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2014 Austin Essentials: Volume 3

November 26, 2014

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Well, here it is, the third and final volume of my 2014 Austin Essentials.  In total I’ve shared 65 local acts over the last three days (Volume 1 is here, Volume 2 is here).  Hopefully you found some new stuff!  Enjoy.

PS – If I missed anything (and I’m sure I did), feel free to ramble away (or just scold me) in the comments.

:Roger Sellers – Steps:  Roger Sellers is not a DJ, but he does craft some particularly good electronic music.  Primitives is the title of his latest album.  Grab your headphones and go give it a listen.   Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Ghetto Ghouls – Simple C:  Ghetto Ghouls’ self titled debut is a furious effort that punk fans have been all over for most of the year.  Oddly enough though, I think the best song on it is actually this plodding album-closer.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Pollen – Not A Test:  Pollen were just getting going last year, so it’s not really a surprise that they took a nice-sized leap forward in 2014.  Their self titled EP features four rather good garage pop tunes.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:The Ghost Wolves – Gonna Live:  Carley and Jonathan Wolf are the duo behind The Ghost Wolves, and their latest album, Man, Beast, Woman, is loaded with quality bluesy, garage rock tunes.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Holy Wave – Wet And Wild:  You’re doing something wrong if you’re a psych rock fan (in Austin or anywhere else) and you don’t adore Holy Wave.  Seek out their latest album, Relax.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Megafauna – Time To Go:  Fronted by the versatile Dani Neff, Megafauna have a sound that’s big, loud and a lot of fun.  Don’t be afraid to let the album Maximalist rattle your walls.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Chipper Jones – Scout:  A new favorite of mine this year has definitely been experimental rockers Chipper Jones.  This rad song comes from a cassingle that was released via local label Graveyard Orbit.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Love Inks – Shoot 100 Panes Of Glass:  Back in September Love Inks released Generation Club, a nice effort full of minimalist pop tunes.  Listen to it and I promise you’ll fall in love with Sherry LeBlanc’s voice.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Night Drive – Young Rivals:  If you’ve been waiting to get something immensely dance-worthy out of this year’s Austin-centric list, then this gem of a single from Night Drive is for you.  Have fun.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Pure X – Heaven:  You know, somehow I’ve still never managed to see Pure X live.  It’s weird.  Anyways, Angel is a beautifully constructed album that’s really easy to get lost in.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Molybden – Woman Who Left Behind: Singer/songwriter Molybden has a fantastically solemn voice, and I hope her upcoming full length gets released early in 2015.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:John Wesley Coleman – The Love That You Own:  I’m forever a fan of John Wesley Coleman because he once wrote a SOTO theme song for $10, but you should applaud him for The Love That You Own, which is the album he put out on Burger Records this year.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:East Cameron Folkcore – In The House Everything Dies:  East Cameron Folkcore really worked it in 2014, and I don’t just mean around Austin – the band toured Europe and played CMJ.  They also put out this snarling single.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Jonly Bonly – Too Many Things:  SOTO’s resident super punk fan Dan was all about Jonly Bonly this year.  The band is fronted by Jason Smith (formerly of OBN IIIs) and their debut, Put Together, is one you should own.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Emily Wolfe – Swoon:  This year Emily Wolfe played ACL and released a very solid EP titled Roulette.  If you love sultry voices, then she’s the one for you.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Other Lovers – Let Me Go:  Other Lovers are a folk rock/country/whiskey-fueled act that spent 2014 really honing their craft.  Hoot is the sort of album that will make you move even when you don’t want to.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:She Sir – Condensedindents:  Go Guitars is the name of the rather enjoyable dream pop effort that She Sir released this year.  They’re apparently already in the midst of putting together a follow-up, which is exciting.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Ruby Fray – Photograph:  K Records artist Ruby Fray, who accurately describes her sound as witchy chamber folk, released her sophomore LP, Grackle, this year.  You should listen to it.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:The Clouds Are Ghosts – 54:  This nicely textured track is a favorite of mine from The Clouds Are Ghosts’ Fractures.  Slap on some headphones before you hit play.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Whiite Walls – June 9th:  Whiite Walls followed up last year’s teaser tracks with a disco-enthused self titled EP.  It’s a total must-listen if you’re looking to softly dance the night way.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Gloves – Hot Checks:  Dance punk isn’t exactly a big thing in Austin, so I appreciate that Gloves are giving it a go.  I think this particular track of theirs is super catchy.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Holiday Mountain – My Body:  Holiday Mountain are total sensory overload, and I love them for it.  Here’s hoping their new album gets released soon.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Feral Future – No Means Nothing:  For those of you who like your punk rock to be both loud and loaded with a worthwhile message, there’s Feral Future.  The band’s debut, Haematic, is a good one.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Orthy – Night Touch:  If you didn’t indulge in Orthy’s E.M.I.L.Y. EP earlier this year, then you need to get your act together.  It’s a really well crafted electronic effort.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Basketball Shorts – Candy Boys:  If you ask me, Basketball Shorts are Austin’s version of Diarrhea Planet.  Get on their bandwagon.  The Houston Sessions is the name of their latest release.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

