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American Sharks, Mirror Travel (Dan)

January 8, 2014

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Try as I might, I simply can’t keep up with all of the great music that Austin’s scene churns out. It never fails that I sleep on a great record and then end up obsessing over it the following year. Last year that album was Permanent Basement by Hundred Visions.

Thankfully, all the various year-end lists gave me one more chance to check out records that fell below my radar in 2013. So, with that in mind here are two highly recommended albums you also might have missed.

American Sharks – Self Titled

Oh yeah. THIS is what I like. The power trio delivers a rock/metal/punk mix fueled by ample amounts of heavy guitar and thumping bass. Throw in songs about sex, Satan, and drugs and you have the perfect record to corrupt today’s youth. Ironically, I would have hated this record when I was a kid. Now that I’m a older dude with a family? Love it!

:American Sharks – XVI:

Mirror Travel – Mexico

Formerly known as Follow That Bird, Mirror Travel released their first album under their new moniker in 2013. They were my favorite discovery off the Casual Victim Pile compilations from way back, and while it took a few years to put out an LP, they certainly made it worth the wait. It’s grunge-y, garage-y, and flat out great.

:Mirror Travel – Mexico:

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2013 Austin Essentials: Volume 2

November 26, 2013

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Hey!  Look at that, we’ve arrived at volume two of my Austin Essentials.  As I mentioned yesterday, there’s no particular rhyme or reason for the order of the entries, I was just looking to share some of my favorite stuff that came out of Austin in 2013.  Enjoy.

:American Sharks – XVI:  No matter how much fun you’re having, American Sharks always seem to be having more. I love that about them.  Find American Sharks on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Mirror Travel – Mexico:  It’s been a bumpy road for Mirror Travel, but now they can totally high five themselves because their long awaited full length turned out great.  If you haven’t already, pick up the psych-enthused Mexico.   Find Mirror Travel on FB here, and buy their music here.

:White Denim – At Night In Dreams:  It’s no secret that White Denim are my favorite band in Austin.  They’re just stellar and you should listen to them all the time.  As for their new album, Corsicana Lemonade, it’s them doing a nice job of continuing to expand their sound.  Find White Denim on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Growl – Abbreviations:  In the corner of Growl’s Bandcamp page there’s some text that describes how they’re a “band making solid indie rock.”  That’s true.  Well, except for the solid part.  I think they’re actually making really good indie rock.  Find Growl on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Tele Novella – No Excalibur:  Tele Novella features former members of Agent Ribbons and Voxtrot, and they have a rather charming pop sound.  I can’t wait for them to put out an album.  By the way, the band has another single called Don’t Be A Stranger that’s pretty good.  Find Tele Novella on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Wild Child – Crazy Bird:  This song has never failed to put a skip in my step.  It’s such an endearing little tune, and I can’t imagine anyone not liking it at least a little.  Find Wild Child on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Black Books – Favorite Place:  There’s a lot to like on Black Books’ largely dreamy self titled debut, but this song is by far my favorite on the album.  It’s just the right amount of heavy.  Find Black Books on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Sorne – Ego Altar:   Sorne aren’t exactly what I would describe as overly accessible, but they do have some really interesting material.  You just have to give them a few listens so that your brain can accept how intense of an act they can be.  Find Sorne on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Zoltars – Evelyn:  The Zoltars are lo-fi, minimalistic, and very good.  This year they put out the Live Like Dragons EP and a full length titled Walking Through The Dark.  I recommend seeking out both efforts.  Find The Zoltars on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Pharaohs – Prettiest Girl:  Recently, Pharaohs’ Moan was reworked a bit and then put out by Burger City Rock N Roll.  That means you’ve been given a second chance to snatch it up.  Do so if you like really catchy jams.  Find Pharaohs on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Pollen – AR AK:  Pollen haven’t been around long, but that doesn’t mean they’re not ready for any attention you’re willing to throw their way.  Watch out for them and their garage rock ways in 2014.  Find Pollen on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Other Lovers – New:  I came across this folk pop anthem about a month ago and have been liking it every since.  Other Lovers’ EP, Born To Party/Born To Be Old, is a little all over the place, but it’s certainly worth your time.  Find Other Lovers on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Frank Smith – Chewing Glass:  First of all (and hopefully for the last time), Frank Smith is a band and not a single guy.  Secondly, this is a very clean sounding, focused rock track, and I dig it.  Find Frank Smith on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Shearwater – I Luv The Valley OH!! (Xiu Xiu Cover):  As a follow-up to last year’s Animal Joy, Shearwater assembled a collection of covers titled Fellow Travelers.  The nifty effort consists of Jonathan Meiburg and Co. doing song by bands they’ve toured with over the years.  Find Shearwater on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Okkervil River – It Was My Season:  On every Okkervil River album there’s always one song that I can never get enough of, and this was it on The Silver Gymnasium.  The damn thing is just immaculate.  Find Okkervil River on FB here, and buy their music here.

