RSS

Tag Archives: she sir

Show Of The Week

March 8, 2017

0 Comments

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

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

The Midnight Stroll

Weird Omen

The Digital Wild

Black Books

Hard Proof

John Wesley Coleman III

The Dizzease

Basketball Shorts

Upper Deck Pets

Growl

Tamarron

The Halfways

TRÉS OUI

A. Sinclair

Roaring Sun

The Lovely Sparrows

Pollen Rx

Mean Jolene

Grivo

Darkbird

Wild Bill and The Lost Knobs

Lola Tried

She Sir

Skin Drips

Jana Horn

Caroline Says

Julia Lucille

AMA

Mélat


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

Continue reading...

2014 SOTO Staff Picks

December 11, 2014

0 Comments

I’ve rambled on long enough about the music I liked in 2014.  Here are the staff’s picks.  Enjoy.

Turns out that aside from the crippling bodily ailments and the inability to control my bladder, getting older has made me absolutely awful at listening to music. Don’t hate haters, I’ve just gotten over the hump of 30 and all of sudden I just can’t focus enough to listen to a whole album. Blame it on the SNES I brought home for my girlfriend’s birthday, blame it on the imposition of real life, blame it on the encroaching approach of a potent mix of early onset dementia and Adult ADHD – I’ve just been really bad at music listening this year. Thus, my teensy tiny list of music is culled from a pond not nearly as large as I’d hoped it to be. That said, the music I liked, I loved and that’s the music that ended up below.

Parkay Quarts – Content Nausea
Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
Caribou – Our Love
Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait
Perfume Genius – Too Bright

Since 2010, rock music hasn’t changed all that much. There’s presently a general look back to past niche musics from the 1960′s onward. But through the nostalgia haze, there are a great deal of both old and new artists finding new latitudes. Here’s my major jams this year.

1. Thurston Moore – The Best Day (Matador)
2. David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights – End Times Undone (Merge)
3. Steve Gunn – Way out Weather (PoB)
4. Datashock – Keine Oase in Sicht (Dekorder)
5. William Tyler – Lost Colony (Merge)

I’ve been staring at my 2014 list like a student procrastinating on their end of the semester term paper.  I go back and forth on who to include, who to leave out, and recalling releases (d’oh!) I never got around to checking out. There are also the nagging doubts such as wondering if I gave an album enough listens to put it on my list. Like last year my list focuses on my local Austin favorites. Narrowing it down to the Top 5 wasn’t easy but I stand by my choices of my faves that earned multiple listens. So many good bands to choose from but oh what a problem to have, right?

In no particular order, I present to you :

The Sour Notes – Do What May
Abram Shook – Sun Marquee
Alex Napping – This Is Not A Bedroom
She Sir – Go Guitars
Shivery Shakes – Three Waves and A Shake

Honorable Mentions: The Ugly Beats – Brand New Day, Roger Sellers – Primitives, Genuine Leather – Losers

Compared to last year, 2014 left much to be desired when it comes to the sheer number of amazing releases. 2013 offered probably 15 to 20 “crap your pants while listening best record of the century” type stuff but then after that it sort of fell short in the real meat of the pack by not having a lot to deepen the core of metal. The reverse of which is true this year, I have attached to a few records as rising to the tippy top of the heap, but the real glory came in the form of the fat of the genre, so many decent albums from so many artists, many debuts, but several just continuations on great careers, but few to get all wigged out about.

My Top 5 you can see here are pretty clear choices though when you look at what they accomplished on these albums, Devn Townsend Project made two albums into one, and continued the story or Ziltoid the Omniscient, Anaal Nathrakh did what they do, but better, Job for a Cowboy somehow made bass a relevant instrument in death metal, At the Gates reunited after 900 years and proved they still have it, and Black Crown Initiate stole the show with their debut mixing death metal and melodic anthems into something technically proficient and sufficiently mind blowing. I was not let down this year, but I know I will be surprised in a few years with what I actually retained from 2014, not sure if you would agree, but that’s how I see things …

5. Devin Townsend Project – Ziltoid 2 (Century Media)
4. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum (Metal Blade)
3. Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater (Metal Blade)
2. At The Gates – At War With Reality (Century Media)
1. Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage Of Stars (eOne Entertainment)

