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Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

February 28, 2014

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Well, I hope everybody’s ready for the steam train called “festival season” that’s about to crash into Austin with the beginning of South by Southwest.  You have t-minus seven days to complain/exalt about the city-wide party, and then just cool it everybody. This train doesn’t stop for whiners.  Here’s a mix. It’s chill ’cause the city is about not to be. Bump it loud.

One other thing: KOOP Community Radio 91.7FM is currently in Membership Drive, which is where we ask you, the community to support us. We only ask twice a year, unlike some bars I know (how do I get “regular status” at drink.well without spending any money, you guys?), and we sure could use whatever amount you could donate. We also have a sweet shirt this year, and a live compilation CD on offer.  Listen to Hip Hop Hooray on Sunday at 2pm and you might even get an extra thank you gift from yours truly! If you can give now, please do so here, and thank you millions.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

Ever want to scream sing real loud in your car (or in public) with some real deep rap about feelings and stuff?

:Astronautalis –  The River, The Woods:

 FEBRUARY MIX:

:Mos Def – Auditorium (Featuring Slick Rick):
:MC Esoteric – Here We Come (Featuring Apathy And Motive):
:MOBONIX – Third World America:
:MDK – What it Cost:
:MURS – Priu$:
:Major Lazer – Aerosol Can (Featuring Pharrell Williams):
:Maurice Mobetta Brown – Back At The Ranch (Featuring Jean Grae):
:Kasim Keto – Pusher:
:Magna Carda – Chuck Close Trip:
:Korpersaysun – Microphone Nutter:
:Labtekwon – Speak On It:
:Large Professor – For My People:
:King ART – Who Am I:
:Last Emperor – Echo Leader:
:The Cool Kids – Computer School:

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Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

April 26, 2013

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It’s nearly the end of the month and it’s clear to us all now that April just plain sucked (unless you got married or whatever – congrats). But for the US as a whole, and Texas and Boston especially, kind of a shitty time. So let’s just all collectively exhale and try to start May off on a better note. I made this mix for you including new tracks from k-os, Das Racist, RZA, Shlohmo, The Hood Internet, Lakutis, and Zilla Rocca so you can start early. Love you guys.

:Dilated Peoples, Havoc, And Guru – Worst Comes To Worst (Remix):
:Diamond District – In The Ruff:
:Shlohmo – Bo Peep (Do U Right):
:The Hood Internet – Ignition (1901 Remix) (R Kelly x Phoenix):
:k-os – Spraying My Pen (Featuring Saukrates And Shad):
:Das Racist And A Tribe Called Red – Indians From All Directions:
:Lana Del Ray – National Anthem (Cashmere Cat Remix):
:K.Flay – Hail Mary (Featuring Danny Brown):
:Blackalicious – Deception:
:Zilla Rocca And The Shadoboxers – Blood On Blood Converse (Featuring Curly Castro):
:Space Camp Death Squad – Southern Hospitality:
:Lakutis – Death Shark:
:Mindz Of A Different Kind – I Will Find You:
:Salt N Pepa – None Of Your Business:
:James Blake – Take a Fall for Me (Featuring RZA):
:Handsome Boy Modeling School – I’ve Been Thinking:

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Sound Samples: The Couch

February 26, 2013

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Sound Samples is a SOTO feature meant to provide some insight on what inspired and/or influenced an artist’s latest release. Today’s entry comes from Austin’s The Couch, who have quickly become one of the city’s buzz acts.  You can pick up their self titled album now (it came out late last year) here, and like them on Facebook here.

The band decided to each provide a section of influences, and first up is Taylor.

Taylor Wilkins’s Samples
Its hard for me to say what I really wanted out of our self titled album when we were recording it because it was three months after we had written most of the songs, with the exception of Kick The Can and Aphrodite.  I do know that I wanted to have an album that had a lot of different sounds and textures than the Couch had previously used. A lot of that had to do with adding a lot more organ, acoustic guitar, auxiliary percussion, and backing vocals, but the biggest change was probably the addition of Sara as a lead singer and songwriter.

