and he had a ton. Everything I looked at, I knew little or nothing about. There were Tom Verlaine solo records, a copy of The Replacements Let It Be and Costello’s Get Happy … the list goes on and on.

One of the records I recall him playing a lot was Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy. I didn’t really get it at first but the damn thing was on all day every day. After a while it became this comforting kind of thing and that’s never really changed for me.

I guess what i’m saying is that for me, Countdown to Ecstasy is the audio equivalent of sweet tea and I love sweet tea.

The record opens with Bodhisattva, a great supermarket rock track. Not too wild or righteous but that dual guitar coda remains pretty wicked and Dias’ solo out of the first verse is the only way to shop for produce.

Razor Boy follows and is where the record takes off for me. There’s a groove happening not unlike their previous top ten single Do It Again and later smash hit Rikki Don’t Lose That Number. The moves and melody in this song give discreet nods to their country rock contemporaries (Neil Young, CSN) while also creating an early blueprint for those artists looking to crossover into the genre without giving up their sound or chart success.

Your Gold Teeth is a  6+ minute Chevy Chase kind of burner built on fusion rhythms and sinister playing. Dias shines again (especially around 3:45 when he gets some eastern raga twinges going) and the modulation before and after the boys stretch out is stellar. One of my all time favs from The Dan.

My Old School follows the fairly successful single, Show Biz Kids and is another fav of mine. It dishes out some well crafted old school RnR without the Billy Joel schmaltz. Additionally, it may be the best and possibly only rock song ever written about Bard College.

What’s so striking to me about CTE is that not only does it contain some of the most perfectly recorded and arranged music the 70’s ever saw, it also captures a time for me that very few other records do. It’s part of a time when I first started realizing that my love for music was expanding and that I had a helluva lot still left to learn.

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Quickdraw: Destroyer, Future Death, Westkust, Adult Mom, Drinks

May 26, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Destroyer – Dream Lover:  Dan Bejar’s Destroyer has always been kind of hit or miss for me, but this horn-filled new one is pretty damn great.  Poison Season is due out August 28 via Merge.  See him September 23 at the Mohawk.

:Future Death – Familiar Tremors:  Austin’s own Future Death have put together a new EP.  This first single is a dynamic dose of adrenaline.  The Cryptids EP is due out June 23 via Bloodmoss Records.  See the band on June 7 at Red 7.

:Westkust – DishwasherWestkust are now 2/2 on singles, and that has me rather ready to check out their debut LP.  Hopefully all of it will consist of the rad combo of layered guitars and infectiousness that they’ve showcased so far.  Last Forever is due out July 7 via Run For Cover.

:Adult Mom – Survival:  I’ve really been into this song from Steph Knipe (aka Adult Mom).  Her vocals come off as really sincere, and I think she’s a crafty songwriter.  Momentary Lapse Of Happily is due out July 28 via Tiny Engines.

:Drinks – Hermits On Holiday:  Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley (of White Fence) are the main brains behind Drinks.  To me, this song sounds like a lighter, less quirky version of Deerhoof.  Hermits On Holiday is due out August 21 via Birth Records/Heavenly Recordings.

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Laird’s Library: Tim Fite

May 22, 2015

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My plan for this mix was to always make it an assortment of artists, but then while crawling around my hard drive last night I got eternally hung up on the brilliant Tim Fite.  So, here I am, abandoning my guidelines and instead presenting to you my top 10 favorite songs (plus two skits) by Mr. Fite.  I do what I want!  Or whatever.  Enjoy.

PS – Tim has a ton of music on his site, if you’re feeling browsy and generous.  Support him!

:Tim Fite – It’s All Right Here:
:Tim Fite – No Good Here:
:Tim Fite – More Clothes:
:Tim Fite – I’ve Been Shot:
:Tim Fite – Bully:
:Tim Fite – Pizza Shop 1:
:Tim Fite – Pizza Shop 2:
:Tim Fite – Forty-Five Remedies:
:Tim Fite – Joyriding:
:Tim Fite – We Didn’t Warn You:
:Tim Fite – I Hope You’re There:
:Tim Fite – Big Mistake:

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Speedy Ortiz

May 21, 2015

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Carpark Records have assembled a compilation for their 16th anniversary, and because Speedy Ortiz is on it I pretty much have to talk about it.  Below you’ll find the demo version of a song titled Basketball (from 2012′s Sports EP).  It’s quite a bit different than what ended up being released, and it actually kind of has me wishing that Sadie Dupuis and the gang would do an acoustic album.  Enjoy.

