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2013 Austin Essentials: Volume 2

November 26, 2013

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Hey!  Look at that, we’ve arrived at volume two of my Austin Essentials.  As I mentioned yesterday, there’s no particular rhyme or reason for the order of the entries, I was just looking to share some of my favorite stuff that came out of Austin in 2013.  Enjoy.

:American Sharks – XVI:  No matter how much fun you’re having, American Sharks always seem to be having more. I love that about them.  Find American Sharks on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Mirror Travel – Mexico:  It’s been a bumpy road for Mirror Travel, but now they can totally high five themselves because their long awaited full length turned out great.  If you haven’t already, pick up the psych-enthused Mexico.   Find Mirror Travel on FB here, and buy their music here.

:White Denim – At Night In Dreams:  It’s no secret that White Denim are my favorite band in Austin.  They’re just stellar and you should listen to them all the time.  As for their new album, Corsicana Lemonade, it’s them doing a nice job of continuing to expand their sound.  Find White Denim on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Growl – Abbreviations:  In the corner of Growl’s Bandcamp page there’s some text that describes how they’re a “band making solid indie rock.”  That’s true.  Well, except for the solid part.  I think they’re actually making really good indie rock.  Find Growl on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Tele Novella – No Excalibur:  Tele Novella features former members of Agent Ribbons and Voxtrot, and they have a rather charming pop sound.  I can’t wait for them to put out an album.  By the way, the band has another single called Don’t Be A Stranger that’s pretty good.  Find Tele Novella on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Wild Child – Crazy Bird:  This song has never failed to put a skip in my step.  It’s such an endearing little tune, and I can’t imagine anyone not liking it at least a little.  Find Wild Child on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Black Books – Favorite Place:  There’s a lot to like on Black Books’ largely dreamy self titled debut, but this song is by far my favorite on the album.  It’s just the right amount of heavy.  Find Black Books on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Sorne – Ego Altar:   Sorne aren’t exactly what I would describe as overly accessible, but they do have some really interesting material.  You just have to give them a few listens so that your brain can accept how intense of an act they can be.  Find Sorne on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Zoltars – Evelyn:  The Zoltars are lo-fi, minimalistic, and very good.  This year they put out the Live Like Dragons EP and a full length titled Walking Through The Dark.  I recommend seeking out both efforts.  Find The Zoltars on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Pharaohs – Prettiest Girl:  Recently, Pharaohs’ Moan was reworked a bit and then put out by Burger City Rock N Roll.  That means you’ve been given a second chance to snatch it up.  Do so if you like really catchy jams.  Find Pharaohs on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Pollen – AR AK:  Pollen haven’t been around long, but that doesn’t mean they’re not ready for any attention you’re willing to throw their way.  Watch out for them and their garage rock ways in 2014.  Find Pollen on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Other Lovers – New:  I came across this folk pop anthem about a month ago and have been liking it every since.  Other Lovers’ EP, Born To Party/Born To Be Old, is a little all over the place, but it’s certainly worth your time.  Find Other Lovers on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Frank Smith – Chewing Glass:  First of all (and hopefully for the last time), Frank Smith is a band and not a single guy.  Secondly, this is a very clean sounding, focused rock track, and I dig it.  Find Frank Smith on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Shearwater – I Luv The Valley OH!! (Xiu Xiu Cover):  As a follow-up to last year’s Animal Joy, Shearwater assembled a collection of covers titled Fellow Travelers.  The nifty effort consists of Jonathan Meiburg and Co. doing song by bands they’ve toured with over the years.  Find Shearwater on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Okkervil River – It Was My Season:  On every Okkervil River album there’s always one song that I can never get enough of, and this was it on The Silver Gymnasium.  The damn thing is just immaculate.  Find Okkervil River on FB here, and buy their music here.

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Who To See At SXSW 2013

March 4, 2013

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Previewing SXSW is such an odd task.  It would take a year’s worth of daily posts to cover just the great acts playing, and I think doing a mammoth playlist that contains every SXSW artist is a waste of time.  So, today I’m keeping things clean and providing five bands that are can’t miss this year, and then I’m tossing in five local acts for those of you that aren’t based in Austin.  Enjoy.

See These 5 Bands At SXSW

MS MR

For me, MS MR are the one band that I have to see at SXSW this year.  Their 90s-influenced sound is great, and I’ve yet to come across a song of theirs that hasn’t totally won me over.  By the way, I recommend getting in line early for wherever they’re playing, as their recent placement in the season three trailer for Game Of Thrones will certainly bring out the masses.

:MS MR – Bones:

Foxygen

Foxygen have put out one of the year’s best albums, which should be reason enough for you to seek them out.  I, however, want you to do it because their current live show is so odd.  They’re a young group that haven’t quite figured out how to keep their energy (or nerves) in check, so what ends up on stage is a really interesting watch.

:Foxygen – On Blue Mountain:

Chvrches

The first couple of singles from Chvrches were met with all sorts of buzz, and now they’re positioned to use SXSW to officially blow up.  I think their live show seems like something that could be a sweeping, joyous experience, and I can’t wait to see if that’s what they deliver.

