This week the Motorhead show at Emo’s ended early due to the ongoing health issues of the iconic Lemmy Kilmister. It was a tough sight to see, a rock and roll legend who is arguably one of the most important figures in heavy music experiencing the effects of getting older. At 70, Lemmy has lived more and rocked more than all of us put together and unfortunately it appears to have taken its toll on his body. When a God becomes mortal before your eyes, you want to deny the inevitable conclusion.
No matter what, Lemmy obviously wants to go out swinging, and though admirable, I am not sure if he knows what all of his fans feel … Lemmy, you owe us nothing. You have given your all over the 40 years we have been listening to Motorhead, and all we want is for your to enjoy your many years you have left, if that is on stage for you, so be it, but we all know you don’t want to let us down … know this, you never have or will! So this month, my list is all MOTORHEAD!
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.
Everyone (including myself) goes on and on about Tyondai Braxton no longer being in Battles, and it’s so dumb. The band is about to be two full lengths removed from him! What are we all doing? I mean, I sort of get it - Mirrored (the only album he appeared on) is brilliant and their live shows during that era were incredible. But still, it’s time to stop all of that silliness and just focus on the current Battles, who have now put out two really good singles in support of their new LP. Grab some headphones and indulge. Enjoy.
Because it’s a holiday weekend there’s a good chance that things will be a bit chaotic downtown. If that doesn’t sound particularly inviting to you, then here’s a great alternative plan – head to ABGB (Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.) on Saturday to see the trash poet himself John Wesley Coleman III, SOTO-favs The Sour Notes and the buzzy indie pop act Rose Selavy. It’s FREE, and there’s quality food and beer to be had (this part isn’t free, but you’ll be fine). Have a blast.
If you’re down for whatever this weekend, here are some other shows worth catching.
For years I haven’t been paying any sort of attention to Conner Youngblood. Not on purpose, I don’t think. I just never managed to actually get around to listening to him. My mistake. Yesterday I spent some time with his fantastically lush new single, Stockholm, and what I found is that it’s just good enough to make me feel ashamed for not having been in his corner all along. Neat, right? Enjoy.
PS – If you’ve been championing Conner for a while now, share some of your favorite tracks with me!
:Speedy Ortiz – Hanging Around (Cardigans Cover): I’m not familiar with the original version of this song (my Cardigans knowledge is pretty much limited to their hits), so as far as I can tell Speedy Ortiz totally nailed this cover of it! Seriously though, I think this is really good. This is a one-off effort, so grab it while you can.
When I started writing for Side One Track One a million years ago, I think I was hip. Not totally hip, but you know, savvy enough to understand my phone and to spend way too much time scouring the internet, and my own inbox, for new music to turn on a whole wave of people to. And then I kept writing and, as it happens, I got older and I stopped understanding The Internet and I just wanted to listen to Counting Crows and cry into my Pepsi Clear. Even today, as I’m going through my list of recently enjoyed music and trying to pick something to share with you folks, I end up on a Kool Keith track. I saw Kool Keith open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was 17. I saw him again at RKCNDY (rest in peace) when I was 18 (he threw plastic bags full of chicken and Capri-Sun into the audience before pulling a woman’s shirt off). And now, here I am, telling you folks, that his sort of new song with ace producer L’Orange (featuring contextually old school emcee Mr. Lif) is great. Because, well, hip or fucking not, it is. It isn’t a heater of a song, it doesn’t race along or use KK’s bizarro flow to spice anything up, but it still rolls, low-key like a mid-morning blunt. Kool Keith sounds like he just woke up, picked up his microphone and started laying down verses while L’Orange’s beat (sample heavy with a tweaked and twisted guitar riff) gets him to sit up and say something. It’s classic Keith with a surprisingly classic beat, and you toss in Mr. Lif’s nasally chatter, and well, this is, for more reasons than not, a pretty classic sounding jam. Which, giant hipness-shaped hole notwithstanding, seems right up my alley these days.
I wasn’t able to fully get into Protomartyr’s last album, Under Color of Official Right (2014), but for whatever reason their new stuff is clicking with me and I’m really excited to hear their upcoming (and third overall) LP. Below you’ll find both their new single and the one that preceded it. Be warned, the former is dark as hell. Enjoy.
There are some big, attractive shows set for this week – 101X Homegrown Live tomorrow night, Belle And Sebastian and Mos Def on Friday, the Lonestar Beer Texas Heritage Festival on Saturday – but my main recommendation is that you focus on heading to Hotel Vegas on Saturday night. There are five bands – FIVE! – that will be there rocking and sweating the night away. A Giant Dog, Flesh Lights and Hundred Visions are all loud and fun and have been mentioned here at SOTO a ton of times, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes are a buzzy punk act that should have been on SOTO by now, and Negative Scanner (the only non-Austin act on the bill) are a band that SOTO’s own Noah Sanders recently fell in love with. Sounds like a can’t miss night to me. Go and indulge.
After a long day at work yesterday, I wobbled home, opened up my SOTO inbox and crawled through a bunch of emails until I got to one that had an actual song attached. This selection turned out to be Pony Time’s new single, a scuzzy rock track that I promptly became hung up on and then used to forget all things work-related. Hopefully it puts you in a better mood, too. Enjoy.
:Woolen Men – Life In Hell: Woolen Men are a trio out of Portland. They have a lo-fi rock sound and like to say things like “Look us in the eyes and tell us you’re not getting old” in their press releases. I’m into it. Temporary Monument is due out September 4 via Woodsist.
:Computer Magic – Be Fair: Been a while since I’ve heard anything from Danz (aka Computer Magic). This new single of hers is lush and hooky, and I really like it. Davos is due out October 16 via Channel 9 Records. See her October 17 at Stubb’s.
Mr. Gross had something come up and had to bow out of doing a Sad Bastard Music mix today, so in his place I’m going to yell at you about Kiiara. The kid (she’s only 20) has now put out three singles (the new tune, Feels, is today’s mp3, and the previous two, Gold and Tennessee, are in faux-video form below), and every one of them has impressed me. Sure, her lyrics are a bit silly – for instance, “I’ve got too many feels” – but Kiiara can really write a hook and I really like how in every song she sounds like she’s having a blast. Board the hype train now, people. Enjoy.
Diet Cig continue to be one of my favorite new things to come out of 2015. I love the EP, Over Easy, that they released earlier this year, and their new 7″ is also a fantastic listen (new track is below, the other one is here). Their songs are infectious, and I really dig Alex Luciano’s candid lyrics. If you haven’t already, join me on their bandwagon. Enjoy.
You have to go to Red 7 this Friday to see Screaming Females. The band’s latest LP, Rose Mountain, is one of the best rock (and overall) albums to come out in 2015, and they really rip it up live. Also on the bill is Vacation (labelmates with Screaming Females), Ghost Knife (Mike Wiebe of Riverboat Gamblers) and Kitten Crisis. The show will be all kinds of loud. Don’t miss it.
Yesterday my various feeds were full of praise for Deerhunter’s new single, and now I see why – it’s really damn good. If there’s been a time where Bradford Cox and the gang have sounded this groovy or infectious, I must have missed it. I hope all of their new album is similar to this track. Enjoy.