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2014 Austin Essentials: Volume 2

November 25, 2014

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Hey!  Here we are with the second volume of my 2014 Austin Essentials.  Dive in.  But don’t tire yourself out, as there’s still a third volume coming your way tomorrow.  Enjoy.

:Alex Napping – Weak Knees:  Alex Napping popped out of nowhere this year and instantly impressed.  Their debut, This Is Not A Bedroom, is the kind of introspective indie pop that college me listened to too much of.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Hundred Visions – You’re Gonna Cut Me Loose:  The fuzzy garage rock ways of Hundred Visions have been on point in 2014.  You’d be crazy not to check out their sophomore album, Spite.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Flesh Lights – Just About Due:  My passive appreciation of the punk trio Flesh Lights ended with Free Yourself.  The album features some great songwriting.  And it rocks.  If you’re into that sort of thing, of course.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Sweet Spirit – Let Me Be On Top:  It was a bummer when Bobby Jealousy called it quits, but at least Sabrina Ellis, who is one of Austin’s most dynamic performers, quickly landed on her feet in Sweet Spirit.  Eventually the band will officially release an album and make the world a better place.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Shivery Shakes – Hold On:  Shivery Shakes put out their debut full length, Three Waves & A Shake, this year.  You pretty much have to listen to it if you consider yourself a fan of indie pop.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Gentlemen Rogues – Mocking Love Out Of Nothing At All:  Jennifer, SOTO’s purveyor of local music, was adamant that this slice of power pop from Gentleman Rogues make the cut.  Look out for a new album from the band soon.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Grape St. – Wallpaper:  Last year Grape St. released the excellent A Date With You, and just recently they followed it up with the equally fantastic Free Stuff EP.  The band just can’t miss!  They’re a must-listen for fans of jangly garage rock.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:The Sour Notes – Cutthroat:  Earlier this year The Sour Notes put out a really solid album (their fifth overall) by the name of Do What May.  It’s worth your time if you dig hooky indie rock.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Ramesh – The King:  For those of you that don’t know, Ramesh was once a part of Voxtrot.  His debut solo album, The King, is a well crafted alt pop effort that features a lot of great vocal work.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Coeds – Sensitive Boys:  I haven’t seen Coeds play and this is the only song of theirs I’ve heard, but that’s not stopping me from being into the duo.  Make a note to keep an eye on them and their synthy ways once 2015 rolls around.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Young Tongue – Heavy Metal Thunder:  Once known as The Baker Family, Young Tongue have a sound that’s a pleasant mixture of indie rock and pop.  Recently they released an album titled Death Rattle.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Jess Williamson – Snake Song:  Jess Williamson spent 2014 fully establishing herself as one of the best singer/songwriters in Austin.  If you haven’t already checked out her album, Native State, then you should do yourself a favor and seek it out ASAP.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:A. Sinclair – Shiny Things:  Indie rockers A. Sinclair (formerly known as Frank Smith) had a nice year.  They signed with Dangerbird Records and churned out a good album, Pretty Girls, for all to indulge in.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Boyfrndz – Design:  When it comes to experimental rock in Austin, not many can compete with Boyfrndz.  Their sophomore LP, Breeder, is a daunting, but rad listen.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:OBN IIIs – No Time For The Blues:  OBN IIIs are a loud, good ole fashioned rock n’ roll band, and their latest release, Third Time To Harm, is further proof that you should be giving them all of your attention. Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Spray Paint – Rest Versus Rust:  Many would argue that Spray Paint are Austin’s premiere punk act, and I think I’d have to agree.  Their album, Clean Blood, Regular Acid, is one you need to hear.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Polio Club – Poison The Well (Demo):  I just recently came across Polio Club, and I’ve already pretty much worn out the demos on their Bandcamp page.  I’m looking forward to whatever is the post-punk act decides to do in 2015.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:The Wolf – In Waves:  SOTO’s own Dan said that I should include psych-rockers The Wolf.  He’s apparently a big fan of the noisy, distortion-filled sound that’s all over their latest release, Ride.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Christian Bland And The Revelators – Brian Wilson:  Back in September Christian Bland (of The Black Angels) released his third album, The Unseen Green Obscene.  Naturally, it’s a gloriously hazy psych rock experience.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

:Scuare – Mind States:  SOTO’s own hip hop expert Leah recently recommended Scuare to me, and he’s been firmly on my radar ever since.  This song in particular is pretty fantastic.  Provide Facebook love HERE.

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The Wolf, Jesus Sons (Dan)

January 22, 2014

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I prefer my 60’s inspired garage rock more drunk than stoned. Nonetheless I was drawn in by the psych rock stylings of both The Wolf and Jesus Sons. While Jesus Sons are new to me, I’ve been a fan Austin’s own The Wolf for a while.

The band recently followed up their 2013 debut album Strange Flowers with a new EP titled Ride. The EP is a natural progression for the band and their best work to date. The tracks have a smoky haze of noise thanks to layers of guitar and reverb. Tied By The Roots is an especially fantastic tune that finishes with a flurry of distortion and pulsing rhythms. Baby Jew is another standout that begins with a sloppy yet hypnotic vibe before transitioning to a bass/guitar/drums freak out. Brilliant stuff.

Check out the entire EP on Bandcamp where it can be purchase for just $5!

:The Wolf – Tied By The Roots:

Garage rock has been thriving in Northern California for a while but the scene seems to be shifting down to Los Angeles. Ty Segall and John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees recently moved from San Francisco to LA which instantly gives the City of Angels new cred. Adding to that is a newish band called Jesus Sons.