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Burger Records (Dan)

February 19, 2014

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Like it or not, SXSW is just around the corner. I can’t say I’m ready for it, but I’m getting there. I’m currently working on the follow up to last year’s DC vs Austin show, but since we’re not yet ready to release the details for that party, I figured I’d suggest another SXSW show.

If you love garage rock as much as I do then you’re probably aware of Burger Records. It’s an independent record label and record store in Fullerton, California. The label was founded in 2007 by two members of Thee Makeout Party. The record store opening followed soon after in 2009.

So what makes Burger Records so special? First, they are known for releasing most of their music on cassette. Their loyalty to an outdated but cheap music format helped spark a most unlikely resurgence in tapes. I personally don’t long for the days of listening to music from the tape deck of my 1986 Ford Tempo, but to each his own.

My love of Burger is not because of cassettes. It’s all about the music. They have released tracks by some of the great garage bands of the past decade: Bad Sports, Black Lips, Diarrhea Planet, King Kahn & The Shrines, Hunx And His Punx, King Tuff, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, and Thee Oh Sees.  There are also a number of Austin bands on Burger Records as well – Grape St, Holy Wave, John Wesley Coleman, and The Zoltars (go see them on 3/1 with La Snacks at Spiderhouse!) all have released music through Burger.

I also love Burger’s DIY attitude. When I was younger I idolized Fugazi and everyone at Dischord Records for paving their own way. They set the example for punk and hardcore bands on how to succeed on their own terms. The founders of Burger Records have a different model for their business but the DIY motivation is the same.

All of that is to say that you must hear these incredible Burger bands next month during SXSW. The Burger’s 5th Annual SXSW Kickoff is on Wednesday, 3/12 at Trailer Space Records. Then the big party, Burgermania III, is on Saturday, 3/15 at Hotel Vegas. You can listen to the sampler below and also stream The Studio B Sampler and Taste of Burger Records.

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Stream This

January 31, 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

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Robert Ellis – The Lights From The Chemical Plant

Holy Wave – Relax
Young Girls – Self Titled EP
Borzoi – Dogs Of The Matriarchy EP
North Americans – NO_NO
Jerome LOL – Deleted/Fool
Xiu Xiu – Angel Guts: Red Classroom
Willis Earl Beal – A Place That Doesn’t Exist
Broken Bells – After The Disco
Actress – Ghettoville
Wax Fang – The Astronaut
Cymbals – The Age Of Fracture
Plus/Minus – Jumping The Tracks
Marissa Nadler – July
CEO – Wonderland
Disco Doom – Numerals
Aztec Camera – High Land, Hard Rain (30th Anniversary Reissue)
Be Forest – Earthbeat
Drowners – Self Titled
Nicole Atkins – Slow Phaser

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
St. Vincent

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Stream This

January 17, 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

ALBUM OF THE WEEKWarpaint – Self Titled

Abram Shook – Sun Marquee
Crushed Stars – Farewell Young Lovers
I Break Horses – Chiaroscuro
Feathers – Only One EP
The Hidden Cameras – Age
Girl Trouble – Hit It Or Quit It
Mogwai – Rave Tapes
Against Me – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Gem Club – In Roses
Jeremy Jay – Abandoned Apartments
Alcest – Shelter
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchesta – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Ages And Ages

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2013 Austin Essentials: Volume 3

November 27, 2013

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And now, before Thanksgiving consumes us all, I present to you the last part of my Austin Essentials (here are Volume 1 and 2).  Hopefully you’ve had fun.  If you didn’t, what the hell happened?  At any rate, I love you all.  Enjoy.

