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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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Stream This

October 3, 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

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums come out, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Ex Hex – Rips

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling
NehruvianDOOM – Self Titled
Wampire – Bazaar
Roger Sellers – Primitives
Allo’ Darlin – We Come From The Same Place
Foxygen – … And Star Power
Iceage – Plowing Into The Field Of Love
Tomorrows Tulips – When
Caribou – Our Love
Minus The Bear- Lost Loves
Field Report – Marigolden
Single Mothers – Negative Qualities
Godflesh – A World Lit Only By Fire
Dark Blue – Pure Reality
Young Mammals – Alto Seco
SBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land
Zola Jesus – Taiga
Populous – Night Safari
Peaking Lights – Cosmic Logic
Fiance – EP1
Vashti Bunyan – Heartleap
Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End
Prince – Art Official Age & Plectrumelectrum
Stevie Nicks – 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault
Johnny Marr – Playland

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Mastodon

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Roger Sellers (Jennifer)

August 20, 2014

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In preparation for the release of his upcoming album, Primitives, Roger Sellers would like to remind you that he is not a DJ. He is a musician/producer/songwriter who crafts an eclectic range of songs and sounds from a variety of instruments – guitar, banjo, drums, electronic loops and samples. His performances range from solo sets (switching from acoustic instruments to the electronic set-up that gave the impression that he was a DJ) to a full band. As described on his Bandcamp page, “imagine folk -dance-americana-electric-symphonic fusion.” All of the disparate elements seem to effortlessly blend together both in live performances and recorded songs.

Primitives will be released on September 27 (a release show at Cheer Up Charlie’s is also set for that date) via the Austin-based Punctum Records.  Check out the first single below!

Following the release of the album, Roger plans to do a three week West Coast tour, and in order to make that happen, he’s looking to fans for their help and support.  There’s an Indiegogo campaign currently taking place with 10 days remaining and perks for contributors include downloads of Primitives as well as his previous albums and more. Funds raised will go towards tour expenses along with hiring for press to help get the word out. Anyone that contributes to the campaign gets entered to win two passes to Utopia Festival this September; if he makes his goal, he will have a thank you performance upon his return from tour for anyone that can make it. He is also encouraging fans and friends to spread the word about the fundraiser campaign even if they can’t make a financial contribution.

I became a fan after his 2012 release, 8 Songs, and was fascinated at how adept he was at alternating between his different musical personalities and styles; he has the talent and grace to make it work and stand out.

:Roger Sellers – Waves:

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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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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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Jack Wilson, Tele Novella, The Black And White Years, Golden Bear, The Plastic Habit (Jennifer)

June 19, 2013

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Tomorrow singer/songwriter Jack Wilson is holding a record release party at The Mohawk.  His new album, Spare Key, was released last month on Fluff And Gravy Records. He writes raw, emotive songs that reflect on many of his personal experiences and journeys. His musical influences touch on folk and Americana, but you can also recognize more melodic pop influences ranging from The Beach Boys to Elliott Smith. His live performances are honed and fleshed out with a full band definitely worth seeing.  He’ll have CDs and LPs, and copies of the 7” 45 single Cigarette/Glow, featuring the Good Music Club performance of Rainbow/Tiger.  The bill is rounded out by The Preservation and Roger Sellers.

Tele Novella (ex-Agent Ribbons, JC & Co, Belaire) are back home in Austin from their West Coast tour. Give them a warm welcome at the 101X Homegrown Love show this Friday at Holy Mountain.  You’ll also find The Wolf, Daniel Francis Doyle, and Borrisokane on the lineup.

The Black And White Years have completed a new album to be released later this fall. They’re playing their first headlining show of 2013 at Stubb’s this Friday. There are plenty of new tunes to hear, but I’m sure that they’ll be playing plenty of old favorites. One of their new songs, Just Like Old Times, features Adrienne Butler, wife of lead singer/guitarist Scott Butler, on lead vocals. The bill is rounded out by local bands Tiger Waves and Shrines.

As if there wasn’t already enough happening on Friday, Frank has Golden Bear with Sun Marquee and Pink Nasty. This show (aka Summer Sweat Jam 2013) should be as sexy and fun as the gig poster, which features a photo of Tom Selleck from his Magnum PI days. For a $6 cover (and all ages), you’re getting a bargain full of top notch local, pop underground talent.

The Plastic Habit is holding a release party in celebration of their debut EP, Out Of The Airlock, this Saturday at Frank. Led by singer and guitarist Jonas Wilson, the band also features members of other notable Austin acts, including The White White Lights, Lomita, Okkervil River, Slowtrain, The Dialtones, and The Lovely Sparrows. Their sound alternates between power pop, glam rock, punk, and indie pop; it’s fun, loud, catchy, and maybe even a little bit sexy. Jonas Wilson is also an entertaining front man who is not afraid to let loose and have a good, sweaty fun onstage.  They’re joined by special guests The Gorgeous Hands and Chief White Lightning.

:The Plastic Habit – Out Of The Airlock:

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Maryann, Roger Sellers (Jennifer)

May 29, 2013

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In March local quintet Maryann released their rootsy pop/rock opus Outlaw Opry Act I. This Friday they’re holding a release show at Swan Dive for the sequel, Outlaw Opry Act II. Act II features appearances from a variety of guest musicians, including Haley Barnes (Acre Yawn, ex-Buxton).  Below you’ll find a really nice song off of Act II titled Adelaide. If you’re like me, it should make you really look forward to hearing what else Maryann has created.

:Maryann – Adelaide:

Although I see more than my fair share of live gigs, there are plenty of times when all I want to do is simply to unwind and relax to music at home. On one of those recent nights that I did go out for live music, I saw Roger Sellers play at The Blackheart. He draws his sound from both ambient and folk elements. The performance I saw featured a full band, including members playing banjo and stand-up bass. I must admit I’m a sometimes reluctant fan of artists like Sellers. There has to be that certain hard to define quality in the songwriting to draw me in.

Still, I bought his 8 Songs record at the show. When I listened to it at home, I was caught a bit off guard by some of the ambient/electro songs as there weren’t any keyboards and synthesizers played at the show I saw. But they were what I needed to help me unwind, reach that dreamy state, and release myself from a stressful work day. There are songs such as Consequential Ending and Close that deftly combine both musical worlds into a satisfying listen. You can catch his next show on June 20 at The Mohawk with Jack Wilson (for his album release) and The Preservation.

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