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Show Of The Week

June 29, 2016

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For the last few weeks I’ve been really loving Basketball Shorts’ debut full length, Hot And Ready.  If you’re wondering how you missed it, you didn’t, because the album isn’t actually out until July 8 (via Austin Town Hall/Fleeting Youth).  Good news though, it’s going to be available on vinyl tomorrow at Cheer Up Charlie’s, and you should go grab yourself a copy.  Also, while you’re there, you should watch Austin’s best pop-punk act play alongside Flesh Lights, Foreign Mothers and Popper Burns.  Have fun!

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Kevin Morby, Big Thief at The Sidewinder
- Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Casket Girls, Hospital Ships at The Sidewinder
- The Ghost Wolves, Holiday Mountain, Jonas Wilson at Hotel Vegas
- Annabelle Chairlegs, Lake of Fire, The Diamond Center at Barracuda

Thursday:
- King Khan and the Shrines, Giorgio Murderer, Sailor Poon at the Mohawk
- Shovels & Rope, Okkervil River, Matthew Vasquez, Girl in a Coma at Stubb’s
- The Joe Jacksons, The Happen-ins, Steep Cats at the Continental Club

Friday:
- Football Etc, All People, Hikes, Honey and Salt, Mean Girls at Cheer Up Charlies
- Soaked, Summer Salt, The Sun Machine, Dronebaby at The Swan Dive

Saturday:
- Black Joe Lewis, Sweet Spirit, Ghost Wolves at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Mitski, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som at The Sidewinder
- Hovvdy, Heavy Petting, Early Internet at The Sidewinder
- Darkbird, Residual Kid, The Continuums, Dronebaby, Milk at Cheer Up Charlies
- Fat Tony, Total Abuse, Team Next, Funny Games at Barracuda
- New Fumes, Holy Wave, Ouiness, Treasure Mammal, No Cops at The North Door
- Charlie Belle, Nic Armstrong & The Thieves at Stubb’s

Sunday:
- Dinos Boys, The Bad Lovers, Sister Rays, Teenage Cavegirl, Secret Bad Boys at The Grand
- The Ripe, Think No Think, Black Liquid Drop, Foxmoor Express, The Gospel Truth at Barracuda
- Ringo Deathstarr, Soft Healer, Lake of Fire, Lochness Mobsters, John Wesley Coleman, The Bolos, Al Lover, Ex-Legionaires, Nameless Frames, Teevee at Hotel Vegas
- Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, The Early November at Cedar Park Center

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Show Of The Week

August 26, 2015

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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.

:A Giant Dog – All I Wanted:
:Negative Scanner – Would You Rather:
:Flesh Lights – Just About Due:
:Hundred Visions – You’re Gonna Cut Me Loose:
:Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes – Hot Shoes:

It’s Austin, so there’s always more to see.  Here are some other recommendations.

Thursday:
- 101X Homegrown Live with Sphynx, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Shivery Shakes, Alex Napping, Gold Beach, Slomo Drags, Young Tongue, Tamarron, Velo at Empire Control Room
- Carry Illinois, Lindsey Verrill, Marijuana Sweet Tooth, Rain Collectors at Holy Mountain

Friday:
- Red 7 Closing Party with Nashville Pussy, Riverboat Gamblers, Valient Thorr, Crimson Devils, Spray Paint, Sweet Talk
- Belle and Sebastian, Wild Moccasins at ACL Live
- Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def): Black on Both Sides (15 Year Anniversary Tour) at the Mohawk
- Birdcloud, Moving Panoramas at the Mohawk

Saturday:
- Lonestar Beer Texas Heritage Festival with Old 97s, Black Angels, Grupo Fantasma, Dale Watson, LaTasha Lee & the Black Ties at Fair Market
- BLXPLTN, Ease Them Pistols at the Hole in the Wall
- Ghost Wolves at ABGB

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2014 Austin Essentials: Volume 2

November 25, 2014

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Hey!  Here we are with the second volume of my 2014 Austin Essentials.  Dive in.  But don’t tire yourself out, as there’s still a third volume coming your way tomorrow.  Enjoy.

