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Ditch The Fest Fest 6 & 7 (Jennifer)

October 1, 2014

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If enormous outdoor festivals like ACL just aren’t your thing or you just simply can’t attend, there’s still a lot of great music to catch around Austin over the next two weekends.  The folks at Raw Paw have outdone themselves and are presenting Ditch The Fest Fest 6 and 7 this Saturday and next (10/11) at Empire Control Room and Garage. The lineup for this year’s fest is a whopping 48 bands. This event features a wide variety of local and regional acts, and there really is something for everyone – ranging from the punk sounds of BLXPLTN and Feral Future, hip hop from Magna Carda, folk sounds from Patch and The Deer, shades of pop from Tele Novella and Marmalakes, rock from Otis the Destroyer and Slomo Drags, dance/electronic sounds from Holiday Mountain and Shmu, and the list goes on.

Cover is only $5 per day, doors are at 2pm and the event is open to those 18 and over.  This lineup is outstanding and I highly recommend it whether or not you’re going to ACL. Catch up on your local favorites and discover new ones, too!

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BLXPLTN (Dan)

October 1, 2014

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BLXPLTN is an electro-punk band based here in Austin. The trio is made up of TaSzlin Muerte (electro drums, vocals), Jonathan “Javelin” Horstmann (bass, synth, vocals) and Khattie, aka Lil K Big Q (guitar). The band is fairly new but they’re generating a lot of attention with their raucous live shows and furious tracks.

The band blends electronic influences such as Joy Division and Future Islands with hardcore and punk. The end result sounds a bit like TV on the Radio but with a hard industrial edge. TaSzlin and Javelin make an amazing rhythm section but it’s Khattie’s scorching guitar and frequent screams that makes BLXPLTN so unique.

Their wildly impressive first full-length, Black Cop Down, comes out on October 14. If you’re very lucky, you might be able to score a copy at one of their shows this week. The first is at Red 7 tomorrow night with Aviateur and Panoramas. You can also see them this Saturday at the Ditch the Fest Fest at Empire Control Room. Even if you can’t snag the new CD, you’ll thank me for recommending BLXPLTN after you experience their killer live show.

:BLXPLTN – Start Fires:
:BLXPLTN – Train (Get Out):

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Flesh Lights

September 30, 2014

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I had a grand plan to share some ACL recommendations today, but the lineup is loaded at the top (surely I don’t have to tell you to see Outkast, St. Vincent, etc) and weak from the middle down, and I just couldn’t find much that I felt was worth posting about.  Also, it seemed like a better idea to share the new Flesh Lights tune that I totally whiffed on last week.

For those of you that don’t know, Flesh Lights are a punk act out of Austin.  Recently they put together their sophomore full length, and below you’ll find the first single off of it.  I’ve liked the trio for a long while, but Just About Due is really rad and now I’m all about making sure I’m riding high on their bandwagon.  Listen and decide if you’re with me.  Enjoy.

:Flesh Lights – Just About Due:

Free Yourself is due out November 4 via 12XU.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Diarrhea Planet, Cherry Glazerr, Tennis System, Weed Hounds, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

September 29, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Diarrhea Planet – Heat Wave:  This is a great song, but I have to admit that I’m currently operating in a place where I’ll post anything that Diarrhea Planet puts out.  The band is just too fun and too on point right now for me to even consider not sharing their stuff.   The Aliens In The Outfield EP is due out November 18 via Infinity Cat Recordings.

:Cherry Glazerr – Had Ten DollazCherry Glazerr’s press release says they’re an “astonishingly young” trio (two of them aren’t old enough to vote and the other is just over 21), but they certainly don’t sound like it.  This song is dripping with confidence and is pushing out a fairly calculated vibe.  I like it.  A lot.  The band will release the Had Ten Dollaz/Nurse Ratched single on October 28 via Suicide Squeeze.

:Tennis System – Dead Honey:  Throughout the weekend I found myself wanting to frequently revisit this new one from Tennis System.  I love the driving arrangement and the vocal work is pretty great, too.  Technicolour Blind will be released on October 21 via Papercup Music.  See the band at Cheer Up Charlie’s on October 14.

