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Show Of The Week

January 3, 2018

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Side One Track One is back!  Happy 2018!  Let’s celebrate the return to action by gathering for a SOTO PRESENTS affair this Friday at the Mohawk.  On the inside stage I’ve lined up Marmalakes, Growl, Lola Tried and Tres Oui, and then on the outside stage I’ve got Los Coast, Emily Wolfe, Otis The Destroyer and Palo Duro.  All of these bands either put out fantastic albums in 2017, or they’ve got rad new stuff on the way this year.  If you want to sample some of the best music that Austin currently has to offer, then come to the SOTO show this Friday.  See you at the Mohawk!  By the way, don’t forget that it’s FREE WEEK, which means that there’s no cover for this one.

Inside Stage:
12:30am – Growl
11:30pm – Marmalakes
10:30pm – Lola Tried
9:30pm – Tres Oui

Outside Stage:
12:00am – Los Coast
11:00pm – Emily Wolfe
10:00pm – Otis the Destroyer
9:00pm – Palo Duro

Bonus FREE WEEK Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Knife in the Water, RF Shannon, Star Parks, Julia Lucille at Cheer Up Charlies
- Tinnarose, Otis the Destroyer, Darkbird, Good Field, Hard Riffs at Hotel Vegas
- SMiiLE, Thor & Friends, Kraken Quartet at the Mohawk
- Mylets, All Eyes, Shmu, Chakra Khan, DJ Chiquita Bombita at the Mohawk
- The Human Circuit, Built By Snow, Residual Kid, My Education, The Ghost Wolves, Chill Russell, Cartright, Honey and Salt, The Well at Barracuda
- Ringo Deathstarr, The Halfways, Coattails, Teevee at Empire Control Room

Thursday:
- USA/Mexico, Borzoi, Exhalants, Missing Pages at Beerland
- Riverboat Gamblers, American Sharks, Eagle Claw, Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad at Barracuda
- Whiskey Shivers, Sailor Poon, Booher, Poly Action at Empire Control Room
- Holy Knives/Levees, Otis The Destroyer, Megafauna, Hard Riffs, Rival Waves at Empire Control Room
- Amplified Heat, Duel, Greenbeard, Tia Carrera, Crimson Devils at The Swan Dive
- Jackie Venson, Mobley, Melat at Stubb’s

Friday:
- Ringo Deathstarr, The Reputations, Toma, Mean Jolene, Whit at Hotel Vegas
- Holy Wave, Leather Girls, Hidden Ritual, The Diamond Center, Teevee at Cheer Up Charlies
- Tinnarose, A. Sinclair, PR Newman, Girling, Abram Shook, Magic Rockers of Texas, Carry Illinois at Barracuda
- Cloudchord, Sphynx, Solid State Dream Suit at Stubb’s
- Mobley, Blastfamous USA, Trouble in the Streets, Fort Never at Empire Control Room
- Calliope Musicals, Whit, Magia Negra, Go Fever, Lowin, Jazz Mills at The Swan Dive

Saturday:
- Knife in the Water, Croy and the Boys, Sun June at Hotel Vegas
- Annabelle Chairlegs, Deep Time, Caroline Says, Why Bonnie, Robby at Hotel Vegas
- Quiet Company, BLXPLTN, Super Thief, Day Shifters at Barracuda
- TV’s Daniel, John Wesley Coleman III, Missing Pages, The Sour Notes at Barracuda
- Calliope Musicals, Whiite Walls, Darkbird at the Mohawk
- Megafauna, A. Sinclair, Chill Russell, Meanswell at the Mohawk
- Melat, Shy Beast, Scorpio Rising, Noelle Tannen at Empire Control Room
- Knifight, Light Wheel, The Clouds Are Ghosts, Carson McHone at Stubb’s

Sunday:
- Star Parks, Go Fever, Abram Shook, Good Field, Big Breakfast at the Mohawk
- Zeale, NGHT HCKLRS, Pat G at Empire Control Room

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Top 25 Albums Of 2017

December 6, 2017

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Here are the albums I listened to the most this year.  Enjoy.