Some of my favorite rock bands such as Heartless Bastards, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Dead Weather have female leads, and when Sara started playing and writing more material and sharing it with me, the idea that we could use those songs became a reality. As most major changes are, the transition had its difficulties, but I think we all knew once people could wrap their head around the idea of have dual female/male lead, then they could appreciate this album as an eclectic group of songs that demonstrates all our individual love for different kinds of music and sounds.

I chose The Walkmen’s In The New Year because I absolutely love the intensity of the lead vocals and how the organs/drums crash together.

:The Walkmen – In The New Year:

White Denim’s Transparency always struck me as great song that was recorded with a lot of awesome techniques and really unique parts, which is how I wanted some parts of this album to sound.

:White Denim – Transparency:

Dr. Dog’s These Days has a great crunchy guitar tone melody and fantastic groove, which were all aspects of this album that I really wanted to exemplify.

:Dr. Dog – These Days:

Sara Houser’s Samples
The Kills’ Midnight Boom and The Dead Weather albums were in heavy rotation around the time I started writing the songs that would end up on this record. Allison Mosshart has a really cool quality to her voice that both cuts through but also blends really well. I picked Treat Me Like Your Mother because it captures a number of influences – dirty distorted organ tone, biting lyrics, dual singers.

:The Dead Weather – Treat Me Like Your Mother:

Another album I really dove into was The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. Great boy/girl dynamic vocally. I also love the driving punk rhythm in songs like Something Against You and Broken Face.

:The Pixies – Break My Body:

The Couch album was really my first foray into writing a “rock” record, and I think going into it I was still trying to find a way to fit my voice into this new setting. I do my best to absorb some grit from singers like Mosshart and Kim Deal, but I also listen to a lot of Feist and St. Vincent. Annie Clark’s delicate timbre over fuzzed out guitar sounds so cool to me, and I really didn’t want to miss out on that juxtaposition on this record.

:St. Vincent – Actor Out Of Work:

Nick Josiwick’s Samples
The first time I ever witnessed the Couch play live a few years ago, I was immediately reminded of Led Zeppelin. Everything from the rock hard hitting drums, to the super solid groove and bass lines, all coupled and brought together with face melting leads and vocal intensity and conviction, it was a high energy show that I knew I wanted to be a part of. So fast forward a few years later, and I am actually sitting in my studio with the Couch getting ready to track their most recent album (a moment I couldn’t have be happier about!). We had all done our homework and pre-production and knew what we wanted and how to go about making the album, so we were all very excited and ready. In my role as engineer/producer, there were a few records that I had to go listen to to formulate my ideas on how we would track/mix/everything. One of those records was most definitely Led Zeppelin IV. The music we were about to record was just so reminiscent of that era rock and roll, how could I not?

:Led Zeppelin – Rock And Roll:

Another record I had to listen to again was Queens Of The Stone Age’s Songs For The Deaf. I’ve always been a fan of QOTSA and their production value/sound, so I felt like a marriage of IV +Deaf would be a cool representation to try and capture for the Couch.

:Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows:

And one last record I just had to revisit was Fits by White Denim. It’s such a raw and powerful album, I felt like some of its influence on what we were trying to accomplish would be fitting.

:White Denim – I Start To Run:

Jud Johnson’s Samples
I’ve never been ashamed to bump Robyn’s music or messages. I had been enjoying her album Body Talk and trying to get my friends to do the same for a long time. The day before going in to do day one of recording the album, Sara and I went to see Robyn and that woman’s professionalism and performance set a standard I hope to achieve one day. Gotta be able to play with the click because Robyn does and she’s the boss.