:Speedy Ortiz – Basketball (Demo):
:Speedy Ortiz – Basketball:

The Sweet Sixteen Basketball Picture Disc is due out July 21.

Bonus Video:

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Plato III (Noah)

May 20, 2015

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It’s a plus of being a music, er, recommender, that you get to not only share your taste and hopefully influence other people’s, but on occasion, you get to make a genuine heart-felt connection with someone, simply through writing. After posting about Jeremiah Jae, L’Orange and my personal relationship with rap last week, Austin’s Plato III reached out to me, with a nice personal note and a link to his song. Often times, when you get an email like this, though it’s nice to note that someone took out the time to actually try and make it seem like they weren’t a robot, you get to the music and, well, the whole thing falls apart. Not so much for Plato III. His track Natalie Portman is a mellow, almost melancholy mix of breathy, non-stop flow with a sort of stretched out, ballad beat. In the wrong hands it could be Drake-light (and that’s light), but Plato III manages to stretch and bend and mix the potent sound of his voice with the twisting moan of the beat into something subtly psychedelic. It’s romantic, but as if you’d just dropped a horse-pill of Ketamine and were trying to get your legs untangled from the sheets. If anything, it’s promising, an acknowledgement of a new artists roots in the rap game, and his intention to do what he can to put his own personal stamp on it.

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Horse Thief, Pageantry (Jennifer)

May 20, 2015

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It’s not news that weekends in Austin for a live music fan tend to consist of having to choose between several quality shows.  For instance, I’ve already happily made my decision for this Friday night, but if I could fit in another show I would totally go see Horse Thief  (via Denton and Oklahoma City) and Pageantry (also hailing from Denton). Both bands are excellent purveyors of a lush, layered, and an occasionally soaring, anthemic sound that is familiar and comforting but also pleasantly surprising and unexpected. Their show together is this Friday at the Historic Scoot Inn with Reed Turner. Go in my place and support some talent from our neighbors!

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Spoon

May 19, 2015

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I haven’t been particularly looking forward to my screening of the Poltergeist remake later this week, but I’m feeling more upbeat about it now that I know the soundtrack contains Spoon covering The Cramps’ TV Set.  That’s kind of an inspired bit, right?  What if the rest of the movie is made up of similarly great choices?  Now I have hope for the flick and, let’s face it, I probably shouldn’t.  Thanks, Britt.  Anyhow, the cover is a real jam and just further proves that Spoon should be loved be all.  Enjoy.

:Spoon – TV Set (The Cramps Cover):

Bonus Videos:

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Quickdraw: Desaparecidos, Sweet John Bloom, Sweet Spirit And Britt Daniel, Annabel, La Luz

May 18, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Desaparecidos – Backsell:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, returning to Desaparecidos is the best (and most inspired) thing that Conor Oberst has done in years.  Unsurprisingly, this latest single rips.  Payola is due out June 23 via Epitaph.

:Sweet John Bloom – Night Thing:  I really dig this 90s-ish bit of power pop from Sweet John Bloom.  As I’ve mentioned previously, their debut LP could end up being a really good one.  Weird Prayer is due out in June via Tiny Engines.

:Sweet Spirit And Britt Daniel – Paper Tiger:  This juiced up Spoon cover is the b-side to the one-off track that Sweet Spirit and Britt Daniel did together.  It really makes me want the two acts to join up for much more.  You can find the 7″ at Spoon/Sweet Spirit shows.

:Annabel – Having It All:  Here’s another transfixing single from the emo-leaning Annabel.  I will surprised and disappointed if their upcoming album doesn’t end up on my best-of list at the end of the year.  Having It All is due out in June via Tiny Engines.

:La Luz – You Disappear:  Ty Segall produced this new one from La Luz.  It’s a fuzzy three and a half minute surf pop effort that’s completely inviting and accessible.  Jump into it.  Weirdo Shrine is due out August 7 via Hardly Art.