25) Alvvays – Antisocialites

Antisocialites is a catchy, occasionally infectious collection of tunes from Alvvays.  Definitely a worthy follow-up to their self titled debut.

24) Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights

Julien Baker’s Turn Out The Lights isn’t exactly an easy listen, but it’s worth the effort.

23) Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry

Cry Cry Cry might be my favorite Wolf Parade album.

22) Growl – Won’t You

Austin’s own Growl really hit a home run with the indie pop-leaning Won’t You.

21) Alex Lahey – I Love You Like A Brother

Alex Lahey is an anthem-making machine.

20) Molly Burch – Please Be Mine

Please Be Mine is proof that Molly Burch is one of Austin’s best artists.

19) The Courtneys – The Courtneys II

The Courtneys sophomore effort has a whole slew of very catchy tracks.

18) SZA – Ctrl

SZA’s Ctrl is one of the best R&B albums I’ve heard in a long time.

17) White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band

White Reaper always rip it up.  The World’s Best American Band is their most complete effort to date.

16) Taylor Swift – Reputation

Reputation is no 1989, but it is a super solid effort.  Few have hooks like Taylor Swift.

15) LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

American Dream is a really nice comeback album for LCD Soundsystem.

14) Walker Lukens – Tell It To The Judge

The Jim Eno-produced Tell It To The Judge is one of my favorite albums to come out of Austin in 2017.  Nicely done, Walker Lukens.

13) The xx – I See You

Admittedly, I wasn’t a big fan of The xx’s I See You when I first heard it, but I came around (real hard) after experiencing the songs live.

12) Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me

Mount Eerie’s A Crow Looked At Me is a devastating album.  I can’t even believe I listened to it as much as I did this year.  Guess that just goes to show how well done it is.

11) Hazel English – Just Give In/Never Going Home

I got lost in Hazel English’s hazy Just Give In/Never Going Home quite a lot in 2017.

10) Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet

Soft Sounds From Another Planet is so fantastic that it has made me a Japanese Breakfast fan forever.

09) Spoon – Hot Thoughts

Hot Thoughts is Spoon not giving a whole lot of fucks, and I like it alot.

08) Jay Som – Everybody Works

I don’t do any sort of “best new artist” award here at SOTO, but if I did it would go to Jay Som for the excellent Everybody Works.

07) Gang Of Youths – Go Farther In Lightness

I just recently (maybe a month ago) got into Gang Of Youths’ Go Farther In The Lightness, but it’s had such an big impact on me that I had to give it a high spot on this list.  Just amazing stuff.

06) Waxahatchee – Out In The Storm

If I were sorting this list by number of play-throughs, Waxahatchee’s Out In The Storm would probably land in the top spot.  It’s such a great indie rock album.

05) St. Vincent – Masseducation

Somehow Masseducation is simultaneously St. Vincent’s weirdest and most accessible album.  I love it.

04) The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

The War On Drugs just keep getting better and better.  A Deeper Understanding is a real attention-grabber.

03) Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent

Protomartyr dialed back the intensity just a bit for Relatives In Descent, and it resulted in an album that I have yet to get enough of.

02) Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Come on.  It’s Kendrick Lamar.  This guy is currently unstoppable.

01) The National – Sleep Well Beast

I’ve always liked, not loved The National, so it’s wild to me that their Sleep Well Beast ended up being my favorite album of 2017.  Here I am though, declaring all my love for it.  If you haven’t spent any time with it, be sure you fix that real fast.  It’s one of those efforts that just swallows you up whole.

For the heck of it, here are five albums that almost made my Top 25.

Bully – Losing
Conor Oberst – Salutations
Do Make Say Think – Stubborn Persistent Illusions
Jay-Z – 4:44
Why? – Moh Lhean

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Top 50 Songs Of 2017

December 5, 2017

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Well look at that, here are my Top 50 Songs of 2017.  Enjoy.

50) Jamiroquai – Automaton

Jamiroquai still got it, man.

49) Matthew Logan Vasquez

I jammed this Matthew Logan Vasquez (of Delta Spirit fame) track on my radio show, 101X Homegrown, a lot this year. It’s fierce.

48) Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Matter Of Time

I miss Sharon Jones.

47) Sheer Mag – Just Can’t Get Enough

Pure retro goodness here by Sheer Mag.

46) Weaves – Walkaway

Weaves churned out a really nice low key anthem here.

45) Filthy Friends – Any Kind Of Crowd

Corin Tucker sounds adorable in this Filthy Friends song.

44) Julien Baker – Appointments

Sad! Classic Julien Baker.

43) Wiretree – Let Me In

I love this sweet little number by Austin’s own Wiretree.

42) Hazel English – Fix

What a wonderfully hazy pop tune by Hazel English.

41) Mogwai – Eternal Panther

Somehow the best song that Mogwai put out this year isn’t on the album they released.

40) Alyeska – Stones

This 90s indie rock throwback from Alyeska is fantastic.

39) Land Of Talk – Loving

It’s so good to have Elizabeth Powell back in action as Land Of Talk.

38) The Kills – Desperado (Rhianna Cover)

The Kills really make this Rhianna track their own.

37) Why? – Proactive Evolution

I’ll never tire of Why?. This is one of my favorite songs by them.

36) The Octopus Project – Small Hundred

This song by The Octopus Project always makes me want to get up and move.

35) Fujiya & Miyagi – Solitaire

Another year, another infectious jam by Fujiya & Miyagi.

34) Carly Rae Jepsen – Cut To The Feeling

Can’t stop Carly.

33) The Courtneys – Silver Velvet

This is the catchiest song on The Courtneys’ album of really catchy songs.

32) Growl – New Sincerity.

Here’s some jangly pop perfection by Austin’s Growl.

31) Kane Strang – Oh So You’re Off I See

I revisited this slightly weird Kane Strang track a lot in 2017.

30) Beth Ditto – Oo La La

Beth Ditto really goes for it here.

29) Sports – Making It Right

This is a charming pop tune from Sports.

28) Wolf Parade – You’re Dreaming

Wolf Parade with a legit ear-pleaser.

27) Ought – These 3 Things

Ought went new wave here. Good move!

26) Waxahatchee – Never Been Wrong

Indie rock perfection by Waxahatchee.

25) The Rural Alberta Advantage – Toughen Up

The Rural Alberta Advantage made a big time jump back onto my radar with this song.

24) Screaming Females – Black Moon

I can’t wait for the new Screaming Females album. This first single is so damn good.

23) Protomartyr – Don’t Go to Anacita

Intense but great. Protomartyr are the best.

22) Sweet Spirit – The Power

What a big track by Austin’s Sweet Spirit.

21) Perfume Genius – Slip Sway

This is one of Perfume Genius’ best songs.

20) Spook School – Less Than Perfect

Spook School are as catchy as can be here.

19) Rhye – Taste

This Rhye track has an immaculate sound.

18) Jay Som – Baybee

Hazy, dancey, perfect stuff here by Jay Som.

17) Walker Lukens – Don’t Want To Be Lonely (Don’t Want To Leave You Alone)

Here’s a total ear-worm from Austin’s Walker Lukens.

16) The Blow – Get Up

This song from The Blow is a rambly as can be, but I love it.

15) LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police

The best song on LCD Soundsystem’s comeback album.

14) Diet Cig – Barf Day

The line “I know that you’re sorry, I just don’t care” will forever make me smirk. Thanks for that, Diet Cig.

13) Molly Burch – Wrong For You

It’s just about impossible to not love this retro-leaning effort from Austin’s own Molly Burch.

12) Lo Tom – Overboard

David Bazan is so good in this Lo Tom tune. I love his voice.

11) Football, etc. – Save

This track from Austin’s Football, etc. has an early 2000s indie rock vibe that I really dig.

10) The War On Drugs – Holding On

Headphones + this track from The War On Drugs = my happy place.

09) The Coathangers – Captain’s Dead

The Coathangers are on a real roll right now. This song is a blast.

08) Spoon – Do I Have To Talk You Into It

I love how loose Spoon sound here.

07) White Reaper – Judy French

So infectious. White Reaper continue to be big favorites of mine.