:Robyn – Get Myself Together:

Also, this album is great. …  Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

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Royal Forest, The Rocketboys, The Preservation (Jennifer)

November 14, 2012

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In the latest episode of Hardly Sound, we get to follow Royal Forest on some of their recent adventures. The band literally ascends to new heights when they perform and record the song, John Denver, in a plane (a Piper Cherokee N246JB, to be precise) 5,000 feet above Austin. It takes a few viewings to accept the fact that the band committed to fit themselves into a tiny plane to record a song simply because they had the opportunity. I love the reactions of Cody Ground (vocals, keyboards) and Justin Douglas (guitar) toward the end of the episode with their giddy yet relieved expressions – “Can you believe that shit worked ?!?!” It makes the typical struggles that bands goes through seem trivial in comparison – such as barely over a dozen people showing up to your gigs. That last statement comes from personal experience. It was a Friday night show with an all local bill of bands. Royal Forest was on first, and pardon the overused expression, but they absolutely killed it. I looked around the venue during their set and thought “this band is great and I wish more people were here to see them.” Enough with the lecture from me. I encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open for this band. You never know when you might find yourselves on an unexpected adventure.

I can almost hear some of you say “But I can’t stay out late on a weeknight and I’m broke.”  I feel your pain.  For tonight, though, I do have a solution. If you’re in Austin, you can see The Rocketboys and The Preservation for FREE at Threadgill’s South. Doors open at 5:30, show starts at 7 pm, and it’s all ages. Both bands are playing as part of KGSR’s Discovery Series. You can indulge your love for Southern comfort food and “comfort music” … which I like to describe as music that satisfies and makes you happy.

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The Octopus Project

November 8, 2012

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While I’ve seen The Octopus Project quite a few times, I do wish I had been able to catch some of their set at Fun Fun Fun Fest.  They always put on a fun show.  Oh well.  In any case, the band has a new EP titled Whitby, which was just released this week via Peek-A-Boo Records.  You can check out the title track (and check out the video for it) below.  Enjoy.

:The Octopus Project – Whitby:  This act has always been good at delivering something catchy, but I think this is the first time they’ve done it in a way that doesn’t have to be described as odd.  More of this could could be neat.

Bonus Video:

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The Calm Blue Sea (Video Premiere)

November 5, 2012

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One of the better albums to come out of Austin this year is The Calm Blue Sea’s Arrivals & Departures.  Released in early October via Modern Outsider, the album is an obvious step forward for the band.  It’s always been easy to compare The Calm Blue Sea to one of Austin’s other instrumental acts, Explosions In The Sky, but the band’s new effort is more cinematic than post-rock, and it’s given them a sound that’s now clearly their own.

If you ask me, that’s reason enough to jump on their bandwagon.  However, to help fully convince you to champion The Calm Blue Sea, I present to you the fourth entry in the live music film series that they’ve been shooting around Austin.  The goal is to do a video for each of the eight songs on Arrivals & Departures, and Side One Track One is premiering Pont Des Mouton.

It was recorded live on location, with no audio overdubs or edits, and that’s just awesome.  Take a look.  Enjoy.

Previous Videos

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The Midgetmen – Dare To Be Stupid (Premiere)

October 30, 2012

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The Midgetmen are one of those Austin bands that you just have to love.  They work hard, they play loud, and they’re just as quick to mock your existence as they are to support it.  If you ask me, those are all great traits to have for just regular life, but they’re perfect if you plan on covering (and officially recording) all of Weird Al’s Dare To Be Stupid.  Do people even cover parody albums?  Why again is this happening?

Because why the hell not, that’s why.

That’s long been the Midgetmen’s approach to everything, and their little cover adventure has put the slop-punk act in a damn good spot.  They’ll be kicking off Fun Fun Fun Fest on the Yellow Stage at 11:50am this Friday, and all of Dare To Be Stupid is debuting here at Side One Track One.  One of those actually matters, but who’s counting.

Now, before you move on to checking out the album there’s a few things I need you to do.

1) Turn the volume on your speakers way up.

2) Open a beer.

3) Download the title track and sneak it into every mix from here out.

4) Open another beer.

5) Read Midgetmen bassist/vocalist Marc Perlman’s Dare To Be Stupid ramble.

