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Magna Carda

October 20, 2015

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I almost high-fived the whole neighborhood yesterday when I saw that Magna Carda had released a new single.  If you ask me, they’re one of the best acts in all of Austin, and I totally plan on championing them until the end of all days.  I mean it!

Anyhow, on a much less obsessively committed note, Angela Bassett awaits you below.  It’s an all around fantastic track that features some of vocalist Megz Kelli’s finest work.  Enjoy.

:Magna Carda – Angela Bassett:

Catch Magna Carda at Spiderhouse Ballroom this Saturday for the Return of Weird City, or at Empire Control Room on October 28 for their show with Oddisee.

Bonus Videos:

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Quickdraw: While We Were Sleeping – Part 2

January 6, 2015

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Alright kids, I believe that with this post I’m all caught up now.  Hopefully you discover(ed) some cool stuff that you may have missed over the holiday break.  Enjoy.

:Modest Mouse – Lampshades On Fire:  This is one of those stellar Modest Mouse singles that reminds you why they’re so revered.  It’s anthemic, weird and infectious.  I really hope their new album is a great one.  Strangers To Ourselves will be out on March 3 via Epic Records.

:Spoon – Inside Out (Tycho Remix):  While I’m not sure it’s necessary to alter something as perfect as the original version of this Spoon track, I can’t deny that I dig what Tycho did with it.  The arrangement is now much more expansive.  This remix is a one-off, so download it while it’s here.

:The Julie Ruin – Blueberry Island:  For a moment I thought that Kathleen Hanna and The Julie Ruin had readied a new album, but this slick number is actually just a b-side from 2013′s Run Fast.  Oh well.  I’ll still take it!  The Blueberry Island 7″ is due out soon via Federal Prism.

:Guards – Nothing More:  Richie James Follin (brother of Cults’ Madeline Follin) sent me this new Guards track over the break.  I think it’s a wonderfully produced pop song, and I expect you to eat it right up.  Look for a new album from the band later this year.

:Male Bonding – Falling:  Here’s a fuzzy new one from Male Bonding, who have been largely MIA for the last few years.  No details on a new album (or tour) have been released, but it seems pretty likely that some sort of announcement is coming soon.  Fingers crossed, though.

:Gal Pals – Ex-Marionette:  It’s a bummer that Gal Pals are no longer in Austin (they’re now in LA), but at least they finally wrapped their debut album.  This first single is one super catchy piece of retro pop.  Velvet Rut is due out February 24 via Papercup Music.

:Moon Duo – Animal:  This new Moon Duo song isn’t exactly what I would call accessible, but you’ll probably still stick it on repeat since it’s a rather entrancing effort.  Have fun living in a psychedelic haze for a bit.   Shadow Of The Sun is due out March 3 via Sacred Bones.

:Conor Oberst – Sugar Street:  Conor Oberst just about puts me to sleep these days, so I have to admit I was pretty surprised when this track managed to hold my attention.  It sounds a lot like the stuff that originally made him worth paying attention to.  If you search around, you can probably find the Record Store Day Black Friday 7″ that this song resides on.

:The Suffers – Make Some Room:  My good pals The Suffers are ready to set loose an official EP, and you’re going to want it.  Unless, of course, you don’t like good soul music.  The Make Some Room EP is due out January 20.  See the band at Empire Control Room on January 23.

:Magna Carda – Juice:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Magna Carda are one of Austin’s best acts.  You should really download their latest release, Like It Is, for FREE via Bandcamp and then spend the next week or eight blasting it as loud as you can.

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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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Quickdraw: Magna Carda, Superhumanoids, My Brightest Diamond, Tennis, Lana Del Rey

June 5, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Magna Carda – Every Weekend (Featuring Olivia Applegate):  I adore Austin’s Magna Carda, so it’s definitely an understatement to say I was excited when they put out a new single this week.  I expect the song to immediately make its way onto your current playlist of summer jams.  Catch MC tonight at Red 7 or this weekend at X Games.

:Superhumanoids – Come Say Hello:  I wasn’t aware that Superhumanoids were about to release anything new, but this is most definitely the lead track off a a new two-song single that’s available now.  I’m not sure I’ve ever heard them sound this big and in charge.  The Come Say Hello/Hey Big Bang 7″ can be owned via Innovative Leisure.

:My Brightest Diamond – Pressure:  When I saw that My Brightest Diamond was on on this year’s ACL lineup, I figured new music would arrive soon.  I think this first single is pretty great, but I’ll admit I’m mostly just happy to hear that Shara Worden still has an incredible voice.  This Is My Hand is expected out September 16 via Asthmatic Kitty.

:Tennis – Never Work For Free:  Jim Eno (Spoon), Richard Swift (The Shins) and Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) all helped produce Tennis’ upcoming album.  If that doesn’t shift the LP into something you feel the need to put on your “most anticipated” list, then you are a silly person.  Ritual In Repeat will be released on September 9 via Communion.

:Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence:  I loved West Coast, thought Shades Of Cool was mostly okay, and now the fairly rad Ultraviolence is here.  So what do each of the three singles mean when it comes to Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album?  I have no idea.  Can’t say I’m not anxious to check it out, though.  Ultraviolence is will be released on June 13 via Interscope.

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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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Quickdraw: The Hold Steady, The Coathangers, Mac DeMarco, Sylvan Esso, Magna Carda

January 27, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:The Hold Steady – I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You:  After a few years of other projects and such, the Hold Steady are back together.  Guitarist Steve Selvidge (he toured with them in 2010) is now an official member of the band, and his presence seems to have given them a meatier sound.  I like it.  You’ll be able to get Teeth Dreams on March 25 via the band’s own Positive Jams imprint.

:The Coathangers – Follow Me:  Here in the next couple of weeks I’m going to scribble out a to-do list for SXSW, and near the top of it will definitely be to finally see The Coathangers play.  I bet it’s a show that just dominates you.  Suicide Squeeze Records will release Suck My Shirt on March 18.

:Mac DeMarco – Passing Out Pieces:  I really love this whimsical number from Mac DeMarco.  Makes me wonder why I’ve never really spent a lot of time listening to his albums.  Salad Days is all set to be released on April 1 via Captured Tracks.  DeMarco will play the Mohawk on April 13.

:Sylvan Esso – Coffee:  In case you missed my recommendation of Sylvan Esso last year, it’s a project from Amelia Meath (Mountain Man) and Nick Sanborn (Megafaun).  I think they’re doing some really interesting stuff.  The Coffee/Dress 12″ is due out March 25 on Partisan Records.

:Magna Carda – Geaux:  These days every time I turn around someone is asking about Austin’s Magna Carda, and I think that’s a very good thing.  Not only are they worthy of the attention, but maybe it will make people (and I’m including myself here) pay more attention to the local hip hop scene.  You can get the group’s new mixtape, Van Geaux, for free over at Bandcamp.

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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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