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Laird’s Library: Cover Songs

May 15, 2015

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Hey there.  Recently I was looking at the hard drive that holds my music, and I realized I was closing in on 63,000 mp3s.  This made me wonder about the random things that must be buried on it, so as an excuse to rummage through its endless folders I’m starting Laird’s Library.  It’ll be a semi-regular mix.  Below is the first one.  It’s a variety of cover songs – some I’ve posted, some I haven’t.  Enjoy.

:Cassettes Won’t Listen – Fuck And Run (Liz Phair Cover):
:Buck 65 – I’m Gonna Do You (Jungle Brothers Cover):
:FIDLAR – If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow Cover):
:Ted Leo – With Every Heartbeat (Robyn Cover):
:Venice Is Sinking – Tugboat (Galaxie 500 Cover):
:Decemberists – Bridges and Balloons (Joanna Newsom Cover):
:The Broadway Hush – Tonight You Belong To Me (Gene Austin Cover):
:Throw Me The Statue – If This Is It (Huey Lewis Cover):
:Franz Ferdinand – All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem Cover):
:Oh Land – Bloodbuzz Ohio (The National Cover):
:Cee-Lo – No One’s Gonna Love You (Band Of Horses Cover):
:Purity Ring – Grammy (Soulja Boy Cover):
:Ellie Goulding – High For This (The Weeknd Cover):
:The Mae Shi – See U Again (Miley Cyrus Cover):

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Quickdraw: White Reaper, Mac DeMarco, Haelos, Mas Ysa, Astronautalis

May 14, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:White Reaper – I Don’t Think She Cares:  I need all of you to hurry up and jump on the White Reaper bandwagon.  They’re too rad to not be getting talked about all the time.  As for this new single, it is, of course, fiercely infectious.  White Reaper Does It Again is due out July 17 via Polyvinyl.

:Mac DeMarco – The Way You’d Love Her:  This breezy throwback from Mac DeMarco is such an ear pleaser.  I suspect that I won’t be taking it off repeat anytime soon.  The Another One mini-LP is due out August 7 via Captured Tracks.  See Mac at Stubb’s on October 20.

:Haelos – Earth Not Above:  Yesterday I came across this song by Haelos in my inbox and quickly fell for it.  I like that it’s big, well crafted and kind of moody.  The Earth Not Above EP is due out June 1 via Matador.

:Mas Ysa – Margarita:  Thomas Arsenault (aka Mas Ysa) is currently a big favorite of mine.  I love his semi-quaky vocal style and I think his arrangements are stellar.  This new track is a stunner.  Seraph is due out June 24 via Downtown Records.  See Thomas at Red 7 on July 17.

:Astronautalis – Papillon:  “It ain’t a fucking party if you do it every night.”  Astronautalis is a good dude (or at least seems to be) with a good message.  I’ll support that any day.   This one is an outtake, so grab it while you can.

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The Loblolly Boy (Jennifer)

May 13, 2015

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Austin quintet The Loblolly Boy are celebrating the release of their new 7″ single on Punctum Records with shows on May 15 and May 22 at Studium. The single is a melancholy tale about “songs of lovers lost” reminiscing about the girl who only has a “paper heart” and a “score of songs.” This tale of heartbreak is fueled by a jangly, alt country soundtrack and an accompanying vocal contribution from Catherine Naiser

These upcoming shows are free (but don’t forget to pick up the new 7″ single at Studium or from Punctum) and the music runs from 7-9 pm. They put on a solid live show and Studium is a great place to check out some of Austin’s best up and coming talent.

:The Loblolly Boy – Paper Heart:

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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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Albert Hammond Jr.

May 12, 2015

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If you explored the ACL lineup that was announced last week, then you may have noticed that both The Strokes and Albert Hammond Jr. are set to play.  I kind of figured it was a “well since I’m here I’m gonna play too” kind of thing for Albert, but it’s actually because he will be supporting a brand new album.  Neat.  Today I have the first single off of the LP.  It’s particularly inviting and loaded with creative guitar work.  Enjoy.

:Albert Hammond Jr. – Born Slippy:

Momentary Masters is due out July 31 on Vagrant.

Bonus Video:

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