I guess I’ll start by saying that 2014 hasn’t been an amazing year for hip hop, but it hasn’t been a completely terrible one either.  Here are my choices for the best releases this year, in no particular order:

Open Mike Eagle – Dark Comedy
Run The Jewels – RTJ2
Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait
Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica
Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majaesty

T’was a solid year for melancholy songs. Albums that truly destroyed the center of the cardiovascular system were aplenty. We’re living in a golden age of audio misery! There were SO MANY great releases that dehydrated our tear ducts but since you, the readers, are demanding a definitive ranking of the saddest albums of the year, so be it. I’ve done the requisite soul searching and came up with this predominantly lady-heavy list of my fav weepers of the year. They are full of gut wrenchers, soul crushers … and they are all fantastic. Way to bring the pain this year, ladies!

1: Beck – Morning Phase
2. Lykke Li – I Never Learn
3. Divorcee – Self Titled
4. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
5. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Best Reissue: American Football – Self Titled

Narrowing down my top albums is a tortuous process. I’m an old-school guy. I still listen to entire albums from start to finish and only occasionally opt for a playlist of singles. Immersing yourself in an album is the most satisfying way way to connect with the music. So I get really dialed into my favorite albums each year, which makes narrowing down the lot a difficult task.

Before we get to my top five, let’s take a minute to recognized the amazing amount of quality music released this year by 12XU. It was far and away the top Austin label in 2014. They featured not only one of my top artists (The Dead Space) and but also three others in my top 10 (Flesh Lights, Jonly Bonly, The Gotobeds).

1) Ghetto Ghouls – Self Titled
2) The Dead Space – Faker
3) Protomartyr – Under Color of Official Right
4) Ex Hex – Rips
5) OBN IIIs – Third Time To Harm

Continue reading...

2014 Austin Essentials: Volume 3

November 26, 2014

1 Comment

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.

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: Curtis Harding, Horse Thief, Tycho, The Mary Onettes, She Sir

February 3, 2014

0 Comments

Music!  Enjoy.

:Curtis Harding – Keep On Shining:  Sharon Jones is back, Houston is flexing The Suffers, and now there’s Curtis Harding.  2014 is looking like it’s going to be a great one for soul music.  Look out for Soul Power on April 22 via Burger Records.

:Horse Thief – Devil:  Here’s a new one from Oklahoma City’s Horse Thief, who I happened to see at Holy Mountain while doing some wandering over the weekend.  They’ve got a pleasant, well layered sound.  Fear In Bliss is expected out on April 14 via Bella Union.

:Tycho – Montana:  On the instrumental front, the album I’m looking forward to the most right now is the new one from Tycho.  Talk about headphone bliss.  Ghostly International will release Awake on March 18.  Catch Tycho at the Parish on May 1.

:The Mary Onettes – Silence Is A Gun:  I’ve never seen the Mary Onettes, so news of them being at this year’s SXSW put a smile on my face.  This song with the pretty sound is off of a mini-album titled Portico, which is due out on March 4 via Labrador.

:She Sir – Condensedindents:  If you’ve been hanging around SOTO for a while, then you’ve probably seen She Sir mentioned a few times.  They’re definitely on the list of Austin pop acts that deserve your attention.  You’ll be able to get Go Guitars on February 25 via Shelflife Records.  The band is set to have an album release show on Feburary 27 at the Mohawk.

Continue reading...

Girls Rock Camp Austin, She Sir (Jennifer)

August 14, 2013

0 Comments

Girls Rock Camp Austin recently released the She’s A Rainbow 7″ in celebration of the life of Esme Barrera, who died in January of last year. This cover of The Rolling Stones classic was previously sung at Esme’s memorial service and again performed by the Esme Barrera Fan Club (friends of Esme, Girls Rock Camp instructors) for the bright red vinyl single; the b-side is Christina Arellano’s For Esme.

All proceeds will go to support the Esme Barrera Unlimited Possibilities Scholarship Fund, which provides girls the chance to participate in GRC music programs. You can help Esme’s generous spirit live on and support GRC by purchasing this single at your local record retailers (End of an Ear, Waterloo Records, Antone’s Records, Breakaway Records). It’s a beautiful, loving, and colorful tribute to a woman who combined her passions of supporting kids and local music.