PS – Honorable mentions go to the Austin bands who just missed the cut (way too many to list) and to acts like The Couch, Dana Falconberry, and Letting Up Despite Great Faults who put out music last year but still had a great 2013.

:The Black Angels – Evil Things:  While I’m a big fan of The Black Angels’ early albums, I don’t have an issue with them continuing to move away from being heavy and droney.  Probably because I can only stare at my ceiling fan for so long each day.  Find The Black Angels on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Gal Pals – Earthquake:  If you ask me, Gal Pals are just as good as La Sera, Splinters, La Luz, and any of the other lady-lead garage pop acts that are scattered around the globe.  By the way, who can help me convince them to put together an album already?  Find Gal Pals on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Sweet Talk – Microphone:  Sweet Talk remind of the pop rock that I loved when I was a teenager.  This track requires a loud volume and you enthusiastically singing-a-long.  Find Sweet Talk on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Bobby Jealousy – Bang Bang:  Because Sabrina Ellis is just that good, here she is with her other band, the always catchy Bobby Jealousy.  They played ACL this year, which is just straight up awesome.  Find Bobby Jealousy on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Octopus Project – Whitby:  Personally, I think that Fever Forms is The Octopus Project’s best album.  They’ve really honed their experimental ways and the material coming by way of their leap forward is just undeniably good.  Find The Octopus Project on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Magna Carda – Shoes $ Money:  I recently mentioned to SOTO’s resident rap guru Leah Manners that I didn’t get around to much local hip hop in 2013, and she promptly scolded me and then sent this track so that I would know exactly what I had been missing out on.  Lesson fucking learned.  Find Magna Carda on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Black And White Years – Little One:  I don’t really know what to expect from The Black And White Years’ next album, Strange Figurines, but I know that I’m looking forward to it solely because of this inspired electro pop number.  Find The Black And White Years on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Mother Falcon – Dirty Summer:  You can argue you about it if you want, but the fact of the matter is that all 419 members of Mother Falcon really know how to make a pretty sounding song.  They released the unsurprisingly well crafted You Knew this summer.  Find Mother Falcon on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Feverbones – Breaking Even:  I need to start talking about Feverbones more, as I really do think they’re crafting some of Austin’s most interesting indie rock.  For proof, see the self titled EP they put out earlier this year.  Find Feverbones on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Roger Sellers – Sincere:  Now matter what style of music he’s playing, Roger Sellers always seems to effortlessly pull it off.  It’s okay if you want to scream “talented bastard” and then shake your fist at the sky.  Find Roger Sellers on FB here, and buy his music here.

:Holy Wave – Star Stamp:  I fully expect Holy Wave to garner a slew of new fans in 2014.  This single is as accessible as they’ve ever been, and I have a feeling that their new album, Relax, will be the first great psych rock release of the year.  Find Holy Wave on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Mole People – Searching The Streets:  The Mole People are a whirlwind of psychedelia, and that’s fine by me.  This song in particular reminds me of the kind of music that Slumberland often puts out.  Find The Mole People on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Preservation – Still Be Your Friend:  The Preservation pretty much nail it by referring to their approach as “cosmic American music from heart.”  By the way, kudos to them for earning spots at KGSR’s Blues on the Green and ACL.  Find The Preservation on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Bill Callahan – Small Plane:  I’ve yet to give Bill Callahan’s Dream River a thorough listen, and that’s just silly of me.  At least I’ve spent a good chunk of time with this beautiful track, though.  Find Bill Callahan’s fan page on FB here, and buy his music here.

