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Shmu (Video Premiere)

March 10, 2016

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Mr. Sam Chown – the main brain behind Austin’s Shmu – reached out this week to let me know that he had two things he really needed shared – a slew of tour dates and a brand new video.  I figured you could use both, so here we are.  Check out the dates either up above or down below, and then watch the trippy video for Diamonds, which was directed by Joel Coronado (he plays bass in Shmu).  Enjoy.

PS – You should also check out GTZ Records.

Here are Shmu’s upcoming dates in text form (just in case).

- Friday, March 11 – Austin, TX – GTZ Records Presents at Cheer Up Charlies with The Octopus Project & Golden Dawn Arkestra
- Saturday, March 12 – Denton, TX – Denton 35 with LSA Burger Co. (8pm)
- Sunday, March 13 – Austin, TX – YXSB at Dozen Street (6pm)
Sunday, March 13 – Austin, TX – Austin Town Hall & Side One Track One Showdown at Volstead (10pm)
- Tuesday, March 15 – Austin, TX – GTZ Records Presents at Spiderhouse Ballroom with Netherfriends & Guerilla Toss (9pm)
- Wednesday, March 16 – Austin, TX – Wonderland Day Party with Netherfriends & Yonatan Gat (4pm)
- Friday, March 18 – Austin, TX – GTZ Records Presents at Wonderland Jlin Narlei, Ume, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, ANAMANAGUCHI (3pm)
- Saturday, March 19 – Austin,TX - The Octopus Project Showcase at Spiderhouse (2pm)
- Saturday, March 19 – Austin, TX – GTZ Records Presents at Wonderland with Boyfrndz, Netherfriends, Moon Honey (9pm)
- Sunday, March 20 – Austin, TX – House Party at 3115 Castro St (3pm)

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Show Of The Week

October 28, 2015

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It’s Halloween weekend, so I’m assuming most of you have a litany of house parties that you’ll be attending while dressed up as your favorite superhero or blogger.  That’s fair.  However, if you decide you want to spend some prime costumed-time downtown, head to Cheer Up Charlie’s on Friday for the record release party that the wonderfully experimental Shmu is having.  There are a ton of great bands on the bill – Botany, Calliope Musicals, Alex Napping, Feverbones, Gloves Collective, New Fumes, Total Unicorn, Karla Nightblooms, Party Plants – and it’s only a $5 suggested donation.  Plus, if you RSVP you’ll get a free CD or download of Shmu’s new album, Shhh!!!!.  That’s a steal, my friends.  Do it.

More shows!

Tonight:
- Django Django, Wild Belle at the Mohawk
- Mastodon, Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity at the Austin Music Hall
- Residual Kid, The Ancient Gods, Dead Sally at The Sidewinder

Thursday:
- Basketball Shorts, New China, Oozer, Mean Jolene at Trailer Space
- Sweet Spirit, Crushed Out, Major Major Major at Hotel Vegas
- Otis the Destroyer, MCG, Ghostbunny, The Bravo at The Sidewinder
- Oddisee, Good Company, Magna Carda at Empire Control Room
- Rose Selavy, Loafer at the Mohawk
- The Eastern Sea, Bee Caves, SAFIA at the Scoot Inn

Friday:
- Coathangers, Nobunny, Birth Defects, OBN III’s at The Sidewinder
- Shmu, Botany, New Fumes, Total Unicorn, Karla Nightblooms, Alex Napping, Feverbones, Gloves, Party Plants at Cheer Up Charlies
- Vintage Trouble, Latasha Lee at Emo’s
– Think No Think, Nilo Bronco, Pure Urges at the Scoot Inn

Saturday:
- Reptar, Holiday Mountain, Breathers at The Sidewinder
- Har Mar Superstar, Casual Strangers at Indian Roller Boutique Roadhouse
- Skylar Spence, Mark Redito at Stubb’s
- Salt-n-Pepa, , Golden Dawn Arkestra at ACL Live at the Moody Theater
- DIIV, No Joy, Sunflower Bean at the Mohawk
- Milezo, Tele Novella, Annabelle Chairlegs, Unknown Relatives, Pollen Rx, Slomo Drags at the Spiderhouse Ballroom
- White Ghost Shivers, Clyde & Clem’s Whiskey Business, Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, Dave Insley’s Careless Smokers at the White Horse

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Quickdraw: Big Grams, Shmu, Birthmark, Club 8, Dan Friel

September 21, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Big Grams – Lights On:  Here’s the latest from Big Grams (Big Boi + Phantogram).  The previous single felt like Phantogram guesting on a Big Boi track, and this one is pretty much the other way around.  Both work.  The act’s self titled debut is due out September 25 via Epic.