:Alex Napping – Weak Knees:  Alex Napping popped out of nowhere this year and instantly impressed.  Their debut, This Is Not A Bedroom, is the kind of introspective indie pop that college me listened to too much of.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Hundred Visions – You’re Gonna Cut Me Loose:  The fuzzy garage rock ways of Hundred Visions have been on point in 2014.  You’d be crazy not to check out their sophomore album, Spite.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Flesh Lights – Just About Due:  My passive appreciation of the punk trio Flesh Lights ended with Free Yourself.  The album features some great songwriting.  And it rocks.  If you’re into that sort of thing, of course.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Sweet Spirit – Let Me Be On Top:  It was a bummer when Bobby Jealousy called it quits, but at least Sabrina Ellis, who is one of Austin’s most dynamic performers, quickly landed on her feet in Sweet Spirit.  Eventually the band will officially release an album and make the world a better place.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Shivery Shakes – Hold On:  Shivery Shakes put out their debut full length, Three Waves & A Shake, this year.  You pretty much have to listen to it if you consider yourself a fan of indie pop.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Gentlemen Rogues – Mocking Love Out Of Nothing At All:  Jennifer, SOTO’s purveyor of local music, was adamant that this slice of power pop from Gentleman Rogues make the cut.  Look out for a new album from the band soon.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Grape St. – Wallpaper:  Last year Grape St. released the excellent A Date With You, and just recently they followed it up with the equally fantastic Free Stuff EP.  The band just can’t miss!  They’re a must-listen for fans of jangly garage rock.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:The Sour Notes – Cutthroat:  Earlier this year The Sour Notes put out a really solid album (their fifth overall) by the name of Do What May.  It’s worth your time if you dig hooky indie rock.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Ramesh – The King:  For those of you that don’t know, Ramesh was once a part of Voxtrot.  His debut solo album, The King, is a well crafted alt pop effort that features a lot of great vocal work.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Coeds – Sensitive Boys:  I haven’t seen Coeds play and this is the only song of theirs I’ve heard, but that’s not stopping me from being into the duo.  Make a note to keep an eye on them and their synthy ways once 2015 rolls around.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Young Tongue – Heavy Metal Thunder:  Once known as The Baker Family, Young Tongue have a sound that’s a pleasant mixture of indie rock and pop.  Recently they released an album titled Death Rattle.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Jess Williamson – Snake Song:  Jess Williamson spent 2014 fully establishing herself as one of the best singer/songwriters in Austin.  If you haven’t already checked out her album, Native State, then you should do yourself a favor and seek it out ASAP.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:A. Sinclair – Shiny Things:  Indie rockers A. Sinclair (formerly known as Frank Smith) had a nice year.  They signed with Dangerbird Records and churned out a good album, Pretty Girls, for all to indulge in.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Boyfrndz – Design:  When it comes to experimental rock in Austin, not many can compete with Boyfrndz.  Their sophomore LP, Breeder, is a daunting, but rad listen.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:OBN IIIs – No Time For The Blues:  OBN IIIs are a loud, good ole fashioned rock n’ roll band, and their latest release, Third Time To Harm, is further proof that you should be giving them all of your attention. Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Spray Paint – Rest Versus Rust:  Many would argue that Spray Paint are Austin’s premiere punk act, and I think I’d have to agree.  Their album, Clean Blood, Regular Acid, is one you need to hear.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Polio Club – Poison The Well (Demo):  I just recently came across Polio Club, and I’ve already pretty much worn out the demos on their Bandcamp page.  I’m looking forward to whatever is the post-punk act decides to do in 2015.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:The Wolf – In Waves:  SOTO’s own Dan said that I should include psych-rockers The Wolf.  He’s apparently a big fan of the noisy, distortion-filled sound that’s all over their latest release, Ride.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Christian Bland And The Revelators – Brian Wilson:  Back in September Christian Bland (of The Black Angels) released his third album, The Unseen Green Obscene.  Naturally, it’s a gloriously hazy psych rock experience.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Scuare – Mind States:  SOTO’s own hip hop expert Leah recently recommended Scuare to me, and he’s been firmly on my radar ever since.  This song in particular is pretty fantastic.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

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Flesh Lights (Dan)

November 12, 2014

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I love Flesh Lights,.  They’re not just one of Austin’s premier bands, but one of the best punk acts in this great nation.

Guitarist Max Vandever and cousin Elissa Ussery (drums) used to play as a duo, but they eventually joined up with bassist Jeremy Steen to form Flesh Lights. The group first appeared on my radar when I bought the Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, a brilliantly curated collection highlighting Austin’s burgeoning punk and garage rock scene. It was packed with a lot of great songs, but Crush On You by the Flesh Lights was the standout for me. The band followed up their appearance on the compilation by releasing their debut full length, Pop Muscle, which ended up making my list of top albums in 2012.

The band recently released Free Yourself, their sophomore album, via 12XU. The record packs all of the power chords and hooks of the debut while also showing some new tricks. Flesh Lights are intent on growing as a band and it shows on this record. They are immensely talented songwriters and musicians, so it’s no wonder Free Yourself is stellar from start to finish. I wasn’t sure they could match their debut or the energy of their amazing live shows but they pulled it off – Free Yourself is a true musical achievement and worthy of your immediate attention.

:Flesh Lights – Middle Age:
:Flesh Lights – Just About Due:

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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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The Flesh Lights (Dan)

August 15, 2012

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I was recently scanning upcoming shows around town when I spied tonight’s lineup at Beerland:

The Flesh Lights, Wymyns Prysyn, Crisis Hotlines, Ghetto Ghouls

Then it hit me that I’ve been loving on The Flesh Lights for a while, but I’ve never actually posted about them. This ends today!

The first time I saw the Flesh Lights live, they were playing halftime at a roller derby bout. I love me some banked track action, but the halftime show was the clear highlight that night. The band featured hyped up vocals over wailing guitar distortions and heavily caffeinated bass and drums. The songs kicked in like a needle of adrenaline straight to the chest, Pulp Fiction-style.

When a band names themselves after a popular male sex toy (if you don’t know what a Fleshlight is, look it up), you’re not too surprised when they specialize in garagey-punk with perverse lyrics. The band formed a few years ago and last year they released Muscle Pop. The LP, which consists of twelve scuzzy garage-punk tunes, is certainly appropriately titled. It’s packs a strong punch, but also delivers great hooks that’ll have you singing along as you body slam your roommate through the wall. The hooks are delivered Ramones styles – short, super-fast, and really infectious. While that combo makes for terrible sex, it makes for great trashy punk rock.

The band’s great chemistry and hi-energy live shows landed them the opening slot on The Hives’ recent tour of the US. It was a chance for them to play some famous venues across the US and to increase their exposure. If you haven’t listen to Muscle Pop or seen the band live yet, I encourage you to get your ass to Beerland tonight!

:The Flesh Lights – Crush On You:
:The Flesh Lights – I’m A Monk:
:The Flesh Lights – My Precious Time:
:The Flesh Lights – Too Big To Fail:

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