:Reservations – That Road We Traveled Down:  Jana Horn’s stellar voice not only leads Reservations, but I also seem to just wander along behind it.  I hope their debut full length arrives in the first part of 2014.  Find Reservations on FB here, and buy their music here.

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Holy Wave

November 19, 2013

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Holy Wave, who are one of Austin’s best psych acts, have announced a new album, and I’m so happy they did it before we wrapped regular posting for the year (that would be this Sunday, by the way).  Relax is due out January 28 via the Reverberation Appreciation Society.  Catch the band this Thursday for FREE at Red 7 (along with Night Beats, Indian Jewelry, and The Wolf).  Enjoy.

:Holy Wave – Star Stamp:  Even if you’re not a big psych fan, you should still find a lot to like here.  The song certainly has a sound that will swirl around in your head, but it isn’t trying to turn your good acid trip into a bad one.  So just relax and listen, man.

Bonus Video:

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The Wolf, Holy Wave, Communion (Dan)

July 24, 2013

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Last weekend I took my annual trip to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival. As far as 3-day festivals goes, it’s as good as it gets (with the exception of Fun Fun Fun Fest, of course). The thing Fun Fun Fun has that Pitchfork really needs is a Black stage. I love indie rock and rap as much as the next guy, but when it comes to live music, I prefer the heavy stuff. At Pitchfork bands such as Belle & Sebastian, Bjork, and M.I.A. drew huge crowds, but my favorite sets were by Metz, Mikal Cronin, Parquet Courts and OBN IIIs.  The louder the better, and that’s why this Saturday I will be at Hotel Vegas for a triple bill of psych rock, garage rock, and doom metal as The Wolf, Holy Wave, and Communion take the stage.

Communion features members of Axes to the Sky, The Roller, and Sweat Lodge. They only have two songs up on Bandcamp and each one is at least fifteen minutes long. They play guitar heavy drone rock that’s hypnotic, enveloping, and a little menacing.

Next up is Holy Wave, an Austin-via-El Paso band that manages to mix fuzzy shoegaze, surf rock, and sonic experimentations to produce their unique brand of psych. Each time I’ve seen these guys there’s a point during their set where everything clicks and the whole band is perfectly in synch. It’s hard to explain, but you have to see them live to appreciate how great they are. This is the first track off of RELAX, their first full length which is being released in November by Reverberation Appreciation Society.

Closing things down on Saturday is psychedelic garage rock masters, The Wolf. The six-piece features members of The Bad Lovers (LOVE that band) and in February they released their first album, Strange Flowers. I was a fan of their debut, a self-titled EP, but the band really stepped things up on Strange Flowers. It features thirteen tracks and each one is a total jam. Here’s hoping they play the whole thing start to finish on Saturday night.

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Stream This

February 15, 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

Eat Skull – III
Matmos – The Marriage Of True Minds
Iceage – You’re Nothing
Holy Wave – Evil Hits
Apparat – Music For Theatre
Girl Names – The New Life
Ivan & Alyosha – All The Times We Had
PVT – Homosapien
Psychic Ills – One Track Mind
Flume – Self Titled

VIDEOS

The Postal Service will reissue Give Up on April 9 via Sub Pop.

Justin Timberlake will release The 20/20 Experience on March 19 via RCA Records.

Wild Nothing’s Nocturne was released last year.

POS put out We Don’t Even Live Here last year.

Passion Pit released Gossamer last year.

Elephant Stone’s self titled album is out now on Burger Records.

Maps & Atlases released Beware & Be Grateful last year.

Popstrangers will release Antipodes on February 26 via Carpark Records.

Trail Of Dead put out Lost Songs last year.

The Spinto Band just released Cool Cocoon.

Suuns will release Images du Futur on March 5 via Secretly Canadian.

This is from the Beach House short film, Forever Still.

Jim James recently released Regions Of Light And Sound Of God via ATO Records.

Marissa Nadler’s self titled full length is out now.

Walker Lukens, who is from Austin, will have a 7″ release show at Scoot Inn on February 21.

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