—————–

The Midgetmen always knew we’d turn into a huge successful festival band, similar to Widespread Panic where tens of thousands of lily white Americans with little rhythmic skills would awkwardly sway and twirl to our tunes. It just happened to take us a full decade, yet we still don’t have a tune with any redeeming rhythmic qualities. We’ve spent the better part of 2012 learning (and The Midgetmen always use the word “learning” in the loosest manner possible) all of Weird Al’s Dare To Be Stupid, recording it, and then re-learning it for Fun Fun Fun Fest and we’re flattered that anyone would actually be awake early enough on a Friday morning to come watch the spectacle. And playing on the “comedy stage”? A wiser man than us once said that it’s all comedy. And he was correct.

The dozens of people who have paid attention to our modest attempts at this “being in a band” thing over the past decade know that The Midgetmen don’t really like to half ass things even if we’re in it just for free beers and a fun time. We could have spent way more time on the recording of Dare To Be Stupid to get the vocals better, the rhythm tracks like a metronome, and the mic placement perfect but does anyone actually want The Midgetmen’s version of Chinese Democracy? (Don’t answer that, because we’ve got to leave something in the tank for year #20) What we’ve recorded — the entirety of Dare To Be Stupid capped by a self parodying medley of our own songs called Hooked On Beer in a nod to Weird Al’s Hooked On Polka — seems like the perfect way to cap 10 years of free beer and musical stupidity: It’s a thank you to ourselves and our fans.

Yes, we just thanked ourselves. Before we thanked you.

Just wait for year #11, #15, and #20.

—————–

:The Midgetmen – Dare To Be Stupid:

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The Couch, The Calm Blue Sea (Jennifer)

October 17, 2012

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ACL may be over, but there’s not much time to rest before the next round of great shows begins. On Thursday, October 25 The Couch are celebrating the release of their single, Oh Libby, at Beauty Ballroom. In advance of their upcoming show, the band has released a video teaser featuring the stylish dance moves of Couch drummer, Jud Johnson. Don’t ever doubt that the man who keeps the beat doesn’t know how to get his groove on. Oh Libby is a hint of great things to come with their full length album, which is expected to be released before the end of the year. It’s honest, fun, loud, and sweaty rock n’roll – what more do you need?

Half of The Couch, Kyle Robarge (bass) and Taylor Wilkins (guitar), also do double duty in The Calm Blue Sea.  In conjunction with the release of Arrivals And Departures, the band is presenting a live performance video series, Aberrations And Departures. Each video was filmed and recorded in a different Austin location, including a convenience store (The Whip In) and a dive bar (The Sahara Lounge). These clips are all live takes – no edits or overdubs. Videos for the title track and Samsara have been released and additional ones will be put out soon. The films are simply shot but still very compelling, capturing the mood of the songs, and worth repeated viewings.

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Ditch The Fest Fest 3 (Dan)

October 10, 2012

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Got your tickets for the ACL Festival this weekend? No?! Well, me either. That’s okay. You don’t need to plop down $200 (or however much 3-day passes cost) to see an incredible collection of bands this weekend. In fact, for just $5 a day you can see almost 50 bands spanning all sorts of genres – indie, country, rock, hip-hop, electronica, post-punk … you get the idea. So do yourself a favor and cancel your weekend plans, then head over to the Spiderhouse and 29th Street Ballroom for DITCH THE FEST FEST 3!

Once again the festival is being run by Lucy The Poodle. It’s an annual tradition offering an array of local and national acts without having to battle with 80,000 people or overpaying for food and beer. Last year the fest was held at five different locations but this year it’s more contained and centralized. This will make it easier to bounce between the four stages and see as many bands as you’d like. Yet another advantage over ACL.

There are many bands worth checking out, but I highly recommend seeing The Wolf, Megafauna, The Calm Blue Sea, Bobby Jealousy, Black Books, and Residual Kid. The songs below are just a sample of the range of music you can catch at Ditch the Fest. No matter your musical preferences, there will be bands for you.