06) Alex Lahey – Every Day’s The Weekend

My favorite song from 2017 to sing-a-long to. Alex Lahey sure knows how to write an anthem.

05) The National – The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness

Heavy but accessible. Great track by The National.

04) SZA – Supermodel

I spent a couple of months obsessed with this SZA song. It’s so dramatic.

03) Kendrick Lamar – Humble

It was impossible to escape this Kendrick Lamar song in 2017. I didn’t mind.

02) St. Vincent – Los Ageless

St. Vincent is rather aggressive here, and it’s awesome.

01) Alvvays – In Undertow

This was practically my default song this year. It’s perfect. Thanks, Alvvays!

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Show Of The Week

April 4, 2017

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Not only is this week’s column here a day earlier than usual, but I’m rolling out two recommendations – one that isn’t local, and another that is.

Tomorrow night, join me for WHY? at the Mohawk!  They’ve been one of my favorite bands for over a decade, and yet this will be my first time seeing them in a non-festival setting.  Here’s hoping they play all the songs.  By the way, even if you haven’t been a fan as along as me, you should still go because the band puts on a good show and their latest album, Moh Llean, is a rad one.

Tickets are $15.  Eskimeaux are set to open.

On Saturday, go see locals Growl at Cheer Up Charlie’s!  This one is presented by my radio show, 101X Homegrown, and it’s in celebration of the band’s new album, Won’t You.  It’s going to be a blast.  Don’t miss it.

Suggested donation at the door.  Popper Burns, The Halfways, The Two Lips and Tasi will open.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Strand of Oaks, Mount Moriah at Stubb’s
- Allah-Las, The Babe Rainbow at the Mohawk
- Modern Baseball, Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band, Sorority Noise, The Obsessives at Emo’s
- Babylon with Thor & Friends, Future Museums, Cross Record at Shirley’s Temple

Wednesday:
- Generationals, Raindeer at Empire Control Room

Thursday:
- Basketball Shorts, Mean Girls, Stretch Panic, Michelle and Them at Cheer Up Charlies
- Of Montreal, Christina Schneider’s Jepeto Solutions at the Mohawk
- The Orwells at Emo’s

Friday:
- Terry Malts, Hidden Ritual, Talkies, Business Of Dreams at Barracuda
- Small Black, Nite at The Sidewinder
- Real Estate, Mary Lattimore at the Mohawk
- Julia Lucille, Lomelda, Jordan Moser at the Mohawk
- Ruby Fray, Tamarron at Oskar Blues Brewery
- Euphoria Fest with Pretty Lights Live, The Disco Biscuits, Knife Party, Russ, FKJ, The Knocks, Mija, Spag Heddy, Chet Porter, Codeko, Dr. Fresch, Minnesota, Slaptop, Tennyson, Unlike Pluto, Carlyle, Eric Dingus, Flamingosis, Magna Carda, Montu, Sip Sip, Slice Gang at Carson Creek Ranch

Saturday:
- Kool Keith, Money Chicha, Cure for Paranoia at Antone’s
- Patty Griffin, Anais Mitchell at ACL Live at the Moody Theater
- Euphoria Fest with Alesso, Young Thug, The Floozies, Oliver Heldens, Post Malone, Alan Walker, Bakermat (live), Bob Moses, Papadosio, CID, Ganja White Night, Medasin, Melvy, Poolside, Raven Felix, Blunt Force, Capyac, Evanoff, Henna Roso, Jamiroqueen, Lemurian, Maddy O’Neal, Psymbionic, Thoreau, Willgood at Carson Creek Ranch

Sunday:
- Julia Lucille at End of an Ear
- Acid Mothers Temple, Babylon at The Sidewinder
- Euphoria Fest with Chromeo, Wiz Khalifa, Zeds Dead, Moby, Chronixx & Zincfence Redemption, Lost Kings, Yotto, The Funk Hunters, Grum, Ill Esha, Petit Biscuit, Prince Fox, Turkuaz, Abe Masaryk, Asadi, Brede, Craetion, Forgotten Space, Kaelin Ellis, Whereisalex, The Widdler at Carson Creek Ranch