:Shmu – Pictionary:  Austin’s own Shmu is Sam Chown (of Austin’s own Zorch).  If you like experimental pop music, then he needs to be on your radar.  SHHH!!!! is due out October 30 via GTZ Records.

:Birthmark – Suit Of Armor:  Just in case you don’t know, Nate Kinsella (American Football) is the main brain behind Birthmark.  This new pop tune of his is a bit dramatic, but I dig how well crafted and catchy it is.  How You Look When You’re Falling Down is due out October 16 via Polyvinyl.

:Club 8 – Love Dies:  I got really excited when I received a press release about Club 8′s upcoming album.  In their 20 years of existence, I’m not sure they’ve ever done anything that didn’t sound absolutely beautiful.  Pleasure is due out November 20 via Labrador.

:Dan Friel – Life (Pt. 1):  I love Dan Friel.  The former Parts & Labor-member just always churns out the most inspired, punk-enthused bits of instrumental glory.  Life is due out October 16 via Thrill Jockey.

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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: While We Were Sleeping – Part 1

January 6, 2014

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Why do people bother releasing new music in December?  Not only is it the holidays, but during that time I’m so deep in year-end lists that the thought of listening to anything new makes my head hurt.  It’s silly I tell you!  In any case, I hate missing out on good tunes, so we’re starting 2014 with a 20-track December recap.  The first part awaits you below.  Enjoy.

:St. Vincent – Birth In Reverse:  Naturally, St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) owns the top spot on my Most Anticipated Abums Of 2014 list.  She is as talented as it gets.  Expect to be able to get her self titled effort on February 25 via Republic/Loma Vista.

:Yellow Ostrich – Shades:  This song only has a few moments where it actually feels like a Yellow Ostrich effort, but I think that’s a good thing.  Their sound seems to have taken a darker, louder turn, and it’s a change that’s re-energized my love for them.  Cosmos will be released on February 25 through Barsuk.

:The Tontons – Magic Hour:  I raved about the Tontons for a good chunk of 2013, and you can expect more of the same this year – especially if they keep on putting out singles as snazzy as this one.  The band will release The Make Out King And Other Stories Of Love at some point this year.

:Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – Cinnamon And Lesbians:  Stephen Malkmus is one of my heroes, so of course I love that he’s put together a sixth solo album.  Here’s hoping that he and the Jicks do a good number of SXSW shows.  Wig Out At Jagbags is due out tomorrow on Matador.

:Wild Moccasins – Emergency Broadcast:  Houston’s Wild Moccasins have finally readied a sophomore effort, and I think it might end up being their best work yet.  This song is particularly kinetic, which I dig.  New West Records will put out 88 92 on February 4.

:Shivery Shakes – Sidewalk Talk:  If you’ve yet to start paying attention to Austin’s Shivery Shakes, then it’s time that you do.  I get the feeling that their upcoming full length is going to garner them a lot of love.  The band’s Sidewalk Talk/So Long 7″ is out now on Punctum Records.

:Speedy Ortiz – Everything’s Bigger:  Is anyone out there right now making better 90s-esque rock music than Speedy Ortiz?  I say no.  If I’m lucky they won’t just put out an EP this year.  Carpark will release the Real Hair EP on February 11.

:Young Girls – Caroline:  Our friends over at Austin Town Hall Records recently started working with … ahem … Young Girls.  This super catchy track is the first thing to come out of the partnership.  The band’s self titled EP will be available starting on January 28.

:EMA – Satellites:  If you asked me to describe EMA, I’d say she makes the kind of music that just dominates every part of you.  Yes, that means it’s intense, but it’s also rewarding.  Don’t be afraid to dive in.  The Future’s Void is expected out at some point this spring via Matador.

:SHMU – She’s Leaving:  For those of you that don’t know, half of Austin’s Zorch is SHMU.  You’ll like this if you have a fondness for experimental pop music.  The Chroma Key EP is due out January 14 via Grand Theft Zamboni Records.

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