If you’re looking for music to put you in a chilled out mood during this August heat wave, check out the new single from shoegaze pop quartet She Sir. Kissing Can Wait is an icy cool slice of guitar bliss, shimmery keys, and refreshingly sweet vocals. Keep your ears open for more songs from their upcoming album Go Guitars, which is due very soon.

Continue reading...

Shivery Shakes, Tiger Waves, She Sir, Walker Lukens, Warm Soda (Jennifer)

April 3, 2013

0 Comments

One of the shows I’m looking forward to this week features three of my local guitar pop favorites. She Sir has been busy writing and recording the past couple of months, and I’m excited to hear more of their sparkling new tunes at tomorrow’s show at the Mohawk. They will be joined by the garage rock meets power pop sounds of Shivery Shakes and the shimmery, chillout vibes of Tiger Waves. This triple local threat is an excellent way to start off your live music weekend.

Walker Lukens is a singer/songwriter who is a recent Austin transplant. I first saw him perform during Austin Free Week playing a solo set. It just wasn’t a guy and his guitar. He was a one man band performing sonic experiments with vocal and instrumental loops resulting in an engaging, memorable, and entertaining performance. He (and his band The Side Arms) is celebrating the release of his debut album, Devoted, with a show at The North Door this Saturday with my favorites, Good Field and Growl as his special guests. $10 entry at the door includes a copy of the CD. Another top notch local triple threat that I highly recommend.

It’s no secret I’m a fan of the 2-3 minute pop song. During SXSW this year, I discovered a garage rock meets power pop gem from Warm Soda. They recently released their debut album, Someone For You, on Castle Face Records (home to artists like Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees). You experience the sweet, giddy bubblegum rush from the irresistible pop hooks but there’s also the gritty garage/glam rock charm that keeps you coming back for more and hitting the repeat button.

Continue reading...

Jennifer’s Top 11 Austin Albums Of 2012

December 14, 2012

0 Comments

When I sat down to list my favorite songs and albums from 2012, Austin bands were all over it. I’m going to take that as a sign and share the local favorites that I listened to repeatedly. There’s no special ranking or order here. It was harder than I expected to narrow it down to the Top 11. These are the bands that made an impression on me this year and give me reasons to be a music fan. I hope you’ll discover new favorites and check them out in 2013.

JC & Co – Music By

This band’s debut album kicked off my 2012 with blissful, dreamy 60s influenced pop. Led by songwriter and guitarist, Jason Chronis, this album is filled  with plenty of jangly guitar hooks and stick in your head melodies.

Belaire – Resonating Symphony

The members of JC & Co had a busy year because most of the band is also part of Belaire. Resonating Symphony was released this spring after having been worked on for three years. It was definitely worth the wait, as it’s a breezy, infectious pop delight with a range of influences that hint of bossa nova, folk, and electropop.

Dana Falconberry – Leelanau

I had heard of Dana from the Echotone music documentary, but I didn’t check out her songs until her album release show a couple of months ago. You could say I had a “what took me so long to pay attention?” moment, but needless to say, I was enchanted by the eloquent, emotive songs filled with the nature inspired sounds of her home state, Michigan. Just close your eyes, listen carefully, and you can imagine yourself transported to the woods and lakes of her childhood.

The Eastern Sea – Plague

The Eastern sea is a name that I first heard a couple of years ago, but I didn’t follow through on checking out their tunes. Thank goodness for second chances! Despite the foreboding album title, the songs on Plague also convey a sense of joy, hope, and overcoming the odds despite what might be against you. A triumphant, gorgeous record worth repeated listens.

Good Field – Good Field

I first heard their self titled debut album about seven months ago, and I’m still completely head over heels for it. The LP is full of undeniable guitar pop hooks that get into your head and never leave. I highly recommend seeing them play live so you can also witness just how great they are as musicians. A new album is in the works and more touring, so keep your eyes and ears open in 2013 for this band. I promise you that they measure up to all my fangirl gushing.

She Sir – You Could Be Tiger/Condensedindents

Their next album, Go Guitars, is slated for a 2013 release. To appease the appetite of fans, the band made two new songs available for download and/or streaming. I can’t get enough of their lush, shimmery sound that floats and swirls in a melodic haze.