:Weed Hounds – Harbor:  It took them five years (apparently), but Weed Hounds have finally readied a full length.  If you have a fondness for shoegaze and/or 90s indie rock, then you can expect to dig what the band has crafted.  You can either buy their self titled album in a variety of formats or you can download it right here for FREE.

:The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Summer Of Dreams:  Here’s a pleasant selection from the new extended version of the album that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart released earlier this year.  The songwriting is a bit cheesier than usual for the band, but I think that overall the track is a good one.  The deluxe edition of Days of Abandon is available now via Yebo.

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Stream This

September 26, 2014

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums come out, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ The Rural Alberta Advantage – Mended With Gold

Christoper Owens – A New Testament
The History Of Apple Pie – Feel Something
Curtin – One For The Doghearted
The Vaselines – V For Vaselines
Pujol – Reunited States of Being
Witch Mountain – Mobile of Angels
Julian Casablancas – Tyranny
Aphex Twin – Syro
Yelle – Completement Fou
Electric Youth – Innerworld
Lucinda Williams – Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Kat Edmonson – The Big Picture
Finch – Back To Oblivion
Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
Hightide Hotel – Naturally
Team Spirit – Killing Time

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Ariel Pink

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Sad Bastard Music: Sulky September (John Gross)

September 26, 2014

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Welcome to another installment of the internet’s definitive column that talks about the best sad pop music there is. Each month we delve into heartbreak and feelings of general no-good, malaise.

If after listening to the below songs you don’t cry on the outside, you are dead on the inside. The sadder the song, the better the song- that’s been the motto.

Tear your heart out and drop it in a pint glass full of whiskey and let’s dig in.

:The Dukes - Teardrop Eyes:  The great New Orleans producer and proto-rock and roll godfather Cosimo Matassa passed away earlier this month so I wanted to include something here that he touched and the Dukes win. It’s the short, somber sax solo that does it for me for this 1956 doo wop jam. “Come back to me darling, these teardrops just keep falling.” Rest in peach Cosimo.

:Merle Haggard - Swinging Doors:  “In here the atmosphere’s just right for heartaches, and thanks to you I’m always here till closing time.” Merle’s character has been driven to living at the very hole in the wall he does his drinking. Poor guy. This 1966 album went to number 1 on the Billboard Country Charts and still resonates to anyone who has ever seen a lonely fella at a honkytonk. This is a common occurrence in Texas.

:Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Despair:  “Oh despair, you’ve always been there, You were there through my wasted years, Through all my lonely fears.”  I love it when the always fierce Karen O gets emotional. The band is so fun and such a turn-key, art-rock dance party in most cases but when they want to they can go from zero to gloomy hopelessness in no time at all. There’s no escaping a salty discharge from the eyes in this wasted life hymn.

:Kissing Book - Superman Vs Lloyd:  “I can’t believe all the time I spent thinking about the way that you walk and the way you dress. I can’t believe all those days went by when I was lying broken-hearted on your bed.” Being knocked emotionally down the scale from Superman all the way to Lloyd Dobler is no fun descent. No sir.  It happens and it hurts. 90’s Portland, Magic Marker recording artists Kissing Book know all about it.

:Beverly - Black And Grey:  This is the last song on the debut Beverly album Careers. The somber dittie is a perfect ambient closer to the indie-pop goodness from Frankie Rose (ex-Crystal Stilts/Vivian Girls drummer). The vocals are haunting and work together with the simple instrumentation in this song about darkness in a wonderfully lush way.

:The Mountain Goats - Hellhound On My Trail:  From 1996’s Nothing for Juice record, this Robert Johnson cover is as intense as it should be. There is no escaping the doom and the evil that is coming for the sinner protagonist. This is prime Mountain Goats territory.  And hey, that’s sad. KnowwhatImean?  Sidenote: John Darnielle’s new book Wolf in White Van is out now and it’s fantastic.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

Fuck it. Here’s some Taylor Swift.

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If you’re in Austin, hear the the saddest pop tunes of all time at the next installment of NO DANCING: Sad Bastard Music at the Volstead on October 14. The saddest, bastardest night of music in the whole country is enhanced each month with cheap drinks to drown the sorrows and free Kleenex to dry the tears. It’s fun to get lonely!