They mainline 60’s psych rock and rhythm and blues to create their vintage sound. Add in some tambourines and harmonica and you have a cool Dylan meets The Velvet Underground feel. The band is generating a lot of buzz in California and beyond as they ready their first LP for release.

The self-titled album will be available on January 28th via Mock Records.

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The Wolf, Holy Wave, Communion (Dan)

July 24, 2013

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Last weekend I took my annual trip to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival. As far as 3-day festivals goes, it’s as good as it gets (with the exception of Fun Fun Fun Fest, of course). The thing Fun Fun Fun has that Pitchfork really needs is a Black stage. I love indie rock and rap as much as the next guy, but when it comes to live music, I prefer the heavy stuff. At Pitchfork bands such as Belle & Sebastian, Bjork, and M.I.A. drew huge crowds, but my favorite sets were by Metz, Mikal Cronin, Parquet Courts and OBN IIIs.  The louder the better, and that’s why this Saturday I will be at Hotel Vegas for a triple bill of psych rock, garage rock, and doom metal as The Wolf, Holy Wave, and Communion take the stage.

Communion features members of Axes to the Sky, The Roller, and Sweat Lodge. They only have two songs up on Bandcamp and each one is at least fifteen minutes long. They play guitar heavy drone rock that’s hypnotic, enveloping, and a little menacing.

Next up is Holy Wave, an Austin-via-El Paso band that manages to mix fuzzy shoegaze, surf rock, and sonic experimentations to produce their unique brand of psych. Each time I’ve seen these guys there’s a point during their set where everything clicks and the whole band is perfectly in synch. It’s hard to explain, but you have to see them live to appreciate how great they are. This is the first track off of RELAX, their first full length which is being released in November by Reverberation Appreciation Society.

Closing things down on Saturday is psychedelic garage rock masters, The Wolf. The six-piece features members of The Bad Lovers (LOVE that band) and in February they released their first album, Strange Flowers. I was a fan of their debut, a self-titled EP, but the band really stepped things up on Strange Flowers. It features thirteen tracks and each one is a total jam. Here’s hoping they play the whole thing start to finish on Saturday night.

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Ditch The Fest Fest 3 (Dan)

October 10, 2012

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Got your tickets for the ACL Festival this weekend? No?! Well, me either. That’s okay. You don’t need to plop down $200 (or however much 3-day passes cost) to see an incredible collection of bands this weekend. In fact, for just $5 a day you can see almost 50 bands spanning all sorts of genres – indie, country, rock, hip-hop, electronica, post-punk … you get the idea. So do yourself a favor and cancel your weekend plans, then head over to the Spiderhouse and 29th Street Ballroom for DITCH THE FEST FEST 3!

Once again the festival is being run by Lucy The Poodle. It’s an annual tradition offering an array of local and national acts without having to battle with 80,000 people or overpaying for food and beer. Last year the fest was held at five different locations but this year it’s more contained and centralized. This will make it easier to bounce between the four stages and see as many bands as you’d like. Yet another advantage over ACL.

There are many bands worth checking out, but I highly recommend seeing The Wolf, Megafauna, The Calm Blue Sea, Bobby Jealousy, Black Books, and Residual Kid. The songs below are just a sample of the range of music you can catch at Ditch the Fest. No matter your musical preferences, there will be bands for you.

:Bobby Jealousy – This Knife:
:Henry And The Invisibles – Take It 2 The Tippy:
:Knifight- Black Daggers:
:Megafauna – Scratch At The Latch:
:The Lonesome Heroes – 287:

SPIDERHOUSE + BALLROOM
$5 / ALL AGES / DOORS AT 5PM
OCTOBER 12TH + 13TH 2012

Friday 10/12

Ballroom Main Stage
6:30 Growl
7:30 Lonely Playground
8:30 Maufrais
9:30 Residual Kid
10:30 The Spastic Shakes
11:30 The Vipers
12:30 Bobby Jealousy

Ballroom Bar Stage
7:00pm COCKER SPANIELS
8:00pm Ghost Wolves
9:00pm Chase Frank (performing originals + PJ Harvey covers)
10:00pm Humanoids
11:00pm Church Shoes
12:00pm Motel Ball Band

Chapel
6:30pm MC Sweet Tea & Her Head Band
7:30pm Superlitebike
8:30pm Videoing
9:30pm TBA
10:30pm Hello Wheels
11:30pm Man Rabbit
12:30pm Henry + The Invisibles

Spiderhouse
6:00pm Shortwave Party
7:00pm Grundel in the Bronx
8:00pm Co-Pilot
9:00pm Alaskan
10:00pm Megafauna

Saturday 10/13

Ballroom Main Stage
6:30pm Burgess Meredith
7:30pm She Sir
8:30pm Grace London
9:30pm Les Rav
10:30pm Black Books
11:30pm Calm Blue Sea
12:30pm JC & Co.

Ballroom Small Stage
6:00pm Watch Out For Rockets
7:00pm The Couch
8:00pm Suspirians
9:00pm Kay Leotard
10:00pm Acorn Bcorn
11:00pm The Rich Hands
12:00pm Quin Galavis

Spiderhouse Chapel
6:30pm The Low Lows
7:30pm Auroravore
8:30pm Silver Ships
9:30pm The Cymatic

Spiderhouse Bar
8:30pm Big Bill
9:30pm Borris Okane
10:30pm KNIFIGHT
11:30pm TBA
12:30pm TBA

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