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Show Of The Week

March 8, 2017

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SXSW is here!  I don’t usually do any sort of party talk here at SOTO, but I have a bash this Sunday and I want you to be there!  Once again it’s Austin Town Hall vs Side One Track One, and it’s happening at Hotel Vegas and Volstead.  Last year we had a pretty healthy lineup, but for 2017 we wrangled in a whopping 30 bands (29 from Austin, 1 from France).  It’s FREE and there’s no RSVP required.  Come at 2pm, stay to 2am.  Down below you’ll find the lineup and music for each band!  Enjoy.

PS – No bonus recommendations today.  Also, just so you know, the site will largely be in hibernation mode all next week. Film reviews will still be a go, but don’t expect much else otherwise until the festival is a wrap.

The Midnight Stroll

Weird Omen

The Digital Wild

Black Books

Hard Proof

John Wesley Coleman III

The Dizzease

Basketball Shorts

Upper Deck Pets

Growl

Tamarron

The Halfways

TRÉS OUI

A. Sinclair

Roaring Sun

The Lovely Sparrows

Pollen Rx

Mean Jolene

Grivo

Darkbird

Wild Bill and The Lost Knobs

Lola Tried

She Sir

Skin Drips

Jana Horn

Caroline Says

Julia Lucille

AMA

Mélat


Quin and Annecy – These two don’t have any music online yet, but you can check out some of Quin’s solo work here.

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2014 Austin Essentials: Volume 1

November 24, 2014

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It’s taken me a couple of weeks, but I’ve finally manged to get my 2014 Austin Essentials list all perfectly hammered out  And by perfectly hammered out, I mean “I’m pretty sure I got 91% of it right.”  Anyways, it’s 60 or so bands long and it’s divided into three volumes (part two is tomorrow, part three is on Wednesday).  In case you’re wondering, my only real “guideline” for the list was that the artist must have put out something new (no re-releases, man) in 2014.  So, get to sampling!  I hope you find some new local stuff to love.  Enjoy.

PS – For the sake of not making the list even longer, I left out super familiar names like Spoon, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The Black Angels, Shakey Graves, Balmorhea, Ume, Quiet Company and I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness.

:Major Major Major – God Doesn’t Want Us:  Throughout 2014 Major Major Major have been increasingly impressive.  Their shows are a blast, and then there’s also the way the duo can’t seem to write anything that isn’t infectious.  Look out for their debut full length next year.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Abram Shook – Coastal:  I really love Abram Shook’s Sun Marquee.  The album is one of those pop efforts that’s both wonderfully crafted and super accessible.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Tele Novella – Trouble In Paradise:  Tele Novella spent much of the year further establishing themselves (singles, videos, lots of shows), and I think 2015 is now set to be a big one for them.  Jump on the bandwagon now.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:The Dead Space – Behind The Wall:  The Dead Space’s Faker is probably my favorite Austin album of 2014.  It’s a fantastic collection of post-punk tracks.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Magna Carda – Every Weekend (Featuring Olivia Applegate):  Magna Carda are no longer just one of the best hip hop acts in Austin, they’re one of the city’s best overall acts.  Here soon they’re releasing an album, and I can’t wait to check it out.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Dana Falconberry – Palmless:  Dana Falconberry and Jim Eno (from Spoon) crafted this song together for a Record Store Day release.  I want a lot more of the same.  Please.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Borrisokane – God Doesn’t Want Us (Major Major Major Cover):  Borrisokane’s Versus Project (a box set that features them and a variety of guests doing covers and original tunes) is probably the most ambitious thing that popped out of Austin in 2014.  Check it out if you haven’t.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Wrapped:  Neon is the name of Letting Up Despite Great Faults’ latest (and maybe final?) album.  You should pick it up just so that you can own a physical copy of this absolutely stellar song.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Summer Salt – Sweet To Me:  Phil and Eugene (from the now defunct Yum) are two-thirds of Summer Salt, a retro pop act with a knack for providing rather hooky, breezy tracks.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Otis The Destroyer – You’re The Wealth:  The Couch are no more, but that’s OK because some of its former members started the equally loud and glorious Otis The Destroyer.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Equals – Glistener:  If you’re a fan of instrumental rock, then Equals’ Tracts is an album that you need to seek out.  I’ve been jamming it for most of the year.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:BLXPLTN – Start Fires:  With music that’s all at once danceable, mosh-worthy and inspired,  BLXPLTN are an Austin band that has dominated in 2014.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Future Death – Basements:  Future Death play like maybe there really won’t be a tomorrow, and I like that.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Genuine Leather – The Enemy:  For those of you that love clever pop tunes, there’s the Genuine Leather album Losers.  Snatch it up.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Phil Ajjarapu – Sing Along Until You Feel Better:  SOTO’s own Jennifer made sure I included Phil Ajjarapu on the list, and it’s not hard to see why – the guy has some really good pop songs in his repertoire.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Lowin – Heave Ho:  Sara Houser’s soaring voice is now front and center in her own band (and no longer as part of The Couch), and the results so far have been pretty great.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:SHMU – She’s Leaving:  Sam Chown, who is also one half of Zorch, is the man behind SHMU.  Give the guy a listen if you like experimental electronic pop.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Pompeii – Blueprint:  After a solid five years or so, Pompeii finally rallied up a new album.  Loom, if you ask me, is fantastic and totally ended up being worth the wait.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Growl – Jackie:  I don’t remember many local music convos this year where someone didn’t excitedly bring up Growl.  This song is from a compilation, but you should also spend some time with the band’s EP, No Years, that was put out back in January.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Crooked Bangs – Ce Type:  This year Crooked Bangs put out this attitude-laced gem (it’s from a split with Houston’s Secret Prostitutes) and played Fun Fun Fun Fest.  Solid.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

