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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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Quickdraw: The Thermals, Mikal Cronin, Frank Smith, Beach Day, Jonny Fritz

April 1, 2013

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Today’s music found all of the eggs this weekend.  Enjoy.

:The Thermals – The Sunset:  You have to love how consistent the Thermals are.  I don’t think they could make a song without a great hook and the perfect amount of fuzz even if they wanted to.  The band will release Desperate Ground on April 16 via Saddle Creek.

:Mikal Cronin – Weight:  There’s an artist ready to claim the world, and his name is Mikal Cronin.  If you’re not already on his bandwagon, then be sure to use this indie rock gem as an excuse to climb on.  The highly anticipated MCII is due out May 7 through Merge.

:Frank Smith – Chewing Glass:  Lately the name Frank Smith has been all over the place, and that’s definitely a good thing.  The local group (it’s not just a guy named Frank Smith) has a lot of quality rock tracks that deserve some attention.  Nineties is due out tomorrow.  You can catch the band at Holy Mountain with East Cameron Folkcore, Growl, and the Preservation on April 13.

:Beach Day – Beach Day:  I love my lady-lead retro pop, and that’s exactly the sort of music that Beach Day churns out.  I’m assuming this means the band and myself will probably end up being best friends.  You’ll be able to snatch up Trip Trap Attack on June 18 via Kanine Records.

:Jonny Fritz – Goodbye Summer:  Are you guys loving Jonny Fritz yet?  You should be.  Everything about the guy comes off as authentic, which is somewhat of a rare treat these day.  The rather properly titled Dad Country is due out on April 16 via ATO Records.

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Valentine’s Day Is For Music Lovers (Jennifer)

February 13, 2013

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Shakespeare wrote in Twelfh Night, “If music be the food of love, play on.”  This Valentine’s Day, I’m going to attempt to heed the Bard’s advice by feeding my love for music.  Tonight, there is a free show at Holy Mountain called Free Love, which features three local bands to get your heart pumping: Frank Smith, Leopold And His Fiction, and The Sweet Nuthin.

The Sweet Nuthin close the night with their grit meets glam brand of rock n’ roll; they also share a bit of love advice in their new song, All In – “sometimes you got to take a chance/sometimes you got to give romance a try/even though it’s goin’ to die.” If you can’t see them tonight, you have a second chance on Friday night at Swan Dive when they pair up with their friends, The Happen-Ins. Plenty of good, sweaty rock n’ roll to celebrate your new-found romance and/or soothe your broken heart.

On Valentine’s Day, you can also show some heart by downloading PowPow‘s new single, Pin Drop (b/w Rich) here. The release benefits the charity Half The Sky. The generous cherry on top is if you attend their release party tomorrow at Lucky Lounge, 10% of the bar proceeds will benefit the charity Autism Speaks. It’s an early show (8-9:30 pm) and food will be provided too. Here’s another musical sweet treat from this local indie pop duo:

I must confess that I’m really excited for the Valentine’s Day event featuring Bobby Jealousy, where they are celebrating the release of their 2nd album, The Importance Of Being Jealous. 2012 was a busy year for them, they released their debut album, A Little Death, toured, underwent some lineup changes, as well as writing and recording the new album. Bobby Jealousy is a pop band but this is not throwaway pop; this is pop that grabs you and demands to be heard and shared. I’ve heard a few of the new songs and you can hear their signature mix of musical styles ranging from glam punk to country ballads. I like to describe the band as “seriously fun” – the songwriting is top notch and as a live band, they’re incredibly fun, engaging, and know how to put on a show.

Get your weekend started at Red 7 – Bobby Jealousy are joined by some of their favorite local bands, Roky Moon And The Goodnight, The Bad Lovers, and Shapes Have Fangs.  Let Bobby Jealousy be your Valentine this year; I promise that they will sweep you off your feet. If you already have a valentine, then pick up a copy of The Importance Of Being Jealous; it’s much sweeter than a box of chocolates and will last longer than a dozen roses.

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