:Bobby Jealousy – This Knife:
:Henry And The Invisibles – Take It 2 The Tippy:
:Knifight- Black Daggers:
:Megafauna – Scratch At The Latch:
:The Lonesome Heroes – 287:

SPIDERHOUSE + BALLROOM
$5 / ALL AGES / DOORS AT 5PM
OCTOBER 12TH + 13TH 2012

Friday 10/12

Ballroom Main Stage
6:30 Growl
7:30 Lonely Playground
8:30 Maufrais
9:30 Residual Kid
10:30 The Spastic Shakes
11:30 The Vipers
12:30 Bobby Jealousy

Ballroom Bar Stage
7:00pm COCKER SPANIELS
8:00pm Ghost Wolves
9:00pm Chase Frank (performing originals + PJ Harvey covers)
10:00pm Humanoids
11:00pm Church Shoes
12:00pm Motel Ball Band

Chapel
6:30pm MC Sweet Tea & Her Head Band
7:30pm Superlitebike
8:30pm Videoing
9:30pm TBA
10:30pm Hello Wheels
11:30pm Man Rabbit
12:30pm Henry + The Invisibles

Spiderhouse
6:00pm Shortwave Party
7:00pm Grundel in the Bronx
8:00pm Co-Pilot
9:00pm Alaskan
10:00pm Megafauna

Saturday 10/13

Ballroom Main Stage
6:30pm Burgess Meredith
7:30pm She Sir
8:30pm Grace London
9:30pm Les Rav
10:30pm Black Books
11:30pm Calm Blue Sea
12:30pm JC & Co.

Ballroom Small Stage
6:00pm Watch Out For Rockets
7:00pm The Couch
8:00pm Suspirians
9:00pm Kay Leotard
10:00pm Acorn Bcorn
11:00pm The Rich Hands
12:00pm Quin Galavis

Spiderhouse Chapel
6:30pm The Low Lows
7:30pm Auroravore
8:30pm Silver Ships
9:30pm The Cymatic

Spiderhouse Bar
8:30pm Big Bill
9:30pm Borris Okane
10:30pm KNIFIGHT
11:30pm TBA
12:30pm TBA

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Dana Falconberry

October 9, 2012

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Today you can get your hands on the much anticipated new album from Dana Falconberry.  She’s a gem of a lady and one of my favorite local artists, so you’d be doing me a favor by showing her all the support you can.  Check out a song and a video below (or the whole album here), and then figure out the best way to grab Leelanau via Antenna Farm Records.  Enjoy.

:Dana Falconberry – Crooked River:  The song is a great example of why I love Dana – it features an elaborate, detailed arrangement, but it’s still easily accessible.  In other words, it’s folk music for everyone.  How can you not like that?

Bonus Video:

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Oh Look Out, Shortwave Party (Jennifer)

October 3, 2012

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Out of the ashes of Built By Snow, there’s Oh Look Out. The act is the bedroom project of BBS singer/guitarist/keyboard player JP Pfertner. At the end of October, he is releasing the second OLO album, Orchestrated Fuzz, which is sure to be full of super catchy indie pop rock tunes with lots of videogame influenced keyboard sounds (at past shows, the band even quizzed audience members by playing snippets from popular video games and giving away CDs to the winners). The first single is Monster Fiction and a video has been released for this track. 80s kids should rejoice as the homemade VHS-inspired video features lipsynching toys and action figures from that era; the song is filled with the band’s signature Casio keyboard sounds and jittery, staccato guitars.

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Shortwave Party are one of the latest welcome additions to Austin’s indie pop scene in 2012.  This quintet creates charming and upbeat guitar pop tunes with soaring vocals, plenty of jangly riffs, and just enough groove to make you bob your head and tap your feet. Last month, they released their first EP, Where To Begin. It’s available as a free download on Bandcamp, and for the vinyl collectors, you can purchase it as a limited edition 7″. They perform frequently at venues like 29th St Ballroom, Hole in the Wall, and Beerland. Their sound finds itself comfortably somewhere between the influences of the Smiths and the Buzzcocks and more contemporary bands like Real Estate and Beach House. Go get your jangle on and enjoy.