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Throwback Thursday: Team Sleep

September 25, 2014

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Team Sleep, which is made up of Chino Moreno (Deftones), Todd Wilkinson, DJ Crook. Rick Verret (Tinfed) and Zach Hill (Hella), have decided to reunite for a new album, and that means it’s time to take a look back at their only other release – 2005′s self titled effort.

I absolutely loved their debut.  At the time I was all about anything I could consider to be progressive, and hearing the oft-screamy Chino (along with some others) soften things up over a variety of headphone-worthy arrangements hit me in all of the right spots.  Also, just getting to listen to the album was a cool experience.  Not only did it feature of lots of talented folks, but as the band’s Wikipedia page details, leaked tracks and delays hampered the project for quite a while, and there were times where it seemed liked it wouldn’t even get released.  So, I essentially felt as though I was fortunate to have it.  On another note, college-me may have been too nerdy.

Anyhow, have fun revisiting Team Sleep’s self titled album.

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Little Big League

September 25, 2014

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My plan for today was to roll out a nice five-song Quickdraw, but instead I’m going to focus on Little Big League.  I found the recently released title track off of the band’s upcoming full length, Tropical Jinx, to be pretty solid, but I think the single I have for you today is nothing short of fantastic.  Michelle Zauner’s engaging voice and stellar songwriting shine brighter in it, and I can fully hear why the band’s press release describes their sound as “bridging the gap between 90′s college radio, mid-period Saddle Creek, and many of their Philly indie peers.”  Enjoy.

:Little Big League – Property Line:

Tropical Jinx will be released on October 14 via Run For Cover Records.

Bonus Video:

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Alex Napping (Jennifer)

September 24, 2014

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Alex Napping has become one of my favorite local pop bands. Lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Alexandra Cohen formed the band with guitarist Adrian Haynes, bassist Tomas Garcia-Olano and drummer Andrew Stevens. She writes bright, charming and smart guitar pop songs that capture your attention and make you want to listen to them over and over again. Her clear yet soft vocals and layers of clean, sharp guitars accompanied by a solid, expert rhythm section make them stand out. If asked to recommend a new band I like on the Austin scene, I will often mention Alex Napping.

Their debut album This Is Not A Bedroom is out now on the Austin-based label Punctum Records. If you’re not planning on joining SOTO at the Blackheart this Friday, Alex Napping are having a release party at Cheer Up Charlie’s with Big Bill, Lowin, and Soft Swells. The record will be available in a variety of formats – vinyl, CD,  digital download, and cassette tape (via Accrue Cassettes). I expect that it will perk up your ears and whet your appetite for more from this promising band.


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Shivery Shakes

September 23, 2014

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One of the more anticipated releases set to come out of Austin this year is the upcoming debut from Shivery Shakes. The band has been a local highlight for the last couple of years, and there are plenty of folks ready to see how they’ll sound spread out over a full length.  Below you’ll find a track off the new album.  It’s a warm, retro pop tune that will undoubtedly lodge itself in your head for the foreseeable future.  Enjoy.

:Shivery Shakes – Hold On:

Three Waves & A Shake is due out October 21 via Punctum and Austin Town Hall Records.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Pompeii, NehruvianDOOM, Superhumanoids, Dream Police, Radical Dads

September 22, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Pompeii – Loom:  I’m starting to think that Pompeii’s upcoming album might end up being one of the better efforts to come out of Austin in 2014.  This song in particular reminds me of Transatlanticism/Plans-era Death Cab For Cutie.  Loom will be released on October 14 via Red Eye Transit.

:NehruvianDOOM – Caskets:  Aside from Run The Jewels’ new one, the other hip hop effort that I can’t wait to hear is the debut from NehruvianDOOM.  Personally, I think DOOM is always impressive, but I will admit that it does sound as though his partnership with Bishop Nehru has refreshed him.  The act will release their self titled album on October 6 via Lex.

:Superhumanoids – Flipping Out:  Here’s a new single from Superhumanoids.  Like everything they do, this is adequately hooky and totally ready to be devoured through a nice pair of headphones.  The Flipping Out/Another One 7″ is available now via Innovative Leisure.  The band is set to play two nights at ACL Live with Erasure.

:Dream Police – Hypnotized:  Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi, who founded the Men, are the main brains behind Dream Police.  This driving rock track is pretty damn great, and I’m looking forward to hearing more.  The band will release Hypnotized on November 11 via Sacred Bones.

