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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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The Preservation, The Calm Blue Sea (Jennifer)

May 1, 2013

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Austin’s The Preservation are celebrating spring with the release of their new single, Hugs/Drugs.  It brings to mind sunny, lazy, and carefree days with its breezy harmonies, organ swirls, and twang meets jangle guitars.  This double single is an excellent follow up to their 2011 album, Two Sisters. I also highly recommend checking out their live show, which you have the chance to do this Friday at Scoot Inn. They’re part of a stellar lineup with The Couch, Burgess Meredith, and Holiday. Check out the clip of Happiness from their Good Music Club taping last year; those sweet harmonies and killer guitar hooks definitely make me happy.

Another excellent local band performing on Friday night is The Calm Blue Sea. Although they’re an Austin-based band, their gigs are infrequent. The chance to see and hear them play a headlining show at a top notch venue like The Parish is hard to pass up. The band recently posted the remaining two videos from their Aberrations And Departures series; these performances were recorded and filmed live on location in Austin with different filmmakers and no overdubs or edits. Tesoro and To Approach The Vivian Girls are two of my favorite songs from their 2012 album, Arrivals And Departures; they have a blissful yet powerful shiver up the spine quality that you can’t deny.

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