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Silver Ships, Vagabond Collective (Jennifer)

August 6, 2014

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Silver Ships, the concept of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chazz Bessette, have released the first single from their long awaited debut album Songs From A Room That Never Moves.  With jangly guitars, sweet and uplifting melodies and psychedelic organ swirls in tow, Chazz sings a tale of the summertime blues – “Weather’s growing old and gray/ Summer’s gone away.”  The lyrics reflect bittersweet longing and nostalgia for those warm, carefree days of summer.

Look for the album to be released on September 30.  You can pre-order it (in digital and vinyl formats) on their Bandcamp page.

:Silver Ships – Summer’s Gone:

The Vagabond Collective are an Austin based group that produces events, records and art. To celebrate the summer, they’ve released a collection of songs titled Summer Nights: Volume 1.  This musical collection features a few of my local favorites such as the melodic guitar pop sounds of Growl, the rollicking garage pop of Major Major Major, and chilled out electro-pop Roger Sellers. It’s available now for name your price download and is a great addition to your summer 2014 soundtrack.

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Tinyhearts, Quiet Company (Jennifer)

April 30, 2014

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Austin’s Dual Tape Deck (Randall LaRue and Andrew Ramirez) will be presenting a screening of their feature length debut, Tinyhearts, tomorrow at the Salvage Vanguard Theater. This romance/drama features music from Austin bands Wiretree and Megabig; the film title is from a Wiretree song and you can hear a Megabig song in the film trailer. At the screening there will also be live music from Wiretree along with a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Tickets are $5. You can purchase them in advance here or at the door. Event starts at 7pm and is all ages.

Be sure to get out and see Quiet Company with Growl and Harvest Thieves this Friday at Holy Mountain.  Quiet Company have been long been a personal local favorite due to their engaging live performances and catchy songwriting. Over the last year they’ve added two new members and have been working on their fourth album, Transgressor. There is currently no set album release date, but their website hints that it may arrive late summer.  You can get Transgressor updates via its Twitter page

Friday night’s special guests include one of my new local favorites, Growl. I’m a big fan of their infectious guitar pop – loud, fun, and you’ll be singing along before the end of their set.  I also highly encourage you to show up early enough to catch the alt-country sounds of Harvest Thieves.  This show is a total triple threat to kick off your weekend.