:Radical Dads – In The Water:  The still-wonderfully named Radical Dads have signed to Old Flame and put together a new EP (while they wrap their third album).  I’ve long been fond of their 90s rock ways, and you should be too.  Look for the Cassette Brain EP when it gets set free on October 7.

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Stream This

September 19, 2014

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums come out, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Perfume Genius – Too Bright

Alex Napping – This Is Not A Bedroom
Spray Paint – Clean Blood, Regular Acid
S – Cool Choices
Whirr – Sway
Terry Malts – Insides EP
Dntel – Human Voice
Foxes In Fiction – Ontario Gothic
Tweedy – Sukierae
Mr. Twin Sister – Self Titled
King Tuff – Black Moon Spell
Sondre Lerche – Please
Alt-J – This Is All Yours
Black Moth – Condemned To Hope
Erasure – The Violent Flame
Suicide Year – Remembrance
Youth Code – A Place To Stand
The Aislers Set – The Last Match
Goat – Commune
Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
Mapei – Hey Hey
Weird Wombs – Laziness EP
Pink Frost – Traitors EP
Teach Me Equals – Knives In The Hope Chest
Redinho – Self Titled
Roz And The Rice Cakes – Need To Feed

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
The Raveonettes

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Throwback Thursday: The Dismemberment Plan

September 18, 2014

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Earlier this week The Dismemberment Plan announced that they will reissue 2003′s Change on November 4 via Partisan, and I took the news as a sign that it was time to revisit the album via a Throwback Thursday post.

To be honest, I’ve always more liked than loved any Dismemberment Plan material that isn’t Emergency & I (sorry, Dan Corbin), but I do think that Change is a solid effort.  Time Bomb is a fantastic track, I love how wonderfully mathy Superpowers is, and the rest of the album does feature some good songwriting and neat sounds.  It’s just so hard to top Emergency & I, you know?  Anyways,  have fun revisiting Change!

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Mono

September 18, 2014

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A couple of weeks back I shared Where We Begin, a track from The Last Dawn, one of Mono’s two upcoming albums.  The other LP is titled Rays of Darkness, and today you’re getting the first taste of it via Recoil, Ignite (Part II), an aggressive, thunderous number that comes right at you with a big wall of soundI have to say that I’m really loving that the band decided to set aside the full-on cinematic/orchestral/symphonic approach of their last couple of albums.  They totally sound energized and refreshed.  Hooray for us (and them, too)!  Enjoy.

:Mono – Recoil, Ignite (Part II):

The Last Dawn and Rays of Darkness are due out October 28 via Temporary Residence LTD.

Bonus Video:

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You’re Here! Fall Kick Off, Daybender Day Party (Jennifer)

September 17, 2014

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This Friday at Cheer Up Charlie’sAccrue Cassettes, Attendance Records, Estuary Recording Facility, Pop Press International, and Punctum Records have partnered up to present the You’re Here! Fall Kick Off.  During SXSW 2014, the same folks got together to present some excellent free day shows, and the goal of this event is to raise funds to put on another round of shows for SXSW 2015. The 13 band lineup is enough to make a local music lover like me absolutely giddy – it includes a few of my personal favorites such as YumGrowlSummer SaltLinen Closet, The Loblolly Boy, and much more.

The cover is only $7 and the show starts early (doors open at 6pm). I think that early start times are a great idea on Friday nights, especially if you’ve had a long, tiring work week and there’s no time for a power nap before the show. Even better, this is a worthy show to support as it’s been thoughtfully put together by a passionate group of music lovers who want to spread the word about great local talent.

This Saturday at Empire Control Room & Garage – as part of WEEKENDER AUSTIN – there is a daytime show (set your alarms, sleepyheads, as doors open at 1pm) appropriately named the Daybender Day Party. This lineup is also packed with a long list of fun local bands including MarmalakesWalker Lukens MusicTAFTLittle LoGenuine Leather and much more.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door ($65 if you purchase the 4 day Weekender pass); if you do the math for the party, that’s less than $1.15 per band. This show also doubles as a vinyl release show for TAFT and Little Lo, who have a split 7 ” single on Punctum Records. More local music that you can shake a stick at and you can still make to see to Bob Mould at The Mohawk later that night. Whew.

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