:Shortwave Party – Where To Begin:

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Sound Samples: The Calm Blue Sea

October 2, 2012

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Sound Samples is a SOTO feature meant to provide some insight on what inspired and/or influenced an artist’s latest release. Today’s entry comes from Austin-based instrumental act The Calm Blue Sea. The band is all set to put out their new full length, Arrivals & Departures, on October 9 via Modern Outsider. This Saturday they’re having a record release show at Red 7. Get more information on The Calm Blue Sea here.

We each come at our music from such a drastically different perspective and pull songs in ways that were rarely the intention of the idea’s creator. Sometimes the results are magical and other times there are massive rifts between us when we don’t agree, but despite the difficult creative process, the band and the music we make is better for it in the end. Here’s a taste of what influenced Steve (drums), Kyle (bass), and me (guitar/keys/vocals) when we were writing Arrivals & DeparturesChris

:Ambulance Ltd. – Yoga Means Union:

This song has one of the most awesome builds from beginning to end.  It’s the thing I put on when I need a good kick in the ass – something that motivates me. The bass drives so much of what’s going on under all the guitars and really gives a sense of momentum.  I try to bring this approach to TCBS songs by using the bass as a melodic instrument from time to time – little hooks that peek out from the midst of everything else. I really love how this song keeps building more and more … a little more intense each time, and you think it can’t possibly open up any more … until it does.  And wow, what an explosion when it happens.  The rhythmic unity of the band when things get huge at the end is just incredible.  This is a song you should play loudly.  Kyle

:The Antlers – Wake:

The entire Hospice album could go down on the list for me as the biggest influence on this record. It taught me a lot of things about subtlety, simple (yet effective) piano parts, understated melodies, interesting song structures … the list goes on. But what hit me most was the weight of this record. The sadness and emotion crushes you. I love to listen to and create moody, dramatic music. Happiness feels good, but sadness feels much more real to me in music.  Chris

:Bill Frisell – Shenandoah:

For a reason I can’t remember, during a rehearsal I was trying to explain Bill Frisell interpreting folk melodies and how I liked his use of delay units and such. I couldn’t find the version from his East West record that I was thinking of, but somehow I ended up playing the Paul Robeson version off Youtube through the PA and going to the restroom, during which time I’m sure the guys laughed their asses off at me. Something we were working on brought the melody to mind, whether bringing this up affected anything I’m not certain of, but these are the kind of random contributions I pull out from time to time.  Steve

:Caspian – Loft:

I am a huge fan of this band.  From what I’ve heard, this is the first song they wrote together.  It’s a beautiful piece of melody and power all in one package.  I particularly love how the bass moves within the context of the song, sometimes melodic, other times driving and rhythmic.  The tones of all the instruments really work well together and the textures they create are so massive!  There are moments of quiet, almost reflective in nature, that lead to big confident driving passages that seem to get bigger and bigger.   That whole EP is one of my favorite records.  Kyle

:Deep Purple – Fools:

We’ve just lost Jon Lord, so this was on my mind. I’m not ashamed to admit I was listening to the Fireball and In Rock LPs a lot during the writing of this album. Somewhere in a landfill sits a copy of Rockin’ Bass Drum with hand written instructions from my first drum teacher to check out those records. I feel kind of dumb for sleeping on them for so long. I hadn’t owned a proper stereo since pre-Katrina and I put one together around the time we were doing the first sessions for this LP. For some reason most of the gear I bought was from the late 70s-early 80s and buying a bunch of Deep Purple records seemed obligatory. I also made a conscious decision to not play so minimal on this record, so checking out Ian Paice may have put me in touch with some primal rock drummer concept that I had been ignoring for a while.  Steve

:Errors – Magna Encarta:

I went on the road with these guys driving them around the US when they opened the Mogwai tour in 2011. They’d just released Magna Encarta as a single and it was in the set every night.  I love everything about the song but the vocals really stand out to me. Seeing the way that Errors, a mostly instrumental band, incorporated vocals was really inspiring and touched perfectly on the way I saw vocals working for our new material. Steev from Errors showed me the vocal processor he uses on the song and from that moment on TCBS was never the same.  Chris