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Abram Shook, Growl (Jennifer)

January 22, 2014

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I was introduced to the sounds of Abram Shook early last year when I saw him perform as a member of Austin’s Feverbones.  Since then I’ve been eagerly waiting for his solo album to be released. Well, now it’s here!  The effort is titled Sun Marquee and is available through Western Vinyl.

The songs on his solo debut LP offer the perfect remedy for the winter blues. The sound and atmosphere on these songs is a bright, dreamy slice of tropical infused pop. As a songwriter, he offers a soulful, effervescent vibe with groovy organ swirls, bubbling bass lines, and seductive, falsetto vocals. Like a tropical getaway during the winter, the album is finished before you know it and you’re ready to relive those warm, sunny memories again and again.

There will be an album release party this Friday at The Mohawk.  Two of my favorite Austin bands, Good Field and Royal Forest, make this bill a triple pop treat.

Another favorite discovery of mine from last year is the Austin indie pop/rock quartet Growl. This Saturday they are releasing the No Years EP, which is the follow-up to their infectious 2013 EP Gallery.  Their music is fun and energetic combined with a wry sense of humor and a good heart.

The release party will be held at Holy Mountain; it’s a packed local lineup featuring The Laughing, Milezo, and Young Mammals (from Houston). I highly recommend catching them perform live; one show is all it takes – I promise you’ll be hooked. It’s a busy 2014 so far for the band as they’ve also been selected for this year’s KUTX MapJam and SXSW.

:Growl – Review:

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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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Growl, Santiago Dietche (Jennifer)

August 28, 2013

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During a recent tour, the van and trailer of local power pop/indie rock band Growl was stolen. Fortunately, their gear was safe inside the venue where they played, but their personal belongings were taken and they were forced to spend a small fortune on a rental van in order to finish the tour.

Tonight at Holy Mountain the band is holding a homecoming gig and fundraiser with their friends from Milezo and Good Talk ($5 for 21+, $7 under 21). Growl is one of my favorite local discoveries of this year; their live sets and songs are full of infectious energy that will win you over.

Growl’s lead singer and guitarist Santiago Dietche is releasing a solo acoustic album, Waxing And Roaring, next month. He will be celebrating the release of his first full length on September 5 at Cactus Cafe. On his latest release, he displays a more contemplative, melancholic side to his songwriting while still allowing the catchy, pop hooks to shine through.

He will be joined by Matt Hines from The Eastern Sea and Greg Mullen along with poetry readings courtesy of the folks from Foxing Quarterly.

Advance tickets are available here, but you can WIN a pair of tix to the show through SOTO by sending an email here with DIETCHE as the subject.  We’ll pick a winner the day of the show.

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Foxing Quarterly, Sun Marquee, Growl (Jennifer)

March 27, 2013

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Tomorrow night you have the opportunity to support local literature and local music. Austin based literary journal Foxing Quarterly is holding a party at the Parish for the release of its 2nd edition. The show is free and open to those 18+.

Foxing Quarterly is a print only journal for writers and artists publishing short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and comics. Since beginning last year, the journal has also been an avid supporter of Austin music featuring a variety of local bands at its own events. The release party will feature music from Good Field, The Loblolly Boy, and The Hereticks, and readings from the latest issue. Although the show is free, copies of the journal will be available for sale along with prints of the event poster by artist Kristian Anderson.

Now that spring has officially arrived, celebrate with some new music from Sun Marquee for your springtime soundtrack. Crush is a light as air, dreamy slice of tropicalia infused pop (“…like a wild patch of spring/keep it hidden underneath like you don’t know…”). Summer Fools is a soulful tale with its groovy organ swirls, bubbling bass lines, and seductive, falsetto vocals.

This Saturday night is an example of wishing I could be at six shows at once. The one I’m going with, though, features a new local favorite of mine, Growl. They’re playing Hotel Vegas with Bobby Jealousy, Sip Sip, and Sphynx. I attended their Gallery EP release show back in February and was won over by their infectious and upbeat grin-inducing indie rock. It should be a giddy, sweaty good time – bring your dancing shoes!

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