The Calm Blue Sea – Arrivals And Departures

This is the year I finally enjoyed a (mostly) instrumental rock album. This is a surprising revelation for a (mostly) power pop, hook loving music fan. Maybe that’s why I love this album, it blew my own expectations away. At one moment you can close your eyes and drift away and at another moment, you can’t resist pulling out some air guitar and/or drumming. This music isn’t just for bedroom listening. Their album release show this fall was one of the shows you brag to your friends about how you were there. I also highly recommend checking out their video performance series, Aberrations And Departures, which was shot at various Austin locations ranging from a neighborhood bar, a vintage store, and a playground. Each setting seamlessly fits into the personality of the songs.

The Couch – The Couch

Early this year, I saw The Couch perform as part of The Good Music Club, and I finally became a Couch convert. They have the advantage of having two talented songwriters and lead singers (I’m such a sucker for great dual male/female vocals), and a solid, top notch rhythm section. It’s a fun, sweaty rock and roll with a melodic, pop heart beating underneath.

Bobby Jealousy- A Little Death

Their debut album is a delicious mix of rock, pop, glam, soul, and punk. The band is a great combination of solid songwriting and infectious, engaging live performances. There have been lineup changes since the album’s release, but that is not slowing the band down from starting work on the next release. I’m excited to hear more from tthem.

The Zoltars – Should I Try Once More?

This album was instantly in the running to be a year end favorite. I became a fan of their less is more, stripped back sound and songwriting. The winning factor is that they’re able to make it catchy, infectious, and worthy of repeated listens. They make the sad songs feels so good.  A 7″ EP is slated for release in January or February, and a new album is set for a summer 2013 release.

Leatherbag – Ditto Time

In 2012, they re-branded themselves briefly as No Future before calling it a day. This past spring, this trio released Ditto Time, which hinted at the band’s change in direction described as “flag wave.” I’m still not quite sure what that is but at the end of the day, the results were killer, no BS songwriting from Randy Reynolds and a badass rhythm section of Daniel Blanchard and Drew Emmons. They were a live favorite that I never tired of seeing. I’m really going to miss this band – good tunes from good people.

Continue reading...

She Sir, Shakey Graves (Jennifer)

August 8, 2012

2 Comments

Sometimes I have a short attention span when it comes to music. For me, the best and most enjoyable songs are three minutes or less. The bonus is when that song is so good, it makes you giddy playing it again and again. One example of this is the new single, You Could Be Tiger, from Austin’s “shimmerpop” quartet She Sir. It’s a special summer release available as a free download and it will not be found on their upcoming album.

The track clocks in at two minutes 19 seconds, and as soon as it ends, it’s hard to resist hitting the repeat button. Its hook filled pleasures got my attention last year when they introduced it into their live set. I remember a random moment one day where I could hear a snippet of it playing repeatedly in my head before I even knew the name of the song. I think that’s what you can call an earworm. Sparkling guitars, light as air harmonies, and tambourine hooks float you into dream pop bliss. The song asks you “would you go there?” and without hesitation, I know that answer is a yes.

:She Sir – You Could Be Tiger:

I try not to let my regular daytime work schedule prevent me from going to shows during the work week, but it can still be a challenge to muster the energy and motivation to get out even if you know all the bands are worth your time and money. During the month of August, I highly recommend enduring a little bit of sleep deprivation to check out the Wednesday night residency of Shakey Graves at the Parish.

I first saw one man blues folk act (songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia) about a year ago and his performance immediately made a impression on me. I love the striking simplicity of the vintage acoustic guitar and makeshift drumkit made out of a suitcase intertwined with gravelly, and the raw vocals and heartfelt, memorable melodies are great as well. One thing I noticed is that people in the audience actually listened and were attentive while he played. At the Parish last Wednesday things were a little rowdier with people in the audience enthusiastically singing along and stomping on the floor; the affection and camaraderie between performer and audience was mutual.

Word of mouth is definitely behind the growing following of Shakey Graves. I highly recommend seeing him this month before he heads out on a West Coast tour in late September opening for He’s My Brother She’s My Sister. If you’ve never seen him before, the Parish residency is an ideal opportunity to see him. Chances are you’ll be smitten enough to catch a repeat performance.

Continue reading...