:Neil Young And Crazy Horse – Winterlong:

Neil Young probably got more air time than anyone else in my house over the last year. When I got married in May of 2011, a good friend gave me a few represses and my wife and I didn’t listen to much else for weeks. Somewhere later in the year this song came on my radar. I hadn’t ever heard the Pixies cover of it, and somehow this version was from a bill that Neil and Crazy Horse shared with Miles Davis during his electric period (which is maybe the most important music to me, ever). Either way, I heard it for the first time and thought “yep. that’s perfect. absolutely perfect. can I have one musical moment in my life like that please?”  Steve

:Other Lives – Black Tables:

It was a tough choice which Other Lives song to put on this list (between Tamer Animals or Black Tables). About 80% of my writing for Arrivals & Departures was on piano (versus 0% of the self-titled) and Other Lives has influenced the way I approach the instrument more than any other. The piano melody and overall sound permeated a lot of the TCBS writing this time around.  Chris

:Pink Floyd – Dogs:

I really love Roger Waters as a bassist, not because he’s technically amazing, but because he always knows when to leave space and when to transition from rhythmic to melodic.  He really holds down the groove well, too. The instrumental arrangement does a really fantastic job of creating compelling textures that keep the song interesting. By the time it comes back in after progressing through a number of movements and a breakdown in the middle, you are dying for that harmonized guitar line – it’s the most satisfying feeling in the world to hear it wash over you!  I love how this song builds anticipation and really sets a deep, unmistakable mood.  Every time I hear the acoustic guitar starting the song, I get really excited for the musical journey I’m about to take.  Kyle

:The Twilight Sad – The Room:

One of my favorite songs by my favorite active band. Everything they do is an influence for me. This song first appeared on their Killed My Parents EP as Untitled #27. Both versions are amazing and I’ve taken bits of inspiration from each in writing for TCBS.  Chris

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Royal Forest, Hardly Sound (Dan)

September 26, 2012

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Royal Forest (Loxsly at the time) was one of the Austin bands I really got into after moving here. I loved Lamprey Eels off their Flashlight EP. It was (and remains) a brilliant piece of psychedelic pop rock. Since that early introduction, I’ve enjoyed the evolution of the band as they have added more experimental elements and guitar-driven tracks to their music (best displayed on their Tomorrow’s Fossils record).

Royal Forest has just finished recording their next album (due out in the Spring) and are releasing an EP by the end of the year. I was very pleased to hear the news and am proud that Side One Track One is the first to premiere the song The Rails off of the yet-to-be-named EP.

I had a chance to discuss the new recordings with Cody Ground (vocals, keyboards) and Justin Douglas (guitar). I was curious about the approach for this record. Past efforts were very thematic, not concept records per se, but there was definitely a unified direction in the songs. However, Cody and Justin say that is not as necessarily the case on the new tunes. While the lyrics were influenced by southern rural imagery (and many hours of listening to Townes Van Zandt) the music itself isn’t as rustic. As evidenced on The Rails, the band retains its trademark textures and stellar guitar work but it’s done with more of a lo-fi sound. They made a conscious decision to not to over think and continually tinker with the tracks, and instead opted for live tracking to tape to really capture the live energy and essence of the band. It shows on The Rails and I’m very anxious to hear both the upcoming EP and next year’s album.

If you’re like me and want to hear more of the new songs, be sure to check out Royal Forest on October 18 at the Mohawk. They’ll be sharing the stage with The Dig and The We Shared Milk. Can’t make the show you say? Well, keep an eye out for them on an upcoming episode of Hardly Sound on KLRU-Q (Austin’s PBS station for those who don’t do call letters).

If you haven’t heard of Hardly Sound yet, you need to check it out. It’s a documentary series that highlights the best in Texas music. They have crafted their own unique style, and based on the previews now available, they’ll have plenty of interesting stories to share. Plus, a whole bunch of good music.