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Stream This

September 20, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Icona Pop – This Is … Icona Pop
Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came
Frankie Rose – Herein Wild
Crystal Stilts – Nature Noir
Islands – Ski Mask
Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe
Mazzy Star – Seasons Of Your Day
Au Revoir Simone – Move In Spectrums
Juliette Commagere – Human
American Sharks – Self Titled
Love Inks – Generation Club
The Crooks – Hold Fast
Oh Land – Wish Bone
Matt Pond – The Threeep

VIDEOS

White Denim will release Corsicana Lemonade on October 29 via Downtown.  They’re set for both weekends of ACL.

Black Books’ self titled album is due October 15 via Believe Recordings.

Yuck will put out Glow & Behold on September 30 via Fat Possum.

Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic is out now on Jagjaguwar.

MGMT’s self titled album is out now on Columbia Records.

Bass Drum Of Death have a self titled effort that’s out now on Innovative Leisure.  They play the Parish on October 18.

Static Jacks will release In Blue on September 30 via Old Friends Records.

Sebadoh’s Defend Yourself is out now on Joyful Noise Recordings.

Laura Veirs’ Warp And Weft is out now Raven Marching Band.

Solange’s True EP is out now on Saint Records.

Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories is out now.

St. Lucia’s When The Night is due October 8 via Neon Gold/Columbia.

In The Valley Below released the Peaches EP this week via Capitol Records.

We Are Scientists will release their Business Casual EP on October 15 via Dine Alone Records.

HSY just released their self titled EP on Buzz Records.

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Stream This

August 23, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Volcano Choir – Repave
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight
Black Joe Lewis – Electric Slave
Forest Swords – Engravings
Bent Shapes – Feels Weird
Disappears – Era
Dent May – Warm Blanket
Ghost Wave – Ages
The Dodos – Carrier
Belle And Sebastian – The Third Eye Centre
Weiss/Cameron/Hill – Drumgasm
How Sad – Indian Summer EP
Zula – Twin Loss

VIDEOS

Diarrhea Planet’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams is out now on Infinity Cat Recordings.

American Sharks will release their self titled debut on September 17 via In The End Records.

Night Beds’ Country Sleep is out now on Dead Oceans.

STRFKR’s Miracle Mile is out now on Polyvinyl.  They play Emo’s East on October 11.

Army Navy just put out The Crushed EP on The Fever Zone Records.

Traams will release Grin on September 24 via FatCat Records.

Golden Suits’ self titled debut is out now.

Superchunk just released I Hate Music via Merge.

Pelican will release Forever Becoming on October 15 via Southern Lord.

Soft Metals put out Lenses last month.  They play Red 7 on September 11.

The Delta Mirror’s Better Unsung is out now on Lightwave.

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Quickdraw: American Sharks, The Orwells, FIDLAR, Crystal Antlers, Chelsea Wolfe

July 25, 2013

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Today’s music doesn’t believe in curfews.  Enjoy.

:American Sharks – XVI:  Much of my 2013 has seen buzz for Austin’s American Sharks, and this power kick to the face of a song makes it easy to understand why.  I can’t wait to see them on Friday when they open for the Sword at Red 7.  The band will release their self titled debut in September via The End Records.

:The Orwells – Who Needs You:  There’s plenty to like about this year’s ACL lineup, but The Orwells are one band in particular that I’m actually anxious to see.  I know “infectious” is a word that’s super over-used these days, but it’s pretty much the best way to describe these guys.  The Who Needs You EP, which is their second release of 2013, is due September 10 via East End/Canvasback.

:FIDLAR – Awkward:  I actually posted this song last year, but FIDLAR have resurrected it for a tour-only split 7″ with The Orwells.  The guest spot from Kate Nash is gone, and it’s sporting a cleaner sound.  I think I like it more than the original.  The band is also playing ACL.

:Crystal Antlers – Rattlesnake:  I’ve long appreciated Crystal Antlers, but this song is so good that now I’m wondering if I should have been giving them even more attention.  Talk about inspired stuff.  The will release the Rattlesnake single on September 24 via Innovative Leisure.  A full length is expected at some point.

:Chelsea Wolfe – We Hit A Wall:  This is a really intense track.  I dig it, and I won’t be surprised if I end up spending a good chunk of time with Chelsea’s upcoming LP.  Pain Is Beauty is due out September 3 via Sargent House.  She will play the Mohawk on September 6.

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