:Chvrches – The Mother We Share:

Youth Lagoon

Youth Lagoon (Trevor Powers) will probably exit SXSW with a packed bandwagon.  Wondrous Bughouse, one of the year’s most anticipated albums, will be out before the festival starts, and I really think if there’s anyone that will be able to get the crowd to be quiet and pay attention, it’s him.

:Youth Lagoon – Dropla:

Haim

This trio is rolling into SXSW with a ton of buzz due to the overwhelmingly catchy Falling.  This could make for a situation where people just impatiently wait to hear the one track, but something tells me these ladies will avoid that by delivering one awesome dance party after another.

:Haim – Falling:

See These 5 Austin Bands At SXSW

Dana Falconberry

Dana has been one of Austin’s hardest working artists for quite a while, but it wasn’t until last year’s Leelanau that she finally got everyone to really start paying attention.  If you like your folk music to be intricate, yet accessible, then I highly recommend that you make some time to see her play.

:Dana Falconberry – Lake Charlevoix:

PS – Dana is playing SOTO’s day party, DC VS Austin, at Sidebar on March 15.  I would have mentioned her here regardless of this tidbit, but I figured you should know.

The Eastern Sea

The Eastern Sea certainly took their time to get to where they are now, and that patience has worked in their favor.  Plague turned out to be a great album, and the large lineup behind frontman Matt Hines allows for a rather expansive sound in a live setting.

:The Eastern Sea – Wasn’t For Love:

Sorne

An artist in all aspects of the word, Sorne is one of Austin’s most buzzed about acts.  For proof of how enthusiastic everyone is about this guy, take a look at his Kickstarter, where he just raised over $16,000 to fund his new album.

:Sorne – Ego Altar:

A Giant Dog

I know some of you are hoping to find a way for Austin to punch you in the face, and that’s why I made sure to include A Giant Dog.  They just released the very good Bone, and their live show was meant for the chaos that often comes with SXSW.

:A Giant Dog – Teasin’ Ass Bitch:

The Couch

The Couch have been one of my favorite local acts over the last three or four months.  Their live shows are a upbeat and fun, and I really dig the pop rock sound that makes up their self titled full length (released late last year).

:The Couch – Kick The Can:

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Stream This

February 22, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion
Sally Shapiro – Somewhere Else
The M Machine – Metropolis Pt. II
Sin Fang – Flowers
Doldrums – Lesser Evil
Mister Lies – Mowgli
Mount Moriah – Miracle Temple

VIDEOS

Sorne will release Ego Altar later this year.

Stornoway will release Tales From Terra Firma on March 19 via 4AD.

Field Report’s self titled album is out now.

Efterklang’s Piramidea is out now.  They play the Mohawk on March 6.

GRMLN put out this track as a one-off single.

DWNTWN’s The Red Room EP is out now.

Junip will put out a self titled effort on April 23 via Mute.

Warm Soda will release Someone For You on March 26 via Castle Face Records.

Beware Of Darkness will release Orthodox on May 7 via Bright Antenna.

Pony Time released Go Find Your Own earlier this week via Per Se Records.

Eat Skull released Ill this week on Woodsist.

The Aprons released Sound Stains last year.

The Gossip put out a A Joyful Noise last year.

Decades will release a self titled album on April 30 via White Girl Records.

Bat For Lashes put out The Haunted Man last year.

Screaming Females just put out the Chalk Tape EP.

The ACB’s will release Little Leaves on March 5 via High Dive Records.

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Quickdraw: Dan Friel, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, MS MR, Sorne, Screaming Females

January 28, 2013

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Today’s music can’t be stopped.  Enjoy.

:Dan Friel – Thumper:  Dan (formerly of Parts & Labor) put out one of my favorite songs last year, so I was pretty pumped to finally see him release something new.  This is a great track, especially if you dig stuff that’s noisy and kinetic.  Thrill Jockey will release Total Folklore on February 19.

:Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Let The Day Begin:  I’ve never been an overly huge fan of BRMC, but I certainly recognize that they’ve been a solid band for a long time.  On March 19 they’ll put out their six full length, Specter At The Feast, on Abstract Dragon/Vagrant.

:MS MR – Fantasy:  I’m very much looking forward to hearing this band’s debut full length.  I really liked the EP they put out last year, and now there’s this pop number, which is just fantastic.  Second Hand Rapture is due out in May, but you’ll be able to pick up the Fantasy single on March 10.

:Sorne – Ego Altar:  If you want to know who currently has the most experimental and interesting sound in Austin, it’s Sorne.  This guy has the potential to really blow up this year, so you should take this intense, soulful track and use it as your excuse to jump on the bandwagon now.  Ego Altar is due out April 9.

:Screaming Females – Poison Arrow:  Some health issues may have sidelined the Screaming Females’ touring plans, but they’re staying busy.  This garage rock tune is off a collection of home recordings that’s only being put on on a cassette.  Chalk Tape is due out February 10 via Don Giovanni.

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