Hardly Sound is just getting off the ground, though, and needs your support. I highly encourage you to help out your local community, the arts, and Texas music by visiting this page and pledging a few bucks to keep the Hardly Sound film rolling. In return you’ll get a great series on Texas underground music AND a lovely parting gift like a custom postcards, pins, a t-shirt, songs, and maybe even a Producer credit! Do it now!

The next Hardly Sound episode is October 1st on KLRU-Q at 11PM. It features garage rock gods the Bad Lovers. Check out the preview below:

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Acre Yawn, The Moons (Jennifer)

September 19, 2012

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Acre Yawn is a duo consisting of Chase Weinacht from Marmalakes and Haley Barnes from Ancient Cat Society.  A few months ago I was introduced to their sound at an Austin house party where they played to a packed living room. Listeners were entranced by their sweet, pure harmonies and folk/country influenced guitar licks and melodies. I saw them again in early August when they opened for Shakey Graves at the Parish, and I have to smile at his post gig Facebook comments, “… Acre Yawn blew every romantic circuit in my body.” It was a swoonworthy performance indeed. Last week, Acre Yawn released their first batch of songs, Ours And Other Museums, which is available to stream and download on Bandcamp.  They’ve been working on duets since March so keep your eyes and ears open for more songs and performances. I’m confident that you will also be blown away by the striking simplicity and moving, heartwarming emotion of their songs.

:Acre Yawn – Hesitation Win:

I have to confess that I checked out a band last week because their new single has my name in it. It’s called Jennifer (Sits Alone), and it’s by British quintet, The Moons. It’s an infectious slice of dreamy, acoustic pop telling the tale of a “distant planet wanderer” and “revolutionary ranger” who sets out on her own path and chooses to be alone. Their sound bridges the gap between bands of the 60s British Invasion (acts like The Kinks and The Zombies) and more contemporary bands like The La’s, Oasis, and The Coral. It’s classic pop songwriting that shares memorable slices of everyday life and characters. I enjoyed the single so much that I couldn’t resist checking out a couple more of their tunes. In English Summer, they sing about the woes of the clouds and rain taking over a summer day (“oh this is the English summer … so close your eyes and try to dream the weather away”). The jangly, punchy guitars and psychedelic organ swirls come out on the upbeat, hip swinging garage rocker, Double Vision Love.

For my fellow American Anglophiles, it looks like all of their releases are only available on import at this time. Their second album, Fables of History, will be out in the UK on Sept 24th on Schnitzel Records. Mod/psych pop lovers rejoice – The Moons have arrived.

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Quickdraw: Gap Dream, The Last Names, Santah, Black Forest Fire, Levek

September 17, 2012

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Please be sure to water today’s music at least three times a week.  Enjoy.

:Gap Dream – Generator:  Gabe Fulvimar is Gap Dream, and he recorded the various parts of this song in his bedroom by himself.  That’s impressive.  I’m excite to hear more from the guy.  The Ali Baba 7″ will be out on October 2 via Suicide Squeeze’s single series.

:The Last Names – The Dirt:  The husband/wife duo of Justin and Darbie Rice, who normally perform in Bishop Allen, are the main brains behind this band.  They’ve put together some good stuff, which you’ll see for yourself when you hit play on this charming track.  Wilderness is due out October 2.  The Last Names also have a covers project you should check out.

:Santah – Indigo:  I really love this song.  It’s an inspired and well made piece of pop, and I couldn’t take it off repeat all weekend.  Hopefully, there will be more of the same on their upcoming EP.  The effort is titled You’re Still A Lover, and it’s due out October 16.

:Black Forest Fire – Live News Feed:  Here’s an Austin band that I’m somehow not familiar with at all.  Shame on me.  Anyhow, they’ve got a nice shoegaze-enthused sound, and I think you’re going to dig it.  Transit Of Venus is due out November 13 via Sedimental Records.

:Levek – Girl In The Fog:  It took me a couple of listens to get into this minimalistic song, but once I did it really stuck with me.  Be sure to give some attention to the great songwriting.  Look A Little Closer will be released on September